"Fairy Tales and YA Fantasy" Guest Post by Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl and Book Giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of Dragonwitch, the latest installment in the spellbinding YA fantasy Tales of Goldstone Wood series, I'm pleased to host guest blogger and author Anne Elisabeth Stengl! Here she is to tell us about the increasing popularity of YA fantasy and why she loves reading and writing it. Also, read on for details on how you can enter to win the first five Goldstone Wood novels!

Can you remember a time when you didn’t know about Cinderella, her glass slipper, and her fantastical pumpkin coach? Can you remember a time wouldn’t you didn’t know about Red Riding Hood and her harrowing journey through the forest, encountering that evil, granny-eating wolf along the way? What about Princess Briar Rose and her hundred-year sleep, surrounded by a forest of wicked thorns . . . can you recall a time before you knew the story of that famed beauty?


Fairy Tales, for most of us at least, are an enormous part of our growing-up years. They color our perceptions on life and love, on good and evil. We find ourselves drawn to books and movies full of fairy tale themes, even if we don’t recognize them at the time. We love the romance novels which recreate the excitement of Snow White’s faithful prince and Beauty’s misunderstood Beast. Boys and girls alike, we sit enthralled through multiple viewings of Star Wars, little realizing that we are watching a rough re-envisioning of Cinderella—with young Luke Skywalker standing in for our heroine, his light saber taking the place of a glass slipper, and his mentor Obi Wan Kenobi serving as an admirable fairy godmother.


We don’t even notice the importance of fairy tales in our lives, the way they shape our views, our dreams, our hopes. But that doesn’t make them any less important.


I think this is why YA fantasy has surged in popularity over recent years. Through this genre, readers can jump back into a world of magic and mystery, revisiting archetypes and themes they never realized they missed. We long to see the unlikely hero slay his dragons (or zombies, or mind-reading overlords, or whatever the baddie is this time). We long to see the brave heroine overcome her circumstances and assume the crown. We want to see the big bad wolf outwitted, we want to see the forest of thorns cut down and the castle gained.


YA fantasy allows writers and readers alike to delve back into worlds we once knew, but no longer recall. There is a strong sense of familiarity in a good fantasy novel, familiarity and triumph as well. Because reading a good fantasy novel is like coming home to the house of your childhood. It may not look exactly like what your childhood memory recalls. It may conjure up both good and bad memories. But it will always be dear, and it will always be important somehow.


So it is my hope, every time I write a novel, that readers will pick up the story and be reminded of things they once knew: truth triumphing over lies, and good over evil—of dragons defeated and true love won—of princesses and princes coming into their thrones and establishing just rule over their kingdoms. This is why I read YA fantasy. And this is why I write it.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series, adventure fantasies told in the classic Fairy Tale style. She makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University.
Thanks for stopping by, Anne! Readers, head on over to Crimilia's blog next to continue on the Dragonwitch Blog Tour. You can also check out the full list of blogger participants by visiting the links below.
July 14 - Day 1

July 15 - Day 2
Crafty Booksheeps - Interview
Young Adult Books - Sneak Peek
Darling Diaries - Interview
Blooming with Books - Interview/Sneak Peek
July 16 - Day 3
July 16 Evening
Blog Tour Finale and Prize Awarded back at the Tales of Goldstone Wood!

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