Guest Post

The Accidental Fairy Tale Series | Gina Conkle

Happy accidents are the best kind. You meet a stranger and conversation clicks. An out-the-blue talk with a friend turns into an unexpected opportunity. Or, my favorite, an unplanned project comes together and—voila! —a romance series is born.

This was the birth of the Midnight Meetings series. I never intended to share the first book, Meet the Earl at Midnight, with the world. Lord Edward and Lydia’s story was meant to be my break from writing Viking romance. It started when I hunkered down on a rare, rainy California day and wrote a scene that kept playing in my head.

The first half poured out. Satisfied with my side-trip into 18th century Georgian England, I parked Lord Edward and Lydia and went back to Vikings.

Once I signed with my agent, the rubber met the road. She asked me what else I had, so I told her about my half-done Georgian story. She read the partial manuscript and came back with, “When can you finish this?” The manuscript went out on submission and in three weeks caught the interest of two editors. It was mind-boggling. I had to come up with two more story ideas to make a complete three-book series…but we weren’t in fairy tale mode until my new editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, took control.

She pointed out Meet the Earl at Midnight’s Beauty and the Beast angle. I loved it! Meeting with Leah got my creative juices flowing. I sat in an airport scribbling page after page of ideas, taglines, and titles. More characters sprang to life. Inspiration continued on the plane and followed me home.

Since the first book was a loose play on the familiar fairy tale, the following books would have to be as well. Cinderella was a natural decision. It’s my favorite. But, in The Lady Meets Her Match, the hero and heroine were commoners, and Claire, my Cinderella-esque character, didn’t want her shoe back. Even the shoe she left behind was a trope twist.

Things got fun—and hot—with book three. I’d settled on re-doing Red Riding Hood. The more I researched Red Riding Hood, the more the story sucked me in. You have the hero as a woodsman or a huntsman. In some takes, the wolf devours young Red. In others, she sees through his guile and survives.

One universal theme stood out—a woman’s highly charged sexuality.

Most scholars agree Red Riding Hood existed since the 10th century as a cautionary tale for maidens to avoid the lure of illicit sex. Curious about this, I checked out movie adaptations. My favorite is Brotherhood of the Wolf. The film is based on the Beast of Gevaudan, a legendary wolf-like creature that preyed on 18th century France.

Moviemakers served up a subtle spin on Red Riding Hood. If you watch Brotherhood of the Wolf, look at who wears red and when. Oh my! The huntsman gets a new take, but beware. The movie has horror overtones. Normally, I avoid horror like the plague, yet this story grabbed me.

The biggest surprise was how story tellers of times past have given many takes on Red Riding Hood. Nowadays Beauty and the Beast gets the most retellings. It was time to give readers a rarely touched trope. With the latest edition to the Midnight Meetings series, the wolf is hot…so is the woodsman. Both vie for Genevieve’s heart. Who wins, and how he does it, is the super sexy twist in The Lord Meets His Lady.

Thanks for hosting me on, EverAfter Romance! This was fun. ~ Gina

9781492651901About The Lord Meets His Lady (Midnight Meetings #3)


Lord Marcus Bowles has stained his family’s reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn’t one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.

One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner’s handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won’t hurt…

Gina Conkle writes sensual Georgian romance and lush Viking romance. Her books offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre, with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook. Find her at

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