Wednesday, July 29, 2015

{Author InterviewExcerpt/Giveaway} DESTROYING ANGEL by Missy Wilkinson




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Hi all! I'm a book fiend turned professional wordsmith who tells stories both fictional and factual. My debut novel, DESTROYING ANGEL, was published this year by Torquere Press. I freelance for publications including xoJane.com, HelloGiggles.com, BRIDES and Country Living, and I have served as a local editor for Zagat and Fodor guides.

I work as a full-time journalist at Gambit Weekly, THE BEST source for news in New Orleans (I'm biased, obviously).

I play keyboards and sing backup vocals in a band called Shouts and Murmurs. There are always rehearsals and recording sessions going on in my house, so the book playlist is our debut album, “New East Berlin And Other Stories.” 

Listen to it here: https://shoutsandmurmurs.bandcamp.com/ 

 
Interviewing Missy Wilkinson


In your book, Gates’ mother dies and donates her body to science, and Gates goes on a quest to find it. Why did you write about organ donation?

It’s a topic that kept finding its way into my life. My friend Zane died unexpectedly and became an organ donor. Then, my friend Lauren, who had cystic fibrosis, died waiting for a lung transplant. And last, my former boyfriend Jonah, who had muscular dystrophy, died waiting for a heart transplant. So organ donation is something I was thinking a lot about while writing DESTROYING ANGEL.

Were you good at English in school?

Yes, I was a relentless reader, so I absorbed a lot of information about grammar and spelling that way. I was very good at diagramming sentences. When I was in fifth grade, I went a year without watching TV, just to prove I could, and read some books that remain favorites today: A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN and GONE WITH THE WIND are among them.

What does your writing process look like?

Well, I am a full-time journalist, so I write at work, during my lunch breaks and random down time. It just looks like me tapping at a Word document. Some days are busy, so I don’t get much time to write fiction. On those days, I try to write something, even if it’s just a sentence. Any day that I write, I consider a success, even if I only write for a couple minutes.

You’re also a blogger at www.nowlistenmissy.com. Is it hard to write books and maintain a blog?

No. They’re very different types of writing, and I enjoy doing both. I find that the more I write, the more I can write, if that makes sense. It’s similar to how, if you start running, you’re able to run longer and longer the more you do it. Anything that motivates me to write is a good thing. Plus, I’ve made wonderful connections through blogging.

What is the most useful thing you’ve found for marketing books?

Definitely writing guest posts for blogs and articles for online publications. Most let you link to your blog, and it’s a way to get your name out to a wide audience who might not otherwise have heard of you.

Your protagonist gets in trouble with the police. Have you ever been arrested?

Yes, when I was 21 I spent a weekend in jail on felony possession charges. I went to court-ordered rehab, completed a year on probation, did community service, paid a lot of fines, and haven’t had any trouble with the law since. You could say I’ve been rehabilitated.

~*~

And now...
 Here's an excerpt from 
DESTROYING ANGEL,
out now!

I need you to find my heart, Mom had said when she was dying in the hospital. Find Mom’s heart...what then? Do I cozy up to some old dude and listen to it beat? I know she’s not coming back, and I know I may be delusional thinking she spoke to me when she was already gone, but looking at these pictures sparks something in me. I want to find out who received her heart, not only because she asked me to, but also because I’m curious. And maybe I do want to hear it beat again. Maybe there is some comfort in knowing part of Mom is still alive in the world. Maybe I do want to know who received her “gift of life.”
I dial my cell phone..

 ~*~
Title:  DESTROYING ANGEL
Author: Missy Wilkinson
Release Date: July 9, 2015
Publisher: Prizm Books
SUMMARY:

Gates McFarland’s mother has just been proclaimed brain dead by a neurologist. But fifteen-year-old Gates doesn’t believe it’s true, because she hears her mother’s voice in her head. The command is simple: Find my heart. It’s the last thing Gates hears from her mother before the neurologist pulls the plug. 

After contacting the Organ Procurement Agency, Gates learns there is no record of her mother’s organ donation. She meets Dr. Ascuitto, her mother’s neurologist. A menacing figure, he threatens to institutionalize Gates if she continues her inquiries. 

Determined to find the truth, Gates gets help from John Ed, a street-smart, sixteen-year-old recovering addict. Together, they navigate an underworld of body theft, interstellar drug trafficking and doctors who double as dealers. She finds herself attracted to John Ed’s musical talents and emotional strength even as she is drawn ever-deeper into an alien world accessible only by use of a hallucinogenic spore. Hostile and governed by a sinister waif named Penny, the world holds secrets about Gates’ mother’s death…and the key to Gates’ survival.

 ~*~

GIVEAWAY

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sneak Peek!! You'll LOVE Susan Dennard's TRUTHWITCH if you enjoy Avatar: The Last Airbender, Final Fantasy, X-Men, and more!

A sneak peek now, a full review when the book releases!
(Basically, it's a feature to squee about books I really love that aren't coming out anytime soon. 
It's way too early to review them, but not too early to tell you to start salivating and adding it to your TBR List!)


For the second time this year, I'm putting a You're Gonna Love Me stamp of approval on a book that I can't review just yet because the release is still so far away, but I'm way too eager about it not to talk about it at all!!

If you love Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Final Fantasy video game franchise, and X-Men (in any of its forms), you're REALLY going to enjoy TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard when it releases on January 5, 2016!

....Annnnnd today I'm going to tell you WHY in VISUAL FORM!!!!!

(PLUS, Susan Dennard does this awesome thing on Twitter called #TruthwitchTuesday and today is Tuesday, so this is my contribution to the campaign! ^.~)

Title: TRUTHWITCH
Author: Susan Dennard
Release Date: Out January 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Received: ARC for Review
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17558817-be-with-me

SUMMARY:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.


In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

I cannot wait to tell you guys how much I enjoyed reading TRUTHWITCH, but to get you excited now, it reminded me of some very popular franchises in some really fantastic ways!!

In particular...

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER

If you love ATLAB, you're pretty much guaranteed to love TRUTHWITCH! Elemental magic, y'all!!!!

Whenever there were fight scenes featuring elemental magic, I envisioned ATLAB every time. And I mean that in the best way! Dennard wasn't copying the show in any manner, but the fight scenes were so visual that they brought those scenes to the forefront of my mind. Any other comparisons are my own wish for ATLAB to continue in small ways because I want more and can't say goodbye even after all this time! For example, there's an exiled prince on a ship who has a power-hungry sister and an ostracized aunt mentoring him.

Some of the battle scenes and the use of wind, water, etc. totally remind me of fight scenes from ATLAB. There are some truly epic fight scenes. Even if you haven't seen ATLAB, watch these two brief videos and you'll have a better visual once you read TRUTHWITCH!



There's also a terrifying Bloodwitch named Aeduan adding danger and peril to the pages. Aeduan has powers that remind me of Bloodbending:


I love how Dennard took some of the amazing elements of a show beloved to us both and created something that felt familiar, yet altogether new!

FINAL FANTASY X

Okay, okay, TRUTHWITCH reminds me more of Final Fantasy X than it does any other FF game in the franchise. Buuuut that's also a high compliment because FFX is my favorite! It was the first one I played, the first one to have spoken dialogue, and it's movie-quality cutscenes and epic romance and amazing storyline stole my heart!

In particular, there's one battle onboard Merik's ship that reminds me of an epic battle with Sin, the big bad of FFX!

(Back in the days of LJ and avatar making,
I made this icon of Sin from THIS scene I'm
reenvisioning as I read TRUTHWITCH!)

The ship is viciously attacked by a pair of seafoxes (And I've since razed Susan Dennard on Twitter for having never played FFX. YET. Some gamer!! ^.~ Go on, help me tease her! ^.^)



X-MEN

There's one scene in particular toward the end--and I would quote it, but a co-worker has my TRUTHWITCH ARC at the moment. Sorry!!

Buuuuut it basically reminds me of how in the X-Men movies when Storm uses her abilities, her eyes roll into her head and her pupils shine white!



THAT COVER!!!
(It will appeal to fans of anime, Final Fantasy, Assassin's Creed...)

Okay, the fights are also anime-esque. So is the book's cover!

(Well, maybe it's a little more video game-ish because it reminds me of Final Fantasy and Assassin's Creed, BUT STILL!!!)

ARE YOU HOOKED!?

One of these things has to have you interested in TRUTHWITCH now, right!?

I myself am not a visual reader AT ALL, but Susan Dennard is so good at writing visual scenes that, as I read, I was reminded of things I love in so many small ways!

Annnnnnnnnnnnd.........that's my spoiler-free way of NOT talking about this book's plot and still (hopefully!) making you intrigued enough to pick TRUTHWITCH up when it comes out!


Will you be reading this when it comes out!?


Monday, July 27, 2015

{Excerpt/Giveaway} TRUTH & TEMPTATION by Riley Edgewood



She's a liar. He knows the truth.
Teagan Walker gets around. Ask anyone—hell, ask her. She'll own it with a smile. But beneath that smile is a girl whose parents didn't want her. Whose grandparents raised her without affection. Whose struggle with a burning anger threatens to consume her, though she'd rather punch someone in the face than talk about it. With a new job looming, she's determined to work her way into a better life. When she meets the sexiest guy she's ever seen, she decides to kick it off with a bang. And she makes her move.

But he's got moves of his own, and before the night is out, he strips her of way more than she means to reveal—without removing a single piece of clothing. That comes, too, of course. He's gotten under her skin like nobody before him, and what's the harm in one night with a sexy stranger? Exposed or not, she never has to see him again.

Except she does.

On Monday morning, they come face-to-face. He's the son of her new CEO—and he threatens to bring her entire world crashing down, making her face every lie she's ever told.




AVAILABLE TODAY!
AMAZONBNKOBOiBOOKS





EXCERPT


"We should talk," he says, his tone serious enough to cancel out the pride I felt for my own a few seconds ago.
"About?" I keep my gaze on his for approximately half a second before I can't take it anymore and I study the mug in my hands instead. Tall and blue, ceramic. Probably not dishwasher safe.
"Last night."
My chest tightens. He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'll be pissed we didn't bang… But I don't strike him as the type of girl who's named Teagan. We all have our secrets.
"Listen," I say. "About that… Sorry I passed out. I don't usually make promises I can't keep."
"You didn't make me any promises last night." His voice is sharp, and I can't help but look up. There's a muscle clenched in his jaw, his sexy, sexy shadowed jaw. "You don't owe me—or anyone else—anything."
"No shit." I don't get where he's going with this, or why.
I'm not sure he does either, because it takes him a few moments—and a few sips of coffee—to speak again.
"You told me—wait." He breaks off, shaking his head, and nervousness swirls into panic in the pit of my stomach. I told him what? A fake name? Does he know? When he looks at me again, his gaze is so direct it's startling. "You don't even know my real name. Let's start there."
Oh my God, he does want to discuss names. He knows I lied.
Should I tell him the truth? Laugh it off like I thought he knew I was joking?
He walks toward me and my stomach clenches for too many reasons to name.
I grip my coffee mug like it'll shield me from any awkwardness.
It's not working.
At all.
And then he's in front of me, watching me so studiously I slide a hand across my face in case there's something stuck there.
"I'm Alec," he says, sticking out his hand. I check for, but don't find, any scars on this one.
Don't tell me, is what I mean to say. But what slips out is, "I thought the girl last night called you Alex?"
"Probably to irritate me. We hold no particular fondness for one another." He says it casually, like it weighs nothing in his mind. Still, I wonder why—and am tempted to ask—but then he continues with, "Anyway. I'm Alec Chambers."
And his full name echoes through my brain, bouncing around and, instead of fading, growing louder with every iteration.
It's officially worse.
So. Much. Worse.
I know his name.
I know who he is.
"Cool." I take his hand, offering the limpest shake of my life and letting go as soon as possible. "Do you have any headache meds or anything?" I gulp my coffee so fast it scalds my throat. "Got a crucial hangover."
Got a crucial hangover? What am I? Some teenage surfer? Why don't I throw up a hang ten sign while I'm at it?
But he takes the bait. "Probably somewhere upstairs—I'll go check."
I don't even wait for the relief to hit. I get the hell out of his condo the second he's far enough away not to hear his door shut.
The glass elevator seems so much more appropriate this morning. Almost like the universe is handing me a dose of the snide sarcasm I use so spectacularly on my own. Everything I wanted to keep hidden is about to be made clear, whether I like it or not.
Fuck.
I went after a fairy tale, but I didn't get it—and the stupid fucking clock just struck twelve anyway. Here's my Cinderella moment, fleeing before I return to tatters before his eyes.
But this time, the prince won't need a glass slipper to find me.
Because Alec Chambers?
His father is the CEO of Chambers & Britt.
I know this for a fact because my starting position at the company is to be the second assistant to the CEO's son, while he's home for the summer, studying for his MBA from fucking Harvard. And that son's name? Yep. It's Alec Chambers.
I'll see him again on Monday.




EXTRA EXTRA

Anyone who enjoys TRUTH & TEMPTATION by Riley Edgewood, and shares their review on Amazon, B&N, etc. will receive two bonus scenes! All you have to do is email truthandtemptationbook@gmail.com!


You can also read the first six chapters ››› HERE 


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES...
Surf & Surrender: http://smarturl.it/aboutSS






ABOUT RILEY EDGEWOOD...




Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two.



FIND RILEY ON...
 Twitter † Instagram † Facebook author page † Facebook reader group † Website

Email: rileyedgewoodauthor@gmail.com









Enter, and you could win:

◆  a $25 Amazon gift card 
◆  an ALEX AND ANI Road to Romance charm bangle
◆  one of five signed paperbacks of Truth & Temptation








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Friday, July 24, 2015

{Blog Tour/Giveaway} Interviewing Hester from THE LAST EVER AFTER by Soman Chainani [School for Good and Evil Series]

July 20 - Lili's Reflections (Interview)
July 21 - Reading Teen (Guest Post)
July 22 - Seeing Double In Neverland (Interview)
July 23 - Wonderland Novels (Guest Post)
July 24 - A Backwards Story (Character Interview)
July 25Cover Contessa (Guest Post)
July 26Good Books and Good Wine (Playlist)
 
In Case You Missed It: 

I previously reviewed both 
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL 
and
A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES!

Soman Chainani has also stopped by A Backwards Story a few times to talk about both books:

Here's his first interview
His second interview includes an exclusive deleted scene!
This past spring, he did a third interview about THE LAST EVER AFTER!!!

He's also done a guest post talking about how his fans 
helped shape AWWP!




Soman Chainani's first novel, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been on ABA's National Indie Bestseller List for 11 weeks, has been translated into languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Studios. 

As a writer and film director, Soman's films have played at over 150 film festivals around the world, winning more than 30 jury and audience prizes, and his writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, New Draft, the CAPE Foundation, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film executives. 

When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Now he loses all the time.

Check out Soman's website and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr!
You can also take an epically awesome quiz to find out 
if you'll be accepted into the School For Good or the School For Evil!

An interview with Hester
from The School for Good and Evil series!

(Want to know more about Hester? Check out her bio on the SFGAE Wiki!)


Hi Hester, thanks so much for stopping by A Backwards Story!

If you expect me to thank you or offer any sort of pleasantries in return, then we’re already off on the wrong foot. I’m doing this only because if I don’t do it, you’ll interview Sophie or Tedros or (god forbid) Hort, and I’m saving your readers the pain of hearing from those goons.

For new readers who haven't met you yet, can you tell us a little bit about how you wound up at school?

I come from a long history of great witches – most Readers will be familiar with my mother, who used to lure greedy, stupid children into her gingerbread house and bake them into stews and pies. We didn’t eat these things (gross) but sold them to passing travellers, who liked them well enough to keep returning for more. That’s how my family line made a living for hundreds of years.

But every witch in my family seemed to have a fatal flaw – either they were dim-witted or too trusting or too slow on their feet… In my mother’s case, she underestimated the enemy. One day, two siblings named Hansel and Gretel came to her house. She thought she had them cornered, like all the other oafish children she’d cooked before, but these two were different. The love between Hansel and Gretel enabled them to work together and save each other – and kill my mother in the process.

All I ever wanted was to go to the School for Evil and be a better witch than my mother. I wanted to atone for her mistakes. Luckily, the School Master gave me my chance. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the origins of your demonic tattoo?

I was born with it, so I suppose I’ve just always felt like it was part of my soul. If my demon were to die, so would I. We’re one and the same.


Did you prefer being in The School for Evil or The School for Girls? What made you enjoy the one better than the other?

There is a wonderful relief to being free of boys, because they’re incessantly narcissistic, boorish, childish, and smelly. That said, you need them around to realize how much you appreciate being a girl, just like you need Evers around to appreciate how much you enjoy being a Never. So if you take away the School for Good and the School for Boys, you don’t even feel like you’re Evil or feel like a girl… You feel like nothing.

So I don’t think it’s a matter of preferring one to the other. Only that there has to be a balance between schools for the damned thing to work.

But that’s a cop out answer, so I’ll give you a clearer conclusion. I prefer whatever school Dot is not in.

What are your favorite and least favorite classes?

My favorite class is Surviving Fairy Tales, because it isn’t really supervised and if I happen to bludgeon an Ever or poison them, I can always blame it on Anadil instead and no one will know the difference. 

My least favorite class is Villain Talents, because everyone keeps wanting to see me do tricks with my demon and a) that takes a lot of energy – and more than I’m willing to give my idiotic classmates, b) my talent is so far superior to theirs that it shouldn’t be used in a classroom setting, and c) Professor Sheeks doesn’t seem to have a talent, so I’d consider her highly unqualified to teach us.

Who are your fairy tale role models?

I do love the Sea Witch who the Storian wrote about in The Little Mermaid. To take away a whiny girl’s voice as part of a contract? Love it.

Do you want to return home after you graduate and take up your mother's work, or where do you see yourself in the future?

I think the problem with villains in most fairy tales is we always end up the supporting character in the story, rather than the one driving the action. I’d like to go out into the woods and find my own adventure, rather than just waiting for some numpty Ever to wander into my house. No, I’ll definitely go after my own story, whatever that will be


What are your thoughts on what has been going on lately with Sophie and Agatha?

If this is your way of asking me about the third book, it’s clever. For all you know, NONE of us survive the third book – highly likely, considering the body count. I would say that their relationship is too complicated for me to really ever understand. If anyone ever made me that upset or made me feel that conflicted, I’d feed them to the nearest man-wolf.

What do you want school to be like in the future? What is your ideal learning environment?

I think we were on to something with the No-Ball after first year, which was a big Evil formal Ball that replaced the Evers’ Snow Ball. It’s time that Evil didn’t just stand in the way of Good’s traditions, but made some of its own. Too often we associate Evil with just blowing things up for no reason. But we do have values. We do have a point. Now it’s our job to prove that Evil is a worthwhile goal unto itself.  

Thanks again for stopping by, Hester! I'm so excited to see you again in July and find out what you've been up to lately!

I’m not particularly excited to see you again, but if we do manage to see each other, give me a wave and who knows… perhaps I won’t kill you.

B O O K   T R A I L E R:


~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  THE LAST EVER AFTER
Author: Soman Chainani
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
SUMMARY:

In the epic conclusion to Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling series, The School for Good and Evil, everything old is new again as Sophie and Agatha fight the past as well as the present to find the perfect end to their story.

As A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES closed, the end was written and former best friends Sophie and Agatha went their separate ways. Agatha was whisked back to Gavaldon with Tedros and Sophie stayed behind with the beautiful young School Master.But as they settle into their new lives, their story begs to be re-written, and this time, theirs isn’t the only one. With the girls apart, Evil has taken over and the villains of the past have come back to change their tales and turn the world of Good and Evil upside down.

Readers around the world are eagerly awaiting the third book in The School for Good and Evil series, THE LAST EVER AFTER. This extraordinary conclusion delivers more action, adventure, laughter, romance and fairy tale twists and turns than you could ever dream of!

~*~
 ****Giveaway*****

Enter to win...


Three winners will win a 
COMPLETE set 
of all three books in the  
School for Good and Evil trilogy!!!

US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 23, 2015

{Review+Review/Design Vlog} INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA by Deborah Underwood

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!


O P E N I N G   L I N E:

©Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt

ONCE UPON a planetoid, 
amid her tools and sprockets, 
a girl named Cinderella dreamed 
of fixing fancy rockets.
(pgs. 4-5, US Hardcover Edition)


INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA by Deborah Underwood with illustrations by Meg Hunt rivals ONCE UPON A CLOUD by Claire Keane as my favorite picture book of 2015, and both are two of my favorite overall picture books. I adore the artwork in ONCE UPON A CLOUD the most, and I adore the message in INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA the most. If you're looking for a picture book with a great, empowering message for girls about everything they're capable of doing without a guy's help, you've just found one. Mix in some fairy tales and set the story in space, and you have the perfection of INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA.

Cinderella loves to fix things, and dreams about one day fixing rockets and being a mechanic. She fixes everything that breaks in her household all by herself and loves doing so. When her family is invited to the Prince's Royal Space Parade, her wicked stepmother says that she might be able to see the show if she fixes the family's broken rocket. She leaves Cinderella stranded without her toolbox, but then her Fairy Godrobot comes to help her out. Rather than a fancy dress and glass slippers, the Fairy Godrobot knows what Cinderella really needs and wants, supplying her with a new space suit in atomic blue (laden with jewels, of course!) and a special power gem that will get her ship going again--but only until midnight! Cinderella gets to go to the parade and see all of the beautiful, wonderful starships. When the prince's royal spaceship breaks down, Cinderella is able to fix it and befriend the prince...but only until midnight. Can the sonic socket wrench Cinderella left behind help the prince find the girl capable of wielding the wrench and fixing a ship? Will Cinderella achieve her dream of becoming a chief mechanic, or be forever indentured to her evil stepmother? It all depends on if the prince can find her!

This book is SO much fun. And what a powerful message!!! Cinderella is capable of fixing things on her own--as are all girls. It reminds me of when Goldieblox did a Kickstarter to make toys for prospective girl engineers, and you can now find their toys online and in stores such as Barnes and Noble or on Amazon! I also love the message that you don't HAVE to marry a prince to get your happy ending. Making your dream come true and doing something for YOURSELF is power in its own sense, and a true Happily Ever After!

I wasn't sure what to think when I first heard about INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA. It reminded me a lot of YA novel CINDER by Marissa Meyer, so I was hesitant to pick this up. If I hadn't, I would have missed out on a wonderful story! While both books are set in space and feature a wrench-wielding Cinderella, they're vastly different in every other way. I also can't find the interview now,o f course (Google, you failed me!!), but I remember seeing an interview with Deborah Underwood where she talked about the fact that she was querying INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA about the same time that CINDER was being queried. It just takes a lot longer to bring a picture book to life and publication than it does a novel! (For one thing, PICTURES!!!) It's really cool that two very different people had completely unique ideas with the same underlying threads in a very similar time period, and I don't think either book could possibly have pulled anything from one another, so disregard that notion right now if it's preventing you from picking up this awesome title!

I also love all of the diversity in INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA!

©Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt

For one thing, the Prince isn't white, even though Cinderella is. How awesome is that?

(Plus, Cinderella is a REDHEAD, so win!!!)

©Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt
For another, how awesome is it that none of the characters look traditional? One stepsister is overweight, while another is super-thin and has SHORT hair. (Plus, Cinderella is non-traditionally cute, and will resememble so many of readers! She doesn't look too old or too beautiful. Plus, her freckles! And again, red hair!!!)

Double-thumbs up to Meg Hunt for not making the artwork traditional or classically fairy tale!

I really loved and appreciated how different and fun INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA is. Even if you're "too old" for picture books and have nobody to share it with, this one is worth checking out. It's also ABSOLUTELY worth sharing with children due to its amazing message. It's very traditionally Cinderella in the ways that count, but breaks every other barrier to create a story that's fresh and new!

Here's my vlog that explores the book even further and shares some of its warmth and fun with you:


O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title: INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA
Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrator: Meg Hunt
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Received: Borrowed
SUMMARY:

Once upon a planetoid
,amid her tools and sprockets,
a girl named Cinderella dreamed
of fixing fancy rockets.

With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball--but when the prince's ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.