Wednesday, April 30, 2014

David Hohn: Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood, and More

The Children's Theatre at the Arkansas Arts Centre currently has a production of Sleeping Beauty. That's no where convenient for most of us, but the production poster is fun to see. The illustration is by David Hohn who has illustrated the covers for books like Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George, familiar to several readers here.

And so I visited Hohn's portfolio site and found a few more lovelies to share today:

That last one is an awesome Snow White and Rose Red, yes?

Bargain Ebook: Whatever After #1: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

Whatever After #1: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski is currently $1.99 for ebook format. Later books in the series are $4.61 or $9.99 so this is a nice bargain price that may be changing tomorrow with the new month since many ebook sales will end tonight with April's ending. Hopefully there will be some great new bargains tomorrow!

Book description:

A fresh, modern spin on a classic fairy tale--from bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski!

Mirror, mirror, on the basement wall . . .

Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White's fairy tale.

I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.

But hey -- we're heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn't die, she won't get to meet her prince. And then she won't get her happy ending. Oops.

Now it's up to us to:
- Avoid getting poisoned
- Sneak into a castle
- Fix Snow White's story

And then, fingers crossed, find our way home.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Book: The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy will be released tomorrow.

As I mentioned before, this was a definite preorder for me, especially for my 11-year-old niece Leighton who has loved the series. She read the first book--The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (which is bargain priced right now for $1.99 ebook)--during her visit at Christmas 2012 and my copy went home with her after her puppy dog eyes look. Which she does not use very often--she's not that type of child actually and doesn't reread books nearly as often as I do. I had listened to her laugh and laugh while reading it, so I knew it was a happy, fun book for her voracious reading tastes. And it is. She reads everything from Rick Riordan to Dork Diaries to college level nonfiction regularly and isn't impressed with too much in her jaded reading experience already. Her biggest literary crush is Sherlock Holmes actually.

Another SurLaLune reader mentioned that it's nice to have the princes/heroes DOING something for once, which is also refreshing I admit. This should be a fun read for the boys and girls in your life including yourself.

Book description:

The League of Princes returns in the hilariously epic conclusion to the hit series that began with Christopher Healy's The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, which the Los Angeles Times called "one of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales."

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don't you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the thirteen kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered—and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects. Now they're on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names. Along the way, however, they discover that Briar's murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all thirteen kingdoms—a plot that will lead to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Lots of Fairy Tale Inspired Big Ebook Deals

Amazon just posted a new The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off Now through May 11, 2014. There are several fairy tale titles in the list, one of which has never been discounted this deeply before so I'll share it first.

A Question of Magic by E. D. Baker is $1.99. This has Baba Yaga! Fun!

Book description:

Serafina was living the normal life of a village girl, when she gets a mysterious letter--her first letter ever, in fact--from a great aunt she's never heard of in another village. Little does 'Fina know, her great aunt is actually a Baba Yaga, a magical witch who lives in an even more magical cottage.

Summoned to the cottage, Serafina's life takes an amazing turn as she finds herself becoming the new Baba Yaga. But leaving behind home and the boy she loves isn't easy, and as Serafina grows into her new and magical role answering the first question any stranger might ask her with the truth, she also learns about the person she's meant to be, and that telling the future doesn't always mean knowing the right answers.

In her inimitable and bestselling way, ED Baker has crafted a funny and romantic story that combines some fabulous details from the original Slavic tale, with an all new spin!

Passion And Poison: Tales Of Shape-Shifters, Ghosts, And Spirited Women by Janice Del Negro (Author), Vince Natale (Illustrator) is $1.99.

Book description:

"Giovanna undid her cloak, and it slipped to the ground. The sun was coming up over the edge of the sea, and the light caught the rubies around Giovanna’s throat and set them on fire. Rafael could not take his eyes from those flaming stones. Giovanna reached behind her head to undo the clasp that held the rubies."

Janice M. Del Negro’s unique storyteller’s voice enlivens this collection of eight original tales about strong, resolute females. Whether she’s spinning a story about a brave housekeeper who does not suffer fools gladly or a woman who uses her wits to avenge her sister’s death, she embroiders her tales with elegant language and vivid imagery. There are characters and settings that will chill the bones, from the skulls in a moonlit mausoleum to the apparition of a wealthy woman "in a cyclone of light and fog" to three cauldrons filled with hair, bones, and blood. Mysterious shape-shifters and ghostly figures appear, but the women here handle them with grace and conviction. Acting to achieve justice and fairness, these characters become heroines in the landscape of the imagination. An author’s note is included.

My Fair Godmother and My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison are $1.99 each.

Book description for My Unfair Godmother:

After her parents' divorce Tansy never really felt like her life got back to normal. And now that her too-busy parents and their respective new spouses don't seem to have time for her, Tansy has been sent to live with her semi-neurotic grandmother. After one incident involving a bad date, a can of spray paint, and the police, Tansy fears she is doomed for life. Enter Chrissy Everstar, Tansy's fairy in shining er... high heels. With three wishes to help set her life right, Tansy is taken along for a ride that includes Robin Hood and his Merry Men, who turn out to be trouble when they steal from the rich in her town. When the police chief's son, Hudson, sees Tansy hanging out with these fairy tale criminals, she'll have some serious explaining to do. That's if Tansy can find a way to stop spinning gold and undo the "help" that Chrissy has bestowed.

The Story of Princess Olivia by Charles Egbert is $.99.

Book description:

From School Library Journal

Gr 3–6—Princess Olivia lives with King Horace and Queen Cora in a crumbling castle in the Green Mountain Kingdom now known as Vermont. Her mother is a worrywart, and her father is quite melancholy-especially when he thinks about the poor condition of the royal bank account. Princess Olivia goes out to her bower one day to play, where she befriends a hoop snake, a snake that has swallowed its own tail, turning itself into a living hula hoop. In the woods, Olivia runs into the dreaded and villainous Count Carlos Maximillian Von Dusseldorf, who cannot believe his good luck to have stumbled upon the princess all alone. He promptly throws her into a cage and carts her off to the middle of the woods with his magical minion, Georgette, in order to blackmail a ransom out of her parents, not realizing that they are, in fact, destitute. With the moaning and groaning king and his worrisome queen rambling through the woods searching for their missing daughter, helped by the dashing Prince Dropoffsky, the Count and Georgette try to stay one step ahead of them, while the intelligent princess spends her time with Mr. Snake, plotting her escape. This slight but humorous story is filled with rigorous and playful vocabulary that would be fun to explore in a classroom. The bumbling actions of the royals, along with the descriptions of Count Von Dusseldorf, allow for creative-writing extensions as well. Pen-and-ink illustrations complement the text. Readers who enjoy fractured fairy tales and their original counterparts might enjoy this whimsical chapter book. Consider for larger collections.—Lisa Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Princess of Glass (Twelve Dancing Princesses) by Jessica Day George is $1.99.

Book description:

Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program. She travels abroad hoping to find better political alliances and perhaps a marriage. But thanks to a vengeful fairy, Poppy's happily ever after gets complicated. This companion to Princess of the Midnight Ball will delight readers with action and romance.

Once Upon A Curse (Tales of the Frog Princess) by E. D. Baker is $1.99.

Book description:

Many years ago a slighted fairy placed a curse on a beautiful young princess-a curse that caused her and all her female descendants to turn into mean, ugly witches if they ever touched a flower after turning sixteen. Now, Princess Emma, who is about to turn sixteen herself, is determined to break the spell once and for all. Emma travels back in time to the day the curse was placed on her ancestor in the hope of preventing the curse from being cast. Unfortunately she isn't successful in her efforts, but she does learn how to break it. Armed with this knowledge, Emma returns to her own time full of hope. But disaster ensues and Emma is about to give up completely-until true love shows itself in the most unexpected place of all.

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry is $1.99.

Book description:

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms-no more than trinkets when worn by others-are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's son. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the prince's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .Berry's debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales-and now she's done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.

Shifting by Bethany Wiggins is $1.99.

Book description:

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

63 Cent Ebook: Beauty and the Beast by Hannah Howell

Beauty and the Beast by Hannah Howell is currently 63 cents in ebook format. Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular romance novel tropes and this one appears to deliver on the theme.

How much can you buy these days for 63¢?

Book description:

On the eve of her wedding to the heir of Saiturn Manor, the stunningly beautiful Gytha is shocked to learn that her betrothed, a man she barely knew, is dead. Now she must marry the new heir, Thayer Saiturn, a battle-hardened knight known as the Red Devil.

With a face scarred in battle and a heart broken in love, Thayer has no interest in marriage. But not even the Red Devil can break the promise his foster-father made years ago and soon finds himself married to a woman whose exquisite beauty and sweet innocence intrigue him. But can his new bride look beyond his scars to find a hidden passion and undying love locked deep inside him?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 Hugo Nominee: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

The 2014 Hugo Nominations have been announced and one is fairy tale related!

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente has been nominated for Best Novella. Congrats!

The above image links to the hardcover, limited edition book which is already out of print and costly. The good news is that the novella is available for preorder in ebook format with a May 15th release date. There's no cover art for it yet, but I am partial to the original cover by Charles Vess (wonderful artist and a nice one, too!) and hope it will reappear in some form on the ebook version.

Book description:

From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes a brilliant reinvention of one the best known fairy tales of all time. In the novella Six-Gun Snow White, Valente transports the title s heroine to a masterfully evoked Old West where Coyote is just as likely to be found as the seven dwarves.

A plain-spoken, appealing narrator relates the history of her parents--a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. With her mother s death in childbirth, so begins a heroine s tale equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, readers will be enchanted by this story at once familiar and entirely new.

New Book: The Bravest Princess: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker

The Bravest Princess: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker was released this month. This is third book in her series about Sleeping Beauty's little sister, following The Wide-Awake Princess and Unlocking the Spell. The latter book is also bargain priced in hardcover right now and makes a lovely gift. I am fond of it for using Snow White and Rose Red for inspiration.

This new book uses Snow White for plot inspiration. It should be a happy read for your favorite young reader and even yourself. Baker plays well with fairy tales.

Book description:

Sleeping Beauty's younger, non-magical sister, Annie, still can't rest while trouble in the kingdom threatens her good friend, Snow White. Snow White's evil stepmother has disappeared, and her father wants her married off right away--but who should she choose? How can she tell which prince is best? It's Annie and her good friend Liam to the rescue! A hilarious and and fantastical romp through a fairy tale landscape from beloved author E. D. Baker.