Welcome to ALL THINGS GIRL! If you’re here for the first time, allow me to explain… ATG covers, well, all things, girl. If you’re an ATG reader, thanks for coming back!
I have a lovely treat for you this HOT summer day! Awesome chick, gal-pal and all-around wildly talented talented author, LILA SHAW is here to talk about Fairy Tales and What Real Men Really Want (whether they realize it or not).
I relinquish the ATG reigns to you, Miss Lila. Take it away…
Who didn’t love fairy tales as a kid? When I was about twelve, I read every compilation of fairy tales I could get my hands on, especially by the Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen. My favorites were Cinderella, Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin and The Emperor’s New Clothes–classic tales that have endured centuries of retelling.
When Evernight Publishing put out a call for a naughty twist on those tales, I was at first horrified at the idea of sexing up beloved children’s stories. Then I read a few and blushed and laughed. I knew I had to write one too.
Since Princess and the Pea had already been treated to a tongue-in-cheek retelling for Broadway by one of my favorite comediennes, Carol Burnett, that one jumped to the forefront. Anyone remember “Once Upon a Mattress”? Set it in an exotic but fictional Medieval location, age the language used, throw in a precipitating twist like the 4:5 male to female ratio and voila!
But… **sound of tires skidding** not so fast. I could never write a sugary sweet Disney princess on a sexual romp. Sorry, but visions of bad porno movies pop into my head when I put those two together. My heroines are never bubbleheads or victims. They are feisty, take charge creatures who adore men (that treat them well) but don’t necessarily live for men. They are true to themselves first and have this, “Here I am, love me or leave me the hell alone!” attitude.
Enter Lady Otsana Tixier, who is forced by societal mores into birka-like clothing to hide her femininity, tucked under veils to muffle her voice and oppressed by arrogant males like Prince Koldo to stifle her intelligence. Only as Fleur, a commoner with more freedoms than her gentrified self, is Otsana able to truly be herself—intelligent, outspoken, and sexually uninhibited. (And she uses birth control. Ha!) Of course it is this creature, who meets him as an equal, that captures Prince Koldo’s heart. That, my modern sisters and brothers, is the best happily ever after of all!
A wise man grabs for what he instinctively knows he needs, which is an equal partner, not for what simpers and kowtows to his whims. I don’t think I’ll spoil the book too much by telling you I chose to make Prince Koldo, in the end, a very wise man worthy of the marvelous Lady Otasana Tixier.
And for you, Sandra, I’ll add that Otsana had excellent taste in shoes too! Win-win.
Now, for the fun part. I’d love to give away a free copy of Vixen and the Pea to a random vixen or stallion who answers this question in the comments:
“Do you read on an e-reader and if so, have your reading tastes changed with the added discretion the e-reader permits?”
Sandra here: I’ve had the opportunity to read Vixen and the Pea. It’s a richly woven story that is sure to take you on a fun and sexy ride. I highly recommend!
Thanks for coming over for a little visit and sharing your naughty fairy tale twist with us! Read on for Vixen and the Pea blurb and a special excerpt (just for ATG readers!)…
All that stands between playboy Prince Koldo and the throne is his wife…or the lack thereof. Koldo has no desire to wed anyone, let alone the know-it-all shrew his parents favor.
Lady Otsana is fed up with the oppressive sexism that requires she hide her face, body and brains. She much prefers the sexual adventures she enjoys out of her birka-like clothing when she becomes Fleur.
Prince Koldo also has an alter ego, Bero. Only Fleur is not fooled by his disguise. Just as Fleur and Bero’s attempts to best each other in the bedroom blossom into romance, Koldo reaches the end of his tether. His bride will be chosen by contest at the upcoming King’s Ball.
Otsana must make a difficult decision. Will she enter the Prince’s contest and risk all for a chance at love or will she play it safe but give up Bero forever?
Exclusive PG-13 excerpt just for Sandra’s readers:
King Elazar stood and trod with purpose to the door. “I am holding a ball in a fortnight. All the noblewomen from this kingdom and our neighbors to the north, south, east and west have been invited. You will name your bride before the ball ends, or your mother and I will choose one for you!”
Elazar strode out the door, thus ending any further opportunity for protest. Prince Koldo dropped into a faded brocade chair. There must be some way to defer his shackling. Unlike his father, he doubted nobility guaranteed any semblance of virginity. He knew from the horses’ mouths that none of his sisters still retained her factory seal.
Koldo tapped his chin with his index finger. How might he escape matrimony or at least defer it? It ought not be too difficult if he demanded a virgin, but then he might be left with none but the homely, the foolish or, most frightening, the dragon-breathed. He had no tolerance for poor dental hygiene.
He sat at his father’s desk and snatched up a blank sheet of foolscap and a quill. He’d itemize his requirements. Perhaps if they were too onerous, no woman would meet them.
“She must have all her teeth, first and foremost!” he exclaimed aloud as he scribbled his non-negotiable requirement.
“She must possess an intelligence capable of engaging and surpassing the highest sages in the land.” Koldo smiled as he scratched down his second requirement. His grin fell however, as he recalled Lady Otsana, an annoying female with a mind designed to challenge in the most quarrelsome manner.
He shrugged and continued writing. “She must be of sound health and constitution.” He would receive no objections to that requirement but did not dare take any chances at being besieged by the bedridden, the emaciated, and the morbidly obese due to a loophole.
Frowning, he realized he still hadn’t eliminated Lady Otsana. What more stringent requirements could he enact?
Koldo tapped his chin in thought. What did the Lady Otsana either possess that she should not or lack, which she should possess?
He conjured a visual of the lady in question – tall, yet not so tall he could rule her out for a stature exceeding his own. Koldo towered above most men at six feet plus. The lady and her father were Grand Masters of the Socratic Overseers Society. Otsana had been the youngest inductee to date. What was not to like about her on those counts?
“Everything! I do detest the woman, yet I cannot pinpoint why.” As far as Koldo knew, the lady was a virgin, if only because she terrified most men of the realm and sported her disdain for the male sex at every opportunity.
Perhaps if he knew what color and length her tresses were he might design a requirement to exclude. The lady always wore her hair covered and multiple veils across her nose and mouth, as was the custom for all maidens of the land. They also kept their figures, including arms and legs, fully concealed in vast tent-like garments, as if the slightest glimpse of any hair or skin would sully their virtue. Many a noble had been duped into marrying a beautiful pair of eyes only to discover its hideous bedrocks on his wedding night. Only the commoners revealed their faces in public, and only the whores left their hair exposed as well. Otsana’s coloring suggested raven tresses, and indeed that was the safest bet being the most popular shade in Basqueland. A fiery redhead might be a safe choice, but he preferred a dusky brunette.
However, Otsana did not worry him nearly so much as her meddling mother. That lady would certainly thrust her foul-tempered daughter upon him, and worse, his parents would force the match if he chose no other.
What if he devised a barrier to not only keep Otsana out of the running, but all other females, too? What sort of requirement could he insist upon to exclude all, but if it failed would at least secure him a decent consolation prize?
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