Entries tagged with “Fairy Tale”.

Win a signed copy of Sinister Sweetness! Details at the end of this post.

When my mom was alive, she read me stories every night. “Use your imagination, Lorelei,” she’d say, “and your whole life can be a fairy tale.” I wanted that to be true. But I should have paid more attention to the fairy tales.

Because not all of the children in them come out alive.

And sometimes there are witches hiding in the woods.

My soon-to-be stepmother was a witch, I was sure of that. I wasn’t quite certain whether she wanted me to die, but it was looking possible. Die of humiliation, if nothing else.

Somehow, she had convinced my dad to make me wear a peach-and-white petticoat dress, with white shoes that looked like they’d been stolen off an American Girl doll. They were about that big, too. I could feel the blisters coming up as I walked to the minivan.

“Hurry up, Lorelei,” Dad shouted from the front seat. He already had the engine on. “I don’t want to be late for my own wedding. Molly will kill me!”

“Molly’s already trying to kill me,” I murmured as I shut the door. I hadn’t been quiet enough. Dad had heard.

“Lorelei,” he warned. “Molly is not trying to kill you. Why do you insist on being so negative about her? She’s going to be your new mother–”

A rude noise came from the back seat. Bryan, my older brother, had pulled out his earbuds to listen in. “Stepmother,” he said. “She’s not Mom.”

Mom. The word hung in the air like sparkles of dust in the sunlight, bringing with it memories and pain. My heart thumped hard against my seat belt. Nobody said anything for a few seconds. Nobody breathed. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see if Bryan was giving me the look he’d given me over a year before.

The day I had destroyed our family.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Nikki Loftin

About the book:

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy–Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei’s favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?

It’s up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones–and might even pick them clean!

Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you’ve got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

What people are saying:

“A mesmerizing read…a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new.”—Publishers Weekly

“A pinch of Grimm, a dash of Greek mythology and a heaping helping of fresh chills make for an irresistible contemporary fairy tale…Deliciously scary and satisfying.”–Kirkus

“A wickedly intriguing, deliciously eerie read.”–Cynthia Leitich Smith, NYT Bestselling author

 Released: August 21, 2012

About the author:

Nikki Loftin lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small, loud boys. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, is available now. You can visit her online at www.nikkiloftin.com.


Nikki has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on December 12th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win an ARC of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses! See details below.

I write this on a brailler, a kind of typewriter

for the blind. Ella is married and happy. Our

Ever After is silence, darkness, and bitterness.


We have names, by the way. She’s Sarah

and I’m Kathy. We were always close.

As girls we lay in bed kissing and pretending

one of us was the prince. We were practicing

for happiness.


Mother turned us against our stepsister,

belittling her. But there was always

something dangerous in those blue eyes,

and we should have seen it. Even in tatters

Ella was desirable — a little thigh showing

here, some soot at her cleavage. And what

a tease — dashing away at midnight leaving

the heir to the throne groaning in his purple



Then when Mother heard about the big Slipper

Raffle, she never gave up, forcing the surgery

on us. And it almost worked, because

we were on our way to the castle when

those birds warned him. What a scene —

tattletale fowl, blood pouring from our shoes,

Mother howling. And then You-Know-Who

comes out of the kitchen barefoot with some

wisps of golden hair stuck to her brow and he

all but goes to his knees and sucks on her

perfect toes.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Ron Koertge

About the book:

Writing in free verse honed to a wicked edge, the incomparable Ron Koertge brings dark and contemporary humor to twenty iconic fairy tales.

Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroine’s cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer— he wants to whisper in your ear.

What people are saying:

“A fiendishly clever and darkly funny collection.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Turn over the rock of any fairy tale, and there is Ron Koertge with a version your grandmother wouldn’t recognize. Here are the familiar tales made new—subversive, post-modernized, and refitted with a sense of humor as wicked as any witch.”—Billy Collins, Poet Laureate

“These ain’t your grandma’s fairy tales. These have teeth. Ron Koertge is wickedly clever and imaginative in his macabre poems. You’ll recognize the characters, but, oh, my, what are they up to!”—Paul B. Janeczko, author of Requiem: Voices of the Terezín Ghetto

“So you think you’re too old for fairytales? Think again. Koertge puts the ‘grim’ into the Brothers Grimm. These transformed classics are dark, funny, gruesome, and insanely original.”—Sonya Sones, author of What My Mother Doesn’t Know

“Ron Koertge’s new poems are acid-lolli-pop-culture treats. Between lullaby and lunacy you’ll find the menacing, the maimed, the rescued, and the recused. Are these poems, or are they tweets from the twilight where wolves and bears nurse their grievances? LIES KNIVES AND GIRLS IN RED DRESSES is more than a shopping list for wicked wolves: it is a wicked send-up of nursery tale morality. Wiser readers will howl–and that’s a good thing.”—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and What-the-Dickens

Released: July 10, 2012

About the author:

Ron Koertge is the author of many celebrated novels, including Stoner & Spaz,Strays, and The Brimstone Journals, all American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults; Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and American Library Association Top Ten Sports Books for Youth Selection; and The Arizona Kid, an American Library Association pick for “one of the ten funniest books of the year.” A two-time winner of the PEN Literary Award for Children’s Literature, Ron lives in South Pasadena, California. Visit him at ronkoertge.com.


We are giving away an ARC of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on July 25th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win a signed copy of Storybound! Details at the end of this post.

Una often told herself that she was invisible. Perhaps that was the reason people passed her in the halls, their eyes skimming over her slight form as if she were part of the scenery: a desk, a book, a classroom, a girl. It could also be the reason why Ms. McDonough, perched on her musty old pink chair, talked to her cats about Una as though Una wasn’t there. “The girl sassed me today,” she would say, or “The girl is quite selfish and irresponsible.” But Una didn’t mind too much. The cats couldn’t tease Una like the kids in the other foster homes had. There had been five foster families so far, and Ms. McDonough’s was the first, where Una could actually be alone. Even at dinner, as they sat together at the long mahogany table, the surface polished to such a gleam that Una’s big violet eyes looked back up at her, even there Ms. McDonough never acknowledged her, and Una was left to her own imagination.

Copyright © 2012 Marissa Burt

***Read Storybound for FREE in April on the HarperCollins website.***

About the book:

When Una Fairchild stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, she finds herself Written In to the land of Story—a world filled with Heroes and Villains and fairy-tale characters.

Together with her new friend Peter and a talking cat named Sam, Una digs deep into Story’s shadowy past to find out why she has been Written In. She quickly realizes that she is tied to the world in ways she never could have imagined—and it might be up to her to save it.

What people are saying:

“An appealing fantasy.  Strong writing and interesting characters make Una’s journey enjoyable, and the overall result will have readers on the lookout for the planned sequel.”–Publishers Weekly

“A richly imagined world.  Readers will enjoy the mind-bending fun of puzzling together the small details.”–Booklist

“Readers who love fantasy may see an opportunity to snuggle up with a cup of cocoa and unravel the plot, which twists and turns in on itself, with happy surprises.”–Kirkus

Released: April 3, 2012

About the author:

Marissa Burt was forever getting notes sent home from teachers about reading novels during class. She grew up in Oregon, and drifted eastward through Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina before coming back to the Pacific Northwest. She now lives in the Seattle area with her husband, three sons, and heaps of books. Visit her at www.marissaburt.com.


Marissa has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Storybound for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on April 25th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

Once there was a girl with hair the color of dead leaves, teeth the size of piano keys, freckles as big as polka dots, and eyes that couldn’t see squat. Everyone laughed at her and called her Polka Dot. Poor Polka Dot felt like a total weirdo, and always wished a fairy godmother would appear and cut her some slack.

But that was just too darn bad, because fairy godmothers only care about beautiful girls with wicked stepmothers. So when Polka Dot spotted a fairy godmother resting on a park bench, she kept her wish simple and begged for better eyesight. Sweet naive Polka Dot, no one ever told her some fairy godmothers have ginormous attitude issues.

“I’m on a coffee break, kid,” said the fairy godmother. “Get yourself some glasses and stop pestering me.”

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Jenny Lundquist

About the book:

Calliope Meadow Anderson wishes her life could be more of a fairy tale—just like the stories she writes. Her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, she’s terrified to start middle school, and to top things off, she’s found out she needs glasses—hideously large and geeky glasses. But Callie soon discovers her glasses have a special, magical perk: When she wears them, she can read people’s thoughts. For the first time ever she’s answering all the questions right in math class and gets a glimpse of what goes through people’s minds all day, including what Ellen—and her longtime crush—really think of her.

Crazy glasses aside, Callie has more drama to face when she’s cast as the lead in the school play and instead opts to be an understudy, giving the role of Cinderella to Ellen—just like she’s done for their entire friendship. Can Callie’s magic glasses help her see her way to leading lady, or is she destined to stay in the background forever, even with her super freaky magic glasses?

Released: March 20, 2012

About the author:

Jenny Lundquist grew up in Huntington Beach, California, wearing glasses and wishing they had magic powers. They didn’t, but they did help her earn a degree in Intercultural Studies at Biola University. Her favorite part of college was spending one semester living in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, where she drank lots of tea, met some really interesting people, and honed her Yahtzee skills. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons, and Rambo, the world’s whiniest cat. You can visit Jenny online at www.jennylundquist.com

Win a copy of The Princess Curse! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

Three days after my thirteenth birthday, Armas, the Executioner and Chief of Prisons, came for me while I ate breakfast.

“Apprentice,” Armas said, his cold voice freezing the thyme pie in my throat. “Princess Consort wants you.”

Cook whispered behind me, “Too many pies.” I almost erped with worry. I didn’t think they actually jailed people for eating too much in Sylvania, but they probably did punish new apprentices for insubordination. And I had been a tad insubordinate to my master.

I slid from my stool, feeling stiff and weak. But I held my head high and marched ahead of Armas into the courtyard while the castle kitchen burst into excited chatter behind us. My stomach knotted and tumbled harder, and I wished for a pinch of mint to settle it.

Halfway across the courtyard, I asked Armas, “Did the Princess Consort say why—?”

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Merrie Haskell

About the book:

Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

What people are saying:

“A wonder of a book–myth and fairy tale, romance and high comedy. Reveka, the herbalist’s apprentice, takes us with her on a journey through our world and what lies beneath as she learns about life and death, love and loyalty, courage and despair. As I did, you will delight in this exciting and touchingly romantic story. I can’t wait to see what happens next to the fierce and strong Reveka. Read it.”– Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist

Released: September 6, 2011

About the author:

Merrie Haskell lives in Saline, Michigan, with her husband, stepdaughter, and too many cats named for legendary characters. She works in a library with over seven million books, and finds that to be just about enough. You can visit her at www.merriehaskell.com.


Merrie has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Princess Curse for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on November 9th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!