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Sandra D. Bricker | Happily Ever After. But first...!


Shannon Ridgeway awakens from a ten-year coma to a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone's life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones! This is the inciting incident for Book 2 of my Contemporary Fairy Tales series for River North Fiction. RISE & SHINE is based (loosely) on Sleeping Beauty, and Shannon adjusts to the changes around her about as readily as her creator embraces change. Not so much.

I like to know what's ahead of me. If the road sign reads, "Curves Ahead," I want to know what kind of curves, how many there are and how steep they might be. I know this isn't how life works – the lesson has been brought home to me time and time again – but what can I say? If information is disbursed on a need-to-know basis, then I'm all in because I need to know.

The beauty of my life as a fiction writer (and there is a lot to love about that sentence fragment!) is that my books have taught me to live a little more spontaneously. I mean, plan as I will, my characters have a way of taking my plot points off the rails so they can do their own thing off-road. Oh, I battle them for control, believe me ... but the lesson learned is that their story is better told if I lay my own hands gently over theirs, allowing them to take the primary position at the wheel.

There are certain rules a writer is supposed to follow when writing the kind of fiction that I write. In particular, for the Contemporary Fairy Tales series, a Happily Ever After is pretty much required, right? The struggle came when my idea of my character's happy ending didn't coincide with Shannon's. She brought her own ideas to the table, and it changed the course of her story.

Shannon had always been someone's daughter, niece, girlfriend, wife. When she awoke from a coma after ten years and her husband had died and her world had drastically changed, she had to forge a new path for her journey. Sure, she could have latched on to a new Prince Charming but, despite the fact that a new one crosses her path (I mean, of course he does! It's a fairy tale, right?), Shannon had other ideas for her future as well. Learning to stand on her own two feet became the story she had to tell and, once I allowed her to take the wheel, RISE & SHINE became a very different book than the one I'd originally set out to write. A better book, I think.

SANDRA D. BRICKER is a best-selling, award-winning author of LIVE-OUT-LOUD fiction for the inspirational market, best known for her Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure. Her latest novel, Book #2 of River North Fiction's Contemporary Fairy Tales series – RISE & SHINE (based on Sleeping Beauty) – is now available for pre-order at Amazon or Christianbook.com.

One commenter will win a copy of RISE & SHINEand sunglasses!




21 comments posted.

Re: Sandra D. Bricker | Happily Ever After. But first...!

I am a control freak. I admit it. But life being what it
is, I very rarely have control over it. Sometimes it works
best when you act like a cork bobbing on the water and
letting the current take you where it wills. The most
difficult times of my life, I have no idea how I survived,
but the good Lord did take care of me and provided.
(Marcia Berbeza 8:31pm May 9, 2014)

the dog look great on the book and then the info on it i love to read adn blog it for you
(Desiree Reilly 8:32pm May 9, 2014)

Makes me kind of nervous. No happy ever after???
(Lisa Hutson 11:35pm May 9, 2014)

I guess the paths can change and sometimes we are not prepared
for it. I think I would like this kind of book. Appreicate the
giveaway and another author to add to my list.
(Leona Olson 8:44am May 10, 2014)

When an Author puts their own spin on a Fairy Tale, the
story line usually can take an unusual turn - upbeat or
grim. I'm glad that you chose the upbeat path for your
story, and I'm looking forward to reading your book!! It
sounds like just the ticket to usher in Spring with!! The
cover is absolutely adorable, and I'm sure it's going to do
well, since a lot of women are looking for something to read
that is something a little off the beaten path.
(Peggy Roberson 9:00am May 10, 2014)

Love the modern day fairy tales.
(Pam Howell 12:36pm May 10, 2014)

What an interesting take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Thanks for the post and giveaway.
(G S Moch 1:31pm May 10, 2014)

This sounds like a great contemporary fairy tale book, and I like the idea that you used the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale to build from. Instead of awakening to Prince Charming and the "happily ever after", that she awakes to the world of reality and is faced with many shocking, unhappy things having been asleep for ten years. I have to read this book; it sounds so good, and I love the cute cover!
(Linda Luinstra 4:46pm May 10, 2014)

I found it very interesting (as a non-writer) that your characters seemed to have a life of their own inside your head and would tell their story if you allowed it. I totally understand the control thing. It is so difficult to let go and let others. I have always enjoyed fairy tales and look forward to your version of Sleeping Beauty.
(Debbie Kelly 5:19pm May 10, 2014)

Oh sounds like a great book!
(Lisa Medeiros 10:11pm May 10, 2014)

I have not read any of your books but I am going to look for
them as this one sounds like it will be fun and a good read.
I know that not everyone gets their "happily ever after" but
it is fun to root for them to get it. And the journey we
travel is what it is really about.
(Tina Ullrich 11:28pm May 10, 2014)

thanks for the contest and hope you have a good summer
(Gloria Vigil 8:34am May 11, 2014)

I love reality TV....#don'tjudgeme!
(Susan Coster 1:14pm May 11, 2014)

This sounds like a good book and the cover is really cute. There is something about the heroine and the dog that is so appealing.
(Anna Speed 3:48pm May 11, 2014)

Great cover!
(Denise Austin 6:44pm May 11, 2014)

We had a Basset! Loved her! Sounds like a great book!
(Michelle Schafer 7:16pm May 11, 2014)

Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for a chance to win.
(Linda Hall 9:29pm May 11, 2014)

That would be so scary to wake up after 10yrs and everything that you
know has changed. This sounds like a very interesting read.
(Julie Duffy 11:18pm May 11, 2014)

Have Read this, and Loved it! I also can so relate to
wanting to be in control. It's very cool how you describe
your gentle control over your characters when you write
"...lay my own hands gently over theirs, allowing them to
take the primary position at the wheel". Made me think of
God and how He guides our lives ever so gently and lovingly!
(Nenia Ryan 6:10pm May 12, 2014)

I so enjoy these "grown up" fairy tales. Melanie Dickerson has a great historical series based on fairy tales. I love that Sandra has put a contemporary twist to these beloved fairy tales. I read If the Shoe Fits and really liked it so I'm looking forward to reading Rise and Shine. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
(Pam Kellogg 7:55pm May 12, 2014)

Anxious to read this story & see how the 'sleeping beauty' story-line goes. God bless you & your writings.
(Mary Lough 12:57pm May 13, 2014)

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