What’s your favourite fairy tale?

One of my favourite childhood memories is going to bed on a Saturday night with the family’s transistor radio next to my pillow (ours was red and cream and very similar to the one pictured here) and looking forward to waking early the next morning so I could turn on the radio, tuned already to a particular station, and listen to the children’s story time that would play until I had to get up and have breakfast and head off to Sunday school. Of course, it’s also closely linked to one of my least favourite memories of having my completely straight hair rolled up in ribbons the night before by my mother who wanted me to have ringlets or curls for said Sunday school πŸ™‚ .


But over the aching scalp, I still remember the magic of listening to those stories, of being transported into another world. Little wonder that from the time I could read I always had my nose in a book, reliving that magic, or that I’d be playing in my parents garden, being the characters that I’d read or heard about, or making up fairytales of my own where I’d always be the beautiful princess rescued by her handsome prince. Of course the enactments helped when a neighbour down the long driveway where we lived was the costume maker for what was then New Zealand’s biggest Christmas Parade and she would occasionally let me borrow a ‘real’ princess dress πŸ™‚ . Ah, those were the days…


Suffice to say, I’ve always loved fairy tales–the tragedy, the high stakes, the quest, the romance–most of all the romance, and interestingly what characters gave up for romance. Do you remember the story of the little mermaid who gave up her tail for legs and feet but how much it hurt her to walk? Different to the santised versions we have today by miles.Β 


It still thrills me now, whether in book or movie form, to identify certain fairy tale traits e.g. in Jane Eyre–Beauty and the Beast, in Pretty Woman–Cinderella, etc.


So, when I started to plot CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE (US release August 2008 and Aus/NZ release September 2008) I focussed on my favourite all time fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. I think it’s the whole β€˜Love Conquers All’ that just gets to me, you know? The unwavering belief that true love can break the wickedest of spells and redeem the hardest of hearts. I wanted to write a dark wounded hero who would do anything to keep his Beauty in his kingdom, and of course my convoluted mind couldn’t help but put a twist on Beauty and make her an amnesiac runaway bride at the same time. Creating my Beast’s kingdom was another delight, and delving into why he would choose to live in such isolated splendour had me enraptured.


I think it’s safe to say I’ll always be a romantic at heart and I’ll always be looking forward to the next fairy tale to fall in love with. I hope, for you, that fairy tale might be CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE.


To celebrate the Aus/NZ release of my latest fairy tale, I wondered if you’d all like to share your favourite fairy tales with us here on Desirabelles, either movie or book. All comments will go into a draw to win a signed Aus/NZ copy of CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE, which I’ll draw Sunday 21 September FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER (NZ time) and announce both here and on my blog.


43 Responses to “What’s your favourite fairy tale?”

  1. 1 azteclady
    September 14, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Hmmm… I don’t have a favorite fairy tale per se, but I really like the character of Mulan (yes, from the Disney movie).

    And I’m an ardent fan of the old tv series The Beauty and the Beast, with Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman–the insurmountable obstacles separating them and the unbreakable bond uniting them… *happy sigh*

  2. 2 limecello
    September 14, 2008 at 4:03 am

    I love fairy tales – Beauty and the Best, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, so many others. I can’t think of the name – but the one with the swans :X – Mulan – Eastern “fairy tales” seem to have a more “fantastic” feel – more tinged with myth. (Good choice, azteclady. Mulan is/was a historical figure but it’s unclear what was or wasn’t true…)
    It’s funny one of the channels was replaying the 10th Kingdom last night, which also got me thinking about fairy tales…
    Congratulations on the Aus/NZ release of your book, Yvonne!

  3. 3 Jane
    September 14, 2008 at 5:06 am

    “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast” are my favorites. My favorite scene is when Beauty reads to Beast. I think Disney did a great job with their adaptations.

  4. 4 Willa
    September 14, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Hmmm . . fairytales. Well my favourite fairy tale is the Three Little Pigs – just love that story!

    But if we are talking *Romantic Fairy Tales* I love Snow White. It has intrigue, humour, friendship, a wicked witch and a handsome Prince! πŸ˜€

  5. 5 Avi J
    September 14, 2008 at 6:11 am

    I love Cinderella, that is my all time favourite.

  6. 6 LJ
    September 14, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Sleeping Beauty is my favourite.

  7. 7 Dina
    September 14, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Beauty and the beast is my absolute favourite. True love over comes all.

  8. 8 Lisa lee
    September 14, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I loved Snow White.

  9. 9 Gina
    September 14, 2008 at 7:18 am

    The little mermaid is my favourite. I always wished when I was younger I could live in the sea. Well Scuba diving is as close as l could get now πŸ˜€

  10. 10 Lisa lee
    September 14, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I posted but it did not show up, oh well here l go again, Snow white is my favourite

  11. 11 Mia
    September 14, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Alladin was mine fairytale, the flying carpet also was a good part for me.

  12. 12 sandrahyatt
    September 14, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Hey Yvonne – I remember those Sunday morning radio stories – Diana and the Golden Apples is one I clearly remember listening to. Can’t wait to read your book – in part because Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales. Jane – my favourite scene from the Disney version is just after he’s saved her and she’s bandaging his hand (paw?).

  13. 13 Susan
    September 14, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Cinderella is my absolute favorite fairy tale. My granddad used to read it to me when I was little. Then when it was made into a movie I was in heaven!

  14. September 14, 2008 at 8:48 am

    I’m sitting here nodding and agreeing with you. Mulan is also one of my favourites–a modern one. One of the advantages of having kids is legitimately building your animated movie collection. The Swan Princess! Yes! Love it!

    Sandra, oh my, yes, Diana and the Golden Apples. I remember that story vividly. And there was one about dogs with eyes the size of saucers, kind of creepy. And the Billy Goats Gruff. πŸ˜€

    Limecello, thanks for the congrats! πŸ™‚

  15. 15 Lizzy
    September 14, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Sleeping beauty and Cinderella are my favourites.

  16. 16 Lisa lee
    September 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Snow White is my favourite

  17. 17 christa
    September 14, 2008 at 10:56 am

    The Ugly Duckling? Beauty and the Beast. just love stories where beauty is not only skin deep. Or guys that made fun of you in high start asking you out 10 years later and you can laugh in there face;-)

  18. September 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Yvonne, I loved your use of the Beauty and the Beast elements in Claiming His Runaway Bride. Of course it didn’t hurt that Luc was such a damn fine and sexy beast. πŸ™‚

    That said, I think Cinderella is my favourite fairytale although that might only be because I have a Cinderella-themed duo in the works. Who doesn’t love the thought of being the princess for a night at the expense of those wicked stepsisters? Love the adaptations that feature a good old-fashioned shopping spree (my favourite scene in Pretty Woman!) and also the humour of Ever After. Drew Barrymore made an excellent Cinderella.


  19. September 15, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Oh geez, when I was a kid, all the way to high school (senior year to be exact), everything had to be Snow White (Disney version). One of the first books I ever got, or at least the one of the few oldest books I have is Snow White. . . had a birthday cake with Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs on it. Everything was Snow White.

    Then comes senior year of high school. . . and I got introduced to Aladdin. Looooooooove that Genie. . . and Snow White took a backseat. LOL

    Well, that was. .. hmm, guess next year is our 15th reunion now if I did the math correctly. . . geez. Anyway, since then, I rediscovered the Sleeping Beauty video I had as a kid and looked at it as a much older person and found that that one’s my favorite or tied with Aladdin. I really think it was a movie that was too sophisticated for me as a youngin (however you would spell that LOL). . .

    as for fairy tales as they were written and not as we know them from Disney. . .you know, I took a children’s lit class were we did plenty, but I totally forgot most of them! But I do remember not liking the way Cinderella was really written, with the Stepmother chopping off the heel/toes of her daughters to get those darn feet in those shoes. . . sometimes, Disney does it just right. πŸ˜‰


  20. 20 Eva S
    September 15, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Beauty and the Beast is my favorite, I’ve always loved those dark, wounded heroes !

  21. 21 Teresa W.
    September 15, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Little Red Riding Hood is my favorite, I think that’s why I enjoy reading Paranormals today and reading about werewolves!

  22. September 15, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Bron, yeah, that Luc…sigh. Oh, and I totally agree with you about Drew Barrymore in Ever After. She was just perfect. While her circumstances were beyond her control, she was totally in control of her actions. Loved the scene with the gypsies and taking the Prince away on her back πŸ˜€

    Christa, you’ve given me a great idea. Ugly Duckling stories. I’d forgotten those. Hmmm. Best put that part of my brain in neutral while I tackle my current deadlines πŸ˜€

    Lois, yes, Disney has certainly done it just right vs. the brutality of the original fairy tales. They took a strong central theme, in each story, and made it theirs.

    Eva, glad to have a kindred B&TB aficionado.

    Goodness, don’t we have a fine selection of fairy tales building up. Lots of you enjoy Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

    What elements in those stories, do you think, are what make them so very appealing no matter the age group?

  23. September 15, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Love, love, love Beauty and the Beast! I must get your book, Yvonne! And I thought Enchanted was just the sweetest movies (especially that last scene on the dance floor).

  24. 24 azteclady
    September 15, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Yvonne, I think it’s the idea that, no matter what the obstacles, the hero and heroine will a) be happy ever after (together) and b) they’ll be rewarded in all ways for their constancy and devotion.

  25. September 15, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Agree that Disney has done a grand job in lightening up many of the original dark (and dare I say Grimm, ;-)) fairytales and adding their own HEA’s. Can’t say I enjoyed reading many all that much as a child — a bit too scary after the lights went out and I was left alone in the dark with my imagination and all manner of beasts…or red dancing shoes…under the bed!

    One of the themes that resonates in many of these stories, I think, is transformation. The fantasy of being whoever/whatever, whether that change is physical or emotional. Which is why the same core themes work so darn well in our romances. The Swan Princess. Cinderella. The Little Mermaid. Beauty and the Beast. The Ugly Duckling.


  26. 26 christa
    September 15, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    heehee Bron don’t think I wanted to open my closet for a month after seeing Poltergiest

  27. September 16, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Nalini, I think we may be able to ensure you get a copy of my book πŸ˜‰

    Christa, don’t get me started on scary movies. The visuals always stick in my mind, like photographs.

    Azteclady, yeah, I think for me the HEA equals the reward. And what a reward! πŸ™‚

    Bron, you always hit the nail on the head. Yep, transformation–and I think, for me, that’s why I love to read romance. For that period of time I’m transformed into that character and into that ‘life.’ It’s magical all right.

  28. September 16, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Hey Yvonne! I believe fairytales were written as cautionary tales to scare kiddies into doing the right thing. Pied Piper, Hansel & Gretel, Goldilocks… It wasn’t until Disney got ahold of them that they became sanitised πŸ™‚ I adore the modern versions of fairytales – Drew Barrymore in Ever After who did stuff, as opposed to the original Cinderella who sat around singing “one day my prince will come” πŸ˜‰ Love, love, love Aladin and Hercules. Love Pretty Woman. And I simply can’t look at Snow White the same way after inadvertantly catching a scene from a cartoon porno version :b

  29. September 16, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Cinders is the loveliest fairytale for me, Yvonne. And Paula, I love that song about waiting for the prince. πŸ™‚

    As for the porno cartoon… are you telling me that Snow White is no longer as pure as the driven snow? I bet you’re going to say it was with one of the seven dwarfs. πŸ™‚ No. Don’t tell me. I’ll be shattered.

  30. September 17, 2008 at 5:31 am

    Oh Paula! Inadvertently? LOL! You must have been scarred for life!

    Hey, Maxine.

    Guys, thinking about the prize draw, I’m going to change it to Friday 19 September (NZ Time) because there’ll be a new post going up around the 21st and we don’t need a queue, I’m sure! πŸ˜€

  31. 31 Maureen
    September 17, 2008 at 5:45 am

    I love Beauty and the Beast. I enjoy the wounded hero and looking below the surface ideas of the story.

  32. September 17, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Maxine – not *one* dwarf – all of them. My eyes still burn… And a CARTOON at that!

  33. 33 RobynL
    September 17, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Cinderella is also my favorite. I love the end where Cinderella gets to go to the Ball and see how the stepsisters/mother react. A dream come true for those waiting for their prince.

  34. 34 christa
    September 17, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I was a little hesitant to read the Nancy Madore’s erotic fairy tales Spice and Spice Briefs

  35. September 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Must agree that I have a preference for the proactive Cinders who don’t sit about waiting for their princes to…hmm…perhaps it’s best NOT to finish that sentence.

    Christa, I’m curious. Did you enjoy the Spiceytales?


  36. 36 christa
    September 17, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    She put some interesting spins on some of them, so some were interesting ad likeable. Mind you there were some that I had a hard time wrapping my head around

  37. September 18, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Hmm, erotic fairy tales, not sure I’d be an avid reader of those.

    Paula, *all* of them? At once? The mind boggles!

    Maureen, and Robyn, thanks for dropping by with your favs πŸ˜€

    Okay, as I’m tired and into displacement today I’ve done a little poll on our fairy tales and this is how they ranked:

    Hercules (although I’m not convinced this qualifies as a fairy tale unless maybe he was gay) – 1
    Little Red Riding Hood – 1
    Ugly Duckling – 1
    Little Mermaid – 1
    Three Little Pigs – 1
    Swan Princess – 1
    Aladin – 1
    Mulan – 1
    Sleeping Beauty – 4
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (the version suitable for children) – 6
    Cinderella – 7


    Beauty and the Beast – 8!!!

    Heh πŸ˜€

    Of course some of us mentioned more than one fairy tale but overall an interesting result.

  38. September 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Seeing as we’re talking fairytales, does anyone have any favourite romance novels based on fairytales? I really enjoyed Laura Wright’s Fiery Tales series for Desire a few years back. They had the added bonus of royalty and the island kingdom added a real fairytale atmosphere to the setting.


  39. September 19, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Hi all, the random draw has just been done by one of my kids after allocating each visitor post a number and the lucky winner of an Aus/NZ copy of my book CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE is…


    Congratulations, Gina. Please email me via yvonne at yvonnelindsay dot com with your postal details and I’ll get your prize out in the mail to you in the next few days.

    Thanks for all the fun guys. Was thinking this morning, while drying my hair, that no-one mentioned Rapunzel. The captive princess rescued. Another great theme that translates well to modern times.

    Bron, I’ve been scratching my head about favourite novels based on fairy tales. There were some great M&Bs a few years ago that were like the Galatea/Cinderella types of themes that I really loved but do you think I can remember them?

  40. 40 azteclady
    September 19, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Congrats, Gina!

    Thank you, Yvonne–this is a fun and interesting discussion!

  41. September 20, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Azteclady, you’re welcome! I love hearing others thoughts on topics like this.

    Actually, I watched a movie last night with a twist on the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs theme, starring Amanda Bynes and called Sydney White. After this thread I was analysing it and going ‘uh huh’ all the way through. Especially loved the Nigerian student who couldn’t stop sleeping! LOL! A bit of light hearted fun.

  42. 43 Triton
    April 7, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Why do people say Belle is smarter than Ariel?

    Sure Belle might be a book worm and a cute one at that.

    But, Ariel is the cutest and the world’s first teenage museum curator, treasure hunting archaelogist, and even an ambassador. XD

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