My favorite fairy tale has always been “The Goose Girl.” It’s the reason Conrad is one of the main characters in Dearest! Conrad was the clever boy who reported to the king that there was something fishy about the girl he tended the geese with…like the fact that she knew how to call the wind. . . . My second-favorite fairy tales are “Snow White and Rose Red” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”
Dearest is based in part on “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen and “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. How are both of these tales referenced in Dearest?
I reread “The Wild Swans” again before I started writing Dearest
— it’s amazing how much detail that story goes into. Elisa has 11 brothers who are cursed into swans by a wicked sorceress stepmother who quickly turns the king’s heart against his children. She also tries to curse Elisa, but her heart is so pure that the sorceress is forced to make Elisa physically ugly to serve her purpose…
Kelly P’s Blog – A Weave of Words Fairy Tale Rant Intro
The book, out of print now (but still fairly easy to acquire), is about a lazy prince and a weaver’s daughter. In order to win her heart, the prince learns to read and write and weave. In return, the weaver’s daughter learns to ride a horse and fight with a sword.
Mel’s Shelves – Review
This book has plenty for everyone–humor, romance, secrets, danger, adventure and magic. I think I would enjoy it even more the second time through since there are references I most likely missed. There’s more to come in this series so I’m sure I’ll read through all of them again in the future. If you enjoy adventurous fairytale mash-ups, you’ll want to start reading this series now!
Jan Edwards – Q&A
What are you up to next?
This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome(another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review
I loved the way different fairy tales were twisted and mashed up. . . . It really was a lot of fun to see where the story would go. I need to go back and read the first two!
A Backwards Story – I Dedicate This Post To You (Review HERE)
One of my favorite parts of a book is the dedication. Before the interwebs, a dedication—because there wasn’t always an acknowledgements section or author’s note, especially in fiction—was the closest a reader came to knowing the author as a person.
Wishful Endings – Review
I loved all the nods to various folklore and fairy tales. The author is definitely a master at blending different tales while making them completely original and her own. . . . I would highly recommend Dearest as well as this entire series.
Library of a Book Witch – Review
I loved that this focused on the Fairy Tale of the seven swans and not only that but also another story that I am familiar with. . . . The story is so fast moving I flew through the book (like a swan, get it, ha!) but it was just so engaging. So many wonderful things come together to keep the plot moving. So many wonderful characters.
The Quotable – Fairy Tales Incorporated
I’m often asked which fairy tales I’m putting into the next installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series, or how many I’ve already included, or which ones are my favorites, or which ones inspire me the most. Rarely do I get the question of HOW I incorporate all these fairy tales into the bouillabaisse that is the Once Upon a Time of Arilland — which is probably a good thing, because it’s not a short answer…
Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads
The Written Adventure – Interview
2) What gave you the idea for this book?
I always start each one of the Woodcutter Sisters books with a “base note” fairy tale (like a base note in perfume). The base note for Dearest was “The Wild Swans” (aka “The Six Swans”). But I can’t think of fine-feathered fairy tales without thinking of my personal favorite, “The Goose Girl”…so I had to add that too. From there, the rest just sort of fell into place.
My Life Loves and Passion – Review
To start with I LOVED this cover. It was just so beautiful. . . . I just loved how this story started. It was so magical. I really loved just everything about this book!
Colorimetry – Swan Lake Fairy Tale Rant & Review
When I began writing Dearest, I knew I wanted to incorporate “The Goose Girl” and “The Wild Swans” and “The Six Swans” and every other fairy tale that involves a gaggle of men who are cursed into birds. . . . This was my favorite book in the series so far and not just because I rec’d an early review copy that Alethea signed and doodled, although… I 5-star love that, too. Mostly 5 stars because this story makes me want to know and remember ALL the stories, which is crazy and not even possible because they haven’t all been written, yet!
I Am A Reader – The Casting of the Swans
As many writers—and children in Deep-Doodoo Trouble—know, the best stories are often an amalgamation of more than one thing. One idea comes to mind that sparks a myriad of other ideas…some you might have had a very long time ago, and some you might have imagined only yesterday. . . . The seven Swan Brothers of Dearest were a story born of three such singular ideas.
The Library of the Seen – Interview
What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?
Beauty and Deerskin, both by Robin McKinley (she’s the fairy tale retelling queen!) Also, A Curse Dark As Gold, a Rumplestiltskin retelling by Elizabeth C. Bunce. And the movie Ever After…which in many ways inspired Enchanted (because I loved the film so much and still wanted to do my own Cinderella.)
18 – Special post on @ Dear Teen Me – Letter to her teen BFF
Printcess & Living a Goddess Life – Review
You recall my earlier review of the first two in the series, Enchanted and Hero. Well, I actually liked this one the best. Kontis appears to be improving in style and scope with each book, which makes for a nice change!
Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Interview
2 Do you read/comment on reviews of your books?
I do! I don’t have a lot of time to do so anymore–and I often hear that reviewers are sometime freaked out when the author pops by unannounced–but I do have Google Alerts and Twitter searches saved with my name. (It’s nice to be the only Alethea Kontis on the planet!) I appreciate every reader who takes the time to write a review. I used to be a book reviewer, both in print and online–I know how much extra energy it takes to put those thoughts into useful words.
100 Pages A Day – Review
Tristan is the serious brother that Friday falls for- and is mostly instant love since they only see each other at night, but the romance was painted as genuine and this is a fairy tale. For any lover of fairy tales and re-tellings this would be a good series to pick up.
mrsjennyreads – Review
An enchanting delight of a story, this is true fantasy fun. Kontis, I believe, may be wielding magic of her own.
Books and Ashes – Review
I really enjoyed this story though because it was everything I wanted to know and more about what was happening in Arilland while Saturday was adventuring as a pirate (which was my favorite part about Hero) and this book gave me that and more by the time I finished it. I can’t wait to see which sister is next in the series!
Addicted Readers – Seamstress Extraordinaire
In the Woodcutter series, I had to coin the phrase “Seamstress Extraordinaire,” because the publisher did not like that I called Yarlitza Mitella a Master Seamstress. They asked if I could change it to Mistress…but a Master at a craft is not a Mistress, no matter what their sex. There are female Jedi Masters, for heaven’s sake. All the D&D Guild Masters–men or women–were Masters.
Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books – Review
“World building and humor in DEAREST was nicely done. Alethea also gets major points for taking such well know fairy tales and making them her own…”
Katy’s Krazy Books – Review
So I thought that the plot was really good. Friday is an awesome chick that I just wish I could be. I mean who doesn’t want to be able to save a couple of hot twins from turning into swans each day. Not to mention, the girl gets to do the saving in this story, NOT the guy.
The Daily Prophecy – Fairy Tale Rant on Tristan & Isolde
I have found that, during the process of writing a novel, I am drawn to certain entertainments in my off time. While writing Enchanted, I watched a lot of Jane Austen movies. While writing Hero, I was very drawn to the Summer Olympics…especially the women’s swimming competitions. While writing Dearest, I re-watched most of Stargate: Atlantis…and all of Merlin.
Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
Where do you get your information or ideas?
I get information from everywhere–people, when I can find them, books, when I have them close at hand, and the internet, when I need something simple to move the story forward, like the anatomy and habits of a swan.
Min Reads and Reviews – Review
I absolutely loved this book. The story is told beautifully and quite magically, as well. I have not read the previous books in the series, but I am putting them high on my TBR list. I loved absolutely Friday, and I enjoyed getting to know some of her sisters.
Pieces of Whimsy – The Goose Girl
I first read “The Goose Girl” when I was eight years old, from the giant book of fairy tales my Memere bought me (no doubt in the hopes that it might keep me busy for a while). No matter how old I’ve become and what adventures I’ve undertaken, “The Goose Girl” has been my favorite fairy tale since that day.
Wonderous Reviews – Review
The journey that Dearest takes readers on is more than I can put into words without spoiling at least one discovery. I will say that this book is perfect for those that enjoy a story that will inspire and enchant! There is beautiful love, heart pounding action, fantasy and flying, magic and sorcery, destiny and fate, kindness and curses, and a little something for everyone!
The Scribbling Sprite – Interview
6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?
In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!
A Backwards Story – The Missing Last Chapter of Dearest
Alethea talks about Dearest being short one chapter and that you can now read the final chapter.