Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Guest Post with author Laura Lee Nutt

Guest Post with author Laura Lee Nutt

Welcome back everyone! Today I have for you a story that sounds fantastic. I have yet to experience the world of Ms. Nutt, but I look forward to it. I love it when authors spin their own take on our classic tales told for generations. As soon as I heard the title I wanted to know more. Generally there remains a bit of the original story within, but you never know what will happen in the world an author creates. Such is the case with this story. Instead of me going on, how about I just go for it? Please allow me to introduce to the blog:



In elementary school, Laura Lee Nutt checked out every fairy tale in the library so often, if she picked something else, it was cause for curiosity. Even into adulthood, she nurtured her imagination with stories of fairies, true love, monsters, especially werewolves, and the fantastic, but she wondered what happened after “happily ever after.” 

This curiosity and catching an illness one chill winter day brought her before a blank computer screen, desperately desiring to write something new. Heinrich, Blanchette, and Karl swiftly spun the tale you just read. Laura feverishly typed, barely fast enough to keep up. 

Once Red and the Wolf was born, other stories coalesced in Laura’s mind, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, all asking the same questions: What might happen if the end of these tales wasn’t really the end? What were these characters’ lives really like after the harrowing events of the fairy tale? What if achieving true love and happiness required something extra? Thus came the idea for this series, Embracing Ever After, where achieving true love requires something special and happily ever after isn’t really the end.

You can find out more about Ms. Nutt at the following places:

**Embracing Ever After Series**


They said Little Red Riding Hood lived happily ever after. They lied.

Six years after the attack at her grandmother’s cottage, Blanchette still wilts at the sound of a wolf’s howl. The scent of pine rising from the Black Forest surrounding her home is a constant reminder of the beast’s assault and the injury it left on her finger. After years spent hiding away, Blanchette’s world tilts when she wakes--naked and without memory of the previous night--in the forest, instead of behind the safety of her closed shutters. 

Since rescuing Blanchette and her grandmother, huntsman Heinrich has befriended her family by day, and keeps watch as a powerful wolf over his territory by night. Sinister otherworldly creatures constantly threaten his domain and the human village he protects.

When the emperor sends a hunter to investigate the attack and slay any inhuman beings, Heinrich must tread carefully and protect not only himself, but his newly-discovered mate, who prowls the moonlit nights alongside him. He must also determine who is responsible for a string of murdered villagers, proving he can control his lupine nature and offer protection to the village, rather than danger.

CONTENT WARNING: Vengeful fae, dark magic, vicious murder, moral quandaries, explicit sex, and tragic honor.

Buy Links:

** From Childish Babble to Polished Publication,
How a Writer Grows**

In my opinion, it’s always interesting to go back to an author’s early works and see how they changed over the years. Just take a look at your favorite authors and compare their first published book with their recent releases. The contrasts can be startling.

However, authors often reluctantly share their early works out of embarrassment, simple personal dread of those fledgling efforts, or hope that they can one day polish them into something salable. Yet those pieces are usually illuminating and can hold many a lesson for the aspiring writer.

So today, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the journey I have taken as a writer and into some of my earlier, more embarrassing work. For you readers, I hope you find it fun and funny. You are allowed to laugh. Some of my early works detailed here are worth a chuckle or ten. For you writers trying to break into the publishing world, take this as encouragement that with time, patience, and persistence, it can happen.

The Writer’s Journey:

I started writing early in elementary school. My friend Molly and I used to make books about horses with illustrations. She drew far better than me, I’m afraid. Recently, I found some of those old stories in a box at my parents’ house. I could not tell you much of what they were about because my handwriting was so horrid. I truly feel for my teachers back then. It’s amazing they could grade my work at all.

Once I became legible, I wrote extensively. In 4th grade, I have a distinct memory of writing a story about dinosaurs for science class. My teacher asked, “Laura, are you writing a dictionary?” I believe I took the longest of my class to compose the piece. It was in black marker with pictures of dinosaurs, erupting volcanoes, and trees. I have not yet found this story, but I can assure you it was deplorably absent of character depth, very unlike Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park which I was reading at the time.

Back then, most of my stories hinged around action or world oddities. And might I add that I’m fairly certain they were riddled with cliches. In childhood, the cliches help us learn the basics, much as playing house lets us practice our adult roles.

By middle school, I’d discovered Star Trek and, to my mother’s woe, refused to read anything but it, Star Wars, and Michael Crichton. Star Trek the Original Series heavily influenced my stories. Practically all my tales involved space adventure and heroes that were remarkably like Spock. For a contest, one of my more divergent tales involved a bunch of kids happening upon a cave, somehow getting kidnapped by aliens, taken aboard a spaceship that looked like a Bumble Ball, and fighting their way free, spilling a lot of purple alien blood. Why I fixated on the purple blood at the time, I will never know. The story, naturally, came nowhere near winning and not just because I could not spell to save my life. It was a combination of Power Rangers, Star Trek, and my brother’s toy collection, but very little of me.

I did not really start infusing myself into my stories--my perspectives and love of emotional depth--until 8th grade. For English that year, each class member wrote a story for a class anthology. I loved any assignment that let me write stories. I turned my story in last because I kept writing. In the end, I turned it in unfinished, and that was when I began to realize that I had a problem: I never finished a story.

This was when I first sat down and really considered what I wrote. I recall hunching over my desk in my bedroom, trying to restart the story I’d turned in for the class anthology. Why couldn’t I finish it? Why did it go on until I gave up writing or was forced to turn it in? It would take years, however, before I realized why I had this problem.

As a special note, this story was the first I wrote with romance in mind. There was not much romance in the story, but somewhere along the way, when the characters’ got older, I envisioned a romance, sweet and chaste with held hands and a Disney-style kiss. Deeper emotions, true love, and the sacrifice for it were beginning to set roots in my storyteller’s imagination.

The summer between middle school and high school, I had my first real romance. We met at camp, went out for a month, and then he cut it off. I’m still not sure why. This experience unlocked something in me, though I did not realize it until I sat down to write this post. It gave me license to deeply feel love and hurt and all those emotions that I’d shunned as a kid, and that strengthened my writing.

My very first assignment of high school involved a paper describing an incident that was impactful, or something like that. I don’t recall the precise wording of the original assignment. I wrote about the time that my Australian Shepherd bit me in 6th grade. From a plastic surgeon who had to repair my nose in the ER, I received 33 stitches. When I wrote the paper, I went into detail about all this, but I also included the emotions more than ever before. The fear, the pain, the twelve-year-old terror that I might die and ought to tell my brother that I loved him. My teacher picked my paper out that first day and read it to the class. Not only was this somewhat humiliating, it was also the first true, outside confirmation, aside from my family, that my writing was worth something. It was, in essence, a needed boost of confidence.

However, I did not write much for a couple years after that. I read a lot, and I got out my need to create stories through role playing games with friends. Instead of pursuing writing as a career, I tried to be practical and considered science and medicine. There wasn’t time to write in high school. But English remained my favorite class. I loved Shakespeare, especially when we got to act it out, and I still savored assignments that involved creative writing.

In my senior year, sick of everything school related, I took a creative writing class as an easy elective. By then, I’d become enraptured with fantasy. My space adventure days were long gone. In creative writing, I rekindled a spark I’d buried in my rush to make good grades and pursue a practical career. I did high school in three years, and with all the extra classes and work, I was exhausted and halfway to a robot. But that creative writing class restarted my imagination. I was fascinated with images and the beauty of language. For one of my first assignments. I penned “The Chandelier,” a poem about a beautiful chandelier that represented all the gaudy but lovely glory of fantasy and dreams. Also in this class, we had to actually submit a work for publication. I got my first rejection letter but did not take it too hard because I still was not really committed to writing as a career.

My second year of college, I began to write in earnest. Through role playing, I’d fallen in love with characters that my friends, my fiancĂ© among them, and I created. The tale I spun from those characters included my first real love story but was still primarily a fantasy adventure. I had a whole trilogy planned out and was halfway through the first book when I stopped. I realized I was not writing my stories. I was dictating other people’s stories. Much as I loved the characters, I could not continue.

My last year of college, I took another creative writing class. By this point, I wanted to write. Any other career would be something to do until I became an author. This class was where I learned to finish a story. Yes, until this point, until almost the age of twenty, I had never truly finished a story. Oh, I’d tagged on a The End because I had to, but that was all. Because my professor insisted on a complete piece, or so I perceived, and because she gave us word and page limits, I was forced to finish a story. One of our first assignments was flash fiction. My tale, from start to finish, could be no more than 1,000 words. To me, this seemed an impossibility. Yet, somehow I managed. The piece is called A Flash of Color and is about a post-apocalyptic world covered in ash with practically no light where the humans have devolved through fear. They go to extremes to shut out and destroy anything different from them. I began the story with the end in mind, and to my shock actually composed a true ending. After that, it became much easier. I threw myself into writing, studying other authors, reading outside of what I normally read, which is how I discovered romance, and focusing on technique.

Over the following years, I wrote several books, each better than I’d written before and some that I still wince at when I reread. I combed through writing books and participated in seminars. I racked up a long list of rejections, over 100 so far. When I wrote Red and the Wolf, which is now my debut novel, it was unusual for me. I generally did not write fairy tale romances, and I’d certainly never written a novel shorter than 100,000 words. Yet it immediately caught the interest of Piper Denna, my editor at Lyrical Press. And so I learned my next lesson in writing: It rarely goes the way you expect or hope. In fact, the greatest breakthroughs can come from the most unexpected of places and opportunities.

March 2013, Red and the Wolf was released. It is the culmination of my writing so far. It possesses far stronger structure than any of my earlier works. It has romance to spades, which was sadly lacking in my writing for a very long time. And it has a satisfying ending, a feat I could not achieve until almost twenty. It is about overcoming fear, taking ahold of true love, heroism in the face of hard choices, and, of course, a werewolf and a girl who once, as a child, walked down a woodland path to her grandmother’s house and changed her life forever.

For more on Red and the Wolf, you can check it out on one of your favorite venders: Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, iTunes, or Lyrical Store.

For a sample chapter, you can check it out on my website. (I also have some of my earlier works there, Glassed Eyed Inspiration, War Drums Beat, and Entomophobia: An Insect Incident, if you would like to compare.)


Herr Kaismann’s soul-scouring gaze left Blanchette certain the man had memorized her every detail. He showed no regard for Herr Jaeger’s unconcealed aggression, yet an odd compassion in his gaze made her unsure whether or not he would inspire nightmares. Usually in her terrorizing dreams, strangers joined the wolf along the shaded woodland path where the flowers dripped fat drops of blood when she plucked them. 

Breaking his stare and shifting his attention to Herr Jaeger, Herr Kaismann said, “I thought the girl was blond.” 

“What?” Herr Jaeger asked, incredulous. “What does the color of Blanchette’s hair or your being some--” Herr Jaeger bit off whatever he had originally intended to say and glanced at her as if remembering she still clung to him. “What does any of this have to do with Fraulein Blanchette?” 

Herr Kaismann folded his hands neatly before him. “The tales say Little Red Riding Hood was blond, and from everything I have seen, your Blanchette is the true Little Red Riding Hood.” 

Herr Jaeger glanced at her, scowled, gray eyes igniting with the comforting protective anger of a man defending his woman. He shifted and turned on Herr Kaismann. “You speak of nothing more than a child’s tale. Do not harass our young women in its name.” 

Only, it was true, at least in part. How had the man found her out of all the girls in the Holy Roman Empire? In the world? How had he realized she was the girl to whom the tales referred? 

A thin smile turned Herr Kaismann’s lips. He stepped forward so less than a pace remained between the two men. “The emperor and I find the prospect of such simple stories being pure fancy rather…unbelievable. At the heart of every fable or children’s tale lies a grain of truth. In discovering it, we reveal the real danger. We cannot have man-eating wolves running loose, now can we?”

How awesome was that guest post? I want to thank Ms. Nutt for sharing her writing journey with us. The process is both unique and interesting for each writer and I love hearing about it. And what about RED AND THE WOLF? What did you think? Would you be likely to read this story? Maybe you already had a chance to read this book. What did you think?

How about we close with a question from the author? How do you like your romance heroes: alpha, sophisticated, charming, stoic, funny, mischievous, or some other alluring combination? I like mine strong and noble with a bit of a dark side.

As for me? Who doesn’t like the alpha? I know a few of you like the beta and I have read and enjoyed some stories with males that aren’t the typical alpha I look for. However, I totally gravitate toward the alpha personalities more. I suppose because I have a strong personality myself, the dominance factor is that much more appealing. Maybe not. But the alpha trait is high on the priority list. That is not to say that he can’t have other qualities like a romantic side and a sense of humor too. And I have to agree with Ms. Nutt. There is something ever so attractive about a hint of darkness within. Those things end up being the icing on the cake. So how about you? How do you like your males?

I hope you enjoyed getting to know so much about this amazing author and her book. As always, if you liked what you experienced here today, please support this author and buy yourself a copy of the book. I hope you all have a wonderful day! And until next time …



  1. You should see the guest post she did at my blog, it was awesome.

    This book is on my wishlist. :)

    1. *waves* Hi, Bea! Send me a link please! I'd love to check it out!


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