Welcome Karen Witemeyer. Karen will be giving away her new release, Head in the Clouds. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.
Fairy Tale Endings
I love happy endings. That's why I adore reading and writing romance novels—I long for that contented sigh at the end, for the hope it instills, for the dreaminess of knowing that love really can conquer all. Love stories with tragic endings? Ugh! They tear my heart out and leave me desperately re-writing the ending in my head to try to capture what was lost. My husband still gives me a hard time for getting so angry in the theater at the end of Sommersby. I edited that ending in my head for days afterward.
Adelaide Proctor, the heroine in Head in the Clouds, is a hopeless romantic—much like the author who created her. She adores love stories, fairy tales, and novels with happy endings even though it is this very passion that gets her into trouble.
Now, happy endings have been around since the beginning of storytelling, but my editors were concerned that having Adelaide use the phrase happily ever after would be too modern an idiom for her 19th century setting. They felt it was more a product of the Disney generation.
Okay, I admit it. I love Disney. I can probably sing the soundtrack to most of their classic animated movies by heart. But my editors got me to thinking . . . Is happily ever after a Disney-ism or is there a basis for it in the fairy tales from which those movies orignated?
The Grimm brothers published their first volume of fairy tales in 1812 and after several revisions and additions had their collection completed by 1857. In my search for a happily ever after, I skimmed through several of the 200 stories. Here are some samples of what I found:
"…and there they lived happily a great many years." – The Frog Prince
"…and they lived happily together all their lives long." – Briar Rose
"…but Snowdrop and the price lived and reigned happily over that land many, many years." – Snowdrop
"…and they lived very happily the rest of their days." – The Four Clever Brothers
You've probably noticed that I failed to find the exact phrase happily ever after, although many are quite similar. So I continued searching, moving on to the works of Hans Christian Andersen, with no success. Finally, I tried Charles Perrault, the Frenchman who first published such classic tales as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Surely, I would find a happily ever after with him. But alas, it was not to be.
Then, just when all hope was gone, I discovered a book of fairy tales published in 1858 entitled Four and Twenty Fairy Tales: Selected from those of Perrault, and Other Popular Writers. I scanned through the stories without much expectation until three little words caught my eye at the bottom of page 335. It was the tale of Princess Minute and King Floridor penned by the Count De Caylus, and it concluded with this wonderful sentence:
"They married, and lived happily ever after."
So what do you prefer? Do you like those tear-jerker stories that wrench your heart, or do you prefer the fairy tale endings with the knight riding off into the sunset with his lady? Leave a comment and be entered for a chance to win a copy of Head in the Clouds.
About Head in the Clouds:
Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.
When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he
never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.
When Isabella's uncle co
mes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?
Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, October November 15st.