About the Book
When Love visits Ravenhead Hall, sparks fly…quite literally.
Miss Rea Abernathy only wants to honor the family who has taken her under their wing, rescuing her from a life of poverty. But thanks to two determined suitors, she finds herself in a state far worse than the one from which her benefactress saved her.
When Mr. Sedgwick Whitby sets his sights on his mother’s sweet-tempered pig keeper, his orderly life is thrown into chaos: Rea’s station is less–than-desirable, and another gentleman may be pursuing her. Hoping to get his annoyingly charming twin brother out of the way, Sedgwick purchases a simple curse from a disreputable faery which consequently plunges them all into a misfortune far more serious than troubles of the heart.
With time running out to break the curse and tempers flying high, can Sedgwick and Rea set things right and find love after all? Jane Austen meets dragons in this frolicking fantasy romance about a comely pig keeper, two wealthy gentlemen, and the curse binding them all together. Perfect for fans of Diana Wynne Jones and Gail Carson Levine.
Amazon (Available on Kindle Limited!)
About the Author
Savannah Jezowski lives in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor and a wee warrior princess. She is the founder of Dragonpen Designs and Dragonpen Press, which offers author services such as cover design, developmental edits, and interior formatting. Her debut novella “Wither” is featured in Five Enchanted Roses, an anthology of Beauty and the Beast, and is a prequel to The Neverway Chronicles, a Christian fantasy series filled with tragic heroes and the living dead. She is also the author of When Ravens Fall, a Norse Beauty and the Beast retelling. She is featured in several Fellowship of Fantasy anthologies, including Mythical Doorways, Tales of Ever After, and Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales. When she isn’t writing, Savannah likes to read books, watch BBC miniseries, and play with cover design. She also enjoys having tea with her imaginary friends.
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On Kings and Earls and Poor Pig Girls— Author Guest Post
If you’re here today, it’s probably because you’ve seen the shiny cover for my upcoming release and are curious what this regency-inspired fantasy is all about.
Am I right?
Well, thank you for asking, you don’t have to twist my arm or beg: I’ll tell you.
The themes in Curse and Consequence are something I could wax eloquent on all day. There are so many fun things that wheedled their way into this story. Honestly, I had no control. This story sort of wrote itself. In this post, I am going to talk mostly about what inspired the setting, culture, and social themes in my story. If you’re interested, you can read more about the overall story theme, which you could also call the moral, in a separate post that will also be included in this week’s blog tour.
FUN FACT: The original idea for this story came to me about eight years ago!
The original story began as a hilarious concept about a prince cursed with a split personality. Literally, Sedgwick got himself divided into two people: a stiff, intellectual Crown Prince and an incorrigible, fun-loving four-year-old they nicknamed Hughie who could transform into his grown-up self at will. The two halves of him were as different as could be, one old and one cursed to be little, one painfully tidy and addicted to soap and the other…well…NOT. And, of course, there was still the spunky pig keeper destined to become involved in their drama and help them break the curse and save the kingdom. There was also a cat-griffin named Didymus, and a stablemaster named Granger, and a great deal of carousing around the castle and getting into all sorts of mischief and squabbles.
There wasn’t a Regency garden party to be seen.
Years later, still only a rambling collection of humorous but useless scenes, what I had affectionately called “A Griffin’s Tale,” blossomed into something entirely new. Suddenly, the pig was called Serafina instead of String Bean, the griffin became a dragon with (cough cough) a very SPOILERY, unique twist; and there wasn’t an evil uncle out to control all the griffins and conquer the world, only a shady little faery out to make a few bucks. The characters gained a few years—and a few pounds—as well. More mature and less spunky, Rea became the daughter of a baronet instead of a cobbler, although she still found herself working in the stables.
The boys? Well, they pretty much stayed the same; they just got taller and their problems a little bigger. Hugh’s lisp had to tone itself down a LOT because it was almost painful to read in the original story scribblings. I also scrapped the split personality idea because that just got complicated real fast. I mean, did you put them back together again after you split them apart? If so, which half of him would she really be in love with? And wouldn’t it be weird being in love with one half of a person and not the other half? Don’t you have to take whole package?
And, quite frankly, I had fallen in love with both of the boys and couldn’t stand for one of them to have to go.
You see my dilemma. Once you read the story, I dare you to choose between Sedgwick and Hugh; which brother would you pick?
The biggest change of all happened when Rea and her friends packed up their little band of misfits from a fantasy kingdom with the typical king and queen and castle and moved into the heart of snooty, Jane Austen-inspired Dragonshire.
Because the only thing that could possibly make Jane Austen any better would be a little magic. Am I right? This isn’t a Jane Austen retelling, but I did try to steal some of her popular themes: the girl of humble means, the wealthy gentlemen, the eccentric parents, the parties, the social conflicts, and so on.
I managed to keep the faeries and magic and all, but a lot of the normal fantasy tropes took on a regency flare to better fit the story I wanted to tell. The princes became the sons of an earl. The castle turned into an estate. The ball into a garden party. The tomboyish pig keeper became a demure and proper young lady.
Social prejudices are another Jane Austenish theme that crept into my story. The main character is a little like Mr. Darcy in that he is painfully aware of his social status and the duties that come with it. When he falls in love with his mother’s pig keeper, the penniless daughter of a disgraced baronet, he knows he’s treading into dangerous, unfamiliar waters.
You’ll also find social intolerance briefly foreshadowed in Dragonshire. There is a history of mistrust between the human and faery realms, and even though they’re at peace now and trying to coexist, they still don’t trust one another completely. Sadly I wasn’t able to delve too much into this theme in book one, but I will definitely be revisiting it in book two.
FUN FACT ABOUT BOOK 2: Magic and Mischief will loosely be inspired by Cinderella! I’ve attempted to write several Cinderella-themed stories in the past, but none of them have truly made it to publication. Book 2 certainly won’t be a straight up retelling, but you’ll definitely recognize some of the parallels. (Wink, wink)
And there you have it. So while this series isn’t a straight-up Jane Austen retelling, Curse and Consequence is a delicious blend of frolicking fantasy and rule-bound regency with themes borrowed from Jane Austen’s overall mindset and writing style. This story is filled with magic and garden parties, handsome gentlemen and poor young women, dragons and pigs. You’ll find characters challenging their social boundaries and those struggling to fit inside those boundaries even when their hearts are pulling them in an entirely different direction.
I hope you enjoy reading this blend of fantasy and regency themes as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Grace here! Since this is becoming a long post, I’ll just be sharing a a few thoughts on this delightful little tale. 😀
What I Liked—
I loved the fact that this book was like an Austen tale, but with a touch of wacky and magic. It was a tad like Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Shades of Milk and Honey.” Except this one was more of a comedy, and I adored this!
I also enjoyed how the dynamics between the three main characters, especially the brothers. Every time the older brother called his younger brother Wicky cracked. me. up. 😂 (Something oddly hilarious about the name…)
Oh! I loved how the heroine’s struggle helped her find her voice. I was quite amused by her actions that resulted from this change. Definetly made me want to shout “YOU GO GIRL!”
Hm. I do wish it was a little longer. I did not feel so attached to the characters because of it. 😕
Overall, If you are looking for a jaunt into a prim and proper world where magic causes an assortment of entertaining chaos, you definitely want to give this book a try! Or if you just like a lighthearted fantasy, it’s a great pick. 😉 I give it a rating of four.
*Thanks to UQ Blog Tours and the author for a complimentary E-ARC in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to a write a positive review.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, June 1st
Tuesday, July 2nd
Wednesday, July 3rd
Thursday, July 4th
Friday, July 5th
Saturday, July 6th
Sunday, July 7th