[The Dark Woods Series - Book 1]

Homely, awkward farm boy Jode Lintwich longs for adventure and greatness: two things which can't be had in his humble village and seldom happen to anyone like himself. But desperation can change anyone's destiny–and Jode is desperate enough to try.

A visit to a local witch, a few coins, and an accidental promise transforms Jode into something beyond his wildest imaginings; and also causes him to be cast out of his own village for good. A wanderer turned loose in the world, Jode must learn the truth about the magic upon him and embrace a destiny greater than any he ever imagined. If he wants to survive, he must find the key to his ultimate happiness, and escape the danger inflicted upon him by the two-sided gift of the witch's magic.

From a pirate ship to the sands of the desert, from a mercenary knight to a monarch's deceptive pawn, the adventures of Jode-turned-Handsome-Jack are as a varied as his namesake's tales ... and as far from his true fate as he could possibly imagine.

Preview Book

by C. Hawthorne and G.B. Anders

$2.99 at Time of Posting
Fantasy | Fairy Tales | Reviews
Published: August 5, 2013
Length: 545 Pages

 The Review 


Poor Jode Lintwich. Living in his small, remote village, he dreams of being a charming, handsome adventurer attaining glory, fame and riches. He listens fervently to every traveler's tale, committing them to memory and parroting them to anyone who will listen. But his heart's desire, his most desperate dream, is to be loved by a maid. He would take any maid, as long as she loved him in return.

But Jode has a problem, well several problems, not least of which is that fact that he's a scrawny, homely and unlikable youth with a face only a mother could love. A boy who's the joke of the entire village because of his awkward attempts at distinguishing himself through bragging and exaggerations. No maid looks at him without derision and scorn, of which Jode is well aware. In all his memories, there's only one girl who's smiled at him with open friendliness. A plain maid. Someone's servant girl. A girl whom Jode has only seen once . . . one quick glance as they passed in the street, but he well remembers her face and the expression of kindness directed toward him.

Jode would do anything to win the heart of a maid and can think of only one solution - A visit to Molly Greery, the witch living in the nearby swamp. He gathers his courage and fights his way through the treacherous path to Molly's cottage, which turns into a "be careful what you wish for" kind of situation. Molly weaves a powerful spell that knocks Jode off his feet and turns his world inside-out. He wakes to find that he's been transformed into Jack. He's now handsome, charming and courageous, but the spell comes with a curse - His life is tied to the plain maid and he can love no other. To do so means death. From this point on in the story, Jode/Jack follows his destiny through desert bandits, dragons, a fairy pond and other impossible challenges to rule a kingdom, find his one true love and break the curse to save his life.

Charming is one of those books you wish would never end. At 545 pages, it's a fabulously lengthy, imaginative and thrilling dark fairy tale filled with adventure, danger, valor, romance and most of all magic.

This is actually the second time I've read the book, and it just gets better. The first go-round, I was in such a dither to see where the ending would take me, I hurried through it. This time, I took my time to read every delicious word. I don't think I can sufficiently express to you how amazing Charming is. C. Hawthorne and G.B Anders are truly master storytellers. It's actually one of the best books I've read in quite a while, so I'm giving Charming: A Cinderella Prequel a wholehearted 5 Star Review!

Watch for our review of the second book of this two-part story,
Cindermaid: A Tale of Cinderella, tomorrow!

It appears that, although they've written numerous books, C. Hawthorne and G.B. Anders have absolutely no social media links (at least none that we can find)!😕 Perhaps they're some sort of pen name or pseudonym. We'll update this post asap if there's any information to be found.