From Shakespeare we get some of the most famous quotes and sayings. From fairy tales we get some of the most famous stories and plots. Both offer a wealth of inspiration for writers, including Sarah Strohmeyer, author of "Sweet Love," "The Cinderella Pact," and "The Sleeping Beauty Proposal."
There's a depth and maturity in "Sweet Love" that only seems fitting as it's inspiration is Shakespeare--in fact, a quote from one of his plays or sonnets appears at the beginning of each chapter and he's quoted by some of the characters as well.
The same, or perhaps the opposite, could be said about "The Cinderella Pact" and "The Sleeping Beauty Proposal." While I enjoyed both of these books just as much as I did "Sweet Love," they were fun and frivolous--just like a good fairytale.
"The Sleeping Beauty Proposal" is about a girl who's boyfriend, after four years, finally pops the question. Except, he isn't asking her to marry him. And he's not asking her on national television. Instead of admitting to family, friends, and co-workers that she basically got dumped, Genie Michaels decides to "wake up" instead of waiting for Prince Charming's kiss to get her life started. And let's face it--if you've grown up on fairytales, there's most likely a little (or perhaps huge) part of you that is asleep waiting for Prince Charming. So, Genie lets everyone believe her boyfriend Hugh did propose to her, and begins planning a whirlwind wedding. Although the deception weighs heavily on her conscience, this crazy decision helps Genie blossom into the woman she's always wanted to be. And she didn't need a man to accomplish any of it! "The Sleeping Beauty Proposal" is fun, crazy, and will have you laughing through each step of Genie's adventure. It's a modern day fairytale at its finest.
("The Cinderella Pact" is now a movie on Lifetime, although the name has been changed to "Lying to be Perfect.")
All three books are witty and engaging. For me, "Sweet Love" especially defied the conventions of average chick lit, making it my favorite of the trio. Currently I'm reading another Sarah Strohmeyer (I went all out at the library after Emily Giffin recommended her on Facebook), "The Penny Pinchers Club," which starts out with a housewife under arrest for digging through a dumpster. Totally a sign that it'll be just as much fun!