Tag Archives: royalty

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales by Anne E. Beall (Book Review)

 

Did Cinderella live happily ever after? You might think so until you look more closely at the hidden messages in beloved fairy tales. In this book, fairy tales are analyzed in terms of the underlying messages about marriage, agency, power, suffering, and good versus evil, with a focus on how male and female characters differ in each of these areas. The analysis is a data-driven approach that provides clear evidence for the hidden messages in these beloved tales. The end conclusion is not whether fairy tales are good or bad but rather what messages they deliver about life, even if unintentionally.

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Finally, someone has written a book shining a light on how twisted some fairy tales really are. Okay, there might be others on the market, but this is my first read of one, and I was impressed with the author’s insight. Anne E. Beall did her research when giving you the facts. She has multiple tables where she breaks down various categories such as who is Marrying Up more often, who is Suffering more, who is Vanquishing Evil the most, and the list and tables go on. 

I’ve had many talks with my daughter about how disturbing fairy tales are. We discussed if we’d ever kiss a random talking frog or dine with a beast (no matter if he kidnapped our dad or not). We also talked about there’s death in every Disney movie, probably in most fairy tales. Some deaths are more graphic than others. Case in point, if you have seen Tarzan then you might recall the shadowy image of Clayton’s hung body in the jungle’s vines. Anyone who complains about the content on non-animated shows should stop and think about what kids see from our famous animated studios. 

The author is correct when she spotlighted the frightening tale of Hansel and Gretel. This isn’t a fairy tale, more like a scary story you’d tell around a campfire. 

When you think of it, most fairy tales involve teens or younger children. These teen girls are (often) held against their will and saved by their princes. I should note these girls are married before they would legally be allowed to drink or vote in the real world. Oh, and let’s not forget they send the wrong image of how a girl should look, dress, and act to attract a rich man. Sheesh! 

Fairy tales are unrealistic. That’s why people of all ages love them. But, if you take off the rose-colored glasses, like Anne E. Beall, you can see these tales for what they are— unrealistic, superficial, unsettling tales that hook you with their catchy tunes. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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add to Goodreads

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

Author Anne E. Beall

​A leader in the field of market research and one of the few female CEOs in the industry, Anne E. Beall is the author of 10 books in business, gender studies, and mindfulness, including Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales and The Psychology of Gender. Her book Heartfelt Connections was named one of the top 100 Notable Indie books in 2016 by Shelf Unbound, and she has published nearly a dozen business articles in noted journals. Her books have been featured in People Magazine, Toronto Sun, Hers Magazine, and Ms. Career Girl, and she has been interviewed by NBC, NPR, and WGN. Having received her PhD in social psychology from Yale University, Anne resides in Evanston, Illinois and is the founder of the market consultancy company Beall Research.


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The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony) by Karen Bobos (Book Review)

The magical sisters are enrolled in an etiquette class when their manners are not fit for the king and queen of the enchanted land of Harmony. Can Elizabeth the Emu help the royal sisters?

In the beautiful and peaceful land of Harmony, three magical sisters and royal daughters of the land, uproot the kingdom’s tranquility with some not-so-polite actions —nose-picking, belching, and other noisy…expulsions. Their parents, the King and Queen, enroll the sisters in the elegant Elizabeth the Emu’s etiquette class where they learn manners and other ways to self-improve like being on time, politeness, and proper personal hygiene.

Elizabeth the Emu explains to Angel Scarlet, Princess Daphne, and Fairy Cora that having proper etiquette is more than good manners, it’s about being kind and courteous. And for the sisters? Well, let’s just say that they will be needing more than one lesson from Elizabeth the Emu’s etiquette class.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 


Amazon has The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony) by Karen Bobos for children 3 – 11 years. Children on the younger side will enjoy humorous moments such as burping and farting princesses. Oh, and let’s not forget Scarlett, digging for gold. Kids will crack up because those three things are always funny to a kid – big or small. 

Etiquette classes are not so common here in the states, but I imagine they are over in the UK, where royalty is a prominent fixture. When you read The Elegant Emu (Adventures in Harmony, it’s wise to ask your child(ren) or student(s) if they understand what etiquette means. Depending on the age of your reader/listener, several other words might need explaining: epitome, tranquility, drear, doting, and insight. 

I do believe some table manners are essential in any home. For instance, chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk with food in your mouth. I also think it’s unsafe to stab a piece of food with a knife and eat off of it. That’s an easy way to cut yourself! Hand washing should be encouraged, not just at meal times and not just for two seconds! My family already knew the happy birthday trick (singing it twice) regarding hand washing, but others may not, so this was a nice addition to the story. 

The final moments in the story made me smile. The poor Emu had a tough day at work, and it was sweet to see her hubby was waiting for her and drew her a bath. What a sweetheart! 

Special shout-out to Emily Hercock for your lovely illustrations. We loved them all, but Patrick the Peacock was our favorite drawing. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Meet the Author:

AUTHOR KAREN BOBOS

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story.  The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.​
 
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Kingdomless (The Evamore Series, Book 1) by Michelle Garyfalakis (Book Spotlight)

KINGDOMLESS by Michelle GaryFalakis

 
The remnants of the United Kingdom of Garth, once ruled by the legendary Dynasty of Evamores are in the throes of conflict. Ten years ago, King Wren of the West discovered Raelle washed up on the shores of the Balour Sea, with no memory of the first nine years of her life. She was brought back to the castle and dutifully cared for and cherished by the king and his three older sons. On her nineteenth birthday, the Western Kingdom’s adoptive princess is secretly sent away by her stepmother to marry King Veras as a token of peace between the kingdoms. But, the Northern King has other plans.

As Raelle’s amnesia melts away with the help of a northern storyteller, she discovers more about the Kingdom of Garth, magic, the lovetie connection of the Evamores, and her role in the grand scheme of things. She is confused, angry, and curiously comfortable in the North.

A dark shadow overcasts all of the kingdoms, and the threatening influence of the fallen god Kellar seems to spread among the people, inciting disorder and violence. While the fate of the kingdoms may rest on Raelle’s shoulders, she can’t help but feel kingdomless. Betrayal is everywhere, from her own adoptive family to her newfound friends. Fearless, observant, witty, and determined, she is town between her attraction to King Veras’ good nature and the unexplained pull to the Tracker Calak. The challenge that she faces is not simple. As the old gods, laws and magic awaken, so does her own sense of self. There is a choice to be made, step into the role expected of her, or dive into the unknown and make her own destiny.

This YA fantasy novel asks the readers important coming of age questions, captures the attention with witty dialogue, relatable characters, and a world that is reawakening its forgotten magic. The readers will be entranced and hungry for more (and perhaps a piece of chocolate cake).

 

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Meet the Author:
Author Michelle Garyfalakis

 
MICHELLE GARYFALAKIS was born and raised throughout Ontario, Canada. She currently lives just outside of Hamilton, Ontario with her husband, four kids and Snowy (their friendly Samoyed-Border Collie). When she isn’t obsessively typing out new stories on her computer, you can find her drinking coffee with a friend, snacking on some guacamole or binge watching Outlander (again). Michelle loves finding creative ways to communicate with people, and her passion for storytelling is the newest addition to that list. 

 
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Romancing the Darkness by Tyler R. Snyder (Book Review / Author Interview)

ROMANCING THE DARKNESS by Tyler R. Snyder

 
Monsters of Mythical Proportion
Worlds of Magic and Power
Forbidden Love
And DEATH. DEATH is the consequence…

When Tristan defies Ambion’s only law—royal and common blood cannot mix, he discovers the consequences are real. The young guardian finds himself in a world where love and hate, war and peace, duty and betrayal blur into darkness. As his world devolves into a battle for survival, he learns only an Angel can save Ambion from the destruction wielded by the Dividers. Is Tristan the Angel destined to save the world or will he succumb to the wiles of a dark goddess?

​“Boy! Hey boy, let me show you the end.” Tristan looked in horror as tens of thousands of men and women were hooded figures. Explosions erupted everywhere, and the black sky spewed red lightning all around the warriors. A ground shaking roar forced Tristan to cover his ears. When he looked up, a massive golden dragon breathed fire upon the world: fire engulfed the horizon. “The end will begin with ash.”   

 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series by Tyler R. Snyder. It’s rated PG-13 + M. There is no sex, but it is implied. I think teen movies and television shows are 1000 times more graphic than this story!


Now, let’s discuss the monsters! I loved the variety of mythical beasts. I was familiar with certain popularized ones, such as the Kraken, wraiths, and dragons. However, Tyler introduced me to some new creatures: terpsichore (serpent-like horse) and a barking rabbit. Yeah, a barking rabbit! Cool, right?!


I think teens will love the fantasy elements in the story. They will probably love all the action sequences as well. Trust me –there are a lot of them. Battles scenes participants included humans, elves, angels, gods, goddesses, and the animals listed above, plus many more I didn’t mention. Fighters used magical powers, medieval weapons (swords and bows, weapons from today’s world (guns), and even futuristic ones (airships). Even though there are numerous fight scenes, they are not overly graphic. I would say they are on par with what teens are watching now. 


What Romancing the Darkness is missing, though, is a glossary/character page. It’s a lot to remember between the characters, beasts, locations, etc. In all honesty, I took notes. What else I would like to see is a card game. I think they would be wildly popular. 


As I stated in my opening sentence, Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series which means this story ends on a cliffhanger. 


Looking forward to book 2! 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Tyler R. Snyder
Tyler Snyder was born in 1984 in Medford, Oregon.

As a child, he was captivated by movies, video games, and Dungeons and Dragons, along with the worlds these activities created. The original spark that ignited Tyler’s imagination was when he wanted to see a movie similar to The Legend of Zelda, but the closest film at the time was The Dark Crystal. That itch, to this day, has still not been scratched. This led him to books and stories like the pastimes he adored and gave him exposure to a much grander well of ideas and possibilities. Meeting like-minded friends who shared the same hobbies, Tyler developed a passion for creating new worlds. In Romancing the Darkness, Tyler explores his world, Ambion, and the countless decisions confronting his characters.

Mr. Snyder currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, Sandra.

 

 

 

  1. If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

Tristan. Easy. In creating Tristan, I tried to put as much of myself into him as I could without deluding the character too much. With Tristan entering this vast world of magic and mythical monsters he is pretty much going into it blind and not as prepared as he would like to be. I feel a lot like that with life, becoming an author and juggling my passion with my day to day life.

 

  1. Do you have another profession other than writing?

I work for Frito Lay. I stock potato chips at three in the morning. It’s not a bad gig. I work anywhere from fifty to sixty hours a week. I actually really enjoy my job. The people I work with are great. And all the new people I meet help fuel some of the character interactions I have in my story. Witnessing social events and interactions between people help me develop my world and the characters that reside within it.

 

 

  1. Do you write every day?

I try my darndest to. With my busy schedule I try to sit down and write for at least an hour every day. Whether it is actual writing or going back through and editing what I have already written. As long as some form of progress is made I’m happy. But man it can get exhausting trying to squeeze it into the schedule. I feel if I stop I will lose that rhythm of doing it each day. In some ways it’s a lot like going to the gym.

 

 

  1. With long work weeks how do you balance your time?

I mean you get used to it after a while. As long as I stick to the schedule it doesn’t seem so bad. I have been bad and haven’t gone to the gym in month so I got to find a way to squeeze at least an hour each day to do that as well. But it’s nothing more than just putting in the work and keeping on your schedule. I make sure I don’t write past a certain time. I have to make sure I have some form of downtime for myself. Whether I’m playing a game after, catching up on Netflix shows or reading a book. Otherwise I may go nuts if work sixteen hours a day with no breaks.

 

 

  1. What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?

There is one book that has stuck with me for years. I’ve read other books since then but none of them ever really jumped off the page the way this one did. The book was Mr. Begone by Clive Barker. Outside my wheelhouse. But I really enjoyed this book. Mostly because I have never read anything like it. But the fact that this little “possessed” book spent every chapter trying to convince be to burn it so the little demon could be set free. I thought it was so clever.

 

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Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 

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Jack Gregson & the Stolen Sons by Peter Wilson (Book Review)

JACK GREGSON AND THE STOLEN SONS by Peter Wilson

 
Dark Mystery
Ancient Prophecy
Family Secrets

When a loud, incessant knocking disturbs the peace at Gregson Manor, David and Rosie once again travel through the mysterious portal, where they encounter darkness, chaos and impossible impossibilities.

Only by fulfilling an ancient prophecy and uniting unlikely allies can they save parallel universes.

A dormant sun awaiting new dawn,
Two stolen sons their mothers mourn.
One will wake from whence they laid,
The other repeats a mistake once made.

​Who are the sons?   

 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Jack Gregson & the Stolen Sons by Peter Wilson had more suspense, mystery, surprises, and bombshells than Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal. It also had more humor, thanks to pixie dust. I like Jarl, the sparkling golden pixie. While she might’ve not been the brightest bulb, she was fun to watch in action. She reminded me of Tinkerbell, except Tinks never turned herself into a frog. 
 
This story also had more family drama and unveiled another traitor. The traitor will play a major role in the next book, which I’m looking forward to reading! 


As with the first book in the series, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal, there is oodles of magic. Colors play a significant role in the magic scenes. If you’re a teacher, this would be an excellent opportunity to discuss symbolism with your students. 


As I stated earlier, there are many humorous scenes in the story. One fight scene made me smile because David was wielding the unlikeliest weapon. Oh, I wish I could tell you what it was, BUT I want to leave you guessing. I can see kids laughing at it, though! I did give a slight chuckle. 


On a final note: I didn’t think Peter Wilson could make the punkey any weirder, but he did. I’m curious how the mutant will evolve in the next book. 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson is an award-winning writer based in Sydney, Australia. His first novel, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal has won awards internationally, in both the USA and United Kingdom, and has quickly become a favourite with young readers. Peter’s second book in his trilogy series, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Sons, is set for release in 2021. In addition to children’s and young adult content, Peter is also interested in writing for the adult market and is currently working on a crime thriller set in his home city, Sydney.

 
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