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In Praise of the Packrat

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Blog, Writing Life | 9 comments

In Praise of the Packrat

Today’s guest post is by Ann Hillesland, whose short story “After Waking” appears in Issue #18 of The Quotable.

I’m a bit of a packrat. For example, I have over fifty hats, most of them vintage, many of them unworn by me. I have enough bone china teacups (packed in a snowstorm of tissue paper) for a large tea party. I can’t let go of the teacups, even though I don’t use them, because of their sentimental value—they were inherited from my grandmother or given to me for my graduation or for minding the guest book at my sister’s wedding. But my packrat tendencies are most pronounced when it comes to my writing. From thrift or sentiment, I never throw anything away. I have a filing cabinet stuffed with drafts dating back to high school—every juvenile novel attempt, every Tolkien knockoff, every bad poem I penned in a spiral-bound notebook.

Once I started using computers, I kept even more drafts and scraps. I often have several electronic versions of a story, plus paper drafts with comments from my writers group. For every story I cut significant chunks from, I have a file labeled “bits” where I put the cut writing so that I can retrieve it if I want. The bits folder also contains my darlings I had to kill, sentences that were beautiful but useless (much like the vintage hats and bone china cups).

I think many writers are packrats.  In fact, being a writer is like being a packrat of life—we’re always saving up our experiences for possible future use, remembering the woosh of a falling fir tree, the Jean Nate girls wore in seventh grade, the bright spill of stars on a Mendocino night, the tear-blurred red Pontiac carrying a lover away.  From these scraps we weave our stories.

One day, looking through my old files on my computer, I came across a file named sleepingbeauty. I remembered nothing about this file, and when I opened it, I discovered the beginning of a story about Sleeping Beauty after she woke up. I had stopped writing it a few paragraphs in. I don’t remember why I stopped, whether I couldn’t figure out what to do next or I simply forgot about the story, but after rereading it, I realized that I knew how the story should end. I finished the story three years after I began it. That story, “After Waking,” appears in issue 17 of The Quotable.

Maybe I should have a big tea party to celebrate my story’s publication. On the way through the door, guests can pick out a vintage hat to wear while they sip Earl Grey from beautiful, fragile cups. I’ll remember the cups’ busy clatter, a lemon bar’s tartness, a navy blue picture hat with a white ribbon band.  They might fuel a future story.

Postcard Promises: The Rise of Flash Fiction

Posted by on Feb 21, 2016 in Blog | 35 comments

Postcard Promises: The Rise of Flash Fiction

Today’s blog comes from The Quotable Issue:19 contributor, Embe Charpentier.

It wasn’t such a long time ago that skeptics doubted a great story could be told in one hundred words. Nowadays, one look at Drabble and 101 Word Stories will refute that claim. How about the 140-character story, a tale the length of a tweet? Can art fit on the online equivalent of a Post-it note? Flash fiction lengths can be as stingy as those 140 characters, and as long as 1,200 words. So size matters, but there is flexibility enough to adapt to both genre and literary fiction.

Most agents, writers, and editors believe that the super-short story has passed the tests of time, that it’s not a mere gimmick. But I’ve heard some novelists discuss flash fiction writers the same way that marathoners regard sprinters, as capable of speed but not distance; long distance writers sometimes assert that composers of short fiction do so because their stories are conceptually simple and writing insufficiently descriptive.

Not so. We who write brief fiction aren’t just flashes in the pan. Sudden fiction isn’t just here to stay; I read flash to find talented, cutting edge storytellers. Years ago, Hemingway wrote the classic six-word story: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” Few authors can manage such profound brevity, though Kate Chopin and Ambrose Bierce wrote short fiction, too. But with the rise of technology, and the growth of independent journals willing to experiment, flash has blossomed. Though print journals based in academia tend to focus on traditional literary lengths of 2,000 plus words, the refreshing blast of short fiction from online journals has featured stories that pack a punch.

Brilliant micro-fiction authors come from many cultures. Writers in Arabic, French, Spanish, and German – which naturally has invented a long, tortured word for short fiction, Kürzestgeschichten – spin powerful tales that prove flash fiction’s worth. Grant Faulkner, a talented writer and Executive Director of NaNoWriMo, produced a collection of hundred word stories this year (Fissures, published by Press 53). He sees his work as prose poetry, a blending of forms. He’s right. The best flash fiction fixes phrases in place as a master jeweler sets tiny diamonds in a wedding band. Small things can represent eternity as well as large ones.

I’ve loved writing flash fiction. This year, I’ve published a number of very short stories; four of them have run only one hundred words. Crafting a very short story can strengthen a writer’s skill base and sharpen his editing skills.

So if you haven’t tried stretching yourself by shrinking your stories, give micro-fiction a try. You may find that the shortest thing you’ve ever written will bring you the sweetest satisfaction.
Photo Credit: dark-dawud via Compfight cc

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Blog | 2 comments

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Dear readers and contributors,

Five years ago we came together as four friends from a writing group with the idea of starting a literary journal. We had no way of knowing at the time if anyone would ever submit or if anyone other than our parents would ever read it.

The response from our submitters and readers, almost from the start, has been wonderful and overwhelming. We’ve been so lucky to have the chance to publish such wonderful short stories, poems and artwork. We so enjoyed working with all of our contributors.

Over the years, we have worked with so many talented guest editors and interns who have volunteered their time to reading and editing submissions. This has never been a monetarily profitable endeavor for us, but the reading of great works of art and the pride we have put into each issue has been more than enough of a reward.

Recently, though, we have all thought that it is time for this great experiment to end. We don’t have the time to give it the attention it deserves, and so it is with regret that we inform you that Issue 21 will be our final issue. The theme, appropriately, will be “Finale” and we look forward to reading all of your submissions for one last, great issue.

 

Sincerely,

The Editors

Beneath the Smiles

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Blog | 4 comments

Beneath the Smiles

This is the last in a series of blog posts from The Quotable Issue 17 contributor, Stacy Clark. 

I see them smiling in the grocery store, at the coffee shop. Strangers look at her, glance at me, and smile at us. She still holds my hand or slides her arm through mine when we walk. She is eleven. She has the dark eyes, black-brown hair, and warm tan skin of her Chinese heritage. I have the fair, light-eyed features of my European ancestors. I am her mother, through adoption. When she was younger, toddling at my knee, she had to reach her hand up to clasp mine. People not only smiled then, they spoke, saying she was too cute to be real, wondering on her origins, whispering their adoption tales. Early on, I noticed the smiles and nods as we passed by, a walking storybook ending, or beginning.

 

Maybe I stopped noticing because the newness wore off. I forgot about our differences as we grew into our similarities. Lately I have started to notice again. Startled, I have to remind myself what others see: a mother, a daughter, an unexpected bond. What strangers cannot see is like all that lies beneath the tip of the iceberg, hidden beneath the water. The sharp beauty above obfuscates the complex mass below. I love this child and she loves me. I carried her like a gift from one side of the sky to the other. Though chances are I will never know under what circumstances she was “given.” Our joy rests above the waterline of grief.

 

People, not the ones in the coffee shop, but the distant impersonal “they,” sometimes say adoption is a trend or so-and-so celebrity popularized adopting. As if an adopted child were this season’s accessory or status symbol. They also say I am a biological (I have another child by birth), adoptive mother in a multi-cultural, bi-racial family. This is when I smile. We are so quick to label the ingredients thinking this will help us understand what is inside. I am none of these things and, I suppose, technically all of them. Yet, celebrities and labels matter not at all to anyone who has paced the floor after midnight cradling a crying baby. To anyone who has explained to a curious toddler why our eyes do not look the same. To anyone who has had to say to a dawning child, yes you were given away but you were wanted, too. It only matters that love is bigger and stronger than the cold facts of loss.

 

When unknown kids whisper in the pool, “I think she’s Asian,” our family laughs in mock surprise. You are? She is, and that matters only in ways giggling children on vacation cannot know. I am her mother. She is my daughter. Our ingredients are courage and stubbornness and hope.

 

Walking into the dentist office, the hotel lobby, we hold hands and pass smiling people. I do not know really why they smile. But I smile back.

Photo credit: gfpeck

Coffee and a Story to Go

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Blog | 6 comments

Coffee and a Story to Go

This is the second of a series of blog posts from The Quotable Issue 17* contributor, Stacy Clark. 

I have this habit. I walk into a coffee shop or spend time in an airport, and I come away with a story. Maybe it is the writer in me, the quiet observer. It could be I am small and look irrevocably innocent. But, I think strangers become storytellers around me because I listen. Usually, a story begins with a small detail, a pair of unusual eyeglasses or a hat.

 

Take a writing class or read a book on writing and you’ll hear about the power of detail. One vivid detail can open a doorway to a world. It can also unfold a story in the world.

 

Once, standing in line at Starbucks, I noticed a man wore artsy glasses. I asked if he was an artist. He was—a designer for Ralph Lauren. Before our orders were filled, while my husband waited in the car, I knew about this man’s ailing father, his partner, their move.

 

Another time, I dashed into a convenience store. An elderly, hunched man shuffled glacially slow in front of me as I waited my turn at the coffee station. “Move it along, Speedy,” I teased. He apologized, “I am sorry I am so slow.” Nodding at his WWII Vet cap, I said, “Yeah, but you weren’t always this way.” He beamed, picked up his pace. In that moment, he was not a feeble, old man in a Kwik-E-Mart; he was a man with a story.

 

Everybody has a story. One summer afternoon, I sat in a train station with my family. The man next to me worked a crossword puzzle. “I don’t need help from your iPhone, Son,” he argued playfully. I leaned over and gave him the answer. He grinned at his son: I told you so. Turns out the father commanded helicopter pilots in Vietnam and the son was the colonel who led the war-changing charge into Baghdad; a movie was being made about the son starring Gerard Butler. Later, on the train, I saw these two unassuming men dining with strangers and giving up no hint of who they were.

 

This is the wonder of stories. Stories are everywhere. An ordinary man boarding the train is a war hero. A woman working the register at Target lost her husband. A baby girl waving backwards at the fabric store is learning Cantonese. Most stories pass by us unheard. But stories are there, sitting in the waiting room, standing in the post office, walking in your shoes.

 

To be human is to live a story. Our stories trail behind us; our stories pull us forward. We are the creators of our own characters and plots, but also the listeners who bring the stories to life. When a story is heard, the teller comes alive again, we connect to our truer selves and each other, and we pass on the narrative that continues our civilization.

 

This is why I write stories, and why it takes me so long to get a cup of coffee.

 

Photo credit: Richard Pearson

*An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that this contributor was featured in Issue 18.

Write What Breaks You

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Blog | 4 comments

Write What Breaks You

This is the first of a series of blog posts from The Quotable Issue 17* contributor, Stacy Clark. 

 

It was our first meeting. I met him outside at a picnic table on a crisp Vermont morning. Squinting into the sunlight, we sat with coffee and reading lists and a study plan at our elbows, feeling sure we had been mismatched. “Did you even pick me?” he, a wildly expressive poet asked me, a carefully composed creative nonfiction writer, trying her hand at fiction in an MFA program. Yes I had. I had requested him as my faculty advisor because I knew how he revered, and wielded, the beauty of language. “Write about what breaks your heart,” he would tell me. And, I would wonder whether my heart had ever been broken.

 

This advisor and I would work together for two semesters. Though we had opposite lives—he single, living in Brooklyn, and I married with children, living in suburban Florida—we found common ground in writing. I admired his; he hated mine. At most, he would like a sentence within the creative pages I dutifully sent to him every 21 days. Once, he appreciated a whole page. Frustration turned to panic. I feared I had made a $40,000 mistake, and worse yet, I had no backup plan other than writer. While his was only one opinion—and he emphasized this—the thing was, we agreed. That one line and one page this advisor noted were the shards of writing I loved, too. These words had been gathered in some raw, organic way; and he could tell.

 

One day, nearing the end of the crucial third semester, I was at a loss for what to try. I went for a run and then stood crying in the shower because you cannot graduate with one good page. I got angry, angrier, and in that defiance, something broke. Wrapped in a towel, dripping water spots like giant teardrops on the closest paper I could find, I sat on the bedroom floor and wrote with fierce abandon. I wrote from a deeper echoing place, where good and bad do not exist, and there is only what you must say, and how. When those pages (typed up) came back, the comments reflected a whole new tenor of praise, almost celebratory. He knew I had broken open, maybe what he had been after all along. Before this, I wrote from my intellect. He wrote from his wrecked heart. I had just found mine.

 

From then on, I wrote and rewrote my manuscript pages well enough to graduate with an approved thesis. It was not a great thesis, but the process of writing it gave me access to being a great writer. What I learned went beyond the writing of fiction or creative nonfiction or poetry. I learned we are all broken in ways vast and small, and essential. And, it is in these imperfect places where—if we writers have the courage to go there and look—we glimpse the heartbreaking beauty of language, and life.
Photo Credit: llimllib via Compfight cc

*An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that this contributor was featured in Issue 18.

Confessions from the Playground

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Blog, Writing Life | 3 comments

Confessions from the Playground

Today’s guest post is by Jodi Herlick, whose short story “By the River” will appear in Issue #17 of The Quotable.
Confession: I take my kids to playgrounds without swings so I won’t have to push them. While other moms scramble through climbing tubes, giggling as they shoot down slides with their kids on their laps, I’m over on a bench with my laptop, squinting through the sun’s glare and trying to tune out the shrieks of exhausted toddlers. I type furiously, knowing that at any moment, my children might appear and announce that they want to leave. And then my writing time will be done, because we’ll go back home where the laundry needs to be hung and the floors need to be vacuumed and empty stomachs need to be filled.

Another confession: As part of a class for my MFA program, I read Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. I wanted to punch Dillard in the nose when she described her windowless writing shack, where she could be secluded from the world as she worked through the torture of the writing process. To be honest, Dillard’s torture sounds heavenly. Because the truth is that in order to attain the ability to regularly seclude ourselves away from the world (if we ever get to that point), most of us have to learn to write in spite of the distractions. Writing is crammed in on lunch breaks while we shovel a ham sandwich with one hand and type with the other, or after work when our eyes are droopy and our brains numb to inspiration, or on weekends when we’d rather turn on Netflix for a Dr. Who marathon. If we’ve got young children, writing takes place among the stifling humidity of swim lessons and the cacophony of indoor playgrounds on President’s Day. And maybe, if someone loves us very much, we might get the blessing of writing at a coffee shop for an hour or two.

Confession #3: When my son was born, I almost gave up writing. I was in the middle of my first novel. The document sat idle and unchanged on my laptop, while I tried to be the dutiful mother doting on her baby. I wasn’t sure why I was so miserable. When my daughter was born nearly two years later, I thought I was suffering from insurmountable writer’s block. There was no time to write. I had a full-time job and children who needed me. In those few moments when I sat down to write, the words wouldn’t come. But a few months later I realized that I couldn’t be a good mother if I was stifling my desire to write. If my joy was gone, what would I have left to give to my kids? And so I learned how to write at playgrounds and on lunch breaks and during those precious moments at coffee shops. And my kids are starting to learn that Mommy is much pleasanter if they give her time to write.

On Patience

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments

On Patience

Today’s guest post is by Ross Losapio, whose poem “Kinky Hair” appears in Nature or Nurture, Issue 16 of The Quotable.

 

We’ve lost a number of incredible poets in recent years, including, just this past Valentine’s Day, Philip Levine. Levine—along with Claudia Emerson, Mark Strand, Maya Angelou, Tomas Tranströmer, and many, many more”—left an indelible mark on the landscape of poetry. I count him among the most important influences on my own work. His appreciation for the working class and celebration of the gritty, sweaty, strenuous world provides the backdrop for the subtle wit, sophisticated humor, and honest awe that makes his poetry worthwhile and timeless. These are the qualities that I most strive for in my own writing and those that, I hope, are showcased in “Kinky Hair,” which I’m delighted to have appear in The Quotable.

2015, though young, has already been a strange year for me for a number of reasons. I graduated from the MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University two years ago and, since then, have been fortunate enough to find employment at the school. As a result, I’ve been able to keep in touch with the writing community that fostered me for three years. This also means that now, right this minute actually, I’m witnessing the graduation of the last group of poets and writers that I worked with directly as a student.

At the program’s readings and receptions, I feel like a stranger at times. An ever-increasing number of unfamiliar faces populate the room, and I know that, soon, I won’t recognize any of the readers behind the podium. At the same time, I feel incredibly proud. I would never claim to be a mentor or guiding force for these burgeoning writers, but it has been a delight to see them grow and flourish and, just maybe, I said something smart once in our time together in workshop that had some small impact on them.

Recently, NPR’s “Fresh Air” remembered Philip Levine by broadcasting an interview with the former poet laureate (http://ideastations.org/radio/fresh-air/npr-387768604-fresh-air-remembers-former-us-poet-laureate-philip-levine). Levine, as usual, is charming and self-effacing. At one point, recalling his beginnings as a poet, Levine says, “I’m patient, so I hung in there. That’s probably my chief virtue as a writer, is my patience.”

As a writer still in the thick of his “patient” period, I can’t say exactly where poetry will lead me, but I know that I will continue to write for the rest of my life whether or not another living person ever sets eyes on any of it. I write to settle my mind and organize my thoughts. I write to celebrate the day, to unmask myself, and to understand and explain what I never could any other way. And I do know what will happen if I stop. Nothing. And so—to the 2015 graduates of the VCU MFA in Creative Writing Program; to those who came before and those who will come after; and to you, reader—be patient, be persistent, and, as much as you can, be kind to yourself.

Superficial Variance

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Blog | 9 comments

Superficial Variance

Today’s post is from The Quotable contributor, Christina Scott. You can read Christina’s short story, “Closer to God” in the upcoming Issue 17, Nature or Nurture. 

 

The skinny blond girl in her late twenties is tutoring an older black woman in her mid- to late- forties. The blond is using an affected voice, one I’ve gotten used to in graduate school when the speaker feels like her words are made of exploding fireflies and everyone should clap their hands in glee at her originality. They’re talking about Malcolm X. The teacher is telling the student that, “You have a great voice. You just need to use it.” Skinny white hands turning pages in a book. Thin white lips imparting knowledge of something the owner of those lips will never experience.

I’m set up in the corner of the room, sipping diet Pepsi and eating jelly beans. Wearing pants I’ve worn three days in a row because I haven’t decided to live entirely like an adult.

The horror of the situation arises from this: I’m a young white female teacher at a mostly black school. The girl teaching the older woman is my age, though skinnier and blonder. Her voice is deeper, the notes of her words more assured than mine could be. I don’t believe so solidly in my own authority that I can preach to people or believe deep down that my knowledge of the English language requires a condescending voice. Assuming the voice is in fact condescending. Assuming I have a grasp on the situation.

A mechanic wouldn’t use an affected voice and to tell a customer how her carburetor needs “fixin.”

A dentist wouldn’t sip tea with his pinky extended and tell a patient he needs to drill into a molar and suck out the filth. So why does knowledge of the English language involve being an elitist? Why does the image of a young white person explaining Malcolm X to an older black person give me the Eeeby Jeebies? Why do I feel like I’m in the middle of a spin cycle that was started before I was born and that will end after I die? I hate it.

I can’t tell if the jellybeans taste good. They’re all mixed together, the sour with the sweet, the buttery popcorn beans with the bitter coffee-flavored ones. I can’t tell if there is a rhyme or reason, or if I should try to discern a rhyme or reason, or if shoving a handful down my gullet indiscriminately gets the job done just as well as refined, jellybean-organizing snobbery.

It’s possible the differences between the two teachers in the room are merely superficial variances of eye color and BMI. And that’s the scariest thing of all.

 

Photo Credit: chrismar via Compfight cc

Fairy Tales Incorporated

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Blog, Writing Life | 7 comments

Fairy Tales Incorporated

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

Today on The Quotable, we have a guest post by author Althea Kontis who is on a book AND blog tour for her recently published novel, the third in her Woodcutter sister series, “Dearest.” In her post, see how her life and imagination shaped the writing process in a unique way (she uses and twists fairy tales in more ways than you can even imagine!) Learn more about Althea in her bio at the bottom of this post, and be enchanted by her fairytale rants and aspirations, her many books and achievements, and her exemplary presence online and in social media. Enjoy!

I’m often asked which fairy tales I’m putting into the next installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series, or how many I’ve 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 — which is probably a good thing, because it’s not a short answer.

In a recent review of Enchanted, Rebecca Hall from Nerdophiles wrote, “This was the story before all of the other stories, and it was the other tales that were changed over time.” And she is absolutely right. When I introduce new readers to this series, I say, “Pretend every fairy tale we know and love came from one family, once upon a time.” Arilland is that pre-history type of world, and what I am telling is the origin story of ALL the fairy tales.

I grew up in a family of storytellers, my father (just like Papa Woodcutter) most of all. A lifetime of this causes one to think about stories, like how they get better (and more hyperbolic) with every telling. It also causes one to think backwards from extraordinary stories…how might one trip to the grocery store be retold into a fantastic adventure? (How many Hollywood blockbusters have been created from such simple ideas?)

So that’s one aspect: Working Backwards. Another aspect I refer to as: The Challenge. When I wrote the short story “Blood and Water” (my retelling of “The Little Mermaid”) I forced myself to change my own language to a character that has never walked on ground, never seen fire, never breathed air. I could not use terms such as “cut like a knife” because a mermaid has never seen a knife. My vocabulary, my senses…everything was altered to reflect this character.

Similarly, my Challenge with the Woodcutter Sisters is to write a novel using only fairy tales–fairy tale names, fairy tale objects, fairy tale places. The good news is that I can use just about any fairy tale from anywhere in the world and almost any time (within reason). Even better, many of those stories are very, VERY similar. (If you want to see just how similar, Google “Aarne–Thompson classification system” and you’ll see what I mean.) It’s so incredibly easy to slide from one of these fairy tales right into another…like when you’re telling a story and realize you’ve accidentally merged the beginning of one memory with the ending of another. Happens all the time, right?

Let me take you through a little of the thought process for Enchanted:

1.) I drove my mother to the airport one day and had an epiphany about Cinderella. I realized that Cinderella was an introvert who spent all her days locked up in the house she cleaned and got very little socialization. She probably had a panic attack at that first ball. The prince, on the other hand, had a ridiculous amount of morel fiber, seeing as he rode away with the wrong woman TWICE, simply because he’d kept his word to marry “whoever fit the shoe.” Moreover, the story of Cinderella (the Grimms’ version) was mostly about a mother’s love for her daughter, and the gifts she bestowed upon her from beyond the grave through her white pigeon messengers (without whom Cinderella and her prince would still be miserable).

I think a lot when I’m driving.

2.) “Cinderella” was always one of my least favorite fairy tales. The “true love” bit never worked for me. A prince sees a pretty girl across a room and dances with her. Big Deal. My Nana tried to explain to me once that “any girl would be thrilled a prince would notice her.” Yeah? Why? How is that “true love”? For me, Cinderella only works if she and the prince met BEFORE those balls, but no one knew, so that bit didn’t make it into the bards’ tales that got passed down through time.

In fact, what if they met before…when he was a frog? That way, HE knew he was looking for her, but SHE didn’t know this prince because she’d never met him. As a human. “Cinderella” might still have become the story we know.

3.) Stories get mixed up by people all the time. Seventeen eyewitness reports might get get you seventeen different stories. Maybe SHE picked the beans and did the chores but HE was the one who slept on the hearth in front of the fireplace. Maybe SHE had a godmother but HE had one too. “Cinderella” might still have become the story we know.

4.) And, oh, what the heck…I’m a Lewis Carroll fan…let’s mix it up even further. Let’s say the prince’s Bluebeardish father also suddenly has a reason to get remarried, and uses the balls his son announces to garner himself a new wife…a woman with very powerful fey magic that he can use to live forever. HE sees HER across the room and everything stops and it’s not true love at all, but a means to an end.

So that famous scene at the ball was really two DIFFERENT people. But “Cinderella” might still have become the story we know.

…and so on. So that’s what I do. I take the logic holes left in fairy tales (if there were really three balls, and the prince found his true love at the first one, wouldn’t the rest of the women in the country have tried to kill her before the second?) and I fill in those holes with OTHER FAIRY TALES.

Yes, it’s exceptionally challenging, but it’s also an incredible amount of fun.

And now you’re asking yourself: Just what are the fairy tales in Dearest? Well, there’s “The Wild Swans.” And “The Goose Girl” and “A Weave of Words” and “Tristan and Isolde” and “Swan Lake”…and maybe a dozen others. YOUR challenge is to find them all!

Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)

Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
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?

The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books

Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)

Links for Hero

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.

Check out Alethea’s Road Tour†HERE!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest – US Only)
Ends March 8th

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†@†Teen Reads
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

Prism Book Tours