All I wanted was to charm a single, stinking wart onto my face. Yes, onto, not off. A good bog-witch should have at least one. Grandmother had eleven, and a hooked nose to boot. Of course there were rare witches who could pull off a certain dark and terrible beauty. My mother was one, according to Grandmother. Maybe that’s how I got stuck the way I was.

I peered into the moon-silvered water of the rain-barrel. No wart. No dark and terrible beauty, either. Just the same clear brown skin and snub nose I’d always had. Blast it! I smacked my palm into the water. A true bog-witch wouldn’t be sniffling, I told myself fiercely. It only made the tears slip faster down my cheeks. Because I wasn’t a true bog-witch; everyone from Grandmother to my littlest cousin Ezzie knew it. That was why they were all off on a midnight mushroom spree, and I was stuck here, alone, keeping watch over Grandmother’s garden.

I blinked up at the moon. If I closed my eyes, I could almost see them: my cousins, my aunts, my great-aunts, my second-cousins-twice-removed. All of them out there under that brilliant silver eye, laughing and teasing and dancing. I could almost smell the sweet wood-smoke, taste the earthy, buttery fried mushrooms. I loved fried mushrooms. But more than that, I loved being a Bogthistle witch. Even if no one else thought I was one, really.

Excerpt © 2010 Deva Fagan


About the book:

All Prunella wants is to be a proper bog-witch. Unfortunately, her curses tend to do more good than harm, and she hasn’t got a single stinking wart. When her mixed-up magics allow a sneaky thief to escape her grandmother’s garden, Prunella is cast out until she can prove herself. It’s hard enough being exiled to the decidedly un-magical Uplands, but traveling with the smugly charming young thief, Barnaby, is even worse. He’s determined to gain fame and fortune by recovering the missing Mirable Chalice. And to get what she wants, Prunella must help him. But what if the aspiring villain and the would-be hero are on the right quest . . . for the wrong reason?

What people are saying:
“Spunky characters and surprising plot twists will keep readers laughing and turning pages.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This colorful, fast-paced fantasy is recommended for fans of funny, fairy-tale-inspired stories.” —Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library in School Library Journal

Release date: June 2010

About the author:
Deva Fagan lives in Maine with her husband and her dog, where she has had numerous misadventures. The magical ones are (mostly) confined to her imagination.