Review: Water Song: A Retelling of “The Frog Prince” by Suzanne Weyn

725806Blurb from Goodreads

Young, beautiful, and wealthy, Emma Pennington is accustomed to a very comfortable life. Although war rages abroad, she hardly feels its effect. She and her mother travel from their home in Britain to the family estate in Belgium, never imagining that the war could reach them there. But it does.

Soon Emma finds herself stranded in a war-torn country, utterly alone. Enemy troops fight to take over her estate, leaving her with no way to reach her family, and no way out.

With all of her attention focused on survival and escape, Emma hardly expects to find love. But the war will teach her that life is unpredictable, people aren’t always what they seem, and magic is lurking everywhere.

Paperback, 194 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Simon Pulse
edition language: English
genre: Historical, Retelling, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I never read nor watch the movie of The Frog Prince before, but I get the idea of what it is all about. When I picked this book up, I wonder how the author will tell and transform the hero into the frog. To be honest, reading a frog prince is not that appealing for me. I’m more curious of the way the author retells it, which brings me to this book.I really like how it feels like a new story for me, despite that I’ve already known (a bit) the story. I also liked the historical setting which takes place during the WWI. It feels like the fairytale isn’t that far away with our world. And the author provides the historical background quite well, I think.I liked the main characters, Emma and Jack, they are strong will and brave in their own way. Although at first there is prejudice between them, I cannot help not to love their banter and wit. It’s so good reading their dialogues, they can make me smile or even laugh with their wit.

However, I want more about Jack’s magic. I think it doesn’t describe well, at least not as descriptive as I want to. It’s like it’s so natural for Jack he hopes I, as a reader, can understand it without him describing it. And there are also things that I think too easy for the characters. Jack’s magic that feels too convenience for their own good.

All in all, as my first The Frog Prince retelling I think it’s a good and enjoyable story. It feels too short though. I wish there is more story about Emma’s father, Jack’s family and his magic.
Result: 3 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #18
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Read books I never thought I’ll read.
– Popsugar: A book set in a different country (in Belgium)

Review: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5, Fairest by Marissa Meyer

22489107Blurb from Goodreads

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Hardcover, 222 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
edition language: English
series: The Lunar Chronicles
genre: Dystopia, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

This is a story about love, a love that causes jealousy, hurt and madness. Levana craves love; from her parents who never able to show it to her, from her older sister who is cunning even in earlier age and most importantly from a man that attracts her from the first time she met him. She has love she’s willing to share yet she doesn’t have anyone to share with.

Levana as all we know is an evil antagonist in The Lunar Chronicles. So evil I want her to meet her end in a very hurtful way. But somehow, I can guess that there is a story, her reason, why she acted the way she did. I’m glad she has her own story, as I know her more well now. I think it’s a sad story, as sad as Disney’s live-action Maleficent. I feel sorry for her, but it doesn’t mean that I forgive her for all of her cruelty. What she did is beyond reason and unforgivable. But that’s the best thing about this book. It can make me sorry for her as much as hate her at the same time.

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As a bridge between book 3 and 4 (or is it a prequel of book 1?) I already knew most of the things in the story. Reading it is like putting the puzzle of who is who and what they will become in next books, one by one. I think it’s good because it means that it intertwines with a whole Lunar Chronicles books. But in a way it’s also kinda boring. There is a time when I wish I get surprise from the story, just so I feel like I get something else something different in the story. So it is good Levana is a strong character. She can make me bear a bit of boredom and turn it into engaging story.

Although there isn’t much happens here, at least not much if I compare with other characters in Lunar Chronicles’ story, I think Levana’s story is stronger than Cress’ and probably more complex than Cinder and Scarlet’s story. Now I can’t wait to read the final one, Winter.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #17
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started.
– Popsugar: A book based entirely on its cover

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

18052957Blurb from Goodreads

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

ebook, 352 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
language edition: English
series: Cruel Beauty Universe
genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
My Thoughts
So this book has a very pretty cover, one of the most beautiful cover in YA books I’ve ever read. Seriously, I feel like I can’t stop staring at it. It also has intriguing title and blurb that scream to me to read it. Add it with Beauty and the Beast retelling and from what I read on other reviews, it also has Greek mythology. I so love Greek mythology but most of YA books with Greek mythology didn’t work well for me or only has a little bit of it. With all of those good things, it seems too good to be true for me. That’s why at first I was kind of hesitated to read this book.First couple of chapters were quite surprising me, in a not-so-good way. I was confused with many things in this book. The worldbuilding and setting, it was hard for me to imagine it. It was quite complicated world I have to read carefully to understand and then picture it in my mind. Add it with the words choice that the author used. I found that there were unfamiliar vocabularies (at least for me) here and since English is not my first language, in a way I have limited vocabulary, I have to keep looking at the dictionary to know what it means. I also didn’t know and never heard of Hermetic which is one of the important thing in this book. So I have to rely on Google to know what it is. Long short story, I was confused!

On the other hand, the characters captivated me since they were introduced. I felt sorry for Nyx, the main character in this book, mad to her father, her aunt and her twin sister Astraia, and couldn’t believe how come her father has a heart to sacrifice her to the demon lord to pay his bargain. And I was so curious of the demon lord himself, Ignifex.The more I read, more curious I become. Hence, it was easier for me to read it once I got the main picture. And then my confusion turned into curiosity that kept me reading it. Since it’s a retelling I can guess where the story will go. But I also keep wondering and questioning whether my guesses were right and all the while the what, why and how keep swirling in my head. And I just love that feeling when I keep questioning and wondering the story I read. In some part it made me forget that it is a retelling. I felt this is a refreshing story, an unoriginal yet feel original story, if you know what I mean. And there is also one thing that I love from this book, Greek mythology as subplot.

So here I got Beauty and the Beast retelling blended perfectly with Greek mythology, though I have to say it also has so much more. In first part of the story, it was quite slow since Nyx needs to describe her world and its complexity but it’s written beautifully I can’t help to not love it. I’m glad I give this book a try because in the end I love love love it. After 23 books, I finally found my first five-stars worthy reading for this year!
Favorite quotes:
“Love—the kind that was holy to Aphrodite—was not something I had ever allowed myself to think about much. If you desired someone, if he comforted you, if you thought he might leech the poison out of your heart, was that love? Or only desperation?”
“Where you go, I shall go; where you die, I shall die, and there will I be buried.”
“They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense.
But now I knew that every mad word was true.”
“Knowing the truth is not always a kindness.”
Result: 5 out of 5 stars

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

9413044Blurb from Goodreads

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned-to her old life, her family, her boyfriend-before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance-and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

ebook, 240 pages
Published: January 24th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
edition language: English
series: Everneath
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I’ve been hesitated reading this book for two years because 1) it has mix reviews. I often avoid book with mix reviews. I just feel like I don’t have enough recommendation that this book is worth enough to read. And book with hype sometimes “freak me out” because I often being in the minority and don’t get what the fuss about. 2) My last Greek mythology series, specifically retelling of Hades and Persephone was an epic fail. Coincidentally it also has mix reviews and hype among readers. So when my dear friend, Sarah recommended it to me and at the same time most of my friends reading the last book of the series, I was curious. That’s when I decided to give up ignoring it. So here is my thought about it.The characters
Nikki is the main character and the narrator of this story. I think she’s a brave girl, in a way. I really liked when she stand up against Lacey and her friend when she heard they were talking about her. She isn’t a popular girl in her high school. Although there isn’t anything that mention that she’s a nerd/geek, I think there’s a bit geekiness in her which makes me liked her even more. Regarding with herself and her relationship with Jack, she’s kind of moody, impulsive and wishy-washy. There were a couple of times when she acted instantly without thinking of the consequences which made her regret it later.Cole is an Everliving. A former human who belongs to Everneath and needs to Feed from human soul for the rest of his immortal life. He’s a guitarist from a popular rock band. He’s the one who made Nikki gave up her life in order to erase her pain. They are get attach to each other because of it. He can be persuasive, sweet and evil at the same time. I really liked him, especially in the beginning of the story and feel sad for him for most of the time. I think I liked him more than I liked Jack because he’s more complex and complicated among other characters.

Jack is the good, kind and sweet character in this story. In some part he’s too good to be true and kind of bored me, especially when he talks all the sweet talk to Nikki, about how he couldn’t live without her, missed her like crazy and whatnot. But at the same time, I liked that he’s persistent and never give up on his relationship with Nikki.

The story
As a retelling of Hades and Persephone, I’m happy that it’s much better than The Goddess Test series. I can

I can say that I liked and enjoyed reading it much more than when I read Henry and Kate story. It can make my mind keep wandering and questioning the story, signs that I’m into it, while Henry and Kate made me cringed and got headache most of the time. The more I read it I can see that it isn’t just about Hades and Persephone but also about Orpheus and Eurydice. I really like the idea to combine 2 stories in one perspective. I think it makes this story quite different and unique from other retelling. Well… at least for me since I never read something like this before.I liked that the story is divided into two parts, Nikki’s time before and after being a Forfeit. The way she tells her story is what I liked the most. She’s always counting down the moment before she becomes a Forfeit and when she has to go back to Everneath. In the end, the end of one life means the beginning of Nikki’s other life.

However first part of the story, especially when she still has months in the Surface, goes too slow. She only has 6 months on the Surface to do what she has to do, her reasons to choose to Return but most of the time she’s moping around and do nothing. Doesn’t even try to pay more attention to Mary which is kind of obvious there is more to her than what it seems. She only starts doing something when Jack begins talk to her again. It feels like she couldn’t do that without him. Even at that time she still holds important things from him a couple of time which is kind of annoyed me. I also don’t understand why they don’t talk about the reason that made Nikki become a Forfeit as soon as they able to be friends again. And then everything seems go faster when she only has one month left in the Surface, suddenly she thinks a lot of thing and tries to get the answer soon and everything feels in a rush.

The romance
Despite this book is under paranormal genre, I think the most prominent thing is the romance part. It’s obvious there’s a love triangle between Jack, Nikki and Cole. When I read about love triangle, I rarely take side of whose team I am, though sometimes I have my own likeliness. Now I do understand why most readers are gushing about it and are torn between Jack and Cole. Both of them have something that I liked and also disliked. They do good things as much as bad thing for Nikki and I understand why they do that. It is so good it’s hard for me to choose who I like most. That’s kind of unusual for me because usually it’s easy to fall for one of the characters in the story.
But if I have to be honest, I liked more Nikki and Cole relationship than Nikki and Jack. Just like Cole said, it’s hard to connect with Nikki and Jack relationship. Their relationship is based on long term friendship hence it feels save for them (and sometimes boring) while there is fire, love/hate feeling with Nikki and Cole relationship. Hence it makes them more interesting.

So the conclusion is the book has everything I love, Greek mythology with hieroglyph clue what needs to be solved, good storyline, awesome characters, but I think I need to see how the sequel goes. So I’ll save my star for it and give this book 3.5 stars.

Result: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Beautiful Beautiful by Heidi Garrett

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Welcome to my first blog tour, my fellow blogger. This blog tour is hosted by Shane Morgan from Itching for Books. In this blog tour I’m also doing an interview with the lovely Ms. Garrett, and not only interview there is an interesting giveaway too. All you have to do is click the link below. Let’s this blog tour begins…………..

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Book Description:

Movie director Karen Mayham has an eye for beauty. Now her years of struggling on the indie film circuit are about to pay off. She’s the frontrunner to win Golden Pinnacle’s Director of the Year. Winning will mean generous financial backing for her next project, and the most bankable actors in the industry are already signaling interest in the leading role. How will she decide which Adonis is right for the part of Demion Glass?

In this contemporary retelling of the eponymous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Karen’s journey leads her to discover a deeper meaning of beauty.

My Thoughts

 “Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

  Hans Christian Andersen

Have you ever felt the blurb of the book you want to read mislead you when you finish reading the book? I often feel that way. When I want to read a book, I usually check on the blurb first, if it isn’t from my favorite authors. Sometimes it suits with the story and I really enjoy it but other times it doesn’t do the story justice. The blurb of this novella is one of those misleading blurbs, but in a good way, the opposite of what I used to feel. This story has so much more and an interesting one than what the blurb said.

From the blurb I can tell that it is divided into 2 parts. One part is when Kerrin tells her daughter a bedtime story. A story that has a fairy tale vibe which is in fact is her life that leads me to second parts. The more I read, I didn’t think Kerrin fairy tale was suitable for her daughter, Mibi. It was too dark and heavy for her. But then I think it was her way to show Mibi about life and beauty in the simplest way and was her way to deal with her past. Both parts intertwined each other. What she couldn’t tell Mibi, she told me through third person narrative. And at the same time, I understand her feeling of her own fairy tale. She’s smart, witty and always feels lonely. In some part I want to tell her to stop thinking of being a victim of her past and glad when she finally can get through it.

But what I most love from this novella is its unpredictable story. Although from the first line I’ve already known who Kerrin will be with, it can kept me thinking why and how she will be with him. I just love the surprises and twists in it. It’s like whatever what I thought the story will go, it ended up surprised me. I think it was kind of useless to guess it. Maybe it was because I haven’t read Beauty of Foam and Beauty of Mind by Hans Christian Andersen which is the source of this retelling, but I think even if you’ve read it you can still enjoy this story. It’s well written with good plot and different from fairy tale that I used to read.

My Playlist

About The Author

Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairytale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

She is also the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, a fairy tale/high fantasy mashup about a young half-faerie, half mortal woman who must save both the Enchanted and Mortal Worlds.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She also spent a decade in southern California, but was disappointed to discover it seldom rains there. Now Heidi lives in Eastern Washington state where she’s content experiencing the four seasons with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that: Once Upon A Time You Lived in an Enchanted World Too…

The Interview

heidigarrett

Why do you write fantasy books?

All fiction is fantasy, in that it is made up. However, I compare “reality fiction” and “fantasy fiction” to “photorealism” and “impressionism” in art. Photo realism is a painstaking and highly skilled replication of reality, as most, or many of us, would see it from the eyes of a camera, undistorted. Impressionism takes the same scene and inflicts a deeply personal perceptive upon it. The impressionists and postimpressionists—Cezanne, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, and Gaugin—added their vision of the world to their work.

When you’re writing non-fantasy fiction, you want the reader to feel like they are in the normal, everyday world, like this is happening, and the story you’re telling could be something that could happen to them, or to their sister or friend—perhaps something they could flip on the news and watch. However, when you write fantasy, you and the reader know many of these things could—and would—never actually happen… except, perhaps, they do—in our dreams and our imagination.

There is much debate about reality. Is reality seeded in our thoughts and imaginations? If that’s true, how does the collective reality of a family, a state, a country, or a world work? Are our dreams unreal? If our imagination is not “real,” how can it become so powerful, and consuming, at times?

For me, I can have the feeling “the world is too much with me,” and when I focus too much on facts, and information, the world becomes crispy, dry, and dull around me. I crave the possibility and mystery the inner realms offer.

Writing fantasy is a way of bridging the inner and outer worlds, and like rain, it freshens reality. Whether you’re reading or writing fantasy—a new perspective, a delightful moment, a unique comprehension occurs—you return to the real world with new awareness or insight.

I suppose, that’s why I write fantasy, because I believe the things that we can’t see, are as powerful as the things we can see, and that we must imagine great characters to become them.

What are your favorite things about reading fantasy books?

The escape from the real world, and the inspiration they provide.

Before The Queen of The Realm of Faerie, did you write any stories? If you did, where are they now.

Yes, I’ve been writing inconsistently for many years. I have at least three buried novels and many incomplete stories. The last I saw them, they were all on some floppy disc never be retrieved!

What is the hardest thing you face when you write?

The blank page. Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Whether it’s the beginning of a book, the beginning of a chapter, or the beginning of the end, it all starts with a blank page. Nothingness. That page seems not to care at all whether it remains blank until eternity. So for me, the moment between writing and not writing is the most treacherous. But, I have found, that if I will begin to fill the page, sooner or later, I will tap into something—an energy, a source of inspiration—and then, the writing becomes, if not easy, then at least, possible.

What are your favorite books when you were a little?

When I was a young child, my favorite stories were about Curious George, and pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss. Although, Happy Birthday to You! was probably my most favorite. When I got a little older, I fell in love with The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Three Investigator series. By the time I hit puberty it was: Lord of the Rings, Salem’s Lot,  and the Angelique series!

Are there any authors who inspire you’re writing The Queen of The Realm of Faerie? Who are they?

The traditional fantasy authors—J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis—were big influences. The world-building, the epic quality of the story, and the purity of love between Melia and Ryder, are heavily influenced by The Lord of the Rings. However, Carlos Castaneda’s Yaqui Indian shaman, don Juan,  and Lewis’ The Last Battle, specifically, influenced the cosmology of the Whole. The Dragon’s of Babel by Michael Swanwick seeded Umbra.

What is the most enjoyable moment from writing?

When things start clicking. You’re writing, and then the story starts coming through you. Time passes, you get up from your chair, and you’re like, “Who wrote that?” The thing is written, but you don’t feel like you did it.

My husband and I are actually beginning to believe that it’s our cat, Jack, who’s writing these stories.

 What is the most uncomfortable moment while you are writing?

When every idea you have is stupid, cliche, boring, and you know it. But you can’t think of anything else at the moment.

 Is there any particular time to write?

Although, I can’t make a regular schedule of it, my favorite times to write are early in the morning, and late at night.

 If you aren’t a writer what would you become?

The next indie singer/songwriter sensation, lol. I don’t know. If I could set aside my need to write, I might go into something like public relations. I’m completely fascinated by modern ways of connecting.

Is there any part of you, or someone close to you, in books you wrote?

The spring faerie, Flora, in The Queen of the Realm of Faerie was inspired by my beloved grandma. Although, Grandma was petite and had much greater social decorum, the essence of Flora, captures Grandma’s spirit. Her endurance and embrace of life—in spite of great loss.

 Also, Melia’s relationship with Flora is pivotal in her coming into her own power, as my relationship with my grandma was pivotal to my becoming a woman. However, Melia is not, specifically, based on me. Although, I’m sure she possesses some of my qualities—perhaps, ones I’m not aware of.

 The relationship between Melia and Ryder is influenced by my relationship with my husband. We met, and that was kind of it—so that was the inspiration for Nandana’s mark! However, like Melia and Ryder, despite our mutual attraction, we didn’t become involved right away, either.

My latest releases, the three short stories, The Girl Who Watched for Elves, The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes, and The Girl Who Couldn’t Sing, are as close to fictional autobiography as I will go—and it’s pretty close. Although they are fictionalized, they are each based on real life experiences I’ve had.

 I did spend an interesting afternoon with a Tarot reader. I was enthralled by Clarissa Pinkola Estes audiobook, The Red Shoes: On Torment and Recovery of Soul Life. And I did spend some years as a singer/songwriter on the local indie circuit. However, not every single thing in those stories is fact!

 For years, I’ve been encouraged to tell my story, but—like many people—I’ve had some dark moments. I never wanted to tell the story in a depressing way, and I’m finally happy with the way these stories came out. I love the humor and mysticism that runs through them. Recovering a sense of humor, and a consciousness of the mystical, have been key elements in helping me move forward from my own dark times. Telling the story of leaving the darkness behind, was as important to me as telling the story of life’s difficulties.

 I know that Nandana’s Mark is based on French story and Beautiful Beautiful is a retelling of an HCA story, what made you decide to use those stories? as I’m not familiar with them so I’m kind of think that I read new stories.

 Well, I’m kind of glad to hear those are new stories for you. I’ve always been drawn to the unusual, the offbeat, the stuff on the fringe. I’m always the last to read the most popular books, like the Harry Potter books and Twilight series.

When I began developing The Queen of the Realm of Faerie, I was very clear that I wanted it to be a spinoff. During my research, I came across an old collection of Time-Life books. They contained many wonderful fairy tales that I’d never heard of before. Initially, I narrowed it down to four stories about the myrtle tree fairy, the rose-petal fairy, the swan lovers, and Melusine. I’d planned to have each story’s main character sit on the Grey Council. However, the world and story I was building for The Queen of the Realm of Faerie was becoming too unwieldy. I had to winnow things out. Out of those four fairy tales, I settled on the Tale of Melusine. I’d already begun doing some of the writing, and the scenes connected to her story, were the ones I felt most passionate about.

 For the first fairy tale in the Once Upon a Time Today collection, again, I was looking for something off the beaten path. Going through The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales, the title ‘Beautiful’ jumped out at me. As soon as I read the story, I knew it was the first story I wanted to retell. Beauty—and its many faces—has always intrigued me. Telling a story, that touched on different kinds of beauty, would allow me to explore that enigma.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and don’t forget to give a try to Beautiful Beautiful. I love it and I think you will love it too.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Beautiful Beautiful by Heidi Garrett

Hello my friends, I’m so excited now because I’m doing something different today, a cover reveal! This is my very first time join the cover reveal, hosted by Shane Morgan from Itching for Books, without further ado please check out Heidi Garrett’s Beautiful Beautiful. BeautifulBeautiful

Release date: November 15th 2013
Series: Once Upon a Time Today #1
Publisher: Half-Faerie Publishing
Synopsis via Goodreads

Movie director Karen Mayham has an eye for beauty. Now her years of struggling on the indie film circuit are about to pay off. She’s the frontrunner to win Golden Pinnacle’s Director of the Year. Winning will mean generous financial backing for her next project, and the most bankable actors in the industry are already signaling interest in the leading role. How will she decide which Adonis is right for the part of Demion Glass?

In this contemporary retelling of the eponymous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Karen’s journey leads her to discover a deeper meaning of beauty.

Beautiful Beautiful, a contemporary fairytale novella, is the first release in Heidi Garrett’s new Once Upon a Time Today collection.

About the Author
heidigarrett

Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairytale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

She is also the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, a fairy tale/high fantasy mashup about a young half-faerie, half mortal woman who must save both the Enchanted and Mortal Worlds.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She also spent a decade in southern California, but was disappointed to discover it seldom rains there. Now Heidi lives in Eastern Washington state where she’s content experiencing the four seasons with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that: Once Upon A Time You Lived in an Enchanted World Too…

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Review: Me, Cinderella? by Aubrey Rose

18110952Blurb from Goodreads

One kind deed can change your life forever…

Brynn Tomlin could never afford to follow her heart. But when she sees a stranger shivering in the snow outside of the college library, an inexplicable urge leads her to buy him a hot cup of coffee. It’s just a small act of kindness, a few words of conversation. Brynn should be focusing on her finals, after all, not on the man who looked up at her gratefully with piercing blue eyes.

He could have been anyone – a janitor on break, a graduate student, a bum. But the man standing outside in the cold turns out to be Dr. Eliot Herceg, one of the most brilliant minds in mathematics and heir to a fortune. After years of reclusive isolation, he now finds his heart awakening to the kind girl whose name he does not know.

Brynn has spent her life trying to forget her desires, and Eliot’s deep wounds have taken nearly a decade to heal. After so much hurt, will either of them be able to open their hearts again?

Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published June 24th 2013
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
This is a sweet-different retelling story of Cinderella. Brynn surely isn’t Cinderella, though her life slightly has similar story with her. I love that Brynn always knows what she wants and stood for it. She fights hard for her life, dreams and love, even when her ‘prince charming’ Eliot rejects and try to stay away from her. She run away from him, in the beginning, just like Cinderella but then she stands for herself, though still have vulnerable moment. I like this different side of Cinderella, a Cinderella who didn’t just wait for her prince charming to find her.Despite of a few typos, I like the way Aubrey Rose wrote it. She described Hungary clearly and beautifully. I can easily feel the setting and especially love the way she wrote when Brynn tells her eating ritual, it’s so clear I feel sad for Brynn. As my nice first encounter, I’m going to read her other books.

Result:  3 of 5 stars