Today, we have here the Maven Fairy Godmother tour with a review from me! No to babbling so let’s start!
Title: Maven Fairy Godmother: Through The Veil
Author: Charlotte Henley Babb
Genre: Humorous Women’s Fiction
Broke, busted and despairing over the mess her life has turned out to be, middle-aged Maven Morrigan is offered a job as a fairy godmother, a one-time-only last chance to make something of herself and make the world a better place.
Not knowing who to trust: her boss, her slithery familiar, or her own Bump of Direction, she has to find her personal power by relying on herself, her real world failures, and her sense of the absurd, to survive in this imaginary garden with real trolls in it so that her clients get their happily ever after.
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (March 30, 2012)
“Be careful what you ask for,” Maven said, “You just might get it.”
The girl stared at Maven for a moment. She held up her fingers and started counting. “I just want to have (one) the fabulous, romantic evening with (two) the beautiful clothes and (three) the lovely music and (four) the elegant food I didn’t have to cook.” Wistful hope shone on her face even behind the calculations of exactly what kinds of fun girls just want to have. She stuck out her thumb and added, “I was very careful.”
“You asked for it.” Maven wondered how a fairy godmother cast her spell. She hoped the wand would work, but in a dream, what could go wrong? “I will provide the clothes and the coach and the whole kit, cat and caboodle. If you like what you see, then go for the prince and make yourself happy. If not, then come back home and decide what you want. You have until midnight before it all goes away. At the twelfth bong: busted.”
“I’m ready.” The girl closed her eyes, held her breath, and stood very still.
How to grant a wish? The Bump suggested bopping the girl over the head, preferably with a broom handle. Maven swished the wand, but nothing happened. There was a song in the movie, but she couldn’t remember how it went. “Boopbetty Boopbetty Do!”
The girl opened her eyes again. “What? Do you need something for the magic…mice? A pumpkin?”
“Bring them on.” The girl ought to wash her face, too. But if Maven had magic for horses and coaches, a bath should be no sweat. Maven never cast a spell before, but she’d written affirmations, meditations and invocations. She’d soaked her head and sunk her bankbook in all flavors of Manifest your Mojo workshops trying to make some sense of her life. Maybe they’d work if she did them for someone else.
“I don’t have a pumpkin, and there aren’t any mice in the trap,” Ashleigh wailed.
“Quit wailing,” Maven said. “What do you have?”
Ashleigh’s eyes got wider, and her lip trembled. More tears made clean tracks down her face.
“Just get something big for a carriage, something to pull it, and something to drive.” Maven held her wand on one hip and scratched her head. “You’re running out of time.”
While the girl went scrounging, Maven visualized a castle, grand courtiers, music, food, dancing, and flowers: Hollywood prom night on steroids.
The girl came back carrying a cabbage and something wiggling around in a sack, which they took outside. Maven waved the wand, drawing circles of sparkles around the cabbage. She invoked all the major credit cards, those being the most magical words she knew. With a flash of sparkles like fourth of July fireworks, the cabbage swelled to the size of an SUV and sprouted platinum wheels, a tailgate, a coachman’s seat and a candle-lit lantern, all done up in shades of silver and celadon.
Maven swirled more sparkles around the sack, which opened to reveal two lizards. They stretched and twisted into two handsome footmen, each gorgeous enough to pose on the cover of any bodice ripper, dressed in green and white satin.
Maven grinned. If the job was this easy, she’d be all over it like stink on a hog.
“What about my horses? The carriage can’t pull itself,” Ashleigh cried. “What else can we use?” More welling, trembling and quivering.
Maven noticed the kitchen was not as clean as the storybooks always implied. “Let’s go back into the kitchen. Open a cabinet door, or pick up something off the floor.”
Obedient to the end, the Ashleigh gingerly lifted the edge of a rug. Out ran a couple of cockroaches. Maven zapped them, transforming them into ponies. She whistled, and the lizard coachmen came to get the ponies and hitch them up.
A couple of cabinets, a broom closet and a pantry later, four black ponies, like an ebony mule team complete with white ostrich plumes above their forelocks, were hitched to the cabbage.
Maven took another deep breath and flicked her wand over the girl, showering her with sparks. The ragged clothes disappeared just before they began to smolder—then the dirt vanished. Like the girl on the half-shell, Ashleigh stood there shivering and trying to cover herself while the former lizards leered and grinned.
“You must be new at this,” Ashleigh cried. “Concentrate! I’ve got to get to the ball!”
Maven flicked and swirled, shouted the magic words again. Nothing.
An image of a sneer from her fourth grade teacher appeared in Maven’s brain, her personal icon of falling short. Maven gritted her teeth, worked her jaw side to side, and invoked her redneck heritage with all the powers of Chaos. “Y’all watch this.”
She twirled her wand above her head and snapped it like a whip toward the girl, stomping the ground in follow through. From a mist of sparkles and smoke, a goddess emerged, floating in a landscape of shimmering silk, sprinkled with diamonds like sesame seeds on a bun. Her hair twined around her head like kudzu with fragrant flower clusters sprouting over one ear. Diamond earrings dripped from her earlobes. She tottered in four-inch glass stilettos.
Ashleigh turned once each way to see the flow of the skirt. She wobbled a bit in the shoes, but tiptoed to Maven. “This is more like it!”
One of the former lizards bowed to his lady and helped her into the carriage. Then he leapt to the silver tailgate. The other scurried up to the coachman’s seat without so much as a smirk.
Maven waved as the cabbage drove away. “Have fun, now, and remember what I said.” As the cabbage disappeared down the street, she grinned. Fairy godmothering. Who’d have thought to wish for that?
I am sort of swamped right now and I don’t have any spare time to write a long review for this. And for that, I’m sorry. So don’t expect some big analysis but just my reactions and feelings towards the book. I do hope I can edit this in the near future with a meatier review. So what did I think of the book?
Oh my, I liked it! I loved fairytales as a kid but what I found out was that I love fractured fairytales even more. Heroines gone kickass, no more damsels in distress. Prince Charmings who are not one-dimensional. Maybe that’s why I freaking love the show Once Upon a Time. You get fractured fairytales every episode. And Charlotte Henley Babb writes fractured fairytales! Sure, this isn’t really a specific fairytale revisioned for my enjoyment but it is about a middle-aged fairy godmother. Well, she wasn’t a fairy godmother at first but she was offered the job. I never knew being a fairy godmother is a job you can get. Hahaha! I love the concept! I’m a generally happy person and so happy endings always have a place in me even though they’re oftentimes cliche and very formulaic. What a job it is to be the one responsible for handing out happy endings and happy everafters? Squee! Of course, it isn’t always rainbows being a fairy godmother because it can be dangerous and it can place you in trouble. But life is all the more fun with that!
So this book is so fun and relatable and just plain good! It’s exciting and a fast read. Perfect for a lazy reading and for deriving happiness from a book. :)
About Charlotte Henley Babb
Charlotte Babb began writing when she could hold a piece of chalk and scribble her name–although she sometimes mistook “Chocolate” for “Charlotte” on the sign at the drug store ice cream counter.
When her third-grade teacher allowed her access to the fiction room at the school library, Charlotte discovered Louisa Alcott and Robert Heinlein, an odd marriage of the minds. These two authors have had the most influence on her desire to share her point of view with the world and to explore how the world might be made better.
In the meantime, Charlotte has fallen prey to steampunk and the gears are turning…corset, bustle and magic, oh my! She brings to any project a number of experiences, including work as a technical writer, gasket inspector, cloth store associate, girl Friday, and telephone psychic.
She has studied the folk stories of many cultures and wonders what happened to ours. Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, education, bankruptcy, and widowhood? Here.
Charlotte loves Fractured Fairy Tales and writes them for your enjoyment.
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