SynopsisFairytales with a twist! Snow has successfully avoided her past for years … until now. With an evil queen bent on her destruction and a hunter bent on her seduction, she has no choice but to run. Who will find her first? S.E. Babin presents The Hunt for Snow, Book 1 of her exciting, new fantasy series, Fairytale League.
Every ten years a convention is held in a neutral location where people from all the realms come together and reunite. This is no ordinary conference, though, because everyone who shows up holds a place of honor in the legends of old. But there’s one person who doesn’t care that Earth is neutral territory. The Evil Queen, Naomi, is out to settle a score, and she’s brought along one of her most talented henchman to teach the one who got away a harsh lesson.
Snow’s past is shrouded in mystery. Mild cryptozoologist by day, private investigator by night, Snow is dead set on one thing — staying far away from the Huntsman who haunts her dreams. When she shows up to the conference with her two best friends in tow, things start going awry right away. Mere minutes after arriving, they find themselves thrust back into the world they’ve tried so hard to avoid. Now, along with the help of her friends, Snow is struggling to stay one step ahead of the queen who wants to destroy her — and the Huntsman who wants to possess her at all costs.
The hunt for Snow is on. But who will find her first?
So where does a girl go when she’s hurt and upset? I don’t know, but this girl went back to the bar. I sidled up to it, grabbed a stool and gestured the big, friendly guy over. “Vodka, straight. Not the cheap stuff.” I had to give him credit. His eyebrow only rose a fraction of an inch before he rumbled his big body over to all the glorious booze and poured me a healthy shot. I took it back in one gulp, enjoying the slow burn of the booze, and gestured for another one. He obliged, so I knocked that one back too.
I asked him for a coke with a shot of vodka and watched his strong, capable hands while wondering what his story was. He slid it over to me with the ease of someone with years of experience in the same job, offered me a slight smile, and left me there to stew. Maybe for the best. I wouldn’t be very good company right now.
“Did someone take your Sig?” The cool voice intruded into my maudlin thoughts. “Tsk, tsk, it’s a sad day when a pretty girl like you sits at the bar crying over her lost hardware.”
I snorted and twisted in my seat to look at Robin. I picked up my drink and clinked it against his. “Cyndi feels sorry for me,” I said without preamble.
His brow crinkled adorably and he burst into guffaws. “Sorry? For you?”
I let him have his moment. I hadn’t confided in him in years, so he had no idea of the extent of my bone-deep loneliness. “She replaced all of my clothing with frilly garments. Pink. Purple. Pastel. Skinny jeans.” I made a gagging noise.
His laughter abruptly stopped. “Christ.” He turned a panicked look to me. “Did you kill her?”
I nodded, squared my shoulders and started walking to the devil’s house. As I stood on the porch, the smells of home cooked food and wood smoke made my stomach growl. I really couldn’t get over how much the house had surprised me. Either Rumpel was a master at illusion, or this was how he lived all the time. Maybe it was a little bit of both. I knocked on the door, surprised when it opened underneath my hand.
The inside was just as homey as the outside. Comfortably worn chairs circled the small living area. A small fire crackled cheerily in the hearth. Kitschy knickknacks littered the tables and the shelves, depictions of small town life. Very Thomas Kinkade. And very unlike the man I expected Rumpel to be. I looked into the kitchen area and saw a tall man stirring a pot. His clothes fell on his lanky frame, clean but worn.
He set the spoon down and turned to face us.
I couldn’t help it. I blinked, opened my mouth to speak, shut it, and then blinked again. Rumpelstiltskin was drop-dead gorgeous. I looked over to Belle and Cyndi and both of them had their mouths wide open.
A smirk appeared on his face. “Why is it everyone thinks I’m hideous?”
“Ummm,” I said eloquently.
He shook his head, said something under his breath, and gestured for us to sit around the large circular table in his dining room. It was made out of a dark wood, the surface scarred from years of overuse. We meekly sat down, amongst the disgusted grumblings of Robin Hood. “I swear,” he muttered under his breath, “you woman are all the same. Struck dumb at the sight of a pretty face.”
“Shut up,” I muttered in annoyance. Rumpel was not just another pretty face. He was reminiscent of an ancient warrior, an angular face highlighted with strong cheekbones, and deeply tanned. A thin white scar ran down from the side of his right eyebrow to the bottom of his lip, but it did nothing to detract from his beauty. Instead, it just enhanced it. His eyes shimmered with ancient magic, a maelstrom of pictures and images floating through them. One moment gray, the next moment a haunting tawny gold, they were the most fascinating thing about him. Jet-black hair hung around his face and settled at the tops of his shoulders.
He reached up to one of his cabinets, exposing powerful tanned arms, scarred from his upper biceps down to his lean hands. His face and body told a story of grudges and power plays and ancient feuds. He was both terrifying and gloriously beautiful.
I glanced around at my friends, still struck dumb, then at Robin who was sitting at the table with his arms crossed looking pissed off at the world. I shrugged. “Yes, please. Thank you for your hospitality.”
“Do not thank me yet,” he said, his voice a deep rasp as if unused for years. “We haven’t begun to deal.” He looked over his shoulder at me, those haunting eyes seemingly piercing through my soul and unveiling my deepest secrets. “You are here to deal, yes?”
I swallowed and nodded.
“Good.” Rumpel busied himself with clattering around the kitchen and serving us up some of the stew he was making in the massive pot on the stove.
I sat there dumbly, staring at his powerful frame when Cyndi leaned over. “Close your mouth. You’ll attract flies.”
I closed it and glared at her. “You’re just as guilty,” I accused.
She smiled. “Hard to act normal around a vision like that.” Her gaze roamed over his body in a frank, appraising glance I’d never quite seen her use before.
“Stop staring at me, orphan, or I will tear your eyes right out of your head.”
Cyndi’s eyes widened and a brilliant, beatific grin spread across her face. I stared at her in horror. “Freak,” I muttered.
“He likes me,” she whispered.
I was making noise like a drunken elephant. I cringed as my boots squeaked through the mud and other unmentionables, but I didn’t slow my pace any. Thunderous footsteps echoed behind me as Max taunted me.
“Snow White, I’m going to geeet yooouuuu. Come here, you sexy little thing.”
I let out a crack of laughter and shot him the finger. But I kept running. Once I reached the entrance, I shimmied up the rocks, but a vise-like grip grabbed my ankle and pulled me down. We crashed into the sewer, me on top of Max and both of us cursing up a blue streak.
“Max! Gross!” I struggled to get out his grip without having to stab him. I was going to have to take a decon bath and get a tetanus shot after all this was done.
He laughed maniacally, but didn’t let his grip up. “Keep the wiggling up, lass, and I’ll take you in this sewer.”
“Ugh.” As much as I wanted him, I didn’t think sewer monkey love would ever be worth it.
I stopped wriggling, and stared at him, those beautiful green eyes looking back at me deep with emotions. I gave him a brilliant smile, straightened my neck, and head-butted him in the nose with my forehead as hard as I could.
His shout of pain made me feel a tad guilty for being such a dirty fighter, literally, but I’d given him what he wanted in order to keep him safe—a giant black eye that he could take back to Naomi. His grip relinquished as he continued to groan, and I scrambled off him and out of the dungeon. As I stood above the entrance looking down, Max had one hand over his bloody nose, his eyes swelling and tearing up with both amusement and pain. He shook his head at me as a blood-filled smile quirked his lips.
“Crazy bitch,” he murmured.
I gave him a wave and left him lying there. His pained laughter followed me out.
About the Author
S.E. Babin has a passion for writing books with a paranormal twist. Whether it's romance or mystery, she loves turning the norm into the extraordinary. Her early love of reading turned into a curious exploration to see whether or not she could write her own novel. This resulted in her spending way too much time in the library, killing any chance of her becoming a cheerleader or anything even remotely cool. She lives in Texas with her family and a passive aggressive dachshund.
- November 17- SBM Book Obsession- Excerpt
- November 17- Coffee Books & Art- Excerpt / Spotlight
- November 17- Undercover book reviews- Spotlight
- November 17- A Dirty Book Affair- Review / Excerpt
- November 18- Leabhar Caife- Excerpt
- November 18- Warrior Woman Winmill- Review
- November 19- LuLo Fangirl- Excerpt / Spotlight
- November 19- LBM Book Blog- Excerpt
- November 20- Sizzling Book Blog- Excerpt
- November 20- Kimber Leigh Writes- Review / Spotlight
- November 20- Trips Down Imagination Road- Review
- November 21- Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics- Review / Author Interview
- November 21- The Phantom Paragrapher- Review
- November 21- Harlie’s Books- Review
- November 21- Becca Anne’s Book Reviews- Review
- November 21- girlygirlbookreviews- Review / Excerpt