Gretchen and the Bear, the thrilling new novel from Amazon.com Number 1 bestselling author Carrie Anne Noble released to retail today, June 17, 2020, from WordCrafts Press. The novel follows in the footsteps of Noble’s previous award winners, including The Mermaid’s Sister, which won Amazon.com’s 2014 Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction as well as the 2016 Realm Award for Novel of the Year, and her followup novel, The Gold-Son, which won the Earphones Award from Audiofile Magazine for the audiobook version.
“Gretchen and the Bear is a young adult fantasy that combines a generous helping of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a dash of Cinderella, a sprinkling of fairy tale whimsy, a bit of adventure, and a hint of first love,” Noble says of her latest highly anticipated novel. “I think it will appeal to readers looking to be transported out of our current, unsettling reality and into a world of enchanted woods and magical bears, to take a journey with a hopeful, brave, young heroine.”
Gretchen and the Bear is already generating excitement from industry insiders, including Roberta Gore, author of Relic, who declared, “Gretchen and the Bear transports the reader into a magical realm that is one part sci-fi, one part fantasy, one part fairy tale. It’s a brilliant mash-up, and I was thrilled to journey with Gretchen as she discovered all the layers of meaning inside this wooded landscape – one of fairies and spells, and most importantly true love. It is a marvelous read.”
“Oh my goodness, this book! As an avid admirer of Carrie Anne Noble’s lyrical prose and storytelling skill, I had high hopes for this book. I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed. This breathtaking tale, steeped in fae magic and faerie lore, delights in all the right ways. You simply must experience Gretchen and the Bear for yourself,” said Michele Israel Harper, award-winning editor and author of Kill the Beast.
Joanne Brokaw, author of Suddenly Stardust, added, “Forget everything you know about Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Carrie Anne Noble has a way of taking a well-worn fairy tale and turning it into a rollicking adventure story, with a strong heroine, and a supportive case of magical creatures (as well as some dangerous faeries), and even if you don’t usually read fantasy or YA, you’ll be captivated from start to finish by Gretchen and The Bear.”
Sixteen-year-old Gretchen has been waiting forever to trade life on a dreary orbiting station for life on gloriously regenerated Earth. Still, visiting faerie-infested Britannia is not on her agenda—especially since no human who’s ventured there has ever returned. But when her stepsister sneaks off to the island to meet a faerie boyfriend, Gretchen’s stepmother forces her to choose: risk death to rescue the runaway, or forfeit her father’s life.
Lost in the faeries’ forest, Gretchen meets a family of Bearfolk—fae who can shift between human and bear forms. Kindhearted seventeen-year-old Arthur volunteers to help, while his mother, who believes Gretchen is the heroic Silverhair of faerie legend, schemes to use the girl for darker purposes.
When the quest to save the runaway proves costly, will Gretchen and Arthur find the courage to sacrifice what they hold dearest to save the ones they love most?
“Although I’ve always enjoyed reading science fiction, I don’t usually write it,” Noble confesses. “So I thought it would be fun to blend the whimsical fairy tale style of my usual stories with a few sci-fi elements. What I ended up with was a tale set on a regenerated Earth a couple hundred years from now, with a human heroine on a mission to rescue her sister from the dangerous faeries who’ve taken over former Britain. There are hints of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and a couple references to the Cinderella story woven into the novel, along with futuristic hover-cycles and laser blasters. But underneath all that, it’s about sacrificial love and the courage to be authentic.”
Noble’s previous work has been universally praised for her lyrical style and innovative themes which weave of fantasy, romance, and adventure into thrilling stories for young adults. Publisher’s Weekly called her debut novel, The Mermaid’s Sister, “A must read.” School Library Journal declared the novel “…fresh and original, and even her minor characters are beautifully depicted.” Kirkus said it was, “Engaging and magical, the story is filled with enough adventure, peril and plot twists to keep you turning the pages.”
Of her followup novel, The Gold-Son, RT Book Reviews said, “[Noble’s] lyrical, poetic storytelling will wrap readers up in her magical world. Noble’s characters jump off the page and will capture readers with their personality and wit. With magical flair, Noble expertly pens a modern-day version of a classic fairy tale.” Released more than five years ago, The Mermaid’s Sister remains the Number 1 bestseller on Amazon.com’s Teen & Young Adult Mermaid Fiction chart. Still in pre-release, the Kindle ebook version of Gretchen and the Bear debuted in the Top 10 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases charts in both the Fairy Tales and Mythology categories, and at Number 19 in Folklore.