Monday, November 2, 2009

Twisted Fairy Tales

Twisted fairy tales have captured my imagination for quite some time. Probably since my tomboy self got pulled into the Disney movie that was Cinderella. Or was it Snow White?

Movies had delved into tales as inspiration as well. From the retelling of Cinderella in the movie Ever After to the darker and more action oriented Grimm Brothers. Originally, fairy tales were darker and at times in history, the purpose of the story was to impart a moral. Little Red Riding Hood has versions where the wolf eats everyone, versions where Red escapes, versions where the Huntsman rescues Red and sometimes Grandma. Morals have spanned from sexual awakening to the natural cycles of life.

One tale in particular captured my imagination, Bluebeard. This is a lesser known tale, and in all honesty, if you say the name "Bluebeard", most people will think you're referring to a pirate, so similar the name to Blackbeard, the notorious historical figure and well-known pirate. The tale isn't commonly told to kids because it's full of murder and the moral isn't exactly what you want to teach your up-and-coming liberated girl.

Bluebeard was a wealthy older man, usually not-attractive, who married young virgins. He gave each successive wife a key to a door in the house and ordered them not to open it before he left to go off on a trip. Sometimes they were given an egg and told not to get it dirty. Of course the women failed in this, because their curiosity absolutely forced them to open the door. Things got bloody after that. His last wife, the focus of the tale, usually managed to not get killed and got rescued. Sometimes she even escaped by using her wits. Sometimes Bluebeard got beheaded. The moral? Wives should'nt be curious and should listen to their husbands. Through all the versions of this tale, though, I wondered. What if a young girl married the man known to have killed his wives? And what if he really did kill them? What if she fell in love with him?

The Forbidden Chamber is the result, a complete twist of Bluebeard, a twist of the Gothic Romance, with an alpha-male shifter thrown in to make sure the heroine couldn't resist the hero. What would you do, if you were stuck in the mansion, with a delicious, cursed, wife-murdering husband?

One random commenter will be picked to receive a digital copy of The Forbidden Chamber.

Ella Drake is a Dark Paranormal and Science Fiction Romance author published with Cobblestone Press, Liquid Silver Books, and Samhain Publishing. Sometimes she dabbles in Weird SF stories and is a regular contributor to the Raven Happy Hour in a monthly column on SciFi and Future Technology. To learn more about Ella, visit her on her webpage at Ella can also be found on facebook and twitter.

Out now from Samhain Publishing: The Forbidden Chamber
“Your life is forfeit if you open that door.”
All her life, Lady Isabel Colven has followed the path laid out for her, content to look neither left nor right for excitement. Her future holds a dutiful, passionless marriage to some nice young man, and she’s content…until the exotic and compelling Lord Rukh Hayle threatens her maidenly reserve. Rumor paints him as a wife-murderer; desire tempts her to look past his aura of danger.
Rukh refuses to let his family’s curse kill a third bride, but Isabel awakens the Raven within him, compels him to take her to wife—and to bed—despite the secrets that live under his skin. That lie is locked in the darkest corners of the manor, waiting to be unleashed. Their lusty union arouses the curse, entangling Isabel in an erotic tug of war that can only end in her destruction. There is no escape for either of them. Not from his family’s shadowy history. Not from demons imagined and real. And not from the choice Rukh faces to save his bride from a fate worse than death…
Warning: This gothic contains heady kisses that lead to ruin, passionate sex on a desk chair, a mysterious husband who may be a murderer, a cursed family of raven shifters, and an unspeakable evil hidden in the closet.


Unknown said...

Hi Ella :)
Thanks for the great post. I didn't know The Forbidden Chamber was inspired by the Bluebeard tale. I'm looking forward to reading it.
I love those warnings - they make me want to pick up the book NOW!
Love & Best Wishes,

Rebecca Royce said...

What a great sounding book. I can't wait to get my hands on it and I just busted out laughing with the phrase 'passionate sex on a desk chair' warning. LMAO. No wonder you are so talented!

Annie Nicholas said...

This story is right up my alley. I'm on my way to get it.

Sandra Sookoo said...

awesome. I love Grimm's fairy tales and own a copy as well as fairy tales from around the world. They're inspiring--well at least to me. :-)

I'll have to pick up this book.

Ella Drake said...

RK & Rebecca, I loved writing that warning!

Annie, I hope you do get a chance to read it. I had fun writing Chamber

Sandra, I find fairy tales inspiring as well. I'm hoping to write more twisted tales.

J Hali Steele said...

Well, the warning got my attention *grins*. Sounds like my kind of book.

Wicked Walker said...

busted...I thought "pirate" too when i heard bluebeard! lol

I don't think i would mind being stuck in the mansion if the man is delish LOL

This book is definitely going on my TBR list!

JulieDestry said...

*scribbles this at the top of TBR list*

I vaguely remember hearing about Bluebeard before, but your version sounds much, MUCH better! I'll look forward to delving into your world.

Evie Byrne said...

I didn't know it was based on Bluebeard, either, Ella. Now I'm extra excited.

I love this thought process:

"What if a young girl married the man known to have killed his wives? And what if he really did kill them? What if she fell in love with him?"

How could a story that starts off with questions like that not be totally excellent???



Ella Drake said...

J Hali, Then I guess it did its job!

Stacy, Most people did think "pirate" & I certainly wouldn't mind being stuck in the mansion with Lord Hayle.

Julie, I hope everyone enjoys this version better!

Evie, I love the "what if." Don't you? Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I never heard the Bluebeard tale before.
The Forbidden Chamber sounds really good.Can't wait to read it.

Unknown said...

What an awesome post and the book looks fantastic. I love the story of Bluebeard.

Congrats on the new release!

Jennifer Mathis said...

This sounds great on my to be read list for sure

Anonymous said...

I am so excited The Forbidden Chamber is out! I love your twist on this classic fairy tale and can't wait to read it. It's at the very op of my to be purchased list.

Nancy G said...

I love twisted tales. I've read quite a few recently, and The Forbidden Chamber sounds like another good one.

Fedora said...

How interesting, Ella! I didn't recall much of Bluebeard's story, but I love how you used it to inspire your story! I love those retellings-with-a-twist! The Forbidden Chamber sounds like quite the tale!

s7anna said...

Looking forward to reading the book Ella...loving the premise of the story. :)
I'm probably too late for the drawing of a free copy but either way...I wanted to wish you Congratulations on your new release!

Happy Reading!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

Eva S said...

I love fairytales and these twisted tales even more! This one sounds really great, loved the warnings!

Ella Drake said...

Thank you J, Jennifer, Sophia, Nancy, flchen1 & Anna!
We find inspiration in some of the unlikeliest places, even in old tales like Bluebeard.

The random drawing picked Jennifer.
Please email me!
ella AT elladrake DOT com

Thanks everyone!

MIchelle Picard said...

This is such a wonderful story. I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out. Good luck, Ella.

Makita Jazzqueen said...

Cool post!
Thanks for letting us know about this wonderful book... It sounds exciting!
As a child, my mother wouldn't let me read Bluebeard story, she said it was too scary for me, so I've always had a kind of fear of it... LOL. I think I can give it a try one of these days...

Annie Nichlas said...

Thanks for being our guest Ella!