To begin the MuseItUp MG/YA month-long blog fest, I’d like to begin by introducing Marva Dasef. One might remember her interview from last month where she presented her newest adult novel, Missing, Assumed Dead. Marva is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a fat white cat.  Retired from thirty-five years in the software industry, she has now turned her energies to writing fiction and finds it a much more satisfying occupation.  Marva has published more than forty stories in a number of on-line and print magazines, with several included in Best of anthologies. She has several already published books of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery. A few more are scheduled for 2011 and 2012 from her super duper publisher, MuseItUp.

Today, Marva is introducing her newest MG fantasy...

BAD SPELLING – Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Release date: October 14th MuseItUp Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/3daem4r

Enter to win a free ebook drawn from the comments. Select either MG fantasy "Bad Spelling" or adult mystery "Missing, Assumed Dead."

If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home. 

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo.  A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way. At the Troll Kingdom, a young troll, Andy, joins the siblings in their quest to find the shaman and kill the curse.

Readers and fans can find Marva Dasef at

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/MarvaDasef
Twitter Handle: @Gurina

Enter to win a free ebook drawn from the comments. Select either MG fantasy "Bad Spelling" or adult mystery "Missing, Assumed Dead."

Read excerpts from Bad Spelling below the trailer....


She (Miss Mariah) faced the class. “Now then, please take out your chalk and wands for today’s lesson, which is,” she shot a semi-annoyed look at Rune and Dalton, “transformation.” The Wiccan students rustled bags and whispered to each other while they did as told.

When the witches and warlocks in training looked up, she continued. “Although some students can transform without benefit of pentagram and wand, those of you who are beginners, or less motivated—” she paused and gave Kat a hard look, “must practice first with the proper equipment.”

Kat’s face warmed, and she sank lower into her chair. Heaving a sigh, she set her brown bunny, Teddy, on her desktop and fumbled in her bag for her spell book, yew wood wand, and chalk.

Merry, the curly-haired blonde witch sitting next to Kat, waved her arm in the air.

“What is it, Merry?” Miss Mariah asked.

“Can you make Katrina sit somewhere else? Whenever she’s near me, my spells don’t work right. She’s a jinx.”

The class snickered. Kat grimaced at Merry. If I got my hands on her…aw, what’s the use?

“No, everybody stays right where they are,” Miss Mariah snapped. She pasted on a fake smile and continued in a treacle-sweet voice. “Now, class, draw the pentagram on your desktop and place your familiar in its center.”

The younger students practicing their first transformations looked to the board where, under Miss Mariah’s control, the chalk drew a practice pentagram stopping short of completing the last of the five points. She tapped the board. “An unattended pentagram can cause all sorts of problems, the least being a tusser or tomte taking advantage of an open gateway. They’re harmless for the most part but like to play tricks. So be prepared with your spell before completing the pentagram.” More than one kid smudged an opening in their already drawn star.

“Children, you must focus. Don’t let yourselves get distracted.” Miss Mariah adjusted a child’s grip on his wand as she walked by.

Merry curled her lip and hissed, “You’d better not screw me up. If I can’t work this spell right, it’ll be your fault.”

“Tough luck, Merry,” Kat snarled. “If you’re such a great witch, my being here shouldn’t make any difference.”

Turning away from Merry, Kat finished the final leg of her pentagram and set the bunny in the center. “Stay right there, Teddy,” she whispered to her little brown rabbit, setting a chunk of carrot in front of him. He made a dash for the edge of the desk. Kat hauled him back. “Cut it out. You’ll smear my chalk lines.” She stroked his soft fur for a moment. “Hope this works.” He twitched his nose twice, closed his eyes, and hunkered down.

Kat checked her spell book one last time, took a deep breath, and completed the spell with a loud “Fullgerður!” and a dramatic sweep of her arms, just missing Merry’s head with her wand.

Merry shrieked and jumped out of her chair. She glared at Kat while wiping green goo off the side of her face. “Your rabbit stinks. Just like your spellcasting!”

Excerpt 2:

“All aboard!” the driver shouted. Rune climbed into the car behind the driver’s. Kat thought of it as the engine, something she’d read about in her history book. However, it didn’t appear to have any motive power, just the troll holding the brake.

Andy hugged his brothers, Endy and Indy, for the last time. They patted him on the back and murmured in his ear. Kat assumed they were wishing him a good journey. When she saw tears in their eyes, she turned away to give them some privacy. Maybe Andy would never have left the trolls if it hadn’t been for her. Yet Andy seemed eager to find his original family in Siberia.

Kat asked Rune for cushions. He shook his head and said, “Wimp. It’s only ten minutes. You’ve got plenty of padding already.”

Brothers! However, she realized she’d never have gotten this far without Rune. She swung a leg over the edge of the same car as Rune had hopped in. Not sure what to expect, she sat in the back corner and braced herself as best she could. Andy climbed in and sat kitty-corner from her at the front. Rune wedged himself in the opposite corner from Kat.

It was a good thing she was holding on tight. The driver released the brake, and the train shot forward. Her head snapped back and hit the side of the car, making her very glad she’d also thought to pull up the hood on her parka. She had a certain grim satisfaction seeing Rune wince when his head bounced off the backside of the car.

The train picked up speed until the walls of the tunnel became a blur. As the train rushed forward, spirit lights flicked on before them and winked out once they passed. Kat wondered whether she wouldn’t have preferred to travel in the dark; the motion and the flashing lights were making her dizzy. Besides moving at a horrendous speed, the cars rocked back and forth on the track. Her tailbone suffered in earnest within a minute.

Then it got worse.

The train pitched downward at a frightening angle. Feeling herself slip, Kat pushed her feet out away from the wall. She scrabbled trying to find a foothold to keep herself from tumbling forward. Unbelievably, the ore train picked up even more speed as it raced down the rails. Kat risked lifting her head enough to peek over the edge.

She immediately wished she hadn’t. The troll who was supposed to be controlling this headlong rush into oblivion was standing at the front of the engine car with his arms waving in the air! Andy wasn’t holding his hands up, but he still had a big grin plastered across his face.

“Brake! Brake!” Kat tried to scream, but the wind pushed her words back down her throat. Her eyes wide with fear, tears streamed from the corners. She looked at Rune in the other back corner of the car. He, too, had his arms stuck up in the air. His mouth was open, so he must be yelling something, but Kat couldn’t hear anything except the clattering of the wheels and the horrible rush of wind as the car barreled down the slope.
Thanks for joining me today Marva...and for our readers, be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win a free ebook. Select either MG fantasy "Bad Spelling" or adult mystery "Missing, Assumed Dead."

Thanks for stopping by!
C.K. Volnek