March 12, 2015

Virtual Tour: Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen Calonita @JabberwockyKids @jencalonita #GuestPost #Excerpt #Giveaway #Tour

Hi! Welcome to my stop on the enchanted Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen Calonita tour! Today I have an exclusive excerpt from the book and an amazing giveaway to share with you. And make sure you check back later in the month for my review of the book!

Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
Jen Calonita
Published by: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication: March 3rd 2015



Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run- down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).

Until she gets caught.

Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School- where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | BAM |!ndigo | IndieBound 

“Charming fairy-tale fun.” –Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Whatever After series.

Flunked is spellbinding and wickedly clever. Gilly is smart, spunky, and a hilarious narrator!” –Leslie Margolis, author of the Annabelle Unleashed and the Maggie Brooklyn mysteries.

Flunked is a fresh and funny take on the enchanted world. (And who hasn’t always wanted to know what happened to Cinderella’s stepmother?”)”  -Julie DeVillers, author of the Trading Faces identical twin series and Emma Emmets, Playground Matchmaker.

“A reform school where all the teachers are former villains.  Kinda writes itself, right?” -Betsy Bird’s Librarian Preview

There’s a boy up there, standing on the crystal chandelier! He has slightly curly blond hair and is wearing a uniform—­a navy sweater vest over a white shirt with khaki pants—­but his boots are muddy. He’s stepping on priceless crystals with cruddy boots? Is he insane?
“Jax! What are you doing up there?” Kayla whispers heatedly.
“I’m cleaning the crystal for Flora,” Jax says and rolls his eyes. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m making
a break for it.”
Kayla applauds. “Yay! This time I know you can do it.”
I shade my eyes from the light bursting through the stained-­glass window next to the chandelier Jax is perched on. “Busting out? Why?” I ask Kayla. “I thought you said this place was cool.”
Jax laughs loudly and looks at me. I feel slightly stunned. I’ve never seen violet eyes before. “FTRS was fun for a while, but strange things have started happening and I don’t want to be here when something bad goes down.”
Strange things? What kind of strange things? Why does Kayla suddenly look pale?
“He’s exaggerating,” Kayla tells me, but she doesn’t sound convincing.
Drip. Whatever Jax is holding is leaking. Kayla and I move out of the way so we don’t get wet. “Grease,” Jax explains to me. “It lubes the window.” He swings the chandelier, and as it nears the window, he uses a fork to try to pry the window open. “A few more tries and I’ll have it.”
“Then what are you going to do, genius?” I ask. “You’re two stories up.”
Jax’s eyes gleam. “I’ve jumped from higher spots before.”
“It’s true,” Kayla says to me. “Jax once jumped from the gym to the dining hall turret. That was three stories up. We call him the Escape Artist. One time he even managed to break into Azalea and Dahlia’s rooms and borrowed their keys to the indoor pool so the whole dorm could take a midnight swim.”
“Impressive,” I tell him. “And I thought I was good at tricking obnoxious royals.”
“She stole a dragon’s tooth clip from one this morning,” Kayla fills him in.
“Nice,” Jax says. “Your first pull?”
“No, I’ve been doing it for a while,” I brag.
“Me too,” Jax says. “My father is a farmer. You can only get so far trading vegetables. I needed to kick things up a notch.”
For some reason, I don’t think any of us are going to make the transformation Headmistress Flora is looking for. “Why do you want to break out so bad?”
“I’ve got places to see, and Enchantasia isn’t one of them.” Jax swings the chandelier so hard the crystals clang together. The window latch pops open, and I watch Jax leap from the chandelier to the tiny window ledge. I’m in awe. Jax looks down at us smugly before pushing open the window. “Are you sure you two don’t want to join me?”
“There’s no time for us,” Kayla says. “Get out of here. Wait!” Her eyes widen. “You deactivated the alarm on the window, right?”
“There isn’t one,” Jax insists. “If there was, I wouldn’t be able to do this.” But when Jax lifts the window, we hear:
EEEEEE! EEEE! EEEE! Unauthorized exit! Unauthorized exit!
The shrieking sound is so intense that Kayla and I cover our ears. Within seconds, Flora is out of her office and running toward us.
I feel something brush past me and I whirl around. When I look up at Jax again, a large, muscular man with a long mane of hair is hanging on to the window ledge, his furry hands pulling Jax back by his shirt. How did the man get up there without a ladder?
“Mr. Jax,” the man says in a low growl, “we really must stop meeting like this.”

Fairy Tale Reform School Quiz Link: Fairy Tale Reform School Quiz
If you get sentenced to Fairy Tale Reform School, it will help to have an ally. Take the quiz and find out who your mentor would be.

My Inspiration for Writing
Whenever I make a school presentation, I start off by telling the kids something it took me a long time to learn: The more you read, the better you write. Reading and writing go hand in hand. And in my opinion, so do writing and real-life experiences. When I thought about writing my first book, I pulled from my own life’s work. At the time, I was an entertainment magazine editor who interviewed teen stars for Teen People. Spending so much time around them made me wonder what it would be like to grow up in Hollywood. If I had to spend my life in front of a camera, what would I be like? Those questions inspired my first series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life. Real life also inspired my book Reality Check (about four girls getting their own reality TV series, which is something I learned a lot about in magazines) and my books about sleep-away camp (Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind).

As a teen, I was a camp counselor at a day camp on Long Island where I grew up and I loved working somewhere where I could spend the warm summer months outside and meet new friends. I felt comfortable creating stories that stemmed from experiences I had in my own life and I hope I will continue to mine from these areas in the future. That said, everything I’ve written up to here is pretty girly, which drove my two young boys insane. For a while they’ve asked: “Why don’t you write something we can read?” So I thought about what that story would be. I like writing from a girl’s point of view, but I knew any story I wrote would also have to have a lot of fun boy characters in it. That’s when I thought of the fairy tales. I’ve always been fascinated with them. Growing up, I fixated on the villains. Were they all bad? What would happen if they apologized for their wrong doings? Could they stay in their fairy tale world or were they banished? Over time, those questions slowly helped me develop the world of Enchantasia and all that it entails. I may never have grown up in an overcrowded boot or hauled off by the dwarf police squad for pickpocketing, but I know what it’s like to feel left out and sometimes jealous. All this time, I thought I could only create characters like this when I based a story in reality. Turns out I was wonderfully wrong. It’s been so much fun to do world building and tackle villains and heroes from a magical far-off land for a change. This time, I was inspired by a place completely new—my own imagination.

Jen Calonita is the author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and other books like Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind, but Fairy Tale Reform School is her first middle grade series. She rules Long Island, New York with husband Mike, princes Tyler and Dylan, and Chihuahua Captain Jack Sparrow, but the only castle she’d ever want to live in is Cinderella’s at Disney World. She’d love for you to drop her a line at or keep the fairy tale going at

Find Jen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

(Open 2/22-3/31) 5 Print Copies of Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School

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