In a hurry to leave summer behind? Escape into the magic of M.A. Kuzniar’s stunning adult debut, Midnight in Everwood! Discover snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets in this beautiful reimagining of The Nutcracker. Begin reading chapter one below!
Marietta Stelle’s mother always said that nothing good came of a rainy day. However, it was a rainy day when the magic came, and once magic has entered your life, you stay in its glittering clutches forever.
A mysterious new neighbour – who Marietta would later come to learn went by the name of Dr Drosselmeier – heralded the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Though he appeared to be but an ordinary man, enchantment clung to him. It dripped from his voice, seeped out from under his skin and whispered around his eyes.
Marietta was dipping in and out of pliés at her ballet barre when she happened to glance out her window and witness his entrance. A black town hat bobbed along the cobbled street below. The cloaked figure carried a single case, pausing to look up at the sprawling townhouse Marietta called home. He seemed to look straight through her, so Marietta took a step back from the window to study him from a more covert position: his face was clean-shaven, fair and younger than one would expect, considering the sweep of silver hair peeking out from beneath his hat. Creases burrowed into the skin at the corners of his eyes, marking him as a gentleman in his late thirties perhaps, and his irises were an intense frosted blue, lending him a bewitching stare.
The curtains of rain sheeting down Marietta’s window failed to touch him and, after a momentary hesitation, he continued on his way. Rising up onto demi-pointe, her attention snared, Marietta watched him stride into the equally grand, vacated townhouse opposite the Stelles’.