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Fairy Tale Castles: Christine explains

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Ideal for readers who crave a mash-up between Rapunzel and Jane Eyre.

My Fairy Tale Inspiration – Ash Maiden (The Original Cinderella)

By Christina Bauer Author

As part of the launch tour for my new fairy tale romance, Towers and Tithes, the lovely folks at Bouncing Tigger Reviews asked me to share the folk stories that inspired me. Honored to share! In my case, a big part of my inspiration for all my books comes from the original version of Cinderella, what the Brothers Grimm called Ash Maiden.

How did this happen? Time to hit the way-back machine. 

When I was nine years old, I got my hands on a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from the 1890’s. It had a pretty red embossed cover; it had lovely woodcut illustrations; it had gruesome stories that were freaking terrifying. I loved it instantly.

Thanks to this wonderfully nasty book, I got to know the original fairy tales in all their pre-Disney horror. Few of the stories had happy endings. Snow White, for example, was a dumbass who kept taking obviously-dangerous gifts from her stepmother until a pair of shoes danced her to death. The moral? Use your brain, twirp. There won’t always be a huntsman around to save your pretty face.

Ash Maiden was one of the few tales that ended well, but for one simple reason: Ash Maiden (what was later Disney-fied into Cinderella) worked her tuchus off…And not in the ‘sweeping the floors with happy rodents’ way that we think about today. Yeah, you read that right. Ash Maiden’s main challenge in life was NOT boring chores, her mean step-mother, or ugly step-sisters. Bizarre, huh?

Here’s the shocker (to me anyway): in the original story, Ash Maiden’s big problem was that she lost her mother and had grief work to do. And no, I am not kidding.

Don’t get me wrong; our lovely lady worked hard. She was forced to sleep in the ashes and given a not-so-clever nickname. But Ash Maiden didn’t weep every day because she had chores to finish or teasing to endure. She cried because she missed her Mom. It was mourning that drove Ash Maiden to plant a seed in her mother’s memory. Every day, she’d find time to be alone and cry, her teardrops falling on the tiny seed until, bit by bit, it grew into a massive tree.

SIDE NOTE: This is something I love about the original Grimm’s fairy tales. No easy answers. People had to empty lakes with thimbles, stay trapped in animal-form for centuries, or cry on a seed until it grew into a huge goddamn tree. Got problems? Shut up and grab a thimble, bitch.

Back to the story. For those of you who’ve lost a loved one, you know what Ash Maiden was going through at this point: the valley of the shadow of death, one tear at a time. And Ash Maiden’s ball gown? Fell out of that freaking tree, along with her famous shoes. In that tree perched a bird that led her to her Prince. There was no fairy godmother, no quick fix. It was this young girl’s unflinching bravery in facing her sorrow that brought about positive change in her life…and that thought inspired me to write nrave ladies who kick ass, take names, and fall in love.

I hope you enjoyed this insight on Towers and Tithes… and I look forward to seeing you on future launch tour!

Book Reading Order

FAIRY TALES OF THE MAGICORUM
1. Wolves And Roses
2. Moonlight And Midtown
3. Slippers And Thieves
4. Shifters And Glyphs
5. Bandits And Ball Gowns
6. Fire And Cinder
7. Fairies And Frosting
8. Towers and Tithes

Author Bio

AB Christina Bauer pic - Fairy Tale Castles: Christine explains

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

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Let’s have a fight: Book Review

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Whilst I really like this series, I just wish that the books were longer.

As the series has developed the books have become shorter, and whilst I realise that they were originally (perhaps) and certainly now, aimed at a much younger audience, and the concept is that they don’t like to read long stories, I would take issue with that. After all, Harry Potter books are long. And 12 year olds and younger read them. So why assume the stories need to be short – and thus missing a great deal of possible character and storyline development.

And this is where I think this book lacks something.

The characters have been established, and the drawings are stunning so you can imagine the characters in their full glory – though I do think the costume on our heroine lacks a bit – of material – to protect her skin. Despite the dragon scales, it would  be nice for more leather on her legs surely?

But the end of the story seems a bit like -with one leap they were free’. As though Christine couldn’t think of what to say. Perhaps the series has run out of steam?  I shall read to the end of the series, just because, but I am not giving 5, nor even 4 for this series now, it is down to 3 and if I hadn’t been a loyal reader …

Sorry Christine. But I can give you a star for the artwork.  

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Wolves at large: book review

Excellent.

I really can’t wait to find out – what they find in Tibet.

And how big can a black and white fox grow?

Hurry along RJ with the next book please.

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Steampunk!

This is book 2 of a series set in a Steampunk world.

There is a Creation myth of the 2 goddesses – the Sun and the Moon. Who fell out with other – hence the separation in the sky, but a war is about to commence in this magical world with bionic enhancements. The Sun and Moon goddesses were at each other’s throats.

This world has a whole set of creation myths involved in it, including many minor gods such as a trickster created to look after all aspects of life – even cheese making!

Technology was considered as the evil as it permitted the creation of terrible weapons and thus war and conquest – and ultimately a war amongst the gods. Again. And – as technology improved so the worship of the old gods diminished and was linked into one set of worship.

This book is good, in my opinion for mid-teens to read. I was given it to read by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Witchling’s Girl

I failed to get involved in the storyline, it seemed too reminiscent of the stories of Baba Yaga and her house on chicken legs that lives in many dimensions. (In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a deformed or ferocious-looking old woman. Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter her or seek her out). So having read stories about Baba and her disciples before and quite enjoyed them, I needed to read a story which was completely different – except this one wasn’t. And death magic is quite common too in stories and comes across better in a humorous format I find.

This is my personal view as someone who reads and has already read, far more than the 10,000 lifetime books – as I read 400 books a year. So you really have to be good and original especially when delving into folk-lore or fairytales.

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