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Monday, May 26, 2014


You guys, I am SO BEHIND in bookstuffs.This haul is for early-mid May, and I have a nice sizable stack of books on top of this, that's just waiting to be shown to you (plus, you know, everything else). Send me all your freetimes, please!
Also, let me know what YOU want to see! I need a shakeup, what are you guys interested in watching?

And thanks for watching this (and sorry for the weird audio lag in spots. Grrrrrumble)! =)

Castle Waiting, vol 1 | Linda Medley
Castle Waiting, vol 2 | Linda Medley
Mastiff | Tamora Pierce
Endlessly | Kiersten White
The Beautiful & the Cursed | Page Morgan
Let's Pretend This Never Happened |  Jenny Lawson
Dreams of Gods & Monsters | Laini Taylor
World Book Night giver box, featuring The Perks of Being a Wallflower | Stephen Chbosky

Friday, May 23, 2014

Guest Post from Joy Preble, author of the Sweet Dead Life series! | The A-Word Blog Tour

The A-Word, the second book in Joy Preble's Sweet, Dead Life series, was released last week, and to celebrate, Joy is making the rounds and sharing some tidbits about the book, the world, and all that went into it. This time around, she's giving us a glimpse of her main character, Jenna's, quirky Texas world...

The SWEET DEAD LIFE and THE A-WORD both take place in Texas, specifically in the northern suburbs of Houston. Texas is a huge state, encompassing every type of climate ranging from sub-tropical to desert to mountains and a bunch in between. And Houston is an odd cuss of a city with everything from Southern roots and bayous to our own Ship Channel even though we’re 60 miles inland to a huge abundance of every type of restaurant and ethnic cuisine and wonderful and growing arts culture. Yup, it’s not just Austin that’s keeping things weird in the Lone Star State.
Jenna and Casey are very much a product of their place. So I thought it would be fun to share an A-Word/Sweet Dead Life Texas dictionary of sorts! Call it an initiation into Jenna’s world. This post could be a book, so I’m limiting it to just a few.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Winners! Bar Graphs! Thank Yous! Survey! It's the FAIRY TALE FORTNIGHT Wrap-Up!

...and I know you're probably thinking, it's just now being wrapped up? Didn't it end like 2 weeks ago? And the answer to that is: Yes...sort of. It may have ended for you 2 weeks ago, but for me and Bonnie, there were still answers to tally up, charts to make (okay, that's just me, because I'm crazy), winners to pull, people to contact... It's a process, people!

But here you have the Wrap-up. Herein you'll find the results of our Fairy Tale Questionnaire (complete with pie charts! bar graphs! exclamation points!), the answers to my beast mode Cover Guessing Game, a survey for your thoughts on this year's FTF and a   whole   l   o   o   o   n   g   list of winners! So click through, and let's get to it!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Favorite Thing(s) About Zita the Spacegirl!

The final (sob!) book in the Zita the Spacegirl series has just been released, and to celebrate, FirstSecond books has asked all us Zita devotees to talk a bit about what we love about Zita...

... and can I just say, 'All the things'?

I mean, when asked to talk about my favorite thing about Zita, I thought, Sure, that'll be a piece of cake. It's a fantastic series that I've loved every last minute of, and I've pushed it on countless people, so I know how to talk about these books, right?

I mean, obviously, I have to mention the art. It is a graphic novel series, after all, and the style is so colorful and quirky, and I've already talked about how it captured some nebulous amalgamation of all the things that made up my childhood.
The art is gorgeous, and it just feels right
But of course, there's more to a good story than its physical representation — the package can be pretty, but it's about what's inside. And of course, what I love about Zita the Spacegirl is the character of Zita the Spacegirl!
Zita's spunky. 
She's plucky and bold, and she does everything from a place of good — she cares, and she strives to make things come out right, and who wouldn't love that? Zita is ultimately very caring and very good (even if it is a chaotic good...), and she's full of heart and bravery. You can't help but root for her.
But then I thought, it's not just Zita that I love. I mean, she's the best and I want to be her when I grow up, but what would the story be without Pizzicato? One, Strong Strong, Piper? The little squigly things creeping around in corners?
I love basically all the characters. All of them.
Even the ones I love to hate (but mostly I just love them). Some are flawed, hilariously; some are flawed more seriously. Some are pure and darling and heartbreaking. But no matter what type of character, I understood them and connected to them immediately, time and time again. Even a plain ole' rock — Twice.
And like Zita herself, all of those characters, right down to that little mute rock-with-eyes, all of these characters have tremendous heart. They may have their differences, and some may have their weak moments, but the way they pull through for each other, the way they look out for each other and do what needs to be done, and the way they can all be so bold, fearless, funny, cunning — the way they are all so full of personality and life —
The book and everything in it, is full of spirit.

The art, the characters, the humor and sense of adventure; the connections and quirks and Good Guy hero antics; every last thing that makes up the Zita the Spacegirl series had made me happy, has put a smile on my face.
So you see, it really is all the things.

And there you have what I love about Zita the Spacegirl, and really, it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. If you haven't read these books, seriously, grab yourself a copy. And keep an eye out for my full review of The Return of Zita the Spacegirl!

And if you want more Zita, make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Face Off: A Monster Calls

H/T to Arie Turner's instagram account for today's Face Off, because I hadn't actually seen the second version of this book until her most recent #multipleeditionMonday post. The book is Patrick Ness' award-winning A Monster Calls, a book I would have bought purely on design alone, even if I was a huge fan of Ness. Below is the US hardcover and the UK paperback. Before you decide which appeals to you, I'd recommend you take a look at this picture of the US version, so you have a better idea of the design as a whole — this book is just as gorgeous (if not more so) under the cover and throughout its pages than it is striking from cover appeal alone. But the UK version is striking in a completely differet way, and even though I find it sad that the UK version lacks the illustrations, I can definitely see why Arie felt the need to own both.
So which would you prefer to own? Which would catch your eye in the bookstore or library?
Which one did it better? 

Last Week on FFO: The US and UK versions of Page Morgan's The Beautiful and the Curse went head to head, and though I like both and think they both represent the book in their own unique ways, more of you liked the vibrancy of the US version, and felt it probably represented the story better.
Winner -------->

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh | excerpt

I've had this intriguing excerpt from Laura McHugh's debut thriller, THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD, recorded and waiting for you for some time, and now I've had it uploaded to youtube for almost a week now, and just kept forgetting to share it with you. But here, finally, it is, and hopefully it intrigues you like it intrigued me!

Check it out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, thanks for watching!

about THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD by Laura McHugh
Get It | Add It
Literary/Contemporary/Thriller, 302 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Spiegel & Grau
For fans of Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell, a dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about two mysterious disappearances, a generation apart, and the meaning of family-the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri's death could be linked to her mother's disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers I'd Have as Wall Art!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
I'm a week behind in TTT, as I'm behind in general life right now. I actually had this post about 1/2 done last week, but just couldn't find the time to finish it. But since the week after next is a freebie, I figured I'd just post mine offset by a week, and will be all caught up with the freebie. So today I'm actually going to be posting last week's topic, and next week's freebie will be this week's topic, etc., and come freebie week, we'll be all set!This week's topic circa last week's prompt is basically perfect for me, because this is something I say a lot, and that is Book Covers I'd Frame as Wall Art. Hell, I do a weekly cover discussion/voting post because I am such a sucker for a good cover design. I've bought books I'm almost positive I won't enjoy, simply for their covers. It's a sickness, really...
Anyway, there are multiple books whose covers I want as posters (and some that I have!); the hard part, actually, is narrowing it down to just ten. And I'm sure I'll think of some I should have included instead or in addition to the ones shown below, but for now, here are some of my favorites, which I would proudly display on my walls.

BURN BRIGHT. But the AUS version, which has a bright raspberry color for the font, that does this amazing thing where it feels like silk, and when you move the book, I swear to you, it actually shines. But not in a mirror metallic way, but like it's GLOWING. I can't even take it.
(And I do have this as a poster, actually. But I want it to have the velvety feel and amazing glow of the cover!)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

MAY TBR [2014]

It may be a moot point by now, as we're already almost 1/2 way through the month, but my May TBR went up on the vlog at the beginning of the month, and as that was the middle of Fairy Tale Fortnight, I'm just now getting a chance to share it over here with you!
And before you say anything, I know - I KNOW - that this stack is out of control. I know. But...I just want to read all the things.
So here is my overly ambitious May TBR, which I know full well I will not be able to get through. But I'm going to do my damnedest to make a sizable dent in this pile, so wish me luck!

The Lost | Sarah Beth Durst
One Man Guy | Michael Barakiva
A Midsummer's Nightmare | Kody Keplinger
Shattered | Teri Terry
Riot | Sarah Mussi
The Summer Invitation | Charlotte Silver
The Falconer | Elizabeth May
Charm & Strange | Stephanie Kuehn
Sea of Shadows | Kelley Armstrong
The Truth About Alice | Jennifer Mathieu
The Kiss of Deception | Mary E. Pearson
WednesdayYA bookclub May pick: Beauty Queens | Libba Bray - join us in reading it!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Friday Face Off: The Beautiful & the Cursed

Ugh. Someone remind me when it's Friday, 'k? Because apparently, I can't keep track of days anymore. Actually, I'm not even sure what my name is lately...
ANYWAY, it's time for Friday Face Off, and yes I know it's Saturday, and late on Saturday at that. Sue me. (Please don't. It will be a colossal waste of time for both of us...) This week's FFO features a book that I actually just got in the mail, and will be showing you in my next haul, which is sooooo overdue: Page Morgan's The Beautiful and the Cursed. Below are the US and UK versions of the book, respectively. They take totally different approaches, and though I can't speak to which suits it best as I haven't read it yet, I will say from what I know of the book, they both capture different facets. Makes for an interesting side-by-side.
Take a look, read over the synopsis if it helps, and then let us know in the comment which you prefer. Which would you reach for on the shelves? Which catches your eye and makes you want to know more? Which would you rather own?
Which one did it better? 

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing.

No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.

Last Week on FFO: Carolyn Turgeon's paperback and ebook versions of The Fairest of Them All went head to head, and though both were praised, and tweaks were desired of each to make it just right, the winner in a fairly close race was the soft, ethereal paperback. And as much as I love the paperback (even more so in person than online), I have to agree.
Winner ---------->

Thursday, May 8, 2014

#WednesdayYA Book Club MAY PICK... [1.5]

Okay, so I know this is the WednesdayYA book club, and I know that today is Thursday, but... I forgot. So let's just all agree that today is Wednesday, 'cause Thursdays are totally the new Wednesday anyway, right? I mean, I am wearing pink.
SO ANYWAY, it's time to take a look at this month's book club pick! To choose this month's book, we asked everyone who came to last week's twitter chat of March's pick, Please Ignore Vera Dietz to take a look at our shelf of potentials and suggest one title, and then Liz put all those titles in a hat (or something. I prefer to think of it as a hat. A GIANT one.), and she pulled out a title and BAM! We have a May book.
And that book is...

BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray!

Contemporary/Humor, 396 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Scholastic Press
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Complete with footnotes, "commercial breaks," and lots of ridiculous humr, this one promises to be an interesting read, so I definitely hope you guys will join me and Liz throughout the month as we read and discuss Beauty Queens.
And if you DO, make sure to join us on Twitter on the last Wednesday of the month at 8:30pm EST to discuss Beauty Queens with the hashtag #WednesdayYA!

Let me know in the comments if you're planning on reading with us this month, or if you've already read it, feel free to share your thoughts throughout the month (and at our chat!). And before I let you go, I just need to share the French cover of this book with you. FOR REASONS.

Happy #WednesdayYA in May!!

Giveaway & Interview with Christopher Healy, author of The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw!

I've been a part of the Hero's Guide caravan ever since the first book in the series rolled out on its very first adventure, and I've been pleased to welcome its creator, Christopher Healy, to the blog to pick his brain about each successive quest (sometimes even via vlog!); this year, in honor of the final book's release, I'm featuring The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw not once but twice! You've already been introduced to one of the book's characters, Val Jeanval (I know!), when I kicked off the tour during Fairy Tale Fortnight. But the ole caravan is taking a circuitous route this year, and is swinging back by today so that Chris could stop in and let us pick his brain once more!
Check it out!

If you could pop one of your characters into any iconic movie scene, who would you send where, and why? Would they interact/change anything, or just be a fly on the wall?
I’d love to recast Star Wars with my characters: Liam is Luke, Gustav is Han Solo with Mr. Troll in the Chewbacca role. Ella is Princess Leia. Frederic and Duncan are R2-D2 and C-3PO. But let’s see… You asked about a specific scene. I’d love to see Duncan in the Endor sequences of Return of the Jedi; I’d like to see what he names all the Ewoks.

What is your favorite magical object from any fairy tale? What makes it so special? 
Well, the Wizard of Oz is not technically a fairy tale, but I’d like to say the Golden Cap that calls the flying monkeys. For ages, I had no idea this cap was even part of the story until I read the original book by L. Frank Baum. The Golden Cap changes everything, because it means the witch doesn’t just have an army of hybrid creatures at her disposal. Anyone who wears the cap can call the monkeys. And the monkeys can only be called three times. I like when there are rules and limitations put on magic items. Plus, you have to say the most awesome magic words ever to call the monkeys: “Ep-pe, Pep-pe, Kak-ke! Hil-lo, Hol-lo, Hel-lo! Ziz-zy, Zuz-zy, zik!”

Make a case for your favorite lesser-known tale or retelling: which story should we all read, right this instant? 
“Great Claus and Little Claus” by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s hard to summarize the plot because the entire things is so darn weird, but it’s basically about this big, mean, dumb guy who keeps being trying to outdo this little, slightly-less-mean, smart guy—and the little guy repeatedly gets revenge on him in the most bizarre and gruesome ways. It’s dark (duh, it’s Andersen), but a lot of it is dark humor. Very dark humor.

This or That?
Trial by fire or trial by water? 
Depends on the time of year. In winter, a trial by the fireside would be warm and cozy. But in summer weather, you can’t beat the beauty of a nice seaside trial. Or is that not what you meant?

Flying carpet or flying broom? 
There’s no way the carpet isn’t far more comfortable.

Talking animals or talking inanimate objects? 
Animals. The idea that inanimate objects might be alive makes me way too paranoid about things I’ve said and done when I assumed I was alone in my house.

Mermaid or unicorn? 
So hard to choose. Can I just go with the mythological hippocampus?
YES. You win.

Would You Rather?
Follow a will-o’-the-wisp or face a troll?
Follow the wisp! I hear they might lead you to treasure. Either that or certain doom. But I’m betting it’s treasure.

Sleep for one thousand years (Sleeping Beauty) or tell stories for 1001 Nights (Scheherazade)?
Tell stories every night? I’ve got two kids. Been there, done that. And for more like 4001 nights.

Follow a trail of breadcrumbs or try to climb a hair rope?
Follow the breadcrumbs! They may lead to food.

Go about in the emperor's "new clothes" (ie nothing) or wear a smelly, crusty donkeyskin for the rest of your life? 
You know what always bugged me about the Emperor’s New Clothes? You can still FEEL stuff when it’s invisible. The emperor should have been able to use several of his other senses to realize there was nothing on his body. He genuinely was an idiot. I can’t be associated with that guy in any way, so… donkeyskin.

Word Association - Say the first word that pops into your head when we tell you….
Magic Olivia Newton-John [It takes Misty a minute to stop laughing after this, before she's able to move on to the next question...]
Hair Doctor
Knight Dark
Orange Vitamin C
Trees Ents
Frog Kermit
Gold Finger
Food Breadcrumbs
...My subconscious is apparently deeply rooted in pop culture.

In addition to offering up a complete set of the Hero's Guide books for Fairy Tale Fortnight, the awesome people at Walden Pond Press are giving you a 2nd chance to get your hands on The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw — and it's signed! Open to US and CAN, ends April 15th at midnight. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy
Get It | Add It
Middle Grade Adventure/Retelling, 320 pages Published April 29th 2014 by Walden Pond Press
The League of Princes returns in the hilariously epic conclusion to the hit series that began with Christopher Healy's The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, which the Los Angeles Times called "one of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales." Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don't you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the thirteen kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered—and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects. Now they're on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names. Along the way, however, they discover that Briar's murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all thirteen kingdoms—a plot that will lead to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.
Christopher Healy is the author of the Hero's Guide trilogy: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, and coming in spring 2014, The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw. The series is a comedic adventure that follows the exploits of four different Prince Charmings in the aftermath of their not-quite-accurate fairy-tale fame. It is published on May 1st, 2012, by Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. A film version is currently in development at Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. Chris lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. Visit him at ChristopherHealy.com. And learn more about the Hero's Guide universe at OfficialHerosGuide.com.

Make sure to check out these other fabulous stops on the Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw tour!
5/1 - The Book Rat - Been there, done that, got the T-shirt
5/5 – Icey Books
5/8 - The Book Rat - YOU ARE HERE!
5/16 - KidLit Frenzy
5/19 - Mundie Kids
5/23 - Novel Novice
5/26 - Mundie Kids
5/28 - Small Review

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guest Post from Mariko Tamaki, author of This One Summer! | blog tour

Later today, I'll be sharing my thoughts on Mariko & Jillian Tamaki's young coming of age graphic novel, This One Summer, but until then, Mariko has stopped by to chat a bit about the book and how her characters come to be.
Check it out below, and then make sure to stop back for my thoughts on the book. And if you want more, don't forget to check out the rest of the This One Summer blog tour!

Introductions and Nicknames: AKA who are YOU?

I once heard a story about Anne Rice where she said that the character Lestat, star of her Interview with a Vampire series, appeared to her, in what I imagine was something like a haunting.

But that might not be the case.

I’ve always envied this channeling of characters. I’ve never, myself, been visited by anyone I’ve ever written up. Possibly the closest I ever came was after Skim, co-created with my cousin Jillian, came out, I was in the car one day and I spotted the actual manifestation of the character of Skim. Almost to a tee. She just, like, walked by like it was no big deal. I almost got out of the car and chased her down but then thought maybe it would open up some tear in the universe and that would be the end of things.

For me, creating a character feels a lot like finding. I typically have bits. I can see her face or her hair. More often I have an idea of the kinds of things she/he would say. I typically start with little things like habits, biting nails, pulling threads out of clothes, picking up pieces of paper and folding them in half. For me, knowing how a person is in the world, how they interact with it, is a huge part of knowing what’s going on inside them, and then, how they work that into how they are in the world.

The curious thing about working in comics is that this process is intermingled with a sort of “meeting” of your character. Comics work involves a lot of front end work on character. Because I work in writer/artist teams there’s usually a back and forth where I describe what I’m seeing and then the artist I’m working with draws out what they see. Almost every time the visual triggers a whole bunch of other ideas. A lot of Windy’s goofiness came out of seeing her in some of the original drawings.

One writing exercise I’ve found helpful, but rarely used in any of the actual final texts I’ve ever published, is to write out a paragraph or two where the character introduces her or himself. I’ll write out the character introducing herself to a class. Then an introduction to a new friend. Then, I think of how she would describe herself with no one around. Writing out a variety of texts helps, for me, because to me character is as much about what you won’t say, in a variety of settings, as what you will.
For a really great detailed character sketch, I always recommend Susan Orlean’s "The American Man, Aged 10" which you can find in The New Kings of NonFiction edited by Ira Glass. The detail in this thing is amazing.

If you’re looking for a brainstorm activity besides my above go-to, try having your character describe their nickname. I like this exercise, because nicknames are about who we are and who other people think we are. And somewhere in between is the truth.

~ Mariko

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki 
Get It | Add It
Contemporary/Coming of Age/Graphic Novel, 320 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by First Second
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens - just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy - is caught up in something bad... Something life threatening.

It's a summer of secrets, and sorrow, and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

This One Summer is a tremendously exciting new teen graphic novel from two creators with true literary clout. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of childhood - a story of renewal and revelation.

Mariko Tamaki is a Toronto writer, playwright, activist and performer. She works and performs with fat activists Pretty Porky and Pissed Off and the theatre troupe TOA, whose recent play, A vs. B, was staged at the 2004 Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her well-received novel, Cover Me (McGilligan Books) was followed by a short fiction collection, True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice (Women's Press). Mariko's third book, FAKE ID, is due out in spring 2005.

Mariko Tamaki has performed her work across Canada and through the States, recently appearing at the Calgary Folkfest 2004, Vancouver Writer's Festival 2003, Spatial III, and the Perpetual Motion/Girls Bite Back Tour, which circled though Ottawa, Montreal, Brooklyn and Chicago. She has appeared widely on radio and television including First Person Singular on CBC radio and Imprint on TVO. Mariko Tamaki is currently attending York University working a Masters degree in Women's Studies.

Hello! My name is Jillian Tamaki and I am an illustrator and comics artist. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, on the Canadian Prairies. 'Went to school there too (the Alberta College of Art and Design). Currently I live in Brooklyn, NY where I teach at the School of Visual Arts and carve out a living making comics and illustrations for magazines, newspapers, websites, and books. I have 2 books of personal work: Gilded Lilies (Conundrum, 2006) and Indoor Voice (D&Q, 2010). I also made a graphic novel with my cousin Mariko Tamaki called SKIM (Groundwood, 2008). My work was recently acquired by the Library of Congress.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thoughts on Fairy Tale Themed Makeup Line from Printcess + Giveaway!

Note from Misty: My apologies to Beth of Printcess Makeup, and to YOU, for the fact that this post is going up so late. This was just a pure oops on my part, I've been away from the blog for a few days because of a work event, and forgot that I'd not set the last few FTF posts to scheduled, rather than draft, because I wanted to do a few small tweaks. =/
I do have another review, giveaway and a wrap-up post to go up still, but we're heading into a few blog tours over the next few days and I don't want to overload you, so I'm going to spread them out a bit. Thanks for sticking with me through an unintentionally extended FTF, and make sure to enter the remaining giveaways while they're still running (through the 10th)! And of course, stick around to the end of this post for another giveaway
Without further delay, I give you: my thoughts on the fairy tale line from Printcess Makeup!

Shown: "Ball"
When I posted my yearly call to arms for Fairy Tale Fortnight (aka when I asked 'who's in?' and posted a form for people to tell me what they'd be interested in doing), I was more than a little bit thrilled when Beth — bloggy/twittery friend who leaves very thoughtful and intelligent comments and provokes great discussions, and who made this awesome Disney Princesses + the Perfect Shoe post — informed me that she has a mineral makeup business called Printcess Makeup that features literary and fairy tale themed collections, and would like to contribute something about that to FTF. I MEAN... this could not be more in line with Things That Make Misty Smile. (As anyone who follows me on Instagram could probably guess.) Of course I jumped on the opportunity to feature these shadows, tell you what I think, and give you a chance to try them out yourself. So click through for my very first makeup review [to take place outside of girly chats on instagram or twitter, that is], and then enter to win!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fairy Tale Stuffs From Around the Web

Fairy Tale Fortnight's almost over, and THAT'S SAD. I love sharing fairy tale goodies with you, and I love it even more when you share them with me (Friends! Readers! Send me your links!), so even though I only fairy tale binge with you once a year, I gather and horde all the things through out the year, so that I can cherry pick my favorite fairy tale bits to share with you!
So to keep you occupied until next FTF (or for awhile, at least), here are some of the fairy tale-ish things I've come across recently that I thought you should know about...

Review: Keturah & Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

You may have already guessed it, considering the way I talked about this book in my January Rewind, or the lovingly, eager way I read it to you, all bedtime story-like, a few days ago, but I sorta kinda loved this book.

Interview & Giveaway with M.P. Kozlowsky, author of THE DYERVILLE TALES!

Yesterday, I read you an excerpt from the beginning of M.P. Kozlowsky's The Dyerville Tales (and I've already told you how this book has completely won over my mom, who, though she does like to read occasionally, never feels the need to tear through a book, let alone text me in the middle of the night to say "This book!").
Today, M.P. is dropping by to have a quickfire chat with us, and then give you a chance to get your hands on a copy of this engaging middle grade adventure!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spotlight on Upcoming Fairy Tales!

Since Fairy Tale Fortnight is coming to a close for another year, I thought I'd leave you with a taste of fairy tales to come. And I have to say: it looks like we've got a damn good lineup! I'm not sure what exactly is responsible for the trend (it's a little late in the game to blame it on the success of things like Once Upon a Time and Grimm), but whatever it is, I'm liking it. Keep 'em coming!

So hop through and have your 'add to Goodreads' clickin' finger at the ready, 'cause I've got a nice long list of fairy tale retellings and fairy tale inspired stories coming your way!

A Reading from The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlwosky!

And it's time for the final excerpt of this year's Fairy Tale Fortnight. I hope you guys have enjoyed them; I always think fairy tales should be read aloud (preferably around a campfire, but around a computer screen will have to do...)
This last excerpt comes from M.P. Kozlowsky's THE DYERVILLE TALES, which is out now from Walden Pond Press / HarperCollins. And yes, I am having a giveaway for a SIGNED hardcover of the book (though it doesn't go live until Saturday, May 3rd!!), so you can check that out, if you want. If you just want the FTF vlogs, check out this playlist. And of course, let me know what you think in the comments.

Friday Face Off: The Fairest of Them All

I was a big fan of Carolyn Turgeon's Snow White-meets-Rapunzel retelling, The Fairest of Them All, when I read it last year. (Indeed, I'm a fan of Carolyn's rich, layered, unexpected retellings in general.) And though the paperback cover (left) is very pretty online, and even more so in person, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across the ebook cover, which, though  using similar composition and subject matter, conveys a totally different tone, and gives a much different feel, stylistically. I think both suited to the story, and though I at first thought the ebook cover a bit muted, maybe even bland, in comparison to the paperback, the more I look at it, the more I like it.
But what do you think? Take a look at the two covers below, and tell me which you'd reach for. Which would make you more curious about the story inside? Which would you most want to own for yourself?
Which one did it better? 

Guest Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, from Violet!

Violet, the blogger behind Paper Worlds and Swirls of Ink, joins us today to tell us her thoughts on Scarlet, the second book in the (excellent) Lunar Chronicles series. You may recall that Cress, the third book in the series, was the first book I reviewed for this year's FTF, and I could barely contain my love for it. But if you still haven't, for some unfathomable reason, picked up this series yet, maybe between my thoughts on Cress and Violet's thoughts on Scarlet will convince you to — that is, if she agrees with me on the strengths of this series...
Does she? Click through to find out!
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer 
Get It | Add It
Fairy Tale Retelling/Sci-fi, 464 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Character Reveal & Giveaway: the Hero's Guide series by Christopher Healy!

As I said earlier today, the final book in the Hero's Guide series, The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw, has just been released, and to celebrate that fact, some of the characters from this last book are traveling the high seas internets and dropping in on us unsuspecting landlubbers blogging folk. Click through to meet one such scallywag, one "Val Jeanval" (best. name. ever.), and find out just what's listed on his rap sheet — and then enter to win a complete set of the Hero's Guide books!

The series may be ending, but I'm not done with this League of Princes just yet... Make sure you stop back next week when I review the book and share a fun quickfire interview with the series' author, Christopher Healy (hinty hint-hint, there may just be another chance to win the final book then... Just sayin;. ;P) And don't forget to check out my reading of the beginning of The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw!

A Reading from The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy!

Well, the time has come for the final HERO'S GUIDE book, so as part of Fairy Tale Fortnight AND the Hero's Guide blog tour, I thought I'd read you a little bit of the beginning, to give you a feel for the book!
Make sure you keep an eye out later today for a character reveal & giveaway of the entire series!

Giveaway: Bellflower and Fairy Slippers by Amber Stokes!

A few days ago, author Amber Stokes stopped by A Backwards Story for a little Fairy Tale Fortnight chat called "Fairy Tales in the Wild West," where she talked about how she went about building the worlds of her Old West fairy tale romances, while still keeping the fairy tale elements of the retellings present.
She also gave readers a chance to win a copy of the story duo Bellflower and Fairy Slippers, and Bonnie and I didn't want those of you who are playing along here on The Book Rat to miss out, so we're giving you a chance to win, too!



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