Every once in awhile in the life of a writing contest judge, an entry happens along that makes you all excited and happy to be a contest judge. Julie Kazimer’s A Fucked-Up Fairy Tale was one of those entries, though of course, I didn’t know whose work it was at the time. (In fact, I thought the author was a dude. Goes to show you can never judge a writer’s gender by their work.)
One of the frustrating things about being a contest judge is coming upon those gems and then not being able to read more, or even find out who wrote them. So I was thrilled when it was announced that J.A. Kazimer had signed a book deal with Kensington and Curses! A F***ked-Up Fairy Tale would be published. Like a proper groupie, I sat at Julie’s table at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s conference banquet and met a wonderfully quirky, charming writer. I weaseled my way into an Advance Reader’s Copy of the book, and was finally able to finish the story I started reading so long ago.
You can tell by the title this isn’t your average fairy tale. Curses tells the twisted tale of RJ, a disgraced villain forced into doing good when the villain’s union puts him on leave. He’s a bad boy who can’t say no, especially to Asia, the not-so-ugly stepsister to Cinderella.
Cinderella’s been whacked by a devious bluebird and the crosstown Fairy-Second Street bus. Asia wants to know whodunit, and RJ might want to help her even if he wasn’t cursed.
The redhead’s lips curved into a frown, which only added to her beauty. She looked like sin, the dirty kind with plenty of sweat and saliva.
Thus begins a once upon a time unlike any other. More raunchy than Shrek and just as clever. Has the bloody heart of Once Upon a Time but is much less serious. Spins fairy tale pop culture references like an enchanted Joss Whedon show. Pick up this fun, wild ride and find out what really went on when Miss Muffett sat on her tuffet.
Or, as I said in my original judge’s comments, “It’s like Shrek and Charles De Lint met for drinks, got drunk and threw up on Philip Marlowe.”