Sunday, 23 November 2014

Blog Tour: Becoming Beauty by Sarah Boucher






Becoming Beauty by Sarah Boucher
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing and Media

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21948060-becoming-beautyGoodreads Synopsis:
Claws. Long, filthy, and dangerously sharp. 

They’re the first thing Bella sees after what’s been the worst day of her life. If Bella were the quintessential Beauty—gorgeous, kindhearted, and self-sacrificing—she might have a chance at transforming this monster into a man, but she’s never been the toad-kissing kind. Obsessed with landing a wealthy nobleman and escaping her humdrum life, Bella will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Which is precisely what landed her here, at the mercy of the Beast.

In this imaginative retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Bella's sense of entitlement strains both her family's finances and patience. As punishment for her selfishness, she's sent into the Beast's service where she must choose whether to follow the path she's always dreamed of—or risk it all for something even greater. 

Available on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and books & things.


Review:
***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

It’s only recently that I found my love for retellings, and I’m extremely glad because it meant that from the second I read the synopsis I wanted to read this book, so I have to thank the people over at Cedar Fort Publishing for hosting the blog tour and of course the lovely Sarah Boucher.

Onto the book: the heroine Bella was as flawed as anyone else, and it made her so much more relatable as well as entertaining to read about. Her character development is incredibly extensive, but done beautifully so that she stays true to herself and doesn’t simply change overnight but learns from her past faults. At first I admired how determined she was to get what she wanted, but I grew to admire how she realised that dreams change yet she wouldn’t give up on hers.

The Beast was just as great a character, who undergoes a far more visible change (I loved the scene where Bella manipulated him into cutting his nails and hair; it was just hilarious and great comic relief). However he isn’t the only man in Bella’s life and it was brilliant watching the relationships play out, and not always in the way you expect…

It took me a while to get my head around the ending, because while I saw it coming I was in a way hoping it wouldn’t. Yet I realised writing this review that it fit perfectly with the characters (it was very much a character-orientated book) and I can’t see it ending any other way.

This isn’t just a book for people who love fairy-tale retellings, but for people who love a little mystery with their love stories and who can appreciate a great debut from an author who I can’t wait to read more from.
Favourite Quotes:
“All of us are somewhat beastly, you know,” he added.
“He just wears his beastliness where everyone can see it.” To my surprise, he chuckled, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “At least you know what you’re getting into, right?”

"I was no more interested in agriculture than I was in learning how to milk cats, but I persisted because I couldn’t resist bothering him while he was reading. “And what have you learned so far?” “That certain young women are relentless pests,” he responded blandly, his eyes still fixed on the book. “Ridiculous,” I chided. “That has nothing to do with agriculture.”

"My frankness seemed to reach him at last. The anger drained from his face, revealing the weakness he tried so hard to hide. We aren’t that different after all, I reflected. We’re both trying to hide who we are."

“The first time I realized I had something to lose was when I had already lost it. Before then, I prayed for freedom from my mundane life. Until I was cut free, I didn’t understand how wonderful that life was.”


Interview:

1) Hi Sarah, thanks so much for sparing some time for this interview, can you tell us a little about your book Becoming Beauty?
Bella isn't your average Beauty. Instead of the sweet, patient, self-sacrificing heroine you might expect in a Beauty and the Beast retelling, she's greedy, ambitious, and manipulative. So, when she's thrown into the Beast's household, she turns everything upside down and it's difficult to decide which of the two is more Beastly. However, this change in circumstances sends Bella on a journey of self-discovery that teaches her the true meaning of beauty.

2) What made you decide to write a retelling of such a well-known story?
Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairytale, and not just because of the Disney movie. I've loved the fairytale since I was a little girl and remember vividly my mom's paperback Beauty and the Beast picture book. Those images and the magic and romance they expressed stayed with me until the idea of snarky Bella was born. She and her relationship with the Beast are the answer to all my questions about the original tale.

3) Can you talk us through how you’re feeling about the release of your first book?
I officially stopped sleeping weeks ago. And going to the gym. And eating healthy. The stresses of "How will my book launch go?" "Will people like my book?" "Will people hear about my book?" paralyzed me and had me reaching for the chocolate until my Book Launch. Then the fun, excitement, support from my loved ones, and kindness from strangers caught up with me. Since then it's been less worrying and a lot more fun. A whole lot more fun!

4) What’s the best/worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best: share your writing with others. 
The worst: share your writing with others.
I know it sounds the same, but it really can be the worst and best advice ever. In the beginning, I thought I should share my stories with friends and family, but the response was always, "That's nice." There's a point when "That's nice" is completely unhelpful. Instead I sought out those who would give me honest feedback and help me grow as a writer. I've never looked back.

5) What scenes were your favourite and least favourite to write?
I was aching to write Bella's big girl tizzy fit. Everything she feels, says, and does when she finally comes unglued is my absolute favorite. It was the first scene I had in my head when I started writing and everything leading up to it was more laborious because I was so anxious to tackle that scene.

6) What are some of your favourite movies, and what actors/actresses could you see playing the main characters from your book?
My favorite movie right now is Guardians of the Galaxy. Extremely dorky comicbook fun, I know. But I absolutely love it.
If I had my dream cast, this is who I'd choose:
Katherine Heigl as Bella
Jennifer Garner as Rose
Hugh Jackman as the Beast
Chris Pratt as Jack 
It's an eclectic cast, but it would certainly be interesting!

7) How and when did you first realise you loved writing and wanted to be an author? What was the first thing you ever wrote?
My mom saved a mystery about pants I wrote in second grade or thereabouts, but I always remember being excited about reading and writing. We were just that type of household. I read and wrote like crazy through high school and college but only made it public a few years ago. Joining a writing group at the insistence of my best friend pushed me to refine my skills and publicly admit that I'm a writer.

8) Do you have any more projects in the works or can you share some ideas for future ones?
My main project is a twist on The Twelve Dancing Princesses featuring a huge cast of crazy sisters, opinionated gardeners, and various noblemen. Breathing life into a dozen sisters, a household staff, and pompous and misguided noblemen has been a lot of fun. Whenever I have a spare braincell, that's where I employ it. The next project after Twelve will be an mash-up of Rumplstiltskin and the Shoemaker and the Elves.

Quick Questions
Fan fiction yay or nay? If you can write it well and not assault my eyes with grammatical errors and whatnot: Yay!
Ebook or paperback? I'm a traditionalist, so paperback. But ebooks are grabbing my attention more and more these days.
Tea or coffee? Hot chocolate! With all the gooey toppings, please! 
Zombies or vampires? Ooh! I'm a little sick of vampires, so zombies. I'm also partial to werewolves. The Beast is pretty werewolfy, would you say?

About the Author
Sarah E. Boucher spends her days instilling young children with the same love of literature she has known since childhood. After hours, she pens her own stories and nurses an unhealthy obsession for handbags, high heels, baking, and British television. Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University, who currently lives and teaches in Ogden, Utah. Becoming Beauty is her first novel.

Visit Sarah at blog/website (SarahEBoucher.com) 


Or connect with Sarah by clicking through to the following social media sites: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Pinterest * Goodreads


And don't forget to click below and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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