Friday, August 26, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Black Swan, White Raven edited by Datlow and Windling

Black Swan, White Raven by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor) is on sale for $1.99, down from $6.15 in ebook format for the first time (to my knowledge). As I've said before, I have a hard time justifying rebuys when I own a hardcover and paperback edition of the book already, but $1.99 always lets me except that frugal policy.

Only five of the six books in this series have been digitized. Four have now had sale prices at some point--and I've shared those sales on the blog here--so just one more to go, Black Thorn, White Rose! And it is worth the full price if you don't own it yet, of course.

These books were part of the inspiration for SurLaLune's creation many moons ago. Hopefully someday the sixth missing book, Snow White, Blood Red, will be digitized but that may never happen since most likely reprint rights are standing in its way.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction -- Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
  • Words Like Pale Stones -- Nancy Kress
  • Stronger Than Time -- Patricia C. Wrede
  • Somnus’s Fair Maid -- Ann Downer
  • The Frog King, or Iron Henry -- Daniel Quinn
  • Near-Beauty -- M. E. Beckett
  • Ogre -- Michael Kandel
  • Can’t Catch Me -- Michael Cadnum
  • Journeybread Recipe -- Lawrence Schimel
  • The Brown Bear of Norway -- Isabel Cole
  • The Goose Girl -- Tim Wynne-Jones
  • Tattercoats -- Midori Snyder
  • Granny Rumple -- Jane Yolen
  • The Sawing Boys -- Howard Waldrop
  • Godson -- Roger Zelazny
  • Ashputtle -- Peter Straub
  • Silver and Gold -- Ellen Steiber
  • Sweet Bruising Skin -- Storm Constantine
  • The Black Swan -- Susan Wade
  • Recommended Reading -- Misc. Material

Book description--Note, the book description for the Kindle edition is for the wrong book, so I grabbed this from the paperback (and I corrected several misspellings in that one!):

Once Upon A Time . . .

A seduced prince willingly fell prey to a sensuous usurper's erotic treacheries . . . a flesh-eating ogre gamboled in the footlights . . . a gingerbread man fled in terror from the baking pan to the fire . . .

The award-winning editors of Snow White, Blood Red return us to distinctly adult realms of myth and the fantastic -- with eighteen wondrous works that cloak the magical fictions we heard at Grandma's knee in mantles of darkness and dread. From Roger Zelazny's delightful tale of Death's disobedient godson to Peter Straub's blood-chilling examination of a gargantuan Cinderella and her terrible twisted "art," here are stories strange and miraculous -- remarkable modern storytelling that remold our most cherished childhood fables into things sexier, more sinister . . . and more appealing to grown-up tastes and sensibilities.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I Return and I Revisit The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma

Hello everyone! No, the SurLaLune Blog isn't dead--it has only been neglected the last several weeks as a family medical crisis and a few demanding projects sucked every moment of my time, energy and sanity into their vortexes. I may not post regularly the rest of the month yet, but I really wanted a new post out there for the world to see I am still here. She's alive!

I first reviewed The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma by Diane & Christyan Fox almost two years ago. This past weekend as my four-year-old nephew and six-year-old niece stayed over for a sleepover, I desperately combed my shelves for "new(ish) to them" books they would both enjoy. They are well and widely read so that is a challenge, especially if I am looking for books short enough to keep bedtime a reasonable hour. Even my hundreds of picture books were at a lower batting average for our immediate needs Friday night. Fortunately, Kensie doesn't think picture books are below her, but just loves words however they are presented. Yay her! Although she would prefer to have the long, long fairy tale picture books read to her, her brother isn't that interested or patient with those unless there are trucks involved.

Well, this was one of the books that successfully came off the shelf--getting laughter and giggles from both of them--and was demanded as a reread, especially by Clark. He ran up to me the next morning with, "You said you would read this one again in the morning." So we did. He laughed some more and thought it was great fun that Dog thought of Little Red Riding Hood as a Superhero story. He understood all of the humor, laughing without prompting, so he is the perfect age for it now. Kensie had a few triumphs as she was able to read some of the lines herself, too.

From my previous review, which I still stand by especially after testing it with some more kids:

This is one of those picture books that works better for the older kids instead of the preschool set thanks to the humor. With lines about "bad fashion sense" and "kindness rays" and even "exploding eggs," reading this book to a younger preschooler will lead to just as many interrupting questions as the dog himself asks in the story.

So most kids under four-years-old won't appreciate the humor. The text also works well as a read aloud, but the illustrations don't accommodate a story time setting either, say in a kindergarten or 1st grade classroom. But honestly, it will be best appreciated by literate kids who can get some of the jokes on the pages by themselves, such as the Cat's checklist. So it's a read aloud with one or a few children who are a little older and will get the humor. That said, the humor is fun and it's a good book. I'll share a video and illustrations below. A good buy for libraries and an amusing fractured fairy tale interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood for classrooms. Parents with kids who like to ask a lot of questions will also enjoy it out of sympathy for the cat.

Book description:

A comical twist on "Little Red Riding Hood" told by Cat and Dog!

Cat starts reading "Little Red Riding Hood" and explains, "It's a story about a little girl who always wears a red cape with a hood."

Dog says, "COOL! I love stories about superheroes. What's her special power?"

Cat says, "She doesn't have any special powers. It's not that kind of a story."

And then the fun ensues!

The zany, fun back-and-forth of Dog and Cat celebrates the joy of reading -- and questioning. Young children will cheer Dog's persistent questions as well as Cat's dedication to keep telling the story.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Black Heart, Ivory Bones by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor)

Black Heart, Ivory Bones by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor) is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. I didn't own this in ebook format yet (now I do!) so I don't believe it has been on sale before. I have a hard time justifying rebuys when I own a hardcover and paperback, but $1.99 always lets me except that frugal policy.

Book description:

Favorite fairy tales are updated and hauntingly reimagined by twenty of today’s finest writers of fiction and fantasy

Once upon a time, all our cherished dreams began with the words once upon a time. This is the phrase that opened our favorite tales of princes and spells and magical adventures. World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling understand the power of beloved stories—and in Black Heart, Ivory Bones, their sixth anthology of reimagined fairy tales, they have gathered together stories and poetry from some of the most acclaimed writers of our time, including Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Charles de Lint, and Joyce Carol Oates. But be forewarned: These fairy tales are not for children.

A prideful Texas dancer is cursed by a pair of lustrous red boots . . . Goldilocks tells all about her brutal and wildly dysfunctional foster family, the Bears . . . An archaeologist in Victorian England is enchanted by a newly exhumed Sleeping Beauty . . . A prince of tabloid journalism is smitten by a trailer-park Rapunzel . . . A clockwork amusement park troll becomes sentient and sets out to foment an automaton revolution. These are but a few examples of the marvels that await within these pages—tales that range from the humorous to the sensuous to the haunting and horrifying, each one a treasure with a distinctly adult edge.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Color the Classics: Beauty and the Beast: A Deeply Romantic Coloring Book by Jae-Eun Lee

It's National Coloring Book Day, at least as declared by Dover Publications!

So I thought I would share Color the Classics: Beauty and the Beast: A Deeply Romantic Coloring Book by Jae-Eun Lee since I didn't do so when it was released in May. And since this is my favorite fairy tale, that is rather a shame that it took me so long. But it's been that kind of summer...

Anyway, here are some illustrations as well as pages showing the coloring pages index from the book. Awesome concept! Shows you that there are a lot of pages to illustrate. Click on images to see them larger.

Book description:

Color your way into the Beast's heart, in this visual retelling of the classic French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.

Join the pure-hearted Beauty as she offers herself to the fearsome Beast in exchange for her father's life, in a coloring book romance that features over seventy pages of evocative artwork, ready to be brought to life by your coloring skills and imagination.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey for $1.99

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. This is the first time the book has been bargain priced to my knowledge. The book uses Russian Firebird folklore as part of its plot. The sale is probably short term, so don't hesitate if you are interested.

Book description:

For fans of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente for $1.99

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente (Author) and Charlie Bowater (Illustrator) is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. This was on my wishlist so I haven't read it yet. Now it's sitting in my virtual book stack.

Book description:

A New York Times bestselling author offers a brilliant reinvention of one of the best-known fairy tales of all time with Snow White as a gunslinger in the mythical Wild West.

Forget the dark, enchanted forest. Picture instead a masterfully evoked Old West where you are more likely to find coyotes as the seven dwarves. Insert into this scene a plain-spoken, appealing narrator who relates the history of our heroine’s parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. Although her mother’s life ended as hers began, so begins a remarkable tale: equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, this is an utterly enchanting story…at once familiar and entirely new.

Now I Believe in Fairy Tales from Papaya Art

So last week John and I were standing in a long checkout line at TJ Maxx (for some skirt hangers!) when I saw a little pocket notebook with this cover on it. For some reason it tickled me no end so I added it to my purchase for a whole dollar. If only most of my treasures came at that low price! And sure I fell prey to the checkout line upsale tactics, but it was only a $1!

I'm not sure why it tickled me so--I like that it doesn't show a typical blonde, blue-eyed prince and princess. It very much invokes Arabian Nights and Scheherazade to me so the fairy tales reference isn't exactly "off" but it doesn't exactly fit well either. It's some elusive quality of mixing the sensual with the trite that I think amused me so much. But I am not going to overthink this anymore. Moving on...

Papaya Art is the distributor and they have greeting cards with the image available on their website. 

Anyway, I wanted to shareanother way that fairy tales appear in my daily life when I am not looking for them. This one stood out more than others so I thought I would share.

I also found a round storage tin from Papaya Art on Amazon, so a more permanent version is available, but I will be quite satisfied with my little notebook.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Book: Cinderella across Cultures: New Directions and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies)

Cinderella across Cultures: New Directions and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) edited by by Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère, Director Gillian Lathey, and Monika Wozniak was released in June. I have been putting off posting about it because I was hoping to find a list of the table of contents online to copy and paste since I don't want to retype the three pages of contents to share with you.

After six weeks, I still haven't found a table of contents to copy and paste. The best I can do is a list of the contributors--the book is comprised of 18 articles about Cinderella divided into three categories: I. Contextualizing Cinderella, II. Regendering Cinderella, and III. Visualizing Cinderella. Here are the contributors.

Cristina Bacchilega (Preface), Ruth B. Bottigheimer (Contributor), Kathryn Hoffmann (Contributor), Cyrille François (Contributor), Talitha Verheij (Contributor), Daniel Aranda (Contributor), Ashley Riggs (Contributor), Mark MacLeod (Contributor), Book Review Editor Jennifer Orme (Contributor), Rona May-Ron (Contributor), Roxane Hughes (Contributor), Sandra L. Beckett (Contributor), Jan Van Coillie (Contributor), Agata Holobut (Contributor), Xenia Mitrokhina (Contributor), Jack Zipes (Contributor)

The articles are excellent and offer a wide range of topics. The middle section--Regendering Cinderella--offers more of the expected types of literary analysis articles, discussing Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter as well as Emma Donoghue and Donna Jo Napoli's visions of Cinderella. Several articles are also LGBT focused.

The other sections range wider to many cultural interpretations of Cinderella primarily in Eastern Europe in the Visualizing Cinderella section.

While all the sections are interesting, my personal interests were most satisfied by the articles under Contextualizing Cinderella, such as the article about Robert Samber's translation of the tale and other articles discussing how the tale has been adapted and retold for various points in times and cultures.

Overall, excellent stuff. I received a review copy but it was on my list to purchase if I didn't. If you are at all interested in Cinderella studies, this is a must.

Book description:

The Cinderella story is retold continuously in literature, illustration, music, theatre, ballet, opera, film, and other media, and folklorists have recognized hundreds of distinct forms of Cinderella plots worldwide. The focus of this volume, however, is neither Cinderella as an item of folklore nor its alleged universal meaning. In Cinderella across Cultures, editors Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère, Gillian Lathey, and Monika Wozniak analyze the Cinderella tale as a fascinating, multilayered, and ever-changing story constantly reinvented in different media and traditions.

The collection highlights the tale's reception and adaptation in cultural and national contexts across the globe, including those of Italy, France, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, and Russia. Contributors shed new light on classic versions of Cinderella by examining the material contexts that shaped them (such as the development of glass artifacts and print techniques), or by analyzing their reception in popular culture (through cheap print and mass media). The first section, "Contextualizing Cinderella," investigates the historical and cultural contexts of literary versions of the tale and their diachronic transformations. The second section, "Regendering Cinderella," tackles innovative and daring literary rewritings of the tale in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in particular modern feminist and queer takes on the classic plot. Finally, the third section, "Visualising Cinderella," concerns symbolic transformations of the tale, especially the interaction between text and image and the renewal of the tale's iconographic tradition.

The volume offers an invaluable contribution to the study of this particular tale and also to fairy­­-tale studies overall. Readers interested in the visual arts, in translation studies, or in popular culture, as well as a wider audience wishing to discover the tale anew will delight in this collection.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Snow Child: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize in Letters: Fiction Finalists) by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize in Letters: Fiction Finalists) by Eowyn Ivey is on sale for $2.99 from a usual $10 price range in ebook format in the US.

The novel is in part inspired by a Russian snow child tale available on SurLaLune at The Little Daughter of the Snow. If you read it, you will recognize the book described here.

This tale shouldn't be confused with The Snow Child ATU Type 1362 which deals more with a wife's questionable loyalty to her husband. This tale is much more bittersweet in which a couple longs for a child together and create one out of snow. It is a bittersweet tale, especially for the childless.

Book description:

A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska.

Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaskan wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before.

The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes. In a moment of tenderness, the pair are surprised to find themselves building a snowman - or rather a snow girl - together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared, and Jack can't quite shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure - a child? - running through the spruce trees in the dawn light. And how to explain the little but very human tracks Mabel finds at the edge of their property?

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairytale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic - the story of a couple who take a child into their hearts, all the while knowing they can never truly call her their own.

And here is a book trailer:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer is on sale for $4.99, down from its regular $9.99 in ebook edition.

Book description:

Soon to be a Lifetime movie called "Lying to be Perfect" (Edit: The movie was released in 2010.)

When Nola Devlin is turned down for her dream job because she's overweight, she decides to become thin-or, at least, pretend to be. The alter ego she creates-the thin, British, hip, and did we mention thin Belinda Apple-is a smashing success who is offered movie proposals, national television appearances and even dates...though no one's met her in person, of course.

Then Nola takes Belinda a bit too far, and is forced to join "The Cinderella Pact" and drop the pounds. As the weight comes off, however, Nola's problems begin to mount.

Call for Papers: International Conference of Mythology and Folklore

CFP: International Conference of Mythology and Folklore

The 3rd International Conference of Mythology and Folklore will take place October 15-16, 2016, in Bucharest, Romania.

The series of specialized conferences of mythology and folklore continues in Bucharest this year as well, under the patronage of The Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

The conference organizers propose the following themes:

  • Ancient mythology and its reverberations in modernity
  • Folklore and authored literature
  • The actuality of myths

The abstracts should contain the titles of the presentations, written in English (max. 200 words), followed by 5 keywords, a bio-note of approx. 7-8 lines, and an email address. Abstracts must be sent no later than October 1, 2016, to mythology.folklore16 at gmail com.

The languages of the conference are: Romanian, English and French.

If approved by the scientific committee, you will be notified no later than October 5th.

In extenso papers (max. 10 p.) will be sent to the email address of the scientific board by July 1, 2017. These will be published in the conference volume.

The participation fees are the following:

  • Professors, associate professors, CSI, CSII: 20 euro;
  • Lecturers, assistants, CSIII, research assistants, PhD holders, pre-university teachers: 15 euro;
  • M.A. students and PhD students: 10 euro.

Information concerning payment, as well as the board of the scientific committee will be communicated in the second call for papers which will be sent after September 25, 2016.

The style sheet will be communicated to the participants after October 16, 2016.

Organizing committee:


Lector univ. dr. Maria-Luiza DUMITRU OANCEA


Prof. univ. dr. Ramona MIHĂILĂ

Programme administrators:

Prof. univ dr. Ana-Cristina HALICHIAS
Prof. univ. dr. habil. Ileana MIHĂILĂ


Drd. Nicolae-Andrei POPA
Dr. Mihai SALVAN

Monday, July 4, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani for $1.99

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (Author) and Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator) is on sale in ebook format for $1.99 as a Kindle Daily Deal. It is usually in the $6.99 range and goes on sale periodically, but usually for $2.99 so this is a dollar less.

Book description:

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

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

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

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

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

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