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Monday, April 6, 2015

Fairy Tales in Regency England -- guest post & giveaway from Shereen Vedam

When this next guest post came our way, Bonnie saw the word "Regency" and rightly assumed that -- Austen love that I am -- I'd want to take this one. And really, I don't know why it's never crossed my mind to look for stories that combine my two favorite things (fairy tales and the Regency era), but though I've stumbled across some good Regency fantasy, I can't say a single obvious retelling comes to mind. But no more! Shereen Vedam has stepped in to fill the void, and to give us her take on this perfect pairing. Check out her thoughts below, and then enter to win a copy of her book, A Devilish Summer!

Fairy Tales are more than the
sum of their individual plot points
BY Shereen Vedam

My latest series, The Rue Alliance, involves the blending of fairytales, Regency romance and fantasy.  So let’s begin by delving into the depths of these three terms.

“If I’m honest, I have to tell you that I still read fairy tales and I like them best of all.” ― Audrey Hepburn
Fairytales reverberate with symbolisms. Who doesn’t remember the importance of fitting into a slipper or biting into a poisoned apple or the eeriness of a castle dormant for 100 years? But fairytales are more than the sum of their individual plot points. These stories are populated by heroes and heroines who reach for the stars. They evoke our primal emotions like love, hate, fear, compassion, envy, terror and foreboding. And they teach us valuable lessons that can be useful in our everyday lives. This site has a wonderful listing of a few: http://www.tesh.com/topics/random-intelligence-category/life-lessons-you-can-learn-from-fairy-tales/cc/17/id/11457
  • Three little pigs: invest wisely
  • Thumbelina: good things come in small packages
  • The Little Mermaid: don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone

“We are all fools in love”― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
In 1811, Prince George IV became Regent of England because his father, King George III, due to a malady, was declared incapable of performing the necessary royal functions. That is why love stories that take place during this time period (only a handful of years when he was still Regent, 1811 to 1820), are often set in England, center around aristocratic society, are called, Regency Romances. You could drink hot chocolate back then but chocolate bars were yet to be invented. Goods and people were transported by horse and carriage because the steam engine was still in the design stage. Here, men were gentlemen but sometimes behaved like rakes. And women were ladies who, if they did not conform, could be labeled as bluestockings (too studious), hoydens (too boisterous) or ladybirds (too loose).

“It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)
Fantasy elements existed alongside us long before humans began pursuing science to explain the inexplicable. We may have evolved in the last few millennia, but we cannot shake off what makes us more than simple human beings. Whether we believe in an afterlife, the existence of fairies, unidentified phenomenon or only in what can be proven in the here-and-now, fantasy is nevertheless familiar to us all because it’s part of our folklore, our history, and is only limited by our willingness to open our minds and joyously revel in what seems utterly impossible.

Integrating these three elements: fairytales (heavy with symbolisms), Regency romance (finding love within a society steeped in tradition), and fantasy (succumbing to the lure of magic), in The Rue Alliance series was pure delight.
A Devilish Slumber was inspired by Sleeping Beauty and introduces a young lady who, in grieving the loss of too many loved ones, has allowed time to slip through her fingers. Grieving is an important step that helps us process loss, and then move past it. But taken to excess, grief can mire us in the past and halt forward movement. Sometimes it can even end a life. I loved discovering that this book’s cover would have all those clocks. Tick Tick Tick

April 2015: A Scorching Dilemma is a Cinderella-inspired tale where the hero plays the role of a servant who falls in love with a lady far above his station. To win her, he’ll need courage. But as our hero, Daniel Trenton, explains, “Courage is overrated.” He thought of all the times he had disobeyed Sir Phillip this past year. “What you need, your grace, is an attitude of defiance. For that, all one requires is foolhardiness.” He gave him a cheeky grin. “Something my employer says I have by the cellar-full.”

June 2015: A Perfect Curse is a Snow White-inspired tale where the heroine’s aunt has convinced her that she is tainted by evil. Nevara Wood must resist the temptation of that false narrative or it will lead to her ultimate undoing, and could cost her, her heart’s desire. Her chin firmed. If evil awaited her in Spain, she was ready to face it. Indeed, according to her aunt, she faced it every day in her looking glass.

What draws you to fairytales? Let us know and one commenter will be randomly chosen to receive a Kindle copy of A Devilish slumber.

Shereen has graciously offered up a copy of her regency fairy tale, A Devilish Slumber, to one Fairy Tale Fortnight reader!
This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and ends April 22nd at midnight EST
To enter, make sure you are registered on the FTF giveaway registry, and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once upon a time, Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love, and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily- ever- after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

Want more fairy tales? Return to the main schedules
by clicking here for The Book Rat or here for A Backwards Story


  1. I enjoy escaping into a fairytale to lose myself in the magic and romance, get away from the mundane day to day boredom of modern lives.

  2. Fairy tales have always fascinated... Perhaps because of how good triumphs, despite whatever trials there may be...

  3. Seth, MWS and Mary, all three of you have brought up important aspects of fairy tales that I love - they have that good vs bad, that epic battle on a personal level, and it certainly takes us away from our mundane world!

    Thanks for stopping by,


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