I love these books. Both of them fuse two different fairytales together. Stalks of Gold is a cross between Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin, and Mirrors of Ice combines Snow White with The Snow Queen. I loved reading both of them and I’m sure you will too.
Each story can be read as a standalone, but I saw so much potential for future story connections. I look forward to seeing more in this series and from this author.
This is a series I’ve been following for a couple years now. The stories are interconnected, but they can stand on their own. The 6th book came out recently and I finished reading it a couple days ago. I’d highly recommend these books.
They are all available to buy on Amazon or read for free in KU. Here’s the series link and another link for a connected novella. If you’re interested in buying, there are also 2 boxed sets available that could save you money. Here’s the link for box set 1 and box set 2. The most recent book isn’t in the boxed sets, but everything else is.
Heres’ the description from the series page:
From Book 1: Thirty Knights. Five Events. One Determined Princess.
In order to avoid a loveless arranged marriage to a man she cannot stand, eighteen-year-old Princess Pippa of Lauramore makes a bold move: she begs her father to hold a marriage tournament.
Knights travel from far and wide for a chance to win the princess’s hand, but she immediately sets her sights on one—Galinor of Glendon. He’s strong. He’s handsome. He’s a girl’s dream come true.
But as the events progress, Pippa learns her valiant knight is prettier than he is capable. Left with no other choice, the princess enlists the help of the one man with the power to shatter the fragile balance of the tournament—a man she should keep at arm’s length.
A man who calls her like a moth to a flame.
Pippa knows she plays a dangerous game, but when the stakes are this high, she’s not sure if she can afford to walk away…
Set in a rich fantasy world, Pippa of Lauramore is a take-your-breath-away fairy tale romance with unforgettable characters, humor, and heart.
This series currently has four of eight books available, but so far, I’ve loved each one. I’m not familiar with all of the authors, but the ones I am familiar with are all YA authors. These books are being released a week apart, so they should all be out before the end of the month.
You can buy them or read them for free in KU on Amazon.
Here’s the description found on the series page:
From Book 1: When a mortal girl steals a necklace from a Goblin, there will be a price to pay…
Esther knows the rules. Don’t talk to the goblins. Don’t look at the goblins. Above all else, don’t buy or trade with the goblins.
Then, one day before market, she sees a young rat faced boy selling a necklace that looks eerily like her mother’s, what’s a young girl to do? Of course she tries to buy it, but he won’t sell it to her. So she steals it because it’s her mother’s necklace.
Lux knows the rules. He’s a jeweler and he can sell his wares to those who want to faithfully buy them. Something doesn’t feel right about selling this particular piece to the beautiful young woman who immediately steals his heart. So he doesn’t.
But when he realizes the mortal girl stole from him, he’s forced to enact magic that can’t be unwritten. Stealing from a goblin always has a price.
Stolen Goblin Bride is the first book in Stolen Brides of the Fae, a collection of short novels by eight of your favorite fantasy romance authors. Start reading today for swoon-worthy romance, heart-stopping adventure, and guaranteed happily-ever-afters!
Once upon a Shoe is my first published book, and it’s also the book that I took the longest to work on. Part of that was figuring out the world, which my other published books share, but a lot of it was fear of showing it to anyone and worrying that nobody would like it. Before Utopiacon 2016, I had no intention of ever publishing this or any other books, despite the ideas floating in my head. But my husband has a big mouth and before I know it, what was supposed to simply be a chance to meet some of my favorite authors became a huge wave of encouragement from them and other authors who were at the convention. Due to their influence, I started to consider the idea that I could be an author myself. I wasn’t entirely certain if I wanted to publish yet, but I left more open to the idea and determined to at least write this story.
I think it was maybe late 2017 when I asked for feedback from a few other authors. But it wasn’t until early to mid 2018 before I reached out to my editor and scheduled her services. It was especially challenging to not allow myself to continue to tweak my story while I waited for my scheduled time to get it edited because that wouldn’t happen until late 2018. By the time both rounds of editing was done, it was early 2019. Once I finished editing, I hit publish and listed it on Booksprout for reviews all one the same day. I waited to enroll it in KU until after the due date I had set for the Booksprout reviews.
Anyway, I should get to the details of the book itself. I’ll try to keep the spoilers minimal, but I make no guarantees. If you don’t want any spoilers for my book, stop reading this now, because I can’t not give at least some spoilers and talk about my version.
It’s interesting how far an idea can change when you’re writing a book. For Once upon a Shoe, my idea started with the stepmother, Iris. I started off wondering what if the stepmother isn’t the stereotypical bad guy that she is usually is? Although I’ve since read a different version that answers this same question, I hadn’t seen anything even remotely similar to the concept before I started working on this in 2016. Most of my first draft based on this idea was cut in later drafts because I realized that I was writing more than one story. About half of my very rough first draft was written from Iris’ point of view and took place before Ella was even born. Iris will still get her own story later because for many reasons it is near and dear to my heart, but I realized that for a Cinderella story, I was starting it way too early.
Aside from knowing that I wanted a nice stepmother, I went in with a few strong ideas of what I did and didn’t want to bring in from the originals. I wanted my prince to have a personality, closer to the Pharaoh of Rhodopis than the boring prince of most versions. But unlike Rhodopis’ pharaoh, I made Aeden a bit jaded. I mean, I couldn’t see why a prince would be happy to just go along with the idea that he needs to pick a bride at the ball from a bunch of random strangers. The fact that Ella and Aeden were friends was another early decision.
Of course, the fact that they were best friends early on gave me the problem of deciding exactly how and why they weren’t close anymore by the time the necessary ball came around. Although I didn’t save most of the earliest drafts, this problem was one that I approached from several different directions before I made my final decision on having the split happen during the funeral. And even that scene went through numerous revisions before I felt like I had it right.
I mentioned in my post about my favorite Cinderella’s that Ever After is my absolute favorite version, and I certainly drew inspiration from that version in the idea that I had one nice stepsister and a mean one. But I certainly needed to know exactly why Anna (the mean stepsister in my book) was acting the way she did. In many versions I’ve read, I have always felt like there was a lack of motivation being shown for the evil stepfamily, so it was important to me to make sure that I did let that shine through, even though the task wasn’t an easy one without letting Anna be a point of view character. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, I have an early prologue (among other scenes) on my subscriber page that was from her point of view. If you aren’t on my mailing list and you want to check out my subscriber page, you can sign up here. Whether you subscribe or not, I do have plans to give Anna her own story in the future.
If you didn’t just stumble on this post without any knowledge about me, you probably know that my Once upon a Story series is made up of standalone stories that include little Easter eggs for other books in the series. The biggest reason I chose to write them as standalone is because as a reader, I have a love/hate relationship with series. It can be really difficult to get to the end of a book only to find out that the story isn’t over and the next book won’t be out for some unknown amount of time. Since I had several ideas for this world, and no idea how long it would take for me to finish all of them, I wanted to make sure not to leave readers hanging with a cliffhanger ending. Some of the Easter eggs were pretty big and others are more subtle. The one for my second book, Once upon a Silent Song, was certainly much smaller than what I wrote in for my third book, Once upon a Rose. Then there are the threads to stories yet to come, though not everything is connected to this story. I wonder how many you’ve found?
Since I’ve mentioned all of the major decisions I made for the book, I should probably stop before I spoil the whole thing, LOL. But if you have any specific questions, let me know in the comments and I’d love to answer it for you.
If you haven’t read it yet, you can find Once upon a Shoe on Amazon. It’s free to read in KU. And here’s the official description:
Magic shoes, family problems, and a midnight deadline… How much do you really know about Cinderella’s fairytale?
Ella always knew she’d marry for love or not at all. She wanted nothing less in a marriage than the obvious affection she witnessed between her father and her stepmother, Iris. But when her father disappears and Iris sinks into depression, Ella cuts herself off from the rest of the world as she struggles with her own emotions, a disgruntled stepsister, and an overwhelming workload. Armed with a fragile hope, she must go to the royal ball to find her father. But a reunion with her childhood best friend threatens to shatter the walls she’s built around her heart.
Crown Prince Aeden always hated his status. He felt like social engagements and propriety were a waste of his time and energy, especially with girls who were just interested in a crown. One such confrontation with Ella led to the start of an unlikely friendship. Over time, Aeden realizes that his feelings for Ella have evolved into something more. But before he can tell her, tragedy strikes and Ella pushes him away. When he finally sees her, Aeden is determined to do whatever it takes to not lose her again. He must convince Ella that they are meant to be together before his time runs out.
Stepmothers aren’t always villains and princes aren’t always charming. With so much uncertainty, do they have what it takes to create a happy ending?
The Once upon a Story series consists of interconnected standalones that can be read in any order.
I recently finished reading this book and I loved it, though I kind of wish I would have waited to start it since the second book won’t be out for another month. According to the description, this is inspired by the myths Eros and Psyche, and Hades and Persephone. Eros and Psyche was an especially strong element in here, and knowing the myth made it all that much worse for me when I knew the main character would make the wrong choices.
I especially loved how Sylvia Mercedes wrote her characters. The nonverbal communication was a rare treat. I’m anxious to read the next book when it comes out on April 20th because the ending was far from resolved.
You can buy or read it for free in KU by following this link.
If you’ve been one of my newsletter subscribers for a while, you’ve probably seen me mention Elise Kova and her books and/or writing advice before. So I figured it was time to finally say something about her here.
I first discovered Elise Kova when she only had the first two books of the Air Awakens series available. I bought the first two books at a book conference on a whim and they sat in my library unread for a few months, which ended up being a good thing. By the time I started reading, Earth’s End just came out. Once I started reading, I needed to continue because they are just that good.
The Air Awakens series can be bought or borrowed through KU here.
Now, she has 3 complete series within this world and 1 new series that is still in progress. Each series should not be read out of order, but you can start reading any of the series without having read the others. I’ll list them all in the order I read them.
Unless my memory is way off, the Golden Guard Trilogy consisted of books that were significantly shorter than the other series books within this world. But they were just as fun to read. These books follow side characters that I grew to love from the Air Awakens books. You can buy or borrow them in KU here.
Vortex Chronicles takes what I learned in the Air Awakens series and flips things upside down as the world opens up to something much bigger. This set of books follows Vhalla’s daughter and I think they may have been even more addictive than the Air Awakens books. Without giving away some significant spoilers, I don’t know what else to say about it other than it is certainly binge-worthy. You can buy or borrow these books in Kindle Unlimited here.
A Trial of Sorcerers is the most recent release and it’s currently the only book available in this new series. It takes place after the conclusion of Vortex Chronicles and it’s just as immersive to read. I’m anxious for the rest of the books to be released. If you want to buy or read it for free in KU, you can find it here.
This is another book series that I’ve read and loved. It’s a completed series of quick, fast-paced stories, available for purchase or to read in KU. There are three different series within the world and they really should be read in order if you don’t want to be lost. Dragon school follows Amel through a series of world-changing challenges. You can check the series out here.
Dragon Chameleon takes place right after the final book in Dragon School ends. This one follows Tor who is more of an anti hero type as he faces his own challenges and the world opens up to reveal new areas and new dangers. You can check out his story here.
This final series in the world follows Seleska after Tor’s series ends. Unlike the other two main characters who get to ride the dragon they bond with, Seleska has a baby dragon to protect as they face their challenges in another part of the world. You can find these books here.
If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can try it free and binge these series. Here’s the link for a free trial.
This series is one I discovered recently. I’ve only read the first book so far, but I absolutely adored it. The Scarred Prince is predominately a combination of Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood, but there were so many fairytale connections, both in the backstories and in what I assume are links to the other books, that I was definitely geeking out over every discovery.
The Golden Ball is currently in my KU library and I intend to start reading it later today. If you have Kindle Unlimited, then you can try them out risk-free. Here’s the series link.
Camille Peters’ series The Kingdom Chronicles is one that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed. All the stories interconnected standalones that take a unique approach to the fairytale or in some cases, fairytales that they are inspired by.
They are all currently available to read for free in Kindle Unlimited. If you don’t have KU, you may be eligible for a free trial.
At the time of writing this post, Identity, which is an excellent retelling of The Goose Girl, is free to buy, but I don’t know how long this will last.
Go here for the box set page or here for the individual books series page.
This is a book that I read recently and loved. It’s a standalone that hits all the major Sleeping Beauty beats alongside an unwanted/arranged marriage trope. Aury’s stubbornness and the cultural clashes and misunderstandings made me laugh.
I enjoyed the build up of the romance. Although this is a YA book, it was a little more on the steamy side than most YA books, though there wasn’t anything explicit. I’d say it’s more appropriate for older teens and up.
If you have KU it’s free to read. You can check it out here.
I had trouble talking about this without giving away spoilers, so if you want to read the official description, I’ve pasted it below.
Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Cruel Prince, this stand-alone fantasy romance about a human princess and her marriage to a royal, elven warrior will keep you up all night!
A human princess. An elven mage. A betrothal bound in a curse.
Today, Aury learned three things: One, she is the princess. Two, she might be a powerful mage. And three, a brutal mountain elf is on his way to the kingdom for their marriage.
Aury can’t escape her newly revealed royal parents quickly enough. If they think she is going to marry some vicious elven warrior mage, they have another thing coming. They claim she’s a mage too, but she has yet to prove it. She heads to the magic military order to get her rune-marked staff and learn everything she can. If she becomes the weapon they need instead of her not-if-she-can-help-it husband, they’ll send the mountain elf packing, right?
If they don’t, she will.
Filip is certain of three truths: One, he is bound to wed a stubborn mule of a princess. Two, the union will give his people the farmland they desperately need. Three, his nightmare of a bride has wild magic that will probably kill him before their wedding day.
But he will die before he gives up on winning her hand.
War is coming, and the first battle will be fought in the heart.
Inspired by Sleeping Beauty, this novel is set in the same world as USA Today bestselling author Alisha Klapheke’s Dragons Rising series but readers can easily start with this book.