Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book Block: MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL by Mindy Klasky

As promised, we've got more Book Blocks, and today's is fiction!

Written by Mindy Klasky

Book Title:
Magic and the Modern Girl
Genre: Chicklit/Paranormal Romance
Format: Trade Paperback
Book Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Red Dress Ink
Release Date: October 1, 2008

A brief overview: Jane Madison, a librarian who is also a witch, has a lot to juggle in her busy life. She strives to advance her career at Washington, D.C.'s Peabridge Library (even though she's required to wear colonial garb and to brew more-than-occasional coffees at the snack bar.) She hopes to balance her evolving relationships with her mother and her grandmother. She wouldn't mind finding the man of her dreams. There just isn't a lot of time left over to practice witchcraft. Not a lot of time, that is, until Jane's powers start to disappear, due to non-use. When she tries one last-ditch spell to recharge her magic arsenal, she has no way of knowing just how wrong things can go….

The "Book Block":
The Jane Madison Series (Girl's Guide to Witchcraft, Sorcery and the Single Girl, and Magic and the Modern Girl) occupies a unique place in paranormal romance – it is chicklit for the thinking woman. The series relies on humor in a "Bridget Jones" style, focusing on the dating and magic-ing woes of a young, single woman in the big city. As I developed the series, though, I was determined to make my main character special in a sea of pink-cartoon-cover books with marriage-minded heroines: I was determined to make Jane intelligent.

As an initial matter, I made Jane a librarian. Even when her magic goes awry, even when her love-life is in disarray, Jane remains a supremely capable professional librarian. Her work on the reference desk draws heavily from my own experience in the field; she competently develops patron programs and delivers presentations that maximize her exposure as a successful career woman.

In addition, Jane plays intellectual games with her best friend. Most often, the women exchange snippets from Shakespeare plays, challenging each other to identify the play, the act, and the scene. Jane fully comprehends classic literature, she regularly compares herself to heroines from great plays and novels in our cultural past. Moreover, she assists her grandmother in preparing for the annual Concert Opera Gala. She is an educated woman, well-versed in traditional culture.

Finally, Jane possesses few skills or interests in the traditional chicklit mainstay areas of clothing, shoes, and makeup. Jane must rely on her magical familiar for fashion advice; she has no interest in or knowledge of designers or "in" shops. (At the same time, she does end up with chic accessories, so that readers looking for those details can be satisfied.) Because fashion is not overwhelmingly important to Jane, it does not weigh down the telling of her story.

In short, Jane's intellectual approach to life spices her story, making it unique on the sometimes-crowded chicklit tables.

Where To Buy The Book:
Amazon, Powells, and brick and mortar stores near you

Mindy's Website:


ryan field said...

Good storyline and excellent cover.

Deborah Blake said...

I've read all the books in this series and they are not only intelligent and witty, they are FUN as well! Kudos to Mindy Klasky! (And who says chicklit is dead. Bah!)

If you haven't read them yet, run don't walk to your nearest bookstore...

Anne Harris said...

I don't understand the accepted wisdom that chick lit is dead. It may have been over hyped for a while, but it seems to me there is as much of an audience for it as ever.

Alicia said...

I've read the first two books in this series and love them! I can't wait to get started on the third. Jenny, thanks for doing a Book Block on Mindy. I definitely recommend her for anyone who likes intelligent and fun paranormal romances. Charming series!