Archive for August, 2014

Prism Tour Grand Finale: The Cinderella Theorem

Culture | Posted by Shannon
Aug 28 2014


A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

It’s the tour Grand Finale for
The Cinderella Theorem
By Kristee Ravan

Did you enjoy this logical fairy tale journey? If you missed any posts, go back and check them out now! Be sure to enter the giveaway as well!!

Launch with Excerpt (click on the link to read the full excerpt)

“Right. Well,” she took a breath. “To begin, I should say that your father is not dead.”

“But, he is dead. You told me that he died–that the train he was on hit a cow.”[i]

“No, Sweetie.” She patted my knee. “He’s not dead. He is alive and he’s coming to dinner.”

“I don’t understand. The train wrecked, the cow died, Dad died. You showed me the news story.”

Mom sighed. (Why is she sighing? Did she think that I would automatically understand? Did I miss the Lily, your dad is not dead memo?) “There was a train wreck, a cow did die. And it was on the news. But your father was not on the train.”

[i] If I seem a little slow to understand what my mom is telling me, keep in mind that fifteen years of believing my dad is dead is greater than 3 minutes of hearing he is alive. (15 > 3.)

Kelly P’s Blog – Inspiration for The Cinderella Theorem

Once upon a time, in a library far, far away, I discovered the fairy tale shelf. I remember it was in a sunny area. The books were smaller than normal and were a part of a set. I checked them out over and over again. I’m sure my seven-year-old self had heard or had all these fairy tales read to her before, but this was the first time, I was able to read them for myself. This began a life-long love for fairy tales…

Coffee Books & Art – Anatomy of a Good Bad Guy

Confession: I love to write Levi, the evil villain in The Cinderella Theorem. He’s to develop, he makes Lily (and everyone else) squirm and lose their cool, plus he’s greasy. Let’s explore the qualities that make up a good bad guy…

The Wonderings of One Person – Interview

Is there a singular character that really touched your heart and why?

Lily has to make a couple of choices to be brave in the story. One of those is when she decides that she’d rather face facts and get to know her (previously believed dead) father than hold on to the nice, neat “story” of what she believed happened. I’m not always best at making hard choices, or being willing to do what is hard, so that aspect of Lily inspired me.

Bookworm Lisa – A Book About Math? Really??

I need to let you in on a little secret. There’s math in my book. Probably an above average amount. It’s not a math book, but there is way more math in it than you would find in a regular book. And while I don’t think I’m BFFs with math, I do think I’m friendly with math. Which is interesting because there was a time in my life that math and I were not friendly at all…

Shannon’s Blog – Review

“I liked the first-person writing style of The Cinderella Theorem; I thought Lily had a good voice. The characters were quirky and likable, and the ideas and world itself were delightful. The Cinderella Theorem is an enjoyable book, a fun play on the old fairy tales. Recommended.”

Simplistic Reviews – Promo

Skye Malone’s Blog Fairy Tales You Aren’t Reading — But Should (Part One)

In my book, The Cinderella Theorem, a lot of the fairy tale world’s usual subjects show up: Cinderella, the Gingerbread Man, Sleeping Beauty. But I also got to shed some light on some of the rarer tales around, like the Erlking…

Wonderous Reviews Interview

What is your favorite thing about writing a book partly set in a fairy-tale world?

Thinking up things like Marvelous Midas Creme—magical ice cream made by King Midas. From one carton, everyone will magically have whatever flavor is their favorite in their bowl. Creating the structure for HEA (The Office of Happily Ever After Affairs) was a lot of fun too!

Mythical Books – Why I Heart Beauty and the Beast

Everyone’s got a favorite fairy tale and mine is Beauty and the Beast. There are a lot of reasons this tale could be my favorite, but the truth is there’s only one reason that it is my favorite…

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Interview

2. This not only has a mathematical twist but a comical twist to the Cinderella theme? Will this become a series? If so, what type of theme will follow? If not, what will be your next project?

I am working on a sequel called Calculating Christmas. It will be a Christmas theme as Lily and her friends try to save Christmas. I also know what the third book will be about, but haven’t really planned it yet.

Sarah’s StoryLines – The Shocking Truth About Fairy Tales

They start with once upon a time and end with everyone living happily ever after and in between those two things there is singing, talking woodland animals and a good deal of magic. Everyone knows that’s how fairy tales go. But do we really know these tales?

Katy’s Krazy Books – Review

“I absolutely loved The Cinderella Theorem!! It was amazing. I thought it was so cool how Lily grew as a character and learned all these different lessons. The footnotes that the author added at the bottom of the pages were so great and helpful.”

Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima – Review

“This is definitely the most unique fantasy novel I’ve read in a long time (and I read a lot of fantasy)! I love the main character and the way she views the world in terms of math.”

My Devotional Thoughts – Interview

What kind of research (if any) do you do for your books?

Because math and fairy tales are so important in these books, I try to keep them in my mind by following blogs about fairy tales and math. I also read books about math and fairy tales. (Women in Mathematics and The Witch Must Die are what I’m working through now.) I’ve found that I’m faster at writing if I don’t stop to research in the moment, so I’ve started jotting down post-it notes of things to look up later. I’ve got some math friends that I ask questions of when needed. My friend, Kelly, helped me think of a math poster to be in Lily’s bedroom. I also use the internet quite a bit.

The Written Adventure – A Deleted Scene

Mom hadn’t mentioned what I was supposed to wear for the interview, but then again, Mom hadn’t mentioned the interview either. There were a lot of things going unmentioned in the Sparrow family these days. Like my dad isn’t really dead, like I’m a princess, like I’m having a ball in my honor. So in the grand scheme of things unmentioned by my mother, what was one reporter, showing up unannounced, knocking on my bedroom door…

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review

“I expected it to be okay, but it far surpassed my expectations. I picked it up and couldn’t stop! I was laughing out loud the entire time!… This book was SO much fun! I honestly loved every minute of it. The romance was fleeting, but promised more. I can’t wait for the next book!”

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more! I felt that I learned more about both fairytales and math while reading it so I feel smarter now than I was before I started. The ending was great and left me wanting more, so I was glad to get a sneak peek into the next book, Calculating Christmas (which is hopefully coming soon). If you or someone you know loves math, this book is a no brainer! If you don’t enjoy math, you will still find plenty about it to love, so give it a chance!!”

My Life, Loves and Passion – Review

“This is a very interesting spin on fairy tales. I did truly enjoy the story. It was fun to think how I would feel as a teenager in this situation. She uses math to rationalize life. For a 15 year old girl I did not find her annoying. Most of the time the female character can be whinny and boy crazy. Lily was not like that and I was glad for a change of pace. A great fun read.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I’m not into math, but I love fairy tales. I passed my math classes, but it’s not my favorite subject, and I wasn’t sure how a story about fairy tales could possibly tie into math. But it worked! I thought it was very creative and the story was even written in a math book-type of format–little side notes and footnotes. It was interesting to see the way a logical girl could come to accept a fantasy world–almost like right brain meets left brain.”

Book Briefs – Review

“The Cinderella Theorem overall was a really great read. I had a few small issues with the book early, but they were minor things and I am so glad that I didn’t let them get in the way of enjoying the story, because this was a book that just kept getting better and better. I loved the concept of the story and the main character, Lily was a delight.”

Deal Sharing Aunt – Review

“What I liked the most is that the author had me laughing. A lot. I can not wait until the next book comes out and I read more about these characters!”

A Backwards Story – From The Fireland Flame

From the Fireland Flame, the daily newspaper of EG Smythe’s Salty Fire Land:
Tybalt’s Tales, Gossip from all the Genres

August 19th has finally arrived! The day we’ve all been waiting for, Fireland! Princess Lily turns 15 today and finds out that she’s really a princess. How will our secret Protector respond?

Coffee, Books and Me – What’s in a Name?

Even though no one ever spells it correctly, I love my first name: Kristee. It’s unique and special and though a Google search will reveal that there are other Kristees in the world. I personally have never met one, and I know there’s no one else named “Kristee Ravan” (Kudos to my husband for giving me a unique last name, that no one ever spells correctly either…). So when I began creating Lily’s world, I wanted to be intentional with the names of the people and places. Here’s the inside scoop on what some the names mean.

I Am A Reader – Fairy Tales You Aren’t Reading, But Should, Part 2

Snow White and Rose Red

First of all, this is not the Snow White who hangs with the seven dwarves. This Snow White and her sister, Rose Red, were named for rosebushes that grew in front of their cottage, where the girls and their mother lived a happy life in the woods. (The dad’s dead.)

Dividing by Zero – Review

“The characters are well developed (and fun!), the plot is entertaining and very creative, the writing flows well, the dialogue is natural sounding and true to the character who’s speaking, and it’s overall just a good, fun read. I was also geekily excited that Lily shares information about Pi Day (March 14th – 3/14 – because pi is 3.14159… get it?) I’m looking very much forward to The Lily Sparrow Chronicles Book 2: Calculating Christmas…”

Calling for Reviewers!

We’re looking for reviewers! You don’t need a blog to sign up, but you do need to at least post a review on Amazon. Other sites (blog, Goodreads, etc.) are also appreciated. Reviews must be completed by the end of November. To sign up, please fill out this form.

The Cinderella Theorem
(The Lily Sparrow Chronicles #1)
by Kristee Ravan
YA Urban Fantasy
Paperback, 367 pages
March 17th 2014

Fairy tales are naturally non-mathematical. That is a fact, and fifteen-year-old Lily Sparrow loves factual, mathematical logic. So when her mother confesses that Lily’s deceased father is (a) not dead, (b) coming to dinner, and (c) the ruler of a fairy tale kingdom accessible through the upstairs bathtub, Lily clings to her math to help her make sense of this new double life (1 life in the real world + 1 secret life in the fairy tale world = a double life).

Even though it’s not mathematical, Lily finds herself being pulled into a mystery involving an unhappy Cinderella, a greasy sycophant called Levi, and a slew of vanishing fairy tale characters. Racing against the clock, with a sound mathematical plan, Lily attempts to save her fairy tale friends while proving that normality = happiness.

Amazon

Kristee Ravan lives in Oklahoma with her husband, daughter, and pet fish, Val (short for Valentine). She wanted to be many things as she grew up including a general, an artist, and an architect. But she never bothered to say, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” She was always writing stories and thought of herself as a writer anyway. She sent her first story to a publisher in the sixth grade. (It was rejected – in a nice way.) When she is not making up stories in her head, she enjoys reading, juggling, green smoothies, playing dollhouse with her daughter, and hearing from her fans. You can contact Kristee at the facebook page for her Lily Sparrow books: The Lily Sparrow Chronicles.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookAmazon

Tour-Wide Giveaway

5 copies of The Cinderella Theorem (print for US winners, ebook for international winners)
Ends August 31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CSFF Blog Tour: Merlin’s Nightmare

Book Reviews | Posted by Shannon
Aug 27 2014

The whole of Britain is blighted with a drought. In the south, there is war against the Saxenow. In the north, there is war against the Picts. From within, the men of Kernow turn and attack the king’s city. Morgana, a woman with evil powers, drives them on, and has other plots in store.

It would be hard even for King Arthur to save a Britain like this. It’s harder yet for Artorius – young, reckless, and ignorant still of his heritage. But many things are emerging from their hiding places, and not all as welcome as the true king.

With Merlin’s Nightmare, Robert Treskillard completes the Merlin Spiral trilogy. The Merlin Spiral is very much a fantasy series; the magical element is strong, though put into a Christian context. But it is also firmly anchored in the historical reality of the fifth century – more so than many people may realize, given how obscure the fifth century is. (Vortigern may have a firmer place in history than Arthur.)

There’s a sixteen-year jump between the second book and the last, but it works well. I enjoyed seeing Arthur really enter the story. I liked the father-son dynamic between Arthur and Merlin, naturally arising from the earlier books, and I thought they shifted toward their ultimate roles as king and counselor in a subtle, convincing way. And though I did not initially notice it, Merlin’s fear contrasted with Arthur’s recklessness, and eventually both found their way toward the wise middle ground.

Guinevere was introduced in this novel, providing some lighthearted moments. I was also intrigued to see that Robert Treskillard made the beginning of her relationship with Arthur suitably contradicted. (And I wonder – was Lancelot also introduced, though by another name?)

Curiously, the book ends without any great triumph. The heroes enjoyed smaller victories, but a new disaster seemed to come on the heels of every one, and it’s not clear Britain is, on balance, better off when the fighting ended than when it began. Doubtless this is partly due to the fact that the story is not over, and undefeated enemies are held over for the upcoming Pendragon Spiral series. Still, I missed the moment of triumph. I missed the satisfaction of thinking, “It’s over, and they won.”

Merlin’s Nightmare is an intriguing, well-written novel that blends history and myth into a fascinating, innovative re-telling of the Arthurian Legends. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the Pendragon Spiral.


In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

CSFF Blog Tour: Two Distinguishing Characteristics

Literature | Posted by Shannon
Aug 26 2014

Last year CSFF toured Merlin’s Blade and Merlin’s Shadow, the first and second books of Robert Treskillard’s Merlin Spiral; now we finish the trilogy with Merlin’s Nightmare.

But not the story. That will continue with the Pendragon Spiral.

I’ll be reviewing Merlin’s Nightmare tomorrow. Actually, I was going to review it today, but that was back when I was going to do this post yesterday. Life happens, but as long as it doesn’t happen tomorrow, I will review the book.

For today, here is what struck me as the two most distinguishing characteristics of this trilogy:

One, all the history. The fantastical elements are quite prominent, but I am impressed by how the whole of the story is anchored in history.

Two, Merlin’s age. I always had a vague image of Merlin as an old man, probably with a long beard. In the Merlin Spiral, he’s a young man, and that actually struck me more in this last book than in the earlier two. He was a teenager in Merlin’s Blade and Merlin’s Shadow, but that was before Arthur’s time, and I knew he was young once. But in the final book, Merlin is thirty-four, possibly thirty-five, as he takes his place as King Arthur’s counselor – a new image for me.

As I said, I’m planning an actual review tomorrow. For now, here are the links:

Merlin’s Nightmare on Amazon;

Robert Treskillard’s website;

and the tourists, as we have been called:

Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott

Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller

Mirriam Neal
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Phyllis Wheeler

Elizabeth Williams

Prism Tour Review: The Cinderella Theorem

Book Reviews | Posted by Shannon
Aug 13 2014

A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.


Lily Sparrow is an atypical teenager: a teenager who thrives on mathematics, who wants everything clear and logical, who thinks all life should work out to a balanced equation. But when she discovers on her fifteenth birthday that her parents have been leading a double-life in a fairytale world, and now they want her to join them, she has a typical teenager response: She wants her normality back.

That she never was normal may occur to readers who watch her try to process all of life through mathematical equations. It’s natural, I suppose, that it never occurs to her.

The Cinderella Theorem is written by Kristee Ravan and is the first book of the Lily Sparrow Chronicles. This novel abounds in fresh, fun ideas. The clash between Lily’s mathematical compulsion and the fairytale world she is pushed into is the first. More follow.

In the world Lily enters, the characters of all the fairytales – good and bad – are living Happily Ever After. If they ever become Unhappy, they are no longer living Happy Ever After.

And so they vanish.

It’s a quirky world governed by its own absurd logic, and its citizens are all eccentric in their own way. I enjoyed all the outlandishness, enjoyed seeing old, beloved characters like Cinderella and King Arthur living Happily Ever After. The foundational ideas of the book and the worldbuilding are the finest elements of The Cinderella Theorem.

The principal flaw of this novel is a lack of proper editing. There are misplaced commas and far too many wrongly done dialogue tags (“That’s a problem.” He said). More substantively, there were things in the book – little things – that were extraneous, hints of ideas that were never used. (For example, in an early scene Lily is ordered out of a banned palace library … and that’s it for the Forbidden Library.) A good editor could have helped with these things.

I liked the first-person writing style of The Cinderella Theorem; I thought Lily had a good voice. The characters were quirky and likable, and the ideas and world itself were delightful. The Cinderella Theorem is an enjoyable book, a fun play on the old fairy tales. Recommended.


The Cinderella Theorem
(The Lily Sparrow Chronicles #1)
by Kristee Ravan
YA Urban Fantasy
Paperback, 367 pages
March 17th 2014

Fairy tales are naturally non-mathematical. That is a fact, and fifteen-year-old Lily Sparrow loves factual, mathematical logic. So when her mother confesses that Lily’s deceased father is (a) not dead, (b) coming to dinner, and (c) the ruler of a fairy tale kingdom accessible through the upstairs bathtub, Lily clings to her math to help her make sense of this new double life (1 life in the real world + 1 secret life in the fairy tale world = a double life).

Even though it’s not mathematical, Lily finds herself being pulled into a mystery involving an unhappy Cinderella, a greasy sycophant called Levi, and a slew of vanishing fairy tale characters. Racing against the clock, with a sound mathematical plan, Lily attempts to save her fairy tale friends while proving that normality = happiness.

Amazon

Calling for Reviewers!

We’re looking for reviewers! You don’t need a blog to sign up, but you do need to at least post a review on Amazon. Other sites (blog, Goodreads, etc.) are also appreciated. Reviews must be completed by the end of November. To sign up, please fill out this form.

Kristee Ravan lives in Oklahoma with her husband, daughter, and pet fish, Val (short for Valentine). She wanted to be many things as she grew up including a general, an artist, and an architect. But she never bothered to say, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” She was always writing stories and thought of herself as a writer anyway. She sent her first story to a publisher in the sixth grade. (It was rejected – in a nice way.) When she is not making up stories in her head, she enjoys reading, juggling, green smoothies, playing dollhouse with her daughter, and hearing from her fans. You can contact Kristee at the facebook page for her Lily Sparrow books: The Lily Sparrow Chronicles.


WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookAmazon


Tour-Wide Giveaway

5 copies of The Cinderella Theorem (print for US winners, ebook for international winners)

Ends August 31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the tour!

August Dates:

11 – Launch

12

Kelly P’s Blog

Coffee Books & Art

13

Bookworm Lisa

Shannon’s Blog

Simplistic Reviews

14

Skye Malone’s Blog

Wonderous Reviews

Mythical Books

15

Rockin’ Book Reviews

Sarah’s StoryLines

The Wonderings of One Person

17

Katy’s Krazy Books

Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima

18

The Crazy Antics of My Creative Mind

My Devotional Thoughts

The Written Adventure

19

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews

Mel’s Shelves

My Life, Loves and Passion

20

Katie’s Clean Book Collection

Book Briefs

Deal Sharing Aunt

21

A Backwards Story

Little Lisa

22

Coffee, Books and Me

I Am A Reader

Dividing by Zero

24 – Grand Finale