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Joe Castro knows the power of a great story—he’s a reporter for the school newspaper. Every night he files the biggest story he can find.

But on December 13, a slow news day in Carpinteria—a California beachtown and home to the old Cinderella Studios, which once made classic fantasy, adventure and monster flicks—nothing’s happening.

He goes for a walk—and stumbles on the biggest story ever.

And his cousins Hector and Ana—mere 7th graders—are in the middle of it.

But let’s go back, to the beginning….


September 13’s a black day for Hector Gonzalez. He can’t get his dad out of bed. Seventh-grade bully Auggie Forsythe slimes him with kumquats. And the star of his mutant movie (Hector’s a director, like Steven Spielberg) says his lines backwards at rehearsal, to sound more “alien.”

Then he meets the new kid: Hillary Calliope Finn. Tall and pale, like Ripley in Alien. Red hair exploding from her head, like War of the Worlds fireballs. She’s come to Carpinteria to live with her grandparents, Grace and Max, famous fantasy writers. But actually, she tells Hector, she’s the princess of Eä—a small archipelago, no need to bow….

The truth’s stranger: Hillary’s an Enchanter, the latest in a long line of storytellers who can conjure anything with their tales. It’s powerful magic—magic she’ll share with Hector.

But she doesn’t know any of that yet.


About the Author

Annie Finnigan is a Californian-turned-Coloradan who loves good food, good company and, most of all, good stories. She has written for, amongst others, Working Mother, Hallmark,  and Newsweek. Enchanted Ink: Be/twixt is her first novel. It has been suggested that her big, crazy imagination and big, crazy hair are directly connected. 

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