The Whys and What Ifs of Adaptations

It’s no secret that I love fairy tales, both in their “original” form and adaptations. Whether it’s a modern adaptation that takes place in a big city like Los Angeles, or a more traditional retelling, I love reading – and writing – them all.  One of the main reasons is that it’s both fun and challenging to really delve into a story and ask two super important and magical questions: Why? and What if?


The great thing about so many of the earliest versions of these tales is that there is hardly ever a character motivation stated for anything.  Every now and again a villain hates a heroine because of their great beauty, but usually the reader is just left wondering why in the heck someone did what they did.  That is, if the reader takes the time to wonder…we accept most of these stories at face value because we’ve heard them so often. Continue reading


Fairy Tale 2.0 – Modernizing Your Favorite Tales

I love fairy tales. I love reading them. I love reading and watching adaptations of them.  I love writing adaptations of them.  As a reader/movie & television watcher I have yet to come across a fairy tale adaptation concept that I was completely unwilling to try.   Of course there are ones that end up working better than others and some that could have worked and didn’t for various reasons. But I’ve never heard a fairy tale adaptation idea and thought “Nope, no way.”  My usual response is more along the lines of “Say what now? Veeerrry interrrreeesting…tell me more.”

"Sleeping Beauty" by William A. Breakspeare

“Sleeping Beauty” by William A. Breakspeare

Why? Because fairy tales are infinitely adaptable.  The themes and characters are often a part of our broader culture consciousness—and not just because we all watched Disney movies as kids, but because these stories have been told over and over in so many ways for centuries and they tap into how humans think and feel. Continue reading

An Interview with Young Adult Author Melissa Buell

I am excited to welcome Young Adult author Melissa Buell to the Tearoom to talk YA, fairy tales, and romance!

Melissa Buell

Jess:  Why do you write Young Adult (besides the obvious “because it is freaking awesome!”)?

Melissa:  Hi Jess! Thanks for having me!  I write Young Adult because I remember what it was like to be young and unsure of myself and the world around me, trying to figure out who I was, comparing myself to others, all of those awkward moments it seems we have to go through. I want to reassure young people it’s okay to be awkward and weird and different because you’re actually awesome and original! Well, now this is sounding like a Hallmark card. Continue reading

Atone and My Top 5 Beauty and the Beast Adaptations

I am super excited to announce that the second book in my Fairytale Trilogy came out last month.  Atone: A Fairytale is a modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast set in Los Angeles.


I honestly did not set out to write an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.  There have been so many great adaptations and it really is almost everyone’s favorite fairy tale.  Even thinking about it makes me break out in hives!  My saving grace is that I didn’t try to write a straight adaptation or to compete with those already stellar adaptations that already exist.  Here are my top five favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations. Continue reading

Atone: A Fairytale – Cover Reveal

Later this month I will be releasing the second book in my Young Adult fantasy series the Fairytale Trilogy.  And today happens to be the day that some awesome bloggers all over the internet are helping me reveal the cover for Atone: A Fairytale.

And it just so happens to be my posting day here at Teatime Romance so I get to participate in my own cover reveal! Whoo hoo!

So, ta-da, here it is!  The cover for Atone, followed by the back cover blurb.  Let me know what you think!


Becca Ward knows that magic is real… Continue reading

Love, Magic, and Novel-Jumping

Hi! My name is Jess and I write books.  There’s usually kissing in them.  There also tends to be magic.  Occasionally they have Star Wars references.

Why yes, there is a Star Wars reference in this book...and you know, love, magic, and kissing and stuff.

Why yes, there is a Star Wars reference in this book…and you know, love, magic, and kissing and stuff.

I have previously self-published two novels, a Young Adult fantasy/fairy tale retelling called Awake: A Fairytale and Attempting Elizabeth which is a chick lit/romance/fantasy mash-up centered around Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  I also have self-published a collection of short story fairy tale retellings entitled Views from the Tower.  Atone: A Fairytale, which is the second book in my YA series, comes out this summer. Continue reading