This week I am participating in the Tattered Slippers Blog Tour, featuring six different retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Check out the link above for more information on all of these authors and their unique stories. This collection includes everything from deep fantasy, to allegory, to jazz-age retellings, so there are a lot of choices! I definitely look forward to reading all of them! Also, there is a pretty cool giveaway/challenge associated with the tour, so be sure to check that out as well!
Today’s post is a guest post by Tricia Mingerink, author of Poison’s Dance. Poison’s Dance is an allegorical retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses set in the fictional world of Tallahatchia. Today, Tricia will be taking us on a tour of her kingdom. 🙂
The Castles of Tallahatchia
While the geography and some of the cultures of Tallahatchia are based on the Appalachian Mountain region, Beyond the Tales is a series of fairy tale retellings. So, of course, the books include castles. I had so much envisioning a world that is a mash up between medieval fairy tale and early American frontier.
The castle on the cover of Dagger’s Sleep is Burg Hohenzollern in Germany.
By Lukas Riebling – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=362662
When searching for a castle to inspire Castle Eyota in Dagger’s Sleep, I didn’t want to pick Neuschwanstein Castle, which is the castle everyone thinks of when they think fairy tale castle. Don’t get me wrong, Neuschwanstein Castle is gorgeous! But I wanted something different.
Yet, I still wanted something beautiful with lots of turrets, and Hohenzollern Castle worked perfectly! It is also set high on a hill, so it was easy for my cover designer to incorporate it into my mountainous Tallahatchia.
The castle on the cover of Midnight’s Curse is Burg Eltz, a castle along the Rhine River in Germany.
By Charlie1965nrw, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11039956
Not only did this castle have the perfect setting and look for this story, but its interesting history helped inspire parts of Midnight’s Curse.
The real Burg Eltz was owned by joint-heirs with the castle divided into different towers for each family. I took that a step further in Midnight’s Curse by having the joint-heirs turn the castle into a confusing maze.
When I started brainstorming Midnight’s Curse, I picked Burg Eltz as the inspiration for the castle in the story. Shortly after making that decision, I ran across a premade cover that not only had a girl with the right hair color and right expression, but also had the right castle in the background. I promptly bought the premade, and it became the cover for Midnight’s Curse.
Finally, the castle on the cover of Poison’s Dance is Rheinstein Castle, also in Germany.
By I, Manfred Heyde, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2439055
I was looking for a castle set near the river, and this castle also happened to have tiered courtyards, which was something I needed for my story.
Even better, the real Rheinstein Castle is known for growing grapes. As wine laced with a sleeping drug plays a big role in the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy tale, this fit perfectly, even if I had planned to pick this castle anyway.
At first, my cover designer and I tried out versions of the cover for Poison’s Dance with a farther view of the castle, but none of those designs ended up working. Eventually, we settled for an inside shot from the courtyard, and I love how it turned out!
Thank you for the tour, Tricia! You have quite a lovely kingdom. Dagger’s Sleep and Midnight’s Curse are currently on sale, so if you are new to this series, now is the time to grab them! If you’ve been following this series from the beginning you KNOW Alex has been a piece of work and has improved greatly with each book. I look forward to seeing his character develop even further in Book 3.
If he falls to the lure of the curse, the dance might trap him forever. If he falls to the lure of the curse, the dance might trap him foIIf he falls to the lure of the curse, the dance might trap him forever. Alex has survived his first year as High King. The new council has improved cooperation between the kingdoms, and peace seems achievable. When the Tuckawassee queen sends him an invitation he can’t refuse, Alex must once again face his greatest threat for the sake of peace.
Princess Tamya of Tuckawassee, along with her eleven sisters, has danced from sunset until sunrise every night of her life. It is her gift and her curse. When Queen Valinda wishes to use the power their cursed dance gives them to rule all of Tallahatchia, Tamya must decide if she will do what is right even if it betrays her own sister.
Daemyn Rand has survived a hundred years’ worth of battles. All he wants to do now is safely marry his princess. Will he be forced to choose between the love of his life and the high king he has loyally served for years?
They have faced certain death before. This time, they might not make it out alive. Don’t miss this re-envisioning of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale.