Blog Tour Giveaways

The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today we are thrilled to be part of the official blog tour for middle grade fantasy adventure novel The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy! Thea thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, so we were tickled when we were invited to participate on the tour for this follow-up novel.

Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle Christopher Healy

Like last year, we get the chance to unveil a character sketch and an accompanying excerpt (plus a giveaway opportunity). Our character is none other than Prince Liam’s wonderful, butt-kicking little sister (and bounty hunter-in-training), Lila.


The Wagon Chase

12.1 Wagon Chase

The wagon barreled along the mountainside, churning up a trail of billowing dirt and dust behind it. Every few feet another sharp, jutting rock would jar everyone on board. Lila tried desperately to hold on to the reins, while next to her, Snow dug her fingernails into the wooden driver’s bench to keep from flying off. Inside, Briar’s voluminous mound of hair became flatter and flatter each time her head hit the roof, and random knickknacks and tchotchkes spilled from Snow’s baskets.

The bald bandit rode up next to Lila and smiled at her. She flinched when she realized the man’s teeth had been filed into pointy fangs. He reached out and tried to grab on to the speeding wagon, but Lila kicked his hand away, grateful for once that her mother made her wear such pointy shoes.

As the first bandit lost ground, the second was quickly catching up to them on the opposite side, his eyebrow, nose, and lip rings jangling as his steed bounded along. He sneered at Snow White.

“Throw something at him,” Lila shouted.

Snow puzzled over her options for a second. Then, with a high-pitched little “Ooh” (which was, frankly, too adorable for the circumstances), she bent down and pulled off her shoes. She tossed one shoe and then the other at the pursuing bandit. Each hit him square in the face, causing him to growl in fury but not really slowing him down.

Artwork Copyright © 2013 by Todd Harris

Text Copyright © 2013 by Christopher Healy


The Giveaway:

We have one heroic prize pack up for grabs, including:

  • A framed print of The Wagon Chase, signed by the illustrator, Todd Harris
  • Copy of The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle

The contest is open to addresses in the US only, and will run until Sunday, April 21 at 12:01am EST. To enter, use the form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Hong
    April 11, 2013 at 5:20 am

    haha, I love the drawing!

    Favorite heroine? In the book, Lila is my favorite character. We don’t read much about princes’ or princesses’ siblings in fairytales and I like how Lila stands up for herself.

  • Katie S.
    April 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

    I liked The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom a lot more than I thought I would. I adored Lila, but I also liked Ella. They’re such badasses.

  • Katharine
    April 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

    I’ve been hoping to read the first Hero book and now there’s another one already! Arrgh! Can’t wait to read both!

  • Alwyn
    April 11, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Loved the first book of this series! My fave Princess was always Cinderella. From being obsesessed with her and her Disney Cartoon mice as a kid, to loving the “Ella Enchanted” Gail Carson Levine retelling when I was a little older. So I was very glad to see her kick so much butt in Book 1 and look forwards to more in book 2!

  • Mary Anne
    April 11, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I’ve always loved Beauty (Belle) from Beauty and the Beast, especially since I read both of Robin McKinley’s versions of the story. (I liked the first one, “Beauty”, best, even though the ending was a little abrupt and weak – the family relationships were wonderful.) And I like how Disney did her up too – a bookworm!

  • siobhan
    April 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I like the Disney Rapunzel–she’s athletic and she bakes, and she accepts that she’s the one who kept herself in that tower all those years …

  • Vanessa
    April 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I have to say, I love a lot of stories but my favorite princess is Cimorene even though the Enchanted Forest Chronicles aren’t your typical fairy tale.

  • Superbwg
    April 11, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Oh my goodness, so many heroines to choose from! Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest, Ella from Ella Enchanted, Princess Sonora from Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, Jenica from Wildwood Dancing and thats just my MG/YA type faves!

  • ragdoll cats
    April 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your web site.

    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A handful of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

  • Lan
    April 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Where to begin? Enna from Tales of Bayern, Princess Ozma from Oz series, and Wendy from Peter Pan 🙂

  • April
    April 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve always been fond of Snow White, but I tend to like them all anyway. All good female heroines are my friends 😉

  • melissa @ 1lbr
    April 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    My favorite used to be Sleeping Beauty (Aurora I guess) because as a kid I’d always check that Disney movie out over and over. Now, I think I like Belle, she tends to get more awesome heroic traits. I’m determined to win one of these illustrations!

  • Maria
    April 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Oh goodness, a favorite… I’m partial to Sleeping Beauty, but I love fractured fairytales with unconventional heroes and heroines.

  • Brandy
    April 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    My favorite fairy tale heroine is Kate from The Perilous Gard. (If you count a Tam Lin retelling as a fairy tale-which I do.)

    I also adore: Ella from Ella Enchanted, Jena from Wildwood Dancing; Isi from The Goose Girl, and Meg from The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs.

  • Anna
    April 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I was always partial to Disney’s Belle myself, probably because she was such a reader–like me! I also completely wore out my copy of Just Ella when I was younger–I adored Ella and the twist on Cinderella.

  • Rachael
    April 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Like so many others I just adore Ella from Ella Enchanted, but my all time favorite probably is Belle.

  • Kara
    April 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Hmmm. My favorite fairy tale character would be Cinderella. I mean, she does get Prince Charming! 🙂

  • Jess1
    April 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    New to this series and it looks to be fun. My favorite fairy tale character would be Beauty/Belle from Beauty & the Beast. She is quite courageous and loving to take her father’s place by going to the Beast’s castle.

  • DebraG
    April 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I really like Beauty (Belle) from Beauty and the Beast. She has a lot of courage.

  • jlee
    April 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Dorothy from Oz! Not quite a fairy tale, but no matter. 😛

  • Lexi
    April 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    My favorite growing up was Crimone from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles because she got to live with dragons. From the traditional Disney crew, I liked Belle because she did stuff though I preferred the Beast as a beast.

  • Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library
    April 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I LOVED The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom! It was one of my favorite reads from 2012, and I am super excited to read the sequel! I love the character of Belle in terms of fairy tales. But my favorite character from this series is definitely Lila. =)

  • Anonymous
    April 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I haven’t read the first one but it looks fantastic! I would love to get started on them, will probably buy the first book soon

  • Chris Bails
    April 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Favorite herione would have to be Belle.

  • sarac
    April 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I loved Ariel, but mostly for her red hair.

  • Sarah
    April 12, 2013 at 3:13 am

    I really love Kaguya-hime from the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter!

  • Waverly
    April 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’m a fan of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

  • jerome
    April 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

    cool stuff have you guys checked out the jetstream lately

  • Andrea
    April 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I’ve always liked Beauty, for a more traditional fairy tale. Otherwise, my favorite is Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, closely followed by Lila and Ella! Such strong, fun women!

  • Whitney
    April 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Any of the characters in Shannon Hale’s books. Miri in The Princess Academy, Isi in Goose Girl, Enna in Enna burning…

  • Allie
    April 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I haven’t heard of this series, but I will have to check it out!

  • Matthew
    April 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’m definitely going to have to check out the first book!

  • Gabi
    April 12, 2013 at 11:53 am

    When I was a kid, my favorite princess was Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I still have a soft spot for Ariel, but there are a couple of literary princesses I really like. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskel, and Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede include some of my favorite princesses. :]

  • Stephanie T.
    April 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Oh I just LOVED The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom! It made me laugh and really want to have my younger brother read it 🙂 So looking forward to picking up The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle!

  • scribe k.
    April 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Belle, obviously.

  • Hannah H
    April 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Lady Mary from Mr. Fox!

  • Kate & Zena
    April 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    My favorite fairy tale heroine is Briar Rose. Yes, she was cursed, but she retained her curiosity all through her 16 years. She didn’t bow down easily to a beast (like in the original tale of Beauty and the Beast), but she actively explored her castle and actively worked with the old lady. It wasn’t her fault she was cursed and she “died” upon pricking her finger!

  • Anita Yancey
    April 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I am rather fond of Prince Charming.

  • Tricia C.
    April 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    My favorite is Princess Elizabeth from The Paper Bag Princess.

  • Rocio Duran
    April 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    My new favorite princess is Merida from the Disney movie “Brave.” She just strikes me as a girl who makes mistakes like any other girl, but takes action in order to fix them! She has so many human and relatable traits. If this girl was real I would love to be her friend! 🙂

  • Kathy Hudson
    April 13, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Yeah, I always liked Beauty best, too. I know she is not technically a princess, and maybe that’s part of her appeal. But she also has the ability, uncommon in fairytales, of seeing the real character beneath the title, or she would never have loved the Beast.

  • Alyssa @ Books Take You Places
    April 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    This is a hard question to answer, but I have always loved Princess Cimorene from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. I read them for the the first time years ago and to this day I still count the series as some of my favorite books of all time!

  • YvonneJ
    April 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve always been fond of Princess Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty because my hometown is Aurora, Kansas population <100.

  • Stephanie Grant
    April 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Sleeping Beauty

  • Jill the OWL
    April 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I love Princess Annie in The Wide-Awake Princess! She’s just funny and spunky and really likable!

  • Darith L.
    April 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Ella from Ella Enchanted! Love that movie 🙂

  • Kendra
    April 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I love Belle and Ella! And these comments have given me a few titles I need to check out

  • Franny
    April 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I love the premise of Healy’s books! As for my favorite fairy tale heroine, I have to go with the totally unoriginal choice of Cinderella. What can I say, I love a good rags-to-riches story. 🙂

  • Sarah J
    April 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I fell in love with Princess Amy from M.M. Kaye’s The Ordinary Princess as a kid and she’s always had a special place in my heart. Living footloose and fancy free in a forest really appealed to me as a kid and the relationship she develops with Peregrin appeals to me as an adult. 🙂

  • Joel
    April 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Favorite heroine is probably Princess Ozma from L. Frank Baum’s books. Followed closely by Talia from Jim Hines’ series.

  • Nicole H.
    April 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    With my non functioning brain…belle is the best I can come up with… But now I want to review all the more unusual ones I’ve read….

  • Debz @ Debz Bookshelf
    April 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

    My favorite heroine is probably the nameless girl is East O’ the Sun, West O’ the Moon because she doesn’t just sit around, but goes on a journey risking everything and using her brains to save her true love. Cinderella could never do all that!

  • Misty
    April 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I loved The Little Mermaid as a child, but after reading the actual story, it’s a little too tainted with sadness now.

    Does Nala count? I guess she was never technically a princess, but she did become queen.

  • Justine
    April 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Giselle from the movie Enchanted is charmingly naive. Having literally grown up in a storybook fairy tale, she’s ignorant of our real world and therefore excused from being outright TSTL. I <3 the moment when Giselle realizes that she's experiencing the emotion of anger.

  • Maggie, Young Adult Anonymous
    April 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I just read Book 1 in the series and it’s so cute I can’t stand it! I’m very excited for Book 2. My favorite fairy tale heroine is probably Belle. But Lila and Ella are gaining on her. 🙂

  • Melinda
    April 21, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I love them all! Princesses are awesome!

  • Danny
    April 21, 2013 at 12:17 am

    My daughter, Anna, is definitely my favorite princess!

  • Daniel
    April 21, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I loved the first book, and I can’t wait to read the second! AWESOME giveaway!! I love princesses that are smart, and have a good heart. Those are the best role models for our girls.

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