So, I'm sure most of you will recognize the Five Glass Slippers Cinderella short story contest Anne Elizabeth Stengl and Rooglewood Press hosted last year. Yes, and our dear own Rachel Heffington won a place in that collection with her The Windy Side of Care. I'm raw-ther excited to read it.
Well, this year's contest is called Five Enchanted Roses and it's all about fairy tales based on... you guessed it: Beauty and the Beast.
"Now, now, Kiri," my Little Writer told me, "you've too much to do without beginning another story. You're working on Secret of the Hazel Tree, and you just foolishly jumped into the June Crusade. There's no way you can take on a Beauty and the Beast story right now, and I won't even mention how it's your favorite fairy tale."
I made my counterattack. "But a Beauty and the Beast story could count for one of my plot bunnies! I could kill two birds with one stone!"
My Little Writer was not impressed. But I won.
Ladies and gents, just so you know from the start, I have absolutely no idea how this story is going to turn out. Secret of the Hazel Tree was meant to be my entry for the Five Glass Slippers contest, and yet I finished it four months too late and 180,000 words too long. Yeah... the rules stipulate that your story must be between 5,000-20,000 words, and I am not known for short stories. Squeezing everything I want in the story into a mere 20K is going to be difficult. Pray for me. Will this story ever see the light of the contest? I haven't the foggiest.
What's my Beauty and the Beast retelling? Chewing on it, I've got lots of plans for a medieval/fantasy type retelling, but everyone and their brother will be doing that route for the contest. I wanted something fresh. Besides, I tend to flesh out my fantasy far too much for 20K. *cue Pooh Bear* Think, think, think.
What do I love? What could make Beauty and the Beast real but unique? And then it came to me.
What about pirates?
Pirates, it is.
Bonnie Rose is only my temporary title, as I'm not entirely pleased with it. I might be changing that sometime in the future. We'll see. But please don't expect some gushy, pirate, passionate romance story, because this is far from it. I abhor that drippy type of book, and I've resolved never to write something like that. No, this is about adventure, betrayal, and the meaning of true beauty.
Bonnie Rose Allaway loves the simple things – her family, the sea, and the roses that remind of her deceased mother. When a chance comes to leave their homeland of Scotland and seek a better life, Bonnie's family eagerly moves to Virginia. Though still poor, they are content with their lot. And the overseas trade promises them even greater things – so much so that Irving Allaway promises his daughters the gift of their choice when his big investment comes in at Charleston. Bonnie, of course, asks for a rose.
Of course, that is until Mr. Allaway's ships were lost to the brutality of pirates. With no fortune to claim, Bonnie's father is devastated, but he still tries to bring back what he promised. How little anyone knows how Bonnie's gift will change their lives forever.
Captain Henry Kerr is called “the Beast” for good reason; his reputation spreads throughout the Caribbean before him, and no man wishes to stand in his way. The Black Thorn is his pride of the seas, and it is his path to freedom, riches, and whatever he may want – save for the one thing for which he yearns more than anything else. For years, he has seen nothing but the sharp, ugly thorns in the world. It may take a young, Scottish girl to help him find beauty in the roses.
And if you've seen this post, then you've already read the first chapter. Yes, I was mean to post it without the slightest explanation, but I was too excited to think straight and I wanted to share it with you all.