My wonderful friend Jenniffer Wardell just had her second book released, Beast Charming. This comes on the heels of the ever delightful “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.,” which I blogged about here. She’s got such a beautiful mind, and I’m excited to introduce her writing style to you here! Enjoy! (And then I’ll tell you more about her bookssssss!)
“Why Fairy Tales Last”
By Jenniffer Wardell
Stories are alive.
They’re older than vampires and sneakier than pixies, changing their shape just enough to fit in seamlessly with the time and the people who are currently giving them voice. A female hero becomes male, then female again, donning male clothing for protection against a narrow-eyed society. Her weapon moves from a spear to a sword, then into a gun before transforming into a computer virus. The story adapts. It survives.
Fairy tales are some of the oldest stories out there, only slightly younger than the myths and legends that stretch all the way back to creation. They existed long before some of the famous names associated with them – The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault – put them down on paper, the penned versions merely a snapshot of how the stories looked at a particular point in time.
But oh, they’re so much bigger than that. Nearly every culture there is has a “Cinderella” story, with fishes and trees and dead mothers taking the place of the fairy godmother. “Beauty and the Beast” was “Cupid and Psyche” to the Greeks, the hairy beast secretly a god testing the faithfulness of the lover he’d chosen. The Egyptian goddess Isis loved her husband powerfully enough to bring him back to life (though briefly), from the sleep of death.
They adapt, changing to reflect what matters to the culture of the people telling it. In “Perceforest,” an early version of “Sleeping Beauty,” the sleeping girl’s lover impregnates her to wake her up. These days, we prefer the man confine himself to a simple kiss. In the Algonquin Indian version of “Cinderella,” known as “The Rough-Face Girl,” the scar-faced heroine wins her warrior with honesty, clear vision and a pure heart rather than the size of her shoe.
Through them all, however, you will find the threads that wind back across the centuries. A poor girl can win her own happiness despite her circumstances. You must learn to look past appearances. Love, whether romantic or familial, has a power that can overcome all obstacles. A good heart wins out in the end. No matter what terrible things happen to you, you can survive them.
These threads are the heart of fairy tales, the bits of hope and comfort so important that the stories have clung to them no matter how many times they shed the rest of their skin. They are the things we really dream of, more than castles or handsome princes or piles of gold. These are the prayers every teller of every tale whispers out into the universe.
Are they true? A cynical mind might say no. Some versions of fairy tales even try to say the same thing, smiling at you with blood in their teeth and whispering the horrors of everything from sex to the trap of romance. But the darkness rises and falls with fashion and the time period, never managing to last quite as long as the hope does.
Thank you, Jenniffer! You are awesome. Don’t we all think she’s awesome?
And now, here’s the cover reveal of BEAST CHARMING! Is it not charming?
You can buy it on Amazon now. You know you want to. 🙂
She’s also running a rafflecopter giveaway on her website for her online release party! Go enter to win!
Congratulations to Jenniffer for another great book. It just released two weeks ago, so it hadn’t hit the top of my TBR list, but I tell you, reading the blurb and this post and remembering how cute her first book was…let’s just say it skipped up many levels and is at the tippy top of my next read list.
Hey, if you do read this, be a friend and leave her a review. Authors live for them.