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Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle Excerpt & Artwork Reveal + GIVEAWAY

I don't know if you guys recall the artwork reveal I did for The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom just prior to last year's FTF, but it was pretty awesome and involved a wicked witch.

This year, for the release of the 2nd book, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, Walden Pond Press is once again doing exclusive artwork reveals, and they are just as cool as the last. I am so super in love with the art on my stop (and lemme tell you, as much as I love the picture I went with, it was so hard choosing! Todd Harris has done some really cool scenes for this book, and really brought Christopher Healy's characters to life). I loved my witch last year; I really did. But this year THERE IS SWORD-FIGHTING - And it's with a girl - Who has the boys beat in a fight - and just try to tell me that doesn't immediately make you want to read this book!

Which you can't do.

Not quite yet, anyway. BUT you can read an excerpt that goes along with this scene below, and below that, you can enter to win some pretty awesome stuff! So check it out, let us know what you think, and make sure to stop by A Backwards Story tomorrow for another exclusive reveal and giveaway!

(Oh, and in case you missed it, Bonnie totally has a third Hero's Guide giveaway going on in our FTF interview with Chris!)

Frederic wasn’t always helpless. Sure, he’d spent most of his life having his servants cut the crusts off his French toast, and he once fainted after merely thinking he had a splinter in his finger (it was really a biscotti crumb). But then he joined the League of Princes and managed to hold his own against bandits, giants, trolls, and witches. And if you had seen him throw himself under a falling stone pillar to save the life of a friend, you would have assumed he’d gotten over his general Fear of Everything. But only ten months after that near-death experience, there Frederic was, fleeing madly down the corridors of his own royal palace, squealing like a startled piglet.
“You can’t run forever,” his pursuer called out. “I can hear you panting already.”
“I’m aware of that,” Frederic wheezed. The pale, slender prince ducked into a corner, squatted behind a large ceramic flowerpot, and poked the tip of his sword out from behind a lush, green philodendron.
“Aha!” he shouted, peeking between the feathery leaves. “I win.”
Prince Liam stopped right before the big ornamental planter, lowered his sword, and shook his head. His long, burgundy cape fluttered down behind him. “Frederic,” he said. “You know that if this were a real fight, I could easily cut through that shrub and get to you. It’s a bush, not an iron shield.”
“I think the philodendron might technically be a tree, but I concede your point,” Frederic said, standing, hiking up the waistband of his gold-trimmed slacks, and straightening out the collar of his baby-blue velvet jacket (his “workout suit”). “However, this is not a real fight. And in this particular situation, the philodendron is a perfectly safe place to hide. So I’d say I outwitted you.”
“No, you didn’t,” Liam retorted. “You won because you changed the rules. You knew I wouldn’t attack the plant because I don’t want to hear your father lecturing me again about ‘defacing his royal foliage.’ But in these training exercises, I’m not me; I’m playing a bad guy. A bad guy who wants to hurt you. How will you learn to defend yourself if you don’t treat these bouts like real fights?”
“He’s right, Frederic,” said Ella, Prince Frederic’s fiancée and Prince Liam’s other sword-fighting pupil, who had raced down the hall to witness the climax of Liam and Frederic’s “duel.” She shook her head. “You weren’t even supposed to leave the training room.”
“But there’s nowhere to hide in the training room,” Frederic said.
“That’s the point,” Liam and Ella said in unison. They smiled at each other and laughed.

Artwork Copyright © 2013 by Todd Harris
Text Copyright © 2013 by Christopher Healy

The awesome folks at Walden Pond Press have offered up an awesome prize pack for one lucky FTF reader! The winner will receive a framed print of the artwork show above, signed by the artist, as well as a finished copy of The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle!
This giveaway is US only and ends April 10, 2013. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!
*As with all of the giveaways for Fairy Tale Fortnight, make sure you've already filled out our Giveaway Registration Form - this only needs to be done once!
Please do not leave any sensitive info or email addresses in the comments!!

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You remember them, don't you? They're the Princes Charming who finally got some credit after they stepped out of the shadows of their princesses - Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose - to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms.

But alas, such fame and recognition only last so long. And when the princes discover that an object of great power might fall into any number of wrong hands, they are going to have to once again band together to stop it from happening - even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Christopher Healy, author of the acclaimed The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, takes us back to the hilariously fractured fairy-tale world he created for another tale of medieval mischief. Magical gemstones, bladejaw eels, a mysterious Gray Phantom, and two maniacal warlords bent on world domination - it's all in a day's work for the League of Princes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!


  1. I love the style of the artwork and the excerpt is very intriguing (yay for sword fighting/training).

  2. I loved the first book and I can't wait to read this one. That excerpt got me all excited for it! The art looks great! It was one of my favourite parts of book 1.

  3. The artwork is so, so awesome, which makes this giveaway (framed artwork!) so much better. Can't wait for more of my favorite princes :)

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  5. This art work is out of this world! My fifth and sixth graders will love this book!

  6. The framed artwork would look great hanging in library where I work!

    Where is the 2nd giveaway?
    (Oh, and in case you missed it, Bonnie totally has a third Hero's Guide giveaway going on in our FTF interview with Chris!)

  7. Cool a book about the princes not princessthem girls would not be as important if them prices did not take part in story.. they had alot to do with the outcome of many of these stories..LOL Prince charming was my hero but I would like to met Frederick and Prince Liam...

  8. I love the awesome picture and how the characters' emotions are so vividly (and humorously) illustrated! Wonderful storytelling as well. The writing lets your imagination jump out of the book as if the characters are alive.

  9. The giveaway is linked, Yvonne... Both in the sentence you quoted (the WHOLE SENTENCE is a link) AND in the Rafflecopter, where it says to comment on the interview...

  10. Love the artwork! I can't wait to read this book. I still have to read the first one though...

  11. This looks amazing! What drew me to the first book was the incredible artwork, but Healy's style was just as entertaining. I can't wait to read the second!

  12. I love the art (and adored the writing) in Saving Your Kingdom and can't wait for Storming the Castle. I love this piece of art. Liam! Sword fighting! And is that Ella? I'm so excited.

  13. Ooo, book AND artwork?? Count me in! Thanks Misty and Walden Pond Press!

  14. I LOVE the first Hero's Guide... It just made our 2013-14 state book award list!!

  15. I loved the artwork, the detail is simply stunning!

  16. Who doesn't love a girl with a sword that can beat the boys?! I would love to win this artwork and book. :-)

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  18. Not crazy about this book cover. If I saw it in a store, I'd honestly walk right by, but that's just my opinion. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. I came across the first book a few weeks ago at the library, and since then it's crossed my path about a dozen times. Must be a sign... And I really love the artwork!

  20. I'm not entering because I have the ARC and am part of the blog tour. I love the artwork as well! This is such a great series! My 13 yr old son grabs the ARC's for this series (actually anything from Walden Pond) as soon as it comes in the house. He gave this his highest praise-"It's so cool, mom!" Even paused the X-box for it!


  21. Absolutely LOVE the artwork. I love MG books with this type of artwork. And the excerpt sounds great as well!! This just looks like a great book/story.

  22. I adore that art! Women in sword fighting - and she's sensibly dressed! Perfection.

  23. This seems like something that will appeal greatly to my 5th grade girls who are trying out new genres!

  24. The artwork is amazing and what I would love to see in a fantasy novel. I would love to hang it in my house along with my Lord of the Rings swords! :)

    Angela's Anxious Life

  25. I think that the artwork is great. I think this book sounds great!!!


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