Please join Author Andrea Cefalo as she tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Fairytale Keeper, from February 16-March 13. Take the Fairytale Keeper Playbuzz quiz and enter to win a Fairytale Keeper Clutch Purse & $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Series: Book One, Fairytale Keeper
Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Fairytale Retelling
Adelaide’s mother, Katrina, was the finest storyteller in all of Airsbach, a borough in the great city of Cologne, but she left one story untold, that of her daughter, that of Snow White. Snow White was a pet name Adelaide’s mother had given her. It was a name Adelaide hated, until now. Now, she would give anything to hear her mother say it once more.
A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without last rites and the dead are dumped in a vast pit outside the city walls. In an effort to save Katrina’s soul, Adelaide’s father obtains a secret funeral for his wife by bribing the parish priest, Father Soren.
Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, pushing Adelaide toward vengeance. When Adelaide realizes that the corruption in Cologne reaches far beyond Soren, the cost of settling scores quickly escalates. Avenging the mother she lost may cost Adelaide everything she has left: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life.
Seamlessly weaving historical events and Grimm’s fairy tales into a tale of corruption and devotion, The Fairytale Keeper, leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins. The novel paints Medieval Cologne accurately and vividly. The story develops a set of dynamic characters, casting the famous villains, heroes, and damsels of Grimm’s fairy tales into believable medieval lives. Though historically set, The Fairytale Keeper brims with timeless themes of love, loyalty, and the struggle for justice.
Praise for The Fairytale Keeper
“A…resonant tale set late in the 13th century… with unexpected plot twists. An engaging story of revenge.” –Publisher’s Weekly
“Great historical fiction. Strong emotion injected into almost every page.” –Amazon Vine Reviewer
“…a unique twist on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Part fairy tale retelling, part historical fiction… The Fairytale Keeper is a story of corruption.” -Copperfield Historical Fiction Review
“The story that Cefalo weaves is intriguing and leaves you hanging on, wanting more.” -Hooked to Books Book Review Blog
“…it doesn’t feel like any retelling. Because it’s not. The Fairytale Keeper is its own unique story…very entertaining, containing a strong female role, a sweet romance, and much more.” -Lulu The Bookworm Book Review Blog
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by Andrea Cefalo
When I first started writing The Fairytale Keeper series, one of the biggest hurtles was writing honest love scenes. I mean people in the Middle Ages smelled terrible, right? How would the heroin relish in kissing her paramour if his breath smelled like a manure pile? How would she comfortably wrap her arms around him when the stench of her armpits could peel paint?
The truth of the matter is, Medieval people were quite hygienic. Not as hygienic as your typical American, but not as filthy as most people think. As is true today, hygiene practices varied by culture, location, and century. It’s a pretty comprehensive topic. All the facts can be overwhelming, so I say we scratch the surface rather than dig a trench. Below are three very common misconceptions about hygiene in the Middle Ages.
1. Dental Care was Non-Existent in the Middle Ages.
This is false! People used mouthwash, toothpaste, and made toothbrushes—though those things were far different than they are today. Medieval recipes for mouthwash might have included vinegar and rosemary. Toothpaste recipes varied, too. Some called for crushed oyster shells and cuttlefish bone. While others consisted of rosemary ash. The end of a chewed twig made for a decent toothbrush…so did a piece of cloth. The point is, Medieval people cleaned their teeth, and no one wanted to have bad breath. Like today, the upper-classes even tried to whiten their teeth.
2. People Didn’t Bathe During the Middle Ages.
This is also false. By 1200, cities had operating bath houses. Paris had thirty-two. London’s bathhouses were notorious places for soliciting prostitutes. In Germany, couples would visit the bathhouses together, share a tub, and get served a meal while in it. During certain periods and in certain cities, there were laws citing how often a person must bathe. Even villages would have a bathhouse. It was often connected to the bakery so the heat of the ovens could warm the bathwater.
3. No deodorant. No Perfume.
Another falsehood. First of all, people scented their baths with herbs like rosemary and thyme. The fragrance often lingered on the skin once the bath was finished. Even if people didn’t bathe daily—and they certainly didn’t—most used basins and cloths to wash themselves, sometimes filled with scented water.
Deodorants were also used. One recipe calls for hyssop and bay leaves. Sage, believed to be a disinfectant in the most Medieval definition of the word, was used to prevent sweating and odor. Some drank a concoction with wild rocket seed, believing this too helped keep the unwanted body odor away.
Perfumes were also quite common and became popular after the first crusade when Europeans came into contact with the sweet smelling women of the east. Obviously, the noble and merchant class could afford finer fragrances than the peasantry. Rose and lavender were quite common. Musk, though quite expensive, was recognized as a fixative and also used in perfumes.
“Did People in the Middle Ages Take Baths? – Medievalists.net.” Medievalists.net. N.p., 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.
Gilbert, Rosalie. “Cleanliness, Personal Hygiene & Bathing in the Middle Ages.” Cleanliness. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.
Hodson, Jacquelyn. “The Smell of the Middle Ages.” Trivium Publishing. N.p., 2002. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.
Mortimer, Ian. The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. Print.
Zajaczkowa, Jadwiga. “Scents of the Middle Ages.” Scents of the Middle Ages. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.
Take the The Fairytale Keeper Playbuzz Quiz
Besides being the award-winning author of The Fairytale Keeper series, Andrea Cefalo is a self-proclaimed medievalist, hopeless bookworm, and social media junkie. She graduated with honors from Winthrop University in 2007 where she studied Medieval art history and children’s literature. The next three books in The Fairytale Keeper series—The Countess’ Captive, The Baseborn Lady, and The Traitor’s Target—will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina—ever perched before her trusty laptop—with her husband and their two border collies.
The Fairytale Keeper Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 16
Spotlight at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, February 17
Review at Book Drunkard
Thursday, February 19
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Saturday, February 21
Spotlight at I Heart Reading
Monday, February 23
Review at Bookish
Wednesday, February 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Thursday, February 26
Review at Carpe Librum
Friday, February 27
Review at The Bookish Outsider
Monday, March 2
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Tuesday, March 3
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Friday, March 6
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Monday, March 9
Review at Shelf Full of Books
To enter to win a Fairytale Keeper Clutch Purse & $25 Amazon Gift Card please complete the giveaway form below.
* Giveaway is open to US residents only.
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