Mundie Moms

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Anastasia Forever Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

Happy release day to Joy Preble's Anastasia Forever! I'm excited to have today's blog tour stop to celebrate her book's release. Today stop is a guest post from Joy and a giveaway! 1 lucky blog follower will win all three books from Joy's series. First, here's a little bit about Anastasia Forever. 


Stories within stories. Secrets within secrets. In accepting powers from the legendary witch Baba Yaga, Anne must tackle a complex set of missions: Discover the secret of their enemy's newfound immortality; decide whether she can kill him to free her family from a vicious curse; come to terms with the magic that now resides inside her; and finally find true love with Ethan. The riveting conclusion to the trilogy that began with Dreaming Anastasia. -quoted from Goodreads

Top Ten Things to Know About Baba Yaga the Witch
Joy Preble
Author of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series, Sourcebooks
(DREAMING ANASTASIA, 2009; HAUNTED, 2011; ANASTASIA FOREVER, 2012)

  1. She is the most famous witch in Russian fairy tales/folklore.  In most (maybe all) Slavic languages, ‘Baba’ means ‘old woman.’ The ‘Yaga’ is also from Slavic roots, but it’s a bit more varied in the stories of its etymology. But the easiest way to think of her name is Grandma Yaga. In the DREAMING series, I have Anastasia refer to her as Auntie Yaga, which I thought an interesting little twist. I imagined the witch as asking her captive Anastasia to call her this, perhaps as a joke, perhaps to give Anastasia the sense that the Baba Yaga is gentle, perhaps even benign, which couldn’t be farther from the truth!

  1. Many authors have used her in their stories—from picture books like Babushka Baba Yaga by Patricia Polacco to genre fiction by Orson Scott Card and Neil Gaiman. There’s even a Buffy the Vampire Slayer novelization with Baba Yaga in it! She’s in movies, cartoons, anime… you name it and the old girl has appeared in it! My books are in very good company.

  1. Baba Yaga lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs so that it can help her evade her enemies. (This is such a great visual that it’s been taken over in other stories too. If you’ve seen the anime film, Howl’s Moving Castle, Howl’s house also runs around on chicken legs! This is the folklore that image comes from) In some stories, including mine, pikes with the skulls of her enemies surround her house like a fence. Cool, huh?  And when she travels, she rides in a huge mortar (that big black that you use to grind spices… those big black bowls they put guacamole in sometimes look like it, too!) and she stirs the air with a huge pestle. (That’s the grinding tool)

  1. The idea of ‘grinding’ from that pestle in #3 connects to another fact about Baba Yaga: her forest is a place of change and transformation. Once you enter her forest, you will not come out the same… even if you survive. Baba Yaga is all about duality both in appearance and behavior.  Like all strong women, she’s complex. She may use her considerable power for good. Or she may grind your bones and stick your head on her fence. She’s mercurial and powerful and she can’t quite be defined. I found this particularly fascinating in terms of women and power, which is definitely a motif that runs throughout the series. Societies tend to marginalize old women, to define them by beauty lost, to de-sexualize them. But Baba Yaga won’t stand for that and I love that about her. I thought about this a lot in building her backstory, which continues in ANASTASIA FOREVER. I wanted to know exactly how she became who she is when Anne meets her. Exactly why she agreed to protect Anastasia for the Brotherhood. And I loved the complexity of what developed from that!

  1. Lots of people have written amazing articles about Baba Yaga! A good place to start if you want to read more is here: http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/rrBabaYaga.html

  1. Physically, Baba Yaga is very tall. She has iron teeth and a huge nose and these enormous removable hands that detach from her body to do her bidding. I use all of these physical factors in my series.

  1. In many Baba Yaga tales, she has three horsemen who serve and protect her. Each rides a different color horse – one black, one red, and one white, reflecting different times of the day.

  1. In most of the folktales, Baba Yaga has boundaries that she cannot cross. Although I do have her appearing in Anne’s real world, this is still a factor in the DREAMING series, both literally with a river that runs through her forest as well as metaphorically in terms of Anne. There is only so much Baba Yaga can tell Anne. The rest Anne must figure out on her own terms.

  1. In her stories, she is never defeated. Ever. She always comes back!

  1. And here is how I envisioned Anastasia first talking about Baba Yaga, my version of the Vasilisa story that used in DREAMING ANASTASIA:

"In the story, there was a girl. Her name was Vasilisa, and she was very beautiful. Her parents loved her. Her life was good. But things changed. Her mother died. Her father remarried. And the new wife - well, she wasn't so fond of Vasilisa. So she sent her to the hut of the fearsome witch Baba Yaga to fetch some light for their cabin. And that was supposed to be that. For no one returned from Baba Yaga's. But Vasilisa had the doll her dying mother gave her. And the doll- because this was a fairy tale and so dolls could talk - told her what to do. Helped her get that light she came for and escape. And when Vasilisa returned home, that same light burned so brightly that it killed the wicked stepmother who sent Vasilisa to that horrible place. Vasilisa remained unharmed. She married a handsome prince. And lived happily ever after.

When I listened to my mother tell the story, I would pretend I was Vasilisa the Brave. In my imagination, I heeded the advice of the doll. I outwitted the evil Baba Yaga, the fearsome witch who kept her enemies' heads on pikes outside her hut. Who rode the skies in her mortar and howled to the heavens and skittered about on bony legs. Who ate up lost little girls with her iron teeth.

But the story was not as I imagined...."


The Giveaway:
To be entered to win a copy of Dreaming Anastasia, Haunted and Anastasia Forever, please fill out the forum below. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

43 comments:

  1. Great give away. This book looks like something I would want to read. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're so welcome! It's definitely a series I'd recommend picking up.

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  2. Thanks for the chance to win...
    sounds like a great read...
    have heard of Baba Yaga...
    would love to read more about her...

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    1. You're welcome! Good luck. What Joy does with Baba Yaga is amazing! It's definitely worth reading this series to meet her Baba Yaga.

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  3. I can't wait to read this!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  4. I've been wanting to read this series for months. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. Ooooh! I love folklore storys! I've heard a bit about Baba Yaga, and after reading you're post, I'm totally up for reading this series. Thank you for sharing this series, even if I don't win.

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    1. You're so welcome!! This series is definitely worth picking up fi you love forklore. This story has such a lore, it's fascinating and plays a huge role in the series.

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  6. I am so excited! These books sound so amazing, and I can't wait to read them. :)

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  7. Sounds like a really cool story. Thanks for the chance to read these.

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  8. These sound great with a lot of backstory. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. The backstory and lore in this series is a fabulous one!

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  9. Thank you so much. I want this!

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  10. I love this series to pieces!!! Being from St. Petersburg, i might be a bit biased hehe :-) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  11. I LOVE Russian fairy tales! Joy's books seem so awesome:) Thanks so much - great guest post!

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  12. I have the first book of the series. Would love to win this!

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  13. These books sound amazing Thanks for the giveaway

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  14. I love the history and mystery of the real-life Anastasia and find stories about her to be fascinating and quite enjoyable. Adding witchcraft and witches just add to the intrigue this story holds for me. Thx for the giveaway!

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  15. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  16. I love this series and can't wait to read Forever Anastasia! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

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  17. The book sounds good.

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  18. Baba Yaga sounds scary. I'm relieved that my mom told me less frightening bedtime stories or I never would've slept!

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  19. Thanks for the giveaway! This series sounds great! I've always been fascinated about what happened to the Romanovs.

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  20. I love that this is historical with a bit of magic mixed in! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  21. Thanks for this giveaway! faith__2@hotmail.com

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  22. Anastasia Forever sounds like a great read!
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. BOY OH BOY!!! Can't wait to read this it sounds so good. Thank you so much for the review. I have to be honest this is the first i heard of this book. So now i have a new book and Author Thanks alot Joannies jscddmj at [aol] dot [com]

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  24. Great give away. The books look like a great read.

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  25. Thank you for doing so many giveaways! I'm really enjoying your blog and you can expect me to be a constant visitor now. This book seems exciting - I can't get enough of the YA Fantasty!

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  26. awesome contest, i've been so curious about this series!

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  27. Love this series!!! Thanx for the contest.

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  28. Love this series!!! Thanx for the contest.

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  29. This series sounds really amazing! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  30. I've been interested in this series for a while now, thanks so much for the giveaway!!! :)

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