Thursday, November 20, 2014


A computer novice, I shivered in my seat when I read the message online from Mildred Colvin, one of my critique partners. She and her son, Jonathan Colvin, suggested we write retold fairy tales and each of us self-publish our own book. 

We all agreed we’d be there for each other if any of us got stuck during the process. Translated that meant someone would bail me out of my technical gaffes. I chose Jack and the Beanstalk because it would lend itself to mystery and suspense, and I’m a huge fan of the genre. 

Mildred, who’s self-published over twenty books, spearheaded the effort. Vanessa Riley, who’s a talented designer as well as writer, volunteered to create a cover for each book.     
We’re a laid-back group, so no one set rules about which fairy tales we chose or what direction we took with the retelling. We did want and need consistency. 

First we discussed length and decided on novellas. Considering several options on how to tie them all together, we chose the location. June Foster had already started her story in a town called Fairwilde. We all agreed to put our characters there, but instead of having them in a particular town and state, we created Fairwilde Kingdom. I think this was important because it gave us a way to use more than one setting for our stories. Vanessa suggested the same size for the covers along with a title, sub-title and series name. We call each of our books A Fairwilde Reflection Novella.

We started writing and critiquing immediately. Working in our fantasy worlds over the span of a year brought us lots of joy. We hope our books will do the same for our readers. 

I believe all of us sought additional editing and proofreading before publishing our novellas. Mountain of Love and Danger was critiqued a second time and edited by Lisa Lickel. My husband and daughter proofread it. They’re tough.

First out was At the Edge of a Dark Forest, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Connie Almony; next, Red and the Wolf, a version of Little Red Riding Hood by June Foster; third, Mirror on the Fall, an adaptation of Snow White by Mildred Colvin and Jonathan Colvin; fourth, Swept Away, a twist on Cinderella by Vanessa Riley and lastly Mountain of Love and Danger.  


Jack Greenthumb finds romance in Fairwilde Kingdom—a different day—a different girl. Then a cruel mystery begins. Dad’s beaten, the family farm destroyed and Jack’s true love, Gwendolyn Bante, kidnapped. Jack’s undercover operation reveals Gwenie’s a captive atop a mountain accessible only by helicopter. Reaching her is a dangerous expedition even for a champion rock climber like Jack. However, a Greenthumb Acres employee plants a miraculous seed from Heaven for the rescue. Suspense mounts as Jack scales the perilous cliff to face a brute and a treacherous descent in this retelling of the fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk.

The Five Girls and Jonathan:

Connie Almony: Connie’s trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest. Her newest release, At the Edge of a Dark Forest, is a modern-day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast about a war-vet, amputee struggling with PTSD. Visit Connie at and

Mildred Colvin: Mildred’s been writing sweet inspirational romance since 2001, and is an award-winning author of over thirty novels in both historical and contemporary themes, as well as four compilations, and one audio book. Mildred is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is active in two very special critique groups. She is also active in her church and enjoys special times with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Her hobbies, when she has time, include quilting, photography, and gardening. Of course, reading is more than a hobby. It’s a way of life.

Jonathan Colvin:  Jonathan has recently joined Mildred in brainstorming, plotting, and editing several of their books, including Mirror on the Fall.

June Foster: An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July.  Ryan's Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word.  

Vanessa Riley: Vanessa holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and a masters in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University. She has been a radio anchorwoman and church announcer. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, and Specialty RWA Chapters: The Beaumonde, Faith, Hope, & Love Chapter, and the Georgia Chapter. She juggles mothering a ten-year old, her eighteenth wedding anniversary, engineering, writing and speaking at women's events. Here first book, Madeline's Protector, is also a Regency just like her fairy tale. She’s represented by The Knight Agency.

Gail Pallotta: Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her teen book, Stopped Cold, finished fourth in the 16th Annual Preditors and Editors readers’ poll and was a finalist for the 2013 Grace Awards. She’s published short stories in “Splickety” magazine and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Visit her web site at

For your chance to win either a print copy or an eBook copy of MOUNTAIN OF LOVE AND DANGER, leave a comment, along with your contact information. U.S. only for print version please. 


  1. I love the take on the old stories. What a cleaver idea. Count me in for the drawing. lill dot kohler at gmail dot com

  2. Hi Lill,

    I like Jonathan and Mildred's idea of retelling the old stories too. I enjoyed retelling Jack and the Beanstalk and learned a lot about mountain and rock climbing. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hello to the suspense sisters. It's such a pleasure to celebrate our Fairwilde series with you today on your fabulous blog. Though Gail is our suspense writer, the rest of say thanks for the opportunity to chat with you today. Blessings.

  4. We're so glad to have you with us! You sound like a great group of writers!!

  5. Awesome! Sounds great. Would love to win! Danajeweler at y mail dot Com

  6. Thanks so much for stopping by, ladies and gents. The premises sound like so much fun!

  7. Hi Nancy, Elizabeth and Cynthia,
    Thanks for letting us share with you.

    Hi Dana,
    Thanks so much for stopping by to read about Mountain of Love and Danger and the Fairwilde series.

  8. Thank you, ladies, for having our us on today. And thank you, Gail, for telling our story. Its was definitely a fun project to work on and my crit partners are Keepers!!!

  9. I would love to read that series! Thank you, Kristie Porter tk love nest (a) a o l (.) c o m

  10. Thank you for the interesting interview with Gail. MOUNTAIN OF LOVE AND DANGER sounds like an awesome book. :)


  11. Hi. thanks for the interest in our series.

    Caryl, I enjoyed writing Mountain of Love and Danger. Thanks for stopping by to read about it.

  12. Fun idea, Gail! Thanks for telling us about it on the blog! :)

  13. Good morning, Suspense Sisters. Just wanted to stop by again and thank you for featuring the Fairwilde Series. Each book is novella-length and a quick read! I usually write romance with an edgy theme but loved diverting from my usual style by writing Lilly Hood as a crazy ADD plagued newspaper reporter. Again, thank you so much for having us.

  14. This sounds like a great read and I appreciate the chance to win my own copy.
    Thank you and blessings to all!
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

  15. This sounds really neat!!! I love fairy tales!!! Rhonda

  16. Sounds like a good one!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  17. Dana, Connie, Rhonda and Melanie, thank you all for stopping by to read about Mountain of Love and Danger and for your comments.

  18. Jack and the Beanstalk. How fun ! !
    dkstevensne at outlook DOTcom