99¢ Today Only AND Author Interview! SCARLETTE by Davonna Juroe

Welcome to A Week of Little Red in celebration of our favorite scarlet-caped heroine...
not to mention the launch of Marissa Meyer's SCARLET!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Grab some promotional buttons for your blog
and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits, giveaways, reviews,
and blog tour stops for SCARLET!

Amazon is having a one-day sale!

Buy SCARLETTE by Davonna Juroe for 99¢ and feed your Little Red fetish!

Don't have a Kindle?  Not a problem!  Calibre is a great free program that converts the books you buy to .epub for nooks, Kobos, iPads, etc.  So jump on this great deal while you can!

SCARLETTE is Davonna Juroe’s debut novel of epic-historical-fairytale-proportions, which she knows the Brothers Grimm would say is wicked cool.

Follow Davonna through her websiteTwitter, and Facebook!

An interview with 
author Davonna Juroe

What is your favorite element of the Little Red Riding Hood tales?

I think one of the most interesting aspects of these fables is traditionally they have a dark undertone that has been diluted over the centuries. Most of us have grown up with a very tame rendition of Little Red Riding Hood, and it was fascinating to study how the tale has evolved over many generations. 

Interestingly, in the French version written by aristocrat Charles Perrault in 1697, Ms. Hood does not come out of grandma's cottage alive. In fact, the story is a thinly veiled precautionary tale warning young women about men's "wolfish" appetites. 

Here are the last few lines of Perrault's version, including the original moral edited by Professor D. L. Ashliman at the University of Pittsburg

"Grandmother, what big teeth you have got!" 
"All the better to eat you up with." 
And, saying these words, this wicked wolf fell upon Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her all up. 

Moral: Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say "wolf," but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.

What inspired you to write your own version of the story?

In January 2010, I was drinking a hot cup of tea and working on an ultra hip Japanese cross-stitch pattern. The Asian designer Kyoko Maruoka—Gera—draws inspiration from fairy tale scenes. The vintage looking Little Red Riding Hood pattern happened to catch my eye, and I bought it right away to work on. 

While I was stitching, some questions came to mind: 

What if LRRH had really lived? 
And wouldn't it be cool to retell the tale but make the wolf in the story a werewolf? 

Little did I know that those questions were about to take me on an epic journey, one where I'd discover more on the rich history of the Little Red Riding Hood story and stumble upon one of the most famous alleged werewolves of all time. 

I began researching the fairy tale right away and was surprised to find many different versions. In addition to Perrault's, there was another French rendition called The Grandmother. What was interesting about this tale was the wolf in the story was really a werewolf. I then hoped to find a historical event to use as a backdrop to make the fairy tale seem like it could have really happened in time. 

Little Red Riding Hood, ©Walter Crane
After pawing around, I discovered something truly horrifying. Some sixty years after Perrault penned his version of LRRH, nearly one hundred people were ferociously mauled by an unidentified wolf-like creature in the Gévaudan province of France. 

The animal terrorized the region for three bloody years, and the case gained national attention. Alarmed, King Louis XV offered a reward and sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the monster, but no one could kill it. 

Rumors blended with superstition, and the terrified peasantry blamed the attacks on a werewolf. The animal was then called: the Beast of Gévaudan. I knew right there that I had my werewolf. And it made further sense to set the YA in France, based on the rich background there surrounding LRRH. 

The rest as they say is YA storytelling history. ;)

What did you hope to accomplish when creating such a volatile relationship between Scarlette and her mother?

As most everyone knows, there is the common archetype in many fairy tales featuring a wicked stepmother, queen, and/or sister(s) who antagonize the heroine. SCARLETTE is no exception here with its incorporation of that patterned model. Though, I didn't want Scarlette's mother to be "wicked" for wicked's sake, per se. When I write, I like to have motivation behind why all the characters do what they do. 

Scarlette's mother may seem heinous, but she is suffering from untreated mental illness and a horrific past, which only serve to amplify her unstable behavior. In a nutshell, the mother-daughter relationship in the novel is a magnified homage to the old tales and mirrors the terror that the Beast would unleash within the region.

There's a historical element to SCARLETTE. Can you tell us a little bit more about the events you incorporated into the novel?

Get ready for an interesting story. 

So, the supposed Beast of Gévaudan is a bit of a mystery. No one knows what this creature really was. There are a bunch of theories, including a sub-species hyena hypothesis by renowned cryptozoolgist Ken Gerhard, but nothing has been proven. Over the centuries, this had made the Beast an even more provocative subject. 

I think the other component that makes this case so strange is that this animal seemed invincible for three years. History says after the King sent men to kill the Beast, they did indeed shoot a large wolf, but the local peasants were in for a terrible shock when the attacks continued. 
The Beast of Gévaudan
It wasn't until the end of three years that the Beast was shot by local peasant hero Jean Chastel. Legend says that he shot the wolf in the forest with one silver bullet into its heart. In fact, Hollywood supposedly borrowed from this fable and that is why werewolves are vulnerable to silver in many films. 

Moving on, an autopsy was performed on the creature, and it is said a child's femur bone was found inside the belly of the Beast. The locals were sure this was their alleged attacker. So the crature was stuffed and brought to Versailles, but supposedly it began to reek and was thrown out like last night's chamber pot contents. 

So where did the Beast go? Just like the giant government warehouse filled with countless crates in Indiana Jones, there is a rumor that the Beast's remains can be traced to the Paris Museum of Natural History's underground secured storage. 

Very fascinating, indeed! 

Anyway, much of this is incorporated into the novel along with the blending of the fairy tale. I also tried to depict the time period and what life was like in the Gévaudan during the 18th century. Life was hard, no doubt. I'd read that some people were so poor they couldn't afford clothing and had to stay in bed. Very gritty. 

The one thing I did not try to capture was the period's language. I wanted SCARLETTE very accessible to a modern audience.

What are you working on now? Are more fairy tales in the future for readers?

I'm open to writing another fairy tale retelling in the future. 

But right now I'm working on a NA that is more science-fiction based entitled ORIGIN. 

It is a novel surrounding Ethan, a recent high school graduate, and his anthropologist father who together discover a lost fossil found by scientist Charles Darwin. Along with the fossil is Darwin's missing journals and inside the pages lie a shocking secret: Darwin believed he was mistaken about humans evolving from apes. 

Confused and alarmed, Ethan and his father take a closer look at the fossil. The body appears to be that of a human baby, but instead of legs, the child's lower bone structure resembles that of a fish. 

The findings send Ethan and his dad on a journey to South Africa. And with the help of Ariana, the 19-year-old daughter of a renowned zoologist studying mythic creatures, Ethan will unlock one of the greatest scientific discoveries that will change the course of human history.

What would you do with your own red cape?

I actually have one. I wear it everyday. ;)

What would you pack in a basket if taking your own adventure through a dark forest?

Hmmm. Trail mix. GPS. Kindle. Silver bullet. *thumbs up*

Thank you so much, Davonna!  It was great hearing about how you came up with 
your own version of Little Red.  I also loved the revelation of why we associate
silver bullets with werewolves.  You taught me something new!

Bookworms, don't forget to snag SCARLETTE today for 99¢!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Davonna Juroe
Release Date: Out Oct. 12, 2012
Publisher: BumbleB Media, Inc.

What if Little Red Riding Hood was real? 

Ninety years before the Brothers Grimm penned their version of Little Red Riding Hood, a historic, gruesome series of events shocked all of Europe. In 1765, an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the Gévaudan region of France. 

Whispered rumors of unnatural creatures blended with age-old superstition, causing mass hysteria, and a werewolf was blamed for the carnage. Alarmed, King Louis XV sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the beastly scourge, but this legendary massacre had only just begun. 

Scarlette, an 18-year-old peasant, lives under this dark threat, knowing the nightmarish monster lurks in the surrounding forest. A poor seamstress, she labors to make ends meet and is skeptical of supernatural gossip. 

Until her grandmother survives an attack. 

Scarlette learns her grandmother is infected by the bite of the animal. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden. As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who share an eerie history with the wolf. 

To save her grandmother, Scarlette must unravel the mens' connection and solve a long-forgotten crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men, both of whom desire more than friendship and together hold the key to the cure. 

Based on both the traditional Grimm and Charles Perrault versions of Little Red Riding Hood, this dark YA is set against the Beast of Gévaudan attacks, blending history with fairy tale and gothic romance. Unique to the genre, the novel revives the French fable of the girl-in-the-red-cloak with a new, shockingly real existence that blurs the line between folklore and reality.


  1. Bonnie, I just wanted to say thank you again for featuring me! Your questions were awesome, and I had a lot of fun answering them! :D


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!