“Pale skin that would have made Snow White blanch with envy.” — Andrea Dale, “The Broken Fiddle” found in Alison’s Wonderland edited by Alison Tyler.


“His voice, the very sound of rolling eyes.” — Thomas Mullen, The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers


“She wanted to breathe the brothers back into life with their stories.” — Thomas Mullen, The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers



What I’m Reading This Week (June 14)


The Prince of Frogs by Annaliese Evans — I liked this one and while I was looking forward to the next book, I realized I’d read Book Two first. My review is here.

Anyone But You by Jennifer Cruise (audio) — Classic Cruise, fun and funny with hi-jinks and a dog.

Alison’s Wonderland edited by Alison Tyler — was wonderful. My review is here.

The Picture Books —

Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile — a very funny children’s picture book which my best friend checked out from the library for her preschool class and insisted I read. It was awesome!

The Wishing Table by Brothers Grimm and illustrated by Eve Tharlet — I picked this one because this story was the basis of one of the stories in Alison’s Wonderland and I couldn’t quite remember the original. I got to the library where I was teaching early and started flipping through their fairy tale collection.

I picked up these others as well. The Bremen Town Musicians retold Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Janet Stevens — picked because I Love Janet Stevens illustrations and Babushka retold and illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak.


The Brontes Went to Woolworths  by Rachel Fergurson — I’m only two chapter into this one, I can’t discern a plot and I’m waiting for the author to take a breath.

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen — I’m really enjoying this audio book. It is LONG so I’ll be at it a while longer.

Wish List:

Night’s Rose by Annaliese Evans (on order)

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (on order)

In the Mail:

Ondine by Ebony McKenna via The Book Depository


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

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Alison’s Wonderland ed. Alison Tyler

I read the ARC of this collection of erotic short stories which I received from netGalley.com. This was my first ever e-ARC and I enjoyed that experience as much as I enjoyed the book. Most of these stories are based on fairy tales of fantasy motifs and they are oh so steamy. While I’ve enjoyed most of the collections that I’ve read by Alison Tyler this one is the best. Almost every story is a winner and the best are “The Three Billys” by Sommer Marsden, “Fool’s Gold” by Shanna Germain, and “The Broken Fiddle” by Andrea Dale.

Marsden’s “The Three Billys” a steamy retelling of The Three Billy Goats Guff set in a library. Sex and books and cute construction workers, it was really good. I also like the novelty of it. I read a lot of fairy tale retelling and this is the first retelling of the Three Billy Goats Guff that wasn’t a children’s picture book.

“Fool’s Gold” by Germain is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin the plays with bondage and the Master/slave relationship in a metal way by using the naming motif in the fairy tale.

Andrea Dale’s “The Broken Fiddle” is boxed tale, a story within a story. Set in Ireland, it rolls all the romance of far-off-places, storytellers, and fairy bargains into the story of a perfectly hot one-night-stand.

There were even a few based on tales that I wasn’t particularly familiar with.  T.C. Calligari’s “A Taste for Treasure” had a very different voice from the other stories. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it at first, but the vague sense that I’d heard the original before pulled me through it until end.  Calligari’s tale was a good story, but I was more interested in the original.

I was teaching at the library the other day, so in the spare moments before the class started I flipped through the fairy tale picture books and stumbled across The Wishing Table by the Brother Grimm and illustrated by Eve Tharlet. I couldn’t believe that it was there.  There were these delightful illustrations and enough similarities in story that I figured The Wishing Table may have been the basis for “A Taste for Treasure.”

Anyway, I digress, I really enjoyed Alison’s Wonderland. It will be published July 1, 2010 by Harlequin’s Spice line. I will be making this one a Staff Pick at work after its release.

What I’m Reading This Week (June 7th)

What did I read this week? A little of this and a little of that, to be honest. I didn’t finish anything. I did teach my very first (and successful) class on Telling Family Stories at the Abita Springs Branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library.  I’ve three classes this week, too!


Everything I was reading last week, unfortunately.

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen
The Prince of Frogs by Annaliese Evans
Alison’s Wonderland edited by Alison Tyler
Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art) by Harold Koda, Andrew Bolton, and Mimi Hellman

From the Internet:

I ran across this article, “What Comes Next After Steampunk and Zombies?”, on I09 via a tweet by author O.M. Grey. This is a really good article on a topic we often bandy-about at work.


turns-of-phrase from the various things I’ve started or have run across.

“…which gave me a fresh perspective on what happens when people read my stories – the alchemical process whereby words on a page become living flesh and blood in readers’ minds.” — Harper Fox talking about the cover art for her upcoming novel via Carina Press.

“I generally like my crime violent, my heiresses leggy, and my detectives drunk…” — John Green recommending Lulu Dark.

“Why fables and rhymes and stories of years gone by? Because the familiar cadence of these magical tales cling to us like the fabric of dreams.” — Alison Tyler

“Centuries never start or end on time, and any serious reader of English literature can tell another that the eighteenth ended in 1798, when Wordsworth and Coleridge detonated the Lyrical Ballads, thereby blowing up the orderly colonnade of Augustan oaks and clearing the field for the Romantic era’s giddy booms.” — Thomas Mallon, Stolen Words


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

What I’m Reading This Week (May 17th)

This blog post is part of Shelia at Book Journey’s weekly round-up.


Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple — this was a cute picture book I found on the library shelf. I really like how it showed girls doing all manner of activity from sports to construction. The text broke down for me a little as I was reading out loud when I got to the bits about the crown, but that was probably because I was trying not to be too loud in the library. I recommended this for story time at work when it becomes widely available on June 15th.

Well I finished reading A Little Harmless Sex by Melissa Schroeder from last weeks list, but not much else.

Still Reading:

Alison’s Wonderland edited Alison Tyler (ARC) – I am still enjoying this. What I like best is that the fairy tale retellings aren’t retelling of the same stories I’ve heard 1000 times. There maybe some later in the book, but the first few have been new to me at least.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson — This is still meandering. I get the idea that it is probably supposed to move at this labored pace. I’ve made up my mind that I will finish, but I lose patience at times.

Changeless by Gail Carriger — almost makes me want to carry a parasol even at night. I hope to finish this one soon.

Added to this week:

Climbing Your Family Tree by Ira Wolfman — I am designing a summer program for 8 to 11 year-olds for the St. Tammany Parish Library on recording your family history. I am hoping this book will give me lots of good ideas.

And in other news the Nebula’s where announced:

I was pleased to see that I’ve already read this year’s winning novel, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. The winner of the novella is already in on my TBR pile, The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker, in a lovely edition by Subterranean Press. I must say I didn’t finish the novelette winner “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast”, Eugie Foster. I downloaded from EscapePod, but never could get through it.

From the Blogs:

Chew & Digest has a Lawrence Goldstone novel on tap for this week. I’ve read several of Goldstone’s and his wife Nancy’s  non-fiction books about books, but I’ve never tried one of his novels. I’m going to have to add Anatomy of Deception to my wish list.

Reading Extensively points out a Sharon Shinn title that slipped past me called Gateway. It has a divine cover ( I know we shouldn’t judge, but some of the art is just beautiful in it’s own right). I’ll probably have to force myself to catch up on my other Shinn novels before I can justify buying a new one.

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What I’m Reading This Week

A weekly what are you reading recap is going around the web and I thought this would be a good chance to remind myself of what books I’m reading and maybe prioritize?

Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, and Science at Sea by David Fisichella
— the back cover copy sold me on this the moment I read it. If it lives up to the hype this will be a great memoir. Published by Leapfrog Press, whose website I also just discovered. I’m only a few pages in, but it’s allure is pulling me away from the other titles on my list.

A Little Harmless Sex by Alison Eastwood Melissa Schroeder (no idea where I picked up the wrong name)– I’ve downloaded this title from Fictionwise.com and have loaded it onto my nook. It is incredibly short and not bad, but I can’t seem to finish it. I believe this is mostly do to with the fact that I feel as though I know where it is going and have therefore completed it in my head. (Does that make sense?)

Changeless by Gail Carriger — this is the book I’m dying to get back to if I can stop getting distracted. Carriger is a very funny author and I thoroughly enjoyed the first title in this series. Changeless is shaping up to be a winner as well.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson — I’m listening to this one on audio. This book has the best cover art I’ve seen! I absolutely love the use of the hatstand. Brilliant. I’m only in chapter three and I’m not sure if my problem with the book is the way it is written or the way it is being read, the prose seem a tad purple at the moment.

Alison’s Wonderland by Alison Tyler (advance) — I just discovered NetGalley.com, now have an e-reader before there was no interest. Now, I’m reading my first ever e-ARC and I must say I’m barely out of the introduction and enjoying it immensely.

Reading everyone’s Monday Reading posts have added a few books to my wish list. Tell Me a Story is currently reading a biography that looks great called Ngaio Marsh:Her Life in Crime by Joanne Drayton.

Alita.Reads makes me wonder if I should pick-up Anna Karenina by Tolstoy before Android Karenina arrives in stores. I just don’t know if I have the stamina to add imposing Russian novel to the list of what I’m already reading.

edited to fix author’s name.