Drum roll, please! *dun dun duuuuuh* GUYS, my friend, Allison Tebo, just released her latest - The Reluctant Godfather! Woot woot!! XD Want the scoop? It's a Cinderella retelling, BUT the twist is that there's a fairy godfather and it's from his point of view. It's also the first book in the Tales of Ambia series! Crazy cool, right?! *wink* So I'm here today celebrating the release of this hilarious, charming novella - replete with all the info + links, an interview with Allison herself, and my four-star review.
LET US BEGIN.
A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.
Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.
A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.
|Isn't she pretty?!|
Allison Tebo is a Christian homeschool graduate in her mid-twenties, who works part time as a sales associate for a major transportation company. A graduate of London Art College, Allison pursues avenues in cartooning and illustrating as well as singing and voice acting.
In her spare time she writes and blogs at www.allisonswell.com.
It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kind of people, by writing clean, classic fun.
Her faith in Christ directly influences all she writes about - or does not write about. Whether the story possesses a strong message or is simply fun and imaginative fiction - her desire is to bring honor to God - and to provide quality stories for everyone to enjoy.
My goodness! This Cinderella retelling was hilarious and charming and delightful - and anything but cliche. THERE WERE NO CLICHES, I'm serious. There were sooo many humorous scenes and turns that I never would've expected! Allison came up with a wonderful twist on the much-loved classic - one I've already reread (yes, I did read it twice within a four four day period, the second time aloud to my family *grins*).
Burndee was hilariously lovable. I mean, despite being cantankerous and rather sarcastic and grumpy - almost all the time - you simply can't help but like him. He made things lively and funny and honestly had me laughing on numerous occasions. It was really fun having things from his perspective! AND THERE IS GONNA BE A SEQUEL WITH HIM AGAIN OMW. You can't create a character as unique and funny as Burndee and not continue on with him... *winkwink* He's charming in an unusually charming way. I mean, a guy fairy? A godfather? That bakes? Oh, yes. That wins, Allison. It's fantastic.
The comedy in this book was very enjoyable - I laughed so, so much! And hilarious books don't come along very often, do they?! On page two I was already smiling and getting my little brother to let me read the first few pages to him. The Reluctant Godfather was so unique and delightful in ways I wasn't expecting! I mean, Allison put so many twists in here that were perfect for the retelling! Even down to the ever-present-in-Cinderella-stories mice that Ella, ya know, normally adores? (I didn't even notice what Allison did with the mice-Ella relationship until my little bro pointed it out to me, and then I was like "ooooh, I see!") Of course, the basic story is recognizably classic Cinderella, but with added details and sarcastic comments and laugh-out-loud-funny dancing scenes. (I shall say no more on that account...after I tell you that the ballroom scene was, indeed, when I laughed the hardest.) On top of the hilarity and sweetness, the writing was well-done! Allison's style fit this story.
And the ending! I admit it...I saw two different spoilers about the ending so I knew what was gonna happen (one was on accident! The other...*cough* yes, I did look at one... ahem, moving on.) It was cute, and sweet, and SO DIFFERENT, my word! It made it fun - because I wasn't reading the same old story that everyone knows by heart. It was special, AND (if I hadn't have seen those spoilers) I'm not sure I would've expected it. There are definitely hints all along (cute ones, I might add!), but not enough to made you really doubt that Allison is going to follow the normal route. I mean, I even knew what was going to happen and still sat there, reading about Colin, and went "wait, but how is this going to work out?"
One of my favorite quotes:
"Don't you realize what a disgrace that is?"
"Oh, yes, I'm disgraced," said Burndee, squinting at his creation and wondering whether he should add mint leaves.
I WOULD add another here, but it's actually spoiler material, so I can't do it to you all... (Why don't you just read it yourself to find out, hmm?)
I MUST ADD that there were a few very brief moments that were not-overly-violent. (Though those two parts with Burndee were surprising in a funny way. My mouth literally dropped open at one point, and I snapped a rubberband on my braces, hahaha. #truestory). And I was a little frustrated with a smidgen of Burndee's sarcasm towards Ella (BUT OF COURSE that all gets turned around, cuz, ya know). Also, I just gotta say that there was magic in this - but that's kinda to be expected in Cinderella?
OVERALL, this was a delightful, funny, engaging read! A round of applause to Miss Allison for creating such a fun, charming retelling!
It's interview time! Go grab a cup of java and let's get started...
1) Hi, Allison! Welcome to my corner of the internet! Happy to have ya! Why don't you start by telling us what inspired you to write a fairy tale retelling - with a fairy godfather, delightfully, as the main character?
Hi, Micaiah!! Thank you so much for having me! I'm thrilled to be here!
To be honest - the whole idea just popped into my head - one night, last summer, the whole story was suddenly there. I can't remember the precise spark that lit the fuse - but somehow, my mind snagged upon the idea of a male fairy godfather - I wish now that I could remember all the details of that mysterious process!
2) What was your inspiration for Burndee and all of his humorous sarcasm? For Ella and Collin?
I hate to cop out on this question - but honestly they just popped into my head. Characters come very easily to me and they are my strong point.
As far as the 'zingers' that Burndee is so fond of using - I'm a little embarrassed to say that I often think of stuff like that - thank goodness I have characters that can say all of that stuff for me. Hehehe!
3) What are a few hobbies you enjoy (besides writing, of course!)?
I love to paint and draw. I enjoy quilting. And I love to bake - obviously. :D
4) Why don't you tell us the story of how you got started as a writer! Did anyone in particular inspire you or did you start all on your own?
My big sister! I wanted to be just like her, and – I’m embarrassed now to admit it – I wanted all the accolades and attention that her stories were getting. Since then, I’ve learned that I don’t have to compare my stories to other people’s writing, and I don’t have to do something just because someone I admire is doing it. I don’t write for accolades anymore (though it’s always fun to have people get excited about my writing, of course), I write because I must. I write because it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. Writing has become as much a part of me as breathing. The words are there, and they must come out.
5) What is your favorite part of the writing process? Annnnd your least favorite part?
That is an interesting question because, depending on how I feel at the time, my most favorite and least favorite parts about writing can change - some days I love drafting and hate editing - other days I hate drafting and love editing. But, thinking it over, I would have to say drafting (especially when drafting off of outlines) is my favorite part of writing and publishing is definitely my least favorite part - that process really squashed my creativity.
6) Now, for a hard one *wink wink*: If you absolutely HAD to choose, would you rather read only non-fiction books for a whole year, or not be able to read the ending of every fictional novel you read during that year?
'dies' MICAIAH HOW COULD YOU ASK ME SUCH A QUESTION!? 'wounded look' AUGH! I - I can't even . . . 'speechless' . . . choose! Um . . . okay, I would have to chose a year of not reading the ends of fiction novels - I could always write the endings myself, either in my head or on paper. Actually, for some books, that might not be such a bad idea. Thank goodness that question is over with . . . :)
Me: *laughs* I TOLD YOU IT'D BE HARD. It's funny because whenever I ask this question I've always gotten the same answer - to not read the endings.
7) What are FIVE of your favorite books?
Another hard one! Okay, I'm going to pick the first five that come to mind. Urchin and the Heartstone by M.I McAllister. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Trion Rising by Robert Elmer. Those High Green Hills by Jan Karon. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
8) Do you have a favorite fictional character - from a movie, a TV show, or a book? Why do you like that specific character so much?
MORE TORTURE! I don't have just one favorite character from a movie, TV Show, or book - I have DOZENS. 'thinks hard' - again, I'll just have to pick the first one that comes to mind. Clavius from the movie Risen. Steady, solid, soldierly characters are some of my hands-down favorite types of characters (male characters) - and Clavius is especially unique. His search for God - and God's search for him - is palpable. Clavius' commanding personality, his vigorous discipline, his yearning for something more (for peace and belonging), his controlled fear in trying to maintain his delicate position - his fervent search for the truth, his raw devastation at finding it, his steely resolve to follow it - AH! What a character. And what a run-on sentence! Did I mention solid, soldierly characters are my favorites and that I get really excited talking about them? :)
9) And, lastly: coffee, tea, or chocolate? (Because this is important... *nods*)
AT LAST - AN EASY ONE! :D - coffee, definitely, hands-down, no-question - coffee forever.
Me: *laughs again* YES, COFFEE FOREVER. We're agreed. Thank you so much for answering all my questions, Allison! It's been a pleasure having you!
SO, if all this hasn't convinced you to read The Reluctant Godfather, maybe this will...
Allison is hosting A GIVEAWAY. Go click on that link, enter the contest, and win ALL THE THINGS - a signed paperback copy of The Reluctant Godfather, a Tales of Ambia notebook, a t-shirt enlivened with a quote from the ever-quotable Burndee, and a BURNDEE IS THE BEST mug.
Or buy the book, here, on Amazon - whatever floats your boat. (Haha, I wanted to say that... *crying/laughing emoji*)
A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS from me to Allison for publishing this novella! YOU GO, GIRL. *applause* *confetti* *balloons* *cake (and coffee)*
GO GET READING, GUYS. (my cursor just disappeared, hahahaha...)
(I shall be back in about two weeks with another blog tour post for my friend, Faith Potts, and her novella Dandelion Dust. Be sure to pop back in to see it!)