After so many years of writing a contemporary romance series set in a small Texas Hill Country town, why did I decide to write fairy tales? That question has a few answers, and that’s what I thought I’d write about today.
I suppose anything I write could qualify as a fairy tale happily ever after. The heroine winds up with her heroes (usually multiples) and they do live happily ever after. That’s my job and I love it. Then I decided to dabble in a true fairy tale world. A land where magic exists. Beasts, princes, kings, and fae are bad ass and sexy. Oh, and hello, dragons! Villains, adversaries, and evil queens are “I will eat your soul” kind of ominous and scary (mostly). But through it all, love prevails.
Taking a detour through the land of Tangere was refreshing because there are so many options in a magical realm. Anything can happen! I needed that uncertainty and opportunity, I suppose. And in the end, with the finished product in hand, I hoped readers would approve.
A close associate asked me a good question this morning. “Have you really billed this trilogy as fairy tales?” The question gave me pause. At Siren-BookStrand it’s categorized as “Contemporary, Fairy Tales/Myths, Fantasy, Menage a trois, Paranormal” in alphabetical order.
I’ve mainly promoted the series as fantasy. I mean, obviously, with a titles like Beasts In Winter, I knew readers would see what I was going for, but when asked about this trilogy for the last year or so, I would always hesitate before calling them fairy tales. Why on Earth would I do that?
Fairy tales are simple bedtime stories that have been told to children for hundreds of years, embellished in our “modern” times for a wider audience. Maybe it’s because the themes seem so simple on the surface–how could they be made any better? Is it because some people still see fairy tales as childish, and why would I reinterpret a childish thing? Maybe because there are so many retellings already?
I don’t talk about what I write much to people in my everyday real life, but that’s because of privacy. I realized even in my online activity, the fairy tale aspect of what I was writing was not the first thing that I mentioned. Why?
My best guess is that as a grown woman, I worry what people will think about me dabbling in fairy tales. After all, the classic fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Snow White, are first read to us when we’re little. Or we grew up watching the Disney interpretation of those fairy tales. And in the back of our minds, my mind, maybe that was always my ideal for a happily ever after.
Now, here we are, grown women, and we KNOW that fairy tale happily-ever-afters are all too imperfect, short-lived, or just plain non-existent. That doesn’t make us want them any less, but it did make me hesitant, I suppose, to talk about them.
I think part of me also kept this series close to my heart, giving as little information as I could without being downright reticent, because I feared that devoted readers of my contemporary series might not want to “jump” genres with me, although I know plenty of readers who do. Or maybe they would find that my interpretation of them would be repetitive of what other authors have tried to do.
By and large, we authors are a neurotic lot. Haven’t I ever mentioned that?
Anyway, I am over that reluctance. The truth is that my heart, sweat, and tears have gone into all three stories, even surprising myself with the elements that leaped from my imagination onto the page. And I laughed and laughed while writing them. Maybe that’s why I loved them so much. But the love scenes are the heart and soul of the stories. I can make you laugh all day long, but if I haven’t made your heart swoop and pound at least a little, I haven’t done my job and merited my reader’s business.
These are not your mama’s fairy tales. They certainly aren’t Hollywood’s politically correct fairy tales. And I hope you will discover between the pages that they are unlike any erotic retelling of a fairy tale that you have ever read before.
I’ve taken many of the familiar, well-loved landmarks from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Snow White, embellished them with vivid imagery, added new elements, introduced a new set of secondary characters, and heated them up to the top of the scale for erotic romance. Oh, and they’re all ménage happily-ever-afters, if you haven’t guessed by the covers.
And here I am, loudly and proudly proclaiming
I WRITE FAIRY TALES!
Information about each story is located on my website. Just click on the menu button and select Books in the Tangere Tales Trilogy, or click any of the links from the Home page to read the blurbs and excerpts. And read on for a fun look at Beasts in Winter, as well as snippets from Midnight of the Fae, and Dance of the Dragon Sorceress.
A rumbling sound nearby startled Angel, and she opened her eyes, not remembering why they were closed. She couldn’t possibly have dozed off. Her awareness returned, along with a blast of freezing cold, and she gasped.
“Ho-Holy shit! Where am I?”
“Meow,” the cat answered, its bright white fur blending in with the snow scene surrounding her. Brilliant sunlight lit the frozen landscape and another wave of chills hit her, reminding her she was clad in denim shorts, hiking boots, and a tank top—because it was summertime. As if to reinforce her confusion, snowflakes drifted around her and caught in her long auburn hair and sifted into her cleavage.
“We need to get out of here, wherever the hell here is. I know I promised to take you home, Miss Priss, but I’m freezing my ass off. You wanna go back home with me? It’s warmer there, and I can hook you up with all the catnip your heart desires.”
The feline shimmied against her as if trying to keep her warm and then turned her shapely head and gazed off into the distance. Her purring grew loud enough to be audible over the gusting wind. A soft ringing sound drew Angel’s attention, and she noticed a bauble made of glass or crystal hung from the cat’s collar. Within the clear material was suspended a blue flower, like a violet. The cat looked into her eyes, as it began a pumping motion with its paws, “making biscuits,” as her grandmother would’ve said. The cat’s eyes were the same brilliant blue as the flower within the bauble.
The cat looked to the horizon again, and Angel understood why when she spotted the castle across a clearing, its roof peaks, chimneys, and architectural features piled with snow. Was she directing Angel there?
Wait, what? Directing me? I must be hallucinating.
Sunlight poured down on the palatial fortress, and the ice crystals covering the structure glittered, dazzling her for a moment. “Whoa. Sorry, pretty girl, but I need to go back. This…this is crazy.”
“Put down the animal.” Chills rippled down her spine at the gritty, almost inhuman quality of the voice.
Don’t show fear. It’s not a bear or a monster. If they can speak, they can be reasoned with. Just don’t…show…fear.
“Are you deaf, or do you have a death wish? Put down the animal.” A hint of aggravation was plain in the accented syllables.
Angel turned and nearly lost her footing. Her knees wobbled, as well as her grip on the cat, who just kept purring and making biscuits. What stood before her was something out of her wildest, darkest dreams—no, not dreams. Nightmares.
“Holy…” Did one cuss in front of a monster? “Shit. What-what are you?”
Two massive beasts loomed before her. Steam puffed from their mouths and their nostrils as they breathed the wintry air. Clothed in leather in an antiquated fashion, as if they were warriors of old, both also wore shaggy hooded cloaks that appeared to be made from the hides of bears.
She blinked up at them towering over her from several feet away and then looked at the blue-eyed cat, who seemed pleased to keep rubbing on her and purring, as though two hairy, threatening beasts weren’t standing ready to tear her limb from limb. Feeling as though she was standing at the widening void between reality and a really fucked-up fantasy, she realized she must be dreaming or losing it, and a hysterical giggle erupted from her throat.
“Did I trip and hit my head in the cave? Am I hallucinating? This can’t be real.”
Her moment of levity was cut short by the bulkier and scarier of the two, who growled again. “Put. Down. The. Animal.”
Totally real. Really real. Really really real. I’m gonna die.
Such a wave of terror coursed through her at the ferocious voice, she froze and slammed her eyes shut. The cat hissed and growled at the beast, and over the pounding of her heart in her ears and the chattering of her teeth, Angel thought she heard an amused snort.
“Fine,” the angry beast snarled, its voice as rough as a gravel truck driving on a bad road. “You’re not an animal. Woman, put down the feline and don’t move.”
Angel’s pulse roared in her ears, and her throat went dry as she darted her gaze around, looking at the snowy ground, anywhere but at the monsters. Looking for the cave. If she could reach it, it was her best chance for evasion. Her only chance. But the cave was nowhere in sight. Not hidden from view by the snowfall. There was no cave opening anywhere in sight, just a bare slope.
Normally the strategist among her friends, Angel could see only one option as she looked at the snow caking her boots and the castle beyond the clearing. The snow wasn’t terribly deep, and no way was she letting herself or the cat get eaten without at least trying to escape.
“Woman, do as I say. Put down the cat and do not think to run.” Another growl, angrier and more ferocious than the first, vibrated from his massive chest as she tucked the cat to her side and backed up a step. His eyes glowed silver as he advanced. The cat mewed plaintively to her, which she took for fear, and she exercised the only option her mind would consider.
Beasts in Winter is available for pre-order now and releases Friday, October 20th.
“I thought you were a harmless little puppy, or I never would’ve slept with you, or undressed around you…told you all my secrets. Shit.”
“Or checked under my tail?” Leandre asked with a chuckle, feigning to defend himself as she glowered at him. “Sweet Caresse, every moment is a fond memory already. I never would’ve taken advantage of your vulnerability.”
“Oh, and licking my boobs isn’t taking just a little bit of advantage?”
And a little tidbit from my retelling of Snow White, entitled Dance of the Dragon Sorceress, coming December 1st…
The flickering firelight illuminated the resolute angle of Elaina’s jaw. “I don’t leave my friends, or the people I love, just because things get tough. If Angel and Caresse were here, they’d tell you the same thing. We stick together, or what good are we?”
“Elaina—” Rainger murmured, taking her other hand into his.
“No,” she replied, mirroring his gentle, cajoling tone.
Zayrgrud made a grating, rumbling sound deep in his chest and then let out a sigh—and a puff of black smoke.
A beaming smile transformed Elaina’s face, and she said, “Well, at least Zayrgrud the Terrifying can see reason.”
Basile smirked. “He just knows a stubborn woman when he sees one.”
“Pigheaded,” Bleu the Irascible muttered.
“Imprudent,” Jaune the Cautious agreed.
“Foolhardy,” Vert the Protective said.
“Tenacious!” Orange the Amiable crowed as he reached over and yanked at the rolls of cloth that still waggled from Bleu’s broken nose.
“Ow! What did you do that for?” Bleu howled as he put his hand to his nose, as if checking for blood.
“It was time, you ninny! You left them in just to gain Elaina’s sympathy.”
Okay, I’m done teasing for now. I just can’t wait to share with you what it looks like in my imagination when the fairy godmother isn’t a fairy godmother, and when the seven dwarves are actually seven brawling knights dedicated to saving the dragons of Tangere.
Seize the day, baby!