Guest Post by Bruce Calhoun: The Many Reincarnations of Cinderella

Perhaps the most famous fairy tale in Western literature, Cinderella, has been retold and reimagined in a staggering number of books and movies. The books and movies fall within two categories: modern day Cinderella stories featuring an underdog heroine and historical Cinderella stories with a twist – such as telling the story from the point of view of a mouse that gets turned into a horse. Cinderella has also become part of a catchphrase for any sports team that attains great success against all odds or any individual who goes from rags to riches. I will confine myself to commenting on a few historical Cinderella books, including my own, Ardennia: The Unlikely Story of Cinderella’s Prince.                                                                        

Let’s start with Cinderella and the Prince by Bridget Cantwell.  In a sentence, this version of Cinderella is about childhood friends James and Gabriella reuniting to save the kingdom of Essenia from an evil prince (we authors love to have titles like Narnia, Ardennia and Essenia).  The plot comes down to Gabriella – the Cinderella in this story – preventing her stepmother from stealing her inheritance. The magic that overcomes all obstacles in this story comes from Gabriella’s courage, loyalty, and love for her friends.

The Prince’s Diary by Renee Ting simply takes a peek at Cinderella’s prince’s personal diary to tell the tale from his point of view. This novella of 32 pages is geared towards juveniles.  Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, however, was written for older readers and was made into a popular movie. In this take on Cinderella, the magic flows from the gift of obedience that is given to her by a fairy. As you can imagine, this gift complicates life for Cinderella and is something she must overcome. To spice things up, various mythical creatures such as elves, ogres, gnomes and giants were incorporated into the tale.

Recent Cinderella spin offs are: Cinderella is Evil (2020) by Jamie Campbell (tells story from viewpoint of Cinderella’s sister), Creating Cinderella (2020) by K.A. Mitimore (twelve retold stories by twelve different authors), Cinderella is Dead (2020) by Kalynn Bayron (two hundred years after Cinderella found her prince a new generation of teen girls attend an annual ball) and, of course, Ardennia (release date October 5, 2021).

Ardennia, in a nutshell, captures the magic, brutality and earthiness of the age of chivalry as it chronicles the many adventures and tribulations of Cinderella’s prince.  It uses the same point of view as The Prince’s Diary, but adds original tales about pixies, trolls, dwarves, fairies and nymphs.  It also has secondary and tertiary love stories that feature a buffoon and a hunchback.  In addition, Ardennia brings to life an amazing number of memorable medieval characters that include a bean counter who wagers his gold tooth in a dice game, a merchant who can never be too prosperous, a band of female brigands, pilgrims that argue over who is the most pious, a cobbler who has come into the possession of a goose that lays golden eggs, a hermit who is mistaken for a hobgoblin and a beggar who has been cursed with leprosy for committing all the cardinal sins.

What makes Ardennia unique is that it adheres to the following tenant: there is much that is magical in this world, but hardly any real magic to be had. This nuance allows for a great deal of realism in my novel and keeps the magic – most of the time – at the periphery of the action.

About Bruce Calhoun

I am a literature-major drop out who received a Bachelor’s degree in biology and science education from the University of Wisconsin.  I taught marine biology in Puerto Rico, worked as a diver for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, wrote an award winning play and founded Save the Rainforest in 1988 www.savetherainforestnow.org.  In my spare time I read, bicycle, cross country ski and write plays and novels. 

To get the book,follow me or to see reviews of Ardennia  go to:

www.literaryworksbrucecalhoun.com/novels.html

Book Review: Cinderella’s Escape by Gita Reddy

 

23510838

 

About the Book

Cinderella’s Escape is a modern day retelling of the fairy tale. Unfortunately, it has no fairy godmother to help Anna Maria, our heroine. That doesn’t bother Anna Maria. She believes Cinderella would have escaped even without her fairy godmother. She would have had to. It’s called survival.
Readers will love the story and the most unexpected twist. Recommended for kids and adults alike.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Cinderella’s Escape starts out as a modern day Cinderella story. Anna Maria finds herself in a situation similar to Cinderella’s. She has an evil stepmother, Priscilla, and two spoiled, mean stepsisters. Priscilla is much worse than the original stepmother in the fairy tale. It’s hard to believe but it’s true.

Anna Maria knows that she can’t wait to see if Prince Charming saves her so she has to find a way to escape before it’s too late. She’s a strong, resourceful, and independent girl.  

I have read several books by Gita Reddy and this is my favorite one so far. It’s a short story that all ages will enjoy.

 

Available on Amazon.

 

About the Author

7023197Gita V.Reddy is a writer of fiction for middle-graders and adults. She enjoys thinking up tales of different genres. She has written mysteries, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and even an animal tale for children.

She wrote and illustrated her first picture book for kids in August, 2015. She plans to write a few more because the experience was very satisfying.

Ms Reddy was born in India, is a post graduate in Mathematics, worked in a bank for twenty-six years, is married to a physics professor, has a son doing research in neuro-electronics, and loves literature. Yes, her life is as mixed up as the multiple genres she writes.

She enjoys painting and spending time with her family, and LOVES walking in the rain.

She also writes under the name Heera Datta

Visit her website: www.gitavreddy.com
and facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gita-R…

Book Review & Giveaway: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost

GRIMMTASTIC_2_cover352782Title: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost (Grimmtastic Girls #2)

Author: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Genre: Children ages 8-12

Date Published: March 25, 2014

Description:

The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!

Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she’s great at it–too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what’s going on!

Review:

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Grimmtastic Girls series. The first book was about Cinderella and this one is about Red Riding Hood. It starts the week after book #1 ends.

Red has wanted to act ever since she can remember but she suffers from stage fright. Throughout the book she questions herself and her acting abilities but with the help of her new friend, Wolfgang, she learns to face her fears.

There’s a lot more to this story, though. Red and her best friends, Rapunzel, Snow, and Cinda, decide to try to find Grandmother Enchantress in Neverwood Forest but Red gets lost. What happens next is a twist on the story we all know of Red Riding Hood.

I love these stories and I’m sure young readers will love them also! They’re full of fairy tale characters, magic, mystery, and humor.

Available on Amazon.

 

Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: Cinderella Stays Late

GRIMMTASTIC_1_cover092793Title: Cinderella Stays Late (Grimmtastic Girls #1)

Author: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Genre: Children ages 8-12

Date Published: March 25, 2014

Description:

The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda’s totally evil stepsisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome’s ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them–before the last stroke of midnight!

Review:

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

What a great book for young readers! Cinderella Stays Late has everything: fairy tale characters, mystery, humor and a touch of boy likes girl/girl likes boy. It’s a different twist on a popular fairy tale that’s bound to be a hit with young readers.

Cinderella (she prefers Cinda) gets to start attending Grimm Academy with her evil stepsisters. She quickly becomes friends with Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White.

Of course there’s a ball given by a handsome prince. Cinda almost doesn’t go to the ball because she can’t dance. When she does decide to go to the ball to stop her stepsisters from ruining it, they do their best to keep her from going. With the help of her friends and her magical glass slippers, Cinda still gets to go to the ball and she makes quite an impression in more ways than one!

I have the second book in this series to read next and I can’t wait!

Available on Amazon.

 

Continue reading