Alethea Kontis's Blog, page 9
March 24, 2015
Princess Alethea Rants “The Colony of Cats”
Episode 53: In which Princess Alethea and Princess Tempest rant about the Lang fairy tale “The Colony of Cats.” (Crimson Fairy Book)
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March 17, 2015
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Andre Norton, Grand Dame of SF.
It’s difficult to believe that it’s been a decade since Miss Andre left us. When Jay asked me to contribute something to the Andre Norton Books site, I thought it only fitting to offer him the essay I wrote at the time, my eulogy of sorts, entitled “Like a Box of Chocolates.”
Despite her physical absence, Miss Andre’s grandmotherly presence, her nuggets of wisdom, her complete faith in who I was and who I would be…these remain with me. As does the very important decision I made the day she died.
In 2011, I had the honor of presenting the Andre Norton Award at the SFWA Nebula Awards ceremony. In 2013 and 2014, I was nominated for the Andre Norton Award. One of these days, I will win that damned thing and make her proud. Because that’s how these stories are meant to end.
Click here to read “Like a Box of Chocolates” — originally posted on this blog on March 18, 2005.
March 16, 2015
Have you been watching Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants? We’re up to Episode 52…can you believe it?
In this episode, Alethea eats ice cream for dinner. (It’s ridiculously fun, I promise you.)
With special guest star: Princess K. Tempest Bradford!
March 15, 2015
Because I get asked this so many times–and because I have the audiobook to refresh my memory–here’s a handy-dandy list for you. I am sure this is incomplete, but at the very least, these are all the stories I meant to include ON PURPOSE.
List of Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, and Classic Fantasy Novels Referenced in Enchanted (in order or appearance…mostly)
1. “Monday’s Child is Fair of Face” (Nursery rhyme)
2. Seventh son of a seventh son (trope)
3. Cu Chulainn (Irish myth)
4. “The Foundling” (Grimm)
5. “The Frog Prince” (Grimm)
6. “Snow White & Rose Red” (Grimm)
7. “The Red Shoes” (Andersen)
8. “The Princess & the Pea” (Andersen)
9. “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” (Grimm)
10. The Princess Bride (Goldman)
11. “Rumpelstiltskin” (Grimm)
12. “Rapunzel” (Grimm)
13. “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” (Nursery rhyme)
14. “Jack & the Beanstalk” (Grimm)
15. Robin Hood (English folklore)
16. “The Fairies” (aka “Diamonds & Toads”) (Perrault)
17. “Sleeping Beauty” (Grimm)
18. “What Little Boys are Made Of” (nursery rhyme)
19. “Cinderella” (Grimm)
20. “Snow White” (Grimm)
21. “Simple Simon” (Nursery rhyme)
22. “Fitcher’s Bird” (aka “Bluebeard) (Grimm/Perrault)
23. Comte de Saint Germain (French history/legend)
24. “One for Sorrow” (Nursery rhyme)
25. Tam Lin (Scottish ballad/legend)
26. The Darkangel (Pierce)
27. Beauty (McKinley)
28. The Secret Garden (Burnett)
29. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Andersen)
30. “The Goose Girl” (Grimm)
31. The Book of Three (Alexander)
32. “The Female of the Species” (Kipling)
33. “Sick” (Silverstein)
34. Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery)
35. Peter Pan (Barrie)
36. “Little Red Riding Hood” (Grimm)
February 28, 2015
A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.Here it is, the Grand Finale of the BOOK TOUR for Dearest By Alethea Kontis
And can I just say…I have had an AMAZING time this month. How amazing, you ask? Well, I tossed a bunch of glitter out into the intarwebs and MAGIC HAPPENED. Thank you again to Prism Book Tours, my tireless tour companion Leanna Renee Hieber, and all the bloggers who took part in this month long EXTRAVAGANZA. This was one for the history books, you guys!Did you miss any of the magical posts and reviews for this tour? Go check them out now! You can also grab the 20th Chapter of Dearest, not previously released, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Lilac Reviews – Tips for Writing a SeriesThe Arilland Easter Egg Page: I’ve always been a big fan of DVD extras, so I created a page on my website where I list handy links to essays, videos, stories, articles and the like that are some how connected to the series. You can find it here: http://aletheakontis.com/about/arillandWishful Endings – The Wild Swans Rant“The Wild Swans”, along with “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl” has always been one of my favorite stories by Hans Christian Andersen. (It’s also, notably, one of the only HCA stories in which the main characters DON’T DIE.)
Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids – Learn some fun facts about Alethea!
The Book Lovers’ Lounge – Review
I would still recommend this book to anyone who loves their fairy tales and romance books.
Wings trip [Alethea’s] fiction trigger @ USA Today’s Happy Ever After
Buried Under Books – ReviewI love FridayóI think sheís my favorite of the sisters so far mainly because sheís so sweet and kindóand Tristan is also very likeable but itís the seven brothers as a group who make this tale so much fun.Mommabears Book Blog – Holy “L” TrinityBut when it came to fantasy films, we had what we lovingly referred to as “The Holy L Trinity”: Legend, Labyrinth, and Ladyhawke. It was rare that we watched one without immediately watching the other two. It didn’t matter which order, just as long as they all got seen.Rabid Reads – Review
Highly recommended. If you love fairy tales, you will love this series. Even if you are among the majority who only know Disneyís version of events, you will love this series. Donít be scared off by the mutual affection Kontis and I have for Grimm, b/c while, YES, the details stay true to their European roots, the Woodcutter sisters always live happily ever after.
Gidget Girls Reading – Spotlight
Wonderful addition to the Woodcutter Sisters series! Dearest is sure to capture the reader and keep them wanting more.
7 Minutes with… Alethea Kontis @ J.T. Ellison
Zerina Blossom – Review
Dearest was a sweet romance and a fantastic mix of some of my favorite fairytales. ìThe Seven Swansî and ìThe Goose Girlî were but two of them. I loved the way the stories were once again intermingled in new and intriguing ways. Fridayís love story was one worth reading again.
Geo Librarian – Review
When it comes to fairy tale retellings it can be challenging to present the story in a new enough way to win over readers since the basic story is known beforehand. But Kontis does a nice job here of adding enough new elements to make the story feel fresh and new. And while the plot is thoroughly entertaining, it is the characters that really make the story worth reading.
Welcome to Book City – Interview
What is your favorite fairy tale?My favorite fairy tale has always been ìThe Goose Girl.î It’s the reason Conrad is one of the main characters in Dearest! Conrad was the clever boy who reported to the king that there was something fishy about the girl he tended the geese with…like the fact that she knew how to call the wind. . . . My second-favorite fairy tales are ìSnow White and Rose Redî and ìThe Twelve Dancing Princesses.î
Angela’s Library – Q&A
Dearest is based in part on ìThe Wild Swansî by Hans Christian Andersen and ìThe Goose Girlî by the Brothers Grimm. How are both of these tales referenced in Dearest?I reread ìThe Wild Swansî again before I started writing Dearest ó itís amazing how much detail that story goes into. Elisa has 11 brothers who are cursed into swans by a wicked sorceress stepmother who quickly turns the kingís heart against his children. She also tries to curse Elisa, but her heart is so pure that the sorceress is forced to make Elisa physically ugly to serve her purpose…Kelly P’s Blog – A Weave of Words Fairy Tale Rant Intro
The book, out of print now (but still fairly easy to acquire), is about a lazy prince and a weaver’s daughter. In order to win her heart, the prince learns to read and write and weave. In return, the weaver’s daughter learns to ride a horse and fight with a sword.
Mel’s Shelves – Review
This book has plenty for everyone–humor, romance, secrets, danger, adventure and magic. I think I would enjoy it even more the second time through since there are references I most likely missed. There’s more to come in this series so I’m sure I’ll read through all of them again in the future. If you enjoy adventurous fairytale mash-ups, you’ll want to start reading this series now!
Jan Edwards – Q&A
What are you up to next?
This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome(another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. Iím very excited about all of them!
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review
I loved the way different fairy tales were twisted and mashed up. . . . It really was a lot of fun to see where the story would go. I need to go back and read the first two!
One of my favorite parts of a book is the dedication. Before the interwebs, a dedicationóbecause there wasn’t always an acknowledgements section or author’s note, especially in fictionówas the closest a reader came to knowing the author as a person.
Wishful Endings – Review
I loved all the nods to various folklore and fairy tales. The author is definitely a master at blending different tales while making them completely original and her own. . . . I would highly recommend Dearest as well as this entire series.
Library of a Book Witch – Review
I loved that this focused on the Fairy Tale of the seven swans and not only that but also another story that I am familiar with. . . . The story is so fast moving I flew through the book (like a swan, get it, ha!) but it was just so engaging. So many wonderful things come together to keep the plot moving. So many wonderful characters.
The Quotable – Fairy Tales Incorporated
Iím often asked which fairy tales Iím putting into the next installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series, or how many Iíve already included, or which ones are my favorites, or which ones inspire me the most. Rarely do I get the question of HOW I incorporate all these fairy tales into the bouillabaisse that is the Once Upon a Time of Arilland ó which is probably a good thing, because itís not a short answer…
Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads
The Written Adventure – Interview
2) What gave you the idea for this book?
I always start each one of the Woodcutter Sisters books with a ìbase noteî fairy tale (like a base note in perfume). The base note for Dearest was ìThe Wild Swansî (aka ìThe Six Swansî). But I can’t think of fine-feathered fairy tales without thinking of my personal favorite, ìThe Goose Girlî…so I had to add that too. From there, the rest just sort of fell into place.
My Life Loves and Passion – Review
To start with I LOVED this cover. It was just so beautiful. . . . I just loved how this story started. It was so magical. I really loved just everything about this book!
Colorimetry – Swan Lake Fairy Tale Rant & Review
When I began writing Dearest, I knew I wanted to
incorporate “The Goose Girl” and “The Wild Swans” and
“The Six Swans” and every other fairy tale that involves a gaggle of
men who are cursed into birds. . . . This was my favorite book in the series so far and not just because I rec’d an early review copy that Alethea signed and doodled, although… I 5-star love that, too. Mostly 5 stars because this story makes me want to know and remember ALL the stories, which is crazy and not even possible because they haven’t all been written, yet!
I Am A Reader – The Casting of the Swans
As many writersóand children in Deep-Doodoo Troubleóknow, the best stories are often an amalgamation of more than one thing. One idea comes to mind that sparks a myriad of other ideasÖsome you might have had a very long time ago, and some you might have imagined only yesterday. . . . The seven Swan Brothers of Dearest were a story born of three such singular ideas.
The Library of the Seen – Interview
What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?
Beauty and Deerskin, both by Robin McKinley (she’s the fairy tale retelling queen!) Also, A Curse Dark As Gold, a Rumplestiltskin retelling by Elizabeth C. Bunce. And the movie Ever After…which in many ways inspired Enchanted (because I loved the film so much and still wanted to do my own Cinderella.)
18 – Special post on @ Dear Teen Me – Letter to her teen BFF
Printcess & Living a Goddess Life – Review
You recall my earlier review of the first two in the series, Enchanted and Hero. Well, I actually liked this one the best. Kontis appears to be improving in style and scope with each book, which makes for a nice change!
Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Interview
2 Do you read/comment on reviews of your books?
I do! I donít have a lot of time to do so anymoreñand I often hear that reviewers are sometime freaked out when the author pops by unannouncedñbut I do have Google Alerts and Twitter searches saved with my name. (Itís nice to be the only Alethea Kontis on the planet!) I appreciate every reader who takes the time to write a review. I used to be a book reviewer, both in print and onlineñI know how much extra energy it takes to put those thoughts into useful words.
100 Pages A Day – Review
Tristan is the serious brother that Friday falls for- and is mostly instant love since they only see each other at night, but the romance was painted as genuine and this is a fairy tale. For any lover of fairy tales and re-tellings this would be a good series to pick up.
mrsjennyreads – Review
An enchanting delight of a story, this is true fantasy fun. Kontis, I believe, may be wielding magic of her own.
Books and Ashes – Review
I really enjoyed this story though because it was everything I wanted to know and more about what was happening in Arilland while Saturday was adventuring as a pirate (which was my favorite part about Hero) and this book gave me that and more by the time I finished it. I canít wait to see which sister is next in the series!
Addicted Readers – Seamstress Extraordinaire
In the Woodcutter series, I had to coin the phrase “Seamstress Extraordinaire,” because the publisher did not like that I called Yarlitza Mitella a Master Seamstress. They asked if I could change it to Mistress…but a Master at a craft is not a Mistress, no matter what their sex. There are female Jedi Masters, for heaven’s sake. All the D&D Guild Masters–men or women–were Masters.
“World building and humor in DEAREST was nicely done. Alethea also gets major points for taking such well know fairy tales and making them her own…”
Katy’s Krazy Books – Review
So I thought that the plot was really good. Friday is an awesome chick that I just wish I could be. I mean who doesnít want to be able to save a couple of hot twins from turning into swans each day. Not to mention, the girl gets to do the saving in this story, NOT the guy.
The Daily Prophecy – Fairy Tale Rant on Tristan & Isolde
I have found that, during the process of writing a novel, I am drawn to certain entertainments in my off time. While writing Enchanted, I watched a lot of Jane Austen movies. While writing Hero, I was very drawn to the Summer Olympics…especially the women’s swimming competitions. While writing Dearest, I re-watched most of Stargate: Atlantis…and all of Merlin.
Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
Where do you get your information or ideas?
I get information from everywhere–people, when I can find them, books, when I have them close at hand, and the internet, when I need something simple to move the story forward, like the anatomy and habits of a swan.
Min Reads and Reviews – Review
I absolutely loved this book. The story is told beautifully and quite magically, as well. I have not read the previous books in the series, but I am putting them high on my TBR list. I loved absolutely Friday, and I enjoyed getting to know some of her sisters.
Pieces of Whimsy – The Goose Girl
I first read “The Goose Girl” when I was eight years old, from the giant book of fairy tales my Memere bought me (no doubt in the hopes that it might keep me busy for a while). No matter how old I’ve become and what adventures I’ve undertaken, “The Goose Girl” has been my favorite fairy tale since that day.
Wonderous Reviews – Review
The journey that Dearest takes readers on is more than I can put into words without spoiling at least one discovery. I will say that this book is perfect for those that enjoy a story that will inspire and enchant! There is beautiful love, heart pounding action, fantasy and flying, magic and sorcery, destiny and fate, kindness and curses, and a little something for everyone!
The Scribbling Sprite – Interview
6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?
In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!
A Backwards Story – The Missing Last Chapter of Dearest
Alethea talks about Dearest being short one chapter and that you can now read the final chapter.Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3) by Alethea Kontis
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
ìA fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.î óKirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted
Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sundayís palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows heís her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Fridayís unique magic somehow break the spell?Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’sThe Other Woodcutter Sisters Books Links for EnchantedGoodreads – Amazon – Barnes & NobleBook Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’sLinks for HeroGoodreads – Amazon – Barnes & NobleBook Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’s Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012
New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. Sheís known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.
Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.
Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Childrenís Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.
Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava youíve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.
Website – Goodreads – Facebook – Twitter – YouTube – Tumblr – Instagram – PinterestTour-Wide Giveaway
3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest – US Only)
Ends March 8tha Rafflecopter giveaway
February 3, 2015
DEAREST IS FINALLY OUT!
Here is a link for you to share — be sure to do that RIGHT NOW — we need to make as many sales as we can happen this week! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0544074076/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0544074076&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwaletheakon-20&linkId=H25VMKQW3Z2BQT5L
The first Tuesday of the month is usually also my day to post on The Waterworld Mermaids, but my Sparkle Twin Kerri Carpenter stole my day so that she could ask me some of the best interview questions ever! I make moussaka, take Kerri‘s dog to Hawaii, confess my favorite word, and cast all of the Waterworld Mermaids in the Woodcutter series. Click here to check it out!
Alethea & Kerri — Mermaid Sparkle Twins!
I also have an equally fabulous interview with the equally fabulous Miss Print today!
Parallel books, the secrets of Tristan, my favorite characters, and what’s next for me — if you want to know, you’ll have to click the link to find out! xox
February 2, 2015
Follow the February Tour!
1 – Launch
2 – Lilac Reviews
3 – Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids
3 – Coffee Books & Art & The Book Lovers’ Lounge
4 – Special post @ USA Today’s Happy Ever After
4 – Buried Under Books, Mommabears Book Blog, & Rabid Reads
5 – Interview @ J.T. Ellison
5 – Gidget Girls Reading
6 – Zerina Blossom & Geo Librarian
8 – Welcome to Book City
9 – Kelly P’s Blog & Katy’s Krazy Books
10 – Mel’s Shelves & Jan Edwards
11 – Katie’s Clean Book Collection
12 – A Backwards Story & Wishful Endings
13 – Library of a Book Witch & The Quotable
14 – Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads
15 – The Written Adventure
16 – My Life Loves and Passion & Colorimetry
17 – I Am A Reader & The Library of the Seen
18 – Special post on @ Dear Teen Me
18 – Printcess & Living a Goddess Life & Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
19 – 100 Pages A Day & mrsjennyreads
20 – Books and Ashes & Addicted Readers
22 – Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books
23 – SBM Book Obsession
24 – Deal Sharing Aunt
25 – Min Reads and Reviews
26 – Pieces of Whimsy & Wonderous Reviews
27 – The Scribbling Sprite
28 – Grand Finale
January 29, 2015
If you’re not sold on the Woodcutter Series after reading this latest article on the B&N Teen Blog, then I guess you just don’t like fairy tales.[image error]
“Fairy-tale fans: consider this your marching papers to the nearest bookstore.”
January 27, 2015
With the imminent release of Dearest (it’s already in some bookstores!) and the announcement of the Garden State Teen Book Awards (woohoo!), more and more Book Clubs and reading groups are picking up Enchanted.
My bestest friend Casey Cothran was my first writing partner back in middle school — today she is an Associate Professor of English at Winthrop University and teaches a very popular fairy tale class that sometimes even includes Enchanted on the required reading list. (I like to imagine her students questioning whether or not the author meant something in a particular passage and Casey saying, “I can call her and ask, if you’d like.”)
All of this, of course, made Casey the perfect person to sit down with and come up with a great list of Reading Group Discussion Questions. Please feel free to use these, share these, and add your own in the comments!
READING GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR ENCHANTED BY ALETHEA KONTIS
1. The stories that Sunday writes “have a tendency to come true” (7). Even if your own stories don’t predict the future, writing in a diary or journal might help you to understand feelings more clearly, to predict how people in your life might act, or to solidify your goals for the future. How else might thinking about Sunday’s special power help you to understand the power (and dangers) of writing things down?
2. Sunday writes that she loves Grumble “with all her heart” (36). Do you think she really fell in love with Grumble? Or, is she only in love with him because she wrote that she loved him in her book? (Remember, the stories that she writes “have a tendency to come true” .) Why do you think Sunday wrote about feelings of love? Because her feelings for Grumble were true…or because she wanted them to be true? Do you think Sunday and Grumble were destined to be together anyway?
3. The book opens with the line, “My name is Sunday Woodcutter, and I am doomed to a happy life” (1). How might a “happy life” sometimes feel like a curse instead of a blessing?
4. Think about the lives of Sunday and her family. How many of their adventures seem “destined”? What adventures–or aspects of their adventures–do they actually choose for themselves? (You might think specifically about Monday and Wednesday.) What does the novel, as a whole, say about the forces of fate and free will?
5. How does living as an animal affect Rumbold’s mind? His way of seeing and understanding the world?
6. This novel explores the joys and frustrations of a big family. What does the story say about relationships between sisters? About adoption? About sibling rivalry? About teenagers’ frustration with their parents? About losing a sister or brother to distance or to death? About finding yourself?
7. Rumbold’s father is a bad parent. What does this book say about bad parents and bad parenting? Conversely, how does Rumbold’s father compare to Sunday’s parents, who are very active in their children’s lives?
8. What does this book say about the potential for people to change their lives? To make different choices and choose different paths?
9. Discuss the animal transformations in the book. Jack becomes a dog; Rumbold becomes a frog; Wednesday becomes a goose. The author chose these particular animals to match their respective fairy tales (Cú Chulainn, The Frog Prince, Jack and the Beanstalk), but how do you think these transformations affected the characters in question? How might you feel about such a transformation? If you were cursed to live as an animal for a significant amount of time, what would you like to be?
10. Discuss the magic and the mysterious forces of the book. What is the role of Rumbold’s shadow-angel? Do you believe any magic can be used solely for good or evil, or is it always a wild, dangerous thing by nature?
11. The names in the novel are interesting. Do you think some of them give the reader hints about a character’s personality or destiny? Can you “predict the future” and guess what might happen to Sunday’s other siblings?
12. How many fairy tale references could you find in the novel? How many Mother Goose rhymes did you see?
December 31, 2014
1. “The Goose Girl” is my very favorite fairy tale.
2. Episode 42 was always meant to be a special episode, because I’m a geek.
3. Make sure you have tissues handy.
4. Happy New Year, everyone. I love you all. xox