But now, fully matured, here's our Shameless Saturday post!
Starting off with news of a new sale!!! Always a great opener, don't you think? Anna Staniszewski's follow ups to MY VERY UNFAIRLY TALE LIFE have sold! Here's the official announcement:
Author of MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE, Anna Staniszewski’s next two in the series, MY WAY TOO FAIRY TALE LIFE and HAPPILY FAIRY AFTER, to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, by Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
I can't wait!
Next up, R.L. LaFevers's brand new young adult novel is turning heads. GRAVE MERCY got two starred reviews this week! From Booklist:
Grave Mercy [Starred Review]
LaFevers, Robin (Author)
Apr 2012. 528 p. Houghton, hardcover, $16.99. (9780547628349).
In the late fifteenth century, Mortain, the god of death, has sired Ismae to be his handmaiden. She will carry out his wishes by working through the Convent, where she has found refuge from a brutal father and husband. After learning the Convent’s wily warfare and womanly arts, and being apprenticed to Sister Serafina (poisons mistress and Convent healer), 17-year-old Ismae is sent to the high court of Brittany ostensibly as the cousin (aka mistress) of the Breton noble Duval—but, in truth, she’s there as a spy.
Her tacit assignment is to protect the young duchess by assassinating Duval if he proves to be a traitor, an assignment made more difficult because of the couple’s attraction to each other. LaFevers has written a dark, sophisticated novel true to the fairy tale conventions of castles, high courts, and good vs. evil, yet it’s spiced with poison potions, violent (and sometimes merciful) assassinations, subtle seductions, and gentle, perfect love. With characters that will inspire the imagination, a plot that nods to history while defying accuracy, and a love story that promises more in the second book, this is sure to attract feminist readers and romantics alike.
And from Kirkus:
GRAVE MERCY [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: LaFevers, Robin
Fiction and history coalesce in a rich, ripping tale of assassinations, political intrigue and religion in 15th-century Brittany.
When the pig farmer who paid three coins to wed Ismae sees the red scar across her back, he cracks her in the skull and hurls her into the root cellar until a priest can come “to burn you or drown you.” The scar shows that Ismae’s mother poisoned her in utero; Ismae’s survival of that poisoning proves her sire is Mortain, god of death. A hedge priest and herbwitch spirit Ismae to the convent of St. Mortain, where nuns teach her hundreds of ways to kill a man. “We are mere instruments of Mortain…. His handmaidens, if you will. We do not decide who to kill or why or when. It is all determined by the god.” After Ismae’s first two assassinations, the abbess sends her to Brittany’s high court to ferret out treason against the duchess and to kill anyone Mortain marks, even if it’s someone Ismae trusts—or loves. Brittany fights to remain independent from France, war looms and suitors vie nefariously for the duchess’ hand. Ismae’s narrative voice is fluid and solid, her spying and killing skills impeccable. LaFevers’ ambitious tapestry includes poison and treason and murder, valor and honor and slow love, suspense and sexuality and mercy.
A page-turner—with grace. (map, list of characters) (Historical thriller. 14 & up)
In celebration, hee, Robin has just launched a new website, where you can learn more about the books and read the first chapter!!!
Speaking of amazing reviews, Kate Coombs's picture book HANS MY HEDGEHOG has racked up some accolades, including the New York Times which said:
Kudos to Kate Coombs (“The Secret-Keeper”) and John Nickle (“Never Take a Shark to the Dentist”) for dusting off the story of a lonely swine-boy with a musical sensibility, his rooster steed and a forest full of dancing pig friends. In this very liberal retelling, Hans’s parents are accepting rather than cruel, and Hans himself is a more admirable if less nuanced creature (the Brothers Grimm would have him slaughtering pigs and mistreating a princess).
The changes are mostly welcome, even if Hans’s fiddle, instead of bagpipes, seems a bit pedestrian. Still, this twisty mash-up of “The Princess and the Frog” and “Beauty and the Beast” introduces a spirited hero who handles his misfit status well, even if he does resort to a smattering of revenge. Creatures with quills, no matter how sweetly illustrated, are bound to be a bit testy.
Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly agree, with the latter's starred review declaring:
"In a feat that may astound fairy tale cognoscenti, Coombs (The Runaway Dragon) and Nickle (Never Take a Shark to the Dentist) transform a once-prickly story into something witty and warm."
Damn, our Inkies are awesome.
Following that statement, Jennifer Nielsen rounds out our news this week with literally a barrage of awesome. First, we have the cover for the final book in the ELLIOT trilogy: ELLIOT AND THE LAST UNDERWORLD WAR (Sourcebooks, Apr `12). In this final confrontation between Elliot and the evil demon Kovol, Elliot will need the help of his friends, family, and possibly even his arch-nemesis, Cami!
But THE FALSE PRINCE won't be outshone. Foreign rights for Jennifer's ASCENDANCE trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE (Scholastic, Apr `12) have been sold at auction to Bayard in France, and also to Santillana for Spanish translation rights, and Astrel for Russian translation. And to top it all off, Jennifer has a brand new trailer for THE FALSE PRINCE!
PHEW! What a ride. That's all for this week. See you in February!