Monday's Muse, 11th edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Country Idyll by Mannheim Steamroller.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner.

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

Janni Lee Simner brings the fierce romance and violent passions of Iceland's medieval sagas into this twenty-first-century novel, with spellbinding results.

Temping Fate by Esther Friesner.

Ilana, who favors t-shirts that read "Orc: The Other Green Meat," can't find a summer job in her "white-bread-and-vanilla" Connecticut town. Then she signs up with Divine Relief Temps, whose truly divine client roster includes Greek gods and goddesses. Her first assignment? Typing death certificates for the Fates. While Ilana adjusts to the impossible facts of her new job, home brings its own chaos; her sister, Dyllin, has mysteriously transformed into a full-blown bridezilla in preparation for her upcoming wedding. The story's pacing is uneven, disparate elements aren't always well-integrated, and lengthy passages of dialogue may slow some readers. Still, the clever, brash concept will easily draw teens. Readers will find lots that's familiar and likable about sardonic, vulnerable Ilana as she wrestles with gods and agonizes over moments of social awkwardness: "I put my foot in my mouth so much, everything tastes like toenails." For more irreverent fantasies about classical gods and contemporary teens, suggest Clea Hantman's Heaven Sent (2001) and Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief (2005). Gillian Engberg Copyright © American Library Association.

The Chronicles of Anaedor-The Prophecies by Kristina Schram.

THE GIRL ABOVE... Strange things happen to fifteen-year-old Lavida Mors. Maybe that's why her father sends her away to Portal Manor, a mysterious family estate she has never seen. Lavida quickly discovers that not everything at Portal Manor is as it seems when she stumbles across a secret passage to a hidden world--Anaedor. THE WORLD BELOW... Anaedor lies deep beneath the surface, separated from humanity, populated by mythical creatures. Long ago, ignorant humans, frightened by the powers of these magical and strange beings, forced them to flee to this dark world of huge caverns, frigid rivers and deep pits. It is these same creatures who take Lavida captive, forcing her to realize there might have been very good reasons for humans to be afraid. THE PROPHECY BINDS THEM... Malevolent forces, led by the evil Malvado, seek to control all of Anaedor, but an ancient prophecy tells of a hero who will save these denizens of the deep. While trying to escape the dark realm with the help of her friends, Lavida must battle overgrown sharp-toothed leeches, survive a poison arrow and outwit a giant, all the while trying to convince the hopeful populace of Anaedor that she is not the savior they believe her to be.

Serendipity Market by Penny Blubaugh.

Stories make the world go around in Blubaugh’s debut novel. Sometimes, when the world tilts off its axis, only the magical power of story can put things back to right. That’s where Mama Inez steps in. Using her gift of entering people’s lives in subtle yet mysterious ways, she gathers an eclectic group together for a night of storytelling. Each invited guest provides a talisman and a story, and together they set the world back to its rightful state. Weaving together unique variants of traditional tales, such as The Princess and the Pea, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and Cinderella, this beautiful novel will be a delight to those who enjoy spin-offs of fairy tales and folktales. Readers will find themselves flipping back and forth to figure out how all the different stories hidden in the fold come together to form the greater whole of this charming book. --Melanie Koss

Tomorrow's Magic by Pamela F. Service.

It's 500 years after the nuclear holocaust that devastated the earth's population and left the few survivors dealing with unending winter. At their remote British boarding school, Wellington Jones and Heather McKenna
have a lot in common. Both are misfits trying to avoid attention, and both are fascinated by Earl, a tall, calm, older boy with no recollection of his past, but a remarkable knack for showing up when he is needed most.

When a blow to the head brings Earl's memory back, he claims that he is actually Merlin . . . a 2000-year-old wizard.

Originally published in two volumes in the mid-1980s, Pamela F. Service's creative, futuristic spin on the Camelot legend will appeal to Arthurian purists and fantasy lovers alike.


NotNessie said...

"Ilana, who favors t-shirts that read "Orc: The Other Green Meat,"

I don't need to read any more of the description. I want to read the book just based on that character description. lol

Vivian said...

This is cool. I've never heard of these books. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

Heather Zundel said...

Not Nesstie - I know, that one line totally sold me on that book. Now I have to see if that shirt really exists.

Vivian - This is becoming one of my favorite features. If you haven't heard of any of them, then I'm doing my job right. :)