Book Review: Cinderelleper: A Fairytale Satire by Ford Forkum

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Cinderelleper: A Fairytale Satire

by Ford Forkum

5/5 stars

I’ve always liked fairy tales and this humorous adaptation of Cinderella is no exception. The protagonist falling apart (from leprosy) was somehow both intriguing and at times emotional. I laughed a great deal at the subtle surprises thrown into the traditional narrative; especially the fate of the wicked stepmother!

The Spider by Maria Savva

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Maria Savva has a new novel available for pre-order! I’ve collaborated many times for the Mind’s Eye Series with her and this is definitely a book you want to read.

*****

‘No one’s ever come out of that house alive…’

What lurks behind the door of 8 Goldfern Road?

Are you brave enough to step inside?

By entering the sinister house, George and Glen become entangled in a dangerous battle of wills.

“The Spider” is a story of obsession, infidelity, and broken dreams.

This darkly humorous mystery will appeal to fantasy and romance readers as well as those who love to hate spiders!

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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5/5 stars

I’ve spent over a week thinking of this book and how to quantify the next chapter in a saga that defined my childhood. I think it would be too easy to say it isn’t “canon” or merely “fan fiction”. Maybe because it’s hard to move on, or accept that Harry grew up like the rest of us? Or perhaps that he grew into a world that no longer finds him special or the chosen one? I had trouble accepting this, but it did not make me doubt Rowling’s authenticity. She gave us the characters after all and she ultimately decides their fates. Tolkien knew this better than anyone when he wrote his appendages and detailed the ultimate ends of his fellowship. But for me what makes this book indispensable as part of the original story is where it leaves us: in a world of magic and wonders, where essential truths persist into adulthood. I think the world and those who grew up reading Harry’s novels needed reminded that love conquers the overwhelming pain of tragedy, division within us, and even time itself.

Ditmars Mystery Theater

Many years ago when I was growing up my grandmother read me, my brother, and my sister pages from a book with no title and no author. We never bother asking about it because we were kids and assumed, wrongly, that every child had the same book. Years passed, we lost grandma, and grandpa fell ill.

We found pages from the stories grandma read in a manila envelope. Whether she left it in the desk drawer or grandpa put it there we never got the chance to ask.

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Having nothing to go on but words and titles from stories, Google offered few results. It took a few years before anything was found. I discovered the stories were from an author named Agnes Grozier Hebertson and the book was titled Sing Song Stories. There wasn’t much else and it was long since out of print.

It took another two years and the help of my librarian friend Sam Dailey to find a bookseller overseas with a copy. I am extremely grateful and hope these stories from my childhood help keep my grandparent’s memory alive and well.

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Book Review: Backstage by Jacqueline E. Smith

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Backstage

by Jacqueline E. Smith

4/5 stars

I’m easily distracted, but I could not put Backstage down. There were times when the narration could have been subtler and the antagonist more realistic, yet I loved the story. Much like in other books by Smith, the main characters have remarkable chemistry. Whether it is the adorable lead couple Sam and Mel or the hi-jinks of young boy band, Backstage left me wanting more. I can’t wait to see what drama (and new song lyrics) the next book has in store.

Book Review: Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015 by Maria Haskins

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Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015

by Maria Haskins

5/5 stars

There is something about a poetry collection that spans the entire length of your life. Maria Haskins has been writing as long as I have been alive and her talent is beyond seasoned. The passion, words, and emotion behind every poem are astonishing and mesmerizing. But perhaps her own words describe it best:

take me with you
take me even farther
away from the fire.

The Gnome Prince

I wrote a fairy tale for my students today. Enjoy.

The Gnome Prince

Gabriel was a poor gnome with a small garden. He grew it for a king and queen across the lake, but his heart belonged to a maiden. She rode by in her carriage each week to court. The gnome tried picking up the nerve to throw himself in front of her horses, but feared injury and the rising cost of healthcare. So, he decided to impress her another way: with corn. But how?

The answer came in the form of a magic toad. He granted wishes in exchange for red hats. Gabriel could wish for the most mesmerizing corn in the land and win the praise of his fair maiden. The gnome had but one red hat however handed down from his grandfather. He hated losing it, as it was precious, but how many chances do you get at true love? Thinking of her flawless hands, he could not resist, and the toad was more than happy to oblige. He greatly enjoyed his collection of red hats.

Gabriel became overjoyed at the prospect of impressing the maiden and planted corn late into the evening. When the sun rose, his neck burnt and sweat poured profusely. It was not so easy missing his hat, but the gnome did not give up. Every time the maiden rode by in her carriage his love for her grew stronger. After many weeks his corn was as high and beautiful as any in the land. The maiden could not help but stop and gaze upon it.

“Oh, Gabriel, did you grow this corn for me?” She asked.

“Why yes, milady,” he replied. The maiden knew his name! Gabriel looked longingly at her.

“But,” she told him, “You need not sell your hat or burn your neck for corn. I have always loved you. Why do you think I have ridden by these past months?”

The gnome smiled as they climbed into her carriage and rode toward the kingdom. They lived happily ever after.

The End

Book Review: Lurking in the Deep

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Lurking in the Deep

4/5 stars

Lurking in the Deep is an anthology of water and fear. I enjoyed most of the stories, but had favorites: The Water’s Edge, The Reluctant Seamstress, Wrath, and Dark Waters were by far the most frightening. I enjoyed the dark twists and original plot in The Reluctant Seamstress, whereas the beauty of The Water’s Edge was something to be marveled. My only criticism is that though the stories are individually good, it felt there was too much emphasis on dark creatures.