Do you dare lose your way in the woods?


Tale Twisters

Guest post by JESSICA ASPEN

I first met Lyndi Alexander in 2010, when she was working on the manuscript that would become WINDMILLS and I was re-writing THE DARK HUNTSMAN for the third time. That was when I realized how much we had in common, number one being our great love of fantasy and number two our great love of books and writing. Or maybe those things are out of order. Maybe it’s writing, then books, then fantasy. I’m not sure it matters, what’s important is that we hit it off.

Oh, and we both wrote about elves.

Yes, elves.

Lyndi caught my attention with her glass slipper that spilled out a cache of elves at the feet of her heroine and onto a city street. What a terrific twist on a classic fairy tale. I was hooked. I bought her book out of the back of her car that weekend and I’ve been very glad that I did. You wouldn’t think there could be so many interpretations of elves, but the truth is that there are as many different ways one can write about elves as there are writers. And that’s saying a lot.

And that brings me to something else we have in common, a love of twisting the classic fairy tale elements. THE DARK HUNTSMAN is a modern fantasy twist of Snow White, but there are only hints and glimpses of the traditional story that lies beneath. I like to layer in tiny elements like apples, witches, and evil queens. And then twist the tale by making the huntsman the hero instead of the prince. Lyndi strays even farther from the standard fairy tale path, but if you look deep you can find those elements in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot. A hidden princess, an unlikely prince, the glass slipper.

Twisted fairy tales are hot right now, we see them on the big screen and on the TV screen. I’ve loved them since I first discovered a book of short fairy tale twists including one dark tale by CJ Cherryh that I wish I still owned. Darn those constant moves of my youth. I fell in love with the idea of taking a classic story that has all the right elements: romance, magic, girl in trouble, handsome guy, and something ugly, and making it my own. I got to change the things I didn’t like about the story and keep the things I loved.

Snow White has always seemed a little passive to me. I get to re-write the whole story and make her kick-ass. The prince was this dude who came in at the ending, insisted on disturbing the dwarves’ mourning, and kissed the dead girl. How weird is that? Let’s just get rid of him, because the real hero is the working man who takes the risk of his own beheading and doesn’t kill Snow White in the first place. The huntsman. That’s a man I want to kiss.

What fairy tale elements to you love to see in stores? What pieces are intrinsic to the tales? Does Cinderella have to have two step-sisters, or can they be step-brothers, or uncles, or maybe several step-mothers? Does Rapunzel have to have long hair? What if the big bad wolf wasn’t the bad guy?

Do authors have to stay on the beaten path or can they lure you deeper into the tale and encourage you to get lost in the brambles on the side paths?

Are you willing to be lost in the woods?

The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court

An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch, tangled together in a tale of Snow White…

Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.

Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan, is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.

As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in her new twisted fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court…


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Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies.  To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to:


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  1. Hi Lyndi! I’m super excited to be here today. Thanks for letting me stop by and ramble my way through the woods. :)

  2. So glad to have you here…you really hit that wave. :) Congrats!