Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Introduction to Month9Books + Two and Twenty Dark Tales


Today I'm extremely excited to be a part of the blog tour that's introducing Month9Books to the world! I additionally have the pleasure of sharing with you a couple of excerpts from one of their upcoming releases, Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes. Ummmm. Dark retellings? YES PLEASE! I can't tell you how excited I am for this book, and just wait until you read below and see all the amazing authors contributing to this anthology, it will rocket to the top of your to-be-read list!

Before we get to the excerpts, here's a little information about Month9Books:

Month9Books is a speculative fiction young adult and middle grade imprint.

Speculative fiction is an umbrella term that encompasses the following genres:
•             Science Fiction
•             Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy
•             Horror
•             Supernatural
•             Paranormal
•             Super-Hero, Villain, and Anti-Hero
•             Utopian and Dystopian
•             Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic
•             Alternate History

Month9Books will also publish Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Techno-thriller, and Action-Adventure-Fantasy.

Formed in 2011 by speculative fiction writer Georgia McBride (also founder of YALITCHAT.ORG and #yalitchat on twitter), each year, a portion of the proceeds from our anthologies will be donated to a charity we admire. We are however, NOT a charity publisher.

Our first anthology is scheduled for publication in October 2012 and features: Michelle Zink, Lisa Mantchev, Sarwat Chadda, Nina Berry, Leigh Fallon, Suzanne Young, C. Lee McKenzie, Angie Frazier, Georgia McBride, Jessie Harrell, Francisco X. Stork, Gretchen McNeil, KM Walton, Heidi R. Kling, Nancy Holder, Sayantani DasGupta, Karen Mahoney, Leah Cypess, Suzanne Lazear, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg and Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone.

In addition to our charity anthologies, we seek to publish 9-11 additional titles annually.

We are distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG.

TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES


Releases October 16, 2012 from Month9books

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. 

Authors include: Michelle Zink, Lisa Mantchev, Sarwat Chadda, Nina Berry, Leigh Fallon, Suzanne Young, C. Lee McKenzie, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Gretchen McNeil, KM Walton, Heidi R. Kling, Nancy Holder, Karen Mahoney, Suzanne Lazear, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone, Leah Cypess, Sayantani DasGupta, Georgia McBride, and Francisco X. Stork.

PLEASE NOTE: The eBook and print galley versions of the anthology DO NOT CONTAIN extras like a Humpty Dumpty poem by Georgia McBride, The Lion and the Unicorn: Part the Second by Nancy Holder, or the extended version of Sea of Dew by C. Lee McKenzie! These will be available in the final print copy. 


THE LION AND THE UNICORN: PART THE FIRST 
by Nancy Holder based on the Mother Goose Rhyme: The Lion and The Unicorn

London, 1603

Susana trembled in the darkness, one hand gripping the flickering torch, the other balancing a goblet of wine and a single slice of plain brown bread on a silver tray.  She was to take it to the King, to break his fast.  He would partake only after his ghastly work was done.

Screams rose from below the winding staircase, echoing against the stone, and pummeled Susana’s heart, and her soul.  She would have given a year of her life for permission to refuse her task.

She was sixteen, nearly a woman grown, but she was dressed to pass as a page in trousers and fine hose, and a brown velvet doublet so rich that whenever her hand brushed against it, she caught her breath.  She wore a jeweled dagger on her belt, a warning that she would cut any man down who would dare to attack her master.

She jerked as another scream shot up from the hell beneath her feet, spilling wine on the stair.  In the firelight it looked like blood.

Above her, thunder rumbled.  The air was sodden. Like a wet woolen cloak draped about her shoulders, her duty weighed heavy and hard to bear.  Not for the world did she wish to go down to that hellish place.

Six months before, King James I, the Unicorn, had come to London town.  Susana had thought he would bring happy fortune to his united kingdoms.  But it seemed that in the never-ending battle against the Devil, war had been declared upon England.

Queen Elizabeth—Good Queen Bess, the cub of Henry VIII, the Lion of England—was dead but half a year.  She had reigned for forty-four years, good years.  But the last months of her reign had been troubled. Her Majesty’s ailing mind had not been clear—her orders bewildering, her commands impossible to fulfill.  Plots and schemes grew like fungus as rivals vied for her throne.  There was talk of civil war.

Then God had roused her from her confusion long enough to name her nephew, King James of Scotland—as her successor.  England was saved from violence and strife.

In haste, the royal coat of arms—two English lions—had been redesigned so that the English Lion and the Scottish Unicorn together reared proudly. King James’s new arms had been carried before him on a beautiful July day as he had entered London town for the first time.  Rising on tiptoe in a cacophony of drumbeats, trumpets, and cheers, Susana had hoped to glimpse his royal presence as he headed for the church to be crowned. Surrounded by a glittering retinue of courtiers and soldiers, the king himself had ridden a fantastic warhorse, and his armor had gleamed as if it were made of gold. Sunbeams had poured down on his head, making a circle that shimmered like a halo.  And so the people said, “God’s blessings are upon James.”

ONE FOR SORROW
by Karen Mahoney based on the Mother Goose Rhyme: One for Sorrow

The first night the crow raps on my window with its hard beak, I have only just climbed into bed.

Tap-tap-tap.

Three times and then it waits, politely, staring in at me with hooded eyes.

Blink. Tap-tap-tap.

I don’t open the window that first night, but it returns the next. And then again the next.

On the third night, I relent.

I slide open the window, just enough for the crow to slip beneath, and it hops inside. The cold air freezes my breath into ghosts as I struggle to close the window again, while my visitor watches from the cracked wooden sill beside me.

Claws click as it shuffles to the edge and scans my room with those beady eyes.

Shivering, I jump back into bed and pull the comforter right up to my chin. The crow spreads its inky wings and flutters onto one of the carved bedposts by my feet.

We regard each other, the crow and I.

What does it want? If this was a dream it would be able to speak, and I could find out why it was here. We could have a conversation, and maybe it would even teach me the language of crows.

But the crow is just a bird and it doesn’t speak. It doesn’t even squawk. It only perches at the end of my bed, blinking occasionally, watching me until I fall asleep.


Who's excited? *raises hand* Be sure and check out the rest of the tour to see what other great books Month9Books has in store for us!


More information on Month9Books can be found here:

33 comments:

  1. I was so excited to see the ARC on Netgalley and eagerly requested it. I love fairy tales and nursery rhymes and this one looks like it has some really cool twists!

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    1. ME TOO! I can't wait to read it:)

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  2. I am looking forward to their books!!! One thing I need to mention for the shallow mind just like me: their covers are so pretty!! :))

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    1. They are gorgeous aren't they? I adore the Shimmer of Angels cover - SO PRETTY!

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  3. Wow there's some great authors in this one! And what unique stories! Thanks for the heads up and introduction!

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    1. Aren't there? I can't wait to see what they do with Mother Goose:)

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  4. Wow, welcome Month9Books! I'm super excited about the Leah Cypess story. She's one of my favorite authors. I'll have to request this on Netgalley.

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    1. I haven't ready anything by her, I need to do that:)

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  5. Oh thanks for sharing this with us Jenny, retellings seem to be all over the place these days, but I especially like Month9Books take on it, dark retellings of Mother Goose rhymes? count me in too! :)

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    1. Right? I love retellings of any kind, and the dark ones are always my favorites:) Can't wait!

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  6. Very interested to see what comes out of Month9Books. I've been a part of YALITCHAT since its inception and look forward to seeing writers I know and recognize get published!

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    1. Me too! The people at Month9 are awesome:)

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  7. What an awesome idea for an anthology! These excerpts are very clever and definitely got my attention--great post, Jenny!

    DarkEva

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    1. Isn't it? I'm so excited to dive into this one:)

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  8. Nice to hear about Month9Books. The genres they will carry are ones that appeal to me. I saw Two and Twenty Dark Tales on Netgalley. Now I'm thinking I should pop over there and request it. Thanks for sharing Jenny! :)

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    1. Yes! Go request! It sounds like it's going to have some really amazing short stories in it:)

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  9. I've seen Month9Books get mentioned on Twitter quite a bit. I already like the sound of them! Those genres mentioned are all the genres I read. I'm not a big reader of anthologies but this one definitely sounds good. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. They have some really exciting upcoming releases, and all the people I've talked to there have been awesome:)

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  10. This is my first time hearing about Month9Books so thanks for the intro to them, Jenny. I don't normally read anthologies but I may have to check this one out because there are some familiar authors in this one and involves re-tellings.

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    1. I don't read too many anthologies either, but I'm not missing this one:) They had me at "dark". Love dark stories!

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  11. I was eyeing that book on Netgalley as well, and now I really want to check it out. I love new publishers throwing their hats into the arena! I can't wait to see what they have in store for us. Thanks for sharing this, Jenny!

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    1. ME TOO! It looks like they have some epic books coming up, can't wait:)

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  12. LOVE the cover and was piques with The Lion and the Unicorn. Nancy has a great writing style.

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    1. I really love the cover of this one too:) Gorgeous.

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  13. Ummmmmm... thank goodness I read those excerpts in full daylight because otherwise, I might have had nightmares...the kind you don't wake up from. LOL

    Something wicked this way comes, and I can't wait!

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    1. I know. I'm definitely going to need to procrastinate at work and read this one during the day ;-)

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  14. Oh nice! Plus the mascot is pretty cool as well... ;)

    Oh yea... you got me excited!

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  15. Eep...some of that was scary!!! But now Im excited to check all of them out....:D

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  16. Two and Twenty sounds like a really fun and unique read! I love the cover too! I must say, Month9Books has some really gorgeous covers!

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  17. I just found them on NetGalley the other day and actually requested Two and Twenty! It really sounds fantastic and I can't wait to read it.

    Definitely a huge welcome to them! :D Thanks for sharing this, Jenny!

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  18. There are some great authors lined up in this anthology! Some of which I adore and others I would love to learn more about. Going to check this one out over at Netgalley. Thanks for the heads up, Jenny!

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  19. I heard about this publishing company. Looks like they are coming out with some awesome books.

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  20. I've seen this book around but had no idea what it was about and really didn't look at it any further. And then you wrote "Mother Goose dark retellings" and I thought Mother Goose isn't dark, but then I thought, "That's what you thought about fairy tales and you were so wrong." So I'm very interested by the two excerpts you posted there. Next it'll be lullabyes!

    Heather

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