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Blog Tour: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

July 29th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kristie under Blog Tour Tags: Alias Hook, Fantasy, Lisa Jensen

Lisa JensenPlease join us in welcoming author Lisa Jensen here today to Dark Faerie Tales. She joins us today with a behind the scenes look at her noval, Alias Hook, which is a reimagining of Peter Pan. The novel was released on July 8, 2014 from Thomas Dunne Books/Macmillan. Please check out Steph’s review below this post!

About Lisa:

LISA JENSEN is a veteran film critic and newspaper columnist from Santa Cruz, California.

Her reviews and articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Cinefantastique, Take One,

and Paradox Magazine. She has reviewed film on numerous area TV and radio stations. She also reviewed books for the San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years, where her specialty was historical and women’s fiction.

You can visit Lisa around the web here: Website | Blog | Facebook

Want to read more from Lisa Jensen?

Witch from the SeaAlias Hook

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The Story Behind ALIAS HOOK

My “day job” is writing film reviews for an alternative weekly newspaper in California. I was writing a review of a live-action Peter Pan movie in January, 2004; of the actor playing Captain Hook, I wrote that he captured “the tragedy of a grown-up Hook trapped forever in Peter’s eternal childhood.” Instantly, a caustic voice popped into my head observing the Neverland from Hook’s point of view. I hit ‘Save,’ clicked open a new doc and hastily typed in what is now the opening paragraph of the book:

Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile, which drags him down to a watery grave. Who could guess that below the water, the great beast would spew me out with a belch and a wink of its horned, livid eye? It was not yet my time to die, not then nor any other time. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever in a nightmare of childhood fancy with that infernal, eternal boy.

Sure, everybody knows about Peter Pan, the boy who won’t grow up, and his magical island paradise, the Neverland. But imagine if you were an adult trapped forever in a world run by prepubescent boys. That would certainly be my vision of Hell! And so I began to ponder the plight of Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends.

I’ve always liked Captain Hook better than Peter Pan; for one thing, he has much funnier lines! What, I wondered, had his life been like before the Neverland—as a child, a young blood about town, a gentleman privateer, a pirate? What on earth had he ever done to deserve this fate, designated nightmare to generations of storybook-reading children? So, long before I ever had a plot in mind, I was writing dozens of scenes from Hook’s perspective. It was more like transcribing, really, as he told me who he was and how he got there, sharing his observations on the Neverland and its inhabitants, commenting on his dire relationship to Pan, his history, his dilemma. It really was just like eavesdropping on a conversation (or a monologue); I don’t know any other way to describe it.

For source material on the Neverland, I went back to Peter and Wendy, James M. Barrie’s 1911 novelization of his famous play, and I was astonished at how much darker and more subversive it is than the familiar play; it’s about children but not necessarily for children. The fairies attend orgies (although Barrie, unlike me, is too discreet to include one), the pirates and Indians routinely slaughter each other for the boys’ amusement, and a strange, simultaneous adoration and fear of women—specifically, mothers—runs throughout the story.

But it also seemed to me that Barrie hardly even scratched the surface of the Neverland he created, with all its complex enchantments, so I thought it would be fun to delve beneath that surface and explore what life is really like for the fairy sisterhood, the merwives, and the Indian tribes. Let alone all those generations of former Lost Boys and Wendys who never quite fit back in the real world after they’ve been to the Neverland.

And so my plot finally started to take shape. The key to everything was a new character I invented, Stella Parrish, a grown woman who dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of the boy’s rules against “ladies.” From the erotic glamor of the Fairy Revels to the ceremonies of the First Tribes to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. In Hook himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain. With her knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be his last chance for redemption, even release—if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys can hunt her down and drag Hook back into their neverending game.

I once heard someone describe Homer’s The Odyssey as the hero’s “journey from the masculine to the feminine.” And I realized that Alias Hook has a similar narrative drive. My hero has to rise above the pointless war games perpetrated by the boys that have always oppressed him, overcome his rage at the world and his fear of the (mostly feminine) magical forces that govern the Neverland, learn to cooperate with his “enemies,” and risk everything for love, before he can earn his release.

It took me a long time to figure out Stella’s character. She was fairly inert through the first few drafts; she did what I told her, but she wasn’t yet a good match for James Hook. It wasn’t until I started letting her be funny—despite the tragic past that drives her to flee to the Neverland—that she came alive on the page. With Stella in place, Captain Hook finally has a chance to write himself a different ending. Alias Hook is a story of love and war, male and female, and the delicate art of growing up.

Excerpted from The Story Behind the Book, edited by Kristijan Meic and Ivana Steiner, 2013.

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Alias Hook Cover

Available July 8, 2014 from Thomas Dunne Books/Macmillan

About this Book:

“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Review: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

July 29th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Steph under Review Tags: Alias Hook, Fantasy, Lisa Jensen, Review

Alias HookTitle: Alias Hook

Author: Lisa Jensen

Genre: Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250042151 (Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-1250042156 (Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

Quick & Dirty: Lisa Jensen takes a well-known story and turns it on its head, managing to make Captain James Hook someone you can root for in this engaging and bewitching story.

Opening Sentence: Second star to the right of what?

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this book at first. On one hand, I have for some reason never liked the story of Peter Pan. I’m not sure why, but I just never connected to the story. On the other hand, I love a good bad boy in my fiction: Trent in The Hollows series, Spike on Buffy, Loki in the Avengers movie. So, I figured this book could go either way in terms of whether I liked it or not. Thankfully, I fell on the side of liking it.

In the early 18th century, James Benjamin Hookbridge was just a regular guy. Misfortune falls on him and turns him to piracy, which then eventually leads him to being cursed to a place that supposedly only exists in dreams: Neverland. There, he must continually fight a horde of young boys, led by the infamous Peter Pan. Hook is doomed to die time after time, only to be resurrected to go through it all again. After two hundred years, he is ready to die for real, eager to find a way around the curse. Then one day, something happens that has never happened before: a grown woman appears in Neverland. Stella Parrish. As Hook begins to open up to her, he begins to feel something he hasn’t felt in a long time. Hope. Maybe his torment won’t last forever. Pan isn’t happy about a woman showing up in his land, however, and Stella faces danger at every turn. Will Hook lose both Stella and his newfound hope, or will they be able to end the curse forever?

There are a number of positive things to say about this book. It’s remarkably well written and engaging. I found myself immediately engrossed, as the book opens with Hook resurrecting to find himself among his dead crew. This serves to put Hook in a sympathetic light, when all we’ve ever seen him as is a villain. As we learn more about his past and get to see Peter Pan in a light we’ve never seen before, that sympathy grows. I will say it’s possible some readers may have problems identifying with Hook because of his past deeds, but I personally had no such problem.

One of my favorite books from high school is William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. I find the idea that being separated from society will lead people to follow their baser instincts incredibly intriguing. The same idea is displayed here with Pan and his Lost Boys. With no true authority figures, they have no moral compass, and it is incredibly disturbing to see. Maybe never growing up is not such a good thing after all.

On the negative side, the beginning of the book does occasionally drag a bit, mainly due to going back and forth in Hook’s timeline. This back and forth is necessary for the reader to learn what brought Hook to this point, but it does disrupt the flow of the story. Once the story stays firmly in Neverland though, the pace picks up considerably.

All in all, I found this an incredibly intriguing and satisfying read. I believe fans of the Peter Pan story will enjoy this take on the tale. I am also proof that those who aren’t as fond of Peter Pan can also really enjoy this unique version of the story. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!

Notable Scene:

The Neverland, they call it, the infant paradise, the puerile Eden where grown-ups dare not tread. They are wise to fear it. but all children visit in their dreams. He finds them by their longing, stray boys for his tribe and girls to tell him stories.

They are not always English children, although he is partial to London.

They have erected a statue to him there. Fancy, a public statue of Pan, the boy tyrant in his motley of leaves, like a king or a hero. While Hook is reviled, the evil pirate, the villain. There is no statue to me.

I’ve heard all the stories. I know the world thinks me not only a simpering fop but a great coward, so affrighted by the crocodile I would empty my bowels at the first sinister tick of its clock. But it’s the ticking itself I can’t bear, the tolling of the minutes, the very seconds, that I am forced to spend in the Neverland for all eternity. Elsewhere, time is passing in the normal way, but not here. Not for me and the boy.

“It’s Hook or me this time,” the boy jeered as the massacre began. But it’s never him. And it’s never me. Since then, he has defeated me innumerable times, but never quite to the death. He wills it so, and his will rules all. How often have I felt my skin pierced, imagined in my wounded delirium that Death has relented and come for me at last? Yet every time, my blood stops leaking, my flesh knits. Sooner or later, my eyes open again to yet another bleak new day, with nothing to show for my pains but another scar on the wreckage of my body.

Is it any wonder I so often tried to kill him? Would not his death break the enchantment of this awful place and release us both? But I never best him. He flies. He has youth and innocence on his side, and the heartlessness that comes with them. I have only heartlessness, and it is never, ever enough.

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FTC Advisory: Thomas Dunne Books/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Alias Hook. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Charming Covers #1: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

July 28th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Book Talk, Taking Cover Tags: Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard

You know that old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? I am guilty of judging books by their cover. Of course, if a book has a creative synopsis and good reviews, a bad cover can always be overridden and I will read it anyway, but I’m going to be honest, a good ‘ole dust jacket draws me in.

Among other things, a cover can give the general tone and feeling of a book in just one glance. Like the dark, creepy covers hint at dark, creepier stories, and cute bright ones with girls on the cover are usually adorable contemporaries. I love the way certain covers have a hidden meaning you only get after you read, or how the colors swirl and splatter on the page. Basically, I love covers!

So here is a blog feature Dark Faerie Tales will be adapting. Each week, I will choose a cover of a certain YA book, with an amazing sounding synopsis, that draws me in and talk about what I love about it. I hope I can inspire myself and others to read the books I’m featuring!

So what is the cover for this week’s Charming Covers?

Red Queen

The cover itself of Red Queen is simply gorgeous. Gory, but gorgeous. The simple three-color palette makes me swoon — they couldn’t have chosen a better bluish-white to bring together the glaring difference between the silver and red. Another reason I love it is because it makes me remember the cover of The False King, a book I loved so so much. Also, the font. It so simple and elegant.

And when you read the synopsis, certain symbolism shines through. The crown is silver, and obviously beautifully crafted. Rich and fancy like the silver-blooded in this novel. Then there is the red blood that drips down the side of the crown, making the silver impure. Basically, like the main character in this book, posing as someone she is not. I can’t wait to see her adapt to the silver world as she struggles internally and helps out with a rebellion. If that were me, I’d have a lot on my mind, and I can’t wait to see how it will go down. Finally, you see that the crown is overturned. I’m not positive what this means, but I’m guessing it is hinting towards the rebellion that is starting.

Lately, I have been pining for fantasy books. Not dystopian, sci-fi, or fantasy books set in a modern world. I want fantasy — a whole kingdom filled with chaos, love, and magic. Something where I can invest myself in the world-building. The cover and synopsis of Red Queen promises all that plus action and violence. It sounds like Graceling or The False King with certain differences that make it unique and original. I have never heard of a plot like this, so I’m excited. I swear, I will get my hands on a copy of this baby.

Synopsis:

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn’t know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

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Preview of New Releases this Week

July 28th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under New Releases Tags: New Releases

Sorry we haven’t been keeping up on our new release post lately, but this summer has been hectic, so I have been a little behind. It is already the end of July, which sadly means we only have one month left of summer!!! The only good thing about summer ending is that September is a huge publishing month, so we have some amazing books coming our way!!!  But there are also some really great books coming out this week as well. Let us know what ones you are most excited about!!!

Preview of New Releases for the Week of July 27th – August 2nd

    

    

    

    

    

New Books Being Re-Released in Paperback

    

 

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The Enemy Series Contest Winner

July 27th, 2014 @ 10:00 pm
Posted by Angela under Dark Faerie Tales Launch

congrats

With the help of Random.org the winner is:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will contact the winner. Hope you enjoy the books.

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