Monday, July 29, 2013

Bargain Book: Little Red Riding Hood Illustrated by Daniel Egneus

Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Daniel Egneus is currently bargain priced for $6 in hardcover.

Book description from the publisher:

Here are “Little Red” and “the Wolf” as you’ve never seen them before – stunningly reinterpreted by internationally renowned artist Daniel Egnéus. One of the most oft-told fairytales of all time, Little Red Riding Hood is an adventure story, a coming of age story, a cautionary tale – and it’s soon to be a major Hollywood motion picture produced by Leonardo diCaprio, directed by Catherine Hardwicke of the Twilight films fame, and starring Amanda Seyfried from Big Love, Mamma Mia! and Letters to Juliet, along with Julie Christie and Gary Oldman. Daniel Egnéus’s elegant, romantic, and hypnotic illustrations carry a new generation breathlessly into the deep, dark woods for a haunting, unforgettable experience unparalleled by anything else in the waking world.
Here are some images from the book courtesy of the publisher's website:

Finally, here's a video about the making of the book.  You can also learn more about him on his website which mostly offers a collection of images from his other projects, not this one currently.

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Book: Of Witches and Wind (Ever Afters, The) by Shelby Bach

Of Witches and Wind (Ever Afters, The) by Shelby Bach was released this week. This is the second book in Bach's The Ever Afters series following last summer's release of Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters), which is now in paperback. These books are aimed at middle readers and sound quite fun. Fairy tale characters like Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel are grown-ups running Ever After School and the Snow Queen is the ongoing villain of the series. The first book draws strongest inspiration from Jack and the Beanstalk. The second book's cover looks to be a take on Three Billy Goats Gruff. So there are many fairy tales to be enjoyed here for the savvy fairy tale reader.

Book description for Book 2: Of Witches and Wind (Ever Afters, The):

In this second book in a series that Kirkus Reviews calls a “fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy,” it’s up to Rory to save the Ever After School—and deal with her father’s fiancée. 
After taking part in a successful real-life fairy tale, Rory Landon is now an Ever After School veteran. She has better friends than she’s ever had, and she’s stronger, more confident, and ready to take on whatever comes next.

Or so she thought. When a nefarious plan from The Snow Queen threatens the entire Ever After School program, it is up to Rory and Chase to save everyone. Between this new adventure and what is happening at home—where a potential stepmom has entered the picture—Rory wonders if she really has what it takes to come to the rescue.

Book description for Book 1: Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters):

When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny in this “fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy” (Kirkus Reviews).
Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. After she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real—and she is destined to star in one of her own.

This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Capital One's Frog Prince

I haven't shared an advertising post in a while and this one came up on one of my login pages this week. Obviously a Frog Prince reference by Capital One's online ad campaign in the U.S. Cute!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: Dreams and Shadows: A Novel by C. Robert Cargill

Dreams and Shadows: A Novel by C. Robert Cargill is $1.99 TODAY ONLY. It is not part of the sale I have featured today on the blog. It has been on my alert list for a while and is now a Deal of the Day.

Screenwriter and acclaimed film critic C. Robert Cargill makes his fiction debut with Dreams and Shadows, taking beloved fantasy tropes, giving them a twist, and turning out a wonderful, witty, and wry take on clash between the fairy world and our own.

Something is missing from Ewan and Colby’s lives. Residing in the corners of their memories is their time in Limestone Kingdom, a realm filled with magic and mystery, a world where only some may travel amongst the menagerie of mystical souls and sinister demons.

Cargill offers well-crafted characters and an absorbing, intricate plot that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Lev Grossman. Dreams and Shadows pulls you into an extraordinary universe of darkness that exposes the magic and monsters in our world, and in ourselves.

Ebook Deals: Oxford University Press Titles

There is a new sale at Amazon: The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off. The prices are good until August 4th on this one, although I've learned that some books disappear from these sales once a quota is met. I'm going to share a few posts with links to various titles of interest from the sale.

Here are two nonfiction titles in the sale, both from Oxford University Press:

Folk Music:A Very Short Introduction by Mark Slobin is $1.99. List price is $9.99, usually sells for $7.99.

Book description:

When we think of folk music, most of us picture Pete Seeger singing "This Land is My Land" or Joan Baez singing "Barbara Allen." But this stimulating Very Short Introduction throws open the doors on a remarkably diverse musical genre, in a wide-ranging portrait that goes far beyond America's shores to discuss folk music of every possible kind and in every corner of the globe. Written by award-winning musicologist Mark Slobin, this is the first compact introduction to folk music that offers a truly global perspective. Slobin offers an extraordinarily generous portrait of folk music, one that embraces a Russian wedding near the Arctic Circle, a group song in a small rainforest village in Brazil, and an Uzbek dance tune in Afghanistan. He looks in detail at three poignant songs from three widely separated regions--northern Afghanistan, Jewish Eastern Europe, and the Anglo-American world--with musical notation and lyrics included. And he also describes the efforts of scholars who fanned out across the globe, to find and document this ever-changing music.

From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages by Michael Adams is is $1.99. The hardcover is $13.47.

Book description:

From the Elvish language Tolkien invented for denizens of Middle Earth to the science fiction lingo spoken by the Klingons in Star Trek, writers have always endeavored to create new forms of expression, not only in the English language, but in languages that exist only in their own imaginations.

Now, in From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages, a group of leading linguists offers a lively investigation of all manner of invented languages. Each chapter focuses on a different language, or group of languages, and explores the origins, purpose, and usage of these curious artifacts of culture. We learn about the new languages invented to enhance the experience of video and online games, from the complexities of Gargish, the language of gargoyles in Ultima VI, to Simlish, the emotionally expressive language of The Sims, and 1334, the entirely exclusionary and satirical language of international gamers. We also learn about the futuristic languages, Newspeak and Nadsat, invented by George Orwell and Anthony Burgess in their dystopian novels 1984 and A Clockwork Orange, and many more. The book explores all aspects of invented languages--their unique grammar, vocabulary, and usage--and includes fascinating analysis of sample dialogues and expressions. Written by experts in their fields, chapters cover such topics as International Auxiliary Languages, Invented Vocabularies, Literary "Nonsense", and Language Reconstruction and Renewal. It's all "maj" (good) as the Klingons would say, or "doubleplusgood," as a "duckspeaker" in Orwell's 1984 might observe.

For anyone wanting to understand more fully the intricacies and attractions of invented languages, From Elvish to Klingon offers the most thorough study of the subject available today.

Ebook Deals: The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler (A Top SurLaLune Pick)

There is a new sale at Amazon: The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off. The prices are good until August 4th on this one, although I've learned that some books disappear from these sales once a quota is met. I'm going to share a few posts with links to various titles of interest from the sale.

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler was my first purchase of the sale and one of my top recommendations if your budget is limited and you've not read this yet. It is $1.99 today, usually $4-8, closer to $8. My niece also enjoyed this Twelve Dancing Princesses inspired novel. It has never been discounted before and is worth much more than every penny of $1.99.

Book description:

Zita is not an ordinary servant girl—she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.

Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends—Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier—Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot—and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.

A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, The Thirteenth Princess tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses—and the young girl determined to save them all.

Ebook Deals: Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

There is a new sale at Amazon: The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off. The prices are good until August 4th on this one, although I've learned that some books disappear from these sales once a quota is met. I'm going to share a few posts with links to various titles of interest from the sale.

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray is $2.99. This is the first in a new series by Gray just released this past March and usually $7+. The reviews have been strong for it.

Book description:

When Nadia's family moves to Captive's Sound, she instantly realizes there's more to the place than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia can sense that a spell has been cast over the tiny Rhode Island town—a sickness infecting everyone and everything in it. The magic at work is darker and more powerful than anything she's come across and has sunk its claws most deeply into Mateo . . . her rescuer, her friend, and the guy she yearns to get closer to even as he pushes her away.

Mateo has lived in Captive's Sound his entire life, shadowed by small-town gossip and his family's tormented past. Every generation, the local legends say, one member of the family goes mad, claiming to know the future before descending into insanity. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl from a car accident actually come true, he knows he's doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his terrible family curse, and to prevent a coming disaster that even now threatens the entire town, including Nadia's family, her newfound friends, and her own life. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray's new novel depicts a dark and unforgettable world of witches, curses, buried secrets, and star-crossed romance.

Ebook Deals: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

There is a new sale at Amazon: The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off. The prices are good until August 4th on this one, although I've learned that some books disappear from these sales once a quota is met. I'm going to share a few posts with links to various titles of interest from the sale.


Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs, the first in a series, is $1.99. It usually is $6+. It was released a few years ago during the surge in mermaid titles for YA readers.

The second book, Tempest Unleashed (Tempest Maguire), is $6.15. The third Tempest title, Tempest Revealed, was just released a few weeks ago and is $9.61. If you keep up with fantasy novel cover tropes in recent years, these covers probably amuse you. They click many boxes for recent trends, poses, tatts, etc.

Book description for Tempest Rising:

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Ebook Deals: Levine and Vande Velde

There is a new sale at Amazon: The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off. The prices are good until August 4th on this one, although I've learned that some books disappear from these sales once a quota is met. I'm going to share a few posts with links to various titles of interest from the sale.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre (Enchanted) by Gail Carson Levine is $1.99, the best price it has ever been. I featured it a few weeks ago when it was $3.49 and I bought it then. It usually ranges between $4-6. The other Levine titles I featured then have all gone back to those prices.

Book description:

A kingdom beset by monsters . . .
A disease that weakens and destroys . . .
An epic poem and a hero of long ago . . .
A story of danger and desperation.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre couldn't be more different. Princess Addie is fearful and shy. Her deepest wish is for safety. Princess Meryl is bold and brave. Her deepest wish is to save the kingdom of Bamarre. They are sisters, and they mean the world to each other.

Then disaster strikes, and Addie -- terrified and unprepared -- sets out on a perilous quest. In her path are monsters of Bamarre: ogres, specters, gryphons, and dragons. Addie must battle them, but time is running out, and the sister's lives -- and Barmarre's fate -- hang in the balance.

Gail Carson Levine left her mark on fantasy with her well-loved 1998 Newbery Honor book Ella Enchanted. Now she has created another shimmering and tapestried landscape of fantasy and fairies. Bamarre and the journeys of its two princesses will burn themselves into the minds of readers, and all will relish this moving saga about two sisters groping their way toward heroism.

Cloaked In Red by Vivian Vande Velde is also $1.99. It's price fluctuates but usually sits at about $4.99.

Book description:

So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions: Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged? Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared? Who is the strangest (notice we're not "not including" anyone, because they're all a little off.)? Who (no fair saying "the author") has stuffing for brains? Master storyteller Vivian Vande Velde crafts eight new stories involving one of the world's most beloved (and mixed-up) characters in literature. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again.