[GLBT Fairy Tale Week] JL Merrow Disses Princesses

Today’s guest is JL Merrow, author of the m/m fairy tale “The King’s Honor” in the Bedknobs & Beanstalks Anthology. She makes the argument that princesses aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and her handsome heroes take the ladies down a few pegs!

Let’s take a trip back in time. Turn the clock back ten, twenty… *cough* okay, it doesn’t matter precisely how many years. Whatever we do, it’ll seem like more because of the setting: a seaside town in the South of England. So just picture the 1950s and you can’t go too far wrong. If we were a hop, skip and a jump away over by the promenade you’d be able to smell the salt and the seaweed and the cheap coconut sun-tan oil, but we’re two sandy streets up in town, in an imposing Edwardian building at what passes, here, for a major junction. Upstairs is a dusty exhibition of dinosaur bones found on local beaches; downstairs, a public library that’s a second home to the little girl you’ll see there.

She’s wearing glasses, designed by some cruel NHS optician who felt that just because it was his duty to correct the vision of the nation’s children without charging their parents for it, didn’t mean anyone had to be happy, aesthetically speaking, with the results. Her brown hair (English Mouse #3) would be wavy if it weren’t viciously tamed into pigtails, each with a little velvet bow at the end. She’s sitting at the child-size chairs, ignoring the picture books and engrossed in a massive volume of fairytales.

And she’s thinking, even then: “You know, some of these princesses really aren’t that nice!”

Visit JL Merrow online at http://www.jlmerrow.com/

About The King’s Honor: A young man sets out to solve the mystery of where the King’s daughters disappear to every night, but his goal isn’t the usual reward of a princess’ hand in marriage. Based on the Grimm fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Hussies Princesses”

The Twelve Dancing Princesses of the Grimm fairy tale are a case in point. Twelve sisters, united in their love of dancing—in fact, they love it so much, they’d rather see a succession of young men die than have anyone stop them partying. It’s always struck me as a little odd, that the hero of the tale would want to marry a woman who’d cheerfully have seen him dead! Although of course, becoming heir to the throne must have been a bit of a sweetener.

Nevertheless, with my m/m retelling of the story, I went for an ending that was a little more romantic.

Read an excerpt:

Corin gave Reuben a bed for the night and a bite to eat, and as they sat by the fire in his humble dwelling, they spoke of many things. Reuben told Corin of the village in which he had grown up, nestled at the foot of the mountains which loomed majestically over the plains, no less beautiful for all their harshness. Corin, in his turn, spoke of the forest, and of his grandmother who had raised him, and of her many wise ways.

And as the firelight began to flicker, and the daylight faded fully, Corin asked a question that had been burning in his mind all day long. “Will you tell me, Reuben, why you’re so against marrying a princess? For the king’s daughters are said to be the fairest maidens in all the land.”

Reuben smiled. “I think, Corin, you know the answer to that question. No maiden, be she the fairest in all the land, will ever win my heart. I’ve known that all my life, though ’twas only today I met the man who might win it, if he chooses.”

Corin, his heart swelling in surprise and joy, leaned over and pressed a kiss against Reuben’s lips.

His kiss was warm and honest, and tasted of the ale they’d shared with their supper. The hands upon Reuben’s face were work-roughened but gentle, and Reuben returned the kiss with delight and an urgency he had not expected to feel. For this morning he had viewed the prospect of death, should he fail in his task, with equanimity; but now he found he had something he wished to live for.

Calloused fingers fumbled with clothing, and stubbled chins rasped upon flesh as the fever gripped them both, to love this night as though it might be their last.

Bedknobs & Beanstalks is available from Ravenous RomanceFictionwiseAReKindle or paperback from Amazon

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