Shadow and Parsley

Secreted in the dark forest of Shade, a castle hides from the greed of the outside world. Petrosinella has spent her entire life within the castle's confines; the quiet solitude of the dust-mote-filled halls; the embrace of the summer sun that lights up the abandoned stone; the fairies who dance to her singing. As the years pass, a curse consumes her mother, sinking the castle into a deep slumber. Her connection to the outside world lives only in the enchanting melodies she weaves. When Petra finds herself most alone, Fate blesses the Sun Prince upon Petrosinella's tower. Love spells between them as her Prince answers her damsel distress.

But her fairytale ending gilt is not spent on dance or song but nights of loneliness, an ever-darkening castle, and a fear-stricken realm save of fairies and joy. Petrosinella realizes that she must save herself. Seeking the price of the powerful Shade King, she bargains for her release from her castle.

Petra chances danger and deceit to dare the world beyond her castle. She discovers that some treasures cannot be bought, not even with the magic of her golden hair. Outrunning Time and outwitting Fate, she unravels the secrets of two kingdoms, the tyranny of each, and lies worse than any prison. True love, courage, and power come from within, even in the darkest of fairytales.

A fantasy romance retelling of Rapunzel, Shadow and Parsley studies prototypical fairytale tropes and the male savior complex while fabling a romance with progressive characterization and female self-empowerment.

Natalie wrote the first draft of the book in 2023 over two months. She will begin to edit in 2025.

“I love you,” he whispered against her lips, and so he loved her. 

Petra didn’t know what to say at first. But when you have been alone for so long, when a Prince rides to your castle in the middle of the dark forest, when he feeds you kisses and affection and touches and tells you that you don’t have to be alone anymore, well, you say that you love him too.  

Petra stroked his cheek and smiled. “I love you.”

Because Love was the answer to the riddle and the antidote in the fairytale. And Petra, she finally finished it. She had been waiting for so long. 

She decided she would wait no longer. 

- An excerpt from Shadows and Parsley