{Review} FAIR MAIDEN by Cheri Schmidt

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Check out today's interview with author Cheri Schmidt!

FAIR MAIDEN is available on nook and Kindle for $2.99.  
What a great deal!

Want to WIN a copy of FAIR MAIDEN?  
Cheri Schmidt is GIVING AWAY a copy on her blog
for the Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:
DRAWING A BREATH, SHE FROWNED.  It seemed she did not feel the air entering her lungs. 

She rubbed her eyes, opened them, and then stretched, arching upward.  Stll, she felt nothing.  No bunching of muscles, no friction of her fists upon her eyelids.  The frown deepened. 

How odd, she thought.

Looking up at the beautiful, though unfamiliar, canopy bed she rested in, she sighed for it was exquisite.  The posts were carved with ornate depictions of faeries frolicking.  Green vines, green living vines with purple blooms grew up the dark wooden posts.  How were they thriving without soil to grow in? Enchanted perhaps? 
(Page 6, US e-book edition)

FAIR MAIDEN is more of an original story than it is a fairy tale, though there are fairy tale elements twisted into it.  When I first saw the cover for the book, I thought I knew the fairy tale.  When I saw the cover, I thought I knew the fairy tale.  When I read the beginning of the book, I thought I knew the fairy tale.  Sleeping Beauty, of course.  ...Right?  But Cheri Schmidt's tale is so original, that I constantly doubted myself.  Did I know the fairy tale?  Was it even based on a fairy tale?  I kept guessing as a reader, and I want you to have the same experience, so I'll leave you with that.

Original Cover Art
Tessa wakes up one morning not knowing where she is or how she got there.  She doesn't even remember that her name is Tessa.  She can't feel anything, is able to walk through walls, and, worst of all, no one else notices her presence.  Has she died?  She doesn't remember dying.  Is she a ghost now wandering the castle in a permanent state of unrest?  There's more to Tessa than meets the eye, and the key to cracking the mystery of her past lies with Christian, the current earl of the castle.  Somehow, he's able to see her, and with him, Tessa dreams.  She remembers her name.  She remembers fragments of her past.  When they touch, she gains flesh and bone, neither alive nor dead.  Who--or what--is Tessa, and what happened in her past to make her what she is today?  The answer is dangerous, and one that neither Tessa or Christian are prepared to handle...

The answer to Tessa's past is surprising, impossible to guess ahead of time.  It added a new element to the story, which is an interesting blend of paranormal, fantasy, and, yes, fairy tale.  While it starts off slowly, once Tessa starts remembering clues to her past, the pace picks up and intensifies, especially once the pieces all begin clicking together.  The connection between Tessa and Christian is strong, and their bonding over the course of the book evolves at a steady pace.  There are a lot of trials involved, since Christian is grounded in reality, and it's interesting to see the way he balances responsibility with his growing feelings for the one girl he can't have.  The book also has a historical feel, taking place in Victorian England, while Tessa's memories are all Medieval.  It added an extra dimension to the tale.  While the end is left open, Schmidt is planning to write two more books in the series.  It's hard to say a lot about this one without giving away spoilers, but FAIR MAIDEN blends genres together for a twist you won't see coming.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The first cover caught my eye because it looks a little more fairy tale-like, but I really like the vibrancy of the colors in the new cover.  It's more immediate and catches my eye.  The butterflies are beautiful, too.  You can still tell the book is a fantasy, but now you wonder if it's a fairy tale...and you're wondering throughout much of the book, so I like this reflection!

I do, however, love the elegant line running along the cover of the first design!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Cheri Schmidt
Release Date: May 2, 2011
Publisher: Cheri Schmidt
Received: For Review

It's the Victorian era in England, but Tessa is from the medieval past. She awakens within a castle she has never seen before. Knowledge of her name also evades her. However, even worse than not knowing who or where she is, she cannot recall how she died or why she is dressed as a bride. 

Along with Christian, the earl of the castle she haunts, Tessa tries to discover who she is and break the spell holding her in a prison of death. They never imagined the curse keeping them apart is the only thing protecting her, until it's too late.


  1. This sounds great! I haven't heard of it before!

  2. Ooo, I definitely want to read this one.

  3. This book sounds really interesting, I definitely would love to read this. And the cover is gorgeous. Loved it.

  4. I definitely want to read this one. Sounds like time travel is involved and that cover is gorgeous. Nothing like a beautiful cover to draw you in! Great review!



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