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Fairy Tale Castles: Christine explains

Towers - Fairy Tale Castles: Christine explains Towers and Tithes
FAIRY TALES OF THE MAGICORUM
Christine Bauer
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Monster House Books

I’m a Tower Tithe with a Rapunzel problem. That’s not as weird as it sounds. Ever wonder how Rapunzel survives without leaving her home? After all, someone must stock groceries, buy hair products and fix the plumbing. Witches don’t wield toilet brushes, so “Rapunzel care” becomes the job of Tower Tithes like me. Not that we choose this gig. We’re just unlucky elves who get magically chucked into servitude. Since our kind live for ages, being a Tower Tithe can drag on for thousands of years… and I’m eighteen. Yipes. That said, it wouldn’t be too awful if I had a cool Rapunzel. No such luck. I serve none other than Lady R, the social media sensation and sadist who lives in Manhattan’s famous Apex Towers. With the help of her manager—a witch named Jocasta—Lady R releases daily gossip videos while assigning me “torture chores.” Many tasks are designed to remind me how Lady R is the gorgeous variety of elf, while I’m beyond plain. I spend a lot of time scheming my escape. My work pays off when an eccentric billionaire offers to magically set me free. The catch? I must move to Arizona and become his personal assistant. Needless to say, I rush for the door. Turns out, my new employer is none other than Lady R’s ex-boyfriend, Dex, a guy who was blinded in a strange accident and has since become a recluse. In other words, I ran from my fairy tale life, but it found me again anyway. At this point, I should head for the hills, yet I simply can’t leave Dex. For the first time, I truly feel comfortable around someone. In all honesty, it’s probably because I have self-esteem issues and Dex can’t see my bland face. Even so, it’s all good until Lady R discovers where I am. And that leads to my Rapunzel problem. With Lady R back in the picture, can I still find my happily ever after? The truth will emerge soon enough. Because my name is Grayson Eyre, and this is my story. Ideal for readers who crave a mash-up between Rapunzel and Jane Eyre.

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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

Mackbook - Let's have a fight: Book Review Mack
Book 6: Angelbound Offspring
Christine Bauer
Sci Fi & Fantasy | Teens & YA
Monster House Books
Dec 2020
four star - Let's have a fight: Book Review

I’m Mack, a regular human who happens to run a secret league of vampire hunters. For most of my nineteen years, my daily routine has been to kill bloodsuckers, rinse and repeat.

But if I thought the vampires were trouble before, now stuff is about to get downright apocalyptic.

Why? The clock is ticking. The magical city of El Dorado will reopen soon. And once that happens, the vampire leader, Roman, will enter and create an army of bloodsuckers who do more than just kill humans—these vamps also take the shape of the last person they murdered. With thousands of supernatural warriors behind him, Roman will wipe out humankind and repopulate the world with vampires.

Not on my watch.

Trouble is, Roman knows I’m coming for him, so he’s targeting the woman I love, Kaps. There’s no way I’m putting her in danger, so I tell Kaps we’re through and go after Roman on my own.

But my woman is a badass dragon shifter who wants to end Roman as much as I do. When it comes to saving humanity, Kaps won’t let anyone stop her.

Even me.

MackTourBanner 1 e1632325037645 - Let's have a fight: Book Review
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

wildwolf - Wolves at large: book review Wild Wolf
(Wolf Hunt Book 2)
RJ Blain
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pen & Page Publishing
(19 Jan. 2021)
five star - Wolves at large: book review

After making his escape to Russia, Declan McGrady believes he finally has the chance to start over. Mysterious deaths in the place he’s chosen as home serve to shatter his delusions. He can’t hide forever, and in Russia, folklores aren’t just tales of the past: they’re real. Alone, Declan has no chance of stopping the wild wolf preying on the innocent. For any hope of victory, he must rely upon those he’d abandoned on Bodwin’s mountain—if he dares.

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!

content?id=OJcoxwEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Steampunk! Riwenne & the Bionic Witches
Divine Warriors #2
Kristen S Walker
YA, fantasy, urban, steampunk
Independently Published
July 2, 2019
268
four star - Steampunk!

No friend left behind. Riwenne escaped the floating city with her life and most of her friends, but one loss haunts her nightmares. If only she could save her sister. But she's out of magic, and nowhere is safe for the divine warriors. Defying the Empire put a price on their heads. With nothing but an airship and a few gods on their side, they need a new way to fight back! The sun goddess is arming bionic witches with blood magic. Riwenne's talking bird mentor, Tika, says the only magic that can stop the sun is the moon goddess. But the moon goddess was banished and even her name is forbidden. Riwenne must search for ancient clues to free the moon and get her powers back. She's not afraid to fight, but the battles are getting fiercer. She can't let her broken heart get in the way. Sooner or later, she'll have to face the one person she dreads-and this time, death is the only way. But can she live with herself if she becomes a killer?

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

witchling - Witchling's Girl The Witchling's Girl
Helena Coggan
Sci Fi & Fantasy | Teens & YA
Hodder & Stoughton
Pub Date 7 Jan 2021
two star - Witchling's Girl

In a quiet street far from the river, with an ancient tree growing through its walls and floors, is the House of the Dead. There lives the witchling: healer, midwife and conduit between the world of the living and the world below. A witchling must give up her family and friends and spend her life alone, tending to the sick and carrying the dead down dark tunnels to the underworld. Haley was born with the gift of death-magic, and at the age of seven her mother abandons her to the witchling to be raised as her successor. But as Haley grows older and learns her craft - as invading armies pass through her town, people are born and die on her floor, and loyalties shift and dissolve around her - she finds it harder and harder to keep her vows and be the perfect and impassive healer. But if she can't, it will be her downfall - and that of everyone she's not supposed to love . . .

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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