Today, we are so excited to be bringing you an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy, the utterly brilliant follow-up to The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. I can’t say enough good things about these books (they are excellent; they are perfection – go buy them and read them and share them with everyone you know!!!) … but hopefully today’s exclusive excerpt and artwork reveal will help convince you of how fabulous these books are.
Yes, this is an exclusive excerpt from the book, and two original illustrations from the book which have never been seen before! Plus, there’s a contest. An amazing, epic poem-worthy contest. So check out the excerpt and artwork below, then keep reading for your chance to win a truly unique prize!
“What on earth is going on here?” King Wilberforce barked as he strode down the hallway.
The sound of that deep baritone voice completely broke Frederic’s concentration. “Father,” he blurted, and turned his head at just the wrong moment. The tip of Liam’s blade sliced across Frederic’s cheek. Frederic yelped, dropped his weapon, and brought his hand up to cover the wound.
“I’m so sorry!” Liam gasped.
“Are you okay?” Ella called, running to her fiancé.
The king marched up to them in a fury, dozens of medals jingling on his chest with every stomping footstep. “What have you done to my son?”
“It was an accident,” Liam sputtered.
“It’s just a scratch, Father,” Frederic said. He checked his fingertips, relieved to see only the slightest dot of red. If there had been any more blood, he would likely have lost his composure—which he did not want to do in his father’s presence. “And frankly, it would never have happened if you hadn’t yelled and distracted me.”
“What did I do to deserve such disrespect?” King Wilberforce said, sounding appalled. “I, ruler of this realm, see my only son being assaulted by some hooligan and demand that the violence come to a stop. For this I deserve scorn?”
“Some hooligan, Father?” Frederic asked. “Liam’s been living with us for almost a year.”
“I know who he is,” the king said with disdain. “A supposed Prince Charming in exile from his own people, hated the world over because of the horrid manner in which he treated his Sleeping Beauty. A man to whom I have—against my best instincts—offered nothing but hospitality. And a hooligan who repays my kindness by fileting my son.”
“Your Highness,” Liam said. “I appreciate all the kindness you have offered me. And as I’ve tried to explain before, the rumors about me and Briar Rose are untrue. She spread those lies to get back at me because I refused to marry her. And surely you know I never meant to hurt Frederic. I was merely—”
“Oh, I know you probably didn’t intend to hurt him,” Wilberforce said. “But that’s the problem with you. You think Frederic can do things that he simply can’t. Putting my son in harm’s way appears to be a hobby for you. Are you going to deny that you almost got Frederic killed in that whole unfortunate witch fiasco?”
Liam said nothing. Nor did Frederic, who, if he were a turtle, would have slipped happily into his shell at that moment.
The king looked down his nose at the three friends. “There will be no more swordplay within these walls,” he stated. “Or anywhere on palace grounds, for that matter.”
Text Copyright © 2013 by Christopher Healy
And now … how about a hero-worthy contest!
We’re giving away a framed print of the artwork featuring Princess Briar Rose above, signed by illustrator Todd Harris — plus a hardcover copy of The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle.
Fill out the Novel Novice + Hero’s Guide Contest Entry Form and tell us your favorite fairy tale character, for your chance to be entered. But check the rules first:
- U.S. only
- One entry per person
- Entries due by midnight (PT) on Sunday, April 14th
For the comments: What do you think of the excerpt/artwork?