I often get asked, “Alethea, which of your books should I start with?” This is a legitimate question. I’ve published a LOT of stuff. It’s too easy to tell you to jump in anywhere, but you can! Whatever you like and however you’re feeling that day…whatever strikes your fancy. Just go for it.
However, some folks need more guidance. So here are the best answers I have to give.
1.) AlphaOops The Day Z Went First — one of the best baby shower gifts of all time! The first AlphaOops book is my oldest published book and still my most beloved. Appropriate for children of all ages, it has jokes on multiple levels. (Seriously. The kindergartners don’t get the potty joke, but the second graders LOVE it!) When parents purchase a copy from me, I go ahead and apologize for the 100th time they’ll read it to their child.
2.) Enchanted — this is the book of my heart. It will always be the book of my heart. There is a reason that I’ve written a million short stories set in Arilland, and there will doubtless be a million more to come. Enchanted was selected for World Book Night and won multiple awards (the only reason it didn’t win more was because it came out the same year as A Fault in Our Stars). The ONLY reason I would hesitate to recommend this book is because it was meant to be the first book in a seven book series…and due to restructuring at the publisher, it stopped at three. I do still dream of writing and publishing the rest of the Woodcutter Sisters one day (it’s the reason I launched my Patreon). More details on that can be read HERE.
3.) The Truth About Cats and Wolves — I love my Harmswood Academy trilogy SO MUCH! And for so many reasons. First off, Kai Xanthopoulos was the first Greek girl I’ve ever had as a protagonist. (Of course, her parents manage the best diner in town!) Secondly, it’s set in Nocturne Falls, a town that’s like DragonCon 24/7 to mask the fact that witches and werewolves really exist. And while the sequel might be my favorite (When Tinker Met Bell), most folks love the third book, Besphinxed, which won the Scribe Award in 2019. There’s also a bonus novelette, too, in the Merry and Bright anthology—it’s called “The Meddlesome Misadventures of Merri and Bright.” (You don’t want to miss that!) Especially great during the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Midwinter/Spring season!
Now…the next question I get asked a lot is, “Is your book appropriate for [my child]? They are X years old.”
This is a far more difficult question for me to answer, because I do not know the reading level and maturity of said child, and I have no idea what the person asking me the question deems “appropriate.”
I started reading at the age of 3. I was reading unabridged fairy tales by the age of 8. By the age of 12, I started reading romance novels. I never liked horror stories, because I didn’t like being scared. My mother NEVER censored the books I read, because I was an incredibly mature reader, and she trusted my choices.
As we are all well aware by now, I am not like most people. Thusly, I am a really bad judge of what books are “appropriate” for what age group.
But I can tell you that:
—Enchanted has an AR of 5.4.
—Jane Yolen said my novels skew “very young teen.”
—My books are probably always going to contain adventure, humor, intrigue, thrills, fairy tale violence, characters too smart for their own good, and kissing. (I call this the “Princess Bride” genre.)
—My short stories are far more likely to skew toward the dark/gruesome…but also darkly optimistic.
Hopefully, based on this criteria, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Thank you for your time, your interest, and your continued support. Much love and many hugs!