Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel-A Review and Interview with the Author
About the Book: Released April 19, 2013
“A reverse Sleeping Beauty tale where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince.”
Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she finds she is willing to do anything to save him, even if it means fighting a dragon.
Devlin’s own sister, Princess Arabella, is behind the deadly plot. She wants the throne and will use any means necessary. Her perfect plan unravels, leaving Devlin caught in a
magical sleep that is slowly spreading through the kingdom of Breniera. All Arabella needs to finish her spell and claim the crown is a drop of Kaylee’s blood, but obtaining the single drop is proving more difficult than expected.
To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon’s blood, while trying to stay out of Arabella’s traps. But Arabella’s traps aren’t the only danger. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love’s kiss will break it.
4 out of 5 for this reader folks!
What a refreshing spin on a common story many of us grew up with. A reverse Sleeping Beauty indeed. Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel is a short (just over 150 pgs according to my ereader), action packed, magical, light love story between a prince and princess, and the evil that threatens their future together.
Princess Kaylee (our leading lady) starts this story with her betrothed Prince Devlin as a meek, intelligent and gentle woman falling in love with her handsome prince. One day while the princess and prince are on a ride through the forest, they come across the prince’s sister Princess Arabella. Princess Arabella is the first born twin sister to Prince Devlin and she has a serious bone to pick with her brother. convinced he has stolen the throne from her just by being male, she traps Prince Devlin into a spell by stabbing him with a dagger. Before she is able to stab Princess Kaylee (ensuring her blood is on the same dagger as the Prince’s, intending to kill them both), Princess Kaylee gets away.
Now Princess Arabella is really ticked off. Her spell isn’t complete and she has only a certain amount of time to ensure it gets sealed or she will suffer certain consequences. Princess Kaylee is picked up (she was injured when she fled) by others who possess magic and is shown the way to break the spell. Through dangerous quests and Princess Kaylee’s resolve to free the man she loves, turns her into a kick ass heroine! We encounter blood,swords, misses of death, hunting, dragons, magic and ultimately true love!
This is a fluffy read. Meaning, no grit or dirty, no sex .. it’s very PG. I do prefer a book that has more grit to it, but for those that do not, this is a beautiful fast read! If you love a good fairy tale where the woman is in charge, then for sure pick this book up!
Copy supplied by the author
Reviewed by Rachel T.
TRC: Hi Mary and welcome to The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information, would you please tell us something about yourself?
Mary: I live in upstate New York with my husband, son, and our two cats. I taught music for five years before being a stay-at-home mom. Now, I balance my home life, work, and writing.
TRC: QUEST OF THE HART is your April 2013 release. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Mary: QUEST OF THE HART is a reverse sleeping beauty where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince.
TRC: You call your style of storyline telling-fractured fairytale fantasy. Please explain the meaning of this description?
Mary: To me, a fractured fairy tale takes a well-known fairy tale and twists it in some way. Like the princess saving the prince, or the beast being the princess and the prince is the one who has to break the spell.
TRC: What do you believe is the appeal of the re-written fairytale for adults?
Mary: I think adults are drawn to fairytales as they allow them to escape into the familiar world of their youth. The well-loved stories are a comfort, like a favorite blanket.
TRC: CHARMED MEMORIES is the companion novel to Quest of the Hart. Would you like to give us a hint as to the premise?
Mary: CHARMED MEMORIES follows Princess Kaylee’s (the heroine from QUEST) brother, Prince Trevor, as he searches to find his missing princess. When clues lead to the Woodland Guide, Bri, he is exstactic, as he’s falling in live her. But she has no memory of her past, and recovering those lost memories may cost more than either is willing to pay.
TRC: If you could virtually cast QUEST OF THE HART which models or actors would be represent your image for the leading characters in the storyline?
Kaylee- Britt Robertson
Devlin- Chace Crawford (with longer hair)
Sabrina- Shelley Hennig
Arabella- Phoebe Tonkin (just needs violet eyes and blacker hair)
Thaddeus- Jake Sandvig
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters? Are you a plotter or a ‘pantster’?
Mary: Oh, my characters direct the show. If I get one part of their reactions wrong, they won’t let me go on until I get it fixed. For the most part, I am a pantster. I know where I am starting and where I need to end, but the middle is wide open with paths for me to take and explore with my characters. Needless to say, my first drafts look nothing at all like the final product.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (historical, research, logistics) did you encounter writing this particular story/series?
Mary: My biggest challenge was determining the POV characters. I knew there would be two, and one would be Princes Kaylee. Usually I alternate between the leading girl and guy, but Prince Devlin would be asleep for most of the book, so that wouldn’t work. I finally decided to write from the POV of Princess Arabella, the villainess.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?
Mary: I have a great group of CP’s (critique partners) I exchange work with. In addition to grammar and spelling errors and typos, they help check for flow, consistency of characters, and the overall story arcs. When I get stuck, I’ll e-mail, Skype, or IM with them and figure out how to fix whatever problem I’ve gotten myself caught up in. They also keep me writing. There’s nothing like knowing someone is waiting for pages of yours to read (or waiting to return the favor for them!)
TRC: How do you keep the plot(s) unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?
Mary: In the case of QUEST, I thought of the traditional parts of the quest the prince took before he woke the princess, then looked at how a girl, unfamiliar with these skills, would do the same things. In CHARMED, there’s a hint a love triangle twist- there are two princes and one girl. She’s in love with one of them, but may have to marry the other, if they can prove her identity. In the end, it all comes down to staying true to the character and telling their story.
TRC: How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of deadlines while still having time to raise a family?
Mary: This is a constant juggling act. There are lots of time things slide at my house (cleaning, grocery shopping- stuff like that.) Fortunately, my husband and son are very understanding and help me out often.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Mary: I just submitted a third book in the series to my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. While I wait to hear back on that, I am working on a paranormal romance with faeries and sorceresses and witches.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Mary: Thank you so much for having me here today. I really enjoyed talking with you!
Favorite TV Show
The Vampire Diaries (now)
MacGuyver (when I was younger)
Last Movie You Saw
Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters
Dark or Milk Chocolate
Pansies- they always make me smile
Last Vacation Destination
Camping with the family
Famous Secret Crush
TRC: Thank you Mary for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the new release and we wish you all the best.