We were thrilled to have Alethea Kontis appear as our very first guest blogger, with her video rant about the inspiration for her book, Hero. Want to check out the Grand Finale of her tour? It’s pretty cool! And there’s a raffle involved and you gotta love that! I have no idea what’s in the raffle basket but having had the pleasure of meeting Alethea I suspect glitter may be involved.
by Alethea Kontis
Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she’s the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world.
Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, “Did romance have to be part of the adventure?”
As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance. Excerpt
Sept 22 – LAUNCH
I wrote them. And I cried. And I sent them in. And my editor was touched. And then somewhere between then and publication, they fell through the cracks…
– Video Rant on Debz Bookshelf
The plan is for the Woodcutter Sisters Series to encompass 7 books — one about each sister. That’s always been my original plan. The publisher’s plan was for Enchanted to be a solo book…INTERVIEW
Hero is another excellent installment in the Woodcutter Sisters story and a mandatory read for anyone looking for an antidote to the typical princess story. – REVIEW
What was the first fairy tale you remember falling in love with? I started reading when I was three and was crazy about reading by the age of five. When I was eight, my French grandmother gave me a giant copy of unexpurgated Grimm and Andersen tales. I mark that date as The Beginning of The End…
– The Grandfather Pirate on Living a Goddess Life
– Meet the Inspiration Part I on The Wonderings of One Person
I was a normal kind from a REALLY NOT NORMAL family. My biggest feelings of inadequacy came from comparing myself to my parents and siblings and everyone else and just not measuring up…
Sept 26 – Review on Shannon’s Blog
Coming from a large family, I liked the way the author not only made the heroine one of many siblings, but managed to include all her brothers and sisters… It wasn’t just an interesting biographical fact that Saturday came from a large family; it actually mattered to the story.
My little sister, Soteria, always asks me who she is in the Woodcutter stories, but it’s hard to say. She and I were so close growing up–if I am every single one of my characters, then she is always my sister in every scene.
My 8-year old daughter loves Alethea Kontis. She’s never read one of her YA books, but she knows her as “Princess Alethea” who hangs out with Mommy at book festivals. Alethea lives and breathes fantasy, fairy tales and girl power, and it always pours out of the page. The second book in her Woodcutter series, Hero, is out, and this one has all the trademark spunky heroine and swashbuckling (there are pirates!) fantasy adventure you will find in her books. I was fortunate enough to grab a few moments with Alethea to ask her a few questions…
– Review of Enchantment on Colorimetry
What a deliciously fairy tale filling read… with just enough light-hearted fun, deeply dark antagonists, magic straight out of real fairy-tale-dom with real fairy god mothers… and characters that carry their faults around like real people that accidentally fell into the story.
I can’t even call it procrastination, because it was more like Self-Imposed Ninja Boot Camp…
…clothes may be an expression of who you are, but they are not the definition.
I think that this series is really good at setting that fairy tale tone with the writing style, being a hard core lover of fairy tales, it makes the books perfect for me. I also love how she weaves in the different stories and pieces it togther like one of Fridays quilts.
– Interview & Review at Tressa’s Wishful Endings
Alethea: I have been accused many times of “cramming all the fairy tales into one book like it was some sort of challenge”–and indeed, it sort of started out that way.I just have to ask, what is your favorite fairy tale and fairy tale princess and why?Alethea: Yay! I love answering this question… Interview
Saturday is such a great character! She is struggling with figuring out her place in the world and who exactly she is… I loved that she isn’t dramatic, but rather sarcastic… Review
I found Hero to be a creative and exciting work of fantasy. The highlight of the book was the exploration of gender roles, and the romance, which was based very much on the idea that people’s differences can complement each other.
– “The Big Idea” John Scalzi’s blog
– My Bookshelf on Mel’s Shelves
I was intrigued with the summary for this book. I come from a family of 7 daughters (and 2 sons). I line up with daughter number 4, Thursday, who ran off with the Pirate King and sends trunks of gifts back home, haha! – Review of Enchanted
– Did You See? on Cu’s eBook Giveaways
Last but not least I must thank the members of my very large family… thank you for keeping my feet tied to the ground while I reach for the stars. You are my heart, and I love you all more than these humble words can say.
– Review at Books for Kids
I love the way she writes. Her characters are vibrant and full of life. Saturday is a fabulous protagonist. I adore her strength and her stubbornness, her fire and her fight. I love the way she solves her problems (with her brain) and the way she carries out her plans (with her strength).
– Review of Hero on Colorimetry
The scene with the lake is burned on my memory forever: Surrounded by icy walls, with water so clear you can see that the lake is deep, so deep you don’t know how deep, heated from molten lava within the mountain. It’s amazing. I want to go there!!
– Meet the Inspiration Part II on Bookmarks
…So you see, I didn’t just have family members growing up. I had legends. I may have been destined for greatness, but only because my family set the bar SO HIGH.
Oct 7 – Character interview with Saturday Woodcutter at I Smell Sheep
Troubadour: I’m here today with Saturday Woodcutter, sixth of the seven Woodcutter daughters, and sister to the Queen of Arilland. Princess Saturday, could you tell me–
Saturday: Call me “princess” again and I punch you in the face.
In my teen novels, I retell the classic Grimm and Andersen (and a few others’) fairy tales. I don’t regurgitate the exact same sequence of events–though as they’re public domain, I suppose I could. I prefer, instead, to fill in the blanks I feel the original authors left.
In real life, we have families. Some of us have REALLY LARGE AND OBNOXIOUS families. And though we feel alone sometimes in those awkward middle school years, we’re never really alone-alone.
Even when we want to be.
There’s that saying that“it takes a village to raise a child” — well, in the publishing world, books are the author’s children. And it takes a village to raise them, too…
The first thing that jumped off the page at me was the author’s style. It’s playful, fun, and fresh filled with an out-of-this-world yet grounded fairy tale experience. I loved it… Review
AK – Beloved is a parallel novel to Hero, chronicling the adventures of Friday and the rest of the Woodcutter crew back in Arilland, in the tragic aftermath of the appearance of Saturday’s “impossible ocean.” Apprentice seamstress Friday becomes a leader of the children (because that’s Friday’s thing), and gets caught up in trying to break a curse involving seven swans, a mute girl, and the need to weave seven shirts out of stinging nettles.
I’ve always loved all the bird-tales (“The Goose Girl” is my favorite) and I have to say…I am SO IN LOVE with writing this book. Beloved is such an appropriate title.
It was a sad road that led Peregrine to his mother’s bedside…
All in all, Hero was like a tapestry of fairytales interwoven together: vibrant, fun, humorous, tragic and100% magical. I strongly recommend this to readers who love fairytale retellings and fantasy. – Review
Sept 22 – Oct 17
Fairy Tale Gift Basket (US only): Signed copies of both Enchantment and Hero by Alethea Kontis plus swag!