Saturday, December 3, 2016


It's the moment you've all been waiting for - Once: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales is now available for purchase on Kindle!

The six stories include:

The Mountain of the Wolf by my good friend Elisabeth Grace Foley - a moody, simmering tale of revenge and romance in the old West that gradually reveals itself as Little Red Riding Hood retelling.
She But Sleepeth by Rachel Heffington, which draws on an amazingly fairytale-like true story from Romanian history.
Rumpled, a fabulous steampunk retelling of Rumplestiltskin from sci-fi author J Grace Pennington, full of inventive world-building details.
Sweet Remembrance by Emily Ann Putzke, which sets The Little Match Girl in the Warsaw ghetto with a glimmering message of hope and defiance.
With Blossoms Gold, a clever twist on Rapunzel set amidst the political machinations of Renaissance Italy, by Hayden Wand.

OH AND OF COURSE MY OWN BABY. To celebrate release date, I'm sharing an excerpt!

Death Be Not Proud
Chapter 1 - excerpt
If only I’d had some warning. If only the thing had come the same way a storm from the north comes—racing down the lake faster than a horse can run, the water whipping from glass to silvered whitecaps under its scudding feet. Or if only it had come like a traffic smash, with the screech of brakes and an agonised honk of the horn.
 But there was no warning. No whitecaps, no screech. Just the crisp air of a night in late autumn, the hectic sound of jazz, and Mr Hunt elbowing his way through the crowd on the dancefloor to lean his knuckles on my table.
“Ruby?” His voice was breathless, portentous. “There’s a gent over there wants to buy you a drink.”
By day, the marquee on Roy’s Island hosts a meek teashop, where respectable businessmen and holidaying families pay too much for tea and buns. But on Sunday evenings like this one, most people with a claim to respectability stay home. Paper lanterns bloom on the rafters. Tom Hunt posts a lookout on shore with a covered lantern to signal if the police decide to join us. Big unmarked flasks come up from the still hidden on the north side of the island, the quartet from Oamaru sets up next to the bar, and the singing and dancing gets louder and faster late into the night.
Usually, someone offered to buy me a drink, but not until after I’d sung. I snapped my lipstick shut and lifted an eyebrow. “A ‘gent’? Anyone I know? You know I’m bad with strangers.”
Beside me, Kat Johnson snorted. “What a liar you are, Ruby. He can buy me a drink if he likes, Tom. Bill Fisher’s getting Ruby an applejack.”
But Mr Hunt kept his eyes on me. “He’s over in the far corner,” he said with a jerk of his head, “and I think you’ll find you know him.”
I'm so thrilled you all finally get to read this story, and I'm even happier to see it come to light in the company of five other stories in the same spirit. Want to taste-test the other stories in this collection? Take a stroll on the links:

The Mountain of the Wolf
She But Sleepeth
Sweet Remembrance
With Blossoms Gold
"But, Suzannah, how can we help celebrate this exciting new release?" Oh, how kind of you to ask!
 Here are some ideas:

- Tweet about this release with the hashtag #OnceFairytales
- Pop over to Amazon and snaffle a copy of Once for Kindle!
- As always, don't forget to share your thoughts by leaving a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon :)


Annie said...

A question for you: I've never read a single book by Mary Stewart. Which is your favorite/do you suggest reading first?

I loved your story!

Suzannah said...

Hello, Annie! Wow, I'm so thrilled you loved my story. It was loads of fun to write :)

Mary Stewart is gold! I reviewed a bunch of her books here, and would recommend beginning with either THE IVY TREE or NINE COACHES WAITING.

Annie said...

Thank you Suzannah! I'm going for Nine Coaches Waiting sounds like quite a fun adventure!

Death Be Not Proud was so intriguing that I read it all in one sitting--literally! It reminded me so much of rainy fall days spent in murder mysteries with my brother...

Andrew of the House of Lacey said...

Hi Suzannah, I have just finished ONCE. I quite enjoyed it and was deeply impressed with the imaginative ways the original fairy-tales were retold. Inspiration is starting to hum! I left a review on Goodreads.

I highly enjoyed reading about all the NZ locations and culturisms in Death Be Not Proud! I did not know that Prohibition was a big thing over here; it sounded much like what happened in N America, with stills and raids and all that. Anyway, thanks for writing!

( PS Did you know that there ARE rainbow trout in the Rotorua area? :) I live in Taupo.)

Suzannah said...

Thanks for the review, Andrew! That's a definite help.

It may interest you to know that the story in DEATH BE NOT PROUD is inspired directly by a local legend I heard while travelling through Wanaka. I was also travelling in the company of some older people who remembered Prohibition when they were very young, usually via things their parents used to say.

Ah, Taupo! I've been through there twice. And maybe I should have done more research before making that throwaway crack about trout in just struck me as a particularly funny mental image :P

Andrew of the House of Lacey said...

I have not heard the legend of Ruby before. Fascinating! After having read DBNP I can certainly see the inspirational scaffolding.
One other thing I really enjoyed was reading about Ruby's midnight climb up the cliff face on the island, because I have heard that Wanaka is an amazing rock-climber's destination! :)

Oh, no, the quote WAS quite humorous, and definitely in keeping with Rotorua's well known thermal activity, but as a keen fisherman, I couldn't help but notice.

Anna Mussmann said...

I just finished it. Your tale was such good fun! ... and I could have kicked myself for not anticipating what would show up in the APPLEjack.

Suzannah said...

Hi Anna! Well, I'm so glad you enjoyed my novella so much. And even gladder that I managed to pull wool over your eyes. Writing a mystery has given me a great deal of respect for the folks that do it all the time!


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