Forget the Prince, Give Me the Beast! Back to Blog

A ghoul flies by at sunset in Santa Fe

A ghoul flies by at sunset in Santa Fe

Cindy and I share a love of Halloween decorations.

In fact, I might have to steal some of the ideas she posted over the weekend. Brainz cupcakes for the win!

Halloween is a special time for all of us who are drawn to the dark and seductive. We’re harvesting the fruits of the summer, storing up and settling in for the winter. The winds change, bringing a chill with them. Sometimes we think we hear the wild yelps of The Great Hunt riding on the currents. The veil between worlds thins and we catch glimpses of things poking their heads in to look around.

It’s an unsettling time of delicious thrills.

Petals and Thorns - a naughty retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Petals and Thorns - a naughty retelling of Beauty and the Beast

So many of our images of Halloween, of All Hallows, of All Saints or Day of the Dead, come from old stories. As a kid I reveled in the most gruesome fairy tales I could find. I loved the old version of The Goose Girl, with the severed horse’s head giving advice. Somehow the Disney versions of the stories just never worked for me after I found out how dark and seductive the old versions were. But I always wanted to know what happened when those massive castle doors boomed closed. After Cinderella married the Prince, what then? As I grew older, I began to spin fantasies about it. Not always about Prince, either. Sure, he’s a great date for the ball and charming goes a long way.

It was the monsters that grabbed my attention.

Like in Beauty and the Beast, with his ferocity and passion. What did he do to his young bride during those long nights, I wondered? Finally I had to write the story for myself. It turns out he was quite beastly – and she loved every moment of it.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who wanted to see past the closed doors. What fairy tales got you spinning fantasies?

Best fantasy gets a free copy of Petals & Thorns! (ebook only)

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47 responses to “Forget the Prince, Give Me the Beast!”

  1. Cynthia Eden says:

    Thanks so much for visiting with me today!! 🙂

  2. Diane Sadler says:

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I wanted to know what happened to them.

  3. Desiree says:

    There are so many of them. Red Riding Hood is one of mine but I think as I got older and reading them to kids or just to myself I started asking what happened next. I love happily ever afters it makes days with constant reminders of reality bearable.

  4. I always wondered what happened to the kids that Pied Piper led into the mountains. Were they crushed between stone? Lived happily ever after in a world of music and dancing? Sold into slavery the next town over so the piper could support his drug habit (he had to do ecstasy)?

  5. Thanks for hosting me, Cindy!

    Oh yeah, Diane – SEVEN dwarfs? The mind boggles!

    Red Riding Hood and her wolf, alone in the woods? Good one, Desiree! And I so agree on the happy ending. I think we all deserve one.

  6. Ha Keena! Maybe the kids stayed young forever, like in Never Neverland.

  7. Edie Ramer says:

    Puss ‘n Boots. Who doesn’t love a feline conman? One of these days I’ll think up a modern version.

  8. Ooh, Edie – I like that one! Maybe he’s a shifter?

  9. Jillian says:

    Of course it was the Emperor’s New Clothes (when I got older, of course- these questions came up) – I mean really, a naked man walking down the street? How well endowed was he??? That’s the question- and the fact that he wasn’t in the least bit shy (albeit he thought he was clothed)

    AND, should he happen to meet Lady Godiva on the street, all the better!

  10. Ilona says:

    I loved Beauty and the Beast as a child and have read every variant I have been able to get hold of ever since. Yours sounds like a fun read and I will be looking for it to ad to my collection 😀

    Another tale that I loved as a child was Snow White and Rose Red. The Prince cursed into a bear always appealed too, guess I was into shifters even that young 😀

    • Ooh, cursed Bear-prince would be Fab! Snow White and Rose Red was one of my very faves. That would be fun to play with, too. I have lots of B&B versions, too. Robin McKinley did it twice and it’s interesting to read both.

  11. Valerie says:

    I always loved fairy tales when I was young too.

    What about Rumpilstilskin….did I spell that right? He came to visit the princess to see if she could guess his name….what went on behind those closed doors? Hehe!!!

    I would love to read your book.

    in Germany

  12. Kev says:

    I always thought Rapunzel was a natural for some serious (maybe even unintentional) bondage situations.

  13. Jillian says:

    I actually wrote a short story about Rapunzel falling in love with Rumpelstiltskin. It is published in a fairy tale anthology called “Free Range Fairy Tales” so, the last two comments are dear to me!

  14. Jean P says:

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I always wondered about them.

  15. Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, and Puss in Boots were always some of my favorites. Cinderella was always a little too wimpy for my taste.

  16. Colleen says:

    So many Fairy Tales… it is interesting to think about after the end of the stories… Red Riding Hood and Beauty & the Beast have had me wondering…

  17. Jodi says:

    Mine would have to be a twist on Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde. Maybe they could be two seperate men. Good man vs bad man

  18. Tara Lain says:

    Hi Jeffe — Loved the post. This is a remembrance. I was real little (3-4ish) and lived in Vienna, Austria. The Christmas tradition was for St. Nicholas to go house to house with his companion, Grompoose (not sure about spelling but it sounded like that). If the child was good, they got gifts from St. Nick, if bad they got switches from Grompoose.St. Nicolas gave me 2 cookies — one in his image and one that looked like Grompoose. My friend was there so i gave him the St. Nick cookie — but i kept Grompoose for myself. And so, my fate was sealed. : )

  19. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JIllian and Jeffe Kennedy, JIllian. JIllian said: RT @cynthiaeden Forget the Prince, Give Me the Beast! […]

  20. sue brandes says:

    I always loved Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, & Cinderella. Love your book cover.

  21. Michele says:

    Hi Jeffe, thanks for stopping by 🙂

    For me it would have to be THUMBELINA. Loved this story as a little girl. After the “Happily Ever After” wondered about the life she lived with her prince, if she ever saw her family again.

  22. cories5 says:

    I’ve always thought Rumpelstiltskin got a bum rap. He went out of his way to help the miller’s daughter, first with the gold (sure, she paid him but he didn’t have to show up at all in the first place) and then to give her a chance to keep her child. He’s not the evil one in the story. If anyone, it’s the Miller for being the worst father in literature – by lying to the king, he had insured his daughter’s death.

    Long winded but what I want to know is what happens to Rumpelstiltskin after he went home empty handed. Was he happy that he wasn’t saddled with a baby after all? Was he sad because he was looking forward to having an heir, someone to teach his secrets (like spinning straw into gold)? What about the king? Was he upset that his queen really can’t spin straw into gold and that he was lied to?

    • You know, fairytales often have a sideways morality like that, that leaves the truly nasty person unpunished. Like in Beauty & the Beast, it’s (again) the father who behaves the worst. Maybe Rumpelstiltskin went on to find a woman who really appreciated him. (And yes! I always wondered what happened if someone asked her to spin again.)

  23. Virginia C says:

    Hello, ladies! I read the excerpt for “Petals and Thorns”. One woman’s beast is another woman’s treasure! I fall for the lovelorn “beast” every time! I love “Beauty and the Beast”. Does it not touch on aspects of human nature which are far uglier than the cursed Beast? Does that make the love story even sweeter? To truly love someone is to love them with your mind, and see them in reality, and to soften that image by seeing them with your heart. “Petals and Thorns” touches the heart of the beauty with the powerful and sensual paw of the noble, and in this case, naughty, beast!

  24. Casey says:

    Haha you’re not alone! I always wanted to know what went on during the wedding nights when I was younger (it made for some slightly awkward converstaions with my mom – how do you explain to a 6 year old what sex is without actually telling them anything?)

  25. You all said such great stuff I decided to give away three copies! (And I had to randomly draw because I couldn’t decide.) Ilona, Michele and Cories5, please let me know what e-book version you prefer!

  26. Michele says:

    Thank you Jeffe!!!! So excited to see I won, very excited to read PETALS AND THORNS 🙂 I have a Sony e-reader so Adobe PDF would be perfect.

    Thank you again Jeffe!!!! 😀

  27. cories5 says:

    Wow! Thank you! pdf would be great for me, too!

  28. Michele says:

    Sorry for getting back to you so late, Thank you again 🙂