5 Stars, Amy Lane, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane – Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Audio Gem

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Truth in the Dark

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator:: Nick J. Russo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 4 Hours and 40 Minutes

At a Glance: Truth in the Dark is a fantastic fairy tale, and I loved how this one ended.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: “I am not beautiful…”

Knife’s entire existence has been as twisted as his flesh and his face. The only thing beautiful in his life is his sister. When Gwennie is obliged to turn a suitor down because she fears to leave her brother to the brutality of their village, Knife is desperate for anything to ensure her happiness.

Her suitor’s cousin offers him a way out, but it won’t be easy. Aerie-Smith has been cursed to walk upright in the form of a beast, and his beloved village suffers from the same spell. Aerie-Smith offers Gwen a trousseau and some hope, if only Knife will keep him company on his island for the span of a year and perform one “regrettable task” at year’s end.

Knife is unprepared for the form the island’s curse takes on his own misshapen body. In one moment of magic, he is given the body of his dreams—and he discovers that where flesh meets spirit and appearance meet reality; sometimes the only place to find truth is in the darkness of a lover’s arms.

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Review: Truth in the Dark was actually the very first book I ever read by Amy Lane. I started off with a sample and before I knew it, I was downloading the rest of the story on my Kindle, and I haven’t missed one of her stories since, so when I saw that the book had finally made it to audio, my reaction was…MINE! And wow! It did more than meet my expectations as one of my all time favorite stories.

Nick J. Russo is a fairly new-to-me narrator, but Dreamspinner Press and Amy Lane picked a winner for narrating this novel. Russo did an amazing job of bringing Naef (aka Knife) to life. I could actually close my eyes and picture everything in my mind’s eyes as Russo narrated the story. I could feel Naef’s bitterness for the curveball life had thrown at him; yet knowing that deep down in his soul lay a beautiful person that only a beast could see. I could also sense the burden that Aerie-Smith carried inside him over one selfish act that affected not only him but his people as well.

Truth in the Dark is a fantastic fairy tale, and I loved how this one ended. And, it’s a highly recommended listen, a novel I would gladly listen to again and again. If you can’t listen to it, read it!

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

You can buy Truth in the Dark here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Giveaways, Lex Chase

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Bayou Fairy Tale Blog Tour With Lex Chase

Hello everyone! I’m Lex Chase, and I want to give a huge thank you to Lisa for hosting me today. Right now she’s getting ready for GayRomLit, and my butt is staying home.

Today, I’m here to talk about Bayou Fairy Tale, the long awaited sequel to Americana Fairy Tale. It’s only been a year and a *coughcouplemonthscough!* But the wait is over! Taylor, Corentin, and Ringo are back! And I have a couple goodies for you today. Enjoy Taylor’s character profile, which should catch you up on our tale so far!

Everyone’s writing process is different. Mine is I almost always write with music going. Film scores, vocals, whatever. I form playlists for my different books, and even further divide it by character pairings. I have a million of ’em. I also like my stuff loud, full of bass, and a hell of a beat. I used to make playlists for blogs that were mostly instrumental and kind of light and almost a bit tame. Now, I’m getting real with stuff I actually listen to.

So, I’m sharing a bit of a sampling from playlist of The Screw-Up Princess and Skillful Huntsman. I chose two songs for each character. One song for what they’d listen to, and one I associate with them.

Taylor is up first with an eerie cover of “Once Upon A Dream” from Sleeping Beauty. Because. Seriously. His next track is “Champion Sound” by Ill Factor. And omg, it’s pretty freaking epic over headphones. The lyrics are very Taylor, how he started from the bottom, and he’ll push until he’s broken to make it to the top. He’d definitely stomp around and headbang. Try to dance and look super dumb doing it.

Atticus is next with a rocking male cover of “Let It Go” from Frozen. Yeah. Yeah. The song you’ll never get out of your head. But this is a version you want in you head. And is sooooo Atticus. Following that is “The Noose” by A Perfect Circle. A song I always associate with him and his fall from grace. How his perfect halo slipped to choke him on darkness. And I apparently live in the 90s.

Corentin follows and he’s totally an old country and classic rock guy. He withers at the idea of showtunes. Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gunna Cut You Down” which is something Corentin would know all the words to, and he’d associate with himself. The other is specifically I chose for his point in Bayou Fairy Tale with “Free” by VAST. His curse is still a major issue and he’s at the point that no one can tell him what to do anymore. He’s going to be who he wants to be. And I still live in the 90s.

Finally, there’s Idi. Aaaaah Idi. Sweet Idi. So what he’s the Witchking and the embodiment of pure evil. He’s still likeable, right? Yeah? For him we go suuuper dark. We have “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine and this is one of my favorite songs. Totally a crank it on the headphones or in the car song. And then we have Nine Inch Nails with “The Day The World Went Away.” Nine Inch Nails is noisy but sometimes you need the raw sound to channel those emotions. And I fucking love the 90s. What can I say.

But what about Ringo? Taylor’s quirky fairy godfather that keeps things light and is always there with the perfect zinger! Have a bonus! We have “Stuck in the Middle” with Stealers Wheel, which is the epitome of Ringo stuck with Taylor and Corentin in their absurd situations. And then totally “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede. He did kind of sing it in Americana Fairy Tale. This would be his sing it as loud as possible in the shower song.

Now it’s your turn to tell me who is one of your favorite musical artists and why? I’m always on the hunt for new music! Comment below and don’t forget to record your entry on the giveaway widget!


Genre: Urban Fantasy Fairy Tale
Series: The Screw-Up Princess and Skillful Huntsman Trilogy: Book Two (A Fairy Tales of the Open Road Novel)
Length: Novel
Published: October 19, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62798-499-7
Buy: Paperback or eBook

Blurb:
Modern day fairy tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: hes a guy. Two: hes Sleeping Beauty, the most useless princess in existence. Throw in his true love, Corentin Devereaux, a huntsman descended from child-eating witches, and Taylors younger brother, Atticusthis generations Snow Whitewho tried to kill him. That didnt go so hot.

For two years, Taylor and Corentin live their Happily Ever After. But Corentins cursed to lose his memory every seven days, including his life with Taylora painful reminder that he cant provide for the man he loves. Taylor insists Corentin has the strength to succeed, and when Taylor discovers a way to break the curse, he is more than willing to pay the cost.

When an enchanted blizzard devastates Corentins hometown of New Orleans, Taylor is convinced Atticus is to blame and grows desperate to find him amidst the Big Easy turned frozen wasteland. Corentin believes Taylor is chasing a ghost while he chases the ghosts of his own past. Old tensions scratch open scars, leaving both to wonder if they have each others best interests at heart. The clock is ticking until Corentin loses his memory, and the rabbit hole goes so deep they may never come out.


About the Author:

madison_parker_MG_4269-WEBLex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, Were all going to die, Im just trying to make it a little more interesting. Now, shes on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventureand depending on how she feels that dayLex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If youre going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldnt last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldnt be here if it wasnt for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find in the Intarwebz here:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/lexachase
Site: http://lexchase.com


I’m having a Down on the Bayou Giveaway where one lucky winner will walk away with a magical fairy tale prize pack! From Corentin’s mini journal, to a delicious bottle of Disney’s Snow White perfume, Lex Chase swag annnndddd….

This lovely necklace!

US residents only please, but for International residents, you’ll get a lovely 20 dollar Amazon Gift Card!

Don’t forget about the multiple ways to enter! Not only do you need to comment, you can tweet! Use the hashtag #BayouFairyTale! Or enter via Instagram!


Bayou Fairy Tale Tour Stops:

10/1 – Tali Spencer

10/3 – The Novel Approach

10/5 – Gay List Book Reviews

10/6 – Bru Baker

10/7 – Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Teahouse

10/8 – Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

10/10 – Aidee Ladnier

10/13 – Prism Book Alliance

10/15 – C.S. Poe

10/16 – Joyfully Jay

10/17 – Bayou Fairy Tale Facebook Chat

10/19 – Bayou Fairy Tale Release Day!

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified

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Giveaways, Therese Woodson

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Betrothed: A Faery Tale Blog Tour with Therese Woodson

Betrothed Banner

Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Therese Woodson on the Betrothed: A Faery Tale blog tour. Enjoy the excerpt Therese has chosen to share, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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BetrothedFSBlurb: Faery royalty have always married for duty rather than love. Prince Chrysanths should be no different – except with a human for a father, the prince known as Puck already is different. When he is betrothed against his will to Prince Sky, Puck flees to his father in the human world, only to have Sky follow.

Prince Sky Song of the Clouds isn’t thrilled with the prospect of marriage either, but is bound by duty to follow through. If he can’t win Puck over, the faery realm might very well dissolve into utter chaos. Too busy arguing, Puck and Sky are unaware there are others with a vested interest in seeing the betrothal fail. In a bid for Puck’s crown, they’ll seek to keep them apart, even as Puck and Sky realize that duty and love don’t always have to be mutually exclusive.

Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press: Paperback || Ebook

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A Note from Therese: Hi and welcome to the BETROTHED: A FAERY TALE blog tour.

The lovely folks at The Novel Approach were kind enough to host me on the fourth day of my tour.

Please follow me around and get to know the faery princes Puck and Sky and how their world changes due to one (annoying) law. (Schedule Here)

The excerpt I’m sharing today is Sky finding out that his betrothed has fled from the Feary realm to the human world.

The Excerpt: “What do you mean you can’t find him?”

Sky flinched from Queen Bellis’s severe tone and fleetingly felt bad for the unlucky servant. Standing in front of the Earth Kingdom throne, having been presented to the court as Prince Sky Song of the Clouds, Sky clasped his hands behind him and rocked back on his heels. His entourage gathered nervously around him, exchanging looks, as the queen glared down at the messenger in front of her.

The messenger bowed low. “He’s not in his rooms and not in the garden.”

“Then keep looking,” she ground out. “And when you find him, tell him his betrothed has arrived and I will not tolerate his rudeness.”

The poor faery gulped. “Yes, Your Majesty.” At his slight pause, the queen narrowed her eyes, and the messenger made a terrified noise. He straightened and scurried away.

Queen Bellis relaxed back into her throne and sighed wearily, putting a hand to her head.
“Children,” she said. “They can be difficult, especially the willful ones.”

Sky didn’t respond, merely stood tall and silent, wings folded behind him. He glanced around the court, taking everything in. They had arrived a few moments before, and after being offered refreshments, were ushered into the throne room. Sky didn’t have much of a chance to look over his surroundings until the lull while he waited to meet the prince.

The Earth court was much different from his home. Where the Cloud Castle was open and airy, placed amid the clouds, the Oak Palace sat at the base of an ancient tree. Composed of wood and earth, Sky could feel the pulse of life in the walls around him, the living roots twisting and twining into the structure. He scrunched his nose at the smell of damp soil, so unlike the wild, fresh air he was used to. Scant light shone within the interior instead of bright rays, but it was beautiful all the same, decorated with vibrant flowers, green plants, and glossy wood. It hadn’t changed much since the last time Sky had visited, but it remained foreign all the same.

“Now,” Queen Bellis said, leveling her gaze at Sky from her throne. Her eyes were a deep brown, as was her hair, which tumbled over her shoulders and down to her hips. Her wings twitched behind her, wide and yellow, more decorative than functional, unlike the sleek wings of Sky and his Air counterparts. Her markings, a mixture of green and brown, coiled down her arms and over her shoulders like vines. “Tell me, how is Queen Wind Song? Is she well?”

Sky nodded. “Yes, she is well, Your Majesty.”

“Splendid. I’ve often felt a kinship with your mother, especially after your father died of withering. I know what it is like to not be able to be with the one you love.”

Sky spoke around a tight throat. “Your sympathy is appreciated.”

“You look like him, you know.” She gestured toward the inky color of Sky’s hair and the dark blue markings that swept down his arms. “It’s the water sprite in your line from the last generation that tied the kingdoms. It was so long ago, and now they are soon to be gone, and it is your generation who has the burden of adhering to the faery law. I’m sorry it fell to you and my son.”

“It’s my duty,” Sky answered.

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Therese Woodson AvatarAbout the Author: Therese Woodson is a writer, a wife, a mother of three, a pet-owner, and a long-time member of her college’s sci-fi club. She is a fan of watching bad television shows, superhero movies, and anything involving mythology. She loves creating interesting characters, universes, and stories with happy endings.

Find news and more information about Therese on her blog at Therese Writes Things

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore

Guest Post: The Immortal Fairy Tale by Amy Lane

Immortal

Blood in the Forest — What I Know of Fairy Tales

When I was a kid, my parents used to ship me off to my grandparents for the summer.  We didn’t have a lot of money—or a lot of space—so I was allowed to bring two books. Books were bad. If I brought books I would spend my time reading and no time interacting with the really boring old people I was staying with. (Some grandparents can be fun and exciting and do things like take their grandchildren camping and horseback riding and shopping. Some of them can be like these grandparents who played solitaire in the backyard for fun.)

So I took two books—I took giant anthologies of children’s stories and fairy tales, and I read the holy crap out of those two giant books.

One summer I brought The Blue Fairy Book and a collection of Norwegian fairy tales, and, again, read the holy crap out of those two giant books.  And I came to believe—like, in my bones believe—the following things:

  • It was not just because I was nine years old and being parented in the 70’s. The world really was that random.
  • Authority was capricious at best and cruel at the worst. It was totally cool to be a treasonous peon if you ended up with a bad prince or a psychotic queen.
  • It was not just my imagination—the cats, the horses, and even the damned plants all knew more than I did.
  • Punishment for being a total douche was just and brutal and could not be escaped.
  • Giants (including giant corporations and giant governments) really don’t have their hearts in their bodies.
  • Sex is everywhere, but it’s never spoken.
  • Women could be brave, resourceful, and vengeful. (It was only Disney who said they had to be rescued by a man.)
  • Men could raise children. They weren’t great at the girl stuff, but their hearts were in the right place.
  • Siblings were both a great trial and a great blessing.
  • If your husband/wife was a complete and total psychopath, it was totally cool to kill him/her and get the hell out of dodge with the scullery maid/stable boy.
  • There were three elements of all magic: touch, blood, and song.
  • Love the ugly and unattractive, because they could give you some kickass wedding gifts when the time came, or completely fuck you up if you messed with them.
  • Stepmothers and fairy godparents were a total crapshoot. Yeah, sometimes the stepmothers could be evil… but there was always that one in the obscure story in the middle who was on your side.  And the reverse goes with fairy godparents—remember, Maleficent was Aurora Dawn’s least favorite aunt.
  • Just because you got dumped into a pit with spiders and asps did not mean you were dead. Suck it up and keep going.

And, my favorite…

  • Ones own children were always the prettiest.

So, there you go. All of that beautiful passion, drilled into my head at a young impressionable age.  It was like… the key to the universe right there. Everything I wanted to know about the world, in a couple of jam-packed books!

“Ah,” but you’re thinking, “children grow up and then they learn that fairy tales aren’t for grownups at all!”

Uhm, no, actually.  Then I grew up and took a boatload of classes in literature and storytelling and how the history of the language evolved and the history of the stories we tell reflects the deeper currents of the world.  And I learned some pretty good shit.

So, did you know that…

In 1066, before the Norman invasion of England, the population of Great Britain was largely Celtic, Gaelic, or Saxon—and all of these cultures have some deeply pagan roots. In 1066, the country was taken over by the Normans, who did what conquerors do and made all of the conquer-ees into their lower classes.  So suddenly the women and men who had owned a great deal of property and had been born into prosperous families saw their property gifted to the Norman nobles (who didn’t stay around to rule and left unscrupulous men in charge) and saw their own families reduced to herding swine and tending the rich peoples’ children.

They were… disgruntled, to say the least.

And they had their stories, their legends of the old gods, the forest gods who both gave life and destroyed it, the great and terrible gods who meted out justice and hid in the smallest of natural things—the egg of a duck, three drops of blood, or a flower.

And the women, in particular, cut off from their families, forbidden by propriety to so much as speak out, were often put in the position of entertaining bored or fractious children.  So they told their old stories, the ones with the fearsome gods and the brutal justice.  But they didn’t want to frighten the children—that would be cruel—so the stories twisted, became subversive and coded.  Sex was cloaked in flowers blooming under a bed, or a kiss between a prince and a sleeping princess.  Treason was disguised as the stories of heroes overthrowing a wicked king with the help of a magic instrument that knew right from wrong. Sedition seeped out in stories of greedy giants who had no hearts, or in stolen harps that would give a kingdom back its glory.

The children just knew good stories when they heard them.

It’s almost like a good horror movie, isn’t it? The kind with the creepy innocent children’s voices, singing songs that are steeped in blood?  Those are the fairy tales I read as a child. Those are the voices that sing in my head when I think of the secret fairy tales, the ones that nobody has ever heard of, like Felicia and the Pot of Pinks, The Little Goose-Girl and The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body. 

And as for the other fairy tales, the ones with slightly different origins? Oh, I see them in the same subverted, innocently bloody way.

Beauty and the Beast came out from Disney?  That’s great—which version, I’d read four of them by the time it debuted.  The one where Belle’s spoiled sisters try to kill their father in revenge for their poverty is my favorite.

The Little Mermaid?  That’s awesome—but I bet it didn’t have the real ending, the Hans Christian Anderson ending, where the mermaid gave up her voice and her family and her home for a man who did not love her, but she could have it all back if she killed the prince and threw his heart into the ocean.

Hey, kids, do you want to hear the story of Gawain and the Green Knight—the one where the people of King Arthur’s court are kicking the Green Knight’s head like a soccer ball after it gets cut off at a Christmas feast?  Do you want to know where he came from? About the real green man who devoured human offerings to bring the world back from the dead, year after year?

Let’s sing in ethereal voices about Bluebeard and his murdered wives, or the little white cat who got her head cut off to become a princess.  How much sweet-toned blood was spilled when they nailed the head of the Goose-Girl’s horse to the archway above the king’s garden? What happened to the women, grasping above their station, who got caught reaching above those with good and pure and heart? How grisly was their demise?

Oh yes—I grew up on fairy tales, and they affected me deeply.  I don’t write about rainbows and flowers, giggles and daisies, paths strewn with rose petals and happy endings within the hero’s grasp.

I grew up on fairy tales—be prepared to fight for that lover, against forces you don’t understand. Be prepared to sacrifice and to bleed, and to have random acts of magic and the brutal justice of the gods meted out before you are ready for the battle. Know that the magic weapon is drawn, the sacrifice wines have been spilled, and the tree of life is barbed and will as soon slice your throat as give you sustenance.

I grew up on fairy tales.  I dream of bloody trees and sex under the cover of darkness and the death knell of innocence in a child’s laugh.

These are the stories I devoured with pointed teeth in the cave of my room as a child. Just imagine the rare and dripping stories I can serve as an adult, who has learned what great and terrible magics are locked away in our own hearts.

Are you ready to grow up and read fairy tales?

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Blurb: When Teyth was but a child, a cruel prince took over his village, building a great granite tower to rule over the folk. Greedy and capricious, the man will be the bane of Teyth’s existence as an adult, but as a boy, Teyth is too busy escaping his stepfather to worry about his ruler.

Sold into apprenticeship to the local blacksmith, Teyth finds that what was meant as a punishment is actually his salvation. Cairsten, the smith, and Diarmuid, his adopted son, are kind, and the smithy is the prosperous heart of a thriving village. As Teyth grows in the craft of metalwork, he also grows in love for Diarmuid, the gentle, clever young man who introduces him to smithing.

Their prince wants Diarmuid too. As the tyrant inflicts loss upon loss on Teyth and Diarmuid, Teyth’s passion for his craft twists into obsession. By the time Teyth resurfaces from his quest to create immortality, he’s nearly lost the love that makes being human worth the pain. Teyth was born to sculpt his emotion into metal, and Diarmuid was born to lead. Together, can they keep their village safe and sustain the love that will make them immortal?

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

AmyLaneLogo

Amy LaneAbout the Author: I am creative, distracted, and terribly weird. I love my children to distraction, and I love my hobbies even when they piss me off. I come from a double line of extremely creative, intelligent people who hated authority so much they dodged higher education, and I married a wonderful man who is quiet, conservative, devestatingly funny, and perfect. Our children are constant reminders that God and Goddess have a profound sense of humor, and that all of the things you dislike most about yourself but pretend don’t exist really do come back on the karmic wheel to kick your ass when you least expect it. My family keeps me young and humble and I try every day to make them proud. I’ve written a LOT of books–I can’t even count anymore, most of them for Dreamspinner Press and Riptide Press, but some of them published on my own. I write to placate the voices in my head, profanity is the element I swim in, and knitting socks at stoplights has become my twitch.

Connect with Amy at: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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Keira Andrews, Leta Blake, Self-Published

Guest Post: Once Upon a Time — Reimagined Fairy Tales with Keira Andrews & Leta Blake

Rise cover 400x600

When we first began writing our sexy, gay twists on classic fairy tales, we deeply offended someone on the internet, who ranted that the children’s stories we all grew up reading should remain unsullied. We thought it rather amusing that this person was crusading to retain the purity of fairy tales when the original stories and folklore could aptly be renamed:

Photo credit: monica hamburg / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: monica hamburg / Foter / CC BY-NC

Fairy tales: “outside the box” pioneers

While most of us grew up on the sanitized Disney versions of fairy tales, the originals are pretty darn brutal. For example, Snow White’s nemesis was originally her mother, but the Grimms made her a stepmother in the second edition of their tales. Apparently a jealous mom having her daughter murdered and wanting to eat the child’s internal organs was a little much even for them.

But not to worry! Whether mother or stepmother, the evil queen is punished for her transgressions by dancing herself to death in red-hot iron shoes. Now there’s a visual of vengeance that’ll undoubtedly lead to peaceful slumber for young minds.

Meanwhile, the Brothers Grimm decided to make up for slightly softening Snow White by adding a jaunty dash of dismemberment to Rumpelstiltskin. In the original, the angry imp takes his ball and goes home, simply running away never to be seen again. But let’s face it — running away is for losers. No, better that he “in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.” Sweet dreams, kids!

Let’s talk about sex, baby

In original versions of Little Red Riding Hood, our plucky heroine realizes that grandma’s big eyes are actually those of the Big, Bad Wolf, and performs a striptease to distract the wolf so she can escape. This is just one example of how surprisingly sexual early fairy tales were. In fact, the end of some early versions of the tale read as, “sweet and sound she sleeps in granny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf.” Bestiality and pedophilia has never sounded so romantic!

In the Rapunzel we heard as children, we don’t recall the prince knocking up our heroine with premarital sex. Forget happily ever after — more like wocka chicka bam bam! Meanwhile, in Giambattista Basile’s version of Sleeping Beauty, it’s a dashing king who comes across the titular heroine. Naturally he has sex with her while she’s unconscious (as you do), and carries on his merry casual-rapist way, having gotten her pregnant with twins. Oh, and he’s totally already married! The queen tries to serve him the babies for dinner (because cannibalism is always a welcome addition to fairy tales), but in the end she gets burned alive and the king marries Sleeping Beauty. He’s a keeper!

A gay twist on Jack and the Beanstalk

We’ve expanded and revised one of our novellas and are republishing it. Here’s a little more about Rise.

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What happens when Jack meets a sexy man atop that beanstalk?

Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold and glittering jewels with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.

Rion isn’t a giant, only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world is turned upside down. After a blazing confrontation, undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their desire and growing connection. But do they have the courage to let go of the past and follow their dreams?

Soon they must protect the treasure—and each other—from a new threat. And they have everything to lose.

This is a retold fairy tale with a twist. Previously published as Ascending Hearts; this version has been revised and expanded.

Buy or borrow Rise today from Amazon!

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So, you can see why we don’t really consider our reimagined erotica fairy tales to be particularly offensive to the proud legacy of fairy tales. We love using the original tales as inspiration and a jumping-off point to create new fantastical worlds and erotic romances between two men.

What’s your favorite fairy tale? Did you ever read the original, darker versions as a kid? Let us know!

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About the authors:

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” You can find out more about Keira and her books at her website, and on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter for news, giveaways and more.

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Leta’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively, but her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting the romance stories that she would most like to read. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family. You can find Leta online at her websiteFacebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter for news, giveaways and more.

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3.5 Stars, C. Margery Kempe, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore, Reviewed by Lisa, Tigearr Publishing

Review: Spinning Gold by C. Margery Kempe

Title: Spinning Gold

Author: C. Margery Kempe

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 23 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: How long would it be before the prince discovered Freawine couldn’t really spin straw into gold-or that this “peasant girl” was really a boy?
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C. Margery Kempe, Tigearr Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Spinning Gold Blog Tour With C. Margery Kempe

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Why do fairy tales eternally return? We never seem to get tired of them. While most people know the Disney versions best, surprisingly few have read the Grimm versions upon which they were based, which can be very grim indeed. Those in turn were based upon oral retellings of stories by German and Alsatian women, which were then shaped by the brothers to form a collection. The Kinder- und Hausmärchen had a political intent as well as a literary and linguistic one as the brothers wanted to give people a sense of identity from the stories. Continue reading

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