I am very pleased to welcome Virginia Barlow today as she tours the internet in support of her book, The Wicked Sister with Pump Up Your Book Tours.
About The Wicked Sister:
With her stepfather’s sudden death, Lady Anastasia Covington goes from living a privileged lifestyle to selling vegetables in the village marketplace in the blink of an eye. Alone and at the mercy of her nefarious stepsister, she yearns for love and acceptance. Disguised as a simple soldier, Prince Percival catches a dark-haired emerald-eyed beauty in his arms. He is bewitched. The more he sees her, the more intrigued he is by her contradictions. Forced to keep his identity a secret, he must somehow convince Lady Anastasia he is the right man for her. But time is running out. Lady Anastasia’s mother is determined to find a proper suitor and see her wed -and someone wants her dead.
About the Author:
I love being an author. It’s all about where your characters lead you. I start with a general idea. As the story unfolds I type as fast as I can in hopes I keep up with my characters. They have had me jotting on napkins, making notes while I’m waiting in a line, and waking me up in the middle of the night. The hard part is always the ending. My characters live with me and when I reach the end of the story, it is hard to say goodbye. Sometimes I let the story sit for a few days to make sure I’m okay with them leaving home to get published. Kind of like when you kids move out. LOL
I enjoy my grandchildren, and the time I share with them. They make me smile with their antics. I like to quilt, crochet, knit and sew. Cooking and baking are occasional itches I scratch. The rest of the time, they are necessary evils. LOL
My greatest support comes from my husband. He has been my sounding board for all my stories. My daughters are also a great support to me. I couldn’t do it without my family.
She closed her eyes when she went over the edge and waited for the impact. It was not what she
expected! She hit against a warm solid something that knocked the breath out of her. Two bands
of steel clamped around her and held her still. She opened her eyes cautiously and found herself
nose to nose with a very handsome man. Two dark blue eyes gazed intently into hers. Laughter
crinkled the corners of his eyes. Locks of black hair fell across his broad forehead.
“What did you catch, Val?” an amused male voice behind them asked the question.
Val was taking a heated inventory of the woman he held in his arms. He focused on the disarray
of her hair, the fullness of her breasts, the narrowness of her waist, and then the soft pink lips so
close to his own. He pulled her close against him, amused and intrigued. “I merely asked the
gods for their favor on our hunt, and they dropped a goddess right into my arms.” He tightened
his hold about her waist and leaned in for a closer look. Desire slammed into him like a battle-ax.
He liked what he saw. This angel that dropped from the sky was beautiful with her long ebony
hair, green eyes, and pert little nose. Bewitching. He stared at her mouth so close to his and
wondered if she tasted as good as she looked. He wanted this enchanting girl.
Anastasia could not move. He studied her through half-closed eyes, like a predator studies its
prey. She drowned in the heat of his eyes and all around her was his scent. He smelled of the
woods, sunshine, and danger. Her lips parted and her breathing quickened. A tingling sensation
began somewhere in the region of her stomach and spread through her whole body. White-hot
heat pumped through her veins. Her body hummed with excitement and danger. His gaze moved
from her lips, to her heaving chest, and then back to her mouth. He leaned closer still. Every
nerve she had screamed with sensory overload. She felt as though she were a tender piece of
meat being offered to a hungry wolf. She waited for his touch, her breath coming quickly. His
full mouth hovered above her own. If either of them moved the smallest bit…
“Will you put my sister down?”
Anastasia jumped at the sound.
Beatrice stood right behind her now, her voice indignant.
The man lifted his head slowly and turned to face Beatrice. “I caught her; now she is mine to
keep,” he teased.
Beatrice did not look amused at the situation. “Put her down at once,” she commanded. “You
cannot hold my sister like that, sir, it is not proper. People are beginning to stare.” “The lady is
right, Val. We are about to be the talk of the village,” the other voice said. Val glanced around
with a frown of annoyance and set Anastasia on her feet.
Anastasia dragged in a hard breath. She was dizzy. When her feet touched the ground, her legs
wobbled like a young colt.
He stared down into her eyes again, hypnotizing her with his heat. Anastasia blinked up at him,
trying to reason beyond the spell he wove around her. She grabbed hold of him to keep her knees
from buckling. His arms were thick with muscle, and the fire he radiated almost burned her
fingers. He was so tall that his shoulders blocked out the sun.
The Wicked Sister is either a revisionist history of the Cinderella fairy tale or a retelling of its original truth. The latter is what the purported author would have you believe. For this tale tells a story far different from the one we all know and love. It has the handsome Prince, the poor daughter without a father and those stepsisters but who is good and who is evil?
I’ve read other “retellings” of various fairytales and I think of all of them it’s the Cinderella story that is the one that is most popular to twist into a different kind of tale but this is the first time I have encountered what is more of an origin story rather than a new way to spin Cinderella. For this novel both shares what could be the truth of Cinderella’s story and what history had chosen to tell. For even though it is a fairy tale, they all come with lessons to be learned, don’t they?
This is a very interesting take on the age old tale and while a touch skeptical at first I have to admit I was sold by the end. It was well written and very engaging. Not at all what I was expecting and in a good way. Also far sexier than the fairy tale given to us by the Brothers Grimm. A very entertaining read.
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