BOOK DEAL ALERT: Tales of Arilland 99 cents!

Tales of Arilland - Gelett Burgess AwardIf you haven’t snapped up this fairy tale classic for your Kindle yet, do it now while it’s only 99 cents! Share with your friends!

2015 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award Winner

In the fairy tale realm of Arilland, stories are told at children’s bedsides–and not the stories you think you know. Tales of Arilland is a collection of fairy tales, presented in the magical topsy-turvy way that only Alethea Kontis can do. Discover the story of Bluebeard’s first wife (“Blood From Stone”), what really happened to Snow White in those dark woods (“The Unicorn Hunter”), how dangerous the Little Mermaid might have been (“Blood and Water”), and just how far Little Red Riding Hood was willing to go (“Hero Worship”). Included in this collection is “Sunday,” the original novelette that inspired the award-winning novel Enchanted, as well as “The Cursed Prince,” the previously untold history of Prince Rumbold of Arilland…and more.

Woodcutter enthusiasts will rejoice at this opportunity to delve into the secret worlds beyond Kontis’s intricately woven fantasy novels. And if you are not a fan yet, you will be!

“Alethea Kontis IS fairy tales.” –Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer

“A veritable badass fairy princess.” –Jim Butcher

“Alethea Kontis: Awesome, racks up award nominations, wears tiaras.” –SF author Ferrett Steinmetz

Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content!

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SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE! April Short Story Workshop for Teens

alethea-class-640x320I am honored to be surrounded by the most amazing people.

Of all the jobs I’ve had in my life–and there have been some amazing ones–I miss my tenure at YAS (the Youth After School program in Northern Virginia) the most. (Yes, I really did work for Parks and Rec. I still have all my polos!)

“I miss working with those kids so much,” I lamented to Tempest.

“Then why don’t you teach an online short story workshop for teens?” she asked.

Almost as soon as the words left her mouth, the announcement existed on Eventbrite. The event got shared a bazillion times. And donations for scholarships came rolling in! We now have over a dozen scholarships available for students: including students of color, black students, and LGBTQ students! (Interested students, apply here!)

The craziest part? I now have enough scholarships to stretch across three or four workshops. The prospect of continuing this venture brings me so much joy! But more importantly: I need students.

If you are or know of a young writer aged 13-19, please share this post with them! The first class technically starts on April 1st, but that’s just when the short stories are due. We’ll start talking in an online group the following Sunday, and each Sunday after that. Since it’s an intimate class this first time around (so far), we’ll pick a time on Sundays that works for everyone.

It has been suggested that I hold the next Teen Short Story workshop in June, when school is over for most teens…so keep your eyes peeled for announcements!



This writing workshop for young adults aged 13 to 19 will give students the opportunity for in-depth critiques on short fiction from YA, middle grade, and picture book author Alethea Kontis. Participants will learn how to critique and how to incorporate feedback from critiques for revision in a respectful and serious environment that prioritizes craft, community, and commitment to writing.

The workshop begins April 1 and goes through April 29, 2018.

In addition to giving and receiving critique, writers will take part in discussions about publishing, character development, structure, narrative voice, and other elements of short fiction.

Students may workshop original fiction or fanfiction from any genre: fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, mystery, or literary.

Critique Sessions and Live Q&A will take place on Sunday April 8, 15, 22, and 29. There is no live session on April 1 (Easter). If you cannot make all of the live sessions you can still participate in this class. Writers must be present for their own critique and scheduling for the live sessions will take your availability into account. All peer critiques are due on Sundays.

This class is for any person aged 13 to 19 who has an interest in writing fiction and has at least one complete story to workshop. Stories should be 500 to 8,000 words. It doesn’t have to be polished (that’s what we’re here to help you do!) but it must have a beginning, middle, and end. All stories must be ready to turn in by March 31st.

All members of this workshop will have the opportunity to attend the “Steal Like A Pro – Writing Fiction Inspired By Other People’s Worlds (And How To Make It Your Own)” seminar with Alethea on April 14 for free (optional).


There is finaicial aid available for stuents who cannot afford the class. We will award up to six scholarships for this class.

Technical Requiements

Live Critique and Q&A sessions will take place over Zoom Video Conference software, which is free to download. To participate, students must have a microphone. A webcam is helpful, but not necessary.

Students must have or have access to a Google account/Gmail. Stories will be uploaded to a private Google Drive folder for critique. Discussion will take place on a private Google Groups mailing list.



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What’s Your Damage, Heather?

Heather HaydenIt’s been a while since I’ve sat down with my friend Nick Kaufmann, so it was lovely to be invited onto his blog to chat about what I felt was “The Scariest Part” of Besphinxed.

I know what you’re thinking: “But Besphinxed is a paranormal rom-com, not a horror! There’s some conflict and tension, sure…but the book isn’t SCARY.”

And this is where I say: Just because a book or story isn’t a horror, that doesn’t mean I didn’t scare myself while writing it.

So what was “The Scariest Part” of Besphinxed for me? Click here to read and find out!

Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content!

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Alethea Narrates: My Generations Shall Praise (Escape Pod 616)

Henderson and Kontis

“My Generations Shall Praise”: Author Samantha Henderson and Narrator Alethea Kontis

Samantha Henderson’s “My Generations Shall Praise” was first published in Interzone, November 2016, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction 34, edited by Gardner Dozois.

I think maybe the editors were worried I wouldn’t want to do this performance–it’s a dark one. The MC is a baby-killing sociopath on death row, about to have her brain erased and mapped over by an affluent relation dying of cancer.

But as an actress…WOW. What a voice this character has! This might be my best performance so far.

Moreover: I think Katy would be excessively proud of me.

Click here to listen:

CONTENT WARNING: Contains frequent class-one cursing (f-bombs and the like), graphic description of murder, somewhat less graphic description of sexual assault, and bad parenting. Not for young ears.

Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content! (Including audio bits…)

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ICYMI: February 2018

Happy March, everyone!


I had three releases in February. Did you get them all?

Feb 2018 3 Releases

I also did a quick interview with Literary Escapism that went live at the 11th hour right before Coastal Magic Con…you might have missed this one, because I almost missed it myself! Click here to check it out.

In the wake of Coastal Magic, I’ll be catching up on a lot this week, including essays and goodies for my Patrons. I am only $150 away from hitting my next Milestone Goal! (Which includes EXCLUSIVE PRESENTS FOR EVERYONE, BTW) Won’t you help me get there? Even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content!

Support Your Local Princess today!


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Interview With the Goblin Princess

Once_Upon_a_QuestBlackbird Publishing interviewed me about my story “The Goblin and the Treasure,” my contribution to the new anthology Once Upon a Quest.

The story is based on a fairy tale most people have forgotten (or never knew in the first place): “The Goblin and the Grocer” from Andrew Lang’s Pink Fairy Book. I have always loved the message of this tale, which is essentially about how books can magically change one’s life for the better.

My heroine, however, is based on this AWESOME cover. Kira Kobold is one of the youngest soldiers who fought (unwillingly) in the Evil Queen’s army. Now that the war is at an end, the only work for someone like her is if she’s lucky enough to be chosen for a quest by the High Wizard Zelwynn.

Which she is, of course, along with a growly ogress, a surly dwarf, a dimwitted troll, and an overly optimistic goblin. This wasn’t exactly the quest she was looking for…but often the treasures we seek are not the ones we find in the end.

CLICK HERE to read the interview!

There’s more about this story, about me, and about what you can look forward to in the VERY NEAR FUTURE…

Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content!

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“Hello, my name is…”

Everybody gets the story this month—Patrons and blog readers and social media followers alike. Everybody. Because I’m the Princess, and I said so.
Hello, My Name Is…
Katy. Simi. Justin. Ursula. Dallas. Kathryn. Bill. An unconscionable amount of good people have left this world since my birthday in January. Want to know the worst part? I feel like I’m forgetting someone. Literally so many people in my life died in the last month that I lost count. 
I light a lot of candles these days. 
Katy died on my birthday. Bianca had whisked me away to Paradise City con in Miami by the time I got the news, so there was no time to grieve. Quincy Allen was around that weekend to provide bear hugs whenever I needed. I left the booth to cry in the bathroom the few times Leanna texted me, but I didn’t respond to her. I was not ready for that conversation. I did not want to “talk to anyone.” I had work to do. So I did it. 
I needed time to think about what sort of farewell I could write to my Audio Dream Girl. I still can’t manage it. There’s just so much to unpack. So much to process. Too much. And now, several weeks later, we’re four or five deaths down the line. 
I feel this way in my career sometimes. The to-do list becomes overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Logic dictates that I begin with the first item on the list. But that’s not always the thing “speaks to me,” as Sherri Kenyon is so fond of saying. 
Bianca and I were at Orlando Toy & Comic Con when Kathryn went into the hospital. That con only lasted one day, so I was home when she didn’t make it through the second round of surgery. I had time to pray for Kathryn. I had time to grieve. I had time to cry, and scream at the world, and cry again. I cried a lot.
I cried so hard that Tempest came in the room and just hugged me for a while. I told her how mad I was…and how I didn’t feel like I even had the right to be weeping over Kathryn, since I hadn’t had the time to properly grieve for Katy yet. 
Alethea,” she said to me in that no-nonsense Tempest tone of hers. “That’s not how grief works.”
She was right, of course. I so desperately wanted to apply logic to this whole situation. But Feelings took Logic and laughed maniacally while tossing it out the window. 
But that’s me in a nutshell, isn’t it? The perfect fictional offspring of Mr. Spock and Deanna Troi. Though lately I’ve been wondering if I’m going to evolve into the Mad Hatter instead. Maybe I already have.
I don’t know what to say about Kathryn yet either—as Leanna pointed out this morning, we’ll probably have to wait for Dragon Con for those words and feelings to make themselves known to both of us. Kathryn’s spirit will be with us in the Green Room, no doubt about that. 
But Bill…I do have a story about Bill. A funny story. A story that pertains to writing. So everybody gets the story this month—Patrons and blog readers and social media followers—EVERYBODY. And to hell with logic. Because I said so. 
AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First released in the summer of 2006. My very first “appearance” was an official Author Event at Ingram. I’d been an Ingram Book Buyer for six years at that point, and I had attended every Author Event. Every single one. Being able to meet bestselling and debut authors from all walks of life, each at varying stages in their careers—it was the publishing education I never had. 
I also made a lot of friends at Ingram in those six years. I was known far and wide for the Happy Holidays mix-CD I made every December and inter-officed to just about everyone in the company. I learned that the more friends one had at a giant corporation like Ingram, the faster one could get things done. 
So I made a lot of friends. And I did a lot of things. It was incredible amounts of fun. I was the Miss Congeniality of Bookville. 
One of those friends was Susan, the woman in charge of Author Events. The day before my AlphaOops appearance, we had a very important conversation. 
“Susan,” I said. “I need you on Post-its.”
Post-its are a very important thing at Author Events. After the author gives his or her talk, the audience lines up to get their books signed. (Everyone in the audience at Ingram receives a signed book.) One person stands ahead of the signing table, armed with a pad of Post-its. They ask, “Who would you like the book signed to?” They write the name down, spell it properly, and stick it opposite the title page.
In elementary school I was known as “The girl who stars in every play and that PBS show on TV.” People often know my name, but I don’t always know theirs. It’s the down side of a reputation that precedes you.
There were going to be a bunch of people at this Author Event who knew me, but whose names I didn’t know, or who I blanked out on in the heat of OMGBOOKSIGNING. (To this day, I still ask my best friends how to spell their names when signing their books.) I had nightmares of scores of people saying, “Just sign this to me,” as I sat there with zero clue as to who they were. I knew it was going to happen. I just KNEW. So I tried to prepare myself the best way possible: with Susan. 
“I’m on it,” she said.
I had one of most well-attended Author Events in Ingram history. Bigger than Johnnie Cochran. Bigger than Dave Ramsey. Bigger than Al and Tipper Gore. There was standing room only, and people out the door. I told the story of AlphaOops, how it came to be, and how the title was originally The Telaphab from Z to A
“My poor mom and I made so many beaded bracelets with the word ‘TELAPHAB’ on them,” I lamented, and about fifteen people across the auditorium raised their hands. 
They were all wearing TELAPHAB bracelets. 
I was so touched, I almost cried. But I didn’t, because I had work to do. After the round of thunderous applause I walked over to the signing table, already piled high with books. Susan stood at the ready, armed with Post-its and a smile, and we made that signing happen. I signed over a hundred and fifty books that afternoon, and I spelled everyone’s name correctly. 
Later that day, flush with triumph and riding high on the wave of a job well done, I grinned as one of the artists from the ad department stopped by my desk. 
“Hey,” he said. “I couldn’t make it to your event earlier, but I had someone snag me a book. Could you sign it for me?”
“Of course!” I said chipperly, taking out my signing pens. But inside I was freaking out. Because I had no clue what this guy’s name was. 
Book Buyers had no business in the ad department, and the artists almost never left their magical, dimly-lit caves lined with twinkle lights. I recognized him, of course—he was the tall, handsome, really nice one. But what was his name?? I tried to remember where we might’ve met, or at what company function I had seen him last. Nothing. Nothing
“To whom shall I sign it?” If I was really lucky, the book would be for his daughter or something. 
And then those dreaded words left his mouth. “Oh, just to me is fine.”
I opened the book and uncapped a marker. My hand hovered over the page as if I were trying to conjure the perfect inscription. What went through my mind instead was actually a lot of cursing, followed by HOW THE HECK DO I GET OUT OF THIS???
I couldn’t sign this man’s book. I couldn’t. I was just going to have to own up to my ignorance. 
“How do you spell that again?” I asked sheepishly. 
“Bill,” he said. “B-I-L-L.”
Yup. Bill. 
Oh my god, I freaking knew that. I mean, I didn’t know, but I knew. And now I was just embarrassed. I felt my cheeks flush all over again as I bent over to sign the page. 
“Well, hey, Bil Keane only has one L,” I blurted awkwardly. 
Bill Elliott was an artist. He’d know exactly who Bil Keane was. Score one for the nerd girl who read everything she could get her hands on: every single TV guide article, cereal box, and newspaper comic strip—including The Family Circus
I didn’t have a lot of interactions with Bill after that, but I never forgot him after that day. I made sure he got a Happy Holiday CD every year, and every year I was the recipient of one of his original Christmas cards, even after I left the company. 
When Bill was sent home to rest, before the cancer snapped back with a vengeance that surprised even his doctors, Bill drew a new card to thank all of his friends and family for the support they had shown him during his illness. 
IMG_7060The last card. 
But Bill’s message of thanks is universal—it’s what I would say to all of you—my friends, my family—who have supported my artistic endeavors in the past and who continue to support me still. 
Thank you for being one of my reasons to smile. Your compassion and generosity continue to touch my heart in ways I cannot put into words. May your life always be filled with love, laughter, and peace. 
I love you all—every single one of you—right down the the bottom of my illogical, overly-emotional, crazy-filled, tea-drinking heart. 
I will be writing a follow-up essay for my Royal Scholars (after I stop crying) that includes some tips on how to deal with the “Just make it out to me” situation, from both sides of the signing table. If you are not yet a Patron of the Wonderful World of Princess Alethea, I highly encourage you to come join the fun!
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NEW RELEASE ALERT–The Glass Mountain” A Tale of Arilland

Happy book birthday to The Glass Mountain! The first in a long line of books for both me and Bianca to sign at conventions…

On the way to her wedding, brave and clever Princess Sabine falls into a Glass Mountain, where she is trapped with a crotchety, smelly man she calls “Old Rinkrank.” The two form a unique, unlikely friendship while working to escape.

Alethea Kontis’s take on this classic Grimms’ fairy tale is a dark, yet optimistic novelette of magic, mystery, and love.


Preorder e-book and paperback: Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iTunes

Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content!

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FREE BOOK ALERT! (Also, Enter to Win 45+ Chick Lit Novels)

Love to read romantic comedy & chick lit?

Enjoy the chance to win 49 romantic comedy & chick lit novels from your favorite award-winning and bestselling authors, plus a brand new Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet!

You’ll also receive a collection of free ebooks just for joining!

Check out all the book covers here!

The Grand Prize winner receives an e-reader and all participating books. One runner-up receives all books.

This is the last day to enter! Participating is easy — just CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!


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My Coastal Magic 2018 Schedule

cmccTHIS THURSDAY kicks off the weekend we’ve been waiting for all winter long–Coastal Magic Con in Daytona Beach, FL! Dance parties, fun and games, and the opportunity to hang out with some of my closest writer friends ON THE BEACH!

Here’s my schedule for the weekend. (Between panels, you can find me at Leanna Renee Hieber’s vendor table.)


Thursday, Feb 22

4:30-6:30pm — Welcome Mingle

Friday, Feb 23

11:30am — Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow (feat. Leanna Renee Hieber, Mari Mancusi, Eric Asher, Deborah Blake, and Piper J. Drake)

4:00pm — Paranormal Author Meet & Greet (w/Leanna Renee Heiber & Mari Mancusi)

Saturday, Feb 24

9:00am — Hear, Here! (Audiobooks)

11:30am — Kids Just Wanna Have Fun (Shenanigans and Substance in YA)

12:30pm — Lunch with an Author

4:00-6:00pm — Pubic Book Sale / Signing (The Shores Resort & Spa Daytona Beach, FL)


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