Snow White Rewritten & Toilet Bowl Handles by Ellie Heller

I’m sure I’m NOT the only person who’s noticed there are two major motion pictures this spring about Snow White.

The first, Mirror, Mirror is a comedic lark suitable for younger viewers (“Hilarious fun for the whole family“). In this version,there is puffery and pagentry and light and fun. Even though the evil queen is still trying to ‘get rid’ of Snow White, it’s a done with, to use a very old school phrase, women’s weapons, i.e. poison. (A very interesting and informative article on poison use and the development of modern forensics here which references the trope of poison being a ‘woman’s weapon’.) This story line is clearly no blood, no guts, no gory (yes, I know I mangled the phrase).

The second, Snow White and the Huntsman is a far darker version, clearly aimed at the teen & older category. There’s no tag line on their site, merely music and an endless loop of scenes. Here the evil queen is evil to everyone and her quest to ‘get rid’ of Snow White is not couched in euphemisms, she wants to murder the girl for her heart.

Each of these stories is still Snow White; couched in Romantic Comedy, or Dystopian Fantasy, the basic elements are there. A summary of both movie’s plot: An evil Queen attempts to eliminate a princess so she can continue her rule, only have the princess survive and come back to destroy her.

So, why am I also mentioning toilet bowl handles? For those of you who don’t know I recently inherited a house and ended up gutting the three bathrooms and replacing almost everything. One thing, which I didn’t realize I’d done until after they were complete, was to choose commodes with three *different* flush mechanisms. (I’d hazard a guess the mechanisms are pretty similar, it’s how you use the handle which is different on each). One is set on the front, a very modern looking handle, and the lever points to the middle and you push it down. One is one the side, I’m told this one has a ‘transitional style’ look, it sits parallel to the top and that one, too, you push down to get activate flushing mechanism. The last is also on the side, and like the ‘old fashion’ style it is based one, it points down and you pull the handle up to flush.

Where am I going with this? Well, they all work. However, one may be more pleasing to your particular tastes. It’s the same with these two Snow Whites. Neither is a ‘wrong’ retelling, both work, one, however, may be more pleasing to your particular tastes.

And that’s one of the fun things about rewriting classic story tales, the ability to take the basic plot line and transform it into your very own story, make it appeal to your particular tastes and style.

Hmm, maybe when I’m done editing Warder I’ll take a break and work on my Snow White story.

Or go take pictures of my toilet handles, not sure which. 😉


#Triberr, #Amazon & Other Things Ellie Wants to talk about.

Last week I joined Triberr. The web based site which helps people form ‘tribes’ of like minded bloggers – making it easier to find each other and promote each other. Thanks to D’Elen McClain I was able to join a great group: Steamy Sexy Sensual Romance.

For newbies, here is my suggestions on what to do when you first join:

– If you have more than one blog, you’ll need to select ONE of your blogs to link to your account, along with one of your twitter names. (again, some writers have multiple names/blogs)- After you’ve done the sign up, BEFORE you do anything else, go to the button on the top called ‘bonfires’. That’s where people post comments as well as listings asking for ‘tribe mates’.- The whole process centers around ‘tribes’ – groups of people with similar blog categories, who cross promote each other on twitter. The easiest thing to do is find an existing tribe which has people of similar interest, etc. To do that go to bonfires.

– Once you click on bonfires you’ll notice a category list on the side. The ‘looking for tribes’ list has both people looking for a tribe AND tribes who need people. Scroll through and see if there’s anyone who is looking who you’re a good fit for. Leave a message for tribes which look like a good fit.

– AFTER you join a tribe when you click on the ‘home’ button, the blog posts which are from members of your tribe will show up as a list.

– Before you start approving posts, etc, go to your settings, under your name. Once you are on the setting page, click on ‘content’ settings. There you will see an option on *HOW OFTEN* you want the tweets from your tribe sent out. Say there are 10 posts from your tribe, you might want to space them out so you have something posting every hour. Or there are 25 posts, you might want to space them out every 30 minutes. You’ll need to decide. The default is every 20 mins, which can also keep.

Okay, back to the home button.

– When you click home, after you’ve joined a tribe, there’s a box with four sub tabs. The default is TRIBAL STREAM, this is the blog posts you’ll then tweet about.

TWO: Use the gear thing on the upper right corner if you need to change the title of a post, I put RT in front of all of mine, other people handle it in other ways. Some people have really *undescriptive* titles (Six Sentence Sunday #38!) which could be from anyone, including me!, so that’s why I do the RT thing.
THREE: once the title of the post is how you want it, THEN click approve to tweet it. Also hit the thumbs up button below that.

Each tribe will have rules about how often you have to retweet the posts. Do be sure to read them!!

There are many sites and even books which go into lots on how to get the most out of the medium, I’ve just posting what I’ve learned in my first week.
Now on to Amazon.
Other news, my blog tour is over. Still waiting to hear from KGBabbles about who won, I’ll be sure to contact the poster as soon as I hear. I also did NOT receive an email from Cupids Literary Connections. Best of luck to all those who made it past the first round! I love the site and the hostess, I’ll definitely be back for another shot.

6 of one, 7 of the other: Ellie’s Sentence Saturday.

Seems I’m a bit behind the times. Nothing new. 🙂

Following a couple of posts I’ve been tagged in, as well as a Saturday tradition, I’m showcasing six sentences from my current work in progress. Oh, and the second paragraph should also count as my ‘seven lines’ for that meme too, since this is from pg 77 of Warder. 🙂

For only a moment, then she[Averill] looked over the wreckage and sobered. She stepped up to the Warder and started asking him questions about the collapse. Mona, again, trailed behind and did not contribute.

Over the course of the next couple of hours the Warder, Cart and his group, along with the Maven and Nic went over as much of the central area of the bridge collapse as they could safely access. With each new finding it became abundantly clear to everyone Weres were deeply involved in the catastrophe. The type of magic used, the signatures left, all pointed to Weres rebelling and loosing control of their magic.

Exciting times!

Saturday 3/17, KevaD was kind enough to feature Ginny’s Capture on his blog.

I was bouncing off the walls just a little. I idolize KevaD. He wrote one of my favorite blog posts EVER on writing the story the characters demand and not trying to force them into absurd pigeon holes.  Here it is:

KevaD on Its Raining Men

Seriously, go read it now and come back, I’ll wait.

Wasn’t that great?!  So many good points. This post came out when I was thinking about characters and stories for my Lesbians vs Zombies submission. You can see why I was so giddy about KevaD’s promoing my book on his blog. He is a believer in, and a writer of, character driven stories, something I totally agree with. And the complexity of his characters…so well written. Sigh, maybe one day I’ll be close.

But this week’s excitement doesn’t end there.

Deep breath.

Tomorrow, 3/20, KatieBabs is letting me come visit her blog, Babbling About Books! She asked me to talk about why I chose to write a lesbian love story and, I had to admit it was mostly due to a submissions call.  It’s a bit more to it than that, but you’ll have to go take a look and see. Oh, and there’s a contest there!

What I love about KatieBabs is, as KT Grant, she writes both f/f and m/f stories, definitely  someone I can see emulating.

What I love even more is that she organized and hosted a Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event. You’ve heard me comment on here on how hard it is to get reviews on lesbian romance, particularly genre fiction. KatieBab’s event celebrated all types of Lesbian fiction and gave many authors a supportive platform and exposure they might not otherwise have had. So, yeah, I think she rocks too!

And, oh, did I mention DaVinci Kitty over at Gravetells said: We have Readers Choice voting coming up and you’ll be up for Favorite Author ?

Woo Hoo!!

Happy Dance!!

Yep, exciting times indeed!

(and, yes, I’m still working on getting my story on Kindle Platform, more on that later!)


WIP Excerpt

This is an excerpt from the story I’ve been editing, currently titled “Warder”. A contemporary fantasy with romance elements, this is the first story in my Niagara Falls Fae series (which is also a *very* tentative title).

Now this is a work in progress (WIP), and although I’ve been editing, I’ve been working on content, particularly planting seeds for events in later books as well as the dreaded conversion from first to third. Grammar and copy editing are not my strong suit.

That said, enjoy the tidbit! 🙂


Mona stood behind the bar at Fat Louie’s and watched as another layer of snow piled up on the patio. Good thing they’d been busy the last few times she’d worked or she wouldn’t be able to pay her bills. Training to be Warder was fine, and all that, but being an apprentice didn’t put any cash in her pocket.

She ducked out from behind the counter and checked on her only customers, a pair of women on a date. Over the past three years Mona met quite a few of Francine’s first dates. Frankie also met the infrequent blind dates Mona’s brother seemed intent to set her up on as her coffee shop was a great first date spot. Not that Nic enjoyed any type of long-term relationship; no, he just thought he needed to see her settled.

“Hey Francine, you need anything else?” she asked, enjoying the subtle change to perfume from the usual odors of the bar. Very floral today, must be going for a more girly approach with her date.

“Not for me, Mona. Val, you want anything?” Frankie angled her head so that her straight red hair fell in a sweep across her cheek. She did glamorous better than anyone Mona knew and most of her dates were intimidated by it.

The statuesque blonde shook her head, amusement crossing her face. Mona realized the difference which had been niggling at her. Frankie’s dates these days were happy people compared to the Goths she’d first brought in. In more ways than one Mona was glad those days were over; the smell of patchouli, Francine’s choice of perfume then, made her nauseous.

“I’m okay. I’m looking forward to getting home and warming up in front of the fire,” her date’s husky voice caressed Mona’s spine and she don’t swing that way. Mona hid her smile; Francine might have met her match with this one.

Behind her date’s back Mona gave Frankie a surreptitious thumbs up. Frankie didn’t seem to notice, busy pulling out money to pay their tab.

Unsurprisingly they’d bundled themselves into their coats by the time she’d made it back to the bar. She called out a ‘be careful!’ as they headed towards the door. Francine gave Mona a smile and reciprocal ‘thumbs up’ behind her date’s back. Apparently she had caught Mona’s approval after all.

As they went out the door they ran into someone coming in. After a moment of confusion, they sorted themselves out. Her new customer stomped his way over to the coat hooks, dislodging snow with each thud.

Mona rubbed her forehead and glanced at the phone under the bar. The line out was still glowing a steady red; Vince hadn’t hung up from his conversation with his very pregnant wife yet. Mona’s cell reception wasn’t great here, so she’d given Raine this number when they touched base earlier. She’d forgotten her boss might tie up the line the whole night.

The new guy divested himself of his outerwear and sidled up to the bar. She looked at him and wondered why college kids thought she’d be so desperate for tips on winter nights that she wouldn’t check their I.D.

Hope you enjoyed it!

And, yes, I had written those two women, lesbian secondary characters, a long time before I set about writing Ginny’s Capture.) As I told KBGBabbles in my interview coming out next week, it was a trend I wasn’t even aware of until someone pointed it out to me. 🙂


Zach Sweets over at Hearts on Fire Reviews give Ginny’s Capture 4 stars!

Here’s the start (not sure of the right way to do this so just showing the first couple of lines and linking to the review)

Another Lesbian vs. Zombie short story I’ve enjoyed. Dee found out Ginny is in trouble and she wants to save her from the zombies. She has to go back to the University she once swears she wouldn’t ever go back two years ago.

And here’s the link.

Yes, I can’t stop smiling. 🙂

Entered a query / 250 word contest.

Cupid’s Literary Connection is holding a Surprise Agent Invasion, where they ask for your query and first 250 words.

I sent something in. GULP.

The contest goes live from the end of March to Mid-April, after the initial round of in house judging:

If you make it into one of the windows your entry enters AREA 51 and goes before the CIA. The CIA consists of myself and four of the YA Confidential operatives: Copil, Cambria, Cristin, and Karen. The 200 entries will be split up between the five of us randomly and we will each choose our strongest 10 entries to go up on the blog as “victims” of our “Surprise Agent Invasion” event. Of course, the CIA and AREA 51 are very secretive and confidential so this will all take place behind closed doors and you will NOT know which CIA judge received your entry. And as you’ll notice, that is only 50 entries from the 200, so make sure your work is at it’s best!!

Those who make it past the CIA and become “victims” will be notified by Cupid via email. The dates of these emails and when the entries will be posted on the blog for the agent invasion will be disclosed at a later date.

Which means I need to be working on these final edits double time in the *off chance* I get past the first round. Nothing like a deadline to help focus your work!

Setting aside the WIP and heading out on the rest of the blog tour

So very excited! Tomorrow I will be at Gravetells with a character interview of Dee, or at least that was the plan.

Want a sneak peak?

Okay, here you go:

Huey: So, little author, what do you want to ask me?

LOL, just a teaser, I know! Be sure to stop by Gravetells tomorrow and answer my question for a chance to win a PDF copy and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Editing, editing, editing

I’ve been busy with real life and *trying* to get edits done on a novel I plan to submit so I’ve been scarce. Next week, with the blog tour in full swing, I’ll have to stop editing and get back to posting.

My father once described my mother as ‘many tracks, only one train’ and I’m feeling like that these days. If I switch around from thing to thing, I get derailed and nothing gets done. So, editing this week, blogosphere next week to talk more about Ginny’s Capture.

I’ll see you then!