I Spell a Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I got the great opportunity to review Spelled by Betsy Schow. Now, the publisher wants to give you all an opportunity to get a better sneak peek of this book that’s releasing next month on June 2nd!

Excerpt from Spelled:

Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all­too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.

Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.

Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”

The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.

I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”

“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.

In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”

Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.

I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.

Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.

After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.

Until he opened his mouth again.

“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”

Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.

And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.

Hooked yet? I know I was!

Keep your eyes open for this; it’ll be out on the shelves soon!

Now for the best part!
Sourcebooks is giving away a Spelled Gift Basket on Rafflecopter. 

 A Rafflecopter giveaway

Spelled


by Betsy Schow (June 2, 2015; Sourcebooks Fire)

Review by KM

I remember waiting weeks for book fairs in elementary school. The flyer would come out; I’d bubble with excitement as I went over each summary, clearly cataloging which books I could afford. I’d skip lunch for two weeks and save the $2.50 each day, finally showing up to the book fair with twenty dollars in quarters.

Spelled would have been one of my top picks at the book fair and I won’t be surprised if it sells out of every one it’s featured in this fall. It’s listed to be for ages 12-17, but I’d definitely put it at the lower end of that spectrum, great for preteens.

Summary

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.*

Musings
I love, love, love the slang in this. Son of a Basilisk? Pixing, Pox-ridden Prat? I can totally see myself using this all the time. Definitely my favorite part of the book. The other part I loved was how the “story-makers” were treated to be Gods, while the author of this story remaining unmentioned. Breaking the fourth wall, but only partially.

Despite Dorthea being overly shallow, I found myself rooting for her. More than any other character though, I loved Kato. He was practical and no-nonsense, unwilling to tolerate Dorthea’s appalling behavior. Plus, nothing beats a chimera.

My biggest complaint about the book had to be how it dated itself. With mentions of Flitter (Twitter) and Wrong Direction (One Direction), it’s going to be hard to read without giggling at the outdated references within a few years.

Overall, I loved the spin on the Wizard of Oz. It felt original, but Princess Dorthea is nothing like Dorthy. She’s shallow, but loyal and driven.

*Thank you for the Summary, Goodreads.