Note: This Author's Forum event is a part of the 2012 Ann Arbor Book Festival highlighting newly published and aspiring writers.
Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling—and downright silly—curse. Ridiculous though the curse may be, whoever breaks it will win a handsome reward.
Sharp-witted Reveka, an herbalist’s apprentice, has little use for princesses, with their snooty attitudes and impractical clothing. She does, however, have use for the reward money that could buy her a position as a master herbalist.
But curses don’t like to be broken, and Reveka’s efforts lead her to deeper mysteries. As she struggles to understand the curse, she meets a shadowy stranger (as charming as he is unsettling) and discovers a blighted land in desperate need of healing. Soon the irreverent apprentice is faced with a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?
Though she was born in Michigan, Merrie Haskell grew up in North Carolina. She wrote her first story at age seven, and she walked dogs after school to save for her first typewriter. Since then, her first book, The Princess Curse, debuted in 2011, and was a Junior Library Guild selection. Her next book, Handbook for Dragon Slayers, is forthcoming in Summer 2013 from HarperCollins.
Haskell returned north to attend the Residential College of the University of Michigan, where she earned a BA in biological anthropology. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Nature, Strange Horizons, and Unplugged: The Year’s Best Online Fiction. She now lives in Saline, Michigan, with her husband and stepdaughter. She works in a library in Ann Arbor with more than 7 million books, and she finds this to be just about the right number.
Ayn Reineke is a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan College of LSA. She works in the LSA Dean’s Office as the executive secretary to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. A prolific reader and writer, Ayn spends her free time absorbed in young adult and children’s literature. She is the author of five young adult novels that she hopes to publish someday.