Fairy tales aren’t just for children, any more. One month from today, folks! A bit of a departure for me, as I am used to writing small town contemporaries. But Crimson Romance put out a call for this collection of twisted fairy tales and my muse refused to let me pass this one up.
Modern Magic: A Quartet of Fractured Fairy Tales takes the classic stories of Cinderella, Aladdin, Goldilocks and Beauty and the Beast that you know and love, and gives them a bit of a shake up. Here’s a sneak peek:
What if Cinderella ditched the prince’s ball and sent her fairy godmother to find love in her place?
Suppose a streetwise hero hired to steal an all-powerful Genie (stuck in a flash drive rather than a brass lamp) for a tech company ended up running for his life with the CEO’s gorgeous, intelligent daughter?
Or what if the bed that a certain golden-tressed girl accidentally napped in belonged to the hot and famous middle brother of a notorious boy band?
Can you envision the sparks that might fly if a bitter and downright beastly wheelchair-bound woman propositioned a handsome bookseller to stay with her in exchange for her rare book collection?
Intrigued? Ready to see the cover? Are you sure? Want to holler “shut up already and show me the picture!”? Here you go:
Here’s an excerpt from A Late-Blooming Rose, my own version of Beauty and the Beast:
His pork chop was cold. Of course that was to be expected when one wasn’t allowed to sit down to eat his own dinner until he’d done fifty thousand things for his new “employer.” Four days into his thirty-day ‘sentence’ and he swore she got more and more creative with her unrealistic commands. Beau shook his napkin out, giving it a little snap before smoothing it over his lap.
The clatter of silverware bouncing off of marble tile roused Beau from his own thoughts. “Oh dear, how clumsy of me! I’m afraid I’ll need a new fork.” Eva flashed him an insincere smile.
“They’re in the drawer in the kitchen.” Beau continued to chew his food.
“I think I know where my own forks are. This is my house, after all. What I don’t understand is why you aren’t moving. I asked you to get me a fork.”
“And I told you to get it yourself.”
“But you work for me! You are my caregiver.” Her chest heaved as her breathing sped up.
“I am doing this for you without pay, without benefits, and without any sort of thank yous. It’s not hard to see why you can’t hold on to staff. You are rude. You are demanding. And you deliberately bait people just to see how miserable you can make them.”
“Congratulations. It took you a fraction of the time it took all the others to figure that out. Must be all those books you’re so fond of.” She sneered. “As you didn’t bring anything with you, it won’t take you long to pack up your things. So sorry it didn’t work out.”
“Oh, I have no intention of leaving.” Beau cut into his pork chop and popped the juicy bite into his mouth.
“You aren’t getting me a new fork like I asked. I’ve fired people for far less.”
“Eva, did I leave after you insisted I replace the sheets I’d just put on your bed because you thought they were too colorful? Did I leave after I spent an hour on the roof adjusting the satellite dish, only to learn that you’d just unplugged the TV? Or when I had to scrub out all the cupboards when you claimed to have seen a cockroach in the kitchen? I still don’t believe you, by the way. But I’m still here. A shame that you can’t fire me, hmm? Give it your best shot, sweetheart. I’m a lot tougher than you give me credit for.”
Beau nearly laughed at the murderous look in her eyes. Eva Mitchum was a woman used to getting her own way. She glared at him as though she could bend him to her will using only her mind. The spacious dining room echoed with the clink of Beau’s knife and fork as he continued to eat his dinner, the dinner he’d spent the afternoon cooking. He wouldn’t have been surprised to see the top of Eva’s head fly off as she gave vent to the anger seething in her gaze.
“I can’t eat my pork chop without the proper utensils,” she ground out, after several long minutes of pouty silence.
“Sure you can. Just pick it up with your fingers. Those still work, don’t they?” Yeah, that was probably crossing the line. But after the hell she’d put him through over the last few days, Beau couldn’t help it. The woman would try the patience of a saint!
He sighed, intending to apologize, but when he looked up, he was shocked to find her doing just what he’d suggested Eva sat across from him, holding the pork chop between her dainty fingers and nibbling at it carefully. She studiously avoided his eyes now, which was good. He didn’t want her to realize just how much she’d shocked him. He’d won this match, and he intended to savor the victory for as long as it lasted.
The rest of the meal passed without incident. Eva was through with her childish attempts at goading him into losing his temper, or walking out on her, or both. She was silent, reflective. Beau didn’t get the feeling that she was plotting her next scheme. Instead, she seemed almost confused. Had no one ever stood up to her before? No wonder the woman was on a major power trip. Eva was used to being spoiled, whether it was because she was confined to her wheelchair or because she bullied everyone into doing her bidding. Learning to become more independent would do her a world of good, though Beau highly doubted she’d agree. Lesson one had gone surprisingly well. At least she hadn’t thrown her steak knife at him.
Modern Magic is up on Goodreads if you’d like to drop by and add it to your “want to read”list. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26842591-modern-magic
What is your favorite fairy tale? If Crimson were to do another collection of twisted fairy tales, what would you love to see added? When you think of classic fairy tales, do you envision the original (usually darker) version, or the ‘Disneyfied” versions? Leave your comments below and let’s see who shares your favorites.