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Showcase - Red Kingdom (Fairy Tale Retellings #2) by Rachel L. Demeter




Little Red Riding Hood reimagined with a dark and realistic twist. 

Princess Blanchette’s world shatters when the Black Wolf tears apart her castle and everything she holds dear. All she clings to is the vow she made to her grandmother on her deathbed.

Hailed as the people’s champion, Sir Rowan Dietrich liberates the capital in a quest for vengeance. He takes Winslowe Castle with an army at his back and his wolf, Smoke, at his side. 

United by a shared cause and powerful attraction, Rowan and Blanchette embark on a journey of self-discovery and redemption—a path filled with loss, transformation, and ultimately, the healing power of love. 

Can Norland’s resplendent princess, with her captivating beauty and spirit, tame the fabled Black Wolf?

Inspired by the fairy tale Little Red Riding HoodRed Kingdom is a passionate, slow-burn historical romance about the enduring quest for love and the longing for a world at harmony.

*Red Kingdom is a standalone installment in a series of reimagined classic fairy tales. Due to adult content and themes, it is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

More black came out of the black. It was a giant wolf, its yellow eyes shining like lanterns. The firelight danced across its sleek, dark coat, making parts of it look almost blue-black. The wolf angled its large head toward the crackling meat and sniffed at the air. Drool ran from its jaws and splattered on the snowy ground.

The beast was beautiful in its dark stillness.

Rowan should have wielded his sword and threatened the intruder back into the darkness from whence it came. Instead, he felt himself rising to his feet slowly; his hand reached for the rabbit, moving like an alien thing independent of the rest of him. He tore off a dripping limb. He felt it dampen his fingers and slide down his palm as he lifted the morsel in midair. The wolf lowered its head again and cautiously stepped forward, those glowing eyes never parting from his.

Another sniff. Slaver dripped from its jaws. Its teeth were long and dagger-like.

The wolf emitted a low, rich growl that reminded Rowan of rolling thunder. That sound rose from the darkness, then dropped away as if fading into the very night. The wolf stalked forward with slow and measured steps, the hunger in its eyes a tangible force. Snow dusted its dark coat, clashing against the fur, melting within moments from the wolf’s body heat. It raised a paw and growled again.

“Here, monami,” he whispered, outstretching his hand to offer the rabbit leg. “No need to be afraid,” he said more to himself.

With a few cautious steps, he closed the distance between them. Rowan dropped the meat and released his breath. The beast devoured the meat as he knew it would. He licked his mouth, those sharp teeth flashing. Long tendrils of slaver dripped to the ground.

Rowan glanced at the pommel of his sword—at the snarling wolf’s head. He held out his hand and waited. The wolf took another step forward, his teeth bared, then lowered his muzzle to his knuckles. He sniffed at his flesh, then stared up at him. Slowly, Rowan tore another limb from the rabbit and fed it to him from his hand.

He took it quickly.

The wolf was starving and all alone.

Rowan lowered onto the ground again, his back resting against a tall oak tree. He unskewered the rabbit with his sword and broke off chunks for him and the wolf. As the night deepened, he heard his voice filling the silence.

“Where’s your pack?” he asked, his voice slurred. He realized the ale had gone to his head. The world around him felt unsteady. “My pack’s also gone,” he said, pointing his flask toward the gray wolf embroidered on his tunic.

He plucked another leg from the rabbit and felt the grease slide down his fingers. The wolf sat up, attentive, his eerie eyes glowing. Slaver ran from his jaws. Rowan carefully leaned forward and fed him the morsel from his hand. He licked his fingers clean, those intelligent, piercing eyes never leaving his own.

“I suppose the pack shall grow soon enough,” he said, taking a piece of meat for himself. “She’s heavy with child.”

He raised his flask in a silent toast, then drank.

He offered the wolf another fat morsel. He ate it straight from his hand again, then nibbled his palm. He rubbed the wolf’s ears with his other hand, shocked into a sudden silence by how quickly he’d trusted him.

A black wolf has come to me in my blackest of nights.

Hesitantly, Rowan tracked his hand over the wolf’s smooth, dark coat. The fur seemed to drink in the firelight; he watched, mesmerized, as the flames danced across it.

“I see them… I see them every night and every day,” he said, whispering to no one. “I see them even now.” Rowan cocked his head back and looked up into a dark ash tree. A body, its face swollen and purple, hung from the end of a noose. It swayed eerily in the breeze, and the smoke from the fire obscured its features. Rowan blinked once, twice. It was gone as quickly as it’d appeared.

“What should I do? Go back to the king? What kind of knight—what kind of man, what kind of father—would that make me?”

The wolf said nothing. Of course. Just stared at him with those glowing eyes.

Then the wolf lay down and made himself at home beside Rowan’s boots. His eyes darted back to the sigil on his banner: a gray wolf howling against a white field.

Rowan exhaled a breath, then watched as the wolf’s eyelids grew heavy and closed. He rested his massive head on its front paws. Rowan watched the steady rise and fall of his back… watched through the smoke as the flames waved in the darkness.

Black smoke distorted the wolf lying beside him.

“Smoke,” he said aloud, talking to no one.

And the Black Wolf of Norland was born.

I live in Sunny California with my dashing husband, who inspires my romance novels every day!

Writing has always been an integral part of my identity. Before I physically learned how to write, I'd narrate stories to my mom and she'd record them for me.

I graduated from Chapman’s film school, where I often received the feedback on my scripts, “Your stories and characters are great, but this reads like a novel!” That’s when I realized my true calling.

In my free time, I frequent reptile expos, lift double my body’s weight, and indulge in dinosaur trivia.


I'm passionate about writing stories that explore what it means to be human and to be loved. My books focus on hope, courage, and redemption in the face of adversity.

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