Friday, April 5, 2013

Book review of Twisted Tales

Book Review of the Twisted Tales trilogy
Author: Stephanie Fowers

My disclaimer: Stephanie is a friend and I have read the Twisted Tales as a reader as well as a reviewer. This post review is for a blog tour organized by Xpresso Tours. Bloggers were given an electronic copy of each novel in return for the review.

Fun stuff: There is a U.S. giveaway for a hardcopy of each of the three books—one winner gets a copy of the trilogy. And, I have one ebook of With a Kiss to give away. International entries welcome for this copy. Here’s how I’ll run my contest: the winner will be the first to guess the total (or closest to the total) number of Fowerses, extended family included, involved with the production of the Twisted Tales series. In case of a tie, the first right guesser will be the winner. Leave a comment with your guess!


Right away, in With a Kiss, we are thrown into the action with Halley Starr and her high school classmates during their opening performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Something besides the play is going on. And Halley’s as mystified as we are! What is it? Who to trust? What on earth will happen next? And, above all, what should Halley do? 

Join the madcap adventure as Halley, her siblings, and their high school friends find their way into the Sidhe, the world of the faery folk. The rules are different: time isn’t the same, Halley can’t eat in the Sidhe, but oddly, she’s not hungry either. She’s barefoot in the snow but not dying of exposure. And maybe scariest of all Halley must trust Puck, the most unlikely of traveling companions, as they go forward hunting for answers and thwarting curses. Oh yeah, and there’s nobody else to take care of baby Babs is there?

The Tales are madcap adventure. Stephanie hobbles and cobbles fairy tales from all over Europe to create this fun work. The plot moves fast and furiously but the characters are well drawn and interesting. Usually the elements of character and plot are what draw me to a story but I found the setting and descriptive prose of the Twisted Tales are very fun. I especially liked Halley’s adventures in the Sidhe and Daphne’s time in the beanstalk in As the Sun Sets

In this short excerpt from As the Sun Sets the tendrils of vine that make up the beanstalk serve the every need of their visitors:

“I want that in tangerine . . . and blush.” The vines came charging back, flicking the rolled-up shirts into my hands, faster than any store clerk in Okanogan. I had a whole new wardrobe. I still couldn’t get the shoes off, but the adorable skinny jeans more than made up for that. What made me think I wanted to leave this place anyway? Therapy shopping had never been so fun. I held the slouchy shirt up to me. My only complaint was the Otherworldly’s recall on mirrors. “Oh, I think I want this in bone.”

The vine rushed away then hurtled back to my side. Its shoulders heaved with the exertion—well, not shoulders exactly. It was a beanstalk. It laid a bone in my hand, and I almost laughed. “Um, no, white. I meant I want it in white. Oh!” And I waved to stop it from going too far. “Get it in butter, too.”

“Are those even colors?” Hobs browsed distractedly through the faerytale book.
“Oh, you’re so jealous.” I stomped over to him in my new outfit. “You should change what you’re wearing.” I motioned over him and his checkered black and white mime-ness. “You’ve got . . . uh . . .”

 “. . . blood all over it?” His brow went up. “What’s with the shopping spree? I thought the vines only provided our needs?”

“I need new clothes. Lots of them!” I sighed, giving into the luxury of a deep yoga stretch. This was all I needed. New clothes to make me feel so, so . . . me. The vine stacked a neatly folded white shirt over my hair, along with something heavier and smaller, but soft. I reached up and pulled the stick of butter off my head. I gave it a cross-eyed look—it was the move that got the most laughs.

Hobs at least complied with that. It didn’t take much to get him to laugh. I played with Halley’s cameo at my neck, and coming to a decision, snapped it off. His hands stiffened over his book. “What are you doing with that?”

“I don’t need it anymore.” I laid it over what I assumed was the vine’s head, and Hobs’ hand slapped over it. He pocketed it, watching me closely. I didn’t feel like explaining, but there was a definite lecture in his eyes. With what looked like an extreme act of will, his eyes drifted back to his book.

Author Stephanie Fowers chose an ambitious schedule for the Twisted Tales trilogy. Each story moves cleanly into the next. Read them all to really know the tale. Stephanie chose to indie-publish so she could maintain concept control and release all books at once. She doesn’t like to wait for the next installment of a wonderful story so why ask it of her readers? 

Give them a read and have fun!


Stephanie Fowers loves bringing stories to life, and depending on her latest madcap ideas will do it through written word, song, and/ or film. She absolutely adores Bollywood and bonnet movies; i.e., BBC (which she supposes includes non-bonnet movies Sherlock and Dr. Who). Presently, she lives in Salt Lake where she's living the life of the starving artist. Stephanie plans to share more of her novels, films, and even a musical in the near future. May the adventures begin.


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Remember, you can also win an ebook by commenting below (international entries included), and making your guess on how many Fowerses were involved in the making of this book (this includes extended family).