To-do: Stop the bad guys. Rescue the wizard. Find the perfect outfit for New Year's Eve.
At last, Owen Palmer, the dreamboat wizard at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has conjured up the courage to get Katie Chandler under the mistletoe at the office holiday party. But just when it looks like Katie has found her prince, in pops her inept fairy godmother, Ethelinda, to throw a wand into the works. Ethelinda's timing couldn't be worse. A plot hatched by MSI's rogue ex-employees, Idris and his evil fairy gal pal Ari, threatens to expose the company's secrets-and the very existence of magic itself. Even worse, it could also mean the end of Katie's happily-ever-after.
Now Katie and Owen must work side by side (but alas, not cheek to cheek) to thwart the villains' plans. Braving black-magic-wielding sorceresses, subway-dwelling dragons, lovelorn frog princes, and even the dreaded trip to meet Owen's parents at Christmas, Katie and her beau are in a battle to beat Idris at his own sinister game. All mischief and matters of the heart will come to a head at a big New Year's Eve gala, when the crystal ball will drop, champagne will pour, and Katie will find herself truly spellbound.
Praise for Shanna Swendson's Once Upon Stilettos
"Magical and totally delightful . . . [a] quirky, lighthearted romance."
"A fast and funny read. Chicklit meets urban fantasy."
-Mary Jo Putney, author of The Marriage Spell
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Great Series!
Posted October 23, 2009 by Jenn , DickinsonThis is a great series... I loved it!
2 . Buy this book!
Posted June 12, 2009 by Melinda , ChicagoIf you want a fun read that has action, comedy, and romance then you've found a great series! All four of the books are great!
April 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Damsel under Stress by Shanna Swendson
The last thing I expected to see when I stepped through the door of the coffee shop was a fairy godmother. Not that fairy godmothers are normally high on the list of things I expect to see, even as weird as my life is. I work for a magical company, so running into fairies, gnomes, elves, wizards, and talking gargoyles is something that happens every day. But I'd never yet seen an honest-to-goodness fairy godmother, and I really wasn't expecting to see one that morning because, for the first time in my life, I really didn't need one.
As of the night before, I had my Prince Charming. At the company Christmas party, Owen Palmer, the wonderfully handsome, brilliant, powerful wizard who also happened to be an incredibly nice guy, had kissed me like he meant it and told me he'd always had an interest in me. Yeah, the guy who was the magical world's answer to a movie star liked plain old nonmagical Katie Chandler, the ordinary small-town girl from Texas. That Saturday morning was our first official date as two people who'd admitted that we had feelings for each other. We were meeting for brunch at a snug little coffee shop on Irving Place, possibly the most romantic New York setting I could imagine for a casual first date.
Which meant, of course, that the fairy godmother had to be waiting for someone else. At least, I assumed she was a fairy godmother. I know making assumptions can be dangerous, but I was pretty good about seeing the truth, and she looked like Central Casting's idea of a fairy godmother. She looked older than the eternally youthful fairies I knew, and her wings were a fairly good sign that she wasn't just another eccentric New Yorker. A star-topped wand lying on the table in front of her was yet another clue. None of the other magical folk I knew used wands. Anyone else would surely have made the same assumption, if they saw what I saw.
I almost felt sorry for whomever her Cinderella was because she didn't exactly look like the top-of-the-line fairy godmother. Unlike most of the fairies I knew, she was squat and round, but I couldn't tell if that was flesh or if it was her clothes. She looked like instead of taking off the previous day's clothes and putting on something new each morning, she just put on a new outfit on top of the old one--and she'd been doing that for centuries. In all the layers of clothing I caught glimpses of calico, tulle, patchwork, satin, and velvet. The top layer was old, dusty rose velvet, worn threadbare in places. A rusty tiara missing a few stones sat haphazardly on top of her gray sausage curls, and one of her fairy wings was bent.
Of course, no one in the coffee shop seemed to notice that there was anyone odd among them, and it wasn't simply because they were all distracted by their newspapers and conversations or because the caffeine hadn't yet made it to their brains. I'm immune to magic, so the spell she used to hide her magical appearance didn't work on me. I saw what was really there, while I was sure the rest of the patrons probably saw only an elderly woman wearing a tweed suit and sensible shoes.
But as I said, it wasn't any of my business. I was about five minutes early because I knew Owen was relentlessly punctual and I was sadly overeager, but I figured I could use the time to stake out a table. Unfortunately, the shop was crowded, and there weren't that many tables to begin with. I lingered near the doorway, waiting either for Owen to show up or for someone to vacate a table.