By Melissa Lemon
In the Kingdom of Mayhem an evil Queen rules the land. Queen Radiance of Mayhem is so evil she determines to kill her newborn daughter just because her husband loves her. King Fredrick after hearing of the Queen's deadly plot against both his daughter and himself steals away during the night into the Fluttering Forest. Before he can escape into the Kingdom of Mischief, Fredrick is tracked by the Queen's executioner. Desperate to save his daughter, Fredrick hides her with his Uncle Barney before he is murdered.
Princess Katiyana, whose name means Snow, was placed under a protective spell if danger should ever find her. As Kat grew under her uncle's loving care, she began helping him in his orchard. But as much as she pleaded to be allowed to go to market each fall, her uncle was adamant that Kat stay home because of the danger. But when Kat is 11 years old her uncle becomes blind, so he hires a boy to help Kat in the orchard and to go to market. Barney tells Kat she can't leave the orchard because it is too dangerous and that he has hidden her existence away from all that know him.
Jeremy Simkins helps Kat and as the years pass the two grow to become friends. But Uncle Barney turns to drink and becomes angry and even cruel to his niece. One day Kat accidentally burns a loaf of bread and Barney erupts at her and hits her. When Jeremy tries to defend her he is fired by Barney. Jeremy begs Kat to let him continue to help her but Kat refuses as she is unable to pay him.
Jeremy returns and tells Kat he loves her and wants her to be safe, so he gives her his six years of wages and tells her to leave her Uncle Barney. He tells her she must go to the market and a friend of his will help her. He tells her that he will find her when he returns from a task that needs to be done.
The next morning when Barney again loses his temper and hits her, Kat leaves and goes to Mischief. But the man that Jeremy told her of seems cruel auctioning off a small man and whipping him. Kat buys the small man with some of the money that Jeremy had given her. When she tells her slave that she doesn't have any work for him or a place to call home, her newly acquired slave, Kurz takes her into the Fluttering Forest to his home. When the seven dwarves hear that she is waitng for a Simkins they allow her into their home because simply knowing a Simkins is to be wronged by one in their opinion.
The years have passes without Queen Radiance knowing that her only daughter still lives. But when she learns that she still lives Queen Radiance dispatches Trevor Blevkey to bring about her daughter's death. But almost as soon as this new danger heads towards Mischief, the spell that was placed upon Kat all those years ago, makes itself known.
But is a spell cast from within a magic mirror enough to keep the Princess of Mayhem alive or will the mother that she never knew destroy her? Will Jeremy find Kat before Trevor does?
If you read Melissa's previous twisted around fairy tale Cinder and Ella you know you are in for a treat with Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem! This newest work is just as delightful and is filled with unexpected twists and moments of profound sadness and equally profound moments of joy.
I was provided a digital loan of an ARC of this title by the publisher for the purpose of this review, all opinions expressed are my own.
~ Interview with Author Melissa Lemon ~
1) When creating you're re-created Fairy Tales how do you determine what to change from the original?
Not a lot of planning goes into this part of it. The re-creations begin with a simple idea and maybe a few characters. From there I just let it go wild. Often I just see where the plot takes me. If I like it, I keep it. If I hate it, I throw it out. Doing this keeps me at a bit of a distance from the original story lines which I like.
2) Cinder and Ella and Snow Whyte definitely play on the name of the original main character, where does your inspiration for these unique names come from?
Cinder and Ella came from the characters since I had them in place before the title. Snow Whyte took some tweaking. I originally wanted the book to be called "White as the Driven Snow" or "White as Snow." After bouncing around a few ideas with my publisher,Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem was the final decision. I love that Whyte ended up spelled differently, which wasn't planned in the beginning. The book focuses a lot on names, some of them foreign, so spelling it differently fit well. Now I can't imagine it any other way.
3) In both Cinder and Ella and Snow Whyte the mothers are anything but loving and nurturing. Why did you do away with the step-mother and instead have the birth mother in this role, unlike the original versions?
Two reasons: 1)The step-mother is so overdone. Poor stepmothers. I'm sure they're not ALL bad. 2) Sometimes real moms cause problems, too.
4) What is your favorite scene in Snow Whyte?
When Jasper is set free. I really got connected with this character, and couldn't help feel sorry that my plot had him locked in a prison for almost 20 years. I felt overjoyed to finally see him see the light of day. Another favorite scene is where Jeremy leaves Kat on the orchard. This scene was a dream I had and is where the idea for the whole book came from. It played out so vividly in my head that I knew it had to be used in a book. I can still see how much he loves her!
5) Who is your favorite character in Snow Whyte?
I can't pick just one. I love the main character, Katiyana. She grew so much in this story and I think that reflected a little of what is happening in my own life and in the ways I have been changing over the last year. I also really love Jasper as mentioned before. I have to include Jeremy Simkins and the seven dwarfs as well. I am particularly fond of Kurz. He's probably my favorite dwarf. I love how he is a surrogate father to Katiyana.
6) Are any characters, scenes, or settings based on your own life?
Nope. But would I really tell you if they were? ;) I do wish I lived on Barney's orchard, crooked house and all.
7) What is your favorite part of writing?
Using my imagination to create something so big. It's mind boggling at times. I get so much out of writing stories. Using that creativity that bubbles inside of me is fun, therapeutic, energizing, calming, and so many other things.
Thanks for your time and the added insight into the writer behind Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem.
Many thanks to you for hosting! Happy Thanksgiving!
~ Giveaway ~
Chance to win an ebook of this title.
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From November 22nd - November 28th, 2012
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~ Check out author Melissa Lemon on the web ~http://www.authormelissalemon.
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