Story Saturday: "A Princess in Time"

"A Princess in Time" Once upon a time, there was a young millennial lady named Alex who was fed up with her life after her boyfriend dumped her for being too old-fashioned. She decided to distract herself with random internet memes, but quickly got bored of that. After some more clicking, she soon found herself looking up her ancestry online. To her surprise, she learned that she was descended from royalty and found an old painting of her ancestor, Princess Alexandria III. Alex stared at the painting for what felt like hours. It was as if she was looking into a mirror version of herself in a beautiful Renaissance dress. There was something not quite right about the image, though. She tried zooming in and inspecting it closer. The next thing she knew, her monitor began glowing brightly and humming. Alex rolled her eyes, hoping she wouldn't need to buy a new computer. Suddenly, she felt a strong force sucking her into the screen. No matter how she tried to resist, she cou…

The Magic of True Love

Today is a very special day for me. It's the one year anniversary of the day I married my true love. My wedding was truly magical and made me feel like a princess because I was surrounded by all the people I love. Love is an important theme in princess stories. Even though they have shifted direction somewhat in recent years, it is still very much relevant to the princess genre. In fact, love is probably the biggest defining factor of a princess story. It is what gives them their strength against the bad guys and what ultimately allows them to achieve their goals. Of course, I'm not just talking about romantic love. Many people take issue with the unconscious kiss in "Sleeping Beauty" that gives the cursed princess new life. Though that particular act itself may be problematic due to issues of consent, it is still significant because it represents a universal idea--Love will set you free.

Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone must fall in love and get marrie…

Review: A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling

One week after the Entwined Tales Launch Party that I attended on Facebook, the book I was waiting for finally became available to read! A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling is the fifth book in the Entwined Tales series, but I cheated and read it first because I was less interested in the fairy tales that were adapted in the previous books. If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I have a very strong affinity to the story of "The Little Mermaid."A Little Mermaid is a very unique take on it. It has the same basic premise of the youngest mermaid princess giving up her voice for legs so that she can get closer to a human prince she rescued from drowning, but this time, Princess Clio is not in love with the prince she rescued. In fact, she deems him rather foolish for managing to fall off his own ship during his birthday celebration. Clio does, however, have a huge crush on a merman with a similar name to the human prince. Due to a misunderstanding, the incomp…

Story Saturday: "The Secret Prince"

"The Secret Prince" Once upon a time, there was a lonely little maiden living with her stepmother, stepsister, and stepbrother. They treated her well enough until her father died, and their true nature was revealed. The maiden's stepfamily had been jealous of the gifts and attention granted to her by her father, so they took it all away and began treating her like a slave. Every week, they demanded that she go to the market and purchase everything they desired, leaving her no extra money for herself. She would spend her mornings making her family breakfast, tightening her stepsister's corsets, and helping her brother with his debt. All the while, she dreamed of the days when her beloved father was still alive. If she ever uttered a word about him to her stepfamily, though, they would force her to scrub the floors until her hands became cracked and raw.

One day, when she was out at the market, a young man she had never seen before caught her eye. He heard her singing…

Elena's New Quest

Over the past five years, Sofia the First has shifted gears from meeting past Disney Princesses, granting happy endings to unfinished stories, becoming a protector of the whimsical Mystic Isles, and stopping the efforts of an evil sorceress from obtaining collecting magic trinkets of former Disney villains. The series has done a fantastic job of staying interesting by constantly changing the direction of the story before it gets too tedious. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for its spin-off, Elena of Avalor. The big twist in last week's episode, "Rise of the Sorceress," is that the series is regressing back to its roots by returning to the conflict that was introduced in Sofia and the Secret of Avalor, the special that revealed her backstory. Shuriki, a sorceress who trapped the teen princess inside an enchanted amulet for forty years, has predictably returned in a twist that has been a long time coming.

While Sofia's biggest fault is a lack of confidence in h…

Review: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast

All good things must come to an end. Thus, I have completed the last book released so far in the Beyond the Four Kingdoms series by Melanie Cellier. There are more books coming out later in the year, so I will be reviewing those in time, but this will be the last one for a while. A Tale of Beauty and the Beast is directly linked to its prequel, A Dance of Silver and Shadow. It is told from the perspective of Sophie, Lily's twin sister, who was introduced in the first Four Kingdoms book, The Princess Companion. As a direct result of the events from A Dance of Silver and Shadow, Sophie is forced into an unwanted engagement with a "Beast" who was once called Prince Dominic and must live in his mysteriously isolated castle. The story draws inspiration from the original fairy tale, the Disney movie, and the mythology that Melanie has developed within her series.

In A Tale of Beauty and the Beast, Sophie still possesses the same ability to telepathically communicate with her t…

Story Saturday: "The Secret Princess"

"The Secret Princess" Once upon a time, there was a happy peasant couple living in a small village. Each morning, the husband would plow the fields, and each afternoon, the wife would sew the loveliest of garments to sell at market. They barely remembered a time before they were together. The two met when they were very young while the peasant woman was traveling to sell her wares. Once they were wed, she never left the village and their lives remained as constant as ever. Nothing new or exciting happened to them, and that was the way they liked it. Of course, even those with the simplest of desires do not always get what they want.

One day, there was an announcement that an ambassador from a nearby kingdom would be coming to visit the small village. When the peasant woman heard the announcement, she told her husband that she could not sell her wares at the market that day because she was feeling ill. However, his worry and concern for her made her hesitant to keep up her r…

Review: A Dance of Silver and Shadow

Now that I've recovered from the chaotically delightful Entwined Tales Launch Party, it's time to get back to reviewing Melanie Cellier's booksA Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is the first book in the Beyond The Four Kingdoms series. It takes place a few years after the events of The Four Kingdoms and is told from the perspective of Lily, one of the twins that Alyssa took care of in The Princess Companion. It turns out that Lily and her sister Sophie secretly have a telepathic link with each other that they received from a fairy godmother at birth that allows them to talk to each other in their minds no matter how far apart they are. Though this sort of bond may seem intrusive to some, the two princess sisters love each other dearly, and their secret superpower only brings them closer together.

"The Twelve Dancing Princesses" was one of my favorite fairy tales when I was a child. I've seen several adaptations of it, …

Entwined Tales Launch Party on Facebook

I had a very interesting evening, celebrating the release of the Entwined Tales series on Facebook with the six lovely authors of the books from the series. I've never seen a release party quite like this before, but then, I've never seen a book series quite like this either. Each author has her own independent set of fairy tale novels, which brought them together based on their similar story content. They combined their talents to create an original series about a bumbling fairy godfather who goes around granting unwanted gifts to princesses from six different fairy tales. Some of the fairy tales they picked are rather obscure, such as "The Goose Girl" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," (which was turned into a live-action movie called The Polar Bear King in 1991, but I wasn't a fan of it). Of course, the one I'm looking forward to the most is inspired by my favorite fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid." Coming March 5th, A Little Merma…

Princesses of the Animation Industry

What are the first names that come to mind when you think of the people behind your favorite fairy tale princesses? The Brothers Grimm? Hans Christian Anderson? Walt Disney? Don Bluth? John Musker and Ron Clements? Considering how empowering so many of these stories are to women, it's surprising that the overwhelming majority of people behind them are men. The recent success of Patty Jenkins behind the 2017 Wonder Woman movie and the inspirational writing team of Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna behind the CW's princess culture-inspired Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series got me wondering why Disney has so few women behind its own female-driven classics. Even independent princess filmmakers like Don Bluth and Richard Rich got their start at Disney, making it virtually impossible for anyone to find much success in the animation industry without working there or at another major animation studio first. In an industry that's so biased toward men, animation ingenues like myself bar…

Story Saturday: "Mermaid's Redemption"

"Mermaid's Redemption" Once upon a time, there was a mermaid princess who fell in love with a human prince. As a royal, she had the unique ability to transform her shimmering turquoise tail into legs whenever she chose. When the prince met her, he was drawn to her delicate features and passionate demeanor. She sang sweetly to him in the language of her people, and he became hers forever, refusing to even look at the other princesses who came to court him. They were married soon after, but that is only the beginning of the story. In their many years together, the mermaid princess refused to tell her husband anything about her family or where she came from. Though he never stopped being curious, he soon learned to stop asking.
One day when the couple was taking a walk along the beach, the mermaid noticed something glittering in the water. It was a message in a bottle with a pink shell attached to it that she recognized from her home kingdom. She immediately opened it to s…

Review: The Princess Game

I completed The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty in record time, solidifying my current obsession with Melanie Cellier's fairy tale princess books. This is the last book in her Four Kingdoms series, but not the last to take place in Melanie's extended princess universe. The Beyond the Four Kingdoms series is still in progress, which means there will be plenty of new literature to look forward to in this realm of fairy godmothers and suspense. However, this book still marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. So, how does The Princess Game hold up in comparison to The Princess Companion, The Princess Fugitive, and The Princess Pact?

There were a few notable differences that stood out to me right away. It's the first book in the series to be written in first person format, which probably should have been done earlier because the other books were clearly meant to be from the perspective of the princesses, even going so far as to occasionally switch…

The Desire To Be Free

While compiling songs for my next princess karaoke medley, it occurred to me that an overwhelming amount of princess songs are about freedom. It's no secret that freedom is a common theme among fairy tales and princess-like characters, but the concept goes much deeper than that. What's particularly interesting about it is the fact that it applies just as much to characters who were born princesses as it does to the ones who found their freedom by becoming princesses. The desire to be free is such a universal concept that it transcends status, power, or race. Everyone can feel as though they are trapped at some point in their life.

The beautiful song written for Princess Jasmine in the retired Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular show was entitled "To Be Free" (which got replaced by "These Palace Walls" in the inferior Broadway production)  The song's opening line, "Lucky bird inside a gilded cage," is recited with perfect irony because telling someo…

Story Saturday: "The Princess Trap"

"The Princess Trap" Once upon a time, there was a princess who loved two things--eating and training with the royal guards. On the rare occasions that the kingdom had a festival, the royal seamstresses would struggle to create something flattering for the princess's unusual figure, but she didn't mind. She kept herself strong and healthy by sparring with her favorite knights and even won several matches against them. Since she came from a kingdom that often went to war, her parents didn't mind that she did not meet the dainty expectations of a princess.

One day, the king and queen decided to take their daughter on a royal vacation. Since the kingdom had been at peace for a while, they were starting to grow bored of the monotony. When the queen suggested the far-off island of Keye, an advisor warned her that there had been many rumors of princesses traveling to that island with their families over the years and never returning. This piqued the princess's inte…

I Tried IGK's Foamo To Get Mermaid Princess Hair

I don't generally write about cosmetics because I don't use them very often. Even though I may have a bias toward natural beauty, I can certainly appreciate the lovely aesthetics that skilled makeup artists are able to create. In fact, when it comes to anything I could wear that would make me shimmer and sparkle like a faery princess, I actually have a pretty low resistance. When I regularly frequented the princess-themed attractions at Walt Disney World, I used to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and ask to be pixie dusted by one of the Fairy Godmothers in Training far more often that what someone would probably consider healthy. That's why when I first heard about Foamo Holographic Hair Foam from IGK, which turns your hair sparkly and iridescent, I scoured the internet for weeks impatiently awaiting its release.

I first heard about Foamo from a viral Facebook video entitled "How To Be a Mermaid in 2018." There were a lot of things about it that appealed to me…