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Guest Blogger: Naime Simone
Friday, October 5th, 2012

Life’s Not Fair—Even in Fairy Tales

So lately I’ve been kind of preoccupied with fairy tales. It’s almost as if I have a series coming out soon with Ellora’s Cave Publishing based on them with some really cool, sexy name like Breathlessly Ever After. Or something like that. As I was saying, I’ve been reading a lot of fairy tales lately. You have your old favorites. Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Beauty and the Beast. And then there are your lesser known tales. Brother and Sister. The Six Swans. The Bushy Bride. Seriously, I did not make that up. Reading these stories have brought back so many memories of my mother, sister and I sitting on the couch while she read The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Billy Goat Gruff to us. *sigh* Those were great times. Great stories. And some serious WTF moments. Listen, I know the great thing about fairy tales is the happily-ever-after but, man, some characters were stuck with really raw deals! I mean they were shafted! I know what you’re thinking. That’s crazy talk! Or get a grip! But follow me here for a moment…

The Six Swans. In this story the most obvious people wronged are the six brothers that were turned into swans by their evil stepmother. But the sister, who not only has to sew—sew?? For real??—six shirts for them is also struck mute and is unable to laugh for six years—the number of years she has to complete these shirts before the enchantment is permanent. Raw deal #1. Then a king sees her, is mesmerized by her beauty and marries her. All good, right? But no, another wicked stepmother steals all three babies she births and blames their disappearance on the sister/queen. Does king-y stand by his woman? Nooo. Instead she’s sentenced to burn at the stake. Shaft #2. Just as the match is ready to be set to kindle, the six swan brothers flock to her, she throws the shirts that she’s finally finished in the air and her brothers return to human. Yay! Except, here’s Shaft #3. She didn’t have time to finish the sleeve of the youngest brother’s shirt so he has to live life with one wing. *&^%$#!!!

Rumpelstiltskin. The princess was treated so wrong, right? Wrong! There was one character in this story crying out here. And that was Rumpelstiltskin! Rumpy—as we’re calling him because, hey, Rumpel-etc.-etc. is simply too much to type!—is used for his talents, lied to, cheated on and he’s the bad guy. Now the miller’s daughter is conscripted into doing the impossible—turning straw into gold—because of liar-dreams-of-grandeur father. She faced execution from the greedy king but Rumpy shows up and does the task for a small price. I mean really, what’s a ring and necklace compared to her life? Well when Rumpy requests her firstborn in exchange for the last ginormous pile of straw, the miller’s daughter agrees. I mean she never imagined the greedy-selfish-fill-my-coffers-with-gold-or-I’ll-decapitate-you king would offer his hand in marriage and she would actually have a baby. So of course that’s enough reason to renege! What did Rumpy do but hold up his end of the bargain? He didn’t throw his daughter to the wolves. The miller did that. He didn’t threaten an innocent woman with beheading over the idea of gold. No, the kind did that. And he didn’t go back on his word, not delivering on his end of the bargain. The queen did that. So what does Rumpy get for being a man of his word? One foot in hell. Literally. Now I know what you’re thinking. But he wanted her baby. Look, I have kids and let’s face it. After one week with the kid, he would’ve given it back!

Sleeping Beauty. Just purge the Disney version of this tale out of your mind. Sleeping Beauty had her happily-ever-after but she went through straight Not-Heaven before she got it! First because Queen Mom neglected to invite one pissed-off fairy, Sleeping Beauty ended up with a curse over her head that they didn’t tell her about! Forget the fact that due to mom’s mistake—drink more ginkgo, lady!—a lot of people lost their livelihood with the banishment of the spindle! If they had only told Sleeping Beauty about the curse she wouldn’t have went anywhere near that spinning wheel, not to mention the creepy old lady locked up in a room she knew nothing about! That’s sooo not a red flag. So she pricks her finger and falls into a coma-like sleep for one hundred years. One hundred years! Do you know how many balls, parties and fashions she missed in a century? So she awakens to a kiss from a prince with no gum in sight. Que music. They all lived happily-ever…*screech* Nope, that’s so not the end of this story. The prince secretly weds Sleeping Beauty and keeps her his little secret from his stepmother. In the meantime he continues to make booty calls and she has two children. Where do these princesses in these tales find these men? Well when his father kicks the bucket, he ascends to the throne—and surprise!—springs his ready-made family on the stepmother, who happens to be wicked (No! Didn’t see that coming!) and of ogress lineage. Talk about the mother-in-law from hell! Her husband leaves on some kingly duty and abandons his wife and children to the tender care of his stepmother. Tender as in tender meat, because that’s what she tries to turn them into. Succulent tender meat on her dinner table. Long story short, Sleeping Beauty has to face the voracious appetite of her Shrek-like mother-in-law, save her kids from becoming rack of lamb and elude a pit of vipers. King shows up just in time and stepmother ends up in her own viper pit. All this because Sleeping Beauty’s mother forgot a name…this whole thing could have been avoided if her mother had just made an invite list to that doggone christening!

Have I made a believer out of you yet? Or am I being incredibly anal and neurotic? Hey…don’t answer that…

Naima Simone is a multi-published author in erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair. Come visit Naima at www.naimasimone.com.

23 comments to “Guest Blogger: Naime Simone”

  1. Debra Glass
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    1
      · October 5th, 2012 at 8:26 am · Link

    Congrats on your release(s) :mrgreen: with Ellora’s Cave! **A note to readers: If you haven’t read Naima Simone, you’re in for a treat. All her stories are packed with heart-wrenching emotion, sultry love scenes, tortured heroes and strong heroines. She’s one of my faves!



  2. Suzanne Johnson
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    2
      · October 5th, 2012 at 9:59 am · Link

    Naima, you had me at “Rumpy.” This is hilarious, and you’re right–fairy tales are not the warm, fuzzy stories we’ve been led to believe! Congrats on your Ellora’s Cave releases. I’m a fan!



  3. Jessica Lee
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    3
      · October 5th, 2012 at 10:24 am · Link

    Oh, I totally agree, Debra! She’s one my faves too. You all are going to love her fairy tale series. Congratulations on your contract, Naima! Whoot!
    Hilarious blog. Those poor creatures really do get the shaft! LOL



  4. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 10:50 am · Link

    Hi, Dera!
    Okay, you’re making me blush! LOL! Thank you so much for your really kind and flattering words. You’re awesome! :)



  5. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 10:52 am · Link

    Hi, Suzanne!
    Thank you so much for stopping by! LOL! As I was reading over these fairy tales, personally, I found the more gruesome endings to be more interesting! Hah! I have no idea what that says about me…hee-hee!



  6. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 10:54 am · Link

    Hi, Jessica!
    Thank yooouu for coming by and reading the blog! And the ringing endorsement on the fairy tale series…uh, want a job? LOL!! Thanks again!!



  7. Ambrielle Kirk
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 11:41 am · Link

    Hi Naima,

    Congrats on your release. I haven’t read many fairy tale inspired books, but I have certainly added yours to my list. :)



  8. LouisaCornell
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 11:42 am · Link

    What a great thing to read first thing in the morning. Naima, you crack me up! I’d never really thought about it before, but man some of these fairy tale women are too “bless your heart’ for words. (For those of you unfamiliar with the southern venacular “Bless Your Heart” can be a sincere sentiment, but more often than not it means “You are just too stupid to live, aren’t you, sweetie?”

    And some of these guys! Sheesh! In reading your take I have come to realize many of these fairy tales have parallels in Greek and Roman mythology. As we writers say – there are a finite number of stories in the world, the talent comes in the way they are told over and over again.

    I cannot WAIT to read your telling of these fairy tales, Naima, because I know what a truly talented writer you are!



  9. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 12:01 pm · Link

    Hi, Ambrielle!
    Thank you for the congrats and for stopping by!! While I didn’t learn my particular version of fairy tales sitting next to my mother–hee! hee!–I loved taking my favorite stories of all time and adding twists! Hope you enjoy them!!



  10. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 12:04 pm · Link

    Hi, Louisa!
    LOL!! That’s a perfect way to describe some of the fairy tale heroines–bless your heart! Snicker. I gotta use that one. I don’t think I realized their TSTL-ness either until I started reading a bunch of them. Too funny! Dr. Phil would have a fantastic May sweeps with the lot of ‘em! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting! And your kind words!



  11. Lisa J
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 2:57 pm · Link

    I second Debra Glass, Naima’s books are great. I’m definitely looking forward to more fairy tales from her. She’s definitely an auto buy for me.



  12. Stacy Wilson
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    12
      · October 5th, 2012 at 4:12 pm · Link

    Hey, the first time I heard the tale (pun intended) of the Little Mermaid, she died at the end.

    My kids had (no longer, mores the pity) some tapes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales that they PREFERRED over Disney versions. My eldest daughter just got a large book of Grimm’ to read to her son. Hans Christian Andersson was NOT always into the happily ever after tales.

    REALLY looking forward to your versions!!

    Stacy Wilson

    dragn_lady at yahoo dot com



  13. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 4:19 pm · Link

    Hi, Lisa!
    Wow! Thank you!! *dancing* Thank you for coming by and commenting!



  14. Naima
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      · October 5th, 2012 at 4:24 pm · Link

    Hey, Stacy!
    Oh I agree one hundred percent about The Little Mermaid! If I’d written that story, she would’ve stabbed the prince and got her tail AND life back! Not very romantic of me but the prince was a jerk! Grimm and Andersson were definitely not always roses and sunshine. Although, the tales are more interesting that way… *shrug* That’s just me…

    Thank you so much for coming by and commenting Stacy!!



  15. Ginger Robertson
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    15
      · October 5th, 2012 at 11:07 pm · Link

    Hi Naima
    I loved your perspective on Sleeping Beauty and other stories. I certainly never thought that direction. Just too funny.
    Best wishes your books.



  16. Evie MacKenzie
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      · October 6th, 2012 at 1:05 am · Link

    Wow! I hadn’t thought about it like that. You’re right!



  17. Mary Preston
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    17
      · October 6th, 2012 at 3:27 am · Link

    I love Fairy Tale inspired stories.



  18. Nichelle Y. Scott-Williams
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    18
      · October 6th, 2012 at 11:29 am · Link

    I am absolutely a fan girl of yours! I love your stories…I am looking forward to the new release right along with any others. Congrats.

    Nikki Prince
    ebonysbbwnikki @ yahoo . com



  19. pam howell
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    19
      · October 6th, 2012 at 2:17 pm · Link

    oooh – I’m intrigued. i think we have a lunch sceduled next month – Southern Magic??? 8-O



  20. Naima
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      · October 6th, 2012 at 3:45 pm · Link

    Ginger – Hi, Ginger! Thank you! I let my husband read the blog and he told me something’s wrong with me! LOL!! Thanks for commenting!

    Evie – Hey, Evie! *bowing* Thank you! Thank you! LOL! Validation is such a cool thing!

    Mary – Hi, Mary! I do, too! I’ve had the most fun researching these stories because I’ve read my old favorites and discovered some I’ve never read before. It’s cool!

    Nikki – Hi, Nikki! Thank yoouu!! I’m a fan of yours, too, btw!

    Pam – Hi, Pam! Yes! We will definitely see each other at the Readers Luncheon next month! Looking forward to it–the luncheon is always a ball! See you then!



  21. Naima
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      · October 6th, 2012 at 3:58 pm · Link

    Thank you SO much to everyone who stopped by and commented! I appreciate each of you and I had fun reading your comments!

    The winner of the $15.00 Amazon Gift Card is Stacy Wilson! Congratulations, Stacy! You should receive it digitally today 10/6!

    Thanks again to you all! MUAAHHH!!



  22. Stacy Wilson
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    22
      · October 6th, 2012 at 4:01 pm · Link

    I just got it. Thank you!!! *hugs n such*

    Truthfully, I prefer those fairy tales from Grimm and Andersson. Life is never hearts and roses. We all have bumps n bridges we have to get past. ;)

    Thanks again!!!

    Stacy



  23. Naima
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      · October 7th, 2012 at 7:43 pm · Link

    You’re so welcome, Stacy! And really aren’t the best love stories where there are bumps and bridges? It’s the getting past that makes love triumphing all the sweeter!

    Enjoy the card, Stacy!