Mine might be a little different from the other books on this hop. (The story of my life.) My writing tends to be a bit on the serious side, more like the classic definition of Women’s Fiction.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in myself when I realized that Lily the protagonist of my Lilyland Trilogy* is a Cinderella spin-off. I thought I was being more clever than that. But, I became okay with it. After all, the rags-to-riches Cinderella theme has been popular in many cultures for centuries. In other words, it works.
Do me a favor. As you read this, don’t think of Disney’s Cinderella. Think The Brother’s Grimm.
Cinderella planted a tree at her mother’s grave. When she needed dresses (she went to the ball on three different days) she went to the tree and asked the birds who lived for a dress. Each time the dress was more magnificent than the last.
Like Cinderella, my Lily starts off as underappreciated. Knocked down by life, she’s having a hard time getting back up. Her step-mother is Insecurity. Her stepsisters Shame and Guilt. During that time, she meets a Prince Charming Charlie (a bad boy and accomplished film director)at a fund-raising gala—like a ball. They light each other up during the evening of dancing and conversation, even exchanging phone numbers, but neither initiates contact.
Maybe her golden slipper is her smile and the way she touches Charlie’s heart. A twist of fate reunites them a year later, and the magic is still there. He even calls her princess…
“Thank you, Lily.” His solemn expression turned into something goofy, something I hadn’t seen yet. “I keep wanting to call you Princess.”
“Princess? Like on your phone?”
“The night we met you said you felt like a princess.”
“So I did.”
…and invites her to an elite party in Los Angeles where he lives and works. Lily is unaccustomed to the lifestyle of the rich and famous and she’s helped by several of Charlie’s women friends to dress for the occasion. She even compares herself to Cinderella.
“I have something for you,” Charlie said and opened a black case he had been holding. “These are only leased, mind you.”
“You think of everything, don’t you?” I whispered in awe. “Thank you so much! They’re beautiful.”
In front of the hall mirror he placed a simple but elegant diamond necklace on me and clasped it. Sophie and Rachel each inserted an earring.
“Thank you, everyone,” I said. “I feel like Cinderella with all the birds and bunnies dressing her for the ball.”
(Yes, from the Disney version. Face palm.) Birds help our heroine in the Grimm’s version.
Of course, there are several differences. In Lily’s story is we get to see her life after she lands the prince and gains the castle. In fairy tales, we never see the prince’s flaws. Lily’s Prince Charlie has a few of them. The biggie is his sex addiction, putting happily-ever-after in serious jeopardy. We also never see the day-to-day life. Does Cinderella spend the day inspecting the palace’s cleaning staff and offering handy household hints she learned during her years of oppression sweeping hearths and picking peas and lentils from ashes? Does she train birds and design slippers? Lily eagerly jumps in as Charlie’s production company and film directing partner. No Real Housewife life for her!
Cinderella’s slipper was actually “golden” and not glass as in the versions we’re used to. One stepsister cut off a toe and the other her heel to get their feet in the magic shoe.
Another difference is age. Lily is a middle-aged Cinderella with a grown daughter and a painfully failed marriage. And her prince may display charming behavior, but he’s no kid in search of his first wife.
In Grimm version of fairy tales, the baddies are always brought to justice. The good girls and guys always win, unlike real life sometimes. Lily’s princess life throughout the trilogy has its share of challenges that take the composure, wisdom and grace of a queen to handle. Does she get her happily-ever-after? Read Lilyland and find out.
To enter the blog hop contest for a chance to win the prize described below. Simply answer my question below in the comment section here on this blog. You must include your email address so the winner can be notified. Entries without email address won’t be qualified for the contest. (You won’t be subscribed to anything. Promise!) Open to US addresses only. But, I’d love your comment if your not in the US. Winner will be drawn by Rafflecopter on Feb. 16, 2015 and notified by email.
Congratulations Sprite 24 Gift Box from Fairytale Brownies which includes a snack-size assortment (Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate, Original, Peanut Butter, Pecan, Raspberry Swirl, Toffee Crunch, Walnut, White Chocolate, Espresso Nib, Cream Cheese) of 24 delicious gourmet brownies
Question– Even though Lily’s prince has a huge character defect, she gives him a shot. Well, plenty of shots. What would be a deal breaker for your prince? Loud beer burps? Leaving his underwear where you step on it or leaving the toilet seat up? Picking on your mom? Enter your deal breaker in the comments.
Visit with each of these #chicklitlove authors and leave a comment (and email address!) for another entry in the Brownie contest.
* At the point, Lilyland is not quite a trilogy, as book 3 is still in progress.