Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Favorite Fairy Tales

Greetings and salutations everyone! I'm here today to talk about my favorite fairy tales. You may already know about some of them because of my Fairy Tale Commentaries, but you can never talk about fairy tales too much.

In no particular order:

The Little Good Mouse. Also known as "The Jolly King's Daughter" in the collection I first found it in, this is a rather unique fairy tale, involving a fairy who's best spell is turning herself into a mouse, a grumpy king and his son, and a beautiful princess who's kidnapped by the first fairy's rival. It's hard to sum this fairy tale up in a few words, so just go read it for yourself. (Also, it's a good story for when you're not in the mood for a romance, because the princess's love interest only appears in the last paragraph as a "Oh, by the way, she did get married so she could have a king." I'd love to see Disney make a movie out of this, because strong female protagonists right here.)

The Evil Enchanter. (I know Lang called it "Prince Narcissus and Princess Potentilla ... but I prefer "The Evil Enchanter better.) This is a fun story of a youngest-son prince under the protection of a fairy and in possession of a magic ring that turns him invisible but doesn't have the side affect of being consumed by the dark lord (which you would think would make this story less interesting, but it doesn't. Trust me, it doesn't). He uses the ring to spy on the daughter of a neighboring king who is rumored to be hideous, but the truth of the matter is that she's so breathtakingly beautiful that her very vain mother doesn't want her to be seen by anyone. Prince Narcissus falls in love with Lucetta (her name in the version I'm used to), but she also catches the eye of Grumadam, the Evil Enchanter.

The Golden Mermaid and The Golden Bird. These are two very similar tales that I love almost equally. For the first half of the fairy tale, they're identical, even, the only difference being that in the first, the young prince is helped by a talking wolf, and in the second, a talking golden fox. Their endings are similar, too. The biggest difference between the two stories is the third challenge the prince must face in order to capture the golden bird that has been eating his father's crops - in one, the prince is supposed to fetch the Golden Mermaid (which is accomplished by the wolf turning into a boat) and the other he's sent after the princess of the Golden Castle.

The White Cat, The Frog, The Frog Princess, and Puddocky, Four very similar tales that I love very much. "The White Cat" is a stand-out because it's the only one where the heroine is a cat, and "The Frog" stands out because it's the only one where the three brothers aren't princes competing for their father's throne. Puddocky also has some Rapunzel elements.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses (French Version). While the Grim version is good, there is a lack of depth to it. None of the princesses have any personality, the reason they dance is unclear, and there's no love between the soldier and the princess he marries. The French improves in every way, including presenting a completely different young man - Michael, or Stargazer, as he's called - a young cow-boy who is sent by a vision to the castle, giving personality to the youngest and eldest princesses - the youngest even gets a name, Lina - and having there be three trips down into the dance, rather than one.

Little One-Eye, Little Two-Eyes, and Little Three-Eyes, A Cinderella-esque tale that is hilariously unique. There are no words to describe it short of its title. Just go read it.

Casperl and the Princess. You might recognize this one from the Bookania Quests. That doesn't stop it from being my favorites.

Princess on the Glass Hill Another Cinderella-esque story, though in a genderswapped manner. And a challenge to climb a glass mountain instead of a ball. Horses instead of a fairy godmother. Golden apples instead of glass slippers. There is also a variant called "The Glass Mountain" that's sort of a cross between this story and the above "Casperl and the Princess."

Dorani A Fairy tale with elements from Cinderella and Rapunzel, this one is truly unique. And interesting.

Fairer-than-a-Fairy. Not only is that the most impractical name you could name your daughter, but indicating that your daughter is more beautiful than the fairies is downright dangerous. This story has elements of Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty, which should and does make for an awesome story - even if the logic occasionally leaves a bit to be desired. (But this is a fairy tale. What else can you expect?)

The Little Green Frog. I discovered this one while trying to hunt down the previous frog stories. This story, however, is more to the tune of "The Golden Bird" since it involves the prince seeking a bird for his father, and failing brilliantly to not wake up a castle as he sneaks out with a valuable. This one has a frog instead of a fox/wolf and the romantic plot is completely different. Also there are meddling fairies.

Felicia and the Pot of Pinks. Upon their father's death, the brother gets everything while the daughter only receives a ring and a pot of pinks. Brother (fittingly named Bruno) immediately becomes a jerk and does everything in his power to make his sister miserable. Except - gasp! - the chicken starts talking and reveals that they aren't truly siblings. And the cabbages talk, too. It's ... it's better than this, but ... just go read it.

Those are some of my favorite tales. So how many of these have you heard of before? What are some of your favorites? Doesn't fairy tale logic just make you want to laugh?

Swing by Alyssa's blog for an interview with Kimberley, and be sure to pick up some free books.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pinterst and Chess

As some of you may know, I have a Pinterest board for Bookania. Some of you may also know that Robin and Eric, characters of Bookania, love playing chess. So it would be safe to assume that I have some chess-themed pins on my board.

Via Pinterest
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Via Pinterest

Sneak Peek - A Lady Made

Hello everyone! How are you enjoying the party so far?

Anyway, I have a snippet to share with you guys today. It's the opening for A Lady Made, which is the prequel about Maid Marian. I need to finish writing this book...

Once upon a time, in a land called Bookania, two youths stood together on an archery field, bows in hand, eyes fixed on the target, a lively argument flying between them.
“The Locksley tournament is for men and boys,” said the elder of the two, a tall young man of fourteen with yellow hair and dancing blue eyes. “Even with your unconventional education, you couldn’t hope to enter, Marian.”
Marian, a girl of twelve, a girl of twelve, with thick black hair contained in a braid down her back, her brown eyes sparkling with determination. “It wasn’t always,” she insisted, making use of every inch her small frame afforded her. “In the days of old, the tournament was open to man or woman, and with no respect to rank. Ah, to live in the days of Queen Robyn!”
“Queen Robyn is surrounded by more myth than fact,” her friend pointed out. “They also say that she was a personal friend of the fairies, even joining them in their battles against the Thwarter. And everyone knows…”
“Everyone does not know, Robert!” Marian insisted, stamping her foot in annoyance. “Besides, my father has spoken with King Maximilian and he is not so against girls participating.”
“Oh, but everyone says that King Maximilian’s a tad touched in the head,” said Robert, shaking his head. “Always has had strange ideas.”
“You’re just scared I’ll beat you in the tournament.” Marian tossed her hair as she let fly an arrow that soon quivered in the heart of the target.
“Come now, what makes you certain of that?” asked Robert as he, too, let an arrow fly, and it soon quivered next to hers. “I let you win when we practice.”
“Let me!” Marian cried, indignant.
“You’re a Lady, Marian, even though you don’t act like one,” said Robert. “It’s only proper, after all. However, it would be a very different story in an actual tournament.”
“Well, maybe I don’t need you to ‘let’ me win,” Marian pointed out. “Maybe you just don’t want to admit that I’m just as good as you are.”
“Marian, I didn’t…”
But Marian was already putting away her bow and heading for the gate. “I need to go prepare for supper, that’s a time-consuming business for a lady such as myself. Good day, Master Fizooth.”
She paused in the gateway to give a quick curtsy, and then disappeared.

Robert shook his head as he saluted her with his bow. “And good day to you as well, Lady Gamewell.”

Feel free to speculate.

Also, swing by Erudessa's blog for an interview with Enna. And don't forget to pick up your free books. Today we have Sew, it's a Quest, The Prior Quest, and Woodcutter Quince.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Let's Write a Fairy Tale!

Hello! I'm popping in with a fun game.

I'll start, course, and you guys can keep it going. One point per comment, and you can comment as much as you like, but you have to wait until someone else comments before you can comment again. You can make your comments as long as you'd like, but longer comments do not give you extra points, unfortunately.

I'll pop in from time to time to keep things going, and this will stay open for the length of the entire party.

Now let's get started.

Once upon a time, there lived a merchant who had three daughters...

A Word from Maryanne


Me, Maryanne, daughter of Robin and Eric (so excited to finally be able to admit that), here posting in lieu of Kendra because, for some odd reason, Kendra doesn't know what to talk about today. So I'm talking instead.

I'm going to share with you some facts about Bookania that I'm pretty sure you don't know yet, although Kendra tells me that I have to be very careful to not share spoilers, so I can't tell you that Aunt Adelaide ... Oh. Kendra's giving me the look.

- I'm going to be the main or at least a major character in a lot of books. Starting with the next one you get. I can't tell you the exact number of books, though, mostly because that's a number and .... numbers.

- Maid Marian actually knew my mother as a child. Her uncle had sent her to be my grandmother's companion when she (my grandmother) married my grandfather.

- The Ichor berries that Kimberley brings up in My Kingdom for a Quest was actually one of the first bits of worldbuilding Kendra did for Bookania, although it wasn't technically Bookania at the time. Kendra was writing a random story about two girls who ran away from slavery and hid out in the woods, and one of the girls did herbs.

- Kendra has several AU's for Bookania, one of which you will get to see in the series. Not a pretty world that one.

- I had a double inspiration. A Greek myth inspired my adult form, and Kendra's baby sister inspired my baby form. Kendra later decided to combine the two characters into me. And, no, you can't know which myth I am, because that won't happen for a long time.

- Kendra is really mean to me on my birthdays. Well, they're kinda nice, because I learn a new language in its entirety, but I get really nasty headaches when it happens.

- My favorite adventure was the one where I convinced Love to run away from home with me.

- Least favorite would be the one where I had to fix the curse I'd accidentally placed on a girl. Well, she'd already been cursed, I just made it worse.

- I'm dyslexic like my Aunt Madeleine. It helps me pick up languages faster, but it also meant that it took me forever to figure out how reading works.

- But since figuring it out, you can't take my nose out of a book. When I'm not adventuring, that is.

- I have a magic bucket. Kendra says I won't get it in the actual story but ... we'll see. I love my magic bucket.

Also, do head over to Erika's blog for an interview with my Uncle Dick (who isn't really my uncle, but I like him, so I call him that anyway). And you can get Sew It's a Quest and the Prior Quest for free! They're both great books, so far as I'm concerned, I mean, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the first one, so go and read them!
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