What child doesn’t read fairy tales and find themselves on adventures full of derring-do, heroic quests, and magical beasts? Today, rather than reading The Blue Fairy Book, I enjoy reading modern interpretations of those tales. The derring-do, adventure, and magic are still there, just in a different format.
I’d never even considered writing a fairy tale retelling. That is, until the Ever After Mystery series landed in my lap late at night in a Denny’s in the high desert.
At that moment, I knew exactly which fairy tale I would write. My absolute favorite, one I’ve read a hundred, a thousand times. I can recite it by heart. And that fairy tale is East of the Sun, West of the Moon. It’s a romantic tale, which definitely appeals to my softer side, about a poor family’s youngest daughter, the bear prince she falls in love with, and a search to rescue him before it’s too late.
There was a catch (isn’t there always?!) and one that I didn’t see coming. The retold fairy tale had to take place in the 1920s Prohibition and be a mystery (romance optional). Er. Well, that put a brake on my racing ideas of the fantastical world that I was going to build.
I didn’t want to let the opportunity slip away so I signed up and ended up hip-deep in research. I didn’t know much about the ’20s, other than booze were illegal, flappers wore short skirts, and gangsters ruled Chicago. I may have watched The Untouchables one too many times as a teenager. Anyway, I started reading, watching YouTube videos, and dreaming of the Roaring Twenties.
Research Pays Off
From all the research consumed, I discovered a few things. Okay, a lot of things. However, we don’t have all day because we have a cover reveal to get to.
Anyway, I learned that women have been pilots for a very long time, as in, from the beginning of aviation. Without us, there wouldn’t be a modern aviation industry.
Secondly, barnstorming is not for the faint of heart. Nope, you need to be really courageous, foolhardy, or have a death wish. Possibly all three.
Third, there were hundreds of small, medium, and large airstrips all over the Los Angeles area, most of which are lost to time. It’s incredible really. Airplanes were the car of the Twenties. Oh, and you didn’t have to have a license.
Fourth, rumrunners used biplanes as well as boats and cars. Its amazing how ingenious they were when smuggling illegal booze around the country.
From all that research (so many types of biplanes!) I had to figure out how to tie it into my favorite fairy tale. In the end, I wrote about a sassy, brash, and lovely pilot who gets a second chance at flying from a huge, bear of a man with a shady past. The four winds make an appearance as does the troll queen. Of course, you’ll have to spot them first but it won’t be too hard to find them. I promise.
The Big Cover Reveal
Well, here it is! Isn’t it gorgeous?! I think so! I’m particularly grateful to artist Josh Markey for creating it and all the other covers in the series.
BUT, There’s More Fun To Be Had
Right now, however, that isn’t the cover on Amazon. Nope. It’s the one on the left.
Why? Because we want you to have a chance to win a free, advance reader copy of my book!
Here’s the details on how to get in first to win that copy:
- Keep an eye on the Amazon Book Page. The placeholder cover (above left) will change to the one on the right.
- Share the new, gorgeous cover from the Amazon page on the social media platform of your choice.
- Send a link (or screenshot) to that social share to firstname.lastname@example.org
- First email to arrive wins!
Tomorrow… you’ll want to head over to Cathe Swanson‘s website to see her reveal, to watch for her cover to change on Amazon, and to get your entry in first!