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text 2019-10-02 21:40
My Appearance on Books on Third
Rumpled - Lacey Louwagie

The Marshall Area Fine Arts Council (MAFAC) recently opened/rebranded Books on Third, a gift shop that sells awesome artwork, jewelry, and BOOKS by local and regional authors. I was honored to be one of the authors invited to attend the grand opening. I went through the store’s stock of my book, Rumpled, at the event and got to leave a new stack for the store’s inventory. As a stay-at-home mom who fits all my writing into nooks and crannies (mostly journaling and book reviews since those forms cope most easily with the interruptions of a toddler waking from his nap), it’s always so reaffirming to spend some time immersed in my “writing self.” Thank you, MAFAC, for granting me the opportunity to be seen as a writer first for a couple hours last week!


Photos below.


The books featured at the Books on Third opening. My family has copies of Grasshopper Girl, Called, The Gift, and the Marsco Dissident.


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review 2016-08-13 20:39
Review - Rumpled Bear Skin by Sable Sylvan (Seattle's Billionaire Bears #1)
Rumpled Bear Skin - Sable Sylvan

My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!!

***Received a copy of the ebook for an honest review


The cover is looking very good with both beasts!!  Love it!


This is the first book in the series, but it is a spin-off and in the same world as the Shifter Princes series.  I love everything to do with the boys from the Asher Lumber Company!  This is of course for adults only due to the steamy content. 


Artemis is a spunky and feisty intern as Asher Lumber.  Her dad brags about her skills to get her the job.  Jasper has many rumors floating around about him.  They definitely have chemistry, and this was one of the stories that just makes you happy.  I loved reading it.


I highly recommend this book to all the bear snugglers out there!  I can’t wait to read the next one!!

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text 2016-06-11 23:20
Why do we feel the need to redeem Rumpelstiltskin?
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin - Liesl Shurtliff
Straw Into Gold - Gary D. Schmidt
A Curse Dark As Gold - Elizabeth C. Bunce
A Wild Swan: And Other Tales - Michael Cunningham
Rumpled - Lacey Louwagie

RumpOver the weekend, I finished reading Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff. It is a middle-grade retelling told from Rumpelstiltskin’s point of view, when he is just 12 years old. This book came out when I was working on later drafts of my own Rumpelstiltskin retelling, at a time when I was not allowing myself to read other retellings of the tale. Now that Rumpled has been out of my hands and out in the world for a couple years, I’m catching up on my Rumpelstiltskin retellings, as it has been one of my favorite fairy tales since my older sister first told it to me using Fischer Price Little People when I was four years old.


In the retellings that I have been reading, I’ve been noticing a common thread: Rumpelstiltskin, the creepy and evil little man whose plans to whisk away the queen’s baby are thwarted in the original, is painted in a sympathetic light. (Minor spoilers for a handful of Rumpelstiltskin retellings ahead.)


In Straw Into Gold by Gary Schmidt, in the little we see of Rumpelstiltskin, he is a kind father. In Rump, he is an adolescent boy who has bit off more than he can chew with a burgeoning magical gift he is just beginning to understand. In “Little Man” by Michael Cunningham, which is found in the collection A Wild Swan and Other Tales, he is a lonely magic maker who thinks a child might give his life meaning. And in A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce, his reasons for wanting a child are sympathetic even thought it is the only Rumpelstiltskin retelling I have read where he remains decidedly the villain.


Rump, “Little Man,” and my own retelling all tell the story from Rumpelstiltskin’s point of view, which is probably the most obvious vehicle for his redemption — after all, Crazy Ex Girlfriend aside, few of us think of ourselves as the villain of our own stories.


Still, we don’t see a plethora of retellings that redeem the Evil Stepmother from Cinderella, or the Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Although examples of both of these are certainly available, they don’t dominate the collective re-imagining of these key stories. So what is it about Rumpelstiltskin that makes us so badly want to redeem him?


RumpColorEmilyletterss AlternativeOne of the aspects of the original tale that so intrigues me is its moral ambiguity. In many fairy tales, the roles of hero and villain are clear cut, as is the moral we are meant to take from them. Not so in Rumpelstiltskin. Although often regarded as the villain (it is evil to take someone else’s baby, after all), all Rumpelstiltskin wants is for the terms of the agreement he made with the miller’s daughter to be honored. Are we supposed to see the miller’s daughter as the hero of the story because she tries to get out of a bargain she made, for which the other party’s half has already been fulfilled? What kind of a woman promises away her firstborn child to begin with? Then again, what kind of man would demand such a thing? After all, the miller’s daughter is faced with the threat of death, and it is under this duress that Rumpelstiltskin makes his abhorrent demand.


[My husband’s take on the original tale is that it’s about the ways all the men in the story exploit a vulnerable woman — first her father by making a false claim about her that opens her to the possibility of execution; then Rumpelstiltskin for making an unreasonable trade when she is not in a position to say no; and then the King who marries her only because he wants access to the gold he thinks she can produce. But that may be an analysis for another time.]


But then, despite Rumpelstiltskin’s demand, he still provides the queen with an escape clause: if she can guess his name within three days, she may keep the child. Is it pride that drives him to make this new bargain, or is it compassion for the queen’s plight? The original tale is silent all around on the matter of motives.


That is what makes this particular tale so rich for reimagining. And I think the bevy of stories that seek to redeem Rumpelstiltskin in some way are an attempt to inject some semblance of morality back into the tale. Not only that, but our sensibilities regarding those who are “ugly” or “disabled” have changed quite a bit since the Grimm brothers set down their original tales in 1812-1815. When I was writing my retelling, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it was so easy to cast Rumpelstiltskin as the villain because he was ugly, and the miller’s daughter as the hero because she was beautiful. One of the themes that I ended up playing with was the way that we assign morality and other character traits based on appearance. It is easier and more convenient to make the ugly character the evil one and the beautiful one the good, even though, in this story, they both try to cheat each other.


Our culture is still influenced far too strongly by appearance; the connection between beauty and goodness is very much alive and well. But now there are many voices that are questioning the validity of that connection, cultural critiques that add a counterpoint to the onslaught of images that still tell us that to be lovely is to be good.


Rumpelstiltskin is but one vehicle for challenging this unhealthy assumption, and it is being put to uses today that the Grimms probably never imagined for it centuries ago. It may be coming to mean something different, but it nevertheless remains relevant and alive. And that may be the best “happily ever afters” any tale can hope for.


rumpelstiltskin banner

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review 2015-08-30 15:22
A new series, another fairy tale makeover
Rumpled Bear Skin - Sable Sylvan

Another new series from Sable "Seattle's Billionaire Bears", another Fairy Tale made over, this time Rumplestiltskin is up.... What a tale this story is, I loved it, Aspen from the "Shifter Princes" series made a couple of camoe's (do you even call them that in books??) so I would recommend reading Sable's books in an order (don't ask me what that order is exactly), they are all intertwined in ways, lots of character cross-overs.

What a make-over this story has been under, no longer a creepy little man being promised your first born daughter, but something different, some wit, adult content, shifters... have been magically woven into the tale... making it unique & new.

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text 2015-08-17 00:04
Recommend Away - Lacey Style
The Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle,Peter S. Beagle
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Peyton Place - Grace Metalious,Ardis Cameron
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers
Ariel - Steven R. Boyett
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick
The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam #2) - Margaret Atwood
Rumpled - Lacey Louwagie

So, a few weeks ago A Throne of Books started this awesome recommendation meme that's getting lots of buzz on Booklikes. I can't resist a good book meme on a Sunday afternoon, so I'm going to go for it! (I'm also going to start following A Throne of Books because I love her enthusiasm!)


1. Favorite books in all categories: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

2. Start to a series: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
3. By an author who's written over 5 books total: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
4. Classic Literature: Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
5. Banned Books: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
6. Featuring an assassin: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
7. In a world with Dragons: Ariel by Steven Boyett
8. Male Main Character: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
9. Female Main Character: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
10. Retelling of another story: Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
11. Book with a Gorgeous Cover: The Scent of God by Beryl Singleton Bissell
12. Debut book of any author: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
13. Fantasy in general: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Baker
14. Finale for a series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
15. Graphic Novel: Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
16. That you paid over $15 for (and was worth every penny): Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
17. Published after 2010: Various Positions by Martha Schabas
18. Featuring a Princess/Prince or Queen/King: The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
19. Thriller: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
20. You read because it was a bestseller: The only book I can think of reading *because* it was a bestseller was Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, which I wouldn't recommend
21. Involving drugs: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
22. Memoir: If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Murder, Love, and Liberation by Janine Latus

23. Favorite completed series as a whole: The Chaos Walking Trilogy

24. Book with witches/warlocks: The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
25. Historical Fiction: The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
26. Ugly Cry book: My Cat Saved My Life by Phillip Schriebman
27. Realistic Fiction: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
28. Dystopia: The Giver by Lois Lowry
29. Time Travel: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
30. Elf or Dwarf Main character: Rumpled by Lacey Louwagie

31. Favorite incomplete series either by you or not yet finished by author: The Lunar Chronicles by Marisa Meyer

32. Literary Fiction: Loverboy by Victoria Redel
33. Non-Fiction (Anything, cookbook, self-help, etc): Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month by Deborah Taylor-Hough
34. Middle Grade Novel: Doll Bones by Holly Black
35. Includes sword/knife fighting: Swordborn by Jennifer Roberson
36. Something mysterious is afoot: The Shadows by Jacqueline West
37. Diverse Reads (main character non-white/non-straight): Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
38. Wanderlust book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
39. Unreliable Narrator: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
40. Character with mental illness: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
41. Sci-fi in general: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy
42. Paranormal Main Character: The Eye of the Wolf by Marie Zhuikov
43. Horror: The Barter by Siobhan Adcock
44. Books with murder in them: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
45. Set in a time of war (real or fictional): Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
46. Set in the place you live: Plover Landing by Marie Zhuikov
47. Book with servants in some manner: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
48. Book eventually adapted to a movie: The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
49. Book you've read more than once: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
50. A Good Zombie Book: Zombies v. Unicorns by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black
51. A love story: Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
52. Set in space: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
53. Multiple POV: The Realm of Possibility by David Leviathan
54. Erotic for people who don't read erotic novels: Once Upon a Dyke by Karin Kallmaker

55. Written by an author who has died (recently or a very long time ago): Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

56. Written by an author who is still living: Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

57. Childhood favorite: Anna to the Infinite Power by Mildred Ames

58. A long book (Let's say at least 450 pages minimum): The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

59. Young Adult book in general: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

60. Adult book in general: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

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