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A pick 'n' mix genre author. "I'm not greedy. I just like variety."

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

RBTL Tours: Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton


Inspiration Behind The Story

When I think back to how I got started on this book, I guess I have to go back to Facebook. I have a running group chat there, that’s well over a year old, with a group of wonderful writer friends. The Fierce Five talk about everything and anything, but a lot of it is writing related. I’m fairly certain one of us shared a book or movie with a fairy tale retelling (possibly something like the Maleficent trailer), and, at the same time, I’d been reading a lot of articles related to feminism and literature. I suppose the end result of that was inevitable, really.

I asked myself what a fairy tale might look like if every role in the story was completely gender flipped.
Of course, this resulted in a very amusing conversation about the potential in various stories (just think about a male Rapunzel for a second and see if you don’t laugh), but the idea nagged at me. In the days following, I went digging around online, looking for any traces of another writer attempting such a thing. Honestly, I’m still looking. There are plenty of books out there that retell these old stories, but I haven’t quite found one that does this 180-degree spin on it. Fairy tales are taken out of the past and transplanted in the present, or they’re told from a villain’s point of view, or they’re turned into paranormal romances, or several other kinds of things, certainly. I just couldn’t find any novels where the fairy tale feel was solidly there, with the only difference being the genders of the characters.
It was a little boggling, actually. I still can’t believe this doesn’t already exist somewhere out there. If anyone knows where these books are hiding, please tell me so I can give them appropriate attention.
After that search, I have to admit that I got a tiny bit obsessed with the idea. What if the fairy tale version of Snow White wasn’t all that accurate? What if it’d been changed over the years from a prince to a princess? What if, instead of an evil queen, it’s a dastardly king out for blood? And those dwarves? Yeah, I don’t see why they had to be seven little men. So why not? Why not completely turn this trope on its head? What more is there to this story that hadn’t been said already?

In short, I had to find out. I needed to know what a story like that would look like.

And so began my plotting journey. I thought on it for a few days and bounced some ideas off of my friends, then dug in to the actual writing. I was taken completely by surprise by how well the tale lent itself to this bending, as I’d never attempted such a thing before. Even more surprising, other ideas snuck in and I’ve loosely planned six other stories like this one. Each is their own self-contained tale, but all tie in to Shadows on Snow in one way or another. It will be fun to see readers making connections between them as I go along, so I won’t spoil any of those plans for future books here. They’ll all have different themes and life lessons to learn along the way, and I hope that people enjoy that aspect. Fairy tales and fables always come packaged with their own moral-of-the-story, and my Flipped Fairy Tales will be no different.

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Title: Shadows on Snow

Author: Starla Huchton 

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: Fantasy /YA 

Publisher: Self Published 
Release Date: Nov 3 2014
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print


Blurb/Synopsis:

Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe.
Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death.

Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left.

Book Links:
Amazon
Goodreads

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Excerpt:

“You’ve grown up much since last we met,” she said as she circled me.
I closed my eyes and prepared to summon another memory for the mimicry of the evening. “Who shall I be tonight, Godmother? There was a lovely woman in the village a few weeks past that—”
Her wand struck me across my nose, and I winced.
“You’ll do no such thing, silly girl,” she said. “It’s a masked ball and you’re far more beautiful than you think.”
My knees wobbled at the idea. “But I can’t go as my true self, Godmother. If the king sees me—”
“It’s been ten years, child. He wouldn’t know you now.”
Grimacing, I tried to come up with another argument, but the threat of her wand across my nose again stayed my tongue.
“Now then,” she said, rolling her shoulders. “What will it be tonight? The other ladies, did you see any of their gowns before you left?”
I considered it. “A few. Plenty of wintery colors there. Silvers and golds, of course, and light blue is very fashionable at the moment. None so bold as to wear red, but I imagine there will be come Yule, as it won’t be seen as an affront to the ruling house of Sericea to wear their colors then.”
She paused in her pacing and scrutinized every inch of my figure. She’d done so before, but I was considerably more well-endowed than last she saw me at thirteen years. Fairies give no consideration to humanity’s discomfort with nudity, however, and so I stood there for several minutes, naked as the day I was born while she assessed my appearance.
“Though a deep scarlet would suit your coloring well, I think perhaps you’re right about the potential for insult. As such, a nice emerald green will do nicely on you.” She closed her eyes and summoned her magic. Sky blue sprinkles of light rose from the ground and gathered in the air around her. Directing them all with beautiful, graceful motions, they danced in time to the soft tune she hummed under her breath. Fairy magic was unlike anything else in the world. One could not blink or even try to look away from the sight.
“The memory of summer… the warmth of life in the sun… the whisper of wind through leaves… stolen kisses from a lover…” Her words were little more than gentle breaths, but echoed from every corner of the clearing.
The gathered magic twirled in the air, then shifted, wrapping itself around me as a soft blanket. A stiff wind lifted my hair, spinning and weaving it as only fairy magic could. My skin prickled as it absorbed the remaining illumination.
“Open your eyes, child, and see the beauty you are.”
I frowned. “I do not wish for beauty, Godmother. I wish for strength.”
“Strength comes in many forms. Beauty is but one.”
“You’ve been speaking with Delphine, I see,” I said as I opened my eyes. Air stuck in my throat as I beheld myself in the conjured mirror before me. Indeed, I was as beautiful as she said. My plain brown hair was piled in astounding knots and waves, my cheeks flushed with a healthy glow, and my lips red as holly berries. Even my plain brown eyes were painted with swirls of green to match my dress, transforming them into something far more extraordinary.
It was all I could do not to cry.
I turned from the mirror, not able to bear another second of looking at myself this way. Even though I regularly wore a face not my own, this appearance, this horrifying embodiment of temptation, felt like a greater lie than any glamour I’d ever thought to put on. That reflection was not me.
Gentle fingers lifted my chin, forcing me to look into my godmother’s eyes. “Of all the things you could fear, you fear yourself the most. You must not. Others cannot take this from you. Your spirit shines through any spell you weave. Own that. Be proud of it. Your true face is more than how others see you, and those that know your heart will never be fooled by your magic.” She took me by the shoulders and turned me to the mirror once more. “There is power in beauty, but there is greater power in love. That is what you see before you. Never turn away from it.”

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Author Information:


A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread, was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance Endure series in 2013. All three books of the Evolution series, a New Adult Superhero Romance series, were released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, Master of Myth (the Antigone’s Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers’ contest, The Sandy, in 2012. Shadows on Snow, a gender-flipped retelling of Snow White, releases in November 2014.

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at DesignedByStarla.com.



Other Works by Starla
A.K.A S.A.

Evolution Series

The Endure Series
Maven #1
Paradigm #4 (WIP)

The Antigone’s Wrath Series
Master of Machines #2 (WIP)

Stand Alones
Shadows on Snow (Coming this Fall)

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Giveaways!


What’s included:

- Print and ebook copies of Shadows on Snow
- apple mug handpainted and kiln-fired by author Sarah Ashley Jones
- 3 oz. of Spiced Apple Cider tea from Teavana
- Snow White themed necklace

- a big bag of caramel apple pops

There are two separate giveaways:


This is a domestic-U.S. only giveaway.


For international it is an ebook-only giveaway set up. 
That’s here:

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting this stop today! <3

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    1. My pleasure, Starla. Congrats on your new release. The book sounds fabulous! :)

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  2. Not sure if my commaent posted before. The cover was what drew my eye to this post and I love it! The books sounds wonderful!

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    Replies
    1. The cover is awesome, isn't it? Definitely adding this to my tbr pile.

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