Today’s blog tour, hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources, has a wonderful giveaway attached to it, but the novel, A Spell in the Country, by Heide Goody and Iain Grant was an unexpected delight to review.
Dee is a Good Witch but she wonders if she could be a better witch.
She wonders if there’s more to life than Disney movie marathons, eating a whole box of chocolates for dinner and brewing up potions in her bathtub. So when she’s offered a chance to go on a personal development course in the English countryside, she packs her bags, says goodbye to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop and sets a course for self-improvement.
Caroline isn’t just a Good Witch, she’s a fricking awesome witch.
She likes to find the easy path through life: what her good looks can’t get for her, a few magic charms can. But she’s bored of being a waitress and needs something different in her life. So when a one night stand offers her a place on an all-expenses-paid residential course in a big old country house, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.
Jenny is a Wicked Witch. She just wishes she wasn’t.
On her fifteenth birthday, she got her first wart, her own imp and a Celine Dion CD. She still has the imp. She also has a barely controllable urge to eat human children which is socially awkward to say the least and not made any easier when a teenager on the run turns to her for help. With gangsters and bent cops on their trail, Jenny needs to find a place outside the city where they can lay low for a while.
For very different reasons, three very different witches end up on the same training course and land in a whole lot of trouble when they discover that there’s a reason why their free country break sounds too good to be true. Foul-mouthed imps, wererats, naked gardeners, tree monsters, ghosts and stampeding donkeys abound in a tale about discovering your inner witch.
A Spell in the Country reminded me a bit of The Golden Girls, if they’d been British, witches, and had a foul-mouthed imp following them around (Sophia doesn’t count).
At times, Jizzimus (the imp), was a little bit too crude for my personal taste, but that was easy to overlook in light of the rest of the story.
The premise of the story was amusing and played out skillfully, with the world building giving a lovely feel for the way witches deal with daily life.
Don’t be fooled by the cartoonish cover. The story is not for children, and unless teenagers have changed drastically since I was a teen (definitely possible), I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than 16. Hell, even at my age there were comments and scenes that had me blushing in mortified horror, mostly instigated by the imp whose tastes tended towards the perverse.
Having said that though, by the end of the book, Jizz had somehow endeared himself to me in spite of his foul mouth, and I found myself thinking that having an imp around might be quite fun. Especially if I can send them out for fudge and chocolate in the middle of the night.
As for the witches; I absolutely adored their individual personalities, their snarky comments to and about each other, and in general, appreciated how their friendships developed.
Dee, Jenny and Caroline are the main characters of course, and I enjoyed their individual personalities, but in this story at least, the side characters stole the show for me.
Norma was a firecracker of note, and my personal favourite; closely followed by Sabrina, whose dialogue I kept reading out loud, trying to get the “Ur” sound right. (If anyone can direct me to a recording of an upper class British, “ur,” I’d appreciate it.)
Having said that, the way the three very different witches came together in the most unlikely manner, left me feeling like I’d known them for years and would happily sit down with them for a cup of tea.
After checking for rats of course.
A Spell in the Country gets four out of five feathers.
ENTER THE INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY:
For a change, there are goodies involved in this giveaway! It’s always exciting to get a gift in the mail, especially when it contains fun items like these:
The Witch’s Pamper Package, worth over £100 contains…
- A lacy gothic bracelet
- A witch’s hat fascinator
- A pair of green and black stripy tights
- A Yankee candle in “Forbidden Apple”
- A set of wand-shaped makeup brushes
- A gothic notebook (for spells!)
- A bookmark featuring a squashed witch (with just the legs sticking out!)
- A gemstone ring
- A gorgeous coffin-shaped vegan eyeshadow palette from Lunatick Cosmetic labs (with a bat-shaped mirror!)
*I received a free copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.
About the Authors
Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of seven novels, two short story collections and a novella.
The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company. Their latest novel, Oddjobs 2: this time it’s personnel, was published in August 2017.
Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.
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