Friday, April 3, 2015


My guest today is Gina Conkle. Gina writes both Georgian romance and Viking romances. She love the glittery balls and such but also finds the average citizen of these eras fascinating and writes stories around their lives. Gina also has a love of fairy tales. Her current story, The Lady Meets Her Match is a retelling of Cinderella.

Did you grow up with fairy tales?

A favorite of mine was Cinderella. I loved reading about a kind-hearted heroine with a magical rags-to-ballgown evening. Plus, being able to talk with animal friends was pretty neat.

Yet, as I got older, I had a few problems with the story. Like why did the funky Grand Duke hunt down Cinderella? Shouldn’t the prince search for his true love?

The prince’s lack of ardor bugged me. He should’ve been the one hot on Cinderella’s trail.

You know what else? The prince held zero appeal — we’re talking flat as a pancake personality. His role was pretty much “dance and decide” the woman you’ll marry.

The day after the ball, he insisted Cinderella was his true love. He wouldn’t marry anyone else but the girl who could wear the glass slipper. At least he was firm on that.

So, he made his grand announcement and retreated to his room. To wait.  I think I was nine years old when His Royal Highness’s appeal took a nosedive.

Years later, when The Lady Meets Her Match formed, the Cinderella tale fit. I pictured Claire, the housekeeper from Meet the Earl at Midnight sneaking into an elegant ball in the same pale blue and silvery gown Cinderella wore. This time things were different.

  • Her prince was a commoner dubbed the “King of Commerce”
  • Her shoe — well that part’s secret in the book— but I’ll give you a hint: it’s not glass or silk
  • Her life doesn’t need “saving” because she’s got plans of her own

And Claire’s fairy godmother is a saucy French woman with some eye-opening advice. Don’t typecast her as old and plump!

Life’s full of surprises. So is this modern retelling of Cinderella.


Finding her is only half the battle...Excerpt

Cyrus Ryland didn’t become England’s wealthiest bachelor by being a pushover, but the mysterious beauty he discovers sneaking around his study during a grand ball inflames his curiosity. They share one dance, but when the clock chimes midnight, she’s nowhere to be found. So Cyrus vows to scour all of London to uncover who she is.
Claire Mayhew  is risking it all by forging Ryland’s signature. But the maddening man won’t lease properties to an unmarried woman. He stands in the way of Claire’s dream: running her own business. The midtown property fits her plans perfectly—a place to live as an independent woman of commerce. When she sneaks into his study and forges his signature, she never expects to be attracted to the stodgy bachelor. But if he finds out who she is, all of her dreams could go up in smoke… 


Gina Conkle, a history nerd to the core, loves castles and museums. Her motto is “the older and moldier, the better.” When not enjoying relics, she lives in the present, dabbling in organic gardening at her home in San Diego, California. She lives with Brian, her husband and favorite alpha male, and their two boys. Visit her at


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia - first I hope your son's ankle is improving, or on its way to doing so ..

second - Gina's story sounds so like a Georgian Romance .. an enjoyable read with a 21st century twist ..

Cheers and Happy Easter to you both - Hilary

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Sia,

Thanks for hosting me on your blog.

cleemckenzie said...

Had to laugh. Gina's right. If someone subbed Cinderella to an agent today they'd get a resounding reject. But that story has held up for one long time, hasn't it?

Stephen Tremp said...

Agents. What do they know, anyway? Cinderella would have gone viral and been a smashing success.

Susan Kane said...

Now those are different and better takes on the Cinderella story, except for the Cinderella movie that is currently in theaters.

Thanks for commenting at my site.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Gina, welcome to Over Coffee. Any mistakes made are due to sleep deprivation, lol! I loved this article and I agree on flatness of the prince. He was so...secondary to Cinderella's storyline that he was never given a name in the story, Cendrillon by Perrault or even in Disney's film adaptation. Prince Charming isn't really a name, is it? But they had to come up with something. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hilary--Thank you. My guys have been running me ragged. I've spent the past two days in and out of doctor's offices and labs. Blech. First my son and no his ankle isn't better and we'll be seeing the orthopedic doctor Tuesday or Wednesday. He has a grade 3 sprain but we need to have an MRI to see whether or not the tears are serious or if there is any damage to the bones not seen on the regular xrays. Hopefully, it won't be anything serious.

S. L. Hennessy said...

Ooooh, I LOVE modern Cinderella retellings!

Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

~Sia McKye~ said...

Clee--I think it's the Cinderella character and her animal friends that have kept it alive. The thought that dreams are possible.

Stephen--I'm not too sure about that. Well the talking to animals might have been viral. Agents and publishers would have required some work on the prince. Just sayin'

Susan--there are better takes on the story and I love how some authors, like Gina, have used the theme and made the story fascinating. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that you mention it, he wasn't much of a catch.
Congratulations on putting a new spin on the tale, Gina!

Sarah Zama said...

I admit that your wondering were quite on the point. I like the twists... and I like the cover a lot... if I may say :-)

Jo said...

I never even thought about the prince before. This sounds like a good twist on the story.

How is your son doing, better I hope. Did he need an operation?

Jeremy Hawkins said...

Cinderella = Viral!

Welcome in the "C"... thank you!
Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!

Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

LD Masterson said...

Sounds like a great new twist, with a much more interesting prince.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Sia,
Gina has put a new spin on the Cinderella tale for me. Never quite thought of it like that.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Sounds like a great read. I'll have to check it out.

AJ Lauer said...

Love me a heroine who does not need saving! Glad to hear someone's adding that into the Cinderella tale! I wonder what the shoe is made of. Wood maybe?
Thanks for visiting :)
~AJ Lauer
an A-Z Cohost
@ayjaylauer on Twitter