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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine, authors of The Grimm Chronicles

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine.

About Ken and Isabella:

Ken Brosky received his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He’s written a number of books and regularly publishes short stories. He also helps out at Brew City Press whenever possible. This is his first young adult collection. 

Isabella Fontaine lives a quiet life on a farm in rural Wisconsin. She enjoys reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales and writing on a typewriter, which annoys her cats. This is her first book collection. 


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Ken and Isabella!

Ken and Isabella have written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to them!

The Importance of Being Positive
By Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine

In the process of writing our Young Adult Series, one of the things we’ve been trying to do as much as possible is put a very positive spin on the Young Adult genre. What we were looking for, specifically, was to avoid another love triangle for our female protagonist to get caught in.

Because there are already plenty of those books, right?

“Well, what’s wrong with a love triangle or two?” you might ask.

Honestly? Nothing.

And everything.

Ken’s been working as a freelance editor for over six years, and the number of love triangle stories he’s read are too numerous to count. They’re everywhere. They almost seem, at times, like a mandatory ingredient in any new novel featuring a female protagonist. What becomes especially concerning about these stories is the fact that the female protagonist—the hero of the story—really only has to make one important decision:

Which boy to be with.

This vexed us. “Why can’t the female protagonist actually do something and not worry quite so much about boys?” we asked. Why in all of these books is the mysterious guy always the coolest guy in the world, and yet in the real world the mysterious guy usually ends up being a total creepozoid? More importantly: given how many young women and girls read Young Adult novels (and regular good ol’ adult novels), can’t the standards for the female protagonists be a little higher?

So that was one of the things we set out to do. No love triangles. We have 12 “episodes” planned and quite frankly, we’re not entirely sure just where the stories are going to go. But we do know one thing: if our protagonist—our hero—ends up falling in love, it’s going to be with one guy at a time. And it’s not going to be the main conflict of the story.

And guess what? If she doesn’t fall in love, that’s fine too. Maybe she just goes on a few dates here and there. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she meets a guy and breaks up with him halfway through the series. The bottom line is her relationship status isn’t going to define the story. We hope inspired writers will consider bucking the “love triangle” trend, too, if only because there are a thousand other types of love stories that could be explored.

We had another goal, too. We’re both fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We love the show. We’ve read a few of the comics. We wanted to make sure our hero was a butt kicker, too. But we didn’t want to make it quite so simple. One of the things we didn’t like about Buffy was the fact that she doesn’t work hard in school, generally letting everyone else pick up the intellectual slack. And when the world needs saving, it usually means nothing more than a simple kick to a vampire’s sternum (or crotch!).

So we’ve set a second rule for our series: the female protagonist needs to use her brain. Knowledge is power, that’s our mantra. This doesn’t mean the hero doesn’t occasionally kick butt when it’s needed … all we want to do is try to go beyond what we’ve already seen and enhance our hero’s mind rather than any other “assets.” Writers interested in the Young Adult genre shouldn’t be afraid to research. Heck, for the second episode of our series, we spent a good four hours reading about springs!

Why do we think these things are important, not just for our books but for other aspiring writers as well? Because one of the greatest things about entering a fictional world is living inside a place that doesn’t exist yet. And following the same formula of Magical Girl + Mysterious Boy + Other Mysterious Boy can be expanded in a thousand different ways to ensure readers are treated to diverse worlds they’d never before imagined. Same goes for the traditional “Buffy” sort of gal who relies almost entirely on a wooden stake.

If more writers find those different ways and expand beyond the tried-and-tested formula currently inundating the bookshelves, the Young Adult genre will be enriched for years to come.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Ken and Isabella!

Five lucky winners will win digital copies of both Books #1 and #2 of The Grimm Chronicles.

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Katniss Everdeen, we like our female heroes tough and smart.

On the eve of her 18th birthday, high school junior Alice Goodenough feels on top of the world. Classes are almost finished. She's about to start her summer job at the local library, where she'll be surrounded by all of her favorite books. And she has a wonderful boyfriend.

Then the rabbit shows up. The giant talking rabbit. He has a message:

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world.


With the help of a magic pen and paper, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm brought all of their characters to life. The world was a more magical place ... for a time. Cinderella found her prince. Briar Rose's spell was broken. The dancing princesses spent their nights hidden away in a secret underground city. The old miller's boy found true love.

Then, slowly, the Grimms' characters began to change for the worse. They became Corrupted. Evil. They didn't belong in our world, but it was too late for the Brothers Grimm to destroy them.

Only a hero can save the day. Every generation for the past 200 years, a hero has been chosen to fight the Corrupted and rid the world of the Grimms' fairy tales. To her horror, Alice has been chosen as the next hero. As her 18th birthday nears, she begins to realize life is never going back to normal. School will never be the same.

As for her boyfriend, Edward ... well, he might be hiding a terrible secret.

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world.


Now the characters of the Grimms’ stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can save them.

For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.

Meanwhile, at night, Alice’s nightmares have begun to grow more real. Terrifying man-eating rats are plaguing the city of Chicago, and it’s up to Alice to figure out a way to stop them. But before she can do that, she’ll have to face off with an even more dangerous enemy sent to kill her.

An enemy that has killed heroes before …
Buy Links:
Book #1 - Prince Charming Must Die:  Amazon Kindle 
Book #2 - Happily Never After: Amazon Kindle

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide. The contest will close at 12:01 AM EST on July 21, 2012.


  1. I've read these already so I'm not entering but I really liked them alot.

  2. Hi Maegan,

    Drop us an email at and we'll send you a free copy of the third book when it comes out! Thanks for reading!

    Ken and Isabelle


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