Monday, January 22, 2018

Bargain Ebook: Tales of Wonder by Jane Yolen for $1.99



Tales of Wonder by Jane Yolen is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format. This is a collection of several short stories, many inspired by traditional folklore and fairy tales. And really, being by Jane Yolen is enough incentive to buy the book...

Book description:

A breathtaking collection of literary fairy stories from an award-winning fantasist

Author Jane Yolen speaks to the ancient magic within us all in this anthology of 30 grown-up fairy stories—lovely, lyrical, poignant, sometimes frightening tales of transformations and transfigurations, magical destinies and dangerous quests, strange visions, reawakenings, and just desserts. A past winner of the Nebula Award, World Fantasy Award, and numerous other honors, Yolen takes her rightful place alongside the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, combining innovative literary style with fables that reimagine the myths of old and some of her legendary predecessors’ most cherished characters: Cinderella, simple Jack, Guinevere, Icarus, and the Frog Prince.

Step into Yolen’s wondrous realm of magic and dreams, where a curious young woman’s desire to read the future leads her to the weaver of tomorrow; a farm boy with the voice of an angel seeks out Lady Death to sing for the life of his mother; and a sow, a cow, and a mare set out together to see the world. These timeless stories tell of an eager girl’s entrance into the Hall of Grief and a sunless prince who fears the vengeance of a jealous star. A tree-bound young dryad longs to dance in the spring, and a grumpy old potter pours his heart and soul into his greatest work. Yolen’s stories are unforgettable tales of the heart and the spirit; they are truly tales of wonder.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New Song: Mrs. Bluebeard by They Might Be Giants



So the band, They Might Be Giants, just released their 20th studio album, I Like Fun. I am a fan of the band--especially their kids' song the last several years--with some of their songs remaining persistent earworms for me and the kids in my life. This one is definitely not a kids album since it deals with death and destruction although the tunes don't make you think that. You have to listen to the words to realize there is darkness here.

But why I am posting this here? Well, one of the new songs is surprisingly enough, "Mrs. Bluebeard." And yes, it is inspired by the fairy tale. The song is told from the perspective of one of the dead wives and is poignant and peppy. But that's the They Might Be Giants signature kind of musical quirkiness. There are lines that tell us how she got into this dead predicament. A fun, short take on a not so familiar story.

The song is so new that it's not available as a video or elsewhere to embed as a preview but you can stream the song on music services, like Amazon Prime Music, iTunes, etc.

My favorite line--and hubby John agreed it was the best of many--is:

Most people wouldn't hang their corpses up for review.
No, no they wouldn't but that is part of Bluebeard's signature quirkiness, too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Book: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress) by Julie C. Dao



Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress) by Julie C. Dao was released late last year. This is a Snow White retelling with an unusual protagonist and setting. I had the opportunity to hear Dao discuss the book at last year's Southern Festival of Books here in Nashville, TN. It was a great session and I was intrigued by her vision for the novel fueled by her personal experiences in becoming a published author. The book has received great reviews since then so I'm not the only one fascinated with this one.

Book description:

The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress.

"A richly developed fantasy world . . . Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch."—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.

Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.

Praise for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"A richly developed fantasy world coupled with an ambitious anti-heroine of complex agency, this story shines and surprises at every turn. Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch."—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites

★ "A masterful reimagining of the early life of Snow White’s Evil Queen."—Booklist, starred review

★ "Lushly written . . . tantalizing reading."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Rich in detail and full of gore and blood, this dark novel will satisfy ‘Game of Thrones’ fans."—School Library Journal

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bargain Ebook Collection: Bernard Evslin's Greek Mythology



Bernard Evslin's Greek Mythology by Bernard Evslin is on sale for $3.99 today only. It's a bundle of several of Evslin's mythology books.

Book description:

With over ten million copies of his books sold worldwide, Bernard Evslin’s modern takes on Greek myths have captured the imaginations of countless readers.

Collected here in one volume are nine books of timeless action and adventure surrounding such legendary figures as Zeus and the Olympians; heroes such as Perseus, who slew the hideous Medusa; the epic struggles of the Trojan War; and much, much more . . .

This ebook includes Gods, Demigods and Demons; Hercules; Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths; Jason and the Argonauts; Monsters of Greek Mythology Volume One; Monsters of Greek Mythology Volume Two; The Adventures of Ulysses; The Dolphin Rider; and The Trojan War.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Folklore Bargain Books Today Only!


SurLaLune is not dead, it's just been hibernating. To get the new year--SurLaLune's 20th!--started, I am sharing some bargain ebooks that are available today only.


Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli (Author) and‎ Christina Balit (Illustrator) is on sale for $1.99 today and Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester is on sale for $3.99.

Book description for Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli (Author) and‎ Christina Balit (Illustrator):

School Library Journal Best Books of 2011

Eureka! Silver Honor Books—California Reading Association

Capitol Choices 2012 list of Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens

2012 Notable Children's Books—ALSC

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.

National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. A family tree and a “cast of characters” profile page help make relationships between the characters clear, and a mapping feature adds to the fun and fascination. Resource notes and ample back matter directing readers to more information round out this luminous book. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.

Book description for Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester:

The traditional stories of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales transport us to the fantastical world of Celtic folklore. Translated and transcribed by folklorists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the 16 stories in this compilation conjure forgotten realms and rare magical creatures in vivid prose. These timeless tales brim with wit and magic, and each one is brought to life with elegant silhouette art by Kate Forrester in this special illustrated edition.