Curse of the Midnight King Cover Reveal

Hello, friends!

It’s been a while since I last posted, and that’s simply because I’ve been recovering from The Bear of Rosethorn Ring’s release and taking a creative refresher before I jump into my summer of writing book five, A Bit of Gold:. I’ll be posting more about book five throughout the summer, but if you’re dying to know more, here’s what I can tell you: It’s a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, AND Seth Stendahl will be returning as our lead protagonist. Can’t wait!

Anyways, we’re here to day to talk about another fairytale retelling. Not only is this one a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling (which, if you didn’t know, is basically my FAVE), but it’s a mashup with Cinderella, too! How great is that?? We need more fairytale mashups!

~*~

About the Book:

Can she break the curse in time to save her sisters? She may conquer more than the Midnight King; she may learn to conquer herself.

Three years ago, Faye and her sisters were cursed by the Midnight King. Now, separated and alone, Faye only sees her sisters when she is dragged into the Underworld every full moon at midnight, and forced to dance with Pathos, the Midnight King himself. And Faye knows that their curse is her fault.

When the king of Eura announces a series of balls being held in the honor of his son, Prince Leo, Faye realizes she may now have a chance to help her and her sisters escape the curse. But things aren’t easy. For Pathos is determined to keep Faye in the Underworld with him.

In this retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and Cinderella, Faye must sacrifice herself to save her sisters, or risk them being trapped in the Underworld forever, suffering from the curse she helped create.

~*~

And here’s the cover, ladies and gentlemen!

Curse of the Midnight King releases on November 9th, but you can already preorder your paperback!

The author is also running a fun preorder campaign that you won’t want to miss out on!

The first fifty people who preorder the paperback and send in their receipts will receive a handful of goodies from the author. These include—art of the main characters Faye and Leo, and of the villain, Pathos; three quote stickers; a bookmark; and a letter from the author.

Paperbacks not your style? If you plan to order an ebook, you can enter, too!

The first fifty people who preorder the ebook, once available, and send in their receipts will receive—three quote stickers, a bookmark, and a letter from the author.

All proofs of purchase can be sent to Yakira Goldsberry via private message on Instagram or Facebook Messenger, or through email at yakiragoldsberryauthor[at]gmail[dot]com.

~*~

About the Author:

Yakira Goldsberry started writing at the age of eight, when she first discovered the power of words. She has since then buried herself in the magical worlds of fiction–and has yet to return. Working as a book reviewer by day and an author by night, Goldsberry lives with her family on the East Coast. Her one mission in life–set the world afire with truth.

Giveaway Winners & Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, readers! And we’re officially at the last day of this blog tour. My stars, this week went by quickly!

I did want to take a moment to thank everyone who was a part of the blog tour, volunteered to be on the advance reader team, shared in the cover reveal, and generally promoted my book in so many ways. There’s only so much I can do by myself as an author (writing the book is the big part), but the promotion of so many friends and fans really means a lot. And it’s by your reviews and words that I’m able to reach readers I may not have reached before.

So, thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU. Your support means the world.

Well, folks, we have a giveaway to wrap up. I promised two lucky winners their choice of an ebook from my series, and now it’s time to reveal the names.

Congratulations, Ribbon Ash and Elizabeth D. Marie!

Please email me as soon as possible at liannetaimenlore(at)gmail(dot)com with the ebook title you’d like to receive! And yes, you can choose any of the four books published in Once Upon a Twist Tales. Click HERE to learn more about the books.

Don’t forget that the blog tour is still going on today — so there are still some fun posts to read before we end this party!

Here’s the full schedule of posts from this week, including today’s.

April 5th

April 6th

April 7th

April 8th

April 9th 

(I will update with direct links once the posts are live.)

Don’t forget to snag your copy of The Bear of Rosethorn Ring! It’ll be the perfect read for this weekend. *winks*

Did anyone catch the information I hid in a certain guest post and a page on this blog? I’ve released the title and fairytale I’ll be retelling for book five of this series… along with the hero it’s going to feature. *grins* Comment below when you find it!

God bless!

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring: The First Chapter

How is it Thursday already? This week has flown by! I can’t believe this blog tour and party is just about over. The Bear of Rosethorn Ring has already been out for two days.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s still today AND tomorrow to celebrate, and there’s still time to enter my GIVEAWAY for a chance to win one of my books. Additionally, The Rose and the Balloon will be FREE through tomorrow, so if you’ve not yet snagged your ebook yet you have until midnight tomorrow!

After two packed games (the SWRR Fairytale Tag and the SWRR Mad Libs — which I hope you played!), I think it’s time to slow things down a bit and do a little reading. After all, this is a book party, and where would we be if we didn’t have a bit of book to read? Therefore, I’m sharing the first chapter of The Bear of Rosethorn Ring here. If you’ve not read it yet, I do hope this will pique your interest.

Enjoy!

~*~

Chapter One

“Did you hear that?”

Marita tugged her horse to a stop. Nutbrown, as boring and complacent as her name, obeyed.

“Hear what?”

Diamond shifted behind her. “I thought I heard someone yelling.”

Marita pushed up on her heels to get a better view over the horse’s head. Beautiful, green forest stretched out before them, with nothing out of the ordinary that she could see. “I think we’re the only ones out here.”

Diamond sighed. “I’m blind, not deaf, but I think my ears are playing tricks on me.”

Marita reached back to squeeze her sister’s hand and found it up by her face. She must be adjusting the bandage again. Marita was still getting used to the thick, white bandage wrapped around Diamond’s eyes. Not that she’d ever actually seen Diamond before the accident, but she should know what her face looked like since the two girls were identical twins.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “Your eyesight will be back soon. Seth said it just may take a while.” 

“He still can’t forgive himself that it was his chemical that burned my eyes.” 

Marita huffed. “It wasn’t his fault our aunt was a witch. She’s the one to blame.”

Diamond’s voice softened. “She wasn’t a witch.” 

“Well, she tried to kill me and lied to you your whole life. What else defines a witch?” 

“Marita, please. I don’t want to talk about it.” 

Marita couldn’t agree more. It still boiled her blood to think of all the hurt Nellea Kwan had caused their family. Of course, our father is as much to blame. If he hadn’t gambled Diamond away, if he hadn’t lied, if he hadn’t gone behind my back… There were too many ifs to think about. “Well, we should…” She stopped. “That was definitely a cry for help.”

“Yes.” Diamond’s fingers fearfully tightened around Marita’s waist. “A man?” 

Marita grinned. “Don’t worry. He might be another traveler like Seth in need of your care.” 

She kicked her heels into Nutbrown’s flanks and urged the placid horse forward. It wasn’t fair to keep teasing Diamond about Seth Stendahl, but her twin definitely had feelings for the Trothen alchemist, and it was too much fun to remind her of them. Marita knew how to read love on a person ever since she’d found it with Felix Barath, who was – in her mind – the perfect nobleman.

The call became clearer the further they traveled. We’re going in the right direction. 

Diamond pressed herself closer to Marita. “Can you see anyone?”

“Not yet. It sounds like the call’s coming from the stream.” 

All too soon, they were coming out of the thick forest, and any concern Marita may have initially felt dissolved into giggles when she saw who’d been crying for help.

A lone gentleman, obviously wealthy by the state of his clothing, was leaning over into the berry bushes by the stream. His thick, white beard was very fine and would have hung to his knees except that it was hopelessly tangled in the thorny bushes. The man was tugging and pulling at the beard, wrenching it this way and that. To Marita’s eye, however, his vehement efforts only made the tangled mess worse. 

“Help me!” he shrieked when he saw the sisters. “Don’t just sit there gawking! I’m stuck!” 

Diamond’s hold on Marita tightened. “What’s wrong?”

“Stay with Nutbrown,” Marita told Diamond. “He’s just an old man who got his beard tangled in the thorns.” She swung herself off the horse’s back and approached the yelling stranger. “How did you get stuck in the first place?”

The man stopped tugging at his beard long enough to glare at her. “Odious girl! What does it matter, except that you must get me free?” He emphasized his words with a few more hard yanks. 

Marita raised an eyebrow at him. Clearly, this gentleman doesn’t have the same noble manners that Felix has. “I must?” 

“Well, you’re here, aren’t you?” the man returned hotly. “You have the gall to laugh at my misery. Your parents should have raised you to respect members of nobility. Especially when they’re older than you and clearly in need of desperate assistance.” 

Marita’s jaw firmed at his attitude, and she deliberately drove her teeth into her tongue to keep from saying anything. She prided herself on not having a quick temper, but she’d never met anyone like this bearded annoyance. 

“Do you need help?” Diamond called behind her. 

“No,” Marita said quickly. “I can do it.” She reached for the beard. How can I get this all off?

“Hurry up, you goose!” the man shrieked. “With all the time you’ve already wasted, I could have had someone else rescue me.” 

She couldn’t hold the retort back. “Would you prefer someone else?” 

“Just get me free! Whatever you have to do, do it now!” 

So, Marita did it now. She snatched off the knife she kept belted to her waist and, grabbing the entangled beard, cut it from the offending bushes. 

The man fell back with the loudest screech yet. “No! No, no, no!” 

Marita thrust her knife back into her belt. “What’s wrong?” 

“You cut my beard, you vile thing! How dare you?” 

“Sir, your beard was not going to be untangled quickly. The only way to free you was to cut it!”

“Do you know how long it took me to grow my beard to this glorious length?” he fumed, his face reddening beneath the white hairs of his beard. “Years! How can I return to my people without everyone laughing at me? Bad luck to you, wretched female! Bad luck to you both!” And with one last fiery glare, he turned and stomped away. 

Marita didn’t notice her mouth was hanging open until he was out of sight. “Well!” The word came out in a gust of unbelief. “Have you ever met someone so miserable in all your life? He didn’t even say thank you.” 

“Was it a bad cut?” Diamond asked, cocking her head. 

Marita tried not to look at the ragged edge of her sister’s hair. Diamond would know about haircuts, considering until just recently she’d had beautiful hair that hung down to her ankles.

“I barely cut anything off,” she grumbled, stomping back to Nutbrown’s side. “The old oaf was just over-reacting. No one will ever notice that he’s missing a few inches off the end.” She mounted the horse with a huff, trying to put the old man out of her head. “Let’s go home.”

The journey out of the forest seemed longer than the journey into it. When they’d ridden under the trees that morning en route to fetch Diamond’s medical books from her former cavern home, the day had been bright and fresh. Now, Marita just wanted to get back and forget whoever that man was.

Diamond was quiet, as usual, and Marita knew without looking that she was deep in thought. What her twin was thinking, she didn’t know, as she’d yet to learn to fully read Diamond. Plus, we’ve only known each other for less than a week, and it wasn’t her fault we were separated at birth. Maybe one day she’ll open up and talk to me more.

A rather handsome nobleman was waiting for them at the palace gates. Even if Marita hadn’t recognized his face, the lack of shoes gracing his stockinged feet was enough to identify him. A frisky, white stallion stood at his side, eyeing the riding cap on his master’s head mischievously.

Marita leaped off Nutbrown’s back with a grin. “Felix! You’re here!”

Felix returned her hug warmly. “Marita, darling, I missed you so much.”

The white stallion nuzzled her cheek, as if to admonish her for not acknowledging him.

“Yes, yes, Samson. I missed you, too.”

Marita stepped back and saw the grim look on her fiancé’s face. “What’s wrong? We weren’t expecting you back for another few weeks. You know you forgot your shoes again, right?”

Felix avoided a friendly headbutt from Samson. “I came early. And no, I didn’t forget my shoes. The new riding boots Father ordered for me were too tight so I ditched them. Much better this way. But we’ve got a problem.”

Marita frowned. “What problem? Is your mother calling off the wedding?”

“What? No.” Felix shook his head. “Here, Diamond, allow me.” He reached up and carefully helped the girl out of the saddle.

Once her feet were on solid ground, Diamond gave him a small smile. “Thank you.”

Felix turned back to Marita. “Mother’s going crazy with all the planning. She can’t wait to have you join the family. You know how much she’s always wanted a daughter.”

“Then what is it?” Marita folded her arms over her chest.

He looked reluctant to tell her the news. “Your father flew off in one of my aunt’s balloons. He’s been gone for nearly two hours.”

~*~

“We’re wasting time,” Felix argued. “Every minute he gets further away, and it’ll be only harder to find him.”

“Let him go,” Marita said. “I don’t see any point in going after him.”

“But he’s your father!” Felix protested. “If we don’t go after him, who will?”

Even though she couldn’t see her twin, Diamond could hear the huff of exasperation Marita released.

She didn’t understand it. How can she not want to go after him? Why does she have to be so stubborn? The discussion had only lasted a few minutes thus far, but already she felt it was pointless. Her sister’s mind was made up.

Merryweather, Marita’s dog, whimpered, his nails clicking against the stone floor as he approached. He hated whenever things got tense. Diamond had the sudden urge to call him over, as the dog had adopted her almost as quickly as she’d fallen in love with him. Burying her face into his soft fur sounded like a wonderful idea, but she didn’t want him to pull away from Marita. If that’s actually where he is right now. She was still adjusting to placing things in her mind by the sound of them alone.

Silence fell over the room. Diamond shifted in her chair, and her fingers tightened on the wooden arms. She forced herself not to adjust the bandage over her eyes for the fiftieth time that day. I wish I could see. Maybe having her eyesight back would grant her a portion of understanding her sister.  

Felix finally broke the quiet. “I love you, dear, but I believe you’re not thinking clearly.”

“Why?” Marita almost yelped. “You and I both know he’s not worth going after. He left on his own, and, if he wants to come back, let him come back on his own.”

“He’s had a rough past, yes, but I don’t think this is the time to give up on him.” 

“I’m through watching over him,” she replied. “I won’t do it anymore, Felix.”

He sighed. “I didn’t bail him out of trouble that one time just so you could give up on him now, Marita. I thought you forgave him?”

“That was before I knew what he’d done to Diamond.”

“Why now?” Diamond ventured aloud. She couldn’t bear to let the room fall silent once again. “Why would he leave us?” She swallowed a flash of fear. “Is it because of me?”

“Yes,” her sister responded, a touch of anger in her voice, “but not in the way that you think.”

“Marita? Did you speak with him?”

Diamond could hear the agitation in Felix’s voice. Did my sister speak to Father? It was still odd to call Lucas Kadlec that. After all, she’d only heard him called that blasted man for so many years by their aunt; she’d gone all those years thinking she’d never had a father that really loved her. Now, here was the chance to have that father, and he was gone. And in the few days I knew him, I couldn’t even see him. That hurt almost more than anything else.

“Marita?” Felix’s tone was accusatory.

“Yes, I spoke to him,” she finally said. “Does that make you happy?”

“What did you say?”

“He was babbling on about how he ruined our lives, how he didn’t deserve to have daughters like us, how his gambling made him an outcast. How Diamond and I would be happier if we’d never known him.”

Felix prompted her on. “And?”

“I just agreed with him.” Marita sounded guilty. There was a long stretch of uncomfortable silence, and then she hiccupped.

Is she crying? Diamond wanted to hug her sister, but she didn’t dare move from her chair when no one could help her maneuver around the furniture in the room.

Felix didn’t say anything, and Diamond tensed in the silence once again. Should I say something? She wished the two of them would come to a decision. For the last nineteen years of her life, she’d gotten used to Mother – no, Aunt Nellea – making the decisions for her and then telling her what to do. Taking care of Seth was perhaps the first independent decision Diamond had ever made. I just feel stuck waiting for someone to tell me what to do next.

Realization sunk in. I don’t need to have someone else make the decision for me, anymore. After all, she’d killed a bear, hadn’t she? I know what I want to do. What I need to do.

She pushed herself to her feet, keeping a hand on her chair. “I’m going after him.”

“Diamond?” Marita hiccupped again.

“I’m going after him,” she repeated. “Even though he may love his dice and coin more than his flesh and blood, he still deserves another chance.”

“I’ve given him several chances,” her sister muttered.

Diamond shook her head. “But this time it’s me giving him that chance. I’ve never been able to do that before, and I want to at least try.” She took a deep breath. “Family is important. I’m not ready to give up on him.”

Marita hiccupped several more times before she spoke again. “I still don’t think he’s worth going after.”

“But you’ll go with me?” Diamond persisted.

There was another long and agonizing silence. “For you, Diamond, I’ll go. But only for you.”

“And a fat chance of a golden rose if I’ll let you two go without me,” Felix broke in. “I’m sure my mother can survive wedding planning by herself for a bit. Besides, if Diamond kills another bear, I want to be there to see that. Or maybe this time I’ll kill the bear.”

Diamond shivered. “You can do it this time.”

Once had been quite enough.

~*~

What did you think of the first chapter? Intrigued to read more? Well, The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is available as both Kindle ebook AND paperback! YES, the paperback is now here — so don’t waste any more time ordering your copy!

Other fun links to note today:

April 8th Blog Tour Stops

(I will update with direct links once the posts go live.)

God bless!

Snow White and Rose Red Mad Libs

“Ah, look,” you say, “another game.”

And you’re absolutely right. Yesterday, I had fun putting together a little Snow White and Rose Red Fairytale Tag for you all (because who doesn’t LOVE a good tag promoting a little-known fairytale???), and TODAY we’re going to be diving into one of my all-time favorite games: the Mad Lib.

I had originally thought that I would be posting a bunch of dry, informative posts here all week to talk about my newest book, The Bear of Rosethorn Ring. However, I was overwhelmed by the number of sweet bloggers who responded to my pleas for a blog tour, and so many of them asked for a guest post. I feared I wouldn’t have enough topics and posts to cover them all, but many of them had great ideas of their own, and (though it took a while to type everything up) it was a cinch to put together so many guest posts on topics I KNEW people wanted to read about.

And then, since all those amazing bloggers had taken care of all those posts, I decided: “Let’s have fun here at A Synesthete Writer this week. We’re just going to party.” We started the party off with a GIVEAWAY, and now we’re into party game #2.

Rules

  1. Below is a snippet from Snow White and Rose Red with a good number of words taken out. YOUR job is to supply those missing words.
  2. Each missing word is in its own labeled category (Noun, Verb, Adjective, etc.), and you may write in any category-appropriate word you wish. (i.e. Noun = laundry basket; Animal = armadillo; Person = Samuel Jackson; Adverb = eagerly)
  3. Once your list of missing words is filled out, pop those words into the numbered blanks provided in the story.
  4. Paste the whole story in a comment for everyone to enjoy!

The Word List

  1. Noun
  2. Adjective
  3. Verb Ending in -ING
  4. Adjective
  5. Color
  6. Number
  7. Animal
  8. Adjective
  9. Verb
  10. Adjective
  11. Term of Endearment
  12. Noun
  13. Adjective
  14. Adverb
  15. Plural Noun
  16. Adjective
  17. Liquid
  18. Exclamation
  19. Adjective
  20. Adverb
  21. Famous Person
  22. Term of Endearment
  23. Adverb
  24. Emotion
  25. Sharp Object
  26. Plural Noun
  27. Noun
  28. Adjective
  29. Body Part
  30. Common Phrase
Image is not mine; this gorgeousness was painted by Richard Doyle.

The Mad Lib Story

One afternoon, Mother sent Snow White and Rose Red into the forest to fetch some (1. NOUN). There they found a/an (2. ADJECTIVE) tree which lay felled on the ground, and close by the trunk something was (3. VERB ENDING IN -ING) backwards and forwards in the grass, but they could not make out what it was.

When they came nearer, they saw a/an (4. ADJECTIVE) dwarf with an old, withered face. He had a/an (5. COLOR) beard that was nearly (6. NUMBER) yards long. The end of the beard was caught in a crevice of the tree, and the dwarf was jumping about like a/an (7. ANIMAL) tied to a rope, and did not know what to do.

He glared at the girls with his (8. ADJECTIVE) eyes and cried: “Why do you stand there? Can you not come here and (9. VERB) me?”

“What are you up to, (10. ADJECTIVE) man?” asked Rose Red.

“You stupid, prying (11. TERM OF ENDERMENT)!” answered the dwarf. “I was going to split the tree to get a little (12. NOUN) for cooking. We dwarves need but (13. ADJECTIVE) food; however, it gets burned (14. ADVERB) when we use those thick logs. We don’t devour such large portions as you greedy (15. PLURAL NOUN). I had just driven the wedge safely in, and everything was going well; but the cursed wedge was too (16. ADJECTIVE) and suddenly sprang out, and the tree closed so quickly that I could not pull out my beautiful beard; so now it is stuck and I cannot get away, and the silly, (17. LIQUID)-faced things laugh! 18. EXCLAMATION)! how (19. ADJECTIVE) you are!”

The girls tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard out, it was caught too (20. ADVERB).

“I will run and fetch (21. FAMOUS PERSON),” said Rose Red.

“You senseless (22. TERM OF ENDEARMENT)!” snarled the dwarf. “Why should you fetch him/her? You are already two too many for me; can you not think of something (23. ADVERB)?”

“Don’t be (24. EMOTION),” said Snow White. “I will help you.” And she pulled her (25. SHARP OBJECT) out of her pocket, and cut off the end of the beard.

As soon as the dwarf felt himself free, he grabbed a sack filled with (26. PLURAL NOUN) that was lying between the roots of the tree. He lifted it up, grumbling to himself: “Uncouth slobs, to cut off a (27. NOUN) of my (28. ADJECTIVE) beard. Bad luck to you!’ and then he swung the bag upon his (29. BODY PART), and went off without even once looking at the girls or saying, “(30. COMMON PHRASE).”

~*~

How did your adventure go? I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s versions of the story!

Snag your own copy of The Bear of Rosethorn Ring today to read *my* version of Snow White and Rose Red rescuing the dwarf. It wasn’t exactly mad lib style, but I still had a lot of fun writing it!

Don’t forget to check out the other fun posts today!

April 7th Blog Tour Stops

(I will update the links to direct posts once things start going live.)

God bless!

Snow White and Rose Red Tag & Release Day!

HAPPY RELEASE DAY! The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is HERE!

I’m still waiting for the paperback version to waddle through Amazon’s complex review system, but I will share the link to the physical book once I get notified of its going live on Amazon.

HOWEVER, if you can’t wait for the paperback, and need to read it NOW, you can click HERE to purchase your Kindle ebook and begin reading in mere seconds. Internet and technology are great like that.

In case you missed it the first time — LINK TO THE BEAR OF ROSETHORN RING ON KINDLE.

And don’t forget — books one and two of the series are currently FREE so you can snag half of the series without paying a cent. But you won’t want to wait on that since Spindle Dreams is only free through midnight TONIGHT. The Rose and the Balloon, however, will be free through Friday.

AND I’m hosting a giveaway for two lucky winners to receive an ebook of their choice. *nods* Yeah, we’re partying hard this week.

Tag Time!

Official Tag Graphic®

Anyway, it’s time to get down to the purpose of this post, and that is a tag. And not just any tag — it’s a SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED TAG. Because let’s face it — SWRR definitely needs more love. Just *how* many retellings do we have of this fantastic sister story? Not many. If you say “Snow White” in most company, the response you’ll get is, “Oh, with the seven dwarves?”

*facepalm* Yes, we like that Snow White, too, but that’s NOT what we’re talking about. Snow White and Rose Red were the awesome sister-duo before Disney tried to steal that stage with Frozen.

So what do you need to know before we jump into the tag?

Rules

  1. Copy the tag questions and answer them for yourself in your own blog post.
  2. Link back to this post, pleaseandthankyou.
  3. Include the tag graphic somewhere in your post.
  4. Share the link to your answers in a comment on this post so I can read your answers!

If you don’t have a blog, or don’t feel like putting together a whole post for the tag, feel free to copy the questions and answer them below in a comment!

The Questions

  1. What’s your favorite fairytale? If you can’t whittle it down to one, give us a list!
  2. What’s your favorite fairytale retelling? Or retellings, since most of us have more than one?
  3. When were you first introduced to the fairytale Snow White and Rose Red?
  4. If you awoke one day, cursed and lumbering around as a bear, what would be the first thing you’d do? Do you know why you’re cursed?
  5. Snow White and Rose Red kept a pet lamb. What would your ideal fairytale pet be?
  6. If you were to have a color-based name like Snow White or Rose Red, what would your name be — and why?
  7. Snow White and Rose Red’s mother planted two rosebushes in front of their cottage, one with white roses and one with red roses. Would you plant roses in front of your house, or perhaps another plant? Why?
  8. A stranger knocks on your door during a blizzard, begging for shelter. Do you let him in?
  9. Would you rather have your hair (or beard) caught in a tree, in a fishing line, or in an eagle’s talons?
  10. The dwarf offers his treasures to keep himself from being eaten by a bear. What would you offer the bear to discourage him from eating you?

And that’s it; I hope this tag was a lot of fun! I can’t wait to read everyone’s answers!

Don’t forget to grab your Kindle ebook so you can start reading The Bear of Rosethorn Ring today! Will this be the very first SWRR retelling you’ve ever read? Let me know below!

Just one last thing to note before I sign off… other posts today you won’t want to miss!

April 6th Blog Tour Stops

(I will update with direct links once the posts are live.)

God bless!

Welcome & Giveaway!

GUYS. It’s happening! The Bear of Rosethorn Ring comes out TOMORROW.

Are you ready for it? I AM.

Well, today is Monday, April 5th, and we’re officially kicking off the blog tour here with a giveaway. This is actually the VERY FIRST giveaway I’ve ever hosted in conjunction with a book release — and really also the first giveaway I’ve personally hosted to give away one of my books. I’ve sent books to advance readers and participated in giveaways where I offered a copy of a book, but this is the first time hosting.

Pretty weird that it’s taken me four books to get to this point. *shrugs*

Anyway, BEFORE I get into all the details of the giveaway, I want to let you know of all the fun stops we’ll be making on the blog tour today. We’ve got a jam-packed schedule, and I CAN’T WAIT. For simplicity’s sake, I’m only going to be posting today’s stops here in this post. But if you’d like to see the full schedule, I’ll be sharing a full list on this blog/site’s home page, so be sure to check it out there.

April 5th Blog Tour Stops

Like I said, this blog tour is going to be PACKED with interviews, book reviews, and guest posts! You’re not going to want to miss a single post!

See the full schedule HERE.

Free Kindle Books!

As part of the celebration, I’m also running some of the Kindle books for FREE. Be sure to jump on over to Amazon to snag your ebooks if you don’t already have them!

~*~

The Rose and the Balloon: A Beauty and the Beast Story is FREE on Amazon April 5th through the 9th!

SNAG YOUR FREE COPY NOW.

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Spindle Dreams: A Sleeping Beauty Story isn’t available for free quite as long, but it’s still FREE on April 5th and 6th — don’t wait to grab your ebook today!

SNAG YOUR COPY NOW.

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Now, for the giveaway I promised.

Giveaway

I’m offering TWO (2) lucky readers the chance to win their choice of an ebook of one of the Once Upon a Twist Tales. Yes, if you so desire, you could win yourself a copy of the brand-new book that hits Amazon tomorrow. Or catch up on the Rapunzel story you may have missed last year, and have been dying to read. I mean, I naturally assume the winners will want one of those two books, especially since the other two books in the series will be up for FREE this week (see above).

How to enter? It’s easy.

Simply comment below (on this blog post) your answer to the following question:

If you were siblings with Snow White and Rose Red, what would be your color-based fairytale name, and why?

You may make up more than one color-based name, if you wish, but I’m limiting the giveaway to only one entry per person. One fairytale name/comment per entry. Be as creative as you’d like, and maybe add in how the fairytale might read differently with you as the third sibling there.

I will accept all entries until Thursday (April 8th) at noon (12pm EST). I will announce the two winners Friday morning (April 9th) in the blog tour’s closing post.

Get commenting! I’m excited to see everyone’s answers!

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring Announcements

You know what’s exciting? In less than two weeks, The Bear of Rosethorn Ring will be live on Amazon.

Yikes. Exciting and scary.

I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I’m in the process of publishing book FOUR of my Twist Tales. That little series that grew from a spark of inspiration from the long-ago Rooglewood contests, the one I began more out of fun than anything else — that little series has grown into four novellas… and I’m already planning the plots for books five and six. Two fairytales that I’m rather ecstatic to retell. And ones that I’m keeping secret for now. Don’t worry: the title and fairytale that book five is based on will be revealed once book four is out, so you have less than two weeks to guess and wonder.

What announcements have I, you are wondering? Well, two of them concern preorders and Goodreads.

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is set for preorders on Amazon, if you’re so inclined to preorder things so they arrive neatly in your Kindle like a pleasant surprise the day of the release. Or if building a towering TBR pile is your thing, The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is also on Goodreads for you to add to your fairytale retellings shelf.

The other announcements concern my completing the files for both the Kindle book and the paperback book for The Bear of Rosethorn Ring. Everything’s been submitted to Amazon’s KDP page, and I ordered my proof copy of the paperback last night. Lord willing, in a week or so, I’ll be holding the first physical copy of this book in my hands. Even though this is book four, and I’ve done this three other times, it never gets old. A brand new book with my name on it will always send a thrill down my spine.

I am slowly working on putting all of the blog tour and other fun things for release week together. Unfortunately, I’ve had some family and health issues that have kept me from a ton done quickly, but things are progressing. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

The one announcement that I can make about release week is that for the first time ever, and in celebration of book four of the Twist Tales coming out, I’ll be holding a giveaway. So be sure to come back for that. *grins*

God bless!

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring Cover Reveal

This is the fourth cover reveal I’ve done for one of my own books. Four. I’m about to publish my FOURTH book. In many ways, that doesn’t seem real. Four is a lot, and yet it’s not. In less than a month, I’m going to have FOUR published books that anyone (who reads English) can purchase off Amazon.

Wow. Time flies, don’t it?

Anyway, you didn’t come here to read sentiment oozing all over the page. You came to see THE COVER.

Don’t worry; we’ll get to that.

It’s been about ten months since my Once Upon a Twist Tales became a full-blown trilogy. What started as a simple Beauty and the Beast story has eclipsed into a tangled arc of fairytales, with Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel being the latest additions.

The Twist Tales trilogy as it used to stand…

And NOW we’re finally getting to a lesser-known fairytale: Snow White and Rose Red. Which, IMHO, really deserves more love. It’s a FANTASTIC fairytale that promoted sisters centuries before Frozen. *shakes head at Disney* While the original fairytale has the magical elements of a cursed bear and an evil dwarf, my retelling is a slightly steampunk, non-magical circus tale that focuses on the importance of family.

I had a lot of fun writing this retelling. There are so many elements to Snow White and Rose Red (SWRR) that it was easy to slip in a ton of references to the original fairytale. I don’t know that everyone will pick up on them, but they’re there. XD And, since SWRR lacks a popular animated film, there are no Disney Easter Eggs in this book. Hope you’re not too broken over that.

Okay, YES. I am rambling and keeping you away from the cover. Here, I’ll let you have it now.

About the book:

When their father runs away, Marita and Diamond Kadlec realize how different twins can be. Marita’s ready to forget Lucas entirely, but Diamond wants to give him the second chance she’s never been able to give before. That’s before they discover that Lucas is indebted to the ill-tempered D’vard and his traveling circus, the Rosethorn Ring. The Ring’s entertainment lacks a bear, and Lucas must play the part of the savage creature to regain his freedom.

Lorcan D’vard cares only for three things: tending to his beloved beard, promoting his Rosethorn Ring, and eradicating the assassin out to kill him. With time running out, D’vard agrees to cancel Lucas’s debt and let him go free – if Marita and Diamond can apprehend the assassin before the assassin ends the show.

This is Snow White and Rose Red with a twist like you’ve never seen it before!

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Remember: The Bear of Rosethorn Ring: A Snow White and Rose Red Story releases on April 6th!

God bless!

Book Review: Fairest Son

Title: Fairest Son

Series: None

Year: 2018 (republished with a new cover in 2020)

Author: H.S.J. Williams

Synopsis: The Fair and Foul courts of the fey folk have long yearned for one to bring them together in peace, but hopes are dashed when the fairest prince and the prophecy concerning him are laid to ruin. Burdened with shame and sorrow, the prince flees to the cold mountains far above the forests and lochs with nothing but animals and goblins for company.

When a human huntress stumbles upon him in her search for a legendary predator, their fates are intertwined. But she hides deadly secrets, and if he dares to trust her, he may risk the doom of both courts to an ancient evil…

A Retelling of Snow White.

Review: I’ve been hearing people rave about this book ever since it first came out. Being a fairytale retelling, it obviously had my attention, but somehow I just didn’t get around to reading it until now. Shame on me; I didn’t know what I was missing out on.

The Fair and Foul fey courts have been simmering in tensions and mistrust for far too long. The Loresman’s prophecy claims that the fairest son will finally unite them in peace, and Prince Idris is that fairest son. But before he can, he is ruined and flees in shame. How can he live in his father’s court of beauty when his own fey beauty has been taken from him?

Keeva has lived her whole life on her toes — hunting, running, and protecting herself. After hearing the legends of the fearsome Domhnal bear, she decides to hunt it for herself. A journey up the mountain brings her to Idris’s door, and the two begin an unlikely friendship. True, her visit with him is not without its mishaps, and he knows there are secrets she’s hiding from him. Keeva enjoys the time she spends with this mysterious, head-wrapped fey prince — and even the seven goblins who are his friends.

The twists on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves were phenomenal. I mean, first off, it’s GENDERSWAPPED, which is just amazing. Then we’ve got the fey courts and the Fair’s standards of beauty, which fit in PERFECTLY. Too many Snow White retellings that I’ve read don’t ever contain all three attempts that the Evil Queen makes on the fairest beauty — but we’ve got ALL THREE here: the stilled breath/corset, the poisoned comb, and the poisoned apple. The way the author tied all of those elements in were brilliant.

And the CHARACTERS. Idris was so flawed, so lovable, so PERFECT. I liked him right from the start, and I only liked him all the more as the book went on. I hated to see him maimed in such a way, but seeing him overcome all of that was just beautiful.

Keeva slowly grew on me. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of her, but she really surprised me by the end. She fit so well in her role as the genderswapped huntress, and it was a lot of fun to see her grow and develop even in such a short story span.

I particularly liked the goblins. I think we tend to portray them too much nowadays as evil characters (Tolkien’s influence, no doubt), but it was fun getting to see them in a good, supporting role like this. Their abrupt manners and differing opinions on Keeva were hilarious.

To be honest, there was just so much to love about this book. I loved how unique it was, and yet so true to the original fairytale. I honestly don’t think I have anything to complain about. Only that the book was too short, and I’d love to see H.S.J. Williams do more with this world in other fairytales.

Advisory: Fantasy violence. A character is killed, some are injured, and another character is severely maimed (the actual process is not described, only the aftermath). A few scary creatures pop up within the pages. There is some fighting, as well as hunting descriptions (Keeva is a huntress, after all). I didn’t find it all overly dark, but it may be a bit much for the overly squeamish. Other than that, this book is very clean.

Light romance, which was pretty sweet.

Since I always do mention the magic in books that I review, I do have to say that there is magic in this as well. However, it is clearly fairytale/fey magic and used within those proper boundaries.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is Coming!

And we have a date, ladies and gentlemen!

I’m very excited to announce that (barring any ill-fated emergencies) The Bear of Rosethorn Ring: A Snow White and Rose Red Story will be available on Amazon on the day of:

April 6th, 2021!

Mark your calendars!

I’m hoping for a fun and full week of Snow White and Rose Red awesomeness running from April 5th through April 9th, including (but perchance not limited to):

  • A blog tour of guest posts and interviews
  • An IG Bookstagram Challenge
  • Games and activities here at A Synesthete Writer
  • FREE and discounted books from the rest of the series

Are you excited? Because I certainly am! It was my initial goal to have this book out around Valentine’s Day, but I had several setbacks (most of them in the form of fiesty one- and two-year-old kids running around and screaming in both joy and anger). It feels like such an accomplishment to be finally getting to this point and announcing the release date.

Can you be a part of this?

I’m so glad you asked! Yes, indeed! Keep reading to discover the fun things you can do!

1) Cover Reveal

The cover for The Bear of Rosethorn Ring will be going public on the day of:

March 12th.

If you’d like to participate and help me share this cover with the world on March 12th, please fill out the form below! I will email you all with all the juicy tidbits a few days before then so everyone can get their posts set up. And it doesn’t have to be on a blog! If you’ve got any presence on any social media platform, you’re welcome to join up!

Click HERE to fill out the Cover Reveal form.

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2) Advance Reader

Is reading and reviewing your thing? As an author, I love to see people reading my books, and I love it even more when they leave a review! If you’d like to be an advance reader for The Bear of Rosethorn Ring, please fill out the form below!

Common questions concerning the book and the preferred review:

  • Yes, you must leave a review. And please be honest.
  • The book is about 24,000 words in length, and can be read in an afternoon or two.
  • It is a clean circus mystery, and has only a touch of romance (built from previous books).
  • No, you don’t have to read the previous books to review, but knowing the previous books may help overall understanding.

Click HERE to fill out the Advance Reader form.

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3) Blog Tour

I’d love to come visit your blog, if you’ll have me! I’m planning to do some posts and fun things here on my own blog, but the more, the merrier — am I right? If you’d like to participate in the blog tour by interviewing me to post on your blog, or asking me to come guest post for a day, I’m all for it! Please just fill out the form below.

The tour will run from April 5th to April 9th, so obviously I would need you to be able to post on one of those days or be able to schedule a post for one of those days).

Click HERE to fill out the Blog Tour form.

Looking forward to April 6th! I can’t wait to share this story with you all!

God bless!