Hey, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and booklovers! I want to shout from the roof tops that e-ARCS (advanced reading copies) and audio ARCS of my latest middle-grade book, SPELL SWEEPER, are now available for request on NetGalley and Edelweiss. I’m particularly excited that it’s available as an audio ARC—this is a relatively new format and technology that publishers have been rolling out, and we decided to use this format instead of providing traditional print arcs (this seemed a particularly good fit during pandemic times).
An audio arc is generated by a computer voice, though it’s stunningly human-like (the future is here, folks). Rest assured, a traditional audiobook version of Spell Sweeper will be released this fall along with the hardcover format, and that version will feature a professional voice-over actor as the narrator.
I think Spell Sweeper really matches well with an audio presentation. It’s unlike any other book I’ve written: it’s first person, present tense, and features some real-world locations such as the Whistler Train Wreck.
As for what the story is about? I often like to describe Spell Sweeper as “Ghostbusters goes to Wizard School,” but my editor, the wonderful Stephanie Stein at HarperChildrens, recently tweeted a far more compelling write-up:
“I love magical school books, and this one is hilarious, messy, inventive, and full of heart, with a protagonist who’s halfway to flunking out of wizard school and has a chip on her shoulder the size of the moon!”
The official back cover text:
There’s nothing magical about wizard school
. . . at least not for Cara Moone
Most wizard kids spend their days practicing spells and wielding wands, but Cara? She’s on the fast track to becoming a MOP (a.k.a. Magical Occurrence Purger). You see, when a real wizard casts a spell, it leaves behind a residue called spell dust—which, if not disposed of properly, can cause absolute chaos in the nonmagical world. It’s a MOP’s job to clean up the mess.
And no one makes more of a mess than Harlee Wu. Believed to be the Chosen One, destined to save the magical world, Harlee makes magic look easy. Which makes her Cara’s sworn nemesis. Or she would be, if she even knew Cara existed.
Then one of Harlee’s spells leaves something downright dangerous behind it: a rift in the fabric of magic itself. And when more rifts start to appear around the school, all in places Harlee has recently used magic, Cara is pretty sure the so-called “Chosen One” isn’t going to save the world. She’s going to destroy it.
It will take more than magic to clean up a mess this big. Fortunately, messes are kind of Cara’s thing.
Spell Sweeper is officially released in November by HarperCollins Children’s Books. You can add it to Goodreads here, and find preorder links here. (And please do add it to Goodreads and/or pre-order it; these actions really help authors!)