7 de noviembre de 2016

GUEST POST │ 'A Word on Disney Princesses' by Laura Kenyon




When I decided to write a series of books that challenged the way we look at fairy tale princesses, I suspected I might one day have to explain myself to my children. Of course, when I first came up with the idea for Desperately Ever After, I was still a kid myself—a high school sophomore, learning about love for the first time and flirting with disaster.

Fast-forward eighteen (yikes!!!) years, and I have a spirited little girl who has fallen in love with Disney movies and the beautiful, charming women who claim the title roles.

In truth, I didn't initially think of this series as being anti-Disney—and I'm still not sure I do. Rather, I think of it as a continuation of the familiar stories (none of which originated with Disney, by the way) told for a generation that was raised on The Little Mermaid, entered adulthood watching Sex and the City, and envisioned the future while gobbling up Desperate Housewives.

But then someone asked me whether or not I was going to let my daughter watch the Disney princess movies. You know ... considering my books and all.

I have to say, it caught me off guard. Why wouldn't I let her watch them?

But then the paranoia set in. Was it hypocritical to sit my little girl in front of Sleeping Beauty, knowing what I know about the original 17th century poem? Was it wrong to belt out "Part of Your World" with her, having drawn from Hans Christian Andersen's far less cheery mermaid ending in my own book? Would it be disingenuous to let her watch the happy couple ride into the sunset with the assumption that they lived happily ever after for the rest of their days—even though that's the number one assumption the Desperately Ever After puts to the test?

Or would it be more hypocritical to keep her from all of that, considering how much I loved the animated epics as a child? Would censoring them send the message that my little girl is incapable of discerning fantasy from reality (maybe not as a toddler, but when she's five, ten, sixteen years old) and has to have Mommy do it for her?

After all, I adored Belle and Ariel and Jasmine when I was her age—and I certainly didn't grow up acting like a princess. Nor did I become the sort of woman who cripples herself with heels when sneakers are a perfectly acceptable option; or who spends hours beautifying herself in order to get the attention of a man; or who plays the helpless damsel in order to get help for a task she's perfectly capable of handling herself.

And come to think of it, neither did those Disney princesses everyone likes to rail against—at least not those from 1989 on.

Think about it. Belle wanted adventure above all else. Ariel and Jasmine wanted freedom. Mulan and Pocahontas wanted both. Between the five of them, they staged a one-woman rescue mission into a monster's castle, rescued a full-size man from a shipwreck, went to war, stopped a war (albeit temporarily), and challenged outdated and forbidding expectations about how women should behave in society. And I challenge anyone to find fault with the lessons taught in Frozen or Brave, both of which show that romantic love is only one kind of love, and that saving the day doesn't always warrant a wedding.

Sure, the original trio (Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty) did little more than smile and sing about love ... but even they can teach young women that kindness is more honorable than cruelty, that whining doesn't get you anywhere, and that you can make the most of a crappy situation without resigning yourself to it.

The way I see it, most people who take issue with "Disney princesses" aren't objecting to the characters (again, minus the original, less enlightened trio), but the way they're marketed after the fact—and the culture that can create. Seriously, how long is Belle wearing a gold ball gown in Beauty in the Beast? A matter of minutes.

So yes, my daughter watches Disney princesses and I have no problem with it. That doesn't mean I gave her a Cinderella dress for Halloween (she was a butterfly), but when I stumbled upon a Little Golden Book collection of Disney fairy tales at our local library fair a few weeks ago ... I bought it.

The way I see it, if the only lesson she takes away from them is that pretty girls are the only ones who get happy endings ... or if she spends her whole life waiting for a "prince" to swoop down and solve all of her problems ... or if she believes love can really be "true" when it's based solely on good looks and an hour of dancing ... then I am the one doing something wrong, not Disney.

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About the Book:

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives. Three parts Brothers Grimm.

For the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love or the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery turn that grain of salt into a mountain, everything they hold dear comes under attack.

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a fairy no one trusts, invoke a magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they’d buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss. Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, the books sprinkle fiction with elements of fantasy and encourage readers to rethink everything they know about happy endings.

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.


The final chapter in the Amazon #1 bestselling Desperately Ever After series (women’s fiction fantasy, women’s fiction humor, and paranormal fantasy). Says New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Evanovich: “Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!”

Buy the Book:

Buy the previous Books:
99-cent Kindle Countdown Sale on Desperately Ever After (Book One) from November 7-11. 
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99-cent Kindle Countdown Sale on Desperately Ever After (Book One) from November 7-11.
Desperately Ever After (Book One) – http://amzn.to/2ewbxHS
Damsels in Distress (Book Two) – http://amzn.to/2elVIjj

Pre-order Giveaways!
Pre-order a copy of Skipping Midnight between now and November 15, and you could win one of two enchanting prize packages inspired by the Desperately Ever After series!

Prize Pack 1 
(US only):
A signed paperback copy of all three novels in the series: Desperately Ever After (Book One), Damsels in Distress (Book Two), and Skipping Midnight (Book Three)
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A stunning “Live like there’s no midnight” charm bracelet, custom made by My Initial Charm and inspired by the Desperately Ever After series.

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An assortment of treats for your next girls' night in (sorry, rampion not included!)

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A snazzy memory box to ship it all in ;)


Prize Pack 2 
(Worldwide!)
This fantastic set of six wine charms, handcrafted by Etsy artist Sarah VandenBrink (specifically for this giveaway!) and representing each of the six main characters: Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Penelopea, Snow White, and Cinderella

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To enter, please e-mail your proof of purchase (a screenshot will do) to laura (at) laurakenyon (dot) com by midnight November 15, 2016. Be sure to include your mailing address so you’re entered into the right contest(s). One winner will be selected via random drawing for each giveaway on November 16. Good luck!
Pre-order link: http://amzn.to/2dKeH5g


About the Author:
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Laura Kenyon is an award-winning journalist and the author of three novels, Desperately Ever After, Damsels in Distress, and Skipping Midnight. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online publications. The Boston College graduate does not live in a castle, but has been blessed with a heroic prince charming, two beautiful princesses, and a noble steed.

To learn more about Laura, visit her website at www.laurakenyon.com and sign up forexclusive updates. She also loves connecting with readers on her blogTwitter, andFacebook.

And for a peek at how she envisions Marestam, check out her Desperately Ever After board on Pinterest.
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Contact  | Amazon  | Pinterest  | GoodReads  | Email List

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Authors & Readers Book Corner - Book Excerpt
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