About the book...
Ninety years before the Brothers Grimm penned their version of Little Red Riding Hood, a historic, gruesome series of events would shock all of Europe. In 1765, an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the Gévaudan region of France.
Whispered rumors of unnatural creatures blended with age-old superstition, causing mass hysteria, and a werewolf was blamed for the carnage. Alarmed, King Louis XV sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the beastly scourge, but this legendary massacre had only just begun.
Scarlette, an 18-year-old peasant, lives under this dark threat, knowing the nightmarish monster lurks in the surrounding forest. A poor seamstress, she labors to make ends meet and is skeptical of supernatural gossip.
Until her grandmother survives an attack.
Scarlette learns her grandmother is infected by the bite of the animal. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden. As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who share an eerie history with the wolf.
To save her grandmother, Scarlette must unravel the mens' connection and solve a long-forgotten crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men, both of whom desire more than friendship and together hold the key to the cure.
Based on both the traditional Grimm and Charles Perrault versions of Little Red Riding Hood, this dark YA is set against the Beast of Gévaudan attacks, blending history with fairy tale and gothic romance. Unique to the genre, the novel revives the French fable of the girl-in-the-red-cloak with a new, shockingly real existence that blurs the line between folklore and reality.
This is not the story that you were told as a child...at least, not JUST that story. This is the story of one girl's fight to keep her freedom, save her friends and family (even those that never gave a reason to be saved), and find true love if the option exists...all while trying to stay alive.
Yes, the big bad wolf exists in this version, after all you can't REALLY have a Little Red or in this case Scarlette, without a wolf...but the beastie may not be all or whom you'd think. There are greater things to fear in this story than simply the glinting teeth of the wolf...and some are even more dangerous because of their immediacy. Take Nardonne for example, Scarlette's employer and an HR nightmare just waiting for expulsion. OH MY WORD. If something didn't happen soon to get her out of THAT situation, I was gonna climb through the e-pages and give him what's for. *glares at e-Nardonne* The fate he meets is well deserves. Nuff said...although not really because he wasn't acting on his own at all times. Even those closest to Scarlette had a hand in the events she's running from, some of which may surprise you greatly. Oh yes, there will be betrayals from those that should be most loyal, but there will also be acts of kindness shown from unexpected places...and people. As the book progresses, you'll be all a fuddle with whom is trustworthy and whom is hiding something, but in the best way possible; after all, it's no fun if everything is spelled out from page one, right? Right. Moving on.
Story wise, we have a winner! Character wise...same situation, though some were more infuriating than others. Allow me to explain. Scarlette, oh Scarlette. You are our leading lady and yet your flights of fancy between I-trust-him, I-don't--trust-him and back again would make anyone feel as though they were at a championship tennis match. I understand you have reason to suspect everyone but my goodness! Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade and leave it at that. If you're wrong, you live...you learn. If you're right, party like it's 1699. I do however enjoy the loving personality you show to all those you allow into your inner circle, the protectiveness you feel of those you call friend and your conviction to walk the straight and narrow.
Suffice it to say there is a full cast of character goodness. From those mentioned above to dear old Grandmother (again, you CAN'T have a Little Red story without a grandma!), her loopy mother to her best friend Jeanne and let us not forget the townspeople, the woodcutters, the church folk and...well, you get the picture. At some point or another, we meet them all and each has a role to play...whether or not they all survive to see another day after having been introduced though, is another story.
In the end, another rendition of a classic most have heard since childhood but told in such a way that it
doesn't completely feel like deja vu; in fact, it'll have you on the edge of your seat as you try to discern just who is who, what is what, and where the wolf will pop up next! Seriously, the author kept me guessing and when I finally got to the whole revelation part, I was all..."leave me alone until I finish please! It was that good. For those of you that count yourselves among the history buffs or prefer a bit of reality in their fiction, the ties ins to actual historical events included will really spark your interest and perhaps the researcher in you granting the story yet another life after you flick the final page.
The only downside of the read worth a mention involves errors in the text. A word here, a thought there, not enough to ruin the story in the long run but still noteworthy enough to be a tad irksome. Hey, I get it...it happens; my posts aren't PERFECT either, but just something to consider when reading....you aren't going buggy eyed, they are there but the story will win your attention over the grammar overall. Recommended read for teens through adults; if you have even the slightest interest in the fate of Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf, this one's for you.
About the author...
Davonna Juroe stays up way too late, has a severe garlic food allergy, and loves all things 80’s. She wonders if all this could actually mean she's a vampire.
In high school, she wore way too much glitter eye make-up. And in between many Disneyland visits and reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Series, she joined the high school drama department and may have developed crushes of the serious kind on many a theater boy. After many a broken heart (*sigh*), Davonna moved to the quaint, wooded village of Kalispell, Montana.
When she’s not writing, she shops @ thrift stores for hot-pink-Jem-and-the-Holograms-inspired-outfits, eats gluten free desserts, drinks tea out of antique teacups, and spends too much time on deviantArt, Pinterest, and Goodreads. Scarlette is Davonna’s debut novel of epic-historical-fairytale-proportions, which she knows the Brothers Grimm would say is wicked cool.
Currently, she's represented by fabulous independent agent Roxanne McHenry who is waving wands to make all of Davonna's dreams come true.
Special thanks to author Davonna Juroe for the ebook copy for review as well as all the Twitter updates and correspondence (THANKS! ^_^) For more information on this title as well as her current works-in-progress, since we all know that "once a writer, always a writer), be sure to stop by her site, check out her GoodReads page, like her on Facebook, pin her on Pinterest, or follow along on the previously mentioned Twitter. This ebook is available now as a download near you...well, near you in the sense that since you're already reading THIS online, it's a few clicks away...so be sure to seek thee out a copy to call your own. Trust me, you won't be sorry!
Oh, one final note...for those of you that may have previously downloaded the story, there's been an update! The latest version has an additional short story entitled "The Third Shadow" which tells of Francois discovery deep in the woods as well as a few notes from the author on what what into the writing of the manuscript. Both are definitely worth a read.
Until next time...*dons red cape ala Red*...happy reading!