Blog Tour – Review: Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters by Diane Zahler

Welcome to my stop on Diane Zahler’s blog tour for her newly released Middle Grade fantasy Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters.  I’m excited to be part of this tour because I love Diane’s books!  I’ve read almost all of them, and they have all captivated me with her twists on familiar fairy tales.  As the title of Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters suggests, this is an alternate version of Sleeping Beauty that chronicles the adventures of Sleeping Beauty’s daughters. They are 12 and 9, and don’t understand why they live such an isolated existence.  There are no sharp knives or scissors, or anything with a pointy end to be found anywhere in the castle. All food is sent from the local village in bite sized pieces.  Their father heads to the village to get his hair cut, and the castle guards don’t even have weapons (maybe they have mallets to fight off possible threats of attack?). 

After Luna accidentally cuts herself, giving their emotionally fragile mother quite a fright, they learn about their mother’s history.  She was cursed as a baby, and after being pricked on the finger, she fell into a deep, deep sleep that lasted one hundred years.  Their father awakened her with a kiss, and when the evil fairy Manon discovered that they were living their happy ever after, she cursed them again.  This time, it would be one of their daughters that would fall into a deep, deep slumber, only when she woke up, everyone she knew and loved would be dead and gone.  That’s really scary!  It would terrify me to find myself completely alone, so I could easily imagine how terrifying that thought was to Luna and Aurora.  When Aurora pricks her finger due to Luna’s carelessness, it becomes a desperate race to find their fairy godmother before Aurora takes a really, really long nap.

As in every Diane Zahler book, the characters made the story for me.  They are young and have little practical world experience, yet they rally together to accomplish great things.  Luna is stubborn and bold, while Aurora is more timid and hesitant to face new challenges.  Her idea of a good time, like mine, is curling up in the library with a good book.  The curse and the threat of sleeping for a century get them both moving to find a cure, and with the help of an orphan fisherman, they head off into danger.  Each adds strength to their group, and without all three working together, they would fail at their task.  They all grow and gain confidence as they face one frightening challenge after another.  They aren’t content to just sit around and wait for an adult to solve their problems; nope, they dive right into action, determined to find a way to reverse the terrible curse that’s been placed on Aurora. 

The other thing I love about these books is that the girls don’t take a backseat to the boys.  They are every bit as brave, strong, and courageous as the guys.  Probably more so, because the girls are the ones to get things moving in the first place.  I like that they wait to be rescued; they take control of their own destiny and try to figure things out for themselves.

Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters is very fast-paced, as the sisters race against time to save Aurora from her terrible fate.  Along the way they learn to embrace both the good and bad in each other.  They also make friendships that will last a lifetime, and face terrors beyond their imagining.  Through all of their adventures, they discover a new appreciation for each other, and the courage to overcome any obstacle – together.

So…did I like it?  You bet!  4.5 / 5 stars! 

 

About the book:

The classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is transformed into a dazzling new story of two sisters fighting a powerful curse by Diane Zahler, the acclaimed author of The Thirteenth Princess. Briskly paced and full of lush descriptions, readers who enjoy the work of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine will be swept away by this spellbinding novel.
The daughters of Sleeping Beauty, Princesses Aurora and Luna, have grown up in a cliff-top palace by the sea, where they are carefully protected by their parents. No one visits, the girls cannot stray beyond the castle walls, and all sharp objects are forbidden here.
But accidents will happen—particularly when an old curse still has power. Soon, in spite of all precautions, Aurora is struggling not to slip into an enchanted sleep.
Frantic, the princesses accept the help of a young fisherman named Symon and embark on a daring ocean voyage to find their aunt—a fairy who may be able to break the spell. From fearsome beasts to raging storms, many dangers befall them, yet they must not give up . . . for if Aurora sleeps, she will not wake for one hundred years.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:

August 27: www.theresabook.com

August 28: www.bookalicious.org

August 30: http://www.iceybooks.com/

August 31: www.greenbeanteenqueen.com

September 1: http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/search?q=zahler

You can learn more about Diane by visiting:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Interview with Christy Newton, Author of Begin Again

Please welcome Christy Newton to the virtual offices this morning! Christy is here to chat about her Crimson Romance Begin Again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Christy Newton] I’m creative. Purple is my favorite color, but as an artist I love all colors. I am very particular about things. I have faith and love.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Begin Again?

[Christy Newton] Begin Again is a story about loss and second chances. It’s about two people finding each other and falling in love after they thought their broken hearts would never heal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Christy Newton] One day, I thought… what if a young woman lost everything? Her husband, her child and her home. How would she ever get over such a big loss? Then a hero popped into my head. He’d have to be genuine and sweet and patient but persistent. There were lots of tears while writing both happy and sad. Begin Again was a story I truly wrote from the heart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Maisie?

[Christy Newton] Broken, lost, kind.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Ryan had a theme song, what would it be?

[Christy Newton] Oh, this one is perfect: Phillip Phillips song Gone, Gone, Gone. A fan told me that the song reminded her of Ryan and I agree.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Maisie is never without.

[Christy Newton] Her heart earrings.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Ryan’s bedroom?

[Christy Newton] Girlie magazines, cigarettes, beer bottles.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Maisie’s greatest regret?

[Christy Newton] Not being able to protect her family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Christy Newton] Art and music.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Christy Newton] 7Up, dark chocolate and Post-its

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Begin Again?

[Christy Newton] My dog, Happy, of 16 years got really sick and passed away.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Christy Newton] There are so many! But the most recent was Macy Beckett’s Sultry with a Twist

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Christy Newton] Well, that would go all the way back to my childhood. My favorite series was The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. As an adult I read a lot of Janet Evanovich, before I started writing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Christy Newton] Read, watch reality TV shows, shop, and spend time with family. But even when I’m not writing I am still thinking about my characters and new plots.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Christy Newton] My website www.christynewton.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christy-Newton/359791990763912
Twitter @CNewtonAuthor

I love to hear from readers!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link

About the book:

What if one night changed your life forever?

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago, she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won’t let herself get attached to anyone … until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his Momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes, he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie’s side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

About the author:

I’m a hopeless romantic author, inspired by art, love, music and hope. I was lucky to have the support of my family and friends in my journey to publication. I’ve always been a creative person, but until I started writing, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Once my first novel was complete, it felt natural to continue writing. I just might be the only writer out there that doesn’t drink caffeine. Dark chocolate and warm cookies are my weaknesses. I love to read books that make me laugh out loud or make me want to live in the place they are set in. The thought of a world without books makes me very sad.