Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Blog Tour: Very Superstitious Anthology

Title: Very Superstitious
Author: Various Authors
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: 15th October 2013
Purchase Links: Kobo|Amazon USA

Tell Me About It
The stories are based on urban legends, myths, tribal tales and superstitions from around the world. A charity anthology to benefit SPCA International with stories by Shannon Delany, Jackie Morse Kessler, Stephanie Kuehnert, Jennifer Knight, Marianne Mancusi, Michelle E. Reed, Dianne Salerni and Pab Sungenis.

Very Superstitious is an anthology perfect for a Halloween read. With story's from a Chupacabra, to a twist on the story of Noah. From a ghost hitch-hiker to a Silverfoot Heretic, and this is the story I am going to focus on for this review.
The Silverfoot Heretic is written by Pab Sungenis.  Nick the protagonist comes from a family with a long line of being Tin men, and Nick thought he would follow that line, until he was tested and became a Monk.  However with no flowers to be found, and the dry ground it is soon made clear that Nick and the tribe he belongs to must begin to think about moving to another location.  When the third sign comes to pass it is up to Nick, now a Crow, the leader of the tribe, to make the decision to move.

The Silverfoot Heretic is a twist on the Wizard of Oz. Each person is chosen for a reason, Line-Men, Crow, each person has their own destiny.  This tribe has been fed stories about the Wizard of Oz, from the very first people, right down to Nick, and it is up to each Crow what to tell the tribe members.  Keep the secret or carry on the lie.

This is the first time I have heard of Pab and also read their work, and I really enjoyed The Silverfoot Heretic.  I loved how the words were changed and adapted, scarecrow became Crow, lion men became line-men, etc to make a well known movie and story fit into The Silverfoot Heretic, it makes this short story unique but familiar at the same time.
At the end of The Silverfoot Heretic you find out that the history of the tribe isn't as important as you thought, that it's about making choices, not for you but for everyone who believes in you, who puts their trust in you, and overall, what is best for them.
Especially when it's all you have, hope is enough.

As a complete book I enjoyed the variety of different stories and authors in the pages. Some of the authors I had not heard or, some of them I had not read any of their work, and Very Superstitious gives you the chance to sample their work and get a feel for the author.  Very Superstitious was a quick but enjoyable read.

To find out where else this tour stops at, check out the schedule here.  To find out more about the author Pab Sungenis, to read his guest post, and enter the giveaway, keep reading.

About Pab
Born in the swamps of Southern New Jersey, Pab Sungenis developed a childhood fascination with cartooning and drew a daily strip for his own amusement for two years before realizing he couldn’t draw. He wound up in broadcasting, worked for numerous stations including WSBU, WOND, WMGM, WSKR, WBNJ, WWBZ, and WKTU. He describes his drawing ability as like that of “a mentally challenged rhinoceros on a Ny-Quil bender”, but thanks to the wonders of photo-manipulation and computer image editing, on February 8, 2006 he found himself creating The New Adventures of Queen Victoria, which has appeared ever since, first on, and now in online syndication with Pab Sungenis is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to SIDEKICK: THE MISADVENTURES OF THE NEW SCARLET KNIGHT.

Connect: Website|Twitter

Guest Post by Pab Sungenis: Superstitions

I come from a long line of superstitious people, probably descended from the very first human who realized that if he did one thing, another thing was bound to happen afterward. This has influenced my life in many ways.
My first real introduction to superstition was my paternal grandfather, who always had to exit a building through the door (or at least the doorway) he came in among other idiosyncrasies. He also was the person who got me interested in baseball, whose players are among the most superstitious creatures ever created, so he can be considered the source of most of the superstitions I carry around on my back.
While some people start shedding superstitions when they grow older, I have picked up more and more as time goes on. My work as a director and playwright puts me in regular contact with one of the few groups as superstitious as baseball players: actors. If you ever want to hear about some fascinating superstitions just talk to actors. It goes beyond the tradition of not mentioning that Shakespeare play with all the witches and kilts while in a theater. There’s no whistling while in the building, sneezing is warded off with elaborate hand gestures, lucky coins are kept in pockets or more uncomfortable places, and you never leave a stage completely dark even when the building is empty lest you offend the ghosts. I’ve had people inform me that the less-successful productions I’ve worked on were sabotaged by fate because I’ve dared to have three lit candles on stage at once (as opposed to two or four, which are safe numbers) or because my cast gave me flowers for opening night that hadn’t been stolen from a graveyard among other excuses.
My superstitious nature bleeds over into my writing in many ways. My first novel had a protagonist named Jake (even though he never mentioned his name in the text), so ever since then I’ve had to include at least one character, preferably a male, whose name starts with “J” somewhere along the way. Even if I never mention that character by name or end up cutting the chapter or scene where that character is, there is a Jasper or Jason or Johnny somewhere in the story.
I have to work a song lyric (or a reference to one) into every manuscript. This dates back to one still-unpublished manuscript where I named a character Oliver just so I could entitle a chapter “Oliver’s Army is on their way.” There were actually two in Sidekick: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight; one chapter title is “You Can’t Get to Heaven on the Frankford El” (from a song by the American Dream), and I’ll leave it to you to find the other. If I don’t hide a lyric in the text, then I feel I haven’t done the job on that manuscript.
I also try to insert at least one new or obscure word or phrase into every manuscript, hoping that eventually one will catch on. I started doing this to help give characters distinct vocal mannerisms but eventually it just became something I had to do. The one I’ve had the most luck with is also in Sidekick. On a long road trip several years ago, I was listening to the audiobook of Carl Hiaasen’s Skinny Dip where a character responds to the question of how their day has been by saying “electrifying.” My nerve-deaf ears compounded with reader’s accent, the sounds of the road, and an iPod playing the book on “faster” mode heard that as “a little north of fine.” Loving the sound of it I slipped that into the manuscript and started using “a little north of” occasionally while talking to people instead of “slightly more than” or “slightly better than.” When I heard someone else use that phrase earlier this year, I knew my work had not been in vain.
How I write is as much a product of superstition as what I write. I find that I’m more productive if I’m writing on my laptop on a card table instead of my desk, so that’s how I prefer to bang out the words. If I’m going to have a successful session, I have to make sure that the house is completely empty or that no one else is awake while I write. I need to keep a bottle of Coca-Cola or Pepsi handy if I plan to write more than 1,000 words in a sitting, even if I don’t end up drinking it. I have to have music handy to distract me if I feel my mind starting to wander. And I will obsessively count words as I go along. For example, this sentence brings me to 792, which is a respectable number if I do say so myself.
Finally, even with all of the superstitions I “live by” in the writing world, there is one that is more important than all the others: I have to, at least once during every project, break the “rules” I go by. After all, if you don’t tempt fate then you can’t be great. Whether it’s something that has to be included in the text or something I have to do or have while writing, somewhere along the way in each project I will consciously disregard one superstition in the hopes of achieving greatness.
How many of you are picking up your copies of Sidekick right now looking for the “J” name? Gotcha.

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DIANNE K. SALERNI is a fifth grade teacher by day and a writer by night. She's the author of YA historical novels, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks) and The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH), and a forthcoming MG fantasy series, The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014).

The Caged Graves is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and We Hear the Dead was the inspiration for a 10 minute short film, The Spirit Game, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

In her spare time, Dianne is prone to hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Shannon Delany's newest novel, WEATHER WITCH (St. Martin's Press) is already available for pre-order (which both stuns and delights Delany)!

Shannon Delany has written stories since she was a child. She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through .

Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a contract for a series about her 13 to Life characters. She expanded on the cell phone novel version, adding the subplots and characters she didn’t have time to during the contest. As paranormal as werewolves seem, the grief Shannon used to build Jess’s character is something she personally experienced with the loss of her own mother. Focusing on Jess and Pietr’s story of loss, love and dramatic and dangerous changes, Shannon came to better grips with her own struggle. The resulting novel has earned her blurbs from authors she respects most.

The first novel in Shannon’s YA paranormal series, 13 to Life, debuted June 22, 2010, and was followed by Secrets and Shadows, Bargains and Betrayals, Destiny and Deception, and the Rivals and Retribution (August 2012).

Shannon has also debuted with interactive science fiction in her short story ("To Hel and Back") for Spirited: 13 to Haunting Tales (Leap Books) and will make her high fantasy debut with Month 9 Books' charity anthology titled Two and Twenty Dark Tales (October 2012, "Pieces of Eight" with musician Max Scialdone).

Shannon's new series (a steampunk trilogy titled WEATHER WITCH, also with St. Martin's Press) will launch June 25, 2013.

Previously a teacher and now a farmer raising heritage livestock, Shannon lives and writes in Upstate New York and enjoys traveling to talk to people about most anything.

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STEPHANIE KUEHNERT got her start writing bad poetry about unrequited love and razor blades in eighth grade. In high school, she discovered punk rock and produced several D.I.Y. feminist 'zines. After short stints in Ohio and Wisconsin, Stephanie ultimately returned home and received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago. She currently resides in Forest Park, IL.

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Hi. I’m Jen. I am twenty-two years old and live in Miami, Florida with my family. I’m a lifelong lover of books, romance and anything even vaguely supernatural. Except zombies. Zombies scare me.

I started writing in college after trying and failing to find a major. It was all I really knew how to do and since school was going nowhere, I threw myself into it. I wrote my first book in a matter of months and watched it go up in flames.

Smoldering, but still determined to make this writing thing work, I moved on to something completely different. Werewolves! Love them. Who doesn’t? I wrote the first draft of Blood on the Moon in about two months, during which I locked myself in my room and thought about teeth and moons and kissing.

I must have done something right, because Running Press bought my book and now you’re here reading this. I guess that means you liked the book. Yay! If I had a cookie, I’d totally give it to you. You deserve it.

Anyway, now that Blood on the Moon is done, I’m writing the sequel. And also some other stuff that hopefully you’ll see one day.

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Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)

Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.

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Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.

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Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession --journalism -- instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults.

When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure--videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin , Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and their dog Mesquite. You can find Mari online at

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