02 October 2012


Halloween, with Face Paints and Duct Tape
By: Tina Connolly

My family is big into Halloween. Big into homemade costumes. My mom often thought it would be adorable if we all went around together in a themed group—I'm the oldest of 4, but we're pretty well spaced apart, with 12 years between me and the youngest. So her wish only happened once – two friends of ours were Dorothy and the Scarecrow, I was the Tin Man, my younger brother (sibling #2) was the Cowardly Lion, and my sister (sibling #3) was dressed in the ubiquitious yellow dog costume we all wore as a baby and declared to be Toto.

I was fond of exactly three things—books, theatre. . .and art. So I was always drafted to help with Halloween, of course. One year, sibling #2 wanted to go as the Energizer bunny (remember those commercials?) Grandmother sewed the pink rabbit costume and I made the drum out of cardboard, paint, and lots of duct tape. (I remember being particularly enamored with the structural possibilities of duct tape.) Later, in an inspired moment, sibling #3 took the pink rabbit costume and went as the Easter Bunny. The year after that, Mrs. Santa Claus.

At some point mom got me a face painting kit and signed me up to volunteer for everyone else's school carnivals. Which actually I loved—I like being on the inside of things. I like being in the place where the magic happens, even if that means you see all the greasepaint and sawdust and sweat. Then naturally, eventually, the face paints came out at Halloween. I spent an hour one year transforming fairly-patient sibling #3 into a monarch butterfly. And a couple years later, into a leopard.

When my husband and I moved to Portland, I was poking around on Craigslist and I ran across a professional face painter who was working the Rose Festival (our big 3-week fair) and needed an assistant. She told me later that she got tons of applications. But mine came with those two photos of my sister. I didn't tell her they'd taken me an hour each to do. (An hour? OMG, you'd get slaughtered by the lines of children. . .or at least by their parents.) That's how I got into face painting—and shortly thereafter became significantly faster.

In recent years, sibling #4 has dressed up for Halloween as The Riddler and Dr. Strangelove. Even more recently, he got some face paints and went to ComicCon dressed as Two-Face. The more families grow up and change, the more everything stays the same. . . .

Title: Ironskin (Ironskin, #1)
Author: Tina Connolly
Publisher: Tor Books, 304 Pages (October 2nd, 2012)
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Find Tina Online:

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Order Ironmask Online:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

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Tina, thanks for sharing tales of Halloween's past with us. I wish I was talented enough to do face painting! Also, thank you for donating the signed cover flat for giveaway!

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  1. OOoh nice! Seeing this one around a lot! Love the cover!


  2. I love the sound of this read. Time travel + fey sounds like a winner to me.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  3. This is the first I have heard about this book. It sounds terrific.

    Thanks so much for sharing
    mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com

  4. What a fun post! I never dreassed up like anyone else. Glad you enjoyed it.


  5. This sounds great!! I love the cover! Youve caught my attention. Thanks!

  6. I really like the cover of this book... the whole mask and light blueness totally works. Happy book birthday! (even t hough I'm a day late it seems)!


  7. This sounds great! A very good book! ;) Thanks for sharing!

  8. I always loved getting my face painted! But I have sensitive skin, so it always ended badly...


  9. The face painting looks amazing! So much more creative than our halloweens. After having the wear our winter coats for a couple years we decided to just be snowmobilers the next year. The book sounds interesting too, my tbr list is becoming quite silly.

    Ace5123 at yahoo dot com

  10. Great author post! Face painting sounds like so much fun! The cover is just stunning. I have the book on my tbr list, can't wait to read it =)


  11. Yeah some fey and scars and masks and magic! Count me in! Adding it to my wishlist!

  12. I've never had my face painted (sensitive skin here, too!), but those pictures look amazing!!! <3
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

  13. Love the Wizard of Oz idea! I've aleays wanted to coordinate outfits for Halloween


  14. I'm in awe of your face painting skills! I tried to paint my kids faces once but the only one that looked good was the littlest one, who was a clown, because really, how can you screw up clown paint? LOL Thanks for sharing your pics - they're gorgeous :D

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Very nice face painting, I definitely do not have that kind of patience!

    the imagine tree at aol dot com


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