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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway from Merrie Haskell, author of The Princess Curse!

There are no new fairy tale retellings from Merrie Haskell this year, leaving Misty to (continue to) pine away, wishing for a YA sequel to the fabulous The Princess Curse. But just because there's no new book (for Misty) to get grabby-handsy with, that doesn't mean we can't check in with Merrie and pick her brain for more insight into her characters, now does it? 
If you haven't guessed (or listened when I outright told you), The Princess Curse is one of my favorite fairy tale retellings, so I'm pleased as punch to get any and every last bit of TPC-stuff I can. So Merrie, being the lovely, obliging person she is, has dropped into today to give us a peek into Reveka's brain! And she's also offered up a giveaway of The Princess Curse, now out in paperback, so stick around until the end!Take it away, Merrie!

I’m not the type of writer who warms up with writing exercises--I often use them after the fact to flesh out character motivations and suchlike things, sometime between 2nd and 8th draft.

I found a totally random exercise I did for The Princess Curse somewhere after the fourth draft.

Ask your main character: List 20 things you had already learned about life by the beginning of this book.


1. Lying is only wrong if you get caught.
2. Saint Hildegard is the greatest woman who ever lived. Pity she isn’t canonized yet.
3. Thyme pies taste better if you pick the thyme yourself.
4. You can never be too clean. Or take too many baths.
5. Fathers are more trouble than they’re worth.
6. Nuns live a good life. Even with the getting up in the middle of the night to pray thing.
7. Breakfast may be sinful, but it sure is delicious.
8. Tansy is good for repelling ants.
9. Apparently, unwed men and women can conceive children. Apparently also, Sister Maria is a bigger liar than me, as it turns out.
10. Orthodox priests aren’t that bad. But they are a little shady, if Brother Cosmin is any example.
11. Princesses are kind of useless. I think it’s because of their shoes. Impractical. Also, the hats. Also, the lengths of their hems. And their sleeves.
12. You can hatch eggs in your bosom, if it’s as warm as a chicken’s bottom. Pa met a woman who did that once.
13. I am not cut out for kitchen work.
14. Wild cabbage cures excessive vigor.
15. Inheritance law is kind of stupid, everywhere you go.
16. Not everyone loves the King of Hungary. And by “not everyone,” I mean more than just the Turks!
17. Living in the Last Outpost of Christianity stinks like rotten Easter eggs.
18. Young wives are notoriously discontent.
19. Dracula wasn’t all that honest, you know? Testing people’s honesty all the time requires tricking them. He didn’t actually live up to his own standards, if you ask me.
20. I’m not beautiful, but I am pretty smart.

Merrie has offered up one paperback copy of The Princess Curse to one lucky Fairy Tale Fortnight reader!
This giveaway is US only, 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

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
Get It | Add It
Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (and then some)
328 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by HarperCollins

Merrie Haskell’s middle-grade fantasy novel Princess Curse is an imaginative retelling of the fairy tales The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast.

In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Sylvania, the prince offers a fabulous reward to anyone who cures the curse that forces the princesses to spend each night dancing to the point of exhaustion. Everyone who tries disappears or falls into an enchanted sleep.

Thirteen-year-old Reveka, a smart, courageous herbalist’s apprentice, decides to attempt to break the curse despite the danger. Unravelling the mystery behind the curse leads Reveka to the Underworld, and to save the princesses, Reveka will have to risk her soul.

Princess Curse combines magic, suspense, humor, and adventure into a story perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine.

Merrie Haskell grew up half in North Carolina, half in Michigan. She wrote her first story at age seven. She attended the University of Michigan, graduating from the Residential College with a degree in biological anthropology. She works in a library with over 7.5 million bound volumes.

Her first three books are The Princess Curse, Handbook for Dragon Slayers, and The Castle Behind Thorns. She has won the Schneider Family Book Award (Middle Grades) and the DetCon1 Middle Grade Speculative Fiction award, and she was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.  Merrie lives in Saline, Michigan.

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


  1. I do not enjoy writing exercises. I would rather just write and then edit and rewrite later.

  2. I like #11! I always thought that if you would just wear pants and not high heels you could really run in that forest! lol
    Mary G Loki

  3. Reveka sounds like quite an interesting character. Never seen a writing exercise like this one, I think I'll have to try it.

  4. It combines Twelve Dancing Princess and Beauty and the Beast? I love both of those. How did I miss this one? I need to check this out.

  5. It combines Twelve Dancing Princess and Beauty and the Beast? I love both of those. How did I miss this one? I need to check this out.

  6. I was cracking up just reading that. Reveka sounds like a character I need to know!

  7. I can not wait to read this book!!

  8. She seems like such an odd character! I want to know so much more! Thank you.


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