Curses!by J.A. Kazimer
I'm no hero. In fact, up until a couple of days ago, I was the villain. Kidnapped maidens, scared kids, stole magic tchotchkes--until I got into a little scrape with the union. Now I'm cursed with the worst fate in New Never City--no matter what I do, I gotta be nice.
So when a head-case princess named Asia barges into my apartment and asks me to find out who… See more details below
I'm no hero. In fact, up until a couple of days ago, I was the villain. Kidnapped maidens, scared kids, stole magic tchotchkes--until I got into a little scrape with the union. Now I'm cursed with the worst fate in New Never City--no matter what I do, I gotta be nice.
So when a head-case princess named Asia barges into my apartment and asks me to find out who whacked her stepsister, Cinderella, I have no choice but to help her. And I'm more than willing to head back to her parents' castle and do some investigating if it means I can get into her black leather cat suit. Except this twisted sister has a family nutty enough to send the Biggest Baddest Wolf running for the hills--and a freaky little curse of her own. . .
"More than f***ed-up. Demented. Hilarious." --Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown
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Curses!A f***ed-Up Fairy Tale
By J. A. KAZIMER
KENSINGTON BOOKSCopyright © 2012 J. A. Kazimer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneA delivery kid stood in front of me in the pastel hallway of my four-story walk-up on the edge of the Easter Village. His hands juggled a grease-stained bag. My own arms juggled a week's worth of junk mail. I shoved an official-looking paper toward the kid. "This is bollocks."
The kid shrugged.
I waved the paper under his nose. "The union thinks I need a vacation. That I'm suffering from some kind of post-villainous-related stress." My eyes bulged and spit flew from my lips. "What kind of crap is that?"
"Whatever," the delivery kid said. His spiked green hair and facial piercings gave him a clownish appeal. The aroma of red curry noodles from Villainous Van's Corner Bistro wafted in the air between us.
"What are they thinking?" I shook my head, counted to ten, and ran a hand through my already rumpled black hair. "Mandatory mental health leave? Are they afraid I'll go postal or something?" This made little sense since I didn't even work at the post office. "Come on. I've suffered greater defeats and managed to pull through."
"Listen, Mac," the teen said to me. My name wasn't Mac, or anything that resembled Mac. Some people called me RJ, at least to my face.
"The total's ten bucks," the kid said. "Either pay me or I'll feed your dinner to the rats." The kid motioned from my dinner to the furry creatures dressed in tiny felt hats that roamed my darkened hallway like a demented version of Dancing with the Villains rejects. I rolled my eyes, muttered something about kids today, and dug into my jeans for some cash.
"Don't forget my tip," the kid added.
I'll give the little shit a tip. I smashed two fives into his palm and snatched the bag from his hand. My boot kicked the door closed with a loud bang. The kid yelped, sending me into a fit of villainous laughter.
A few seconds later, the kid said, "Thanks, mister."
He sounded happy, which made me unhappy.
Yanking a wad of bills from my pocket, a wad considerably smaller than it had been a minute ago, I pulled open the door and watched the teen practically tap-dance down the hallway, a hundred-dollar bill clutched in his hands.
My crisp hundred-dollar bill.
"Darn it," I yelled, booting the door closed again. "I can't take much more." I'd been out of work, suspended without pay, for six days. Six long days. Six days of fluffy bunnies and happy thoughts. All due to one little slipup and the union's subsequent curse. The worst part was, now, no matter what I did, it turned out ... good ... nice.
Take yesterday, for example. I'm walking down the avenue, minding my own business, when a little old lady calls out, "Son, would you mind helping me carry this package? It's a basket of cookies for my granddaughter. She's five...."
On and on she went.
Rather than telling her to shut up and snatching her cookie basket, I found myself lugging twenty pounds of pastries four blocks up Avenue XYZ while exchanging recipes with the demented old dame.
What kind of villain does that?
I hated being nice, even more than I hated helping people. And I hated that more than curds and whey. But the union had voted, and I would remain cursed, forced to be nice to any idiot around, until they deemed me mentally stable enough for bad-guy duty.
Feeling sorry for myself and hungry to boot, I stalked across my living room and dropped down in my favorite chair.
My favorite chair screamed in response.
"Wha—?" I jumped up and flicked on my lamp.
A redhead in tight black leather glared at me from my seat. Her vivid emerald eyes sparkled with anger, and just a hint of something else. Something not very nice, but infinitely more interesting than a basket of cookies.
"Don't you look before you sit?" The redhead's lips curved into a frown, which only added to her beauty. She looked like sin, the dirty kind with plenty of sweat and saliva. Long copper hair curled down her shoulders, clinging to the outline of her C-cup breasts. The rest of her body was smoking with long, toned limbs and lots of pale skin.
"Who the heck are you?" I pointed the greasy bag in her direction. Before I could stop her, she snatched it from my fingers. I watched in amazement as the interloper dove into my curry noodles with the gusto of Goldilocks during a bout of bulimia.
"Hey." I stabbed my hand in her direction. "That's my dinner." I would've snatched the carton back, but I was afraid of losing a finger.
After a few minutes of gluttony, she paused to glance my way. "Sorry, but I'm starving. I haven't eaten since five."
I glanced at my watch and frowned. "That was like forty-five minutes ago."
"Really?" She cocked her head to the side, showing off the pale skin of her throat. "It feels like an hour at least."
"While I'd love to chat more about the relativity of time, I'd prefer you tell me exactly who you are and how you got into my apartment." With each word, my voice grew louder and my tone grew more dangerous. While I might have lost my villainous powers, I could still make one little redhead cry.
"Do you have any soda?" She smiled up at me. "Maybe a Diet Pepsi? All that MSG makes me thirsty."
With an eye roll I started for the kitchen, pausing to berate my treacherous legs for obeying her command. But I couldn't help it.
I did whatever anyone asked, my own will completely ignored, as long as the requestor's intent was pure. Twenty-eight years of bad luck guaranteed any request made by a knockout redhead in black leather was as pure as Sleeping Beauty. Damn it.
Reluctantly, I opened my refrigerator and popped open the last can of mead. A rush of bubbles rose to the surface, foaming over the can and dribbling down my fingers. I sucked the foamy goodness from my thumb and grinned. The mead would have to appease my uninvited dinner thief. I returned from the kitchen, sat down on the edge of my coffee table, and handed her the can.
She glanced at my saliva-soaked fingers and then at the can. "Thanks," she said after taking a long drink. Tilting her head, she studied me for a moment. Her eyes examined every inch, from my scuffed boots to the top of my hair. "You're not what I expected."
"Oh, and what exactly did you expect?"
"Someone a bit shorter." She frowned. "What are you? Six foot?"
"What do you weigh? Sixteen stone?"
Again, I nodded.
She shook her head. "Puny."
"Hey—" Six foot, two hundred pounds was not puny, not by a long shot. Moreover, I was as fit as Hey Diddle Diddle's fiddle. In my line of work, it paid to be, with all that running from angry mobs with pitchforks and such.
"No offense." Her lips lifted into a smirk. "Maybe you could bulk up for the job? Eat more."
Rage flashed through my bloodstream like a boiling cauldron. "Eat more?" I strangled out, my eyes burning into my nearly empty carton of curry noodles and back at the redhead with a dollop of curry on her upper lip. What I should've said was, "Job? What job?" But I didn't. I blamed my dropping blood sugar for the mistake.
The redhead grinned, lifting the nearly empty carton my way. "Oh, was this your dinner? There's an egg roll left." As she said those words, her eyes locked onto the greasy cabbage roll, as if debating eating it.
I grabbed the egg roll, crammed it in my mouth, and spewed leafy green strands at her as I repeated my earlier question. "Who the heck are you? And why are you here?"
"My name's Asia." She paused, her eyes boring into mine. Don't say it, my brain begged, but just like a woman, she said it anyway. "I need your help."
Chapter Two"Asia ..." I tapped my finger to my chin. The vaguest of memories flickered at the edge of my mind. "Your name's familiar somehow. Have we met before?" I doubted it. She wasn't a Villain Vamp, as we called the girls who lowered their standards enough to date my kind. So how did I know her?
She blew out a long sigh. "My full name is Asia Elizabeth Maledetto." At my blank look, she added, "My stepdad's King Maledetto." She paused long enough to roll her eyes. "King of the land of Maledetto. You know, the kingdom that borders the northeastern part of New Never City?"
"Doesn't ring a bell." I shrugged. What the fuck was with the geography lesson? If I wanted to learn, I would've stayed in Charming School.
"Fine." Her hands lifted to her round hips and she glared at me. "My stepsister's Cinderella. Striking midnight now?"
Holy crap. I leapt from my seat on the table and paced around the room. Not that there was much room to pace. In fact, my whole apartment could fit into one of the three kittens' missing mittens. "You're the ugly stepsister!" I said with a frown. Yet this chick wasn't ugly, not by a long shot.
"I'm one of them." She shrugged as if the nickname didn't bother her, but the look of hurt in her eyes spoke more than words could. The villainous, still hungry part of me took satisfaction in her pain. It served her and her princess-stuck-in-an-ivory-tower kind right.
"I'm sorry about," I winced, "your sister's accident." Smashed under a bus was a bad way to go. I should know. I'd run over quite a few jesters and even a prince or two in my time.
"Thanks," she said. "But it wasn't an accident."
I scratched my chin, not liking where this was going. "I have an alibi. I was at my mother's in Queens of Hearts."
Asia arched a flame-colored eyebrow. "Why would you need an alibi?"
"No reason." I tried to smile, but it came off more like a grimace. "You were saying?"
"My sister's death wasn't an accident." Her eyes met mine. "She was murdered. And I need your help to prove it."
Damn. There was that word again. I started to say fuck no, but instead, the following string of words flew from my stupid lips: "Of course. Whatever you need."
God, I hated myself. In an act of revenge, I chomped down on my treacherous tongue until it bled. Served it right.
"Are you eating your tongue?" For a brief second Asia appeared terrified at the prospect. "I'm so sorry. I didn't realize you were that hungry." She shoved her hand into the pocket of her leather pants and removed a lint-covered breath mint. "Here. Take this."
Before I could stop her, she shoved the mint into my mouth. I wanted to yell "Are you fucking nuts," but it came out more like, "Thanks."
She smiled. "So you'll help me track down her killer?"
"Why the heck not?" I stared into her green eyes, losing myself in their beauty. If a woman's eyes were a window to her soul, I was in big trouble. Because the only image inside Asia Elizabeth Maledetto's eyes was my own evil reflection.
"I'll come back in the morning," she said, "and we can begin our investigation."
I nodded, watching her heart-shaped butt walk out my door and disappear down the hallway. Ugly stepsister, my ass. Hell, even the gayest of the rats surveyed her strut down the corridor.
"I'd do her," said Tate, a pink felt hat-wearing rat with a lisp and a pronounced swish. The other, straighter rats rolled their beady eyes. To which Tate replied: "What?"
I closed the door before things got ugly and dropped into my favorite, now-empty chair. A cloud of dust exploded from the fabric and the sweet scent of pumpkin pie floated around me. I picked up the remnants of my dinner, surprised to see Asia had left a fortune cookie. I smiled at the plastic-wrapped goodie, picturing Asia's emerald eyes.
Peeling the cookie open, I licked my lips in anticipation of its sugary goodness and informative, if not valuable, summation of my future. The cookie read:
The delivery kid licked your egg roll. Have a nice day!
Damn! Foiled again by a teen with more metal in his head than Snow White had sugar midgets.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho ...
Off to scrub delivery-kid spit out of my mouth I go.
Chapter ThreeI woke the next morning to the taste of dead toad (don't ask) and turpentine, the only fluid strong enough to kill delivery-kid germs. My head ached, my eyes burned, and I coughed up something resembling Mary's little lamb.
Outside my window songbirds chirped in chorus, slightly out of tune, but with the gusto reserved for flat-chested strippers. I picked up my boot and threw it at the window. My boot, of course, missed and instead of shutting the damn birds up, it tore a hole in my centerfold poster of Pamela Hans Christian Andersen.
"Hello?" Asia pushed open my bedroom door.
I blinked, stunned by her beauty in the early morning light. Today she wore a red leather miniskirt and a black sweatshirt. Her hair was pulled away from her face in one of those girly buns held together by some magic combination of dulled #2 pencils and fairy dust.
"Oh." Asia covered her mouth. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you weren't," her other hand waved in my direction, "dressed."
I glanced down at my nakedness and shrugged. Like her not-so-ugly highness had never seen a nude villain before. Hell, naked villains were a dime a baker's dozen in Easter Village.
"Rough night," I said. "Too much turpentine."
"I see." Asia paused, patting her flat stomach. "I'm starving. Do you have anything to eat?"
I shook my head and pointed to the kitchen and its nearly empty cupboards. Not a bone in sight. Old Mother Hubbard I wasn't. "Help yourself."
I didn't have to say it twice. Asia disappeared down the hallway, leaving me staring after her. While my morning improved upon her arrival, I still felt the niggling fear that she wasn't what she appeared. Not that I minded her appearance in the least. Literally. Spending time with a notsougly stepsister in red leather beat the hell out of languishing away in my apartment.
Stumbling from my bed, I headed for the shower. The cold water did wonders for my chemically induced hangover, as well as my overheated libido.
Once I was squeaky clean, I tossed on a black "Your Lair or Mine?" T-shirt and a pair of faded Levi's. I even took a moment to run a comb through my shaggy black hair. It paid to impress the client. Halfway presentable, I headed toward the distinctive scent of beautiful woman and coffee grounds.
Asia stood in my bare kitchen with my World's Greatest V (the dishwasher had erased the rest of the word "villain") coffee mug in her hand and a skillet of scrambled eggs cooking on the stovetop.
"My refrigerator had eggs in it?" I frowned, trying to remember the last time I went to the corner Fey grocer. A month at least, and that trip, I only bought a pack of Trojans. Fairy-dusted for her comfort.
Asia shook her head. A few stray ends of hair danced across her cheek. A hundred fantasies, all involving her royal ugliness, flickered through my head. Each one dirtier than the next. Most illegal in the Southern Fairy States.
"No eggs," she said.
"What?" My eyes narrowed. None of my fantasies involved eggs, well, not the edible kind, to be sure.
"You didn't have any eggs," she repeated.
"So what's that?" I pointed to the yellowish scrambled substance bubbling inside the pan. It smelled like eggs. Looked like eggs. Therefore, given my talents of deduction, it was in fact eggs. Yet I'd been fooled before. Mostly by my bitch of an ex-wife. The very woman responsible for my current cursed state.
Asia grinned, crooking her finger in my direction. I leaned in close enough to hear her whisper, "Do you really want to know what's in the pan?"
"Smart man." She winked, filled a plate with an egglike substance, and handed it to me. I grabbed a fork from the drawer and dug in. It tasted like eggs too—buttery, light and fluffy. I couldn't remember the last time a woman cooked for me. Hell, even my mum had ordered take-out.
I took a second bite. Warm. Tasty. Needed a little salt. "Ow!" I pulled a piece of concrete from my mouth. "What the hell's that?"
Asia wrapped her fingers around mine, eyed the offending bit of gravel, and smirked. "Looks like a piece of brick." She shrugged and tossed the debris into my sink. It smacked the stainless steel with a ping.
Excerpted from Curses! by J. A. KAZIMER Copyright © 2012 by J. A. Kazimer. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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If you think you know all there is to know about the Fairy Tale and Nursery Rhyme characters you loved as a child—think again!! When Cinderella is run over and killed by a bus in New Never city while trying to rescue a bluebird straying into traffic, her Step-Sister; Asia, enlists the help of villain; “R. J.”, better known as “Rumple Stiltskin” to leave no stone unturned in finding “Cindi’s” murderer. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, but R.J. is a villain, not a Private Investigator and is on mandatory mental health leave from the Villain’s Union due to villainous-related stress. Along with his leave, he receives a curse. The type of curse no self-respecting villain would relish., for he is cursed to perform only polite deeds of kindness. The investigation takes R.J. from his familiar surroundings in New Never City to the wacky Kingdom of Maledetto, complete with the King, his Queen, the other ugly Step-Sister Dru and an enchanted forest filled with familiar named characters with not-so-familiar traits. J.A. Kazimer will lead you through a maze of possibilities spiced with some violence, intrigue, sex and humor. Was Cinderella’s death an accident?? Has someone concocted an evil plot against residents of the kingdom?? The author has you guessing right up to the end. “Curses!” is a welcome change from the typical mysteries I have been reading. If you enjoy this volume as much as I have (and I bet you will!)—you’ll be happy to learn there is a sequel due out in the not-to-distant and Author Kazimer has generously included its prologue and first two chapters for you to savor. ..which I have done and can’t wait for its release so I can explore these imaginary lands once more. Nancy Narma
I was attracted to it, mostly because of the title, I’ll admit, I’m the first one to preach not judging a book by its cover, but with a name like that, it begs to be investigated. Our Hero, who is no real hero at all is cursed with being nice….yes, NICE. You wouldn’t think that would be a big deal, MOST heroes are nice, even when they do not appear to be, they are normally kind-hearted, which is nearly the same thing, except this one, RJ is not. Next, we have the legendary Cinderella, only she’s dead, and the main character (heroine) is her ugly, actually not-so-ugly, step sister. RJ is a villain, and in most story’s Villains are the bad guys, who eventually lose, and usually end up dead, and although he DID encounter many obstacles that should have left him dead, such as being pushed from Cinderella’s 3 story-high bedroom window, he survives; Reminding me of certain seemingly-immortal bugs. He turns out to be an ok guy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s as evil as they come, but in a humorous-too smart-for his own good, kinda way. Not in the demented, psychotic kinda way. In fact he is the only one in the entire story that seems to have any kind of sense, other than the princess of course. Asia, the ‘ugly-wicked’ step-sister, we found out, is not really ugly as she is cursed, but is most definitely as wicked as they come. You’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean by that. Now as the title says, this is not your usual fairy tale. In fact, it is unlike any fairytale I’ve ever heard, except that somehow the author has included almost every one I can think of through witty, sarcastic humor. Seriously, hilarious! Admittedly, this book reminds a bit of the Shrek stories but with a lot more cussing, which is not necessarily a bad thing, since Shrek is for kids, and this book is clearly for adults. I highly recommend clearing your schedule to read this one, as it is a bit complex in the plot line, and while being entertaining it WILL confuse you if you don’t pay attention. Don’t worry though; there are no boring parts to skip, so you’ll have no problem with that. This book is definitely a keeper, because while it isn’t what I usually read, I think that’s what makes it so refreshing to me. I particularly love the killer blue birds…yes, I said KILLER. Those demented little foul are NOT animals you want to mess with, and if you’re on their hit list, I highly recommend finding a way off it. I LOVE the villain (RJ). I love his wit, his humor, his ability to love the princess, despite her continued attempts to kill him…the way he stumbles through the story, attempting to solve what he believes to be the murder of Cinderella, his ability to take a beating and keep on going, and mostly his ability to solve problems. There is no comparing to the way his twisted mind solves things; in fact I consider him very intelligent, though that may be saying more for my IQ than his. Anyway, I loved the book, the plot, the romance, EVERYTHING. I highly recommend it, strongly encourage anyone who loves a f***ed fairytale to check it out, and definitely anyone who likes paranormal, or fantasy, because while this is not exactly what I’d normally classify under those genres, it is definitely not your run of the mill contemporary either. I mean, there are killer blue birds, what’s normal about that? This book is witty, fun, and hilarious, a perfect combo if you ask me.
An entertaining take on the murder mystery. Curses! falls in the same vein as the book Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, taking a reality populated with fantasy characters and establishing it as the norm - in this case, fairy tale characters. The "protagonist" is a villain, one Rumple "RJ" Stiltskin, who's been cursed to be nice and helpful by his local villains' union. He winds up embroiled in the investigation of Cinderella's murder. The story moves quickly from scene to scene, and the author mixes humor, intrigue, and the developing romance between RJ and Cinderella's sister Anastasia well. At times, I thought the fairy tale puns were a little heavy-handed but overall they fit well within the scheme of the worldbuilding. Overall, a fun read.
My Review Of Curses! OMG, this book was PHENOMENAL. I have never laughed so much or so hard in my life. You have not read a fairytale until you have read it done by J.A. Kazimer. She takes fairytales to a whole new level. I am now a die hard fan of Ms. Kazimer. Any F**cked Up Fairytale she wants to tell I will so be there to read it. RJ is the biggest, baddest villain there is, too bad he is cursed. See RJ is being punished by the Villians Union so now he is cursed to be nice until he can get re-instated to the union. With nothing better to do and an ulterior motive of his own (like getting into her pants....lol), RJ accepts a job from Asia Maledetto. Asia is a cursed ugly step-sister, but don't let the "title" fool you because Asia is anything but ugly. Her step-sister Cinderella or Cindi as Asia calls her, dies under mysterious circumstances so Asia hires RJ to find out who murdered her beloved step-sister and why. From the second RJ accepts the job he is put through the ringer. He has more calamities happen to him than all other villains combined. Which makes for a hilarious book. While dodging the law RJ must throw Prince Charming a bachelor party, he gets beat up by Little Miss Muffet, chased by a 10 year old serial killer named Little Red Riding Hood, and he is constantly dodging flying arrows. That is only a small fraction of all the hi jinks RJ finds himself in the middle of. Not to mention there is a surprise twist at the end. I want to say more but I so don't want to ruin this story for anyone. This is such a MUST READ book. Author J.A. Kazimer, in my opinion, has a HUGE hit on her hands with this new series. So far this is the BEST book I have read this year. I always found myself laughing out loud uncontrollably. On a scale from 1-10 I give Curses! A F**cked Up Fairytale a HUGE 20. So off my scale but very deserving. This book is just that good. If you are looking for a new take on some classic fairytale characters, evil villains, a romantic comedy, or just a twisted good time than Curses! A F**cked Up Fairytale is for you. Her next F**cked Up Fairytale features the Frog Prince. I believe it is called Froggy-Style. I am so dying to read that one. I encourage everyone 16+ to pick up a copy and get ready to laugh your assets off at all the mishaps that befall RJ and Asia.
Among other things, this book is aptly titled, because let’s face it (and get this out of the way right now): this isn’t your mother’s fairy tale. Is that a bad thing? Hell no. Sure, the antics are a bit outrageous at times, but one definition of good comedy is that it resides in the extremes, and there are plenty of extremes to be had. I could give you a play-by-play, but you should enjoy it for yourself the first time, without me spoiling most of the fun for you. And there is fun to be had if, like the characters, you let yourself go for a bit, or as long as it takes you to go from “Once upon a time…” to The End. Having met the author at the 2011 Left Coast Crime Conference, I was a little hesitant to read this book on my Kindle, even though I purchased it from Amazon on May 1, 2011. What if I didn’t like CURSES! or I developed a different impression of the author after having read her novel? Those concerns seem rather trivial now, after having read, and thoroughly enjoyed this twist on Cinderella with the forced-to-be-nice villain RJ. With evilly attractive stepsisters, a serial killer in the red hood, one dead Dumpty, and an overpowering Miss Muffet, there’s something for everyone. J.A. Kazimer proves she knows her fairy tales, and she’s not afraid to jerk them around for her own twisted amusement. If you love alternate reality fairy tales, you’ll want to run, not walk, to your local bookstore, or your favorite online venue, and grab your copy today. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
The "Fractured Fairytale" Returns. I received this book from the author, J. A. Kazimer. RJ first meets Asia when he plops into his favorite chair…and lands in her lap. Things go downhill for him from there, although they haven’t been going all that great lately anyway. The villain’s union has suspended him and placed a curse on him; a curse that not only prevents him from acting in a villainous manner, but causes him to agree to do anything nice that anyone asks of him. Anyway…back to Asia. She has mistaken RJ for a famous detective and asks him to find out who killed her stepsister…Cinderella. Being cursed, RJ has no choice but to agree to Asia’s request. Of course, her smoking hot, not-so-ugly-stepsister looks would have guaranteed his agreement even without the curse. RJ soon discovers that solving Cindi’s murder won’t be as easy as he first thought, what with people trying to kill him and dead bodies piling up around him faster than he can be accused of their murders. On top of all that, he has to win the heart of the newfound love of his life…Asia. If she has a heart, that is. Curses! is an adult fantasy/mystery/humor/romance set in almost every nursery rhyme and fairytale you can remember, with a few classic children’s novels thrown in for good measure…or at least a somewhat f**cked up version of each of those. It will keep any mystery, romance, or mystery/romance fan up reading past their bedtime. Throw in the “fractured fairytales,” and anyone may find themselves still reading at dawn…trying to finish before it’s time to head off to work. Kazimer develops her characters…almost all of them deviant in some way or another…so well that you’re likely to see a few of your coworkers, friends, and family members in the story. She throws enough twists into the story to keep you wondering right to the end who actually killed Cindi, and why. With the inundation of political ads lately, turn off the TV and pick up Curses! for a couple of evenings of mystery and laughter…and don’t be late for work!
This book is among the fun subgenre of books that take children's fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and other characters that would be at home in a Grimm tale or Disney movie, and takes those "wholesome" icons and hands them a bottle of Jack, a stack of $1s, and send them to Las Vegas to see what happens. We are introduced to RJ, a villain who has been put on sabbatical due to a nervous breakdown after his divorce. Now, RJ, once the most badass villain in New Never City, is doomed to "being nice" until the villain union reinstates him. And this leave of absence couldn't have come at a worst time. Cinderella had been recently found dead---struck by a city bus---and now one of her "ugly stepsisters" has come to RJ, seeking his help under false pretenses he is not willing to correct any time soon. Asia, the eldest of the stepsisters, wants RJ to help her find out who killed Cinderella in order to save the kingdom. Begrudgingly, RJ agrees to help (since she asked him so nicely, he has to help her due to being "cursed to niceness"). The unlikely pair travel to the kingdom and RJ is plunged into a strange world of troll butlers, closeted princes, and a pair of homicidal monarchs. RJ's situation steadily grows dicey as the plot thickens. Allies suddenly have evidence point against them that could implement them as suspects. New truths are revealed about the royal family and those around them with each turn as the mystery deepens and as RJ gets closer to whomever killed Cinderella. Through twists and turns, our anti-hero (literally, doing anything heroic is quite against the villain's code!) draws closer to solving case and winning the heart of the girl of his dreams. Even if she may be out to kill him. Kazimer has a biting sense of humor, satire, a mouth like a sailor, and a twisted talent for making the most innocent fairy tale character into a mob boss with a mean right hook and a pension for triple homicides. Given that the version of the book I read was an ARC, there were some formatting errors (one paragraph wasn't indented *gasp!*), and there did seem to be some pacing/flow lapses during the latter half of the story, I won't go too hard on the criticism for this book in hopes that those were caught and worked on in later editing rounds. Overall, I found the book a great and quick read, a more substantial "fluff" book for summer or lazy day reading bouts, but yet not too heavy and cumbersome to turn you off from it. If you have a bit of a dirty/jaded side and realize that the original Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen versions of these tales we grew up on and/or told our children were a helluva lot more violent and adult than what we remember (or what Disney would lead you to believe), then this book is for you. Also, there is a teaser of the next book in the F***Ked Up Fairy Tale series that this one was apparently the first in. Go out and buy this book now if you want a truly original story that, hidden beneath murder, crime, lies, and a pond full of frogs waiting to be kissed into a prince, there is an amazing tale of a man fighting for what is most important in his life.
You don't need me to tell you that Curses isn't your ordinary fairy tale re-telling. The title does a fine job of that all on its own. No, this is a fresh story with just enough borrowed from the Grimm brothers to help us keep our footing. RJ is a villain in trouble. The union has decided he's going through an emotional crisis and has stripped him of all his villainous powers. No matter how hard he tries, everything he does turns out good. He can't help but help people. Kazimer teases us along this unlikely romance between an "ugly" princess and her villainous knight. Meanwhile she weaves an intriguing mystery, punched up with epic action and saucy banter. Kazimer is a brilliant writer who took a simple sweet tale and made it her own. Her sense of humor is almost scary at times and you wonder if she was sober when she wrote Curses. Anyway, I loved the book, the plot, the romance, EVERYTHING. I highly recommend it, strongly encourage anyone who loves a f***ed fairytale to check it out, and definitely anyone who likes paranormal, or fantasy, because while this is not exactly what I'd normally classify under those genres, it is definitely not your run of the mill contemporary either. I mean, there are killer bluebirds, what's normal about that? This book is witty, fun, and hilarious, a perfect combo if you ask me.
Not Your Usual Fairy Tale! RJ is a fairy tale villain. Except the Union has cursed him for a screw up and now everything he does is not villainous at all. Oh, no. Everything he does, no matter how villainous he tries to be, turns out to be nice. It’s enough to make a bad villain cry. RJ has been cursed for six days and it’s driving him crazy. He wants to get back to villainy, but the Union thinks he needs a little more time, maybe even a vacation. Then he comes home to find a pretty, sexy and ravenous woman in his favorite chair. She inhales his dinner and asks him to help her solve what she believes is the murder of her stepsister, Cindy. As in Cinderella. Yep. Cindy was pushed in front of a bus and Asia wants to know who did it. Because of the curse, RJ can’t say ‘No.’ and besides he’s hoping to score with the pretty, sexy woman, so off they go to the Kingdom of Maledetto to find themselves a murderer. Amusing and irreverent this is not a story you want to read to the kiddies. No, no, no. This is for grown ups. The fun I had reading it is probably only slight compared to the fun I imagine was had in the writing of it. Perverting fairy tales. Why didn’t I think of that?! I look forward to reading Book 2! *The publisher provided a copy of this book for me to review. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.
This has been one of the best stories that I have read in a long time. If you like your fairytales with butterflies and charming princes this story is not for you. Welcome to the dark side of fairytales! Cinderella has just been murdered and her ugly stepsister, Asia, wants to know why. Things are not what they appear though and she hires RJ to find out what really happened to Cinderella. To start things off, Asia doesn’t know that RJ is not who she thinks he is. He is a villain on medical leave. But what is a villain to do when he is broke and a hot sexy woman asks for your help and all he wants to do is help her get out of her skintight outfit? Help the poor girl, of course. Their investigation takes them from one end of the kingdom to the other. No one can be trusted, because everyone is a suspect. I was snorting and laughing so hard while I was reading that I may have actually had an accident. This story is so demented and twisted that only the truly sick of minds will appreciate it. Well that is not true; anyone with a solid sense of humor will devour it, but be prepared to be shocked and awestruck. Kazimer is a brilliant writer who took a simple sweet tale and made it her own. Her sense of humor is almost scary at times and you wonder if she was sober when she wrote Curses. Someone asked me what I was reading and I told them it was a story about fairytales on crack or a really bad acid trip. They laughed and of course asked for the title. Curses is definitely an adult read and I’m so excited that she is continuing with the F**ked Up Fairytale series. She has dumped my views of classic fairytales on their collective butts and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for me. There are countless characters that you loved as a child, but told in such an innovative light that you soon forget how they once were and embrace the new, and in some cases improved characters. Curses! A F**ked Up Fairytale is a breath of fresh air; well not really, it is more like a hallucinogenic haze, but if you want the trip of your life – take a really deep breathe because trust me this is one trippy ride
This is such a fun read. You will laugh with every turn of the page, you'll remember characters but in the way you grew up with them. There's mystery, romance, and wicked humor. Loved this read and you will too. If you get to go to a book signing go, Julie is lovely,engaging and a genuine soul. BUY THIS BOOK!
An adult twist to well known fairy tale characters in a real world setting. A delivered in terms of easy read, humorous & story. Just a bit of overkill with the "witty banter" & constant reminders of why the main character is cursed. It also seemed to end a bit abruptly (I had to actually re-read the last two chapters to make sure I hadn't missed something). Overall a decent read while you're waiting for a release of something more entertaining.
Absolutely ridiculous and boring!!! Don' t waste your money.
This is an entertaining read, but be warned that it is more than a bit ridiculous. I don't often find myself wondering how many pages I have left until the end, but this book had me checking. I was hoping for a stronger storyline and better characters. Regardless, if you're in the mood for fluffy, cursing comedy, this book might be exactly what you're looking for.
I can't stop laughing.... I love this book!
I can't wait for this book to come out. I heard the author read from this book at a conference in Denver. I laughed my ass off. Nothing like Cinderella getting run over by a bus to jump right in to a story.
Why is the Kindle version so much cheaper?