Filtering by Tag: Throw Down Your Hair and Then Yourself

Deathless Press: Summer 2013 Review

Do you know what's more delicious than dipping your toes in the ocean or going parasailing? Indulging in Deathless Press's summer released chapbooks:


I've never considered myself an eloquent reviewer, but I want to make reviewing Deathless Press chapbooks a tradition. There are never, ever enough fairy tales in the world - and I've been enjoying the ones coming from this press.

Considering that my own chapbook POCKET FOREST was released in this bunch, I'm going to skip over it (of course) and focus on the other two chapbooks.


Catskin by Sylvia Linsteadt


CATSKIN is a retelling of a the same-named fairy tale, where a princess runs away from home disguised in a coat made of cat skins to avoid being married to her own father. This dark tale is a classic - but if you're not familiar with it, you may have read Donkeyskin, which is the most popular variant (at least, when it come to retellings).

Linsteadt breathes new life into her version of Catskin. The story opens with a girl named You (or Yew, as she prefers), living with her father in a lighthouse that demands time and care. When her father, heavy with drink, considers marrying his daughter, Yew runs away to escape him. Her travels take her into the woods where she meets the Mistress of Bobcats. The Mistress of Bobcats offers Yew a new identity and power, but not without payment.

The Mistress of Bobcats is a fascinating character: incredibly wise, yet untrustworthy. I enjoyed how well Linsteadt described the bobcat-who-is-also-a-woman, with shifting shadows and sharp teeth. When Yew becomes Catskin, she gains freedom from her father, and any other man who threatens her, but she also loses her humanity - which is perhaps a good thing, by the end of the tale. Maybe she becomes the best of herself. CATSKIN reminds me of "The Tiger's Bride" by Angela Carter: lush description, shifty characters, and an unforgettable ending.


Throw Down Your Hair and Then Yourself by A. A. Balaskovits

Rapunzel remains one of my top favorite fairy tales. There's something incredibly relatable to me about being trapped or limited in some way, no matter how much your "jailer" loves you. And then... there's always my favorite part, when Rapunzel's tears bring back the prince's sight (yes... I'm a sap. And proud!). However, Balaskovits's retelling, THROW DOWN YOUR HAIR AND THEN YOURSELF, is probably the most twisted and darkly shocking version I've read so far. And that's what made it so enjoyable, despite my penchant for the happier variants, haha.

Our Rapunzel narrator begins her tale telling us what her auntie has always told her: that she's a sharp thing. She's stuck in a tower, surrounded by soft things to combat her sharpness, until one day when a sweet-talking prince convinces her to leave her auntie and become a queen.


Life as a queen isn't easy, especially when her husband starts ordering the deaths of every citizen with a physical blemish. But as her auntie once said, our narrator is a sharp thing. And boy, does she ever strike back against her husband.

Even though this story started out as a Rapunzel retelling, I felt that by the end, I watched the narrator transform into the Evil Queen from Snow White. Did you ever see the movie Snow White and the Huntsman? Frankly, I dislike that movie, especially when people try to tell me that it was better than Mirror Mirror (weird, right? MM is totally better). BUT Charlize Theron played an amazing Evil Queen and her scary-wrathful beauty is quite like the narrator's transformation. Making, of course, a great ending to this chapbook.

So what are you waiting for? Go read these books! ;)

Pocket Forest's B-Day!


This calls for a metaphor.

Yesterday, my book b-day, was like a whirlwind. Or rather, a massive, apocalyptic storm. I had front row seats, drinking a mint julep and taking pictures, while Deathless Press frantically boarded up the shop.

And why would I use that metaphor?


Tis true. Late Thursday night, when I received an email from Deathless Press about the books' imminent release, I stayed up late and started spreading the word. A few good friends kept me awake past my self-prescribed bedtime. By Friday morning, I woke tired, but practically electric with anticipation. If I could have worn a party hat to work, I would have (so I'm opting for hanging a hat on today's banner instead).

In my past blog posts, I've said that Deathless Press makes handmade one-of-a-kind books. You can tell that a lot of love has gone into making each one. Reading the Spring 2013 books had been a real treat and I was so excited about having Deathless Press as the publisher of my first book.

POCKET FOREST shares a birthday with two more Deathless Press originals: CATSKIN by Sylvia Linstead and THROW DOWN YOU HAIR AND THEN YOURSELF by A. A. Balaskovits.

I ordered both books. Can't wait to read them!

So, while I was at my day job, I couldn't help but check Deathless Press's Etsy shop, where the books are being sold. And it seemed as if the amount of copies dwindled whenever I refreshed the page. By midday on Friday, the last copy sold - and Deathless Press and I emailed back in forth, wondering what do to! It's a good kind of problem, haha.

To Those Who Didn't Get A Copy Yet:



The first edition of POCKET FOREST may be sold out, but there is more on the way. Deathless Press announced that my book will be back in stock on September 1st. Keeping in mind that each book is handmade, I highly suggest that you contact Deathless Press with your interest to make sure you get a copy when the next batch comes in.

Email editor [at] deathlesspress.com to be notified of availability. 

Where do you go to buy a copy? Deathless Press only sells books through Etsy - and there are so many ways to get to the shop. A simple Google search will get you there. I've also included a link on the side bar of my blog (you can also click on the cover on my Books page) and on the Goodreads page.

Hang in there!

While you wait, you can take a peek at the book! A small teaser of POCKET FOREST is available to read exclusively on Figment.com. Hopefully this will hold you over... (or make you more eager for a copy, mwahaha).



To Those of You Who Did Get a Copy:


Congratulations! *tosses confetti*

In order to have snagged a copy, you must have quick reflexes, haha. I can't wait for your copy to arrive. Harriet and Stig's story has existed for quite some time and I'm thrilled that you'll now have the chance to read about them.

On my Books page here on the blog, I've posted a playlist to go along with POCKET FOREST. These were the songs I listened to while writing the manuscript. I arranged them in narrative order too, so you could almost do a read-along if you want, haha.

There's also a link to the POCKET FOREST Pinterest board, so you can check out some inspiring images.

Once you've read the book, please take the time to leave a review. Whether you love the book or think it's drivel, I'd be incredibly grateful if you share your opinion. The best place to do this is on Goodreads.com. If you don't already have an account, you really should make one. It's a great way to keep track of the books you read, check out reviews of books you plan to read, and stay connected to the going-ons of the book world.

Click on the grungy Polaroid to go to Goodread's POCKET FOREST page.

 


I've also got some fun games in the works, but more on that later. For now, keep watching your mailboxes. POCKET FOREST will be arriving soon :D