Book Review: As Long as We Live

Title: As Long as We Live: A Retelling of Snow White and Rose Red

Series: None [Released as part of the Arista’s Frosted Roses collection]

Year: 2021

Author: Cortney Manning

Synopsis: Three human sisters live in a Fae realm where every prince is blessed or cursed by a gift of magic, and royal rivalry threatens the future of the land.

Ivy Durran, the oldest sister, is a resilient young woman who clings to her sunny resolve even in the darkest situation. When a terrible blizzard strikes the land, she feels responsible for protecting her sisters: adventurous Rose and vivacious Poppy. However, the storm drives an unexpected visitor to their doorstep, one who could bring hope or danger with his arrival.

Meanwhile, Pierre, the newly crowned ruler of Concoria, strives to bring order to his frozen land and tranquility to his troubled brothers. Nevertheless, the deep magic of Concoria is not easy to tame. While Pierre would love nothing more than to escape into a simple life close to Ivy, the human lass he met years before, he instead shoulders his burdens and seeks healing for his kingdom and family.

Dark magic, frigid storms, and deadly predators must be overcome if Ivy and Pierre have any hope of saving their families and their homeland.

This retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” is an epic romance with treachery, Fae, and family ties.

Review: Have I mentioned how much I love the fairytale of Snow White and Rose Red? And how underappreciated it is in the world of glittering retellings? I’m so happy that we’re finally seeing more people turn to some of the lesser-known fairytales. Granted, I’ll always love a good Cinderella story, but it’s about time Snow White and Rose Red got more love.

Ivy and her two sisters, Rose and Poppy, are humans living in a Fae world. But that’s exactly how they like it. Their mother works hard with her trading business, and they do what they can to gather whatever it is she might need while maintaining their family’s cottage and taking care of each other. Even though all three girls are fairly different, there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do for each other.

Upon one eventful trip into the woods to gather moonflowers, Ivy, Rose, and Poppy met a Fae boy with his white dove — the latter actually saving the lives of Ivy and her sisters. A quick friendship sparks, and Ivy agrees to be a pen pal to this boy after they separate ways. Thirteen years later, she’s still writing letters to him, but by now she’s almost completely lost her heart to him. Although he’s never given her his name, she calls him her Guardian Protector.

Pierre is the crown prince of Concoria, and he loves being Ivy’s Guardian Protector. Only, as the crown prince, he’s not exactly in a place where he can tell her who he really is. Nor how he really feels about her. No, he keeps pretty busy with his tasks — especially when his father dies and he ascends the throne.

Pierre’s two brothers, Alain and Isidore, have never seen eye to eye on anything. After their father passes away, the differences only become more obvious. Alain, the golden child, receives a blessed inheritance in his father’s will, while Isidore, the reclusive son with strong Fae magic, receives the Forgotten Land, a place of shadows and nightmares. From there, the problems are only beginning.

If I’m entirely honest, it took me a little bit to get into this book. I’ve seen other reviewers mention this after reading this book, and I have to agree with them. A lot of the beginning of the book reads very much as an information dump, some of it growing rather repetitive. Some of the information, I think , was unnecessary in the beginning and could have fit in better later on in the story. Some of those passages were hard to wade through, but it could have been easily fixed with a little more editing and polish. I think this may be the first large novel this author has published, so it’ll be exciting to see how her writing grows with time.

But that’s really the only negative thing I have to say about this book. I was expecting to like this book. It’s a Snow White and Rose Red retelling, after all. I just wasn’t anticipating to LOVE this book.

Ivy, Rose, and Poppy are fun and lovable heroines, and I love the great sister dynamic they have throughout the story. I also love that we’re getting a bit more than just the original two sisters from the original fairytale. This story just worked so well with three girls. I mean, I’m from a family of five sisters, so I love me a good sister story.

But I almost think Pierre, Alain, and Isidore were the stars of the show. The girls were very much the idyllic picture of sisterhood, working together, getting along, supporting one another. I did love that. But the brothers. SO MUCH TO UNPACK. I was originally afraid that they would be gender-swapped carbon copies of the girls that I was already falling in love with, but they were so much more than that. I loved that they all had different stories, different struggles, and different personalities. It’s actually rather difficult to write this review without too many spoilers, because I want to gush and give all the spoilers. *coughing and restraining myself* The brothers were obviously my favorite part of this book.

Once you get a good chunk into the book, the pace really picks up and it’s just hard to put the book down. The climax wasn’t the big, drawn-out climax I had been anticipating, but was an emotional capstone on all the character growth that had been happening throughout the book. No, I wasn’t crying reading the climax. YOU were crying reading the climax. *hides tissues* Again, I am mightily restraining myself from giving spoilers. All the thumbs up.

Oh, and can we talk about the likeness to the original fairytale?? The biggest change from the original is obviously the number of characters. We have three sisters and three brothers instead of the traditional two apiece, but I’m just sitting here applauding the bigger families. I loved how many references to the original the author managed to sneak into the book. Even in the beginning with the “white angel” saving the girls from falling over a cliff. There isn’t a central dwarf character, but we do see the nods to the sisters saving him the three times.

Advisory: We do need to talk about all the magic/special powers in this book — obviously, since I always bring up the magic. The world is clearly defined as a Fae world, complete with Fae characters and Fae magic. I’m not super well-versed in all things Fae, but they reminded me a lot of Tolkien’s elves, with their special abilities that human lacked. For example, Pierre can speak to animals and can usually get them to listen and obey him. Isidore can control light/shadows and illusions, meaning he is able to transform his likeness into something else. None of it bothered me, as it was all clearly set in a fantasy world with its own limits.

Additionally, the Forgotten Land plays a big part of the story. This is a place of shadows and forgotten people; those who happen to fall in are plagued by regrets and fears and typically never find their way out again. I didn’t fully understand how all the magic of this place worked, but I think it fit well for the setting of the book. The description of shadows grabbing at travelers might be a bit spooky to some readers — so I’ll point that out here.

Some light fantasy violence, but nothing too scary, honestly. Most of the “scary” stuff involves the Forgotten Land, but we do have a bit of characters fighting, getting turned into animals, and the like.

And lastly, we do need to bring up the romance, since this is claiming to be an epic romance. YES. It is an epic romance. I was not expecting to fall in love with these relationships as much as I did. Building up a friendship and relationship through letters for thirteen years makes for an incredible slow-burn romance between Pierre and Ivy, but IT IS WORTH IT. I loved getting to see them grow together and learning to support each other in a genuine, loving relationship. Even the secondary relationships were fantastic. I particularly wanted to see more from Poppy’s relationship, since it’s hinted at, but not really shown. *sighs* Perhaps another book? *hopeful grins at the author* For the advisory, however, I’ll say that there is some light physical contact leading to a kiss.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*Please note that I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

*Please also note that this review was supposed to be written almost a year and a half ago, and I am sending my deepest apologies to the author for my tardiness. Sorry!*


Book Review: Gilded in Ice

Title: Gilded in Ice

Series: Bastian Dennel PI (Book #2)

Year: 2021

Author: Sarah Pennington

Synopsis: Bastian has two new missing person cases. One is cold. The other is his own sister.

Since his success solving the Midnight Show disappearances, Bastian Dennel is sitting pretty. And with the new high-profile cold case that just got dropped in his lap, he’s pretty sure things will stay that way for a while. But when he finds out his sister has gone missing without a trace, he’s determined to find her and bring whoever’s responsible to justice — even if his only lead is a stray cat with a knack for vanishing unexpectedly.

Kona Dennel’s plans have already been upended, so when the talking cat she’d befriended asked her for help breaking an enchantment, she didn’t see any reason not to say yes. She didn’t expect to be trapped in a frozen mansion or to be drawn into conflict with a mysterious lady of the fair folk. Even the cat is hiding more secrets than she realized. It’ll take a skilled detective to untangle this web . . . but since Bastian isn’t here, Kona will just have to do it herself.

Secrets abound, and the one creature who knows the truth isn’t talking. Can Bastian and Kona outwit a fae who’s been at this for centuries? Or will thawing out the long-frozen truth drop them in over their heads?

A magical mystery reimagining Snow White and Rose Red and East of the Sun, West of the Moon in the jazz-age world of The Midnight Show.

Review: Have you ever started reading a book that you just KNEW you were going to enjoy, and then ended the adventure loving every bit WAY more than you thought you would? I always know I’m in for an amazing read whenever I pick up one of Sarah’s books, but she manages to blow me away every time.

Bastian Dennel thinks his career is finally shaping up. After all, solving the mysterious disappearances around the Midnight Show wasn’t a case just anybody could crack. Even the police are impressed by his accomplishments. And that’s exactly why the latest case to fall into his lap is cold. It’s been months since Mikael Alkinson was last seen, and everybody — including his parents — are giving him up for dead, but his brother believes Bastian may be the answer to finally bringing him home.

But that’s before Bastian’s own sister goes missing, and his life is upended even more. Kona isn’t the type to run away — so there must be something foul at work here. His other sister, Roselle, tags along as his assistant on the case, but even she can sense the magic and mystery of the fair folk around every corner.

Meanwhile, Kona is very much alive and doing everything she possibly can to not go stark raving mad from boredom. Talking to the cat helps, but she’s desperate for the oven to cooperate.

From the very first page, this book was just amazing. After getting to know Bastian through the first book, it was so much fun getting to see a bigger part of his world with his family, with him interacting with his sisters. I loved his big-brother-protective bits. So sweet. His relationship with Dayo hasn’t changed from where the first book left it, and I’ve loved getting to see the slow build-up to maybe something more. There’s no insta-love grossness and senseless romantic relationships over here, folks. *applause*

Kona and Roselle were a lot of fun, too. Both took turns narrating, but each had a distinctive flair and voice so that it was easy to tell one from the other. Kona’s struggles with the oven in particular were VERY relatable for me (though, alas, I must blame a ruined recipe on the baker and not the oven). I thought she accepted the chore of breaking the cat’s enchantment a little fast, but her fight to win the challenge came through very strongly. Roselle didn’t get a lot of “screen time” but I do hope that she returns in a future book! I would love to see more of where her story goes through vet school. *wink, wink*

I’d heard reports of how this book was a mix of Snow White and Rose Red as well as East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and I had no idea how in the world Sarah was going to combine those two fairytales without losing some of the original fairytales’ elements. To be fair, this book (IMHO) leans more toward being a stronger East fairytale than it does being a SWRR fairytale. But all of the elements were blended so well, and it was so cool to see how Sarah pulled out the different pieces to carve a whole new story.

If you’re familiar with the fairytales going into this book, you definitely have a sense of where it is all going. However, even knowing all of that, I found myself often on the edge of my seat, begging them to go faster and KNOW something. I just couldn’t read it fast enough. The mystery was gripping. If I could have read it all in one sitting, I would have. Time was just not my friend on this read.

I’ve only read the first two books in this series (and I truly hope Sarah is planning on writing more than the three currently published), but I could read them both again tomorrow and love them just as much as I did the first time. The world-building is phenomenal, and the jazz-age and fae-encrusted twists just WORK so perfectly. Reading this book was like settling into a familiar, cozy blanket and being delighted in watching the blizzard outside your window. If you couldn’t tell from this review already, I’m highly recommending that you read this book and every other one that Sarah has written. If forced, I might say that I enjoyed this book just a bit more than I did The Midnight Show. *le gasp*

Advisory: Some violence. Characters are trapped in spells, injured/killed, though nothing is graphic, and I think it’s all suitable for a younger audience.

There is some jazz-age influence with characters drinking/dancing/flirting/and the like in bars and speakeasies. One character makes his own alcohol and encourages others to drink it, too. Alcohol is presented in more of a neutral light; everybody drinks it. While I understand the significance of the alcohol in such a story (with both the fae and the jazz influences), I was a little bothered by how much alcohol was there, as well as watching characters I was supposed to root for drink. That is a personal thing, as I know drinking won’t bother many other readers. But I just wanted to throw that out there.

With fae and fair folk, of course, there must be magic. The world Sarah has created here is very much a fantastical world, and all magic is done by magical beings — mainly the fae. In addition to the real world, fae and some humans can walk about in a dream realm. Spells are mentioned, enchanted animals can talk, but none of the magic here bothered me in the least.

And very slight romance. But it’s very sweet and light, and you can’t help but ship these characters HARD. VERY hard. And all I want is to read more and see these relationships blossom into something amazing.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Related Review: The Midnight Show (Bastian Dennel PI, #1)

*Please note that I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Also, I’m very sorry, Sarah, that it took me this long to post this review!*

The Truth About A Bit of Gold

Hello, all!

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted — I realize that and I’m very sorry. Still working on balancing all the online and writing stuff with three kids.

Anywho, it was my very fond intention that A Bit of Gold would be released by the end of May. *crickets* And it’s now (basically) the end of May. And the book isn’t anywhere near ready to come out. One, because I’ve not had a lot of time to work on it like I would want. And two… well, because I hit a snag while editing.

You see, A Bit of Gold was the very first book that I wrote from the Twist Tales series while doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I love pantsing my NaNo stories, and it always ends up super complicated and wordy and delicious. ABoG isn’t supposed to be super wordy, and that’s where my first problem lies. I am desperately trying to keep these books somewhat in the category of similar length, so I have to be very careful about how much I’m stuffing into this book word-count-wise.

When I finished writing the first draft during NaNo, I liked the book well enough. I was also busy jumping straight into writing book seven of the series, so I didn’t take the time to properly chew over the completed draft. And I kinda regret that. Because as I’ve been editing, the one thing that keeps popping into my head is: “It’s just good enough.”


I don’t want my book to just be good enough. I settled for good enough with The Rose and the Balloon, and I regret that. I would love to go back and re-edit that first book — make it really shine like it’s supposed to. Someday, I might even do that. But I have that chance to shine up A Bit of Gold, and make it really sparkle. I’m going to take that chance. Seth Stendahl deserves a lot better than this first draft I’ve got.

This is something that I’ve been slowly learning with self-publishing. Since I have the ability to make my own deadlines, I’m not tied down by having things be just good enough. I can take that extra time to polish my work and make sure it’s the best it can be. I rushed with The Rose and the Balloon, and although that story holds a very dear place in my heart, I think you can tell that I rushed it. I don’t have to publish a book just to publish a book. If I’m going to share my writing with people, and share these characters that I love so much, I want it to be better than good enough.

I’m not going to settle. I don’t want to make my readers settle.

It’ll be quite a bit of rewriting on my part, as I’ve realized I need to ditch one subplot in favor of another, but it’ll be worth it. To be honest, I’m cutting out a character altogether so that can focus on a minor character who truly needs that extra spotlight. Not because he or she deserves it in any particular way, but because that subplot will make the book. And — if I play it properly — segue perfectly into book six. Warning: I may be working on another epilogue. *dramatic music*

So, A Bit of Gold won’t be available as soon as I was hoping. I am sorry for that, but I’m excited about taking the time to polish this tale properly. I will try to keep you all updated on my rewriting/editing process and when you can mark your calendars for the book’s eventual release.

God bless!

Book Review: Runaway Lyrics

Title: Runaway Lyrics

Series: None [Released as part of the Arista’s Frosted Roses collection]

Author: C.O. Bonham

Year: 2021

Synopsis: What one sister has, she must share with the other . . .

Snow loves music. She has spent her entire life learning, new instruments and memorizing new pieces, only to while away her life in a country manor with only her mother and twin sister as company. If only she could get out on her own and play in front of a real audience.

Rose loves magic. The things she can do with music would amaze her twin sister, but whenever she shows her, Snow quickly forgets as if the event had never happened. If only Rose could get out on her own and work some real magic.

When an airship crashes near their home Snow’s magical abilities awaken. Together the sisters must learn to use their magic, rescue a pair of cursed princes, and discover their own secrets.

Discover the magic of music in this retelling of Snow White and Rose Red.

Review: I don’t know that I’ve read anything by this author before, but she’s definitely one I want to keep my eye on! In the spirit of a wholly honest review, I have to say I read this book in one sitting. I love the fact that it’s is a Snow White and Rose Red retelling — since the world DEFINITELY needs more of those. And this is a retelling that needs to be on your TBR!

Twin sisters, Snow and Rose, are super close siblings, but they really don’t see eye-to-eye on much. Both love music, but for different reasons. Snow appreciates the structure and memorization that goes into a song (and she struggles playing by ear), but Rose thrives on the improvisation and magic in her music. However, anytime that magic appears before Snow, she acts as though she can never remember it happened, and Rose has given up trying to make her remember.

Everything gets flipped upside-down when an airship crashes near their home and two strangers come to their door in need of help. Snow’s memory begins to return, and the resulting adventure is one wild ride.

And who are those two strangers? Stepbrothers, Wickham and Bayare, are princes who have just escaped from a dangerous situation at home — but not before Bayare was transformed into a bear. Wickham, ever helpful, tries to reverse the spell on his own, and succeeds in returning Bayare to human form during the day, but also in turning himself into an owl at night.

I loved how different each of the four main characters were. Yes, it is a sister story with Snow and Rose, but Bayare and Wickham, for me, took the cake. XD Wickham, especially, was so much fun. I love that we got more animal transformations other than the original bear, and he made such a great owl. Owls are probably my new favorite fictional characters, and Wickham was the best. He began the story as pretty naive, but I enjoyed getting to see him “grow up” in a way and understand the world and people at a greater depth. Bayare is just the sort of fictional, fantasy prince that you want to root for; he has such a great heart.

I can’t write a review of this book without mentioning something about the sisters. Sibling relationships are big for me, and this one wasn’t a disappointment. There are several differences between the two girls, things that keep them estranged. However, Rose and Snow both develop a better understanding and trust for the other twin, and that was really cool to watch happen. Twins are sometimes difficult to write, as they have a tendency to become indecipherable from each other. I was so afraid Snow and Rose would do that as the book progressed, but they thankfully grew together without becoming mirror copies of each other. They each retained their individuality by the end of the story.

The steampunk side of the story was so great! Steampunk really is becoming a genre that deserves this kind of love, and it was so much fun to read in this book. Automatons are everywhere, as well as other classic steampunk vibes, but everything mixes so well with the magic systems that it’s sometimes difficult to see where ends and the other begins. I just loved the extra-ness it all lent to the story. Steampunk for the win!

The Snow White and Rose Red elements from the original fairytale were great, too. Only a few things are altered or cut out, but the many things the author left in really worked for the story! The scenes with the dwarf were great — although, I didn’t see the connections with the dwarf until later.

I’ll be honest — I didn’t care for the mother very much. She suffered from a bit of Disney-poor-parent syndrome, or a parent with good intentions but not so great execution/actions. [SPOILER ALERT] Instead of trying to make the best out the girls’ birth father and their illegal, magical abilities, she merely never told them the truth and hid Snow’s memories of magic to keep the girls safe. I felt like she could have had a better reason for doing what she did, or perhaps have trusted her daughters with more since they were older? Maybe it was just me, but I found it annoying.

My biggest complaint is probably the lack of polish on the story. While the characters and plot really shone, I wish the final draft could have gone through perhaps a few more bits of editing before published. The narrative was super heavy on telling rather than showing, and the punctuation and grammar were sometimes off. And that’s the real reason I’m taking a star off my rating. Overall, probably not a huge issue, but mistakes like that wake a reader up from the dream. It’s just distracting.

Advisory: Some fantasy violence. Nothing too terribly scary, though, IMHO.

And magic. I think the magic system in this book is super unique. The steampunk elements meld nicely with the magical elements, and I really loved that the two worked together, rather than warred with each other. There’s your typical wizard and other fantasy magic, but the twins’ magic is comprised of their music. There are a few scenes in which a spell is cast, sometimes through the general magic, sometimes through the power in music. Additionally, characters are mentioned learning magic, studying for exams on magic. It didn’t bother me as this is clearly a fantasy world, and the spells aren’t something one can repeat outside of the book.

This isn’t necessarily an advisory point, but it coincides with the magic bit above, so I’m putting it here. But this is important. I read a few reviews of this book in which the readers complained about the presence of magic (i.e. they didn’t realize there was magic in the book, and then stopped reading because of it) — and I found that really odd. The magic was a big part of the story, and the actual summary/back blurb for the book states that there is magic. I’m confused — why would you expect a magic-free book when the summary states there is magic? So, be warned: There is magic in this book. If you’re looking for a non-magical adventure, this book isn’t it. But, if you give the magic a chance, there’s a whole lot more to love about this book.

Light romance with a few kisses, but the relationships are built slowly and genuinely. I really liked both couples, and how they helped bring out the best in their respective partners. There are a few mentions of women “sleeping around/being unfaithful” and thus getting pregnant, but not anything super descriptive.

Also, a scene with girls in their “underwear.” When a situation presents itself where the twins need to match each other, the only matching clothing they have with them is their underwear. But, given the descriptions (or the lack, thereof) and the supposed steampunk time era, the underwear really isn’t immodest, and nothing more is said on the matter.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*Please note that I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and that this review is VERY much overdue! Sorry!*

A Bit of Gold Snippets

Ever since I announced Operation Muttonchops as my 2021 NaNo project, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the day when I could actually share snippets of it. Operation Muttonchops, of course, being working on the Twist Tales, specifically finishing the first draft of A Bit of Gold: A Rumpelstiltskin Story.

Well, folks, the first draft is finished. But before I jump into all the editing, I wanted to share a few snippets to give everyone a better idea of what to expect from the finished product. Honestly, I feel more pressure editing and finalizing this book more than any other book in the Twist Tales thus far. Seth Stendahl is finally getting his own story, and he really has become the fan favorite. I want to make sure I do him justice.

But all of that aside, I know you want snippets. So, here you go. All out of context.



When Seth Stendahl directed his horse down the familiar path to his childhood home, a swarm of unexpected emotions settled upon him. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go home; his mother, of course, would be thrilled to see him and consequently spoil him. His sisters were the wild card – if any of them were actually home now. Some might be happy to see him, while others might be temperamental or put thistles in his bed. One never could tell with sisters, and poor Seth was blessed with six of them.


“Well, well, well, my beauties, what did you wrangle up today?”

Seth loosed a growl of his own. I should have known. “Bianka, what in the name of the blessed tongue do you mean by this?”

His second eldest sister stepped out of the brush by the side of the road with a grin on her face. “Welcome home, little brother. Mother wasn’t expecting you for another two weeks.”

“So, you set your horrible dogs on me?”

She frowned at him. “Don’t say that about my beauties.”

Dearie flicked her tail at a fly, and one of the beasts on the road snarled. Dearie skipped backwards in a sudden panic, and Seth fought to still her once more.

Bianka smiled at the dog. “Good job, Muttonchops.”

Seth wrinkled his nose. “Muttonchops? What kind of name is that?”

Her eyebrows rose. “You’re hardly in a position to judge names, when Dalvira told us all that you called a girl Rapunzel.”


“So, how’s your leg doing? No longer broken? Everything mending well?”

Seth’s hand automatically fell to his thigh. “It still pains me once in a while, but it’s fully mended.” At his mother’s raised eyebrow, he added, “I stopped a few months ago and let a doctor examine it. He gave me a written report of health if you wanted to see it.”

“A Trothen doctor?” Michaela asked. At his nod, she beamed. “Good. No, I won’t need to see it.”

Dalv coughed. “Rohesian doctors are just as good as ours, Mother.”

“Oh, I know that. I’d trust a Rohesian doctor. I just don’t trust their twisted tongue; one of their doctors might say all manner of things and we’d never understand a bit of it.”

Dalv licked her lips and switched to the Rohesian language. “I would understand him perfectly.”

Michaela glared at her. “Just because you’re the one Trothen to master it doesn’t mean you have to show it off.”


“I’ll get you settled in our guest room, Balzer, and Seth, why don’t you come back in an hour or so to get better acquainted?” Michaela neatly steered Balzer towards the door, not even looking to see if Seth acknowledged her orders. “Rellstun, it’s always a pleasure to see you. Come stop by and take dinner with us sometime. I always have too much, and don’t I know it? That’s what comes of having busy daughters, I suppose. You still like the honeyed ham, yes?”

The words followed her out the door, and Seth was certain she was still talking just as fast as she moved down the street with Balzer.

Rellstun chuckled in the sudden silence. “I always wonder if your mother’s overly trusting nature will get her into trouble one day, what with adopting every lost soul she finds in this town. But then I remember who her daughters are. If the dogs don’t eat him alive, he’ll get his daylights knocked out of him by one of the girls.”


Bianka flashed her hands, and the dogs growled. “I have a plan. Let Muttonchops rip him to shreds.”

But Michaela shook her head. “Of course not. Try again.”

“I can let Lacedleg destroy him,” Bianka retorted. “I’m not particular to which dog rips his throat out.”


God bless!

Operation Muttonchops Reveal

Happy New Year, folks!

Yes, I realize it is already February, but this is the first official blog post of 2022 for me. I’ve really missed a lot. My main computer decided to crash on me in the middle of National Novel Writing Month, and though my amazing husband was able to save my writing, I haven’t had internet access on that device since then. That has made writing blog posts difficult, and I am just now getting around to figuring out how to access my blog from my phone. And basically do all the things from my phone. Yay for tech. *blows raspberry* Lord willing, we will have my computer repaired and internet savvy soon.

Anyway, now that it is way past November and the infamous NaNoWriMo, I am at long last coming on to tell you all about what it was that I wrote. I didn’t officially announce my project since I was trying to keep it a secret from family members so I could surprise them with it for Christmas. (And it worked. I was so happy.)

Behold. Operation Muttonchops.

How many of you guessed my secret project? Did you figure I would go back to the Twist Tales for NaNo? Pat yourselves on the back.

Muttonchops was the code name for working on and finishing not only A Bit of Gold, but also another one of the Twist Tales. The name “Muttonchops” I actually pulled straight from the original Rumpelstiltskin tale, as one of the names the queen guesses for ‘ole Rumpel is Muttonchops. Along with Lacedleg and Ribsofbeef. I really have no idea where she came up with those names, but Muttonchops worked well for me as a secret project name. And it is just a lot of fun to say. Try it. Muttonchops. *grins*

My original plan for NaNo 2021 was to finish the first draft of ABoG, and then with the remaining 25,000 (or so) words write book #6. As usual, things did not go according to plan. I completed the first draft of ABoG, but I only got about a chapter into book #6 before I abandoned it. NaNo is the time to go fast and pants the story and live life on the edge, and I couldn’t do that with book #6. For the simple fact that I didn’t know the story yet. Although I love pantsing when I write, I still need to chew on a story for a bit before I can write it — especially if that story has a word limit. I couldn’t chew on the story and win NaNo at the same time. So, book #6 hit the back burner.

And instead, I worked on book #7. Or #8. I’m not entirely certin where it’ll fall. But this is one that I’ve been excited to write for almost two years now, so I’ve done a lot of chewing. And it is a retelling of one of my favorite fairytales, so that was super exciting.

No, you’re not allowed to know about that one yet. Besides, the 20K+ words I put onto it didn’t complete the story. Still have a chapter or two to write.

But the very exciting part of this post is to say that A Bit of Gold has been drafted and I am looking forward to editing very soon! I am excited about this Rumpelstiltskin retelling, and I am hopeful for a release in the next few (or more) months!

Stay tuned for updates and snippets!

God bless!

Book Review: Enchantment (The Kingdom Chronicles)

Title: Enchantment

Series: The Kingdom Chronicles (Book #5)

Author: Camille Peters

Release: 2020

Synopsis: When Maren runs away from the threat of a forced marriage, the last place she expects to end up is the Malvagarian Palace, home to the enchanted gardens, a cursed prince, and a magical rose that traps her there. Crown Prince Briar isn’t pleased to be stuck with a troublesome guest, especially one as mischievous and curious as Maren. She, on the other hand, is determined to escape, but instead finds herself inconveniently falling in love with him. Despite her lack of beauty, feelings steadily blossom between her and the prince.

Their budding romance is soon threatened when sinister magic begins to eclipse the enchanted gardens, a darkness which quickly spreads not only to the kingdom, but to the king himself. In order to stop it, Briar and Maren will both be forced to make a heart-wrenching sacrifice, only to realize that the gardens’ requirements may prove too high a price.

Inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

Review: This was a fresh take on the tale as old as time! I’ve not read anything by Camille Peters before, but I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. After you’ve read so many Beauty and the Beast retellings, they all come to feel the same — but this one was just a little bit different and unique. I really love when an author can take a super-familiar tale and make it her own.

Maren is a fun heroine, and right off the bat, we’re introduced her to feisty and tomboyish ways. Faced with the prospect of an arranged marriage to an older and abusive man, she takes matters into her own hands and runs away from her controlling father. En route to freedom and a new life, she stumbles upon a castle with the most exquisite gardens. Always curious, Maren decides to take a rest from running and explore the gardens a bit. After all, the magical vine gate let her in — so how bad can things turn out?

Very bad, in fact.

This Beauty takes a rose for herself and thus becomes a prisoner.

The Beast character, Prince Briar, felt very much like the Beast in the original fairytale. I’m becoming annoyed with how many retellings interpret “beast” as ill-tempered/anger-issues/what-have-you. The Beast (in most of the original versions) is actually a very kind creature, and it was so nice to have a retelling portray that side of him. Granted, Briar has his own share of magical difficulties in connection to the garden, and his descent into becoming the more typical, beastly behaved, and ill-tempered character is understandable.

Too often a BatB retelling just feels like a knock-off of the Disney film, but this book didn’t feel that way. I’ll admit — I’m one of those authors who enjoys poking fun at and making nods to Disney, but it’s super fresh when an author sticks to the original fairytale and doesn’t bother with Disney at all. Instead of a cursed castle and animate household objects, this book gives us a magical garden, one with several different themed plots, various plant life, and more — all on an ever-changing layout. And, of course, a magical rosebush right in the very heart of the garden. The gardens were basically a character all by themselves, and it was fun to see how they interacted with the two main characters. The topiary garden was a particular favorite, and Hibiscus was just adorable. Bringing the garden to life like that made the theft of the rose feel so much more meaningful.

I think my one main complaint was the coronation/ball scene — in which there were so many cameo appearances from the heroes and heroines of the other books in the series, it was almost overwhelming. Having not read the other books yet, I was fairly confused and completely lost on who everyone was supposed to be. I mean, I understand having fun cameos in books for avid fans. But dumping them all in at once and in one scene was perhaps too much.

Advisory: I want to talk about the romance for a bit, so I’ll go ahead and do it under this category. Yes, this is a BatB retelling; yes, Beauty and the Beast fall in love. You should have expected romance to be a big part of this book. I was very thankful to note that the insta-love of most BatB retellings was nowhere to be found. Maren and Briar slowly fall in love through the course of several events and interactions, and their affection for each other stems from a genuine friendship that’s super adorable and fun to follow along with. The whole beauty-lies-within theme is fairly strong throughout the whole book. Overall, the romance is very clean, with a few kisses and a LOT of hand holding.

With a magical garden obviously comes a lot of magic. It’s clearly in a fantasy, fairytale-esque world, and the magic stems from both the magical garden and the “evil stepmother” — the villain who’s at the heart of most of the royal curses so it seems. [SPOILER] With Briar’s curse and his connection to the garden, it made sense for him to succumb to his beast-like temperament when the garden was succumbing to the poison. However, I didn’t quite understand the connection between cleansing the poison out of the garden and Briar dying as a result; that climax felt a bit forced, and while I definitely felt the emotions of the scene, it also felt a bit senseless and anti-climactic. [END SPOILER]

Some fantasy violence, as a few characters are injured. [SPOILER] Maren’s father “sells” her hand in marriage to an older gentleman who is hinted at being abusive. [END SPOILER]

Conclusion: A solid, fresh take on the all-too-familiar Beauty and the Beast fairytale. I loved seeing nods to the original story, and the characters were fun and realistic. Definitely recommend this to all fairytale and/or BatB enthusiasts.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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.

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.



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.


  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!