Blog Book Tour | “Becoming Beauty” by Sarah Boucher a #retelling #fairytale of #BeautyAndTheBeast!

Posted Sunday, 9 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

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Acquired Book By: 

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Becoming Beauty” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

If you found a story with a teaser of a plot like this,
wouldn’t you want to devour it?

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.

I do admit, the last time I was familiar with the fairy-tale Beauty and the Beast echoes back into my own childhood where the story originally stirred my heart and gave me such a felicity of spirit to wrap myself inside! It wasn’t until I hosted #ChocLitSaturdays on 8th November, 2014 I realised the main differences between the fairy-tale worlds I grew up knowing with such a fierce passion and the fairy-tales everyone else know themselves. For if I hadn’t thought to broach the subject about reading after canons and re-tellings for fairy-tales (an interest sparked alive by finding myself in positions to read re-tellings of late) I never would have realised where I stand on this issue.

I grew up with a warm glow of joy in appreciation for Beauty & the Beast, not only spun out of the Disney Animated Film Adaptation but for the tv series starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman — despite the re-attempt to bring this series to life, my heart is attached to the 1987 version. I love the beauty of a story where the bare bones of humanity can become integral and woven into the tapestry of where the characters lead our hearts to connect. As soon as I realised this was a re-telling of a beloved story, I felt a hitching of excitement inside my own heart. My spirit was simply eager to see where Boucher would take me on my journey within her debut novel. I suspected it would become a new favourite fairy-tale of mine and I daresay, I was mirthfully thrilled to bits to realise I had been right!

Blog Book Tour | “Becoming Beauty” by Sarah Boucher a #retelling #fairytale of #BeautyAndTheBeast!Becoming Beauty

Bella’s time at home has been spent fobbing off her responsibilities on her siblings,
weaseling new gowns out of her father, and daydreaming about the life she ought to be living as mistress of a wealthy household. When her father returns from an extended business trip, Bella’s life is turned upside-down and she is left with no choice but to call on the mercy of the Beast.

Refusing to be cowed, even by someone as dangerous and imposing as the Beast, Bella matches barbed comment for barbed comment while scheming to escape. Her plans are derailed when she catches a glimpse of the man behind the monster, and when Jack, the Beast’s sole companion, draws her in with his inherent kindness and offer of genuine friendship. With unexpected determination, Bella throws herself into her new role as the Beast’s maid and finds the work both challenging and rewarding. Surprised by the capability displayed by the “pampered princess,” the Beast begins to soften toward Bella and a tenuous relationship springs up between them.

Since her arrival, Bella has been haunted by strange visions of a woman named Rose. When she discovers a neglected bedchamber reminiscent of the one in her dreams, Bella’s curiosity is peaked. Her attempts to discover Rose’s fate and the part the Beast and Jack played in her disappearance will cost Bella more than she can imagine. However, if she can untangle the threads of the past, she may yet earn her own happily ever after.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

on 11th November, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 256

About Sarah E. Boucher

Sarah E. Boucher

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.

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Is a man a Beast outright? And, what defines feminine Beauty?:

The Beast (as he is most readily known) aspires to cast fear into those he wants something in return from as his heart is cold and hardened due to circumstances not yet known. His entire physical appearance is set against what would be generally accepted as goodwill towards making a good first impression; he would prefer to have his beastly intentions known directly and remove any inch of kindness from being extracted out of his patterns of speech, mannerisms and the ways in which he carries on his daily business. He acts under the presumption it is his right as a man to either act perpetually grumbled against the nicer bits of living and life rather than to succumb to changing his behaviour as it would be better suited to polite society.

In contrast to his brutal inner rage simmering under his hairy exterior, Bella is a girl who never lifted a finger towards contributing to her family’s security and upkeeping of their household. She was the apple of her father’s eye to the near destruction of their ability to earn a living wage and enjoy a scarce amount of provisions to ensure their basic comforts. Bella rankled her siblings for her inability to see past her nose and for her discontempt for their station within the class of their birth. She always strove to seek a higher level of living without thinking first on how she could benefit her family before pursuing her own inclinations and dreams.

What then defines the innermost nod of a man to become a Beast and how does a woman elect to define her beauty? The story within Becoming Beauty seeks not only to answer this question but to re-define how the characters can grow out of their distrust of one another.

My Review of Becoming Beauty:

As a Janeite whose heart is evocatively attached to Pride & Prejudice, imagine the fluttering excitement to read the opening passages of Becoming Beauty whilst alighting inside a scene reminiscent of Ms Elizabeth Bennett first casting eyes on Mr Darcy? Across the crowded ball, a knowing presumption on a bloke’s character can be ascertained by his countenance inasmuch as his mannerisms; Bella plays the coquette and attempts to charm his heart rather than play a presumptive hand for his courtship. Unlike Elizabeth Bennett however, Bella is resentful of her family to a degree of wanting to expunge herself from their hold as she only has her heart set on making a match in marriage to alleviate her station and thereby resolving what she feels is unnecessary angst.

Becoming Beauty begins by giving us a background insight into who Bella is as we enter her life before shifting forward to where her ordinary life changes overnight. The descriptive choice to pair the unexpected return of Bella’s father with a churning storm as a back-drop proved to be quite clever as to draw the reader towards acknowledging the storm was not merely literally placed but figuratively working as a foreshadow of Bella’s transitional plight out of where she took shelter from the outside world yet was earnestly attempting to flee. The fact Bella strove so hard to shed her family and her life with them tipped her hand to not realising what is truly important in our lives; the love and comfort of family is not something to shirk away from but to cherish and uphold with sincere thankfulness. She is a young woman bent on yielding only to her next whim of materialistic glory without ever considering the sacrifices her own father had to give in order to grant her wishes.

As she starts to forge a new identity of herself whilst living with the Beast, she starts to uncover parts of her character she never knew she had within. Her tendencies towards pride-filled behaviour start to shed as she tackles the upkeep and running of an estate and she puts her own welfare last in regards to doing the bidding of the Beast first. Through her indentured state she is learning humility and how a hard day’s labour can re-instill the blessings you forsaked in the past. Her father I do not believed had intended her to grow without understanding a mindfulness of gratitude but without the guidance of her mother, Bella had grown into a spiteful and pride filled débutante.

I loved following the downward spiral of Bella’s tender grasp on reality and the psychological warfare of her mind accepting the feverish dreams of her slumber to be the truth behind the man within the Beast. This type of story is riveting to me because it plays into what I love about Ingrid Bergman’s performance in Gaslight (of which I mentioned during Horror October); the fragility of the mind and the heart of memory can either free or destroy a person’s sanity.

The true enjoyment for me reading Becoming Beauty is how without giving into grief and an allowance of time to heal from wounds never seen on the outside of your body; you can only lead a half-life. Never quite in the fulfillment of your soul nor contentment within your heart. You have to live life as true to the days which greet you during the hours in which you have to breathe through the adversity. Life is best lived by choosing how to align your attitude to the moments which challenge your compassion and your humanity. Love is the most renewable source of light and hope we have within us to give and to receive. I truly loved every inch of this novel, because the fairy-tale I had within my own mind’s eye on behalf of Beauty & the Beast was expertly taken to the printed page by the hand of Sarah E. Boucher.

On the writing style of Sarah E. Boucher:

Boucher does a brilliant job of counter-balancing the fairy-tale narrative we all know as Beauty & the Beast with a new curtain of insight into how Bella fits within the story arc of where the Beast’s presence is going to lead her towards the best discovery of all: seeing herself for the first time without a cloud of untruth glossing over her infractions and faults of character. The ruminative lingering thoughts and the flashbacks of another life having lived before her, I appreciated seeing where the original tale and this one merged into one; granting a stronger impression of the Beast’s devotion and a curious itch into how Bella could befall under the bewitching dreams of a woman who had not yet let go of her beloved Beast.

I simply adore style of conception and creation of fairy-tale re-tellings by Ms. Boucher, who breathes not only new life into a tale you know by heart but she gives a warranted exploration of the depth of the characters therein. Her own imaginative heart is both full of moxie and a redefinition of the classical canon of how a fairy-tale can be seen through the eyes of someone who believes there is a bit more depth out of the superficiality of misguided souls. She transitions herself into a niche of the world of Fantasy and has fully convinced me to keep my eye on her next releases where she embodies her tagline: Bringing Twisted Fairy-Tales to Life. (a note of gratitude to her cousin!)

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Becoming Beauty Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of the “Becoming Beauty” Blog Tour:

Visit the tour route to discover other reader impressions!

9 Nov: Jorie Loves a Story, Wondrous Reviews 18 Nov: Bookworm Lisa, Wishful Endings
10 Nov: R.K. Grow, I Love To Read and Review Books 19 Nov: Mel’s Shelves
11 Nov: A Casual Reader’s Blog, Author Cindy C Bennett 20 Nov: A Backwards Story, The Book Blog Experience
12 Nov: Readalot, Literary Timeout 21 Nov: Claudia Y. Burgoa
13 Nov: Getting Your Read On 22 Nov: Corinne’s Garden, Mom Loves 2 Read
14 Nov: Books Complete Me, The View From My Window 23 Nov: Enchanted by YA, Hannah L. Clark
15 Nov: Misty Dawn Pulsipher, My Book Addiction & More 24 Nov: Let It Be & Celebrate
16 Nov: Jo Ann Schneider, Inklings and Notions 25 Nov: Blooming with Books, Fire and Ice Reads
17 Nov: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, My Book a Day 26 Nov: The Phantom Paragrapher, Reader Girls Blog

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Previously I have read the following Indie YA Fantasy novels:

{ I appreciate seeking out well conceived worlds & fully fleshed out characters }

Redheart by Jackie Gamber

Sela by Jackie Gamber

Reclamation by Jackie Gamber

Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark

The Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard

Star of Deliverance by Mandy Madson Voisin

Intangible by C.A. Gray

Next I am sharing my thoughts during Sci Fi November:

Invincible by C.A. Gray

Impossible by C.A. Gray

Fade to Black by Sue Duff

Portals, Passages, and Pathways by B.R. Maul

Forthcoming in December will be: An Uncommon Blue by R.C. Hancock

Previously I have read the following fairy-tale stories:

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth a re-telling of Rapunzel by Brothers Grimm

Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan a superhero fairy-tale

Reader Interactive Question:

What draws you into a fairy-tale canon and/or after canon? What kinds of fairy-tale re-tellings warm your heart and ignite a feverish passion of anticipation in your soul? Are there fairy-tales you wish had a re-telling/sequel not already established in literature today?! Who are your favourite writers who have re-told a classic fairy-tale and/or re-envisioned one into a new vision of scope?

This post is being cross-prompted through my participation of:

SFN _ SciFi Month_bookreview#IndieWriterMonth Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story, badge created by Jorie in Canva

{SOURCES: Book Cover Art for “Becoming Beauty”, author biography, author photograph, book synopsis, book teaser and blog tour badge provided by the author Sarah E. Boucher and used with permission. Badge for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media is provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. SFN November Book Review badge, Cross-Posted badge for Riffle & #IndieWriterMonth badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The live reading tweets in regards to “Becoming Beauty”:

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Sunday, 9 November, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, After the Canon, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Classical Literature, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Father-Daughter Relationships, Go Indie, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenges, Romance Fiction, Sci-Fi November, SFN Bingo, Sweet Romance, The London Season, the Victorian era, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

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