November 1, 2012

Blog Tour: Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes – Mini Review and Interview with C. Lee McKenzie with G!veaway


Hey all!  Thanks for stopping by the blog for our stop on the

Two and Twendy Dark Tales Blog Tour

presented by Month 9 Books!

Today, we are so thrilled to have one of the fabulous authors
of this amazing anthology of
Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes!

C. Lee McKenzie, author of Alligators Overhead, and provided the retelling for
Blinkin’ Winkin’ and Nod,
which by the way, was one of the more memorable stories in this book!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales:
Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Publication Date:  October 16, 2012
Publisher:   Month 9 Books

Creepy stories should have creepy music!  Here ya go!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

 Two and Twenty Dark Tales:  Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes was a very interesting read, to say the least.  The Mother Goose rhymes that we all know and grew up with are completely revamped and retold in different ways that totally mess with your mind, and will have you looking at these rhymes in a completely different way.   And many of them are re-done in such a way that you really will not forget them.  They will sit in your mind, and worm its way right to the core and have you shudder.  Loved it!

I always have a hard time reading anthologies.  The stories are too short, and I’m always left with questions, and needing more.  Yes, you will find that here BUT the stories are done in such a way that what is given to you is exactly all that you need.  It gets right down to the nitty gritty, and totally messes with your mind.  I walked away shaking my head and praising the authors in this anthology.  The way in which they are all able to take a simple verse or story and give it a totally dark twist.  It baffles my mind how they can come up with this totally twisted version of the story.  How did they come up with it?  How did the idea even come about?  How could you possibly come up with that story from the little that you have in front of you?  Amazing.  Truly…

One that sticks out in my mind, and that is actually from the author that we are featuring on the blog today, C. Lee McKenzie, author of Alligators Overhead, is Into the Sea of Dew based on Blinkin’ Winkin’ and Nod.  The nursery rhyme basically is about a trio of fishermen who set sail in a wooden shoe, and it’s pretty much a mother who sings this lullaby to her child before bed.  All sweet, and loving, and warm feely goodness, right?  BAM!  Enter C. Lee McKenzie, and this little trio of fishermen are students stranded out at sea, and talks about how they try to survive.  The imagery I found in this one short story was phenomenal.  I was swept away and felt like I was on the raft with these kids.  We were given a very close glimpse of what goes on the minds of these teens, and how far they go to try and survive.  Gah, you guys!  Seriously, you need to read this one.  You won’t forget it!  It will be seared into your mind…


Thank you so much for stopping by Ms. McKenzie!

1  – What was your initial reaction when  you were asked to be a part of  this amazing anthology?

I  was very excited and a little scared  because I know how hard it is write  a short story. I wanted to create  one that would enhance the collection,  not detract from it, so I guess I  felt some pressure about that.  


2  – Do you have a favorite Mother  Goose rhyme?  Why is that one your  favorite?

Oy,  there were many, but I remember Hickory  Dickory Dock as one I kept asking  to be read aloud until I’d memorized  it. It was so catchy that I loved  saying it over and over. Then, of  course, I could pretend to be reading  the words during story time. I think  that’s probably how I did learn to  read, so it was my favorite when  I was little. Interesting that when I  was asked to choose a rhyme to write  about for this anthology, I immediately  thought of Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod and  not Hickory Dickory Dock. If I had  a shrink I’d ask her about that.


3  – How do you feel about the darker  twist in the Mother Goose rhymes in  Two and Twenty Dark Tales?

I  like playing with ideas and words, so  taking something that was so much a  part of my early life and putting  a new twist on it was an interesting  challenge. I was eager to find out  how each of us would handle that  task.


4  – Apart from your own, which story  in Two and Twenty Dark Tales did  you enjoy reading the most, and why?

That’s  putting me on the spot. First, I  have to admit that I haven’t had  time to read all of the stories yet.  Of those I have read, I’ve liked  so many that I can’t choose just  one as the most enjoyable. What I  will say is that each is unique in  style and approach, so as I read  them I’m very impressed by this collection.  


5  – We know that you are one of  the awesome authors featured in Two and  Twenty Dark Tales.  Can you tell  us a little bit about the other books  you have written?

My  first young adult, Sliding on the Edge,  is about a sixteen year old girl  who cuts herself. Abandoned by her mother,  she flees Las Vegas to find a grandmother  she’s never  met. It’s the grandmother  and a neglected horse that are the  girl last hope. 

The  Princess of Las Pulgas is about a  family that loses everything and has to  start over. Starting over is really hard  on sixteen year old Carlie who has  to change schools in her junior year,  leaving her prestigious school and going  to a working class one where the  student body is very different. She earns  the nickname Princess because kids think  she’s stuck up.

I  just published my first Middle Grade book,  called Alligators OverheadIt’s an adventure  fantasy with two boys who team up  to save some witches and a swamp.  That’s been fun to write, and I’m  pleased that the reviews are good. I’ve  never published an MG before.


6  – What book(s) influenced you into wanting  to be an author?

There  were so many. I’ve always been a  huge fan of F. Scott Fitsgerald, and  then there’s E.S. Hinton and E. B.White  and . . . well, there you have  it. No one book influenced me, but  I guess a whole bunch of them did. 


7 – Coffee or Tea?

Coffee  is my mainstay drink in the morning.  I seldom drink tea, but once in a  while I love green tea or the kind  that smells like cinnamon.


8 – Cats or Dogs?

Cats.  They help me write without slobbering  on the keyboard.


9 – Cake or Pie?

Pie  as long as it’s fresh fruit, preferably  apple.


11 – Summer or winter?

Summer because there are tomatoes.


12 – Vampires or Shifters? 

Shifters. Vampires have been done to death.  Well, so have shifters, but these are  the choices, right? :-)


13 – Hamburgers or Hotdogs?

Hamburgers. I’m a big eater when I’m  hungry. One hot dog doesn’t cut it.


14 – Last movie you saw? 

Trouble With The Curve


15 – Last book your read? 

I hate to say this, but it was  mine. I had to read it before sending  it out to readers! Now I feel very  self-centered.


About C. Lee McKenzie:

In her other life–the one before she began writing for teens and younger readers–C. Lee was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. Her field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried her to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. She can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects.

Her idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

 Connect:  Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

 About Month 9 Books: Website / Blogger Central / Twitter / Facebook

Available for Purchase:
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Be sure to check out the other awesome blogs participating in this tour.
It’s your chance to win some awesome books and stuff from
the authors in this book!
You can find them all HERE! 

Complete the form below for a chance to win an e-copy of

 Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie!

Open Internationally!


  1. kimbacaffeinate

    This sounds interesting and a little twisted, I like that you keep thinking about them. Lovely review and interview

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    Love stories that creep back up in my mind! Thanks for stopping by Kim :)

  3. Denice Mae

    Thank you for this chance!!!

  4. Chapter by Chapter

    Good luck!

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