... a short background for Odile.
I know we probably all have an inkling of an idea about the story of Swan Lake (Barbie made a cartoon out of it for cripes' sake, so there's that). But I thought I would give you the real love story from a ballet perspective - the short version.
I mean, it’s a freaking FOUR act ballet people! I get it. Even a ballet lover such as myself starts to squirm and think, 'alright already—get to the good part' or 'when is intermission, I hope they didn’t run out of my wine out in the theater lobby.' But, ohhh the white scene! For those of you that I’m just now introducing to ballet speak, all classic ballets of the Romantic era can be identified by one particular, common scene—the white tutu scene. This is the magnificent part of these stage productions where the corps de ballet of sixteen, thirty-two or sixty-four dancers, as well as any demi-soloists and the principals are costumed all in white. For Nutcracker this is the Snow Scene, Giselle has its willies, La Bayedere its shades and in Swan Lake this is when the ethereal namesake creature of the ballet takes over the entire production.
And where the romance begins...
(disclaimer for any very proper ballet police officials out there that have a strict adherence to a certain version of this story: this is a rundown of my favorite telling with some nods to the German and Russian fairy tales that probably inspired the story. Jury's still out on exactly which written version of the folktale led to Tchaikovsky's ballet but the theme remains. Boy meets swan and the rest is history... kind of... anyway...)
Prince Siegfried, at the beginning of manhood, is out partying with his boys and doing what medieval male types did back then for fun, one of the only things they could do —they went out to hunt and cause a ruckus in the forest one last time before Siegfried had to give into parental demands and tie the knot with some zealously, over-eager princess from a, hopefully, rich and powerful land. Because that’s how things went back in the day. So at the ripe old age of twenty-one cough, cough (work with me, people died young back then), Siegfried and his entourage boy-band went hunting. Getting separated from the group, Siegfried finds himself alone on the Owl Wizard, Von Rothebart’s, land. Through the evening mist he sees a beautiful white swan in flight. Thinking the bird would make the ultimate trophy, he takes aim with his crossbow and shoots.
Once Siegfried tracks down his prey he finds not only that he has missed the shot but that the swan has transformed into a lovely maiden, all in white. He becomes instantly infatuated and approaches the maiden, Odette, learning from her that she and the other white swans on the lake have been enchanted by the wizard. A spell on the maids has rendered them destined to swim the lake as swans by day only to transform into human women at night. Here, in this scene, comes the famous white swan pas de deux—a beautiful dance between Siegfried and Odette amid the corps of white swan ballerinas. It's gorgeous!
The pair fall magically in love during their evening on the lake together. Odette tells Sigfried that the only way to break Von Rothebart's curse is for him to pledge his love to her. Before he can do this, Von Rothebart appears and the swans have to hide the young prince’s departure to save his life. Still, the stage has been set and Siegfried pledges to never love another, telling Odette that he will find a way to break the wizard’s curse so that they can be together.
In the third act, a grand ball takes place at the castle where Siegfried resides. (Castle Eldwith in Odile, Legend of the Black Swan) It has been planned by the prince’s mother. Its purpose is to introduce the young prince to all the eligible maidens in the land in order for him to find a wife. There Siegfried is at this stuffy ball, forced to smile and nod at the pretty maids all in a row vying for his royal bank account, er... attention, when what he really wants is to sneak off to Swan Lake and his true love Odette again.
Enter the Black Swan. Now here things get a little sneaky in the dance world because in recent decades the roles of the black and white swans are danced by the same ballerina. It’s a dual role that is the absolute coveted diamond of all roles by any prima with aspirations of greatness. It shows off the dancer’s virtuosity and theatrical ability as well as her talent and strength. Anyway, back to the story (this is what I was talking about last week where sometimes the storytelling loses out to ballet’s athleticism and general show-offery. But, hey, it's one of the things that makes it so enjoyable to watch. ) So there Siegfried is, bored out of his mind and ants-in-his-pants anxious to get the heck out of the castle when who should appear on the arm of the evil Count Von Rothebart but his love, Odette. Only it isn’t Odette, it’s Von Rothebart’s daughter, Odile, wearing the spelled feathers of the black swan and disguised as the girl of Siegfried’s dreams.
The prince is ecstatic that his love is at the ball and claims her as his choice of wife right then and there in front of the whole ballroom. Only the White Swan, Odette, appears outside at the ballroom window. Brokenhearted and trying to warn Siegfried of Rothebart and Odile’s treachery, she flaps her swan wings desperately and rattles window. Immediately, Siegfried realizes his mistake and runs out of the castle to find Odette.
The whole kingdom is then in an uproar but Siegfried doesn't care, he hurries to Swan Lake to find Odette. In the ballet version, Odette and Siegfried end up jumping into the lake together and sacrificing themselves to break the wizard's evil spell on all of the swan maidens. In the very last scene, their spirits rise up together into the heavens with all of the swans watching. A tragic ending to this timeless love story.
As an author, I have taken some liberties with the retelling of this tale. In my choosing to take on the story of Odile, the co-conspirator of Von Rothebart, I have eluded to the idea that there were many secrets within this classic fairy tale that were not revealed in the ballet version. Did Odette and Siegfried's love really endure through the mystic after-life as the ballet suggests? Is Odile the cold hearted villainness that everyone assumes she is? Will Rothebart ever be truly defeated? These questions are all left somewhat open ended in the stage version of the story. But you can read all about what happened after the dramatic ending scene of the ballet in Odile, Legend of the Black Swan and find out for yourself.
In Odile, the unlikely romance between two dark, mysterious characters is told. Odile, the supposed Black Swan sorceress and Azarus, lord of stars and legends, enter a world of magic, spells and true love together. Read this after-the-curtain-closed look at a classic fairy tale to continue the journey of Swan Lake.
You can find Odile, Legend of the Black Swan on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and KoBo. Be sure to find it in the "Books" section of this website too!
*Photo sourced off Pinterest - Jack Vartoogian / Getty Images
Enter the world of the Black Swan...
Pre order your copy today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and KoBo!
Happy Wine Wednesday everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely week. This blogpost's wine / book pairing is brought to you by the fabulous, contemporary romance author, Ruby Rowe's The Terms and Freixenet's gorgeous bottle of Cordon Negro Cava. I love this beautiful, fun sparkling wine and the sexy bottle goes along perfect with Rowe's ultra steamy romance. If you like mystery, intrigue and hot sex, definitely pick up a copy of The Terms and pour yourself a glass of bubbly Freixenet while your at it. Enjoy your wine night and happy reading!
I wanted to hate her. For three years, Camilla withheld the fact that my brother had a son, Liam. Then, Tony died without ever knowing his kid, and I was going to make sure Ms. Rose paid a price for her deceit. I also wanted Liam to be raised as a Burke. Our family’s legacy was one to carry on, so the terms were straightforward.
Live in my home.
Allow me to help raise Liam.
Oh, and agree to be my submissive.
In return, I agreed not to rip Camilla’s child away from her. I also offered them both financial security and a life of luxury. It seemed generous to me. It might’ve been simple, too, had she not reminded me of the lady in red. The one who haunted my dreams at night. Camilla’s hazel eyes were a mirror image, her sweetness more than an acquaintance to my subconscious.
I was a hacker by trade, and the internet was my best friend, sharing with me every secret I wished to unearth. I believed that until an unfathomable truth revealed itself in a different way. Some secrets are never whispered, only sensed by the heart, and all along, my soul held the truth. It hid even from me the most important secret of them all.
The Terms ends in a cliffhanger. It contains explicit language and graphic sex, including aspects of BDSM. The second novel in the duet, The Terms: Part Two, will release June 2017.
Now on Pre Order!
A small look at the Star Sorcerer - one Azarus di Caspari.
Born to an ancient tribe of star mages in a distant land, he stands alone against a forbidding evil. When he steals Odile of Aarroughac from the dungeons of Eldwith, he thinks he has found the key to stopping an age old curse. But maybe the stars have more in store...
Pre Order Odile today!
Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KoBo
Check out these FREE reads, freshly snagged for you by none other than are favorite, bargain-loving bandit, The Book Burglar! Because he knows how much we adore free books on the weekend.
From a New York Times bestselling author comes the captivating novel hailed as "Romance the way it was meant to be."
~ Dashing and untamable, André Raveneau is the Revolutionary War’s most reckless privateer captain when Devon Lindsay stows away aboard his ship after her Connecticut town has been burned by the British. Raveneau cynically agrees to deliver her to her childhood sweetheart in Virginia but doesn’t count on his own potent attraction to the enchanting, courageous Devon.
Although Raveneau has vowed to never succumb to love, can he stand by and watch Devon marry another man?
Through high adventure, swashbuckling sea battles, and the colorful history of America’s revolution, the couple struggles against the fiery passion that binds them together.
"This is my ALL-TIME favorite historical romance - and André Raveneau is my favorite hero! I've read hundreds upon hundreds of them and it simply doesn't get any better than SILVER STORM." ~ PAST ROMANCE, Historical Romance Reviews
Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming, carefree sort of guy. When the mysterious Lena Benton walks into his bar looking scared and defeated, it's not something he can ignore. He's immediately consumed by concern for her and driven by his desire to help. She's just so beautiful. So wounded.
After being shuffled from one foster home to another growing up, Lena Benton dreamt of finding her prince charming. When the captivating Troy Harington sweeps her off her feet shortly after high school graduation, she's certain she's found her happiness. Unfortunately, Troy's true colors surface shortly after their marriage and things turn ugly. Lena only has one choice. She has to leave him. She has to run...
Lena's escape has brought her to Jackson, and he clearly wants to be there for her, but can she trust anyone again after what she's gone through? And will Jackson be able to help her heal without losing his heart?
Island settings have a special kind of nostalgic magic, and CJ Hunt has imbued River's End with a mix of small town charm and sexy fun that pulls readers in and makes them want to stay for more." ~Laurel Greer, author of From Exes to Expecting"
Isaac MacAllister’s life revolves around building his business and doing his best to give his daughter Sara a strong sense of family. Over the years he’s had to learn how to keep their little family together on his own, but this Christmas Isaac is going to have some unexpected help.
Christmas blogger Jenna Murphy has one goal for the holidays this year: to get far away from anything to do with Christmas. Her website sale is done, and after 1,825 posts about the big C, it’s one “season” she never wants to celebrate again. She’s ready to start a new life, and the Big River Lodge seems like the perfect place for her to figure out the details. The lodge is isolated, she has her own private cabin, and no one in her family will know where she is.
But she didn’t plan on the highly distracting presence of Isaac MacAllister. Is Jenna going to let one sexy dad and his sweet kindergartener derail her plans for her holiday … and her life?
Come home to Rivers End…
While all the Rivers End stories can be read as standalones, you may want to read each mini-series in order to preserve any plot surprises and get the full picture of how the characters lives weave together!
Lauren Taylor and her young son have fled back to her hometown to escape fame’s cruel spotlight, and all she wants to do is start over. No press, no pictures, no problem. Until Nate Fraser, a sexy photojournalist, moves in next door. Resisting his kisses and keeping her secrets soon become the hardest thing she’s ever done.
Nate’s got one foot out the door and one last assignment before he resumes his nomadic lifestyle, camera in hand. His every instinct screams that his beautiful but unwelcoming neighbour is hiding something. He couldn’t care less when it’s difficult enough to keep his eyes—and lips—off of her. No matter how much Nate attempts to keep his heart out of reach, he’s drawn into her life. But a guy like him can never have what he wants most. Can he?
HIDE YOUR HEART is the first story in Tracey Alvarez’s Bounty Bay series, set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like heartwarming, sexy and sweet small town romances, you’ll love sharing the journey with these authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone. Welcome to Bounty Bay, where the reward of true love is a price only some are willing to pay.
Download your copy of Hide Your Heart today and uncover the secret lives and hidden passions simmering in New Zealand’s sultry, subtropical Far North.
Intended for mature 18+ aged readers who enjoy their feel good romance on the sensual side.
A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.
Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have?
Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren't all that's surging beneath the surface.
http:wwwDante Vanderbilt. 6”4. Muscular. Sexy hazel eyes. Dark silky hair. The sort of man that no woman wants to say no to. And he knows it. He’s cocky, arrogant, and the most handsome man I’ve ever met in my life.
I’m not the sort of girl to have a one night stand. I’m not the sort of girl that hooks up in someone’s office, but when I met Dante, I no longer recognized the sort of girl that I was. I decided to let caution sail to the wind and go with the flow and submit everything to him.
But then, Dante did something unexpected. Suddenly he turned the heat to up 100 and I’m left hanging on by confused angry threads. Now it’s my turn to tables on him. Now it’s my turn to play some secret games.
NOTE: This novella is a free steamy prequel to the full-length standalone novel Dante, that will be released on December 27th. It will also be included in Dante when it is released, so you can read it first as a free download or you can read it as part of the novel on release day.
B00XEKFLIEEd Talbot isn’t husband material. He’s an outlaw, was forced into his father’s gang at the age of thirteen, and is wanted Dead or Alive in more than one territory. But now his father is dead, he hates the life, the blood, and his brother’s rages. When a stagecoach robbery goes awry, Ed ends up with a satchel full of charming letters from an enticing young miss. Unfortunately for Miss Lizzie Cobb, her betrothed is now dead, and Ed Talbot sees a way out. Impersonating a fine, upstanding young man shouldn’t be too difficult. Despite the risks, falling in love with her proves to be all too easy.
Isolated on her mother’s ranch just outside of Tombstone, Miss Lizzie Cobb doesn’t have the time or the means to find a respectable husband. As a half Apache woman in the Arizona Territory, being a mail order bride seems like the only solution to her problem until she realizes that San Francisco is too far away, and she’ll have to leave her vulnerable mother and baby brother behind. Her solution? Call off the wedding.
When her groom shows up on her doorstep, she’s shocked. He’s handsome, strong, and has traveled hundreds of miles to claim her. His kisses inflame her body and his presence soothes her soul. Falling for the rugged man is beyond her control. But the past has a way of catching up to outlaws, and facing the truth is going to be hard…for both of them
Can a lady tempt a Free Fellow to surrender his heart?
As a founding member of the Free Fellows League—a group of four gentlemen who signed a pledge to never wed when they were lads—Griffin, Viscount Abernathy, swears that he will put off marrying as long as possible. But when he is suddenly called off to war, he has no choice but to obey his father’s wishes and find a wife…
Just days later, he marries the lovely Lady Alyssa. For a man committed only to his freedom, she seems a perfect—and perfectly undemanding—bride. Intelligent and self-sufficient, Alyssa craves her independence just as much as Griffin loves his. But as the irresistible attraction between them flourishes with every look and touch, they discover there is something they desire even more than a loveless marriage of convenience—the passion they find in each other’s arms…
Book 1 of the “Free Fellows League” Series, which includes BARELY A BRIDE, MERELY THE GROOM, HARDLY A HUSBAND, TRULY A WIFE, A BACHELOR STILL and CLEARLY A COUPLE (a novella from TALK OF THE TON)
How could a dinner date with the handsome Niccolo possibly go wrong? Or perhaps, how could it possibly go right for Anna, who suddenly finds herself behind the wheel of a probably stolen car, driving down a dark and eerie country lane in the company of a complete stranger?
This certainly isn’t her idea of romantic.
What is Niccolo's real motive? Are his feelings genuine, or is she just a pawn to be used in his game strategy, whatever that might be?
All she wanted was a normal life. Heaven and hell had other plans.
Joey Benton is the mortal child of an angel; a title that sits heavy on her shoulders. She has no interest in serving Heaven until a handsome stranger forces her to question the world around her.
Ursus, an Archangel, doesn't want another charge--especially one so defiant as Joey. Protecting her from Hell might very well be the biggest challenge of his immortal life. But when his feelings for Joey get in the way of his duty, it's a challenge he refuses to lose.
Since I'm all about fairy tales with the upcoming release of my own dark fairy tale, Odile, coming out soon, I decided to put together a list of some of the best new-to-me Fairy Tale Romances I could find. These all look amazing! In this list, you'll find a fun mix of both indie and traditional authors' books. I tried to find a pretty good variety for you too. Some are medieval fantasy, others are modern day retells. I've included the links in case you see anything so whimsical that you just can't live without it. Happy reading!
A Kiss At Midnight Eloisa James
Miss Kate Daltry doesn't believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.
Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince... and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.
Gabriel likes his fiancee, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn't love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.
Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.
Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble...
Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune...
Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.
Cat’s Tale Bettie Sharp
Once upon a time there was a scheming, lying tart who cared for nothing but her own pleasures and her shoe collection.
Once the peerlessly beautiful Lady Catriona, consort to the king, Cat's fortunes fall far when her aged husband dies. The king's wizard turns her into a cat and tries to drown her in the mill pond. Fortunately Cat is a clever survivor and enlists the help of Julian, the miller's youngest son, in her plan for revenge.
She originally sees Julian as a mere pawn for her plans to break her curse, but as they work together Cat comes to know and care for him. Even if the curse can be broken, can a good-hearted man love a woman who has been as vain and selfish as Cat?
The Beast by Judith Ivory
An exquisite American heiress, Louise Vandermeer is beautiful, brilliant. . . and bored-which is why she has agreed to a daring adventure: to travel across the ocean to marry an aristocrat abroad. Rumor has it her intended is a hideous cad-a grim prospect that propels her into a passionate, reckless affair with a compelling stranger she never sees in the light of day.
Though scarred by a childhood illness, Charles d'Harcourt has successfully wooed Europe's most sophisticated beauties. For a lark, he contrived to travel incognito on his own fiancee's ship-and seduce the young chit in utter darkness. But the rake's prank backfired. It was he who was smitten-while the hot-tempered Lulu, now his wife, loves only her shipboard lover, unaware it was d'Harcourt all the time! And Charles will never have her heart-unless he can open her eyes to the prince who hides within.
Belle and the Pirate by Vivienne Savage
Tinker Bell may long for companionship, but unpaired male fae are a rarity in Cairn Ocland. When her dearest friends become parents, Tink embarks on a journey to the fairy birthlands to meet the sprite born from the baby’s first laugh. Unfortunately, her adventure doesn’t go according to plan when poachers interrupt her mission.
Captain James Hook deserted the Eisland Navy twelve years ago to battle slavery on the high seas. As a pirate, he raids the ships of his former kingdom and their corrupt allies to the east while liberating them of ill-gotten goods. Rescuing a little fairy bound for the pet trade is an unexpected bonus.
Tink is everything James has ever desired in a woman—courageous, feisty, and loyal, but her diminutive size isn’t their largest obstacle. The Eisland Navy has a new weapon at its command, a mystery capable of demolishing a ship in a single blow. And the Jolly Roger is their next target.
Undertake a magical journey in Vivienne Savage's new romantic fantasy series loosely based on the lore of multiple fairy tales. Meet strong heroines supported by a cast of sexy heroes, intriguing friends, and devious villains.
Goblin Cinderella Lidiya Foxglove
I didn’t want to fall in love with the prince. He’s a high elf, rich and handsome, and…well, there are rumors he dabbles in dark magic. I’m half-goblin and I know he’d never choose me as his bride in the first place. I just wanted my wicked stepsisters to see him dancing with me before I run away and leave this city forever, to start a new life.
But it seems my goblin godmother had other plans.
The spell she cast upon me? The one she told me would make the prince want to “dance" with me? The moment he touches me, I feel desire like I’ve never imagined. And I can tell he feels the same. I’m not sure this is the sort of dance I had in mind. We’re drawn together by magic—but can magic forge the bonds of true love?
And if it did…would be stepmother ever let me find happiness? My goblin godmother isn’t the only one with plans. It seems my stepmother is willing to lie, steal, and even kill to keep me from a happily ever after. But goblins are known for making trouble, and I’m ready for revenge.
The Goblin Cinderella is a standalone fairy tale retelling for those who like an unabashedly adorable happily ever after with a side of serious steaminess! (And a cameo or two by Beauty and her Goblin King!)
Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Aster a strange thing happened.
They say the prince married a girl who was not what she appeared and that another girl who saved the kingdom vanished without a trace. Some said it was witchcraft. Some said it was only a legend. For those who knew the truth, it was magic....
Rescued from the sea at an early age, Pearl grew up within sight of the water...and the castle. With her pale skin and silvery hair, she was an outcast in the village. Her only friend was a boy she met on the beach -- a young prince named James, who understood Pearl's desire just to be like everyone else.
Their friendship is viewed from afar by many: a disdainful king, Pearl's worried foster parents, a jealous young mermaid, a lovestruck merman, and the powerful sea witch. Now a storm brews in the kingdom, with a tidal force that could keep Pearl and James apart.
Wickedly Charming Kristine Grayson
"Wickedly entertaining! Light, witty, and original, Wickedly Charming is also a wry insider's view of publishing and the heady delights of being a booklover." -Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author of Never Less Than A Lady
He's given up on happily-ever-after...
Cinderella's Prince Charming is divorced and at a dead end. The new owner of a bookstore, Charming has given up on women, royalty, and anything that smacks of a future. That is, until he meets up with Mellie...
But she may be the key to happily-right-now
Mellie is sick and tired of stepmothers being misunderstood. Vampires have redeemed their reputation, why shouldn't stepmothers do the same? Then she runs into the handsomest, most charming man she's ever met and discovers she's going about her mission all wrong...
It's only natural that sparks fly and magic ensues when these two fairy tale refugees put their heads-and vulnerable hearts-together...
Praise for Simply Irresistible
"A sweet romance...Grayson's clever, humor-tinged writing is absolutely delightful." -Booklist
"Danger, humor, and passion are all here and in full force." -RT Bookclub Top Pick
The Mermaid’s Knight Jill Myles
When a car accident takes Leah Sunderland's life, she finds herself in dire need of divine assistance. Her fairy godmother comes to the rescue, but her help comes with conditions. As a fairy godmother, the only assistance she can offer deals with (you guessed it) fairy tales. To win a second chance at life, Leah must play out the tale of The Little Mermaid.
Armed with a mermaid tail and nothing else (not even a voice!), she has one month to make a nobleman fall in love with her, or else she'll die permanently. But the nobleman she must seduce is a hard, fierce warlord who thinks she's a spy and the mistress of his enemy.
Can she win him over before the thirty days are up? Or is she in danger of losing her heart as well as her life?
The Princess’s Heart by Samanthe Lee
If I don’t have a heart, then I can’t feel any pain.
Is what Gabrielle thinks when she asks her fairy godmother to take her heart away. It is a decision that changes her life forever. For the first time in Gabrielle's life, she feels free. Gabrielle feels free enough to leave behind the grief of losing her father, the pain of living with an unbearable stepfamily, and an unrequited love. To celebrate her decision to runaway, she goes drinking and clubbing at a hot new club. Everything is going well until she passes out drunk and wakes with her leg thrown over hard muscled legs and her hand, comfortably resting on top of a well-muscled chest. What should have been a pleasant inconvenience turns into a whirlwind of cussing and well… a different kind of tussling. Can Beast win the heart Gabrielle thought she lost? Does he even want to?
Beast can’t die because he’s trapped in a curse, and he loves it. The only way to break the curse is to find and fall in love with The One who can shatter the cage that holds his heart. Of course, he has no intention of finding The One, or falling in love with her. Until one night at his club, the axis of his world tilts when he meets strong, sassy, and dirty dancing Gabrielle, The One. Beast won’t go down without a fight, he refuses to let one woman trap him into mortality, because he’s having too much fun being a wicked immortal.
The Princess’s Heart is a Fairy Tale suited for adults (18 or over).
The Rose Bride Nancy Holder
"ONCE UPON A TIME" IS TIMELESS
When Rose's mother dies, her only comfort is the exquisite rose garden her mother left behind. The purple blossoms serve as an assurance of her mother's love. But Rose is dealt a second blow when her father dies and his greedy widow, Ombrine, and her daughter, Desirée, move in and take over the manor in true Cinderella fashion.
Fate has been cruel to Ombrine and Desirée, too. So despite their harsh ways, Rose has compassion. But these feelings are bitterly tested when, in a rage, Ombrine tears out the garden. Rose nearly gives up all hope--until a chance meeting with the king. Happiness might be within her reach, but first she must prevail over Ombrine. And then she must determine if she has the courage to love.
A commoner and the outcast of her village, Nika is forced to flee her home to keep the dark secret of her birth. When she is hunted by a rugged Northman, she finds herself lost in a land of spells and curses. His kisses start to melt her cold, lonely heart, her secrets are laid bare and she finds herself in a magic war for the man and the kingdom she loves.
King of a cursed winter kingdom...when Vasilli first lays eyes on Nika stealing bread at a fair, he knows he has to have the fair haired beauty. The legends surrounding his kingdom tell of a snow maiden who will break the curse of the Northern Kingdom but he wants Nika for his own.
From a land of winter, ice and snow comes a tale of enchantment and romance.
Mages and sorceresses, omens and curses - this spellbinding grownup fairytale is a story of magic in an ancient land and a legendary love that will heat up even the coldest night.
Inspired by the Russian fairytale The Snow Maiden. This story involves some intimate scenes and adult situations. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
A fairy tale romance – perfect for the holiday season and beyond!
Great snuggle up by the fire read!
From a cursed winter kingdom, comes a tale of magic, prophecy and romance.
An Enchanted Lands romance.
And don't forget, very soon Odile, The Legend of the Black Swan will be available. Pre order your copy today!
Pale, cold mistress of the serpent’s lair, blood red lips and coal black hair…
Enter the world of the Black Swan, a dark and seductive tale where things are not always as they seem. Odile is the reviled villainess of Aarroughac, a castle inhabited by the evil wizard, Count Rothebart. After a sinister magic sweeps through the land and results in death, Odile is accused of the crime. Von Rothebart vanishes, leaving her to face the wrath of an entire kingdom alone until a mysterious stranger with powers of his own comes along.
With vengeance as his guide, Lord Azarus di Caspari hunts an ancient curse. When he crosses paths with the Black Swan of legend, he immediately makes up his mind to use the temptress’s magic for his own devices. But when Azarus learns that the story of the sorceress might not be true, disappointment gives way to desire. Spells are cast and secrets are revealed, but can love exist in the shadow of two dark hearts such as theirs?
Are the tales of the Black Swan true? Is she a murderess and an evil sorceress to be feared or is she the only thing standing between true evil and the fall of a kingdom? Only time will tell as the magical story of the Black Swan unfolds.
Odile, Legend of the Black Swan is a fantasy, fairy tale romance inspired by the legendary ballet, Swan Lake.
An Enchanted Lands Romance.
Happy Wine Wednesday everybody! Yes, it's finally here--our little holiday in the middle of the week. Take a deep breath and know that you are now on the downhill slide. While your at it, treat yourself. This week's wine / book pairing is brought to you by Mark West Chardonnay and Author Carol Deeley's Sandalwood. Sandalwood is a New Adult Romance that I'm certain will have you intrigued. So, once the work day is done and the weekend is nearly in sight, sit back and enjoy this fabulous read with a glass of Mark West Chardonnay. Happy reading!
Josie’s life can usually be described as mundane, she struggles to pay the rent, keep a beat-up old car on the road and a spark in her love life. As soon as she receives the package things seem to go from bad to worse, her life gets turned upside down and not in a good way.
Josie’s grandmother sent it to her and although they’d never met, she’d heard all about the woman who abandoned her mother merely days after she was born. When Josie decides to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and find if there is another story behind her disappearance, she’s taken to familiar places that are suddenly full of mystery. There are secrets to be learned from family she never knew she had and there’s a distinct possibility she’ll uncover more than she bargained for.
NA. Contains minimal adult content. YA version available with no adult content.
A little tease of one of my favorite lines from Odile...
She smiled, wishing once again that these rites they acted were for more than just show. Every black thing she’d been taught to hate about herself, Azarus brought to the light. At first she thought he exposed her but now she knew the truth. Each moment with him healed her, forced who she really was to the fore. Like the primitive sounds of the villagers’ music, he wove the frayed strands of her soul together in a song so wildly beautiful it could never be heard by anyone’s ears but his own. She’d burn for him forever.
Enter the world of the Black Swan.
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As the release of Odile, Legend of the Black Swan draws closer, I'm compelled to give a bit more background behind this writing journey that I have set out on with my Enchanted Lands Romances. I know that there are only two books in this collection so far (erm... well 1 1/2, seeing as how Odile is not fully released yet) but back over a year ago, when I wrote Snow Maiden, I never really thought that I would do anymore of these ballet based stories. I guess as a former dancer myself I felt too close to the dance world to write about it. And to be honest, a lot of the time that I have seen the ballet-slash-dancer life taken out of the dance studio or off of the stage and put into book of film form, I haven't ever really been all that pleased. Many attempts (Hollywood I'm looking at you here) seemed to relish stripping away the magic to reveal the dark, seedy, side of the art form. That's fine. It adds drama blah, blah, blah... and while, sadly, its true that the world of ballet is not all sweetness and light, I found that, in my mind, what I loved best about dancing, performing on stage and certainly in my work teaching others about dance was the storytelling.
When the idea for Snow Maiden, which I based on the Snow Queen and King from the Nutcracker Ballet, popped into my head, I was searching for a story that I could put together quickly, something for the season I was in at the time and something that I knew I could fall in love with right away. The Snow Scene in Nutcracker has always been my favorite part of that ballet. The music, the magical setting, what it symbolizes in the story and, of course, the costumes! I've danced that scene many, many times and it's never stopped being my favorite. It's the perfect fantasy world to me. When I had the honor of dancing the role of the Snow Queen herself, I even started to wonder where the idea for such a character had come from. This was a fleeting thought in my dancer mind. I was much more consumed by learning the steps, then perfecting them and all of the other demanding and exciting things that go through a performer's mind in preparation for the stage. But years later, when I had the even greater honor to be entrusted with the task of teaching students to dance these timeless story ballets, those thoughts came on me again. Where did the characters in these ballets come from? It became very important to me to make sure that my students knew the stories behind the steps I was teaching them.
Every time I started to set a new ballet on my students, I would always take time in the beginning to tell them the story. So many of these ballets are fairy tales, true, but also folktales, myths and mini histories rich in regional cultures from around the world. So much to learn about! I would also share with them what had driven me when I was a young dancer. "We are always telling a story," I would say. "Dance is communicating. We are speaking to others through movement." In the words of the great dancer Ted Shawn from his Credo, "... dance is the universal language..."
Coming back to my inspiration for Snow Maiden, it just felt natural to create my own story wrapped around the memory of a favorite stage scene. Snow Queen and King are not the main characters in Nutcracker, but even after many years and hanging up my own pair of pointe shoes, the idea that their might be a story behind those ethereal figures still intrigued me. Anyone who knows ballet, knows that there are a lot different characters in any ballet that play key roles. Some of those roles have become well known in the dance world for the way they showcase a dancer's strength and talent. My goal with Snow Maiden was to take two characters that weren't the leading roles that everyone knows so well and give them a story all their own... a romantic story! This endeavor led me to some fascinating research and an even deeper understanding of how myth and folklore have shaped not only our greatest ballets but many the world's most beloved tales.
Once again, I was telling the story not just through dance this time, but also with words.
In the writing of Odile Legend of the Black Swan, I am once again, pulling a lesser understood character (and a villain no less) from a story ballet and giving her a tale all her own. I know the story of Swan Lake. I've seen it, danced it, heard it many times over. But the idea that Odile could have a whole back story that explains the motivation for her perceived terrible acts, set my imagination on fire.
This month on the blog, leading up to the release of Odile on January 30th, I will be sharing little tidbits with you from the original ballet Swan Lake, as well as some of my thoughts and inspirations for Odile and Azarus's story. I will do the same for Snow Maiden at a later date. This will be a just-for-fun segment on the blog and will probably end up in the xtras section of the website as well. As to future plans for the Enchanted Lands series, there are many more fairy tale ballets I would love to delve into and many, many more wonderful characters that have been patiently waiting in the wings to have their stories told. I would consider it a great honor to share those stories with you.
About the Author
Amanda V Shane is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance and is currently working on her Tides of Atlantis series about the super hot lost kings of Atlantis as well as her Enchanted Lands Romances.