A long, long time ago, in a time and place far, far away, my childhood, I learned to love the printed word because of the stories I was read. I loved them so much I learned to read and write.

I liked the stories about bunnies and baby deer and such, of course. I loved those by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, except for the sad ones and the terrifying ones. Believe me, Hans told some real weepers and the Grimm boys were sometimes just that.

Most of all, I loved the fairy tales in the rainbow collection of books by Andrew Lang. I owned his Red Fairy Book and Blue Fairy Book, Violet, Tan and Green, Yellow and Pink Fairy book, etc. I had all of them, I think, and I never grew tired of them.

They fascinated me because they were about beautiful princesses and brave princes and clever children, goose girls and beggar boys. They had wicked stepmothers and good witches, mermaids and ogres, enchanted bears and swords and fish. Anything could be enchanted in those stories.

There was adventure and suspense and unexpected things kept happening. The stories were also about love and sacrifice, yet they usually ended happily because good hearts and good deeds always saved the day for the heroes and heroines. There was always magic in the stories. Maybe that's why one of my favorite Shakespearean plays is A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

Maybe that's why I wrote BRIDE ENCHANTED. It's about a clever young woman and a handsome prince of a man and is touched with more than a hint of the usual magic to be found in Regency based romance. That's because I love fairy tales and wanted to try my hand at a very different one.

When you come right down to it, all love stories are magical, don't you think?

Edith Layton