Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Adiemus by Karl Jenkins.
The idea of Monday's Muse 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.
Snow: A Retelling of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" by Tracy Lynn.
The Duchess Jessica's childhood began with a tragedy: her mother's death. Her father, heartbroken at the loss of his beloved wife, could not bear to raise the child. Largely ignored, Jessica spent the first eleven years of her life running free on the family estate, cared for only by the servants.
Then her father decides to remarry, bringing an end to Jessica's independence. At first her new stepmother just seems overly strict. But as Jessica grows into a beautiful young woman, it becomes clear that her stepmother is also wildly -- and murderously -- jealous of her.
Jessica escapes to London. Going by the name Snow to hide from her family, she falls in love with an odd band of outcasts who accept her into their makeshift family. But when her stepmother appears in the city, repentant and seeking her forgiveness, Jessica will have to decide whom to trust...with her life.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George.
Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede.
Wrede's ( Caught in Crystal ) romantic and charming retelling of the Brothers Grimm tale is the fourth in this series. In the village of Mortlak, near the river Thames, during the reign of Elizabeth I, live the Widow Arden and her two daughters, Blanche and Rosamund. The widow, who supports her family by selling herbs and making healing potions, lives in fear of being accused of witchcraft. Her daughters gather the herbs she needs, sometimes crossing into the realm of Faerie, one of whose borders lies in the forest nearby. Also residing in Mortlak is the real-life Doctor Dee, astrologer to the Queen, who with his friend Edward Kelly seeks to harness the magic of Faerie. Their efforts turn Hugh, one of the half-human sons of the queen of Faerie, into a bear. With the aid of the widow and her daughters, John, the elder Faerie prince, tries to disenchant his brother, who has crossed over to the mortal world. John is initially thwarted in his efforts by Madini, head of a faction in Faerie that seeks complete separation from the mortal domain. In putting her twist on the classic tale, Wrede uses language appropriate to the period and nicely evokes both medieval England and a magic land. - Publisher's Weekly
Snow Bound by Harry Mazer.
At fifteen, Tony Laporte is what many people would call a throughly spoiled kid. He gets away with a lot because his parents want him to have all the things they never had. But when they surprise him by refusing to let him keep a stray dog he has found, Tony decides to teach them a lesson by running off in his mother's old Plymouth. Driving without a license in the middle of a severe snowstorm, he picks up a hitchhiker named Cindy Reichert, an aloof girl who has always had difficulty forming friendships. To impress Cindy, Tony tries to show off his driving skills and ends up wrecking the car in a very desolated area far from the main highway. After spending precious days bickering with each other and waiting for rescue that never comes, they finally realize that their lives are at stake and they must cooperate to survive. The question is--can they survive?
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Fellin.
To those back in Haiti, "touching snow" means living in America. For seventh-grader Karina, however, life in suburban Chestnut Valley, NY, is far from easy. Her extended family struggles to survive in a world in which they are social and cultural outsiders, where food and shelter are still uncertain, and where a visit from the authorities can mean deportation to a much more desperate homeland. For Karina, though, the biggest threat is within her family. Her stepfather uses brutal force to dominate his wife and stepdaughters. While Karina nurtures dreams of education and connects with caring people who might help her, she is held back by a man who sees his shaky power diminished by any sign of the girls' independence. As Karina and her sisters mature, this conflict escalates to a terrible scale. The author writes with insight about the realities of immigrant life, Haitian American culture, and the double worlds inhabited by many first-generation Americans like Karina. Readers can see the compromises that family members make in the name of survival and the stresses that drive the stepfather's rage, while still holding to the truth that these girls and their mother deserve a life without violence. Although the resolution is brutal, this story is a compelling read from an important and much-needed new voice. Readers will cheer for the young narrator who is determined to step out of the role of victim and build a safe and meaningful life for herself and her family.—Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA School Library Journal
Shirahime-Syo: Snow Goddess Tales by Clamp.
Legends say that when it snows, it is because the snow princess is crying. From CLAMP, creators of Chobits and Cardcaptor Sakura, comes a collection of five tragic tales, all connected by the bond of snow. Shirahime-syo is CLAMP's return to traditional Japanese form and storytelling. Featuring luscious watercolors and gentle brushstrokes, it is a beautiful departure from CLAMP's usual fare. Discover for yourself the mystery behind the snow...