Monday, July 31, 2017

Bargain Ebook: TODAY ONLY: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Book 1) by Zoraida Cordova for $1.99

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Book 1) by Zoraida Cordova is on sale in ebook formation TODAY ONLY for $1.99. Not a fairy tale retelling, but a novel inspired by a mash up of Dante's Inferno and Alice and Wonderland, which will probably interest a lot of readers here because that's original thinking. I actually assumed Minotaur myself when I saw the title and cover. I bought this one for being a clever concept alone since my to be read pile is massive.

Book description:

An NPR Best Young Adult Book of 2016's Best YA SFF of 2016
A Bustle Best Book of 2016 Selection
A Paste Magazine's Best Books of 2016

The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic.

At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she's not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex's only chance at saving her family.

Bargain Ebook: TODAY ONLY: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Calonita for $1.99

TODAY ONLY: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Calonita is on sale for $1.99 for the ebook edition.

Book description:

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job?

Flunked is an exciting new twisted fairy tale from the award-winning author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series. "Charming fairy-tale fun." -Sarah Mlynowski, author of the New York Times bestselling Whatever After series.

Gilly wouldn't call herself wicked, exactly...but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly's a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).

Until she gets caught.

Gilly's sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its heroic mission. There's a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bargain Ebook: The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz (Author) and Hatem Aly (Illustrator) is on sale in ebook format for $3.49. Not a typical book I share here since it is inspired by The Canterbury Tales instead of fairy tales, but we can consider Canterbury part of folklore history, so it's not much of a stretch.

Gidwitz made his name with his A Tale Dark & Grimm (3 Book Series), which made me a fan of his writing. This book has received countless accolades since its release so if you haven't read it yet, here's your chance to do it at a bargain price.

Book description:

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne's loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam’s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor's Tale is bold storytelling that’s richly researched and adventure-packed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bargain Ebooks: Two by Mercedes Lackey

The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey is on sale in ebook format for $2.99 and The Gates of Sleep by Mercedes Lackey is on sale for $5.99 for a limited time (probably ending soon).

These are the first two books in The Elemental Masters Series and are rarely on sale. They usually range in the $7.99 and $8.99 range. I happen to like the earlier books better and these two retellings are among my favorites of the series, interesting takes on Snow White and Sleeping Beauty respectively. I owned them in paper and just bought these myself in ebook since that is my preferred method of reading fiction these days for when I feel like a reread in the future.

While the link to the series above provides a full list of the series by one publisher, the series had a prequel of sorts with another publisher, The Fire Rose, an unusual take on Beauty and the Beast. I read that one long before the official series launched when fairy tale novels were a much rarer breed of book. (I used to be able to personally read all new releases with fair tale themes.) I'm a sucker for elemental magic and this was one of my first exposures to such. Add in Edwardian England and I have a lot of catnip here even when I think Lackey's speed of writing sometimes is a detriment to her quality. Fire Rose and Serpent's Shadow especially remain vivid in my memory and I first read them decades ago now. (When did I get so old?)

Also, since Lackey's series has been on the brains of others apparently, a new article about it published this month can be read here: Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters Tells a Different Kind of Fairy Tale by Maggie Boyd.

Friday, July 21, 2017

New Book: Wanted (The Storymakers) by Betsy Schow

Wanted (The Storymakers) by Betsy Schow was released earlier this year. This is a sequel to Spelled, which drew inspiration from Wizard of Oz while this one draws more from Robin Hood and Camelot. Not technically fairy tales, but they are so often lumped with them that they are considered so by the general public. Not going to quibble here since they are probably still of interest to readers here whether they are not fairy tales!

The third book in the series, Banished, will be released in early 2018.

Book description:

In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood's daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?

Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though...they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she's the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn't in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn't figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi's going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.

Not happening. No way in Spell.

Rexi's plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Newish Book: Charmed, I'm Sure by Sarah Darer Littman

Charmed, I'm Sure by Sarah Darer Littman was released late last year, but I didn't discover it until recently. A YA Snow White retelling.

Book description:

Rosie White Charming—the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming—discovers that being the fairest in the land isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be in this charming continuation of the beloved fairy tale.

Meet Rosie White Charming. You probably know her parents, Snow and Prince. Yup—that Snow and Prince. You would think that being the only daughter of two of the most famous people in fairy tale history would be awesome.

But you would be wrong.

After failing to secure a date for the Fall Festive dance, Rosie is on a mission to prove that the daughter of the fairest in the land can actually hold her own. With the help of a mysterious and magical compact that her mother gives her (and a nice blowout from her mother’s favorite salon) Rosie starts to become the person she thinks she should be. But is being the fairest in all of the land really going to give Rosie her happily-ever-after?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Call for Fiction, Poetry, Art Submissions: Hans Christian Andersen at NonBinary Review

NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue's theme. We invite authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature and be featured on our cover. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting). Submissions only related by a vague, general, thematic similarity are unlikely to be accepted.

We are open to submissions which relate to the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. We encourage you to explore Project Gutenberg for reference, and suggest Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales, First Series, and Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales, Second Series as your source of inspiration (and accuracy.)

(Heidi's insert: Feel free to check out SurLaLune, too! See Hans Christian Andersen or many of his annotated tales on the site.)

Submissions which do not tie into the plots or make use of characters/settings from the stories WILL NOT be considered--there needs to be a clear connection to the source material.

We want language that makes us reach for a dictionary or a tissue or both. Words in combinations and patterns that leave the faint of heart a little dizzy.

NonBinary Review accepts fiction and creative non-fiction of up to 5,000 words in length, although shorter is probably better. Fiction should be double spaced, 12-point type, in Times New Roman or similar font in a Word document or text file. Authors may submit up to 5 pieces of flash fiction, no more than 1000 words each, in this category. Please upload each piece as a separate document on this submission. Flash (fiction or CNF) is the ONLY category where multiple pieces related to the same theme may be selected for publication.

NonBinary Review accepts poetry of up to 3 pages in length. Poetry should be single spaced, 12-point type, in Times New Roman or similar font in a Word document or text file. You may submit up to five files with this submission, but each poem must be submitted as a separate document.

We prefer high-resolution images in JPEG, PDF, TIFF, GIF or PNG format. Visual art must be related to each issue's theme and please attach only one file at a time. Each file must be accompanied by the artist's bio and an artist's statement, which should be submitted as a Word document or text file, double spaced, 12-point type, in Times New Roman or similar font.

Your 50-word bio should be included in your cover letter. If your bio is longer than 50 words, it WILL be edited for length if your piece is selected. You may submit more than one piece, but each piece must be submitted as a separate document.

NonBinary Review pays 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 for poetry (singular poems or a suite) and $25 per piece of visual art, payable upon receipt of the signed publication contract. In return, we ask for worldwide serial rights and electronic publishing rights. NonBinary Review accepts previously published work as long as the original publication is clearly credited. All contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.

If you are interested in your work appearing online, please indicate on your submission that you would like to be considered for our weekly online feature, Alphanumeric. Alphanumeric pays a flat fee of $10 per piece regardless of genre or length, and adheres to the same theme and style conventions as the current reading period for NonBinary Review. Alphanumeric pieces will be published online for the 3 active months per each issue, after which, these pieces will be published as a compendium to the issue in which they were published. All contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.

Authors and artists should state in their cover letters for which issue their submission is intended. Submissions not related to an upcoming issue's theme will be deleted unread.


The Sorcerer's Apprentice: An Anthology of Magical Tales by Jack Zipes

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: An Anthology of Magical Tales by Jack Zipes was released earlier this year. These are just the type of books I adore--obviously since I work on similar collections myself--with a single theme offered in a wide variety of tales and stories from around the globe. Lovely. And when an expert like Jack Zipes is at the helm, double the loveliness. The book will be reliable and it will be affordable, too. So everyone wins!

The book is worth the price of admission for the introduction alone, but then you actually get the tales to read, too. This is also an excellent gateway book to introduce folklore to Harry Potter fans--a definite marketing angle the book provides, being quite self-aware of that. But J.K. Rowling drew from folklore for her inspiration and here is a book that shows how rich those sources are, even though Rowling was probably unaware of many of these herself.

Book description:

A diverse new anthology that traces the meaning and magic of the sorcerer's apprentice tale throughout history

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" might conjure up images of Mickey Mouse from the Disney film Fantasia, or of Harry Potter. As this anthology reveals, however, "sorcerer's apprentice" tales―in which a young person rebels against, or complies with, an authority who holds the keys to magical powers―have been told through the centuries, in many languages and cultures, from classical times to today. This unique and beautifully illustrated book brings together more than fifty sorcerer's apprentice stories by a plethora of writers, including Ovid, Sir Walter Scott, and the Brothers Grimm. From Goethe's "The Pupil in Magic" to A. K. Ramanujan's "The Guru and His Disciple," this expansive collection presents variations of a classic passed down through countries and eras.

Readers enter worlds where household objects are brought to life and shape-shifting occurs from human to animal and back again. We meet two types of apprentice: "The Humiliated Apprentice," a foolish bumbler who wields magic ineffectively and promotes obedience to authority; and "The Rebellious Apprentice" who, through ambition and transformative skills, promotes empowerment and self-awareness. In an extensive introduction, esteemed fairy-tale scholar Jack Zipes discusses the significance and meaning of the apprentice stories, the contradictions in popular retellings, and the importance of magic as a tool of resistance against figures who abuse their authority. Twenty specially commissioned black-and-white illustrations by noted artist Natalie Frank bring the stories to visual life.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice enlightens and entertains readers with enduring, spellbinding tales of sorcery that have been with us through the ages.


List of Figures ix
Preface xi
Notes and Acknowledgments xxiii
The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Harry Potter, and Why Magic Matters 1

Part I The Humiliated Apprentice Tales

Early Tales
Lucian of Samosata, "Eucrates and Pancrates" (ca. 170 CE) 85
François Pétis de la Croix, "The Story of the Brahmin Padmanaba and the Young Hassan" (1707) 88
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "The Pupil in Magic" (1798) 97

Nineteenth-Century Tales
Robert Southey, "Cornelius Agrippa's Bloody Book" (1801) 101
Sir Walter Scott, "The Last Exorciser" (1838) 103
John Naaké, "The Book of Magic" (1874) 103
Alfred Cooper Fryer, "The Master and His Pupil; or, The Magic Book" (1884) 105
Sheykh-Zāda, "The Lady's Fifth Story" (1886) 110
Edith Hodgetts, "The Blacksmith and the Devil" (1890) 112

Twentieth-Century Tales
Henry Thomas Francis, "The Rash Magician" (1916) 117
Richard Rostron, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (1941) 119
Richard Dorson, "The Mojo" (1956) 123
Harold Courlander, "The Do-All Ax" (1957) 124

Part II The Rebellious Apprentice Tales

Early Tales
Ovid, "Erysichthon and Mestra" (8 CE) 129
Rachel Harriette Busk, "The Saga of the Well-and-Wise-Walking Khan" (ca. 3rd Century to 11th Century) 136
Somadeva, "Bhavasarman and the Two Witches" (ca. 1070) 140
Farīd al-Dīn ʿAttār, "The Magician's Apprentice" (ca. 1220) 142
Giovan Francesco Straparola, "Maestro Lattantio and His Apprentice Dionigi" (1553) 144
Sangendhi Mahalingam Natesa Sastri, "The Deceiver Shall Be Deceived" (ca. 1770) 151

Nineteenth-Century Tales
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, "The Nimble Thief and His Master" (1819) 163
Kazimierz Wladyslaw Woycicki, "The Sorcerer and His Apprentice" (1839) 166
Arthur and Albert Schott, "The Devil and His Pupil" (1845) 169
Ludwig Bechstein, "The Magic Combat" (1857) 174
Johann Georg von Hahn, "The Teacher and His Pupil" (1864) 178
Giuseppe Pitrè, "The Tuft of Wild Beet" (1875) 184
Domenico Comparetti, "Oh, Relief!" (1875) 190
François-Marie Luzel, "The Magician and His Servant" (1885) 193
George Webbe Dasent, "Farmer Weathersky" (1888) 202
Jerome Curtin, "The Fisherman's Son and the Gruagach of Tricks" (1890) 209
Edith Hodgetts, "The Wonderful Trade" (1890) 218
Charles Swynnerton, "The Story of Ali the Merchant and the Brahmin" (1892) 227

Twentieth-Century Tales
Leo Wiener, "The Tale of the Sorcerer" (1902) 243
Joseph Charles Mardrus, "The Twelfth Captain's Tale" (ca. 1904) 247
Fletcher Gardner, "The Battle of the Enchanters" (1907) 253
Peter Buchan, "The Black King of Morocco" (1908) 254
Cecil Henry Bompas, "The Boy Who Learnt Magic" (1909) 257
Edith Nesbit, "The Magician's Heart" (1912) 260
Claude-Marius Barbeau, "The Two Magicians" (1916) 272
Hermann Hesse, "The Forest Dweller" (1917) 274
Heywood Broun, "Red Magic" (1921) 281
Dean Fansler, "The Mysterious Book" (1921) 286
Elsie Clews Parsons, "The Battle of the Enchanters" (1923) 289
Romuald Pramberger, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (1926) 293
Seumas MacManus, "The Mistress of Magic" (1926) 296
Joseph Médard Carrière, "The Two Magicians" (1937) 306
John Mason Brewer, "The High Sheriff and His Servant" (1958) 311
Corinne Saucier, "The Man and His Son" (1962) 312
A. K. Ramanujan, "The Magician and His Disciple" (1997) 313

Part III Krabat Tales

Joachim Leopold Haupt, "About an Evil Man in Groß-Särchen" (1837) 323
Michael Hornig, "Krabat: A Legend from Folklore" (1858) 324
Georg Gustav Kubasch, "Krabat" (1865) 326
Edmund Veckenstedt, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice, I" (1880; Recorded by Hendrich Jordan) 329
Edmund Veckenstedt, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice, II" (1880; Recorded by Alexander von Rabenau) 331
Johann Goltsch, "The Story about Krabat" (1885) 333
Georg Pilk, "The Wendish Faust Legend" (1900) 334
Jerzy Slizinski, "Krabat" (1959) 344

Biographies of Authors, Editors, Collectors, and Translators 349
Filmography 365
Bibliography 369
Selected and Chronological List of Sorcerer's Apprentice Tales 387
Index 397

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Book: Tricked by Jen Calonita

Tricked by Jen Calonita was released earlier this year, the third in the Fairy Tale Reform School series. This has been a popular series with some clever usage of classic fairy tale characters and tropes.

Book description:

Things are changing at Fairy Tale Reform School.

At least, that's what Gilly's heard through the Enchantasia rumor mill. Word is, notorious trickster Rumpelstiltskin has taken over management from Headmistress Flora, and he's locked down the school tighter than the Pied Piper's pants. Not that this news concerns Gilly. She's been released from FTRS and is now suffering through attending Jack of All Trades School, where she gets to learn about different kinds of shoe leather and ways to measure feet. Truly riveting stuff.

But when Gilly's little sister Anna gets whisked off to FTRS thanks to her troublemaking new friends, Hansel and Gretel, Gilly knows she's got to get Anna out of there. There's only one thing to do; make some serious trouble and get thrown back into FTRS.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Book: The Princess and the Pearl by E.D. Baker

The Princess and the Pearl by E.D. Baker was released earlier this year. It's the latest release in the The Wide-Awake Princess series from E. D. Baker which uses many fairy tales to inspire its characters and plots.

Book description:

When Princess Annie's father and uncle fall ill and no doctors in Treecrest can cure them, there's only one person who might be able to help -- a healer who lives in Skull Cove, all the way on the other side of the world. To journey there, Annie and Liam must set sail on dangerous seas full of sea monsters and magical creatures. There, Annie finds out that the only cure for her father is a giant pearl that's been stolen and held captive by a protective sea witch. Can Annie find the pearl before it's too late?

The magic continues in E. D. Baker's irresistibly fun and fantastical Wide-Awake Princess series!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TODAY ONLY: Sale on The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is on sale for $2.99 TODAY ONLY in ebook format. This is about $10 off the current list price. This is also one of the best reviewed fairy tale inspired novels of the year, a release from early 2017. A sequel is due in December.

Book description:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale

“Vasya [is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Arden’s supple, sumptuous first novel transports the reader to a version of medieval Russia where history and myth coexist.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bargain Ebook: Followed by Frost by Charlie N. Holmberg for $1.99

Followed by Frost by Charlie N. Holmberg is on sale for $1.99, a fairy tale-esque novel. Holmberg uses many fairy tale, myth and folklore themes in her books.

Book description:

Seventeen-year-old Smitha's wealth, status, and beauty make her the envy of her town—until she rejects a strange man’s marriage proposal and disastrous consequences follow. Smitha becomes cursed, and frost begins to encompass everything she touches. Banished to the hills, hunted by villagers, and chilled to the very core of her soul, she finds companionship with Death, who longs to coax her into his isolated world. But Smitha's desire for life proves stronger than despair, and a newfound purpose gives her hope. Will regrets over the past and an unexpected desire for a man she cannot touch be enough to warm Smitha’s heart, or will Death forever still it?

Bargain Ebook: Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire for $1.99

Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire is on sale for $1.99 in ebook format.

Book description:

Is this new land a place where magics really happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.

In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....

We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty . . . and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?

Extreme beauty is an affliction

Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household--and the treacherous truth of her former life.

God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!

Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the most unexpected of places.

Bargain Ebook: Black as Snow by Nick Nolan for $.99

Black as Snow by Nick Nolan is on sale in ebook format for $.99. This is a very dark Snow White inspired novel.

Book description:

Sebastian Black is a god amongst men: he’s devastatingly handsome and charismatic—and telepathic. So when his scheming mother, prophetess Kitty Black, announces that her son is the “next species of man,” the world begins taking notice. Together, Kitty and Sebastian forge a spiritual movement that celebrates “divine evolution” while warning of a mass extinction. But just as their fame and wealth are building, a tragedy befalls one of Sebastian’s disciples, and threats from Christian militants become too real to ignore.

Sebastian flees Los Angeles—and his mother—in search of peace and freedom. One by one he encounters “common” people who astonish him with their uncomplicated stories of love and compassion: an aging lesbian couple; a Mexican handyman; a shy, anorexic woman; a recovering meth addict; a gay teenager; and an unthinking college jock. Surprisingly, each has a profound effect upon this arrogant young “messiah.”

As Sebastian drifts further away from Kitty, she becomes more determined to preserve their celebrity status and glittering lifestyle. She sets out to reel Sebastian back to her—even if it means conspiring with his enemies, in particular a dashing young Spaniard who darkly mirrors Sebastian’s supernatural talents and good looks. But not even the telepathic Sebastian can foresee what happens next.

From the sleek penthouses of Century City to the savage coastline of Big Sur, Black as Snow twists the beloved fairy tale of Snow White into a suspense-filled story of intrigue, spirituality, and greed…and the unstoppable power of everyday love.

Bargain Ebook: Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut for $1.99

Bluebeard: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988) by Kurt Vonnegut is on sale for $1.99. It has been on sale before but usually lists in the $7-8 range.

Book description:

Bluebeard, published in 1987, is Vonnegut's meditation on art, artists, surrealism, and disaster. Meet Rabo Karabekian, a moderately successful surrealist painter, who we meet late in life and see struggling (like all of Vonnegut's key characters), with the dregs of unresolved pain and the consequences of brutality. Loosely based on the legend of Bluebeard (best realized in Bela Bartok's one-act opera), the novel follows Karabekian through the last events in his life that is heavy with women, painting, artistic ambition, artistic fraudulence, and as of yet unknown consequence.

Vonnegut's intention here is not so much satirical (although the contemporary art scene would be easy enough to deconstruct), nor is it documentary (although Karabekian does carry elements of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko). Instead, Vonnegut is using art for the same purpose he used science fiction cliches in Slaughterhouse-Five; as a filter through which he can illuminate the savagery, cruelty, and the essentially comic misdirection of human existence.

Readers will recognize familiar Vonnegut character types and archetypes as they drift in and out through the background; meanwhile, Karabekian, betrayed and betrayer, sinks through a bottomless haze of recollection. Like most of Vonnegut's late works, this is both science fiction and cruel contemporary realism at once, using science fiction as metaphor for human damage as well as failure to perceive. Readers will find that Vonnegut's protagonists can never really clarify for us whether they are ultimately unwitting victims or simple barbarians, leaving it up to the reader to determine in which genre this book really fits, if any at all.


Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) is one of the most beloved American writers of the twentieth century. Vonnegut's audience increased steadily since his first five pieces in the 1950s and grew from there. His 1968 novel Slaughterhouse-Five has become a canonic war novel with Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to form the truest and darkest of what came from World War II.

Vonnegut began his career as a science fiction writer, and his early novels--Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan--were categorized as such even as they appealed to an audience far beyond the reach of the category. In the 1960s, Vonnegut became closely associated with the Baby Boomer generation, a writer on that side, so to speak.

Now that Vonnegut's work has been studied as a large body of work, it has been more deeply understood and unified. There is a consistency to his satirical insight, humor and anger which makes his work so synergistic. It seems clear that the more of Vonnegut's work you read, the more it resonates and the more you wish to read. Scholars believe that Vonnegut's reputation (like Mark Twain's) will grow steadily through the decades as his work continues to increase in relevance and new connections are formed, new insights made.


Author Kurt Vonnegut is considered by most to be one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His books Slaughterhouse-Five (named after Vonnegut's World War II POW experience) and Cat's Cradle are considered among his top works. RosettaBooks offers here a complete range of Vonnegut's work, including his first novel (Player Piano, 1952) for readers familiar with Vonnegut's work as well as newcomers.

Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1) by Jim C. Hines for $1.99

Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1) by Jim C. Hines is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. If Hines sounds familiar to you here at SurLaLune, he is also the author of the Princess series that retold several fairy tale princess stories, starting with The Stepsister Scheme (PRINCESS Book 1). I myself am an eternal fan just alone for his contributions to the discussion about the Cover Posing issues on book covers.

Book description:

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.

With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

Or a better one from Jim's blog:

Isaac Vainio has spent the past two years working at the Copper River Library in northern Michigan, secretly cataloguing books for their magical potential, but forbidden from using that magic himself…except for emergencies. Emergencies like a trio of young vampires who believe Isaac has been killing their kind, and intend to return the favor.

Isaac is a libriomancer, brilliant but undisciplined, with the ability to reach into books and create objects from their pages. And attacking a libriomancer in his own library is never a good idea.

But vampires are only the beginning. This was merely the latest in a series of attacks against members of Die Zwelf Portenære, a secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg to protect the world from supernatural threats. Among the casualties is Ray Walker, Isaac’s friend and mentor in magic.

Complicating matters further is the arrival of a dryad named Lena Greenwood. Along with a neurotic fire-spider named Smudge, Isaac and Lena set out to find and stop whoever is behind the attacks. But things are worse than Isaac imagined. An unknown killer of unimaginable power has been torturing and murdering humans and vampires alike. And Gutenberg, now more than six hundred years old, has disappeared. If Isaac is to have any hope of preventing all-out war, he will have to truly master the magic of libriomancy.

Assuming he doesn’t lose control and wipe himself from existence first.

Bargain Ebook: Silver Birch, Blood Moon, Short Story Anthology for $1.99

Silver Birch, Blood Moon edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling is on sale in ebook format for $1.99, down from the usual $6-7 range. The books on these series go on sale briefly semi-regularly (about once a year for each of the titles) and don't last long. So get this is you want it quick!

Book description:

Twenty-one darker, deeper, more adult takes on some of our favorite childhood fairy tales, from acclaimed contemporary fantasists

Long ago, when we were children, our dreams were inspired by the fairy tales we heard at our mothers’ and grandmothers’ knees—stories of princesses and princes and witches and wondrous enchantments, by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, and from the pages of 1001 Arabian Nights. But, as World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling remind us, these stories were often tamed and sanitized versions. The originals were frequently darker—and in Silver Birch, Blood Moon, they turn darker still.

Twenty-one modern Grimms and Andersens—masterful storytellers including Neil Gaiman, Nancy Kress, and Tanith Lee—now reinvent beloved bedtime stories for our time. The Sea Witch gets her say, relating the story of “The Little Mermaid” from her own point of view. “Thumbelina” becomes a tale of creeping horror, while a delightfully naughty spin is put on “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Author Caitlin R. Kiernan transports Snow White to a dark, gritty, industrial urban setting, and Patricia Briggs details “The Price” of dealing with a royal and unrepentantly evil Rumpelstiltskin.

Rich, provocative, and unabashedly adult, each of these tales is a modern treasure, reminding us that wishes have consequences and not all genies have our best interests at heart.

Bargain Ebook: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George for $1.99

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is on sale for $1.99 in ebook format.

The book retells East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a Beauty and the Beast tale. And one of my favorites. And the tale helps one to understand how Cupid and Psyche is a Beauty and the Beast tale, this is the bridge story between the two.

Book description:

Blessed-or cursed-with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she's known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn't hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who's been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he's forced to marry a troll princess.

Bargain Ebook: The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale for $1.99

The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale is on sale for only $1.99 in ebook format. This  is one of my favorite of Hale's books and inspired me to add Maid Maleen to the annotated tales on SurLaLune. The tale, the setting, the book are all unusual in fairy tale retelling novels.

Book description:

Based on a classic Grimm's fairy tale, this is the story told by Dashti, a maid from the steppes of a medieval land, who sacrifices her freedom to accompany her mistress into exile. Imprisoned in a remote tower after Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father has chosen, the maid and the lady have almost nothing in common. But the loyalty that grows between the two, the man they love in different ways for different reasons, and the lies they tell because of and in spite of each other, combine to evoke the deepest bonds, transcend the loneliest landscapes, and erupt in a conclusion so romantic, so clever, and so right that no reader will be left dry-eyed.

Bargain Ebook: The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde for $1.99

The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde is on sale for $1.99 for the first time for the digital edition. There's a send up of Nursery Rhymes in this one with that Fforde British humor to boot.

Book description:

From the creator of The Eyre Affair, enter the world of the Nursery Crime Division

Jasper Fforde's bestselling Thursday Next series has delighted readers of every genre with its literary derring-do and brilliant flights of fancy. In The Big Over Easy, Fforde takes a break from classic literature and tumbles into the seedy underbelly of nursery crime. Meet Inspector Jack Spratt, family man and head of the Nursery Crime Division. He's investigating the murder of ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Dumpty, found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. Yes, the big egg is down, and all those brittle pieces sitting in the morgue point to foul play.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

TODAY ONLY Bargain Ebook: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Hunted by Meagan Spooner is on sale for $1.99 in digital edition. This is the first time it has been on sale to my knowledge. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, reading catnip for many SurLaLune readers.

Book description:

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner spins a thoroughly thrilling Beauty and the Beast story for the modern age, expertly woven with spellbinding romance, intrigue, and suspense that readers won’t soon be able to forget.

Beauty knows the Beast's forest in her bones—and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering its secrets. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin, or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?