Tag Archives: Retelling

When a book surprises the heck out of you… A review of The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine (Audiobook) This is a very loose Snow White Retelling, where not only is the evil queen a witch, but Snow white is also a kick-ass witch. The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)There are no dwarves in this book, but the huntsman is a dragon. Pretty cool stuff!

I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected. I sort of avoided it for a while because I hadn’t been in the mood for a retelling, but this was so different that it just barely fits into the retelling category. For me, the ending was slightly ruined because I knew it was a snow white retelling, and when I connected the dots to the handsome prince character, I kinda knew what would happen, and rather than being upset at the end, I just sat back and waited for the storybook ending.

HOWEVER this in no way muddied my enjoyment for this novel. I’m glad this was a standalone, because always having to get the next book is a little annoying, but also, I would love to read another book in this series. (sigh).

Anyway, I will definitely be looking to more CJ Redwine book in the future.

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Using Audio for Editing with Melissa Crispin

When I go into editing mode, I try to find ways to distance myself from my words. I search for methods that will allow me to assess my work-in-progress in an impartial way. One of my favorite tools for this is the text-to-speech function on my kindle. I find it useful for different stages of editing.

Some of the issues it helps me to catch are:

  • Pacing – There may be certain spots I’ve read over and over again, causing my eyes to skim over the content. When the automated voice is reading for me, I can’t speed it up or slow it down. This highlights places that drag, as well as places that are missing an extra something.
  • Stilted dialog – If the robotic voice is reading a character’s dialog and it sounds like a robot, I know it’s worth revisiting.
  • Misplaced or missing words – When I’m proofreading a manuscript, I find the text-to-speech invaluable for finding these problems. An extra “the” or “a” in a weird spot, or a word that is absent from a sentence won’t get picked up by spellcheck.

I’ve heard of other people using a speech function in Microsoft Word for editing. I plan to try this out someday too. What about you? Do you have any editing tricks that may seem unusual or uncommon?

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Jennifer!


TheCrimsonCurse_Cover Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.

Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.

An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.

Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?


Sasser, Melissa 02 color low resMelissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.

From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.

Facebook: Melissa J. Crispin – author Twitter: @MelissaJCrispin Instagram: @MelissaJCrispin Website:www.melissajcrispin.com

Because sometimes you just want a nice, light read… A review of Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly by Alex Flinn (Ebook) A handsome, but arrogant son of an television news anchor is cursed by a witch and turned into a hideous beast. Terrified anyone will find out (thus ruining his career) the news anchor father sets him up in a lavish home with servants to wait on him, but he can never go outside (for fear someone might see him). The only way to break the curse is for the boy to fall in love, and have her love him back (and kiss his hideous face)

 

I really loved this contemporary retelling. I think what drew me forward was the interesting way the author wove in the scenes from the classic Beauty and the Beast tale into the present-day setting. Yes, I knew what would happen, but that didn’t mean the ride was not enjoyable. I’d definitely recommend this book for a light, fun read that will keep you smiling.

Add this one to your TBR!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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Breathing life and a new twist into a well-known fairy tale with @ShonnaSlayton

OOOooooo! Retellings!  I know it’s a fad, but I’ve read some really good ones. I love seeing old fairy tales in new settings. Today we’re welcoming Shonna Slayton to talk about her brand new retelling: Spindle

Hi guys!

I’ve been a fan of fairy-tale retellings since reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. And lately, there seems to be an explosion of retellings. It’s been wonderful to see!

I know right? They are so much fun to read! What did you do with yours to make it different?

My particular twist on a fairy tale involves taking a fairy tale object (the dress and shoes in Cinderella; the spindle from Sleeping Beauty) and moving it into another time and place.

What do you mean?

I think of the fairly-tale objects like family heirlooms that get passed down from one generation to the next—for good or for bad. And my characters are somehow descended from or connected to the original fairy tale.

Ooooo that’s a neat idea. But your book doesn’t take place where the original stories are from, right?

I tend to have immigrants in my stories as the fairy-tale objects start out in Europe, but I have to get them to America somehow. An immigrant on the move makes that happen. Also, I’m an immigrant myself so I suppose that’s a subtle bit of my own experience slipping into the tale.

That’s a great way to add a neat twist!

Yup. With this basic set-up, I’ve already changed the trajectory of the narrative. The story is no longer in a fairy-tale land, the characters reside in a real-world historical setting, and they are descendants instead of the actual fairy-tale characters. Well, except fairies. We all know they transcend time.

After that, it’s a matter of fleshing out the new story. It’s also fun to drop hints and parallels to the original fairy tale for readers to catch. That way you get a mix of the known and the unknown. A fresh read that feels right.

Awesomeness! I can’t wait to read Spindle later on in the year. I’m really looking forward to this one. [She slips SPINDLE into her “To be reviewed” page]

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for letting me hang out!


SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN including Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes, set in the 1940s, and now Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s.

She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can’t read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton


About Spindle

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

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Giveaway Information:

• One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes (US and Canada)

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Sometimes a retelling just “works”. A review of the 2014 animated Tarzan movie

For family movie night recently, my husband pulled up “Tarzan – The Legend lives” (The 2014 version)

To be honest, all three of our boys 9, 12, and 14 rolled their eyes. I think I did, too.

ANOTHER Tarzan adaptation?   Pleeeeease say it isn’t so.

Within about three seconds, though, the movie caught my twelve year old’s attention as dinosaurs ran across the screen, and we were taken into outer space to see a meteor throttling toward Earth. For a while, I’d forgotten what the movie was about. This didn’t seem like Tarzan at all!

Really impressive animation

My fourteen year old and I jumped on board when we skipped to the future to see that they’d updated the story to a more present-day-like setting. Then a little accident happened, and the little boy gets stranded in the jungle.

This is where my youngest set aside his computer and started watching with the rest of us.

I have to say, this adaptation seemed the most “real” from the perspective of how Tarzan was raised by apes and how he moved and learned to live like an ape. My husband didn’t think that Tarzan would have forgotten people and words (he was about six when lost, and people show up when he’s about seventeen, I’d guess) I’m not so sure this is true.

While all the basic elements of the Tarzan story are there, I love how they wove in a sci-fi angle. And where stuff like this (crossing genres) usually bothers me, somehow it really worked in this story.

By the end, we were all huddled on the couch watching and enjoying this together – something that rarely happens in our house these days.

This movie had plenty of good old Tarzan for Dad, lots of explosions for Mom, and enough action and adventure to keep the kids happy.

For us, this adaptation totally worked. I’m surprised that I hadn’t even heard of it. I’m not sure if it did well in theaters, but I think this one is worth a watch from home.

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