Title: Kissing Frogs
Author: Kim Deister
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Editor: Trenda London
Publisher: Caffeinated Words Publishing
Cover Designer: Kennedy Kelly of Cover Crush Designs
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR
Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs...
To say that Cassidy's love life has been a hot mess would be an understatement. Bad boys have been just that... bad. Love and fairy tale romance? She's over it. But her family won't give it up, so Operation Marry Cassidy is born, throwing one guy after another at her. So Cassidy has kissed a lot of frogs and not one of them turned into a prince.
The Inspiration behind Kissing Frogs
Believe it or not, but Kissing Frogs actually began as a college assignment! I went back to school in 2011 for creative writing and literature. During my junior year, I took a creative writing class with author Barbara Chepatis. Our midterm was a short story of 5-10 pages on one of a few choices. One of the options was a story based on folk lore/fairy tales. We need to take elements of the tale and turn into a contemporary story. My specialty in college was folk lore and fairy tales from around the world, so that option was right up my alley. So, the tale of The Princess and the Frog was twisted, turned, and made into something entirely new. I’m happy to say I got an A on that assignment!
I thought I was done with the story, but when it came time for finals, the professor had us choose any story we’d written over the course of the semester and expand upon it. She suggested that I work with that story, originally titled I Kissed a Frog. Despite my grade, at the time I actually wasn’t really in love with the story. But I thought it behooved me to listen to the woman who would be grading me, so I worked with it. Before too long, 10 pages became 25! By the time I turned it in, my feelings for the story had changed and I was very happy with it, even though I still didn’t think much of it beyond the assignment. But my professor sent me my evaluation and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to turn it into a full-length novel. I mused on it for a long time, finished school, and then reread it. It was then I decided to take the plunge.
I love fairy tales and folk lore and how they change from culture to culture. Did you know that there are reportedly anywhere from 350 to over 1,500 versions of Cinderella alone? As an avid reader of retellings and fractured tales, I wanted to play with those themes in my own book. It was fun to experiment with different ways of using the original tale. Kissing Frogs is not really a retelling, nor is a fractured version. Instead, it is a bit of an homage. Throughout the book, there are little nods to the fairy tale. The golden gazing balls in the terrarium, the pond itself. The idea that love will prevail over evil. That happiness doesn’t always come easily, but must be earned. Grandma Fiona as the wise voice to guide Finn and Cassidy on their quest.
I wanted it to be a bit unexpected, while retaining some of the imagery and elements of the original tale. I didn’t want a Prince Charming who had lived a charmed life. I didn’t want a spoiled princess. I didn’t want an easy romance. Real life isn’t always easy, is it? I wanted Finn and Cassidy to reflect that. I wanted them to have pasts, good experiences, and bad. It is all of that that makes a person who they are. I wanted them to be people we can all understand, even if their circumstances are otherworldly.
I’ve enjoyed following Cassidy and Finn on their quest and I hope you do, too!