Friday, April 22, 2016

Hansel and Gretel by Jenni James (Faierie Tale Collection Tour) {Review and Giveaway}

Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: June 4, 2012
Number of pages: 142

Beauty and the Beast (Faerie Tale Collection #1)

Beauty and the Beast is the first in a new series of fairy tales for young adult readers. Fans of Disney, fairy tales, and fantasy will love the Faerie Tale Collection by Jenni James. A prince by day and a wolf by night--

Prince Alexander has been turned into a werewolf and has one year to find someone to love the beast and break the spell, or he will be a wolf forever. He has nearly given up achieving the impossible, knowing no girl would ever fall in love with such a monster.

Just when he is about to abdicate the throne to his cousin, he meets Cecelia Hammerstein-Smythe, while a wolf, and begins to hope for the first time in months. Can he balance both worlds as a human and beast, gaining the love and trust of a girl who has every reason to despise him?

Cecelia detests the prince. She only knows Alexander as the arrogant monarch—the tyrant who has made her life miserable—though perhaps he's changed right before her eyes. He's not as full of himself as he once was. The prince is gentle now... but then again, so is the beast.


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: August 15, 2013
Number of pages: 123

Sleeping Beauty (Faerie Tale Collection #2)

The sleeping girl has no idea she is asleep.

After Aleyna witnessed the cruel deaths of her family, she was put to sleep by Ezralon the unicorn. He has been keeping her safe, hidden in the forest, until her true prince could come and rescue her.

While Aleyna is protected in the forest, her spirit walks the halls of her ruined, deserted castle in a dream-like existence, believing everything is still perfect. However, she is halted in this state—almost as if time were frozen—until the prince awakens her.

Prince Darién of Lybrooke Court loves a challenge as much as the next man, but believes it will be a fool’s errand to rescue a ghost who is already dead! He’s convinced no one could have survived sleeping thirty years, so what is the point of rescuing a girl who is quite content to haunt on her own?

Of course, if Darién wasn’t so afraid of ghouls, this whole thing could be much easier to fathom...


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: August 15, 2013
Number of pages: 213

Rumplestiltskin (Faerie Tale Collection #3)
A young prince crippled by a witch--

When Fredrico watches his cruel family mourn his false death and announce to the kingdom their cursed prince has died, is the day he truly embraces his new life and new name Rumplestiltskin. How could he be known by anything else? —His skin is completely rumpled and stilted now. He hides away from the king and queen and grows up as a crippled servant in the castle.

Years later, his younger brother, Marcus, becomes king and humors Aubrynn’s father when he boasts that his daughter can turn straw into gold. Intrigued Marcus locks the distraught maiden in a tower and declares to the kingdom that if she can transform the straw, he will marry her, but if she cannot he will kill her father.

Rumplestiltskin is determined to help Aubrynn save her father and marry the king. Now, if only he can remember to keep his real identity a secret and not fall in love with her himself…


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: July 31, 2013
Number of pages: 236

(Faerie Tale Collection #4)

When Prince Anthony spies Eleanoria Woodston outside her family home dressed as a servant, he knows something is amiss. Pretending to be John, his cousin’s outrider, he decides to take matters into his own hands and figure out why Ella hasn’t been seen at court. And more importantly why the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in the kingdom dresses like a pauper.

Ella has had her own bout of trials, including losing her beloved father and facing the wrath and jealousy of her stepmother and stepsisters. Becoming a servant doesn’t seem all that bad until the handsome John comes into her life, now he appears to be upsetting everything. Never before has she been so unsettled. Just his presence is making her dream of a life beyond this one.

When John invites Ella to the ball and she grudgingly accepts, he wonders if he’s truly losing his mind. How would he ever pull off pretending to be John while obviously hosting the ball as Anthony? Especially when the stubborn girl has made it quite obvious she would never attend a ball with a snobbish prince.


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Number of pages: 160

Hansel and Gretel 
(Faerie Tale Collection #5)

Hansel's father finds a child lost and alone during a violent thunderstorm. After bringing her in from the tempest, he and his son are startled to discover that she is Gretel, a princess of Larkein the enemy kingdom their own king has just destroyed. Fearful for her life, Hansel pleads with his father to save her. He believes they can make Gretel good by teaching her their ways. His kindhearted father agrees, but with great trepidation.


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: March 31, 2013
Number of pages: 162

Jack and the Beansalk (Faerie Tale Collection #6)
The quest to save a girl from a giant--

Jack Waithwrite is livid when he learns that his fiancée, Rachel, has been stolen by a giant and taken up to a kingdom in the sky. Without the means to save her, he travels with his sister to Larkein, the place where dark magic abides, to discover a way to help Rachel. While there, a cunning witch knows who he is and offers to help him. However, when he finds out the kidnapping was orchestrated by the witch to use him as her pawn for her own schemes, his true quest begins. Now Jack must outwit a giant and stay one step ahead of the witch in time to save Rachel.

Enjoy Jack and the Beanstalk, the continuing tale of Hansel and Gretel and what happened after they were married. Jack and Jill Waithwrite are the children of Hansel and Gretel, and as their parents before them had adventures, now it is their turn.


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: September 21, 2013
Number of pages: 238

Snow White (Faerie Tale Collection #7)

An enchanted mirror, a tale of envy--

Raven and Snow White have been the greatest of friends for years, so when Snow’s father, King Herbert, and Raven’s mother, Queen Melantha, wed, the girls’ dreams come true—now they are sisters! However, in an act of exceeding folly, the king presents his new bride with the enchanted Lythereon Mirror as a wedding gift. Its dark power soon corrupts the queen.

Prince Corlan, Raven’s brother, is determined to find a way to destroy the mirror before he loses his mother completely—or it kills them all. Already the queen’s envy of Snow has become obvious. Corlan has been in love with Snow White since they were children and would do anything to protect the beautiful princess, even defy his mother. But when Queen Melantha uses the mirror to force Corlan into killing Snow, he knows it will take a battle of great strength to outwit the evil spell surrounding him and save the girl he loves.


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: December 6, 2013
Number of pages: 170

The Frog Prince (Faerie Tale Collection #8)

A prince disguises himself to find true love--

Prince Nolan has had enough of Princess Blythe—the woman to whom he has been betrothed since infancy—and her simpering letters. Does the princess truly not have a brain in her head? Never before has he communicated with someone who seemed so childish and spoiled. It was time he met her for himself, to decide if he could actually follow through with this marriage. But to do it right, she must not see how handsome he is. He needs a disguise—something that would show him her true nature.

Nolan asks an old herb woman to transform him into a creature that is disgusting to any female—a frog. The spell will last thirty days unless the princess does the impossible and kisses him. Now the true test begins. Will Blythe prove to be as monstrously annoying as he believes she is, or will he learn to see past his judgments and find a loving princess waiting for him?


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: February 17, 2014
Number of pages: 184 

The Twelve Dancing Princesses (The Faerie Tale Collection #9)

Twelve princesses, one gardener, and a mysterious secret . . .

As the castle gardener, Aleck is paid well, has his own room above the stables, and he is able to support his mother and younger brothers and sisters. Why would he risk it all for one girl?

For weeks now, Princess Cascadia and her eleven sisters have awakened each morning to swollen feet and tattered dancing slippers without any recollection of what happened. Why would someone do this to them? The king calls all the worthy men in the land to come and help solve the riddle of the twelve dancing princesses. The man who is able to sort the mystery will be allowed to choose one of the princesses to wed.

Cascadia immediately turns to Aleck for assistance. If anyone can help her, she knows it is him, and she knows of no man she would rather marry. But will Aleck be able to unravel the mysterious happenings and save the kingdom before those behind the scheme succeed?


Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: October 2014
Number of pages: 164

Rapunzel (Faerie Tale Collection #10)

A kidnapped girl faces insurmountable odds …

On Rapunzel’s sixteenth birthday, her parents are turned to stone by the evil witch, Lady Vactryne, and the girl is taken to be forever hidden away in a tower. The young princess is afraid and all alone, and as the months pass by and her attempts to escape become more desperate, she begins to lose hope that anyone will come to save her.

Prince Jonathan of Balligyrn has loved Rapunzel since they were children and has vowed to battle the witch, bring Rapunzel back, and restore her kingdom, no matter the cost. It has been years since he last saw her and asked her to wait for him to return from school. Now Jonathan only hopes he is not too late.

The cunning witch has other plans for them both, one that does not involve losing her dreams to mere fools. Who will win—the woman bent on revenge, or the young girl determined to overcome it all?


The Little Mermaid (Faerie Tale Collection #11)
Is grass truly greener than ocean blue?

Pearl has always dreamed of visiting the land of humans, to walk with them, eat with them, and learn everything she can from them. But no one in the North Seas agrees with her. In fact, they are all convinced that the landfolk are a dangerous, scary group of people who would harm the mermaid if they could.

Keel, the great merprince of the North Seas, has never loved anyone as much as he loves Pearl. He knows of her fascination with mankind and realizes she will never be truly settled until she has walked among the humans. So he finally relents, giving her a potion to grow legs of her own so she can experience the world above the water. He vows to come on land and protect her, as he doesn’t trust humans and never will.

Join us in this unique twist of a tale about a princess determined to find a world and life better than her own, and the prince who is willing to risk it all to guarantee that she finds her own happiness. 

Series: Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Number of pages: 186

Peter Pan (Faerie Tale Collectoin #12)
Peter Pan needs help, and he's convinced the effervescent Wendy Darling is just the girl to champion his cause. Ever since the mischievous fairy Tinker Bell began recruiting—more like, snatching—boys from London's orphanages to take them to a magical place called Neverland, things have gotten out of hand. Captain Hook has only become more violent and the boys more lost as their memories of life before Neverland begin to fade. Peter's only hope is to get the boys back to England and help bring balance to Neverland before Hook's dangerous escapades kill them all.

Wendy is not quite certain why such a handsome young man would need her—especially a lad who clearly has a touch of madness in him. What boy learns to fly? But whatever the reason, home life has become too much for her now that her parents are hoping she marries an acquaintance she can barely abide. There is something about Peter Pan that intrigues her greatly, and then there is this magical world he talks about, this Neverland . . .


Books in the Series and Books Still to Come...

Other books in this series still to come:
13. Return to Netherland
14.Captain Hook
15. Princess Red
16. Princess with the Golden Touch
17. Princess and the Pea
18. Rose Red
19. Thumbelina
20. The Ugly Princess
21. Diamonds and Toads
22. The Ice Queen
23. The Forgotten Princess
24. King Thrushbeard
25. The Swan Princess
26. The Goose Girl
27. The Light Princesses
28. Princess Nightingale
29. The Princess Who Never Laughed
30. The Disenchanted Queen
Jenni James is the busy mother of ten kids (7 hers, 3 her hubby's) and has over twenty-five published book babies. She's an award-winning, best-selling author, who works full-time from home and dreams about magical things and then writes about what she dreams.

Some of her works include The Jane Austen Diaries (Pride & Popularity, Emmalee, Persuaded...), The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection (Cinderella, Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Beauty and the Beast...), the Andy & Annie series for children, Revitalizing Jane: Drowning, My Paranormal Life, Not Cinderella's Type, and the Austen in Love Series.

When she isn't writing up a storm, she is chasing her kids around their new cottage and farm in the tops of the southwestern mountains, entertaining friends at home, or kissing her amazingly hunky hubby. Her life is full of laughter, crazy, and sunshine.

THE CHILD’S CRIES WERE loud and strong—strong enough to be heard through the torrential rain and roaring wind. It had been one of the worst summer storms the region had seen in years—breathtakingly horrid. Adale Waithwrite, a simple farmer, hunched down within his thin, saturated coat and wrapped his useless scarf tighter around his head and mouth. Though it was rain and not snow, it was a fierce, biting rain. A rain that was not forgiving or kind.
It brutally pelted his face and hands, stinging them with every slash of the drops as they flew through the air to cut into his covered flesh. The clouds had come so quickly and forcefully that though it was just past four, you would have believed it to be nigh on midnight, so dark and cold it was.
The farmer heard the shriek again and turned in that direction, skirting the old forest.
“Hello?” he shouted into the sleet and rain. “Hello?”
The answering cries were louder this time and the farmer knew he was very close to the child, who was most likely tucked within the rock crevice. Attempting to climb a large boulder, Adale slipped and banged his knee. No doubt there would be a large bruise in the morning. Mumbling a curse under his breath, the man attempted again to scale the sheer rock, and this time managed to grip well enough to haul his wet body up and onto the ledge. Peering over the other side, he flinched as a great strike of lightning lit up the sky, its jagged lines spearing every which way.
The loud crash of thunder that followed immediately after shook the slick rock wall. When another bolt of light enraged the sky, he looked down and saw the shuddering boy about eight feet below him, right within the crevice as he had assumed.
The boy was drenched, his arms wrapped around himself.
“Come here!” he shouted to the child. “Come! And quickly, too! This lightning is getting dangerously close.”
He held out his hand and the boy stood up just as another crash of thunder exploded all around them. “Hurry!” Adale shouted again. “Grab my hand!” Adale’s fingers were slipping from bracing himself in such an awkward position upon the boulder. “Now, boy!”
The trembling child clutched his gloved fingers just as the farmer began to slide back down the sheer boulder between them. Another flash of lightning tore through the rain as it poured all around them, and then the bang of the thunder immediately descended. In a show of superhuman strength, he hauled the boy up and over the rock as he slid down.
He balanced the small child against the boulder and continued to slip to his feet. Once he regained his footing, he quickly glided the child the last yard or so into his arms.
The sky boomed and lit again as the farmer ran as fast as he dared in such a downpour. He clutched the boy to his chest and thankfully made it the fifty yards or so into the waiting cottage without mishap. His son met him at the door and stared in great shock at the whimpering child in his arms.
“How did you hear him over this storm?” he asked.
“The Gods, son. They led me to him. They must have.” Adale shook his head as he set the boy on the table. “Hansel, will you hang up my coat for me?” He removed his overcoat, handing it to his son. He slipped off his gloves and scarf and tossed them into a bucket near the door. They would need to be wrung out later—his clothes were soaked through. One look at the scared, sopping boy and he knew this would be a rough night.
The child was merely dressed in knee breeches and a simple shirt, with an old wool hat atop his head. His shivers alerted the farmer to the great urgency needed to help him. “Hansel, fetch me a blanket for the lad.” His son was quick to place the coat on the peg by the door and run to the bedroom.
Adale pulled the dripping hat off the child and gasped when a long golden braid plopped out, its end tied with a battered green velvet ribbon.
“You are no boy at all, child! You are a girl.”
She nodded and looked away, her arms going tighter around her trembling legs.
“Where did you come from? How are you out in a storm like this?”
“I …” The little girl opened her mouth to speak and then her eyes darted to Hansel as he came back in the room, carrying a thick blanket.
“Yes?” asked the farmer as he took the blanket from his son and wrapped it tightly around her. “Who are you? How did you come here?”
Her voice stuttered through her shivers, but Adale finally made it out. “My home—it is gone. Th—they took it.”
“Who took it? Who are you? Why was such a small girl left all alone in the woods?”
“Father, let her speak. You ask too many questions at once. Can you not see she is frightened?” Hansel smiled at the girl and asked simply, “Where do you live?”
She took a deep breath and tried again, this time not so unsteadily. “I do not know where it is from here, or I would point it out to you. I became lost.” Her voice had a distinct accent.
The farmer hissed and stepped back. “You are from the Larkein kingdom?”
“Yes.” She smiled, most likely not realizing what danger she put herself in by uttering such words in this house. “Yes. My father was the king.”
“Your father was the—” Hansel gasped and looked at his father. “My word! What have we done?”
“If they knew we had the Larkein princess in this cottage, we would be hanged.”
They both looked at the little girl, and her bright blue eyes blinked back at them. She was a very pretty child, and clearly frightened. Hansel asked, “How old are you?”
She put on a brave smile and sat up straighter. “I am six! How are old are you?”
“Ten.” He turned toward Adale. “What should we do, Pa? We cannot toss her out, surely. She is too young.”
His father stumbled back a few more steps and then slammed his palm forcefully upon the rocking chair. “We cannot keep her here! We cannot! Not with the king’s men invading her home this very day. If they knew … if they knew she was with us—”
“What if they never found out?”
His father nearly fell to the wooden floor. “What? Never found out? Are you mad? How can we keep a child—a female child—with a distinct Larkein voice in our home without anyone being the wiser?  Hansel, no. I must take her back into the night and allow the Gods to decide what is best to do with her.”
“Pa, please! I know they are a wicked kingdom, but please! That does not mean the girl will be too. We can hide her—we can. And she can learn how to speak properly. We will say that she is my cousin, an orphan from your sister Claudine. Everyone knows she has just passed on and left a score of children—they will not think anything of it. Please, Father. You cannot send her out there. She will die.”
“It is better that she die than us!” Adale pointed at the girl and she began to cry. “Take her outside this instant.”
“No, I will not, for it is not right. She is a child, Father. She can be trained to be good. Let us keep her, please.”
Adale walked around and collapsed upon the rocking chair. “My heart is too soft,” he muttered into his hand. “It is too soft by far. Now what have we gotten ourselves into?”
“I promise I will take full responsibility for her. I will see that she is safe and teach her our ways. Just do not make her go back out to meet her fate. Perhaps she was meant to come to us. You yourself said it was the Gods who led you to her. It can only be good that she brings.”
His father groaned and hunched over in his chair. “I hope you are right, my son. I hope you are right.” He threw out his arms. “Fine. She may stay. Though it is with great trepidation I agree to this.”
“Thank you, Father.” Hansel walked up to the little girl. He peered into her bright eyes and asked, “What is your name? What do they call you in the castle?”
She smiled big then, showing a missing top tooth. “Gretel. My name is Gretel.”

*I received a copy through Singing Librarian Tours in exchange for an honest review*

My Review: 4 Stars

I always think of Hansel and Gretel as two children, lost in the woods, marking their path with bread crumbs and discovering a witch's house that's made out of candy. That's not exactly how things happen in this retelling and I love the twists. There are enough similarities to keep true to the basic outline of the story, but enough changes to make it unique.

Hansel is a tough, strong guy, with a great sense of humor and a way of coping with his feelings that's both annoying and endearing, all at the same time. I couldn't help but adore him! Gretel is a sweet girl, one who goes above and beyond her duties, even with Hansel driving her crazy. The twists on their interactions and associations is a little different, but I found that I liked it. A lot.

I love that these stories are short, yet very entertaining, and can be read in a day or a long sitting, if desired. Things wrapped up a little too quickly for me, but I love the ending and look forward to reading more of these stories, especially now that I understand a few connections.

Content: mild romance, mild violence. Clean!
April 18--Beauty & the Beast--Singing Librarian Books
 April 19--Sleeping Beauty--Bookworm Lisa
 April 20--Rumplestiltskin--26 Countless Possibilities
 April 21--Cinderella--Reading Is My SuperPower
 April 22--Hansel & Gretel--Katie's Clean Book Collection 
 April 23--Jack & the Beanstalk--Wishful Endings
 April 25--Snow White--Katie's Clean Book Collection 
 April 26--The Frog Prince--Smiling Book Reviews
 April 27--The Twelve Dancing Princesses--Mel's Shelves
 April 28--Rapunzel--Reading Is My SuperPower
 April 29--The Little Mermaid--Wishful Endings
 April 30--Peter Pan--Singing Librarian Books

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