Modern Day Fairy Tales

Monday was National Tell a Fairy Tale Day and I’ll let you in on a not so little secret, Beauty And The Beast is my favourite fairy tale. Or, more accurately, the more modern Disneyfied version of La Belle et La Bete written in the 18th century by French novelist Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve is my favourite fairy tale.

Beauty and the Beast

La Belle et La Bete VS Beauty and the Beast

One would assume the older version of the fairy tale would be the more gruesome and deadly. Surprisingly, it’s not. While the theme of learning to love, irregardless of appearances, is at the center of both tales, in the original the Beast is not being punished for a wrongdoing, he is the victim of an injustice. He refuses to marry his governess, an old and wrinkled evil fairy. so she curses him. A good fairy intervenes and promises a reversal of the evil spell if he can find someone to love his beastly self. She also camouflages the castle in a fog and puts everyone to sleep. Or turns them to stone, I can’t remember.

Also, there is no deadline in the original fairy tale. No fading rose. But a rose does cause problems in the original, as Belle’s father picks one for her from the Beast’s garden, to which the Beast takes great exception.

There is no Gaston, no Le Fou, no singing servants in the 18th century version. But there are costumed monkeys and birds. And, of course, both versions of the fairy tale include a courtship (with notable differences), and Belle does leave to visit her family in both versions. The Beast’s curse is broken in each and the handsome prince once again has his looks. But where the Disney version ends, the original has more to it. Mainly, a nasty mother-in-law who’s not impressed with her new daughter’s-in-law less than noble standing and a plot twist worthy of The Sixth Sense.

Books That Read Like Modern Day Fairy Tales

Helpful Link!

20 New Fairy Tale Retellings For Adult Readers

Do you like fairy tales? Prefer the modern take on things or the original version?

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Give Your Love A Book For Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day! A day for cards and chocolates, and who doesn’t love chocolate! But if your love is a passionate reader, remember to stop by the bookstore after you hit the flower shop and the card store.

The Top Five Reasons To Give Books For Valentine’s Day:

  1. Nothing says I Love You! like a well chosen book. Even a misguided choice will do. Giving a book says they understand and support your obsession.
  2. You can return books. Let’s face it, sometimes your significant others might know you love books but they’re clueless about what you actually like to read.
  3. Books don’t make you sneeze.
  4. There’ll be some of it left over the next morning, unlike the chocolate you inhaled.
  5. Books are full of good ideas, especially romance novels. They just might have a sexy suggestion or two for later.

Love Quote

Also, if you’re solo this Valentine’s Day, because, hey, you choose to be, you can take yourself to the bookstore and buy your own book! How about organizing a Galentine’s Day book club with flowers and chocolates for everyone.

Likewise, if you’re suffering this V Day, and are in need of comfort. You don’t even have to leave the house to find some solace, eBooks have you covered.

Love Quote

Thought Of The Week:

I read this article in the Chicago Tribune which ponders the future of the romance novel in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

“Romance offers that comfort read, but it also offers resistance. You have a lot of feminists who are writing romance, Alisha Rai, Alyssa Cole, Sarah MacLean, and they’re all putting that kind of thread through their books. Resistance has always been there. Women have always had to resist in order to get what they want out of life,” Beverly Jenkins

Go ahead and buy yourself a treat this Valentine’s Day and get that book you’ve been wanting to read. You deserve it.

What are you’re plans for Valentine’s Day?

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Ebook Boxed Set Deal: Closer To Danger

Hi Everyone,

It’s Friday and I know readers everywhere will have their noses buried in a book! And if you’re looking for a edge-of-your-seat read, look no further than this boxed set of 6 books, which includes BACKLASH. What a deal! The whole set of  six ebooks costs about $3.00 dollars depending of which country you live in!

Our romantic suspense boxed set, CLOSER TO DANGER is now available!

Closer To Danger: A Romantic Suspense Boxset

Amazon US * Amazon CA * Amazon UK * Amazon AU * The Wild Rose Press

BACKLASH

When dedicated teacher Lily Wheeler interrupts a vicious gang attack on one of her students, she vows it won’t happen again. But her rash interference puts her in the path of a cold-blooded killer and the constable tracking him — a man she has little reason to trust, but can never forget.

Constable Chase Porter returned to Aspen Lake to see justice done, not renew old acquaintances. But when he rescues the woman he once loved from a volatile situation, he realizes his feelings for Lily haven’t lessened over the years.

Now, the dangerous killer Chase has sworn to capture has Lily in his sights. Can Chase and Lilly learn to trust each other again before it’s too late — or will old insecurities jeopardize their future?

My Inspiration for Chase Porter!

My inspiration for Lily Wheeler.

 

So, if you’re looking for a romantic suspense to read, or 6, check out this boxed set! That’s six ebooks! Don’t miss out on this deal!

Know of any other good book deals we should be aware of? Please, share in the comments!

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My Favourite Romance Tropes!

Tropes are popular. Movies have them, television shows have them. Books have them. Look no further than the romance genre that’s never met a trope it didn’t like. Some of which we love and some we love to hate. That’s what makes taglines and covers so important. It’s the first indication of what you can expect to find inside the pages of a book.

Romance TropesMy Top Five Favourite Romance Tropes:

  1. Reunion/Second Chance Stories (Hands down my go to favourite trope! Bonus points if they take place in a small town! Sigh…)
  2. Badass Bookworm (Intelligence is a major turn-on for me.)
  3. Fish Out Of Water (Nothing makes me happier than a heroine or hero who finds themselves in a situation they never imagined without the appropriate skills to navigate it.)
  4. Nerd Hero (Heroes with brains? Glasses? A aptitude for math? Don’t talk to me until I’m done the book.)
  5. Beauty and the Beast (Always.)

My Top Least Favourite Romance Tropes:

  1. Enemies to Lovers (This scenario does not work for me! Not sure why!)
  2. Marriage of Convenience (I always think I’ll these ones and then I never, ever do. I think because they often have an unequal power dynamic.)
  3. Famous Hero/Normal Heroine (These leave me cold, for lack of a better term. That includes billionaire heroes, rock star heroes, sports heroes. I know, I’m weird.)
  4. Little Sister/Older Brother’s Best Friend. (The conflict often results from breaking a dated bro code and that doesn’t work for me.)
  5. Boss/Secretary (Just..yuck! Again, I never enjoy the power dynamic of these type of workplace romances.)

I guess you could say I definitely have preferences. I LOVE to root for the underdog. Intelligent characters are a must for most readers, but high IQs, geniuses, characters who are passionate or experts in their fields draw me right in. On the other hand, hardworking, salt of the earth, self-sacrificing characters who are just looking to keep their heads down and get the job done are also a favourite of mine.

romance novels

But any book with the word ‘bastard’ in the title – no, thanks. That goes for books with the word ‘submissive’ anywhere on the cover too. As you might have guessed from my least favourite list, any book where the representation of power is immediately perceived to be unequal is of little interest to me.

As for my own writing, BACKLASH definitely has a second chance at love feel to it. EXPOSED has a smidgen of a May/December trope. OFF THE GRID has both a badass bookworm (or smart, passionate doctor) and nerd hero vibe. And if you enjoy the family dysfunction trope, you’ll love the book I’m working on right now.

However, despite my lists, I’m always open to great writing and well-developed characters. And if a favoured author pens a book that looks like it might fall into the ‘nope’ category, I’ll definitely check it out. After all, we learn as much from books we don’t like as from the ones we do.

How about you? What are your favourite types of stories? Least favourite?

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January – A Look Back

I don’t know about you, but I find January can be the longest month of the year. To combat that feeling of lethargy, I participated in two challenges: a writing challenge and a healthy eating challenge. These two challenges also helped me channel my 2018 word of the year, COMMIT.

commit

My writing group, The Saskatchewan Romance Writers, hosts periodic month-long writing challenges on our Facebook page throughout the year, but always in January. It’s a tradition that has it’s roots in Book In A Week (BIAW). I didn’t reach my goal of 10 pages a day and to finish this run through of GONE. In this mystery of sorts, there was more going back and weaving information and details in then I anticipated.

The second challenge was a Whole 30, at least my idea of a Whole 30. So, it was a sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free (mostly), and caffeine-free month. I’ve done a version of this before and felt great after. The same thing happened this time. I feel awesome. Coupled with exercise goals, I feel SO much better leaving January behind then I felt emerging into this new year.

Books:Recommended Books

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld  – A missing child, missing memories, and a search to find one that leads to unlocking the key to releasing the other. Naomi, a child finder, is one of my favourite protagonists and somehow you could feel both the vastness and the smallness of the setting. The writing is eerie, atmospheric, and totally engaging. Would definitely recommend this one! (January Book Club Read)

Recommended Books

Year One by Nora Roberts – The first in a trilogy with no central love story,  this story is centred around a catastrophic plague that leaves few survivors, a collection of whom find each other. I love post apocalyptic romances and I haven’t found many of them. There were definitely some surprises in this one…I recommend you give it a try!

On Writing by Stephen King – In Progress

Book Club Reads

The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin – In Progress (February Book Club Read)

Netflix:

Netflix Picks

Stranger Things – As we were late to the party, we binge watched two seasons in two weeks. Don’t think there was a character I didn’t enjoy! Loved it! Loved! Cannot wait for season three.

Netflix PIcks

Colony (Second Season) – I watch this one while I’m on the treadmill. I don’t know who I have a bigger crush on Josh Holloway or Sarah Wayne Callies!

Music:

Southern Gothic – Tyminski and Dear Hate – Maren Morris (Featuring Vince Gill) are my playlist favourites right now. Lots of inspiration in there for a future book idea!

That was my January in a nutshell! What about yours? Did you participate in any challenges? Find a favourite book, show, song?

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MyTop Five Winter Essentials

Here’s a look at my top five winter essentials. Besides the necessities, like snow tires, shelter, and a great moisturizer. Things like scarves, tea and books!

Top Five Winter Essentials

karyngood.com

A Blanket Scarf

Okay, the first of my top five is the most extravagant item on my list. My fringed cashmere scarf comes from Kit and Ace, a Canadian company. And I’ll tell you why I LOVE it. First of all, it fits in with my idea of quality, sustainable fashion. (I bought a cheaper $50 blanket scarf from Chapters/Indigo. It’s soft and a lovely bright blue colour, but I wear a lot of black clothing and it sheds. Boo.) I bought my cashmere scarf two years ago and it’s my constant companion. It hasn’t aged, despite constant use. It’s wonderful for trips (car, plane, train, any mode of travel), used as a shawl in my office, as an incredibly warm scarf (and extra layer) over my winter coat. It will last for years!

Books (Of course!)

My second on the top five list is a no brainer here! Books can get you through a lot of winter related challenges like blizzards and cold snaps. It rained here in January and created extremely icy conditions. People were skating in the streets! It made surfaces treacherous. My daughter has mobility issues and it made getting out and about difficult. Rather than risk falling, we stayed home. I mentioned my January reading list here. I felt laggy and draggy this morning so treated myself to an easy morning and finished Year One by Nora Roberts. Other than a couple of nitpicks, I enjoyed the characters, her take of what brings the world to it’s knees, and her post-apocalyptic world.

Tea

I know there are a lot of coffee drinkers out there, but I’m a tried and true tea drinker and no top five list of mine would be complete without tea. I enjoy a cup of Earl Grey every morning. My favourite afternoon teas are Blood Orange and a Rooibos Cinnamon Chai. The evenings are spent sipping Peppermint or some type of citrus blend.

Essential Oils

I love essential oils! I tried a new blend today: 4 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Bergamot, and 2 drops of Peppermint. It’s said to promote serenity. It was very pleasant and I’d definitely use this mix again. There is also a congestion relief blend I often use: 2 drops of Eucalyptus, 2 drops of Peppermint, and 2 drops of Tea Tree. I’m also a big fan of this headache roll-on!

Netflix

What did we do before Netflix? Wait until our favourite shows came out on DVD so we could binge watch that way. Or store up episodes on our PVRs. We can still do this, but it’s never worked for me. I forgot about the show and move on. My husband and I  just finished binge watching two seasons of Stranger Things. So. Good! It’s honestly the first time we’ve been so committed to a show. Now to find something new to watch.

What are some of your winter essentials?

A reminder that the romantic suspense boxset, including BACKLASHCloser To Danger is available for preorder! U.S. and Canada.

Closer To Danger: A Romantic Suspense Boxset

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Reading Away The January Blues

Any time is a good time to read a book, but something about the cold winds of winter, cozy blankets, and hot tea encourages me to hunker down and read away the January blues. Blue Monday falls somewhere in January, There’s some debate about which Monday specifically, and how the defining formula works, but I think it’s safe to say some of us find January challenging for a variety of reasons. My coping strategy is reading.

My January TBR Pile

My January TBR pile is an eclectic mix of books. Most of which I was fortunate enough to receive as Christmas gifts. I’ve finished reading The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld. This was our January book club pick and let me just say, wow. I can’t say enough good thing about this book. It checked all my favourites: remote setting, strong but damaged protagonist, enthralling plot, excellent pacing.

I have started Stephen King’s On Writing. A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie is sitting beside me on my desk as inspiration! Also, I was lucky enough to win a $25 KOBO gift card, so I bought a book by a favourite author, Nora Roberts’ Year One.

Take that January blues!

Karyn Good, Romantic Suspense Author

Upcoming News

My novel, BACKLASH, is included in a romantic suspense boxset, Closer To Danger, that is available for preorder and comes out February 8th. The entire boxset is only $2.99 (US) at Amazon US and $3.76 (CAN) Amazon CAN.

Closer To Danger: A Romantic Suspense Boxset

Six romantic suspense books! If you love intrigue, are looking for excitement, or want to set your heart racing, preorder now and don’t miss the chance to read books by these talented authors: Rachel Brimble, Suzanne Rossi, Mitzi Pool Bridges, Robena Grant, Debra Jupe.

What does your reading list look like for January?

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A Look Ahead at 2018 and a Look Back at 2017!

I’m looking back on 2017’s fondest memories and thinking ahead to 2018 with excitement.

2018

Every year I try to pick a word every year and 2018’s word is COMMIT. It’s difficult to explain to another what that word signifies to me. It’s a rather benign word without context. My writing has waited patiently in the wings these last couple of years while I’ve focused on improving other areas of my life. That’s not to  say I abandoned the process altogether, but writing wasn’t a priority. When I did sit down to write, it was a half-hearted, distracted attempt and my Muse knew it and made me work for any gains I managed.

Perhaps I should also explain that I’ve always felt my Muse was quite Nanny McPhee like, and therefore I don’t use the word lightly as she makes her presence known in my lowest of writing times.

“When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go.”

I feel like she letting go now and winging her way towards another struggling writer.

I also seem to attach myself to a quote each year. I love quotes and I come across them all the time on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and a host of other places. I know the right one when I read it. Also, I’m a firm believer in the Universe providing. The moment I saw this quote I knew it had my intentions for 2018 written all over it.

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Ginny Weasley (J.K. Rowlings)

So, here’s to a productive and creative 2018!

2017

But 2017 was pretty darn awesome and, boy, did it fly by. To be more mindful, in 2017 I committed to slow everything: slow fashion, slow food, slow fitness…you get the idea. I focused on my health. I chose quality over quantity. I shopped local. I did a host of things that inspired and motivated me to do slow down and find my focus and it worked!

Slow Down

I’ll end with two of my favourite images of 2017.

By far the biggest event of 2017 took place on September 30th! The day our son and daughter-in-law were married amid much joy, love and celebration.

J&B Wedding

I went on my first writing retreat in the spring of 2017 and my second in November. We chose the tranquil calm of the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre in picturesque Lumsden, Saskatchewan to get our creative juices flowing.

SRW 2017 Nov. Writing Retreat

There is a huge wood burning fireplace in the main area that we congregated in front of in the evenings. In front of us were large floor to ceiling windows with views of the Qu’Appelle Valley and lots of comfy seating for writing during the days. There were walking paths and a lovely labyrinth to explore.

Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre

What were two highs for you in 2017 and how are you looking ahead at 2018?

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Memorable (To Me) Fathers in Fiction

Gosh, I’m so glad that I have a partner and that we support each other in this crazy business we like to call parenting. Hopefully, we do a decent job. Most days, anyway. And I definitely wouldn’t want to do this job without him. He’s a great father and role model for our kids. I also born into a two parent family. I have a very involved father. Fact: I’m a lot like my Dad. At 79 years young he rocks at texting and using emojis more than me. And he never shies away from learning new things. I love my Dad to the moon and back.

I think, if there’s one role within families that is changing with the times, it’s the role of father. But maybe that’s because I’m a mother…and when I think about it our role has changed too. We’ve come a long way from thinking the 1950’s ideal family unit is the only option These days fathers can be the stay-at-home parent. He can be gay or straight, have stepchildren, adoptive kids, and he’s given necessary label of parent rather than babysitter.

When it comes to fictional dads, I don’t not have to put one iota of effort into naming my very favourite father character, which would be Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Quiet, polite, and smart. And he loved to read! I have loved him since high school.

“Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I’d rather it be me than that houseful of children out there. You understand?”

 

Here are three other books I feel have memorable dads or father figures:

I’m so thankful for my dad. He taught me about taking risks, encourages me to step outside my comfort zone and he’s always there for me. And here’s to fictional fathers, the past, present and future examples of a changing world.

Who are some of your favourite fictional dads?

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My Summer Reading List

Yesterday on Instagram I shared a summer reading list I compiled of books I want to read. Hopefully I’ll get to more than a few of the books on my lists this summer. My Instagram list, however, is comprised of books I have yet to purchase. I have a stack of books I ready own that I need to read first.

Summer to me means books! Lots and lots of books and reading. My goals are always ambitious. But that’s what goals are for, right? To push one’s self.

I’m currently reading The Romance Writer’s Guide To Life by Sharon Pywell. I’m enjoying this one even though I prepared myself for some serious stereotyping of romance readers. That hasn’t happened so far. But I’m still kind of holding my breath.

Summer Reading List: Books I Already Own:

  • The Break by Katherena Vermette. A finalist in Canada Reads and a recommendation from a trusted source.
  • Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel of Letters by Mark Dunn. This one sounds really intriguing and given to me by another trusted source. I love it when that happens!
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. I’ve had this one for awhile now and I think I’m scared to start it. Here’s hoping the sunny days and summer heat make me less shy about this one.

Summer Reading List: Books I Have Yet To Purchase:

I hope you check out a few of the books and links listed. Most of these authors are new to me and I’ve picked these books for a reason. Not only do I feel like they will make my summer a better one than it’s already promising to be, but I’m hoping to get some insight to where I want to go from here with my own writing. As I rap up my fourth romantic suspense story, I more and more wonder if the romance genre is the right place for me. I will always love romance, but more and more I find it doesn’t fit my writing needs. The more I learn about my process and my strengths and weaknesses, the more I want to write women’s fiction. But more on this in the months to come.

I want to hear what’s on your summer reading list?

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