Monday, March 26, 2012

Illustrations and and Excerpt from The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy


The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
by Christopher Healy

Do you know who Prince Liam, Prince Fredric, Prince Duncan, or Prince Gustav are?  Probably not. They're the princes that saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel respectively.  They've been rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, together they stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdom.  Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches and other assorted terrors and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be!
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
by Christopher Healy
Available May 1st
Walden Pond Press

It's no secret that I love the books that Walden Pond Press  publishes. Today I have an excerpt from a book coming out in May that is a really, really different side of the fairy tale, the guy's point of view!!  And I've got some great illustrations to share with you. So let me share the excerpt with you and then the rest.

Prologue-


Prince Charming is afraid of old ladies. Didn’t know that, did you?


Don’t worry. There’s a lot you don’t know about Prince Charming: Prince Charming has no idea how to use a sword; Prince Charming has no patience for dwarfs; Prince Charming has an irrational hatred of capes.


Some of you may not even realize that there’s more than one Prince Charming. And that none of them are actually named Charming. No one is. Charming isn’t a name; it’s an adjective.


But don’t blame yourself for your lack of Prince Charming–based knowledge; blame the lazy bards. You see, back in the day, bards and minstrels were the world’s only real source of news. It was they who bestowed fame upon people. They were the ones who sculpted any hero’s (or villain’s) reputation. Whenever something big happened—a damsel was rescued, a dragon was slain, a curse was broken—the royal bards would write a song about it, and their wandering minstrels would perform that tune from land to land, spreading the story across multiple kingdoms. But the bards weren’t keen on details. They didn’t think it was important to include the names of the heroes who did all that damsel rescuing, dragon slaying, and curse breaking. They just called all those guys “Prince Charming.”


It didn’t even matter to the bards whether the person in question was a truly daring hero (like Prince Liam, who battled his way past a bone-crushing, fire-blasting magical monster in order to free a princess from an enchanted sleeping spell) or some guy who merely happened to be in the right place at the right time (like Prince Duncan, who also woke a princess from a sleeping spell, but only because some dwarfs told him to). No, those bards gave a man the same generic name whether he nearly died (like Prince Gustav, who was thrown from a ninety-foot tower when he tried to rescue Rapunzel) or simply impressed a girl with his dancing skill (like Prince Frederic, who wowed Cinderella at a royal ball).






If there was anything that Liam, Duncan, Gustav, and Frederic all had in common, it was that none of them were very happy about being a Prince Charming. Their mutual hatred of that name was a big part of what brought them together. Not that teaming up was necessarily the best idea for these guys.


If we were to peek ahead to, say, Chapter 20, we would see our heroes in a small mountain town called Flargstagg, sitting in just about the worst tavern in all of creation: the Stumpy Boarhound. The Stumpy Boarhound is the kind of dank and miserable place where pirates and assassins play cards while plotting their next despicable crimes (which often involve robbing the tavern itself). It’s not the type of place where you would expect to find even one Prince Charming, let alone four. And yet, in Chapter 20, there they all are: Liam, bruised and soot-stained, with fish bones in his hair; Gustav, in charred and dented armor, massaging his bald, bright red scalp; Frederic, covered with enough dirt to make you think he’d just crawled out of a grave; and Duncan, with a big bump on his forehead, and wearing . . . is that a nightshirt? Oh, and there are about fifty armed thugs surrounding their table, all of whom seem eager to smash the princes into paste.


Of course, by Chapter 20, you can’t fault the princes for looking like wrecks. They’re lucky to be alive after their run-ins with the witch, the giant, the bandits, the—well, you’ll see. Basically, the fact that they’re about to get into a major brawl is none too surprising, considering the kind of week these princes have just had. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.


Before we reach that turning-point night at the Stumpy Boarhound, we need to head back to the peaceful kingdom of Harmonia, where the whole adventure—or mess, depending on whom you ask—began. We have to go back to when Prince Frederic managed to lose Cinderella.

Well, I certainly learned a thing or two in that little excerpt. (Have you ever seen my insistence that you read the Prologue?)

Art copyright @2012 by Todd Harris

Stumpy Boarhound
Art copyright @2012 by Todd Harris

Incredible artwork! As a non-artist I am amazed at how artwork can bring a story to life. Just a few sprinkled throughout can make something more solid in my mind so I can imagine myself there. I can't wait to read this one. I am lucky enough to have an ARC, but with this artwork, I'll have to get my own book. Hope you enjoy this first look at the artwork from Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom!
                                                     
                                                           Thanks to Kellie at Walden Pond and
                                                            Christopher Healy for the sneak peak!
                                                                        Heather


12 comments:

  1. A story told from the fairy tale princes' point of view?! COMPLETE WIN!!! And how absolutely stunning are those illustrations, I wish I could draw like that. Thanks so much for sharing Heather!

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    1. I know, right? I never believed that "And they lived happily ever after. The End." I knew there was something more to the story and here it is!

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  2. I love this book! That prologue is hilarious. I hope everyone reads Hero's Guide. I can't wait to get a finished copy so I can see all of the illustrations.

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    1. I know you've already read it. I'm a little behind but will be diving in soon. I love it already, but I'll have to have my own hardback copy as well for the illustrations.

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  3. Love the illustrations. Based just on that I want to read it. I am curious about a book that tells it from the hero's POV. So interesting!

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    1. I think it's going to be brilliant! Great way to tell a tale!

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  4. I can't wait to read this one. The art is great as well!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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    1. Oh, I know the art is great. I so wish I could draw! And yes, this one is going to be good. I think I'm doing a giveaway of this one! It's in May.

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  5. This sounds incredibly lovely and adorable! I'm going to have to check it out. The artwork is beautiful, like you said!

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  6. Fun, fun post, and amazing illustrations! Princes have a way of stealing my heart every time!

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  7. Wow! I totally want this one now. O: It sounds super fun! I'd love to hear it from the prince's POV! Hahah

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