Criminally Good News

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who loved fairy tale bedtime stories.

I’m not sure why I’m wearing pastel boxing shorts, or why I have them on sideways…but then again, it was the 80′s & my style icon was Punky Brewster.

Once upon a time, my long-suffering and infinitely-patient parents banned certain fairy tales from bedtime… because I asked too many questions. With all my whys and hows and wait-a-minutes, it could take hours to reach the happily ever after. And none of their answers were particularly satisfying.

The Princess and the Pea was one of the first stories to be eliminated from our bedtime repertoire.

I’m not a little girl anymore, but I couldn’t forget those questions.* So, I came up with my own answers…

Starting in winter 2015 you’ll be able to find them in:

HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH : Once Upon a Crime Family– book 1

As the name implies, the books are crime family fairy tale retellings. And the crime families traffic human organs.

It’s YA. A little bit thriller. A little bit fairy tale. And, of course there are kissing scenes!

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

*yes, I’ll definitely share a whole lot more about which questions inspired this story, but you’ll have to be a little bit patient…

AFTER Happily Ever After

“And they all lived happily ever after.” My dad would close the book cover and lean down to give me goodnight kiss.
“And then what?”

This was a common conversation when I was a teensy-Tiffany. Happily Ever After wasn’t enough – I wasn’t trying to get a stay of execution from bedtime – I wanted to know what happened next.

“Well, Tiffers, they lived happily ever after. So they were, er, happy.”
“But then what happened?”

I wanted to know if Prince Stephan woke up every morning and told Aurora how beautiful she was. Did he get mad when she kept pricking her fingers on spinning wheels and calling out: BAND AID! I need a Band Aid! (In my version of Sleeping Beauty Aurora passes out from seeing the blood – there’s no need for any enchantment on the spindle). Does Prince Charming ever get annoyed that Cinderella allows so many mice in the house? Were there kids: princesses and princelings? I wanted proof of these happy endings – I didn’t want to relinquish characters I loved.

I always thought I’d be happy to read a whole book full of the happy part of the happily ever after. Who needs the conflict and tension? I’d be thrilled to see the other Prince Charming pick wildflowers for Snow White, or hear Darcy speak sweet, proud, nothings to Lizzie.

Or would I? Jo’s Boys and Little Men aren’t as interesting as Little Women (this could be because I’ve never forgiven rotten Jo for breaking Laurie’s heart). The kiss exchanged by Clary and Jace at the end of City of Glass doesn’t have a tenth of the passion of the forbidden one they share in fairy court in City of Ashes. And Breaking Dawn? Everything I wanted for Edward and Bella happened in the first hundred pages, the next 600+ pages weren’t all happy, but the seemed to go on forever and continue long after the plot had dissolved.

Would I want to hear Darcy complain to Lizzie about drainage and tenants at Pemberley or know the details of Rochester’s lifelong struggles to cope with the loss of a hand and vision in one eye? Not so much.

If I want to hear a Prince Charming talk about laundry, dishes, or other day-to-day aspects of what’s next? , I’ll just turn to my St. Matt.

As much as I hate when characters I love are hurting, as much as I agonize over adding tension and terror to the lives of my own characters, a story isn’t a story without suspense and conflict. The happily ever after isn’t special if the characters didn’t struggle or overcome an obstacle to achieve it.

Maybe I don’t need to know what happens, after the Happily Ever After, after all.

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