Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bargain Ebook: Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales To Fall In Love With by Kate Wolford

Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales To Fall In Love With by Kate Wolford is on sale for half price on Amazon for a short time. Wolford is the editor of Enchanted Conversation and a great supporter of fairy tales. Also, if you prefer paper, you can get it for $8.96 and then also get the ebook for $1.99 with the Kindle Matchbook program.

Book description:

Some fairy tales everyone knows—these aren’t those tales. These are tales of kings who get deposed and pigs who get married. These are ten tales, much neglected. Editor of Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Kate Wolford, introduces and annotates each tale in a manner that won’t leave novices of fairy tale studies lost in the woods to grandmother’s house, yet with a depth of research and a delight in posing intriguing puzzles that will cause folklorists and savvy readers to find this collection a delicious new delicacy.

Beyond the Glass Slipper is about more than just reading fairy tales—it’s about connecting to them. It’s about thinking of the fairy tale as a precursor to Saturday Night Live as much as it is to any princess-movie franchise: the tales within these pages abound with outrageous spectacle and absurdist vignettes, ripe with humor that pokes fun at ourselves and our society.

Never stuffy or pedantic, Kate Wolford proves she’s the college professor you always wish you had: smart, nurturing, and plugged into pop culture. Wolford invites us into a discussion of how these tales fit into our modern cinematic lives and connect the larger body of fairy tales, then asks—no, insists—that we create our own theories and connections. A thinking man’s first step into an ocean of little known folklore.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Fables on Sale in Ebook Format

Several ebook collection volumes (compiling several issues in one book) from the Fables series and its offshoots are on sale for $3.99, significantly dropped from the usual $9.99+ price on these. You don't need a tablet to read but you must have a Kindle device, not just a Kindle app on your phone, iPad, etc. You do not need a tablet only as some graphic novels require though. You can read in black and white on your regular Kindle.

I imagine these are price matched through other sellers, too, but I am not taking time to check.

Text links if the images hard to read:

Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Fairest Vol. 1: Wide Awake

Fables Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland

Fables Vol. 19: Snow White

Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ebooks on Sale: The Captive Maiden and Others by Melanie Dickerson

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson is on sale for $1.99 in ebook format. Released last month, it is the newest (and fourth) release in her inspirational fairy tale series. This time she explores Cinderella.

Book description:

Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

And while we are here, here are her previous three books in the series are also $1.99 each:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bargain Ebook: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson is temporarily discounted to $1.99 for about two more days from the time I publish this post. It's promoted as sweet and clean YA romance, so if that interests you, this may be the book for you. And obviously it has a Cinderella inspiration behind it.

Book description:

Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you've had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Four Fairy Tale Related Ebooks on Sale

I will not be posting much this week with the holiday season but wanted to share these fairy tale related ebook titles that are on sale for those looking to fill up a new reader. I use Amazon links here but most of these titles are also on sale on Barnes and Noble for Nooks and other ebook sellers. Four books--3 newly released in 2013--can be acquired for a total of $12.

Stung by Bethany Wiggins is $2.99. It has been on sale previously and draws inspiration from Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.

Book description:

Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered-her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist-a black oval with five marks on either side-that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she's right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. Only the solution was deadlier than the original problem-the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts who were branded as a warning to un-vaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected from disease and beasts inside a fortress-like wall. But Fiona has awakened branded, alone-and on the wrong side of the wall . . .

Princess of the Midnight Ball (Twelve Dancing Princesses) by Jessica Day George is also $2.99. This has been on sale previously. It draws inspiration from The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Book description:

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

If the Shoe Fits by Megan Mulry has NOT been on sale previously to my knowledge. It draws inspiration from Cinderella. It is also $2.99.

Book description:

The only thing worse than being in the spotlight is being kept in the dark...

With paparazzi nipping at his heels, Devon Heyworth, rakish brother of the Duke of Northrop, spends his whole life hiding his intelligence and flaunting his playboy persona. Fast cars and faster women give the tabloids plenty to talk about.

American entrepreneur Sarah James is singularly unimpressed with "The Earl" when she meets him at a wedding. But she's made quite an impression on him. When he pursues her all the way across the pond, he discovers that Miss James has no intention of being won over by glitz and glamor—she's got real issues to deal with, and the last thing she needs is larger-than-life royalty mucking about her business...

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (Author), Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator) is still on sale through the end of December for $2.99. It has been a top fairy tale pick for 2013.

Book description:

At the School for Good and Evil, failing your fairy tale is not an option.

Welcome to the School for Good and Evil, where best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are . . . ?

The School for Good and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saving P.L. Travers (With Fairy Tale Thoughts Thrown In)

(US / UK Links)

I wanted to make sure no one misses “Saving Mr. Banks” But Throwing P.L. Travers Under the Bus by Jerry Griswold on the SDSU Children's Literature Blog. It should be read and forwarded in hopes that some people will separate fact from screen fiction.

I admit I am a fan of Disney's Mary Poppins--it is perhaps my favorite Disney film. But I also understand how Travers was wrecked by the adaptation. The film is not her story. She was never happy with it and some of the changes in the more recent Disney stage production--which I saw in London and I myself DO NOT like--were made to try to appease her memory and desires for the story's portrayal.

I am bemused over the need to rewrite history and record on film Travers portrayed as someone she wasn't. And that's not to say that "Saving Mr. Banks" isn't an excellent film acted by two of my preferred actors--Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. But I admit I am verklempt over seeing it for I know the real story--well at least a more accurate version than the one offered on theatre screens this holiday season.

Anyway, I offer no solutions and really don't want to belabor the point. I will always be bewildered by Hollywood's money machine, even more so after living in the midst of it for three years. I understand its workings all too well anymore and perhaps that is why I gravitate to BBC productions--I am further removed from their production.

But as for P.L. Travers, well, again, don't miss Griswold's article. And don't miss his links to his earlier articles about Travers, especially his interview, P. L. Travers, The Art of Fiction No. 63 Interviewed by Edwina Burness, Jerry Griswold in the Paris Review.

Such as this:


But is Mary Poppins perhaps instructing the children in the “difficult truths” you mention in “Only Connect” as being contained in fairy tale, myth and nursery rhyme?


Exactly. Well, you see, I think if she comes from anywhere that has a name, it is out of myth. And myth has been my study and joy ever since—oh, the age, I would think . . . of three. I’ve studied it all my life. No culture can satisfactorily move along its forward course without its myths, which are its teachings, its fundamental dealing with the truth of things, and the one reality that underlies everything. Yes, in that way you could say that it was teaching, but in no way deliberately doing so.

And this gem:

Once, when Maurice Sendak was being interviewed on television a little after the success of Where the Wild Things Are, he was asked the usual questions: Do you have children? Do you like children? After a pause, he said with simple dignity: “I was a child.” That says it all.

But don’t let me leave you with the impression that I am ungrateful to children. They have stolen much of the world’s treasure and magic in the literature they have appropriated for themselves. Think, for example, of the myths or Grimm’s fairy tales—none of which were written especially for them—this ancestral literature handed down by the folk. And so despite publishers’ labels and my own protestations about not writing especially for them, I am grateful that children have included my books in their treasure trove.

And another:


Do you read much before or during writing?


No. I read myths and fairy tales and books about them a great deal now, but I very seldom read novels. I find modern novels bore me. I can read Tolstoy and the Russians, but mostly I read comparative mythology and comparative religion. I need matter to carry with me.

And finally:


What do you think of the contemporary interest in religion and myth, particularly among young people? Do you sense that in the last few years a large number of people have grown interested in spiritual disciplines—yoga, Zen, meditation, and the like?


Yes, definitely. It shows the deep, disturbed undercurrents that there are in man, that he is really looking for something that is more than a thing. This is a civilization devoted to things. What they’re looking for is something that they cannot possess but serve, something higher than themselves.

I’m all with them in their search because it is my search, too. But I’ve searched for it all my life. And when I’m asked to speak about myth, I nearly always find it’s not known. There’s no preparation. There’s nothing for the words to fall on. People haven’t read the fairy tales.


What reading would you recommend for children and adults?


I should send people right back to the fairy tales. The Bible, of course. Even the nursery rhymes. You can find things there. As I was saying, when you think of “Humpty-Dumpty”—“. . . All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again”—that’s a wonderful story, a fable that some things are impossible. And when children learn that, they accept that there are certain things that can’t be, and it’s a most delicate and indirect way to have it go into them.

I feel that the indirect teaching is what is needed. All school teaching is a direct giving of information. But everything I do is by hint and suggestion. That’s what I think gets into the inner ear.

Want to read more about Travers' thoughts on fairy tale and folklore? Then read What the Bee Knows (Codhill Press).

“The Sphinx, the Pyramids, the stone temples are, all of them, ultimately, as flimsy as London Bridge; our cities but tents set up in the cosmos. We pass. But what the bee knows, the wisdom that sustains our passing life—however much we deny or ignore it—that for ever remains.” —P. L. Travers

Travers also wrote about Sleeping Beauty, a fairy tale that resonated with her, in her About the Sleeping Beauty. The book is small with her own interpretation of the tale as well as five other variants, all of which are found on SurLaLune these days as well as in my own Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World (Surlalune Fairy Tale).

The book is worth the admission for her story and afterword about the tale, of course. I have several passages marked in my copy. The other five tales included for comparison are the Grimms' Dornroschen (Briar-Rose); Perrault's La Belle au Bois Dormant (The Beauty Sleeping in the Woods); Basile's Sole, Luna, e Talia (Sun, Moon, and Talia); The Queen of Tubber Tintye, or The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Island (from Myths and Folk-lore of Ireland by Jeremiah Curtin); and The Petrified Mansion (from Bengal Fairy Tales by Francis Bradley-Birt).

Here's a scan of the cover of my copy: