Thursday, June 30, 2016

Press Release: The Brainery Workshop Summer 2016 Registrations Now Open Including Science Fiction Fairy Tales

Press Release: The Brainery Workshop Summer 2016 Registrations Now Open

Press Contact: Jilly Dreadful, jillydreadful at

The Brainery Workshop, which hosts online creative writing classes focused exclusively on speculative fiction, is pleased to announce that Summer 2016 Workshop registration is now live. We're offering two classes this summer—Sci-Fi Fairy Tales and Short Fiction—as well as two Master Class Roundtable Sessions with John Joseph Adams and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Workshops for Science Fiction Fairy Tales begin the week of July 3 and the workshops for Short Fiction begin the week of July 10. Class meeting times are based on student availability. Visit to learn more and sign up.

Workshop Details
Science Fiction Fairy Tales, taught by Jilly Dreadful, Ph.D., and Carina Bissett, is a hypoxic-style workshop designed to push students to challenge themselves as writers and to question the conventions and limits of what it means to remix fairy tales in modern ways. This is a generative writing workshop where students consider a different fairy tale and science theme pairing—such as Donkeyskin and biohacking—and remix it using experimental methods. Students will write (on average) 750-1500 words weekly, as well as discuss each other’s work.

Short Fiction, taught by Valerie Valdes, and Jerome Stueart, Ph.D., is a workshop designed for speculative fiction writers looking to produce submission-ready short fiction in the form of flash fiction, short stories or standalone novel excerpts. Participants will deepen their theory and practice through the discussion of course readings, a continually evolving feedback loop from the instructor and classmates, as well as the kind of accountability that a community of peers can provide. Writers work on three submissions during the program: two new and/or original works, up to 7500 words in length, a revision of one of the two previously submitted pieces.

Master Class Roundtable Sessions
Every writer enrolled in The Brainery will have the opportunity to attend 60 – 90 minute roundtable sessions and ask questions of special guests. All Master Classes are recorded and made available to students. This semester's speakers include:

John Joseph Adams, two-time Hugo Winner, is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, as well as the editor and publisher of the digital magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia's novel, Signal to Noise, is a Locus finalist and Aurora nominee, and she has edited several anthologies, including Dead North and She Walks in Shadows, and Nightmare's POC Destroy Horror October 2016 issue.

About The Brainery

The Brainery is an online creative writing workshop focused exclusively on speculative fiction--magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, horror, weird tales, slipstream, steampunk, and the like--as an artistic discipline worthy of theory and practice. The courses offer an intense practicum in speculative fiction similar to a traditional graduate-level quality fiction workshop. Instruction concentrates on understanding and implementing writing craft, such as characterization, point of view, narrative structure, style, and voice, in the specific context of spec-fic.

All of the Brainery's courses are designed for new and early career writers. People who are ready to make writing a part of daily life, ready to give themselves permission to give their writing space and time to develop, and who have a desire to publish fiction in professional markets. Although classes are designed with a flexible schedule in mind, students are expected to commit to the same standards as expected of graduate-level creative writing courses, including: deadlines, feedback, and accountability.

Students participating in The Brainery must also be committed to a spirit of community development and support.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Book 1) by Leigh Bardugo

The highly recommended--by other readers--Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Book 1) by Leigh Bardugo is on sale for $2.99 in ebook format. It is not a retelling of a particular fairy tale but uses many folklore elements, primarily Russian folklore to build its world and story.

Book description:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Book Bargain: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard for $1.99

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard is on sale in ebook format for $1.99 for a limited time, down from $7.99.

From my earlier post about the book a few weeks ago:

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard is a new May release. This isn't a fairy tale retelling, but a faerie book. I don't track all of those on the blog, but when one gains my interest and notice, I share it here. This one reminded me a bit of Tam Lin and has an interesting premise but I haven't read it myself yet. It is also getting some considerable hype.

Book description:

Publishers Weekly Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Novel of Summer 2016

“Captivating, fiercely smart (about sisters, artists), utterly transporting. I read it so consumingly, it was more akin to swallowing it whole. Not to be missed.” —Megan Abbott, Edgar-winning author of The Fever and You Will Know Me

“Kat Howard seems to possess a magic of her own, of making characters come alive and scenery so vivid, you forget it exists only on the page. Roses and Rot is both beautiful and dark, lovely, and haunting." —Anton Bogomazov, Politics and Prose Bookstore

“A contemporary dark fantasy full of dark magic, the hidden traps of fairy tales, and painful humanity. I loved every page.” —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Ringers

Imogen and her sister Marin escape their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, whether it be art or love in this haunting debut novel from “a remarkable young writer” (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice for everything you ever dreamed of?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.

New: Beauty and the Beast by Mahlon F. Craft and Kinuko Y. Craft

Beauty and the Beast by Mahlon F. Craft (Author) and Kinuko Y. Craft (Illustrator) is officially released next month on July 26, 2016. Yay! A favorite illustrator illustrating my favorite tale. Yay yay yay!

I have illustrations to share, which are from the book, but these images are from the 2017 calendar--Beauty and the Beast 2017 Fairy Tale Wall Calendar--derived from the book which is available right now and may sell out since these calendars tend to do so. So I am sharing the book and the calendar now. In case you want both.

Book description:

Award-winning team Mahlon and Kinuko Craft bring us a gorgeous and vivid retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast in this stunningly illustrated picture book.

The tale is as old as time: A man steals a rose from the garden of a beast. His beautiful daughter sacrifices herself to a life in the beast’s castle to protect her father. The beast and the girl fall in love and live happily ever after…

This beloved tale is captured with lyrical prose and lavish illustration. In the spirit of the Crafts’ previous collaborations, their acclaimed fairy-tale retellings of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, this timeless tale is brought to life with sumptuous paintings and ornamental detail in this lush picture book to be cherished at story time again and again.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Winter by Marissa Meyer for $2.99 TODAY ONLY

Winter by Marissa Meyer is on sale in ebook format, today only, for $2.99. This is the first time it has been on sale at this low of a price. It is well worth the full price I paid for it, but if you don't have it yet, this is your chance to get it for a great price!

Book description:

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series!

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins for $3.99

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is on sale for $3.99 in ebook format. This was just released a few months ago and was priced about double this previously for ebook.

From my earlier post upon its release:

I am really excited with this one--I haven't read it yet, don't even have a copy--but it retells a lesser known Grimm tale, The Singing Bone.

The Singing Bone falls into ATU 780 and has several variations. I haven't annotated this on SurLaLune although it has been on my consideration list for years. The tale has been retold by modern authors a few times in short fiction and poetry in the last three decades, but not often--if ever--in novel length.

You can see a list of folklore variations of ATU 780 on D. L. Ashliman's site at The Singing Bone, too.

The book will be part of a duology, The Eurona Duology, so there will be more to come, too from Higgins.

Book description:

Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.

When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger—she was meant to marry for love—until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there’s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton’s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the secrets he’s buried begin to surface against his wishes.

New Book: The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi and Shahar Kober

The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi (Author) and Shahar Kober (Illustrator) was released this past April. And, yes, it's a retelling of Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. With Dumplings.

Book description:

"A whimsical story about being different, and the power of love."—Wendy Orr, author of Nim's Island and The Princess and Her Panther

It’s not easy being the ugliest dumpling in a dim sum restaurant. Uneaten and ignored, the ugly dumpling is down in the dumps. But when an encouraging cockroach sees the dumpling’s inner beauty, this unlikely duo embarks on an eye-opening adventure, leading the ugly dumpling to discover its true identity and realize that being different is beautiful after all.

A modern fairytale retelling with a timeless moral: There’s a little ugly dumpling in all of us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Book: Where's the Princess?: And Other Fairy Tale Searches by Chuck Whelon

Where's the Princess?: And Other Fairy Tale Searches by Chuck Whelon was released earlier this year. It's a fairy tale version of Where's Waldo. I've got images below of the illustrations.

Book description:

Wave your magic wands and cast a spell to help you locate the princess and much more in this enchanting “search and find” activity book for fairy tale fans of all ages!

Can you spot Cinderella and her glass slipper? How about Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf or Hansel and Gretel and the Hungry Witch? Do you see where Pinocchio and Geppetto are hiding? Can you find the Little Mermaid and the Sea King under the sea? Featuring characters, creatures, and objects from twelve of your favorite fairy tales, this magical “search and find” puts a fun and engaging new twist on your favorite classics.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Snow White by Donald Barthelme

Snow White by Donald Barthelme is on sale for $3.99 in ebook format, down from its usual $10.99. I've owned it in paper for at least fifteen years and have never read it. Maybe now that I have it on my Kindle it will move us the list!

Book description:

An inventive, satiric modern retelling of the classic fairy tale provides an incisive and biting commentary on the absurdities and complexities of modern life.

In Snow White, Donald Barthelme subjects the traditional fairy tale to postmodern aesthetics. In the novel, the seven dwarves are men who live communally with Snow White and earn a living by washing buildings and making Chinese baby food. Snow White quotes Mao and the dwarves grapple with low self-esteem in this raucous retelling of the classic tale.

Friday, June 17, 2016

New Book: Story Emporium: Five Funky Fairy Tale Plays by Dean Calusdian

Story Emporium: Five Funky Fairy Tale Plays by Dean Calusdian was released in May.

Book description:

Welcome to The Story Emporium where your favorite fables are sold and told!
A collection of fairy tale plays filled with witty humor, word play and wacky characters.

In a thrilling tale of nature gone berserk, the PIED PIPER must save the town of Hamlin from an invasion of rats. But are the townspeople willing to pay the price?

Trapped in a tower with nothing but straw, a poor maiden must turn to the aid of the mysterious man known only as RUMPLESTILTSKIN. But she doesn't realize who she's dealing with.

The barnyard is on the brink of destruction and there is no time for baking bread. Only the LITTLE RED HEN can save the day when Farmageddon is at hand.

You'll experience the giant excitement of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK and be enthralled by Snow White, the classic tale of power, betrayal and deadly fruit.

Story Emporium is packed with irreverent humor that keeps older students and parents thoroughly entertained without losing the charm and warmth of the stories young children know and love.

Each individual tale has a cast size of 4-7 performers. The full length play can be performed with a cast as flexible as 8-48, making it a directors dream.

Story Emporium is ideal for educational theater programs, The individual plays are quick to memorize and rehearse, with each role created to give students equal opportunities.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

New Book: Rattlestiltskin by Eric A. Kimmel

Rattlestiltskin by Eric A. Kimmel (Author) and Erin Camarca (Illustrator) was released last month, the next in a series of retold fairy tales by Kimmel that include Jack and the Giant Barbecue and The Three Little Tamales.

Book description:

Rosalia is in debt to the strange little snake man Rattlestiltskin after he teaches her how to make tortillas so light they float in the air! Can she outsmart the trickster and keep her freedom? From renowned children's book author Eric A. Kimmel comes this delightful reimagining of the classic Rumplestiltskin with a Southwestern setting and Spanish vocabulary.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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

Princess Between Worlds: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker was released in April. This is part of Baker's Wide-Awake Princess series which uses fairy tales and fairy tale tropes like so many of Baker's books do.

Book description:

The magic continues in the fifth tale of the Wide-Awake Princess!

Just as Annie and Liam are busy making plans to travel the world, a witch shows up and gives them a collection of postcards from the Magic Marketplace. Each postcard gives Annie and Liam the opportunity to travel to exotic lands and far-flung kingdoms. What the witch doesn't give them are directions on how to safely return.

With fan-favorite characters making special appearances from E. D. Baker's beloved Tales of the Frog Princess series, this addition to the Wide-Awake Princess series is not to be missed!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Book: The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson is released today. It is the sequel to Pennyroyal Academy which was released in 2014. Fairy tale tropes are in use here but aren't specified in the book description for the original book or this sequel.

Book description:

Perfect for fans of The School for Good and Evil comes the eagerly anticipated follow-up to M. A. Larson's Pennyroyal Academy, hailed by the New York Times as a "breathtakingly exciting novel" with a heroine who "deserves a special place in a new pantheon of capable, feisty and, yes, admirable literary princesses."

A triumphant victory over the witches has proven that Princess Cadet Evie really does belong at Pennyroyal Academy. News of her heroism has traveled far and wide—inspiring a kingdom of grateful citizens and, when the new term starts, a wave of fresh Academy recruits.

While it’s good to be returning to the Academy as a second-class Cadet, things are not as they should be. Evie witnesses the vicious attack of an innocent woman—by a trio of princesses. Pennyroyal’s Headmistress General, Princess Beatrice, is dubious about what Evie saw—princesses are enforcers of truth and justice, not thugs. But Evie isn’t so sure. Then, amidst piles of fan mail, she finds a letter with an ominous threat. A secret society has come out of the shadows with a wicked plan, putting the Academy in peril. It’s up to Evie and her friends to unravel the devious plot and save Pennyroyal Academy.

This sequel to the beloved, critically acclaimed Pennyroyal Academy promises middle-grade readers a tale full of adventure and suspense.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer is currently $2.99, dropped from its usual $6.99. It's the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Book description:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner. An NPR Best Book of 2013

Bargain Ebook: Letters to Zell by Camille Griep TODAY ONLY for $1.99

Letters to Zell by Camille Griep is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format.
Book description:

Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?

In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.