Tag Archives: fairy tales

Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Self Published Published Oct 2. 2013 155 Pages
Self Published
Published Oct 2. 2013
155 Pages

The day before her daughter’s wedding, Snow White cannot find it in her to be happy. No matter how clean the castle is or how beautifully smooth the preparations are going, Snow is in mourning. Charming is dead and the Queen has been in an endless depression for over a year.

Desperate to get away from the joy she cannot feel, Snow climbs the forgotten tower and comes face to face with the mirror that her Stepmother once stood in front of. 

Is she willing to look in its reflection and see what it holds for her?

You know I’m a sucker for retellings. So when this was offered to me by the author, I couldn’t say no. My first thought when I began this book that it was really poetic. The words moved like water from beginning to end. This was a hit and miss because it made the short book feel longer than what it actually was. Did this ruin the book? Not at all and here is why.

The take on Snow White’s happily ever after is interesting and it pushed the novel through. The idea of her facing her past and future alone is creative because one would think everything she deserves and wants comes well. . . happily. I love the idea of her facing the mirror after all these years. It is really an untapped idea in the retellings of Snow White.

What I didn’t like about this book was the lack of intensity. It could be because of the poetic writing style but I didn’t feel the fierceness when things began to pick up. I also didn’t like the monotone emotion. Even in its better times there was still this sadness lingering between the lines.


Beyond this I enjoyed the story because of the imagery, the details and the creativity. I would recommend this.


3 Pickles

Book Review: A Stolen Kiss (Stolen Royals #1) by Kelsey Keating

Swanifide Publishing Published March 1, 2016 346 Pages
Swanifide Publishing
Published March 1, 2016
346 Pages

Derric Harver is nothing more than a palace stableboy or at least that is all he should be. When Princess Maria’s curse stops her from accepting a Prince’s proposal, she ask Derric for his help and as if a knight in shinning armor, he gladly assists.

With the help of his sister, who is the Princess’s maid and a Prince, Derric and Maria embark on a journey to find the sorceress that cursed the Princess. Although the journey is dangerous, the secrets that will be reveled will be the most dangerous of them all. 

This isn’t a YA book. Just because the characters at 17 years old doesn’t make the book YA. In most cases, it does but not in this case. Why? Because of the way the book was written.

The main characters, Derric, his sister, the Prince and Princess were all very childish. The decisions that they made, they way they spoke and addressed each other were simple minded. I appreciated this because they showed each other respect and care but it made the journey a bit too easy. Overall, the story was fairly easy. There were complications but it was nothing that they didn’t get over by the next chapter.

I felt that this story could have been more dramatic, which is why I get the middle school vibe. In regards to romance, I didn’t feel it from anyone. Attraction? Yes, that was there but not love.

The story was too cute and I did like it. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be. I loved how the author incorporated magic into the story, where it didn’t seem like a stretch or that she was completely relying on it to move the story. I also have to give credit to the shocking twist of events. It was nicely done.

The book moved slow and it was long, which bugged me out but it is finish-able. Although I felt the book was written for a younger level, I was drawn to it and completely believe it is an adorable read.


3 Pickles


Book Review: The Golden Apple (The Dark Forest #1) by Michelle Diener

Self- Published Published on March 24, 2014 298 Pages
Self- Published
Published on March 24, 2014
298 Pages

Kayla’s father decided to put his daughter to the highest bidding. By making her a prize in a impossible tournament and literally putting her in a glass box for all to see, deciding her fate and her husband was supposed to be easy.

But Kayla is not for that and chose her champion, taking control of the tournament and changing the rules for the game. Quickly Kayla realizes that by taking control of her fate, she put her life and her kingdom at stake. 

To save his brother’s life, Rane is willing to betray and use anyone including a more than willing Princess. But because of the Princess decision, Rana is involved in a more dangerous game that not only leaves the two fighting for their lives in the dark forest but also falling in love. 

This book is said to be loosely based off the fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill. I have never read it but I plan on it now. Also I need to say this. According to Goodreads, a lot of people didn’t like this book. I freaking loved it.

Let’s start with Kayla. She was a bit naive but that was not because that was her personality nor was it because she was locked in the castle but as a Princess there was certain experiences she didn’t experience.  This is understandable and more a preferred reason to being naive.  It didn’t dictate her personality, which is what I really loved.

I loved the fact that she wasn’t taking crap from anyone. She handle things with thought and cared for everyone around her. I’m not too sure how I feel about Rana but I actually believe his and Kayla feelings for each other. From beginning to end, it was there.

I enjoyed the pace of the novel, the magic and the romantic tension. What I didn’t like so much was how easy things were fixed. There was struggle and I understand Kayla’s part but she is a newbie and this book. Things shouldn’t have flown so easily for her. I wanted more struggle. I need more of a internal and external battle.

But other than that I loved this book.  But I am not 100% I will be reading the second one. Something just seems a little bit off about the summary.


4 Pickles

Book Review: Beauty (Tales from the Kingdoms #3) by Sarah Pinborough

Titan Books Published Jan. 1, 2013 208 Pages
Titan Books
Published Jan. 1, 2013
208 Pages

A retelling of Sleeping Beauty. 

Simple summary right? But that is the best way to explain this book without giving too much detail. I haven’t read the first two books so I can’t say if there is a connection or not. When you are reading this book it doesn’t feel like you are missing anything. It starts like it is own story. I appreciate that.

What I loved about this book was its directness. It still left a lot to the imagination but it didn’t add unnecessary conflict, romance, love triangle or messy emotions. I loved the fact the characters knew who they were and what they wanted from themselves and others. It made the book much more enjoyable. It did not by any means take away from the book by having sure characters. If you want drama from every character and internal turmoil then don’t read this book.

I loved the pace of the novel. It was a quick read and it gave a bit of a dark twist of sleeping beauty. However, I wish the book was longer because Ms. Sarah was on to something with Beauty. If it was embellished more or even had a greater back story then it would have been perfect. I felt the ending was too easy and would have jumped for joy if the ending was either darker or twisted in some form of way. But it was a better ending than a lot of other endings I have read in these past few weeks.

I can see why some people didn’t and wouldn’t like it because this book could have been way bigger than what it is but it was a good piece of work despite that.

Short review for a short read. I think this book is worth it plus I love the cover.

4 Pickles


Book Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

Greenwillow Books Published Sept. 23, 2014 114 Pages
Greenwillow Books
Published Sept. 23, 2014
114 Pages

50 poems that are designed for the anguish modern teenage. From humorous to dark and then extremely dark, these poems are deigned to move you.

These poems were very dark and nothing remotely what I was expecting. This is a modern spin on fairy tales . . . to a certain extent. So you cannot go in there expecting some of the obvious themes of a fairy tale.

But back to the darkness. What makes this dark is how blunt and realistic everything is. The author focuses on anorexia a lot which makes me believe that either she experienced it hands on or experienced it with someone she knows.

This is an important book just like “Thirteen Reasons Why” because it is a raw. Just pure emotions and I can’t be mad at that.

However, I believe this would have been better as short stories instead of poems. I felt that the way it is worded it and the way each poem ended it should have been a short story. It left a lot to the imagination, which isn’t too bad of a thing. But the poems seemed lacking because they do not feel like poems. This book does not feel like a book of poetry.

Another issue I have is once realizing that this book wasn’t fairy tale-ish and was a modern viewpoint of teenage girls, I was disappointed in the fact that every other poem was the same issue. I felt that there are other issues or if this as the only issue to talk about then a disclaimer would have been nice.

Overall I enjoyed reading this. The book makes you think and pulls your emotionally.

3 Pickles.

Book Review: Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis

Disney-Hyperion Published Oct. 14, 2014 338 Pages
Published Oct. 14, 2014
338 Pages

With her home planet filled with corruption and violence, Princess Snow has gone missing and King Matthias and his wife will do nothing to find the ones that took her. 

Essie is use to being cold and living on the planet Thanda you either get use to it or you leave. She spends her days repairing seven drones that help the miners in the mine. 

When a mysterious boy named Dane crash lands near her home, in order to avoid attention, Essie decides to help fix his ship. Quickly Essie realizes that Dane’s accidental crash is nothing accidental and Essie is forced into something she has been avoiding all these years. 

Essie must come to terms about her past and her future.

I was extremely surprised when I began this book. I am not big on dystopia nor science fiction but this was a retelling so I had to give it a try.

Essie is an amazing character. She knows how to defend herself and kick full blown ass. She knows all this stuff about electronics and repairs. She also has common sense and she is book smart.  She has no experience with men/boys and that is okay because she has a lot of emotional baggage that she doesn’t want to involve someone in.

I also liked Dane. He was blunt when it called for it. He had a double motive but it was for an extremely good reason. I also loved the fact that he knew what he wanted. It wasn’t a back and forth game between Dane and Essie.

But my favorite part of this entire book the subtle reference to the original fairy tale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It is there without the constant reminder that this is a retelling. This story is completely original and if you didn’t know about the original fairy tale you wouldn’t even think of it.

I loved the ending; how you got the happily ever after but in the most realistic sense possible.

Overall, a wonderful, surprising, detailed, creative read.

5 Pickles.


NetGalley Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Delacorte Press To Be Published Dec. 9, 2014 400 Pages
Delacorte Press
To Be Published Dec. 9, 2014
400 Pages

Princess Aurora is an enhanced human. . .  She has been blessed with fairy magic that gave her super strength, bravery and a curse that makes anyone she kisses her slave. Disguised as a boy, Aurora gets the help of  Prince Niklass, to raise an army to fight the Orge Queen, who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

But Prince Niklass has a hidden agenda, one that makes him untrustworthy and with each step forward Aurora needs to decide which is true following her heart or following her destiny.


I loved the twist on “Sleeping Beauty.” It is dark, sad, and weird. What I loved about this book was the first half of the book. Aurora was focused, determined to get her throne back and to save her brother. Aurora maybe a bit naive but she had a plan and appreciated the help that was given to her.

I also liked Prince Niklass. I don’t consider him an asshole or the jerk. His intentions, once reveled, was justified and he was open to Aurora when he considered her a brother. He was a good guy and had morals that made sense.

What I didn’t like about this book was the speed. It was slow, painfully dragging, slow. This made the book extremely hard to keep reading. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst was Aurora.


When Aurora realized that she deeply cared about Niklass and then eventually love him, everything she has been fighting for, everything she said wanted to do was put second to keeping Niklass by her side. It is and will always be the most annoying thing an author can ever do. Even Niklass had to check her on that and remind her she is a Queen.

I also didn’t like the hissy fit Niklass threw when he found out Aurora is a boy. He was pissed off and I couldn’t understand why he was so upset. Yeah, I understand for the first 10 seconds but beyond that really?

The book started off really good. But it went downhill because the downtime is too much, Aurora lost herself and the fights she and Niklass were having was ridiculous and took too much away from the book.

Overall, I like what the author was trying to do but that drive stopped. 2 Pickles

Book Review: The Unfairest of Them All (Ever After High #2) by Shannon Hale

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Published March 25, 2014 336 Pages
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published March 25, 2014
336 Pages

All chaos has broken loose since Raven refused to sign the book on Legend Day. Apple is trying to convince Raven to take it back and make the pledge while also trying to keep the peace between the royals and the rebels.

When Maddie (Madeline) Hatter of Wonderland gets into some trouble it is up to Raven, Apple, the royals and the rebels to make things right and save the day.

I am completely in love with this series. What was great was the fact it picked up where the first book left off. Raven still holding her ground and wanting to change her destiny, Apple being the perfect girl she is trying not to have a break down and trying to have everyone keep their cool. Maddie is still mad.

There wasn’t too much flashback from the first book which I appreciated because it allowed the story to move forward at a steady pace. There was room for other character spotlights and room for development to a certain extent.

Raven can become a powerful witch but she associates being a witch evil which in fairy tales isn’t always the case. I feel that she understood that at the end of the story but she was very reluctant and I agree with her mother .  . . Raven plays dumb a lot which was completely annoying. She wanted things handed to her and would seem extremely reluctant to put in work that involved her actually using her powers.

Apple was like-able because she grew up and realized that not everyone was black and white. She was reluctant to try new things but she did. Yes, to protect her motives to become Snow White but that is okay because she was honest with herself.

There was constant movement through the book. The only downfall I can see is the true motives behind the headmaster was reveled. There actually was no mention to that at all. Overall this book gets 4 Pickles. I am looking forward to the third book.

Quick Five© with Kimberly Karalius

   Courtesy of Kimberly Karalius
Courtesy of Kimberly Karalius

Name: Kimberly Karalius

Who is Kimberly? A Floridian author, who prefers to stay indoors, dream of fairy tales and watch silent movies.

Website: http://kkaralius.blogspot.com/

Books: The Pocket Forest

Buy: Amazon

Fairy tales are becoming the go to topics for Young Adult books. However, retelling a fairy tale doesn’t exactly leave the biggest mark in the literature world. Meet Kimberly Karalius, an author who decided to create her own fairy tale without the total help from Disney. Interviewed by Tania Lasenburg, Kimberly explains why college was worth it and how is it that she can write so much!


How has your college courses help you write your first book? Was it worth going to college to be a writer or was it an experience you can do without?
In college, I was raised as an English major despite my core classes being writing. We didn’t have a creative writing program. Whatever stories I wrote were entirely on my own time, staying up late in my dorm room with a binder full of ideas. I did write my first novel in college, but I never finished it. I planned too much, leaving me no room to improvise in my first draft (a good example of when organization isn’t you best friend).
Meanwhile, I studied Keats, wrote a paper on 16th century pastorals, and learned how to pick symbolism out of ancient mythology.

       Deathless Press  Published Oct. 16, 2013        Ebook 58 Pages
Deathless Press
Published Oct. 16, 2013
Ebook 58 Pages
It wasn’t until graduate school that I really got to focus on “being a writer.” I had never been exposed to so many craft techniques and exercises, literary journals, and perceptions that came out during heated workshops. Because my fellow grad students were also aspiring writers and poets, good conversation about books, films, and video games were never lacking. These days, graduate school is a choice for writers. Do you need to go? I don’t think so. But for me, dedicating three years to honing my writing skills was time well spent!
It states that your book is an original fairy tale. What made you decide to do a take on fairy tales? What inspired “Pocket Forest”?
Most of my stories are inspired by fairy tales, so it was second nature to go that route with Pocket Forest. However, inspiration for Pocket Forest didn’t stem from a particular fairy tale, but rather a subculture: mori girls.
Mori girl (or forest girl) is a fashion movement created in Japan. Mori girls embrace a natural and woodsy look, wearing loose-fitting dresses, layers, and blushing cheeks. While the style is endearing, the philosophy caught my attention. If you’re a mori girl, you take life at a slow pace. You trust your feeling above everything and enjoy the tiny details in life.
After reading about them, I knew I wanted to write about a mori girl. Thus, Harriet (and her mori boy counterpart, Stig) was born.
You have several  writings displayed on Figment.com. How are you able to focus the story you see in your head and place it on paper?

One step at a time. Sharing my stories on Figment has certainly helped in that area. While some ideas are harder than others to wrestle down on paper, I’ve found that knowing I have readers waiting for the next installment is motivation enough to keep writing.  

   Short Story by Kimberly Karalius via Figment.com
Short Story by Kimberly Karalius via Figment.com

As far as authors go who do you look at as inspiration to do what you do better?

When I’m looking to improve my description, I love settling down with one my poetry collections. Sara Teasdale is by far my favorite poet; she writes plainly, but her poems are full of lush images and feelings. I have a few favorite authors that I reread, not only to enjoy their stories again, but to also see how they handled certain scenes or dialogue. My list of favorite authors keeps growing, though!

Finally,  how would you describe your success as a writer not only with “Pocket Forest” but with all your stories?

I think writers succeed when they are heard. For me, nothing makes me happier that receiving emails from my readers. The fact that they liked my writing enough to take the time to write me is a magical thing. After Pocket Forest was released, seeing the reviews on Goodreads and quotes from my chapbook being circulated on tumblr was very exciting. Still is, really. It’s one of the wonderful aspects of being a writer.


Kimberly loves what she does and loves sharing it with people so follow her here to stay constant in her fairy tales

                                         For your Quick Five© email wordpress174@gmail.com for more details

Erotic Book Review: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)

              Plume    Published May 1983              253 Pages
Published May 1983
253 Pages


There is nothing like a fairy tale retelling. Beauty has been awaken by the Prince but unlike most stories is with a kiss . . . not in this one. Beauty is awakened with sex (kind of gross but bear with me). So at this point Beauty is supposed to get married to the prince, live happily ever after with some kinky sex . . . not exactly. Beauty does leave with the prince but as his sexual slave.

As far fetch this book may sound, it was actually a really good read. What Roquelaure aims to do is rid the world of the innocent people believe Beauty has. Yes, she is innocent in the beginning but as you go through the book you realize that she really had an interesting mind.

If you are looking for a story with depth and meaning this isn’t your story. It is purly about turning a innocent girl out and her liking it. Oddly enough once you realize that that is the sole purpose of the book. With all books you want to know the outcome of the main character and Roquelaure did a good job of making you want that because despite it all, I was curious as heck to know what is going to happen to freaky Beauty.

This is going to be a short review because what can you really say. The book is about BDSM and because it is dripping with so much of it the story (if there is any) gets lost. However, the summary of the book when you pick up tells you its about sex and the many different ways you can do it,  so overall this book gets a 8 out of 10.

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