Sunday, 31 March 2013

Taking the Cinderella Tale into the 21st Century by Hope Tarr + Giveaway

I love fairy tales and their modern retellings and Cinderella being my favourite when I first heard of Hope Tarr's modern Cinderella series I was excited and curious how that would turn out. Having read and LOVED both the prequel Christmas novella (A Cinderella Christmas Carol) and the first book (Operation Cinderella) (they were both some of my favourite reads of 2012!) I became a fan and couldn't wait for The Cinderella Makeover, the next book in the series. It is finally here, so let's hear what Hope has to say about the inspiration behind the series! :-) 

Taking the Cinderella Tale into the Twenty-First Century
by Hope Tarr

The first time I saw Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” performed live was at the Center Stage theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. The set design, costumes, and props were all contemporary to the time, then the 1980’s. Sporting a black leather biker jacket and slicked back hair, Hamlet rode a motorcycle onto the stage. Crazy as that may sound, the play still worked. Brilliantly.

When I first began sharing my idea for setting the Cinderella fairytale in contemporary times, not for one book but a series of books, I’ll admit I got some odd looks. Historical romance authors such as Judith Ivory, Mercedes Lackey, and Elizabeth Hoyt had already done a brilliant job of retelling fairytales in the context of their chosen epochs, sometimes layering in paranormal and erotic subplots. But whether set in the Victorian or Regency era or another occurring earlier or between, there were still swishing gowns and peers of the realm, and yes, balls.

But I was determined. There was no reason that Cinderella or any of the fairytale classics shouldn’t work equally well set in the twenty-first century. Fairytales aren’t only about pretty dresses or richly appointed ballrooms or even about being “the fairest in the land.” At their essence, fairytales are about transformation. The protagonist makes a conscious choice to break away from the bonds and boundaries of the past and to forge a new and usually fairly bramble-riddled path forward into the future. In the process, the peasant becomes a princess, the ugly duckling a swan, the separated lovers come together as two halves of a perfectly unified whole.

And so my Suddenly Cinderella Series was born.

In the series, four unlikely Cinderellas meet their matches in modern day New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. In OPERATION CINDERELLA (Book #1), my Cinderella heroine, Macie, is a New York City goth girl, the features editor of a ballsy women’s magazine, who decides to transform herself into a sweet, old-fashioned miss to ensnare the sexy conservative media pundit who’s nearly cost her job. In the in-series novella, A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL, my curmudgeon heroine, Starr, is both Cinderella—and Scrooge. Talk about multi-tasking!

And in my current release, THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, my Cinderella is…

A guy.

Silicon Valley CEO Contestant Gregory Knickerbocker is a geek with a heart of gold, a six-foot three leanly-muscled hunk in need of a mercy makeover. A new reality TV show, “Project Cinderella,” aims to remake fashion frogs like Greg into styling Cinderella princes and princesses. Seizing his opportunity to turn his personal life around, Greg gets himself cast as one of six contestants on the show.

Internationally famous fashion photographer, Francesca St. James needs a major life change and leaving New York for Los Angeles to join Project Cinderella as a fashion “fairy god mentor” is certainly that. Coaching Greg may prove the biggest challenge of her career but when an old rival baits her into betting that he’ll win, she’s determined to get both her Happily Ever After—and her revenge. Can a pair of vintage Saks Fifth Avenue red slippers help her look beyond Greg’s center-parted hair and gray hoodies to the Cinderfella who lies beneath?

Instead of a mean stepmother, we have a vicious rival fashion coach stirring up all sorts of trouble on the set as well as the show’s meddlesome producer. Greg’s kingdom isn’t a castle-on-a-hill but the Silicon Valley tech startup where he and Francesca first meet. And the “ball” isn’t a ball, but the show’s black tie finale episode when the winner will be crowned.

As with any good Cinderella tale, we have a great pair of shoes. Substituting for glass slippers is a svelte pair of vintage Saks Fifth Avenue red velvet heels from the 1930’s. And though my slippers are passed along friend-to-friend rather than conjured by a wand-waving fairy godmother, they are magical nonetheless—and gorgeous! This is the photo of the real shoes upon which my fictional pair is based. Aren’t they great?

But regardless of whether our princess is wearing soot spotted rags, a glittering ball gown, or a fabulously fitting pair of skinny jeans, her story, and our fairytale, serves to remind us of timeless, universal truths. That good is stronger than evil. That love is stronger than hate.

And that a Happily Ever After beginning is possible for every one of us brave enough to reach out and claim it.

What favorite fairytale would you like to see re-set and in what era?

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of twenty historical and contemporary romance novels including THE CINDERELLA MAKEOVER, Book #2 in her Suddenly Cinderella Series of contemporary fairy-tale themed romance novels. Hope is also a co-founder and current principal of Lady Jane’s Salon™, New York City’s first and so far only monthly romance fiction reading series now with satellites in four other U.S. cities. 

Connect with Hope at her website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

Book #2 in the Suddenly Cinderella series

Fashionista Francesca St. James has agreed to work as a "fairy godmother" on the reality TV show Project Cinderella, taking contestants from geeky to dreamy. When Francesca’s archrival bets she can't transform the awkwardly sweet CEO to hot in under eight weeks, Francesca accepts the challenge.

As CEO of a tech company, Greg may have billions, but what’s it worth without a woman to share it with? From day one on the show though, he clashes with his gorgeous fairy godmother—yet off-set, he can’t stop thinking about her. But this sexy woman is so far out of his league…and wants to change every single thing about him. It's up to him to show her it's more than clothes that make the man.May the best man or geek win…

Read an excerpt

Read my review of Book #0.5 and Book #1

Buy at Amazon - B&N


Hope has generously offered an ebook copy of Operation Cinderella to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 12 April 2013!

Good luck!

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