A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “fairy tales”

One Cover Poll, Two Authors and a World of Fairy Tales

The First Lie - Book Cover

Short Blurb

When Selkie Moon escapes her life in Sydney to start over in Hawaii, she triggers a series of events so bizarre that she’s forced to delve into the murky depth of the past and face the shocking truth about herself.


When A Lover of Books hosted a cover poll earlier in the year for the psychological mystery/thriller The First Lie, one of the two winners was Kendra Olson. Kendra’s winning comment was: I chose the cover with the water and reflection of two different faces. I found this image both disturbing and intriguing, which is how I expect to feel when reading a psychological mystery/thriller. Good luck!

Author Virginia King sent Kendra her ebook prize of The First Lie and got on with the final drafts of The Second Path, the next book in the Selkie Moon Mystery Series.

From Virginia: When you give away a book you’re always hoping the winner will love it and perhaps write a review but I was blown away when Kendra sent me the following email:

Just a quick note to say thanks so much for an amazing and wonderful read. I genuinely enjoyed The First Lie, A Selkie Moon Mystery. Your characters and storyline meant that I could not put it down until I finished it, and when I did I wished that I had the second book in the series so I could keep reading. It has been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a novel that much. I loved how you combined the mythological and an element of supernatural mystery with the psychological unknown. I’ve read a bit of Freud and felt that your depiction of someone at the brink was particularly apt, and frightening. Selkie was so well drawn that I could easily put myself in her shoes. 

The symbolism of fairy tales has been a passion of mine for a long time – the way the magical elements reveal the mystery behind modern life – and the Selkie Moon mysteries are heavily influenced by psychology and mythology. In The First Lie, Selkie gets tangled up in Celtic and Hawaiian mythology as she unravels the mystery of her own history. It turns out that Kendra is an author too and she also draws inspiration from fairy tales in her own writing.


From Kendra: I’ve always loved fairy tales and their ability to transform the everyday into the magical. For anyone who has ever visited a remote place of natural beauty and suddenly come across a wild animal alone, you’ll know the strange, almost mystical, feeling you get of being ‘at one’ with nature. It’s both frightening and amazing at the same time.

My novel, The Forest King’s Daughter, is set in nineteenth century rural Sweden and is about a young woman named Ingrid who emigrates to America, and the events that propel her towards making that decision. Swedish folklore is filled with tales of mischievous tomte (elves), witches and other creatures which play a role in the culture to this day. This is why Ingrid’s story is told through the lens of a fairy tale which her father tells her.

The story itself was inspired by my imagining what life may have been like for my great-grandmother who emigrated from Sweden to America in 1891 alongside many other young women of her generation. In 2011, I took a trip to Sweden and met my relatives there. They took me to see the house my grandmother had lived in, deep in the Swedish forest. I was enchanted by the beauty of the area; with its deep thickets, secret clearings and unfamiliar wildlife.

I’ve always enjoyed reading, and grew up in a house filled with books. From reading I made the natural jump to writing my own stories. Writing allows me to visit new places I might not otherwise have the chance to—both in my imagination and through research. As Katherine Mansfield once said: ‘Would you not like to try all sorts of lives—one is so very small—but that is the satisfaction of writing—one can impersonate so many people.’

TFKD cover

Short Blurb

An epic, coming-of-age journey told through the lens of a Swedish fairy tale. Set initially in 19th century Sweden and ending in the American state of Minnesota, The Forest King’s Daughter tells the story of Ingrid, a teenager, who lives with her family in rural Värmland.

Ingrid has finished her schooling but when she becomes friends with the new schoolteacher, the village church is angry and her parents forbid their meeting.

Ingrid’s desire to stand up for what she believes in leads her far from her home. While this is the story of a single young woman, it is also the story of hundreds of women like her who emigrated to America in the 19th century.


What’s next for Virginia and Kendra?

The cover poll has led to a long-distance e-friendship between the two authors.

Virginia has just published The Second Path, where Selkie Moon unravels a labyrinth of clues inspired by a French fairy tale (cover reveal coming soon).  She’s already “composting” ideas for Book Three in the series and has a mad idea to involve readers in this wild mythical process. Email her if you’d like to know more: selkiemoonmystery@gmail.com

Follow Selkie Moon’s mysteries, read an extract and download the free guide Messing with Mythology: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Follow the series on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/selkiemoonmysteries

Buy the books for the discount price of £1.99 or US $2.99:

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Virginia-King/e/B00K2N9AGK/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Virginia-King/e/B00K2N9AGK


Kendra has just finished her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and is working on a new novel. She blogs about her writing journey at: https://kendraolson.wordpress.com/

Follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kendraolsonwriting

Buy her book for £3.99 or US $6.28:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forest-Kings-Daughter-Kendra-Olson-ebook/dp/B00UBTSNBI/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Forest-Kings-Daughter-Kendra-Olson-ebook/dp/B00UBTSNBI/

#iBooks https://itun.es/gb/N5Fh6.l


A few words from me……

When Virginia King first contacted me regarding doing a cover poll for her on my blog, I was more than happy to do so.  Little did I know that this would lead to a long-distance e-friendship between her and Kendra Olson.  This just makes me so happy.

I have since then posted a few things for Virginia on here and I am so pleased to have had the privilege of getting to know such a lovely author.  Virginia very kindly sent me a paperback copy of ‘The First Lie’ all the way from Australia with a beautiful message inside it.  A wonderful lady with such a kind heart.


Guest Post by Valerie-Anne Baglietto


Book Blurb

Christmas in Fools Castle will never be the same again.

Nothing much happens around here, but that suits Antoinette Ellis perfectly. She wants the cocoon the village provides. Fate has taken too many of her loved ones, and all she has left is her brother, and their late sister’s daughter, Tabitha. Antoinette gave up her future to look after her young niece, but her sacrifice hasn’t gone unnoticed.

When a stranger called Rufus moves into the grim, grey house opposite her cottage, odd things start to happen in Fools Castle. He admits he’s not the person he appears to be, but he won’t reveal who he really is. And what secrets lie within that little old book of his, which no one is allowed to look inside?

A miracle is long overdue, but the season for miracles is just around the corner…

THE LITTLE BOOK OF LOST HEARTS is an enchanting, festive, contemporary novella perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern and Sarah Addison Allen. 


Valerie-Anne Baglietto has kindly written a guest post for my blog….

When I set out to write a festive story, I instantly homed in on the quote by Calvin Coolidge: ‘Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.’ The season ought to be about kindness and generosity and selflessness, yet those things shouldn’t be reserved only for December. So I wrote about a heroine who’d made a huge sacrifice in her life and how a little magic from an unusual source might help put things back in perspective for her. I also hoped I could capture some of the essence of those Christmas movies we all love to watch year after year, over and over. It’s a Wonderful Life, Nativity!, Elf (fast becoming a classic!) We all have our favourites. I wanted something almost cinematic for an ending, a grand gesture, a glittering homage to my own feel-good mini ‘movie’… Possibly I was being ambitious, but I sincerely hoped it worked (even on a small scale)!


About Valerie-Anne Baglietto


Valerie-Anne Baglietto wrote her first fairy tale at the age of four. A story about a little boy whose mother’s nose was incredibly long and spiral shaped. It should have been obvious where her predilection lay. Fast forward a couple of decades, when she won the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Award for her debut novel THE WRONG SORT OF GIRL. After three more romantic comedies – with no magical elements whatsoever – life with her young family took over.

But on Christmas Eve 2011 Santa brought her a plot to play with. It became ONCE UPON A WINTER, which reached #1 in both the Fairy Tale and the Contemporary Fantasy Charts on Amazon UK. This was followed by THE TROUBLE WITH KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOUR and two short stories in the Belinda Jones’ Travel Club SUNLOUNGER anthologies.

Valerie-Anne’s Christmas novella THE LITTLE BOOK OF LOST HEARTS is a standalone story but introduces the village of Fools Castle, where her next full-length, modern day fairy tale will be set (due out 2015).

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