Ana’s Advent Calendar Day 7: Beyond Fairytales


D.L. Jackson is one of the masterminds behind Decadent Publishing’s newest series, Beyond Fairytales. It’s also the series for Taliasman, my latest release. You may recognize her name as one of the naughty (ahem…as in too hot for Ana to handle) authors for Spank or Treat this year. She also has a wicked sense of humor, as you’ll see in her post. I’ve loved getting to know her, and I hope you’ll enjoy her visit. Behave! 😀




Okay, so the last time I lost power in my neck of the woods, my youngest son was a senior in high school and had lizards, a bearded dragon named Walter and a Gecko named Wiggles. Now they did not room together in the same tank, mostly because Walter, though he adored blueberries, also found Wiggles to be quite tasty.

I regress. Back to the power outage. Poor cold-blooded babies. I had to keep the lizards warm (No that’s not some kind of erotic author innuendo or purple prose. I really had to keep them warm) and the only way to accomplish the mission was to put them near the wood stove. I hauled the big heavy tanks out to the front room and let them soak in the heat.

At this time I had a new phone (one I could actually text with, a skill I’d recently acquired, which no one will claim to have taught me, because I really am not very good at it), and anyone who knows me, knows I’m as far from being a tech-nerd as a girl can get. It was my only means of communication during the outage, and with a new release going hot, I had to make an appearance. You’ve seen those lovely posts on Facebook that show texts gone wrong? *raises hand and waves* I should be the poster child.

Back to the power outage. It was during the holiday release of This Endris Night with Decadent Publishing, the lights went out. My publisher wanted me to blog and post a favorite recipe (double chocolate mousse cheesecake), but alas, I had no electricity. While explaining the way I cook, that I have to write down the measurements as I go, because, I don’t really use recipes, I mentioned that I would be unable to post a picture of the decadent dessert I wanted to make. Going on further, I mentioned my power had been out for three days. My son’s lizards were “basking” by the woodstove and I’d been boiling snow to flush the toilets.

Well, damn auto-correct. It changed basking to baking, and next thing you know, Kate Richards asked if Walter and Wiggles were my yummy holiday recipe. If you ever hear her ask me if the lizards are baking by the wood stove again, it’s really code for stop trying to text. You suck at it.

This year, it happened again. I found my Thanksgiving to be quite primitive. If I couldn’t cook it over a wood stove, it wasn’t part of the meal. I boiled snow to wash the dishes and flush the toilets and it got me to thinking, I was living in a fairytale, well, one of the really scary Grimm’s tales that leave you screaming and running for your life, but a fairytale nevertheless.

I have discovered how tedious Cinderella’s life really was. Seriously, the girl suffered.

When you think back to the time when most of the famous fairytales were penned, the authors didn’t have the luxuries we enjoy today. And that my friends is some serious fodder for wicked inspiration. So, time to shut off the lights, burn a few candles and grab a pen and paper. Do you have the guts to take on the Beyond Fairytales Challenge? Can you twist an assigned tale into a romantic happily ever after, even if the hero and heroine had to boil snow to wash dishes, or the tale is dark and spooky, much like my house has been these last few days without electricity? Yes? Check out the submissions requirements on (Or if you want to read some twisted fairytales, you can find them there too.)

*Points flashlight at face* Once upon a time….

Leave a comment with your contact email. I have some goodies in my basket to give away, and you really don’t want to miss out on this Happily Ever After. I will draw three winners randomly at the end of Ana’s Advent Celebration and announce what you’ve won.

[Ana’s note: If you have registered to play the Advent Calendar, your email address is already on file. If you haven’t registered, please do so! :)]



Beyond Fairytales books available for purchase

A Riddle for Love

Darkest Magic

For the Love of…Geese?

Hunter’s Mark

Once Upon a Marriage

Operation Owl

Saving Sultan

Saving Their Princess


Starlight Cowboy


The Star Princess

The Thief and His Master

You Belong to Me




82 thoughts on “Ana’s Advent Calendar Day 7: Beyond Fairytales

  1. Tina S. says:

    So glad to hear that Walter and Wiggles were basking and not baking. You had me laughing 1st thing this morning, and memories of me teaching my mom texting skills when she decided she wanted to get an android phone. It’s been 8 years and I still get calls from her asking how to do something either on her phone or computer. Thanks for sharing


  2. Roz Harrison says:

    This made me giggle. Auto correct has a lot to answer for! LoL. I am totally technically challenged. Loved hearing about Walter and Wiggles, love the names! So glad they were basking and not baking 🙂 whatever did people do without the modern conve if today? 🙂



  3. Sarah says:

    I wish i could write a dark fairy tale. Alas, I edit and occasionally write deeply riveting (not) scientific research papers. I can text really well, however I have a habit of sending said text to the wrong person. Thanks for the laughs, Sarah Byrnes.


  4. JC says:

    I have never heard of this series but it sounds very exciting. Are they actually fairytale that authors have rewritten or characters we have never heard about before?
    I am very glad I have electricity and do not have to melt snow to flush toilets! Especially since I don’t have a wood stove.


  5. Holla Dean says:

    I hate when the power goes out! Thankfully it doesn’t happen often in my area and even when it does it’s only for a short time. Earlier this year we were without power for about 4 or 5 hours and that was a major pain. Can’t imagine days.
    This series sounds very interesting. I’ll check out the link and see what twisted tale I can dream up.


  6. D L Jackson says:

    JC, the challenge goes like this. I assign a tale for authors to use as inspiration to write their own unique fairytale. I started with assigning Grimms and moved to Hans Christian Anderson. I now have those, and some French tales and a couple Russian tales that are inspiring the stories for this series. All Beyond Fairytales stories must have an HEA or HFN, regardless how the original ends, for instance, one author is challenged to turn Bluebeard into a romance. All the stories are unique retellings of the originals. Some, like Ana’s tale, Taliasman, or Operation Owl, are very different from the Grimms tales they were based upon and only touch key points found in the original version. We have close to 200 tales assigned at this time, so it will be a massive series, which will continue to grow larger as the stories roll in.


  7. D L Jackson says:

    Also, some of the tales you may have heard of, Cinderella or The Glass Coffin, others not so much, The Goose Girl at the Well, The Singing Bones. Some stories are incredibly challenging, like the Riddle, or Dance, Dance, Doll of MIne and Bluebeard. You never know what you will draw.


  8. ruthshulman says:

    Oh, the fun of reptile pets… I used to have boas. Nothings basks like a boa. Clearly, however, the crown would be challenged by Walter and Wiggles.

    I’d love to take on the challenge of reconfiguring a fairy tale. As long as I don’t have to text the manuscript. *snerkle* 🙂


  9. AFOdom says:

    We do a “bear witness to the Longest Night” tradition in our house for the Solstice. After our celebration meal with family and friends, we ban all electronics, light all the candles we have, and stay up through the night. We play tabletop games or wrestle or craft things or bake, and the four of us (husband, two kids, me) really cherish that “otherworldly” time together. I wouldn’t voluntarily add boiling snow for dishes and toilets to that, though. 🙂

    You do have me thinking. How would I convey in writing that other-dimensional-time-space that we experience through our time of witnessing that night? Maybe I can use old-school pencil and paper during the night to capture some of it…


  10. minellesbreath says:

    I totally understand the techno frustration!
    In some ways it can be fun to experience life without power…. But not for too long. It does make it easier if you have alternative ways to do common household things! ie…. Cooking, lighting…. Etc.
    I love a good Fairytale, and new ones that allow for a kink or two… Yum!
    Btw…. The last image on the YouTube video was so cool!


  11. Shannon Love says:

    Hold everything!!! Back up! You mean to tell us that you have a recipe for double chocolate mousse cheesecake?!?!?! That sounds beyond decadent and delicious. Did you notice on Ana’s Advent Calendar that there’s a 2nd Annual Holiday Recipe Exchange on Day 3? You know, just in case you wanted to leave a little submission of your own.I read the rules, you’re allowed to post things after the fact (you just don’t get credit as a perfect attender – rules are rules, nothing we can do about that).
    I think I’ve pleaded my case. Out of the two recipes in post, I would probably not opt for the baked lizards. They would probably come out a little gamey, less like chicken.

    I’m definitely intrigued by the contest. I never really stopped to think about how life was lived during that time. Most fairytales glossed over the minor details of the overpowering scent of BO, the use of chamber pots and how unbelievable chilly it would be to live in a big stone castle in the winter (not like they had central heating and cooling).


  12. P.T. Wyant says:

    I loved the auto correct. I’ve fallen victim to it as well. (My best was when I sent the message “Whoo Hoo!” to a friend in response to some good news… and got a very puzzled reply from her: “Whooping Hoop?”

    The fairy tale challenge sounds like fun. I want to play around with some doing gender reversal — “Snow White” is a prince, rescued by a princess, for example.

    But the original fairy tales were dark and frightening, and full of symbolism.


  13. Katie says:

    This cracked me up right from the beginning, D.L.!! Poor Wiggles!!! Has it come to pass that Walter actually mistook Wiggles for some blueberries and he was banished to his very own glass palace?? I do hope not!

    I’m afraid that you probably won’t see any writing from this Katie T, but I will enjoy reading what others find themselves twisting! I’d never heard of these before, and thank you for introducing us to them! Many hugs,

    ❤ Katie


  14. SH says:

    I was laughing out loud! Poor, poor lizards but at least you had a way to keep them warm! Melting snow to flush the toilets? Wow, that is roughing it much more beyond my capabilities lol Any chance we could get the recipe for that cheesecake? Sounds wonderful!!

    I learned something new today also, who knew there were that many fairytales out there?


  15. Renee says:

    It sounds like your texting abilities is similar to mine. Auto-correct is constantly changing things on me. The problem is that I am always in so much of a hurry that I don’t realize it until I hit send. I also tend to that much to quickly too. So, that people get my messages in two to four parts of half words or half sentences. I have actually read the beyond fairytales series and loved them. And please do post your recipe for the double chocolate mousse. Have a happy 🙂 Renee


    • D L Jackson says:

      Right, I know. Don’t you hate catching those bad texts after the fact? It’s like leaving a message on an answering machine. You can’t go back and erase it once it’s recorded. Need to have an recall button IMHO on the text feature for those of us who do this.


  16. Sarah Bennett says:

    Hi there, D.L and all! I enjoyed hearing about the “lizards baking”. Lol! 🙂
    I’m not really much of a writer except for erotica ( which is only shared with my girlfriend) or poetry. However, I do enjoy reading others’ works.

    I enjoyed reading your bit about texting, D.L. until about 4 years ago , I resisted texting and said I could live without it. Then when I started texting, I couldn’t imagine my life without it anymore. Sadly, I sucked at it royally and made many spelling errors as I adjusted to one finger texting. My friends would guffaw at my errors but then facebook developed their post and comment editing feature. The heavens opened and angels sang! Lol!
    Long story short, I feel your pain.

    Have a wonderful day
    🙂 🙂


  17. Chickie says:

    I was convinced the end of your tale would include baked reptiles. Glad that didn’t happen!

    I’m the queen of people who probably should text. Yet I continue to do so. Worse, I do most of my work emails in my phone where it’s easier to belt out a quick sentence or two. My autocorrect is notoriously dirty. Good thing most of my coworkers are too 😉


  18. Joelle Casteel says:

    heh my teen gets irritated at me when I try to text 😀 but then “text” is practically a language to him 😀 poor lizards. goodness, twisted fairy tales. Well so far I’ve only read Ana’s “Talisman” from the series and I loved it. I know for me, I’d have to find something to change the genders in the story, especially to make a character genderqueer, trans, or interesexed where such a person wasn’t in the original.


    • D L Jackson says:

      I can tell you this, we do have a few f/f tales that authors are writing, and also a few m/m in the series. They have been wildly popular. I know of a couple of f/f in our collections that authors are penning now, and a Red Riding Hood. I’ve seen the proposals and can’t wait to read the finished tales. 🙂


      • Joelle Casteel says:

        I may just have to look again, see if I could come up with a proposal, although atm I can’t put my finger on a specific story I’d like to twist


  19. ameliahfaith says:

    LOL DL!!!! I am one of the last few people in the free world to NOT have free texting on my phone. I hate texting and will do anything I can to avoid it. The auto correct function always reminds me why on the few occasions I do text. I have a hard enough just typing!! Without those little red lines underneath a word I would never make any sense at all!!

    I do not, as of yet, have the courage to take on the Beyond Fairy tales Challenge. Maybe someday!


  20. abby says:

    Our wonderful area, about 10 years back had a gigantic ice storm…most were without power for 10 days. I was one of the few lucky ones with power…so had about 20 extra people living with me…schools and most work places were closed….it was crazy. And it was not a twisted fairy tale…an author i am not, but do live to read many genres.
    hugs abby


  21. Laura says:

    Please excuse the terrible prose but I honestly couldn’t help myself. Does anyone happen to know of a Bad Rhymers Anonymous Meeting I can attend?

    Laura’s Lament

    If only I could pen some wonderful fiction,
    Based on the Brothers Grimm,
    A romance , a Western, or maybe Sci-Fi depiction,
    Though chances of that are extremely slim.

    Because I do not have the aptitude,
    That my favorite authors do,
    To make the reader feel renewed,
    After reading their novel through.

    Ana, Kathryn, Renee, and Joelle,
    My TBR list goes on for a mile,
    Saranna, Ami, Tracey and D.L.,
    Their stories always make me smile.

    So thanks for your kind offer to write a story,
    On the Decadent Publishing site,
    But instead I’ll stay a voracious reader,
    And read all through the night.

    I too am a terrible texter and my kids love to text me and then time how long it takes me to respond. Darn kids. Can’t live with them and you can’t well you can’t live with them.


  22. Amy says:

    I hate losing power. I’m such a modern girl. I would’ve died in the olden days. We lost power when I was pregnant with my older child and had to stay with my sister.

    Interesting about the fairy tales. I don’t write dark stories at all. But my first 2 novels were both fairy-tale-based. The first one was inspired by the Pied Piper and the second by Puss in Boots. I tried to use a fairy tale as inspiration for my third, but it just wasn’t working at all.


  23. Katy Beth McKee says:

    Well in Florida the power usually goes out in the summer during a storm so we are all baking. And if there is a tropical system headed our way then charing every single electronic is just as important as food and water.

    Yeah and forgetting to double check autocorrect can often lead to some really crazy statements.


  24. Laurel Lasky says:

    It like Katy and live in Florida and we have lizards and snakes and now cold weather. Today it was 70% so we had to dress warmly. I loved Laura’s Lament but can’t join the bad rhymers group if she finds one. I belong to the procrastinating club but haven’t been to a meeting yet. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.


  25. Marybeth says:

    Lol Laurel. I belong in the procrastinator’s club too! Hmmmm….D L, these books sound good. I’ll have to put the series in my TBR pile. There are so many now. I have liked browsing at Decadent Publishing. You have many interesting titles! I try to limit all my buying to one place. Less annoying that way!


  26. Lara Estes says:

    Writing a Fairytale for me would be like writing out some of my dreams. Alas my memory is quick to fade and I have no skills with the written. Thank goodness their are those who have been bless with this talent.


  27. pieclown says:

    Hello, Rewriting a fairytale with a twist or too. I wish I had time and the talent to do something like this. I thought how Little Red could be updated. No it would not have clown slant, but the first story already had cross dressing, maybeee???


  28. catrouble says:

    ROFL Poor Wiggles and Walter…trying to stay warm. I actually thought the story was going to end with Walter eating Wiggles or baked lizards. I am not an author…can’t write worth diddly squat but will happily read any of the twisted fairytales anyone cares to share. Thanks so much for sharing links for the Beyond Fairytales books!

    Hugs and Blessings…


  29. Kyra Tinker says:

    I have always like bed fairy tales. Recently I have been engrossed by dark fairy tale remakes ( Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast:even though many think this was dark enough, and Hansel and Gretl to name a few)and would love to read originals. I applaud you and all authors who rewrite fairytales with twists.
    On a side note, I too have been an unfairly targeted victim of autocorrect, even here on Ana’s Advent Calendar lol🌲🌲


  30. D L Jackson says:

    I’ve already had one author take up the challenge today. They got a honey of a story. For those that can, give the challenge a try. For those who prefer to read, we’re happy to write for you.

    For the writers: If you could write a custom tale, what would it be? What Inspiration tale would you pick and why? Would you write f/f, m/m, m/f dare I say ménage?

    For the readers: What kind of tale would you like to see? What are your favorite fairytales? What do you love to see in a romance?


  31. Anna V Jones says:

    Thank you very much for sharing, DL! After I read Taliasmen, I looked into the Beyond Fairytales series. I love the idea!

    I am not a published author yet, currently working on my first novel. But I would be interested in talking about writing a tale, if being previously published isn’t a requirement. I write f/f and you can email me at or (my penname is Victoria Cobretti). 🙂

    Thanks again for stopping by and chatting with us!


  32. Mary M. says:

    I love twists on fairy tales and Decadent has a great group of them. The original fairy tales were fairly Grimm (groan here), but I would like to see a take on The Brave Little Tailor or Snow White, Rose Red. I also was glad to see a promise of a recipe for the double chocolate mousse cheesecake, and not “Walter et Wiggles en croute”. I never take central heating/cooling, electricity and flush toilets for granted. My email is on file from when I registered for the calendar.


  33. thelongbean says:

    It amazes me that only 30 years ago there were very few mobile phones (the size of bricks), no internet readily available at home, no things like facebook and blogs etc,……
    Now so many people rely on them, so much so that their phone battery can run out in 3 or 4 hours………
    Maybe there needs to be a fairy story for the nerds/geeks….


  34. bsnowwriter says:

    Fun post, but I’m with the others who said they can’t imagine heating water to flush toilets. Yikes. That reminds me that we really need to get at least one of our fireplaces in working condition.

    Ana told me about the Beyond Fairy Tales series. I LOVE changing a classic fairytale into something else. I did it with Cinderella for the Project Fierce Chicago anthology (and somehow wound up writing F/F instead of my usual M/M), and I’ve played a bit with the Scheherazade idea for a couple of other stories. And I came up with a wonderful idea for a take on Beauty and the Beast, but I can’t decide if there should be magic or not. 😛

    I really need to finish my current writing project before I take on the fairy tale challenge, but I’m worried that by the time I do, every story you’ve found will be claimed. Will you start recyclying once that happens?


    • D L Jackson says:

      We have coveted tale collections. Sleeping Beauty. Beauty and the Beast. Cinderella. We also have a massive amount of tales, and it will be a long while before they’re gone. When we get to that point, if we do, we will recycle tales. Honestly, every tale is so unique it shouldn’t be an issue.


  35. michellewillms2013 says:

    I would love to write a fairy tale, as long as I didn’t have to write a contemporary romance style tale – that would never work for me. This sounds like great fun. I hate that I missed this day’s original post. I’m going to go to the website and see what I can discover. Thank you so much for sharing with us. This is so exciting. And I, too, have horrible texting experiences. Damn that autocorrect!


Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s