Hello Jessica! Thank you for having me on your blog. I’d like to share with you and your readers what went behind my decision to retell the classic fairy tale of The Frog Prince. My version is titled Serena’s Prince from Changeling Press’s 2nd edition of the Forever Wicked Series.
Changeling Press put out an in-house call for erotically re-told fairy tales. As soon as I read about the theme, I was excited. I’ve always loved fairy tales. My desire to retell one, however, came many, many years ago when I first read Anne Rice’s retelling of Sleeping Beauty in The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. Then (as now with most retellings) I liked a more adult take on the story and that there simply was more than the typical happily ever after ending. The publishers call came like a beacon for me to try my hand at retelling.
Out of the most popular fairy tales that are told and retold, The Frog Prince story bothered me. I always felt something was missing. I mean, the girl is mean to the frog, breaks her promise to him and even kills him! Yet when he turns into a prince, they immediately embrace and declare their undying love to one another. In my mind, the price would be ticked off. Not only that, I never liked that the girl was so mean. There had to be a reason behind her attitude and I wanted the prince to have some kind of revenge against her. Of course, being a fairy tale and a love story, the pair had to find love everlasting. In my version, I make them work for this love and develop it while figuring each other out and finding the real key behind the curse.
In planning my version, I asked myself many questions about the original tale, such as:
- Why is the heroine so mean to the frog? I have never thought it right that this heroine seemed so snotty. It could be because she was young—and some versions allude to this—but then why would she and the prince marry if she were a little girl?
- Why/How was the cursed frog at the pond to begin with?
- On one hand, I can understand the prince being happy that he was released (supposedly) from his curse, but why would he be so in love with her when she was so cruel to him?
- Who cursed the prince? And why? And what exactly did the curse entail?
- How/Why could the pair fall in love?
Fairy tales are immortal in that they are told and retold through the ages. Every version brings a new idea or casts a new light onto the original. My hope is that my version brings a wicked and satisfied smile to those who love the first telling.
Thank you again, Jessica, for letting me spend time with you and your readers. Below is a snippet from Serena’s Prince.
Serena’s Prince (Forever Wicked) 2nd Edition
By Ayla Ruse
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre/Theme: Erotic Romance, BDSM, Paranormal, magic
BookAddict at The Romance Reviews Wrote: “This is a twisted fairy tale and it’s a kinky delight.”
A frog, a curse and a broken promise. Sometimes punishment can be its own reward.
Serena never thought asking for help from a frog would result in her being naked and tied to her bed. She should be afraid. She should call for the guards. She definitely should not be… begging for more.
Prince Rennick needs to get his hands on Serena’s necklace — the one item sure to break the curse that turned him into a frog. When an accident makes him temporarily human, he cannot help but use his Dominant nature to bend Serena to his will.
What should have broken the curse turns into a desperate attempt to save Rennick’s life. As they try to find the key, Rennick demands much from Serena, but is she willing to surrender everything to this frog-turned-prince?
“Why do you cry so hard?” the frog asked.
Serena froze. Had that frog just talked to her? “Excuse me?” she asked, her brow raised high and her nose tipped up. She barely looked at the thing hopping toward her.
“I was in the pond. I heard a noise and wondered who disturbed my peace. Now I want to know why.”
“This is my garden, frog. Go find another if you want peace. Stop stealing my own.”
She wanted to push at the creature with her foot, but thought better of it. Her slippers were brand new, and she didn’t want frog slime to ruin them.
“You must be an enchanted frog,” she commented when the frog simply stared at her. “I didn’t know frogs could be enchanted.” When the animal remained quiet as though it waited on her, she deflated. “Fine. It’s not like you’re the next man trying to break me,” she huffed.
“Never mind. You want to know what’s wrong? My stepfather’s trying to marry me off to over-blown barbarians. I’ve been manhandled more than any woman should be. And if that weren’t bad enough, tonight’s idiot broke my necklace. Now it’s at the bottom of this pond.”
“Hmm. Sounds rough.”
She wiped at her eyes, refusing to cry anymore. “Well, you asked. It’s not like you have any stress in your life.”
“You have no idea.”
She rolled her eyes. “Like you could have a hard life. You sit all day in my garden, eating bugs, swimming at your leisure… Wait. You’re a frog.”
“Do I even need to respond?”
“No. I mean, you can swim to the bottom and get my necklace, can’t you?”
“I could, but why?”
She laughed, happy that she might get her necklace back. “Because you can. Because that necklace means the world to me, and because I’ll… I’ll let you stay in my garden.”
“You’ll let me?”
“Yes. Otherwise I’ll have Henri, the gardener, chase you out.”
The frog appeared to shake its head. “Not possible,” he seemed to mumble. He hopped over to the pond, stared down for a long time, then turned back to her. “If I retrieve your necklace, you must make me a promise. Otherwise, it’ll remain at the bottom of the pond.”
Serena didn’t even blink. What could a frog want? An endless supply of flies? Whatever it came up with, the price would be negligible. She shrugged. “Sure.”
Changeling Press: https://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1892
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/2nd-edition-serenas-prince-ayla-ruse/1126570921?ean=2940157229245
Handed a historical romance at young age, Ayla Ruse fell in love with love and with happy endings. Having grown up living life tasting a little of this and a little of that has not changed this attitude, but it’s expanded her views. Love isn’t always happy and it isn’t always the way a person “thinks it should be.” Sometimes it’s outside the box, and it’s always a challenge.
Ayla is a stay-at-home mother who also home schools three young men-in-training. In her free time, she loves the outdoors, reading, and exploring. She also loves to hear from her readers and can be reached through any of the following:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ayla-Ruse/e/B006Z1JMXY