Blog Tour: Ginger's Heart: Katy Regnery

Ginger's Heart 
Katy Regnery
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Date of Publication: March 22, 2016

In this modern retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood," the wolf and the woodsman are cousins, and Ginger is the little girl who claims both of their hearts.
When three children grow up together in the rolling hills of Kentucky horse country,
One becomes a predator
One becomes a protector
And one becomes prey.
Ginger McHuid has been in love with the "Dub Twins" – Cain Wolfram and Josiah Woodman – for as long as she can remember. And for as long as the cousins can remember, they've each loved Ginger in their own all-consuming ways.
One will win her
One will be cast away
While one follows her heart.
Ginger's Heart

This is a standalone novel inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
(The next standalone a modern fairytale novel, Don't Speak, inspired by The Little Mermaid, will be released in June 2017.)

Three lifelong friends. Two cousins who are as close as brothers. One girl. Strong feelings and an intense bond between them all. 

The "Golden Boy" Josiah Woodman...He has everything going for him. He's handsome, popular, loyal, loving, and from a good family. And even when his life has challenges to face, he is tenacious and forges ahead. He is her steadfast protector and is always there waiting for Ginger to love him back with all her heart like he has always loved her. 

The "Hell Raiser" Cain Wolfram...Always considered the trouble maker. He is impulsive, makes bad choices, and appears to be unaffected emotionally. He has a sense of adventure and wanderlust. But as he matures, he begins to change and become more steady. But he always feels inferior to Woodman and that he is not good enough for Ginger. And his sense of loyalty towards Woodman also causes him to deny his own feelings, reject her, and cause her pain.

"The Princess" Ginger McHuid...She's sassy, smart, sweet, and has loved them both her whole life, but in different ways. She wants to be seen as strong, but most people underestimate her. She faces various challenges, heartbreak, guilt, and loss throughout this story needing them both at various times and also driving a wedge between them all at other times. 

Their feelings grow and change over the years causing jealousy, insecurities, avoidance, denial, and hurt feelings. It is a love triangle complicated by their tight bonds and not wanting to hurt the others. But they still managed to do so at various times. One man offers unwavering love and stability, and the other inspires more passion and inconsistency. Their hearts and minds don't always make the same decisions. My heart broke for each of these characters during the course of the story. I truly loved both of the men and I liked Ginger too. 

In the beginning it was told in all three points of view with the same scenes played over again in the other characters' points of view allowing us to gain full perspective of all of their thoughts and feelings. Later on it it naturally progressed to alternating points of view but not necessarily the same scenes. And it was told in specific parts with clearly stated timelines and time jumps. That was also necessary to see how they grew and progressed over the various stages in their lives.

This is the evolving of three people and their dynamics and relationships. Friendship, love, lust, jealousy, rejection, and heartbreak occur all at various times. They struggle with trust, promises, and the bond of love, loyalty, and friendship. At times each of their hearts broke and one of the others had to help repair them and try to make them whole again. There was a bond that tethered them all in such a way that it always seemed to lead them back together despite any negative emotions and perceived betrayals. No one truly knew them like the others did. They had a soul deep connection and relied on each other for comfort, self worth, and a kick in the pants when needed. 

The various settings and side characters added depth to the story. There were a lot of family dynamics brewing under the surface in this story as well. I really loved Ginger's Gran and their relationship. 

This story was an emotional roller coaster. It was sweet, humorous, heartwarming, angsty, romantic, passionate, heartbreaking, and painful. It had themes of friendship, love, soul mates, sacrifice, and redemption. It was quite a tense and turbulent journey, but poignant and beautiful. There were times I wanted to flip to the end and take a peek, but I am glad I did not so I could experience it along with them as it was intended. I was left both smiling and also a bit teary. And I am still in a book hangover the day after. 

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

Josiah Woodman and Cain Wolfram. Two cousins as different as night and day. One is the golden boy who can do no wrong. One is the wild child who can do no good. And then there was Ginger McHuid, the girl who loves them both.

There was so much history between these three. Growing up together, with the only common blood connecting the two boys, tensions were bound to erupt as the boys noticed that Ginger was no longer a little girl.

Told through triple points of view, the relationships between the three main characters are established early. Even in childhood, the pull between these characters foreshadows the challenges they will face as they age. Though the initial scenes were repeated through each character’s eyes, eventually it became more of an alternating perspective, with scenes unfolding from the point of view of only one character. Having those initial scenes from all three eyes gave them more power and the foundation upon which all other emotional events would unfold.

I couldn’t help but love all three characters. Both boys, and then both men, had their strengths and their weaknesses when it came to Ginger. Their interactions as they get older are hedged with good intentions, trying to find a balance between a romantic relationship and the friendships that have been at the core of their trio without hurting anyone, but hurt is bound to crop up with as strongly as the feeling run.

Even in their childhood, I could feel Ginger’s dilemma, and her grandmother’s warning, looming in the future. Each decision only dug a deeper hole for their pain. Ginger’s decisions and each man’s reaction could lead nowhere but hurt for at least one, if not more, of the characters. The constant wondering which boy she would choose and how the other would react was a driving force in the tension of the story. While this is exactly what usually irks me about many love triangles, I loved the way this one played out. There was enough that I was able to work out in my head that needed to happen, but the author kept me on my toes, second guessing myself and the characters at every turn.

This was a hugely emotional read for me. The choices, the consequences, the fallout. Each new turn of events had me tied fully to the book waiting for some closure, some answers. I love the way the characters are tied to the original fairy tale, but the story itself runs in a completely different direction.
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Ginger's Heart, a modern fairytale, by Katy Regnery. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Just about everyone called Woodman "Woodman" except Gran and sometimes Cain. Gran insisted on calling him by his Christian name. Cain used "Josiah" and "Woodman" interchangeably with no real rhyme or reason that Ginger could follow.

"Rumor is you're gonna marry Josiah someday," said Gran, her sixty-something blue eyes merry. "But what do you say?"

Ginger giggled self-consciously, thinking about her grandmother's question, something clenching in her twelve-year-old heart as she thought about marrying sensible Woodman and abandoning her wild feelings for his cousin, Cain.

"I don't know," she said, feeling her forehead crease in confusion.

"Or maybe you're thinkin' you want to marry…Cain," said Gran softly.

Cain, with his jet black hair and ice blue eyes, appeared like a vision before her, and Ginger's heart thumped faster. The way he'd run off to see Mary-Louise Walker this afternoon made her brown eyes spitting green with jealousy. The way he swaggered made her breath catch. Woodman was so predictable, so safe in comparison.

Then again, Woodman hadn't exactly been predictable this afternoon, had he? He'd surprised her with the gift and even more with his words. His body had been hard and warm when he'd held her, the embrace awakening something new and foreign within her. Something she wasn't sure she wanted. Something that didn't feel safe and even scared her a little bit. She pulled her fingers away from the charm bracelet and faced her Gran.

"What do I do if I love them both?"

Her grandmother's eyes, which had been mostly teasing, flinched, and her mouth tilted down in a sympathetic frown, which made her face seem so serious and sober.

"Choose, dollbaby," said her Gran. "Someday you'll have to choose."

The same feeling that she'd had in the barn, when Cain had yelled, "Jump to the one you love the most, darlin'!" flared up within her—a fierce refusal to love one cousin more than the other, to give up one in lieu of the other.

Choose? Her memories skated back through a dozen years on McHuid's Farm that had always included Cain and Woodman. When they were little children, they played together, swimming buck naked in the creek and racing over the green hills and pastures in impromptu games of tag. As the boys grew up, they started working with Cain's daddy, Klaus, who was her father's right-hand man, mucking out the stables and grooming the horses. She'd run down to the barn every day after her lessons to see them, working right along beside them until they were all covered in hay, dust and barn grime.

Though the Wolframs weren't generally included in the McHuid's active social life, the Woodmans were, which meant that in addition to seeing Cain and Woodman on the farm, she also saw Woodman at every holiday and birthday party…and they always managed to slip out unseen with some smuggled sweets for Cain.

They were the Three Musketeers of McHuid's Farm and Ginger knew both boys as well as she knew herself—Cain's smirking, hot-headed, impulsive ways, and Woodman's level-headed patience, caution and kindness. Regardless of their differences, she also knew that as the only children of twin sisters, Cain and Woodman were much closer than most cousins. Genetically speaking, they were half-brothers, and while they surely liked to tease and torture each other, they wouldn't hesitate to jump into front of a train to save the other's skin either.

In Ginger's mind, she envisioned them like two halves of the same coin that she held carefully in the palm of her hand.

She loved them both desperately.


No, her heart protested. Impossible.

"What if I can't?" she whispered, leaning back and resting her head on her grandmother's comforting shoulder.

"Then you'll lose them both," said her grandmother softly.

Ginger's shoulders fell, relaxing in surrender as she closed her eyes against the burn of tears.

"But don't let's think about that now, dollbaby," said Gran, leaning her head upon her granddaughter's, the constant tremble of her unpredictable body almost soothing to Ginger as they rocked side by side in the twilight. "You're just twelve today. You've got your whole life ahead of you."
 Ginger's Heart is part of the a modern fairytale collection, which will include five standalone, unrelated novels:

"The Vixen and the Vet" (Beauty & the Beast) - available now
"Never Let You Go" (Hansel & Gretel) - available now
"Ginger's Heart" (Little Red Riding Hood) - available March 22, 2016
"Don't Speak" (The Little Mermaid) - available June 16, 2017
"Swan Song" (The Ugly Duckling) - available 2018

Katy Regnery
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Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.

Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled "Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date," in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.

The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy's novella "Frosted" will appear in the upcoming (Jan '15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy's short story, "The Long Way Home" appeard in the first RWA anthology (Feb '15), Premiere.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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