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Spellcast [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Ashford
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Mass Market Paperback $7.19  
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Book Description

When Maggie Graham lost her job and her apartment fell to pieces, she decided to flee New York City for a while and hide in Vermont, at the Crossroads Theatre. She hadn't planned to audition, yet soon found herself part of the summer stock cast. But her previous acting experiences couldn't prepare her for the theater's unusual staff-and its handsome, almost otherworldly director.

Read Barbara Ashford's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

Editorial Reviews


Four Stars. (Romantic Times Book Reviews)

A surprisingly poignant novel...woven by an author with a deft touch at creating a realistic and emotional love story. (Night Owl Reviews Top Pick)

There's a vast but little known overlap between fans of fantasy and fans of musical theater, and Barbara Ashford hits the sweet spot on both with SPELLCAST. It's warm, humorous, emotional, heartfelt, and full of magic. Curse you, Barbara, for making me cry! And for getting ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ stuck in my head all week.
(New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn)

[A] charming fantasy novel...left me wanting more, in fine theatrical tradition.

One of those rare gems... something completely different... a love story, a fantasy, a mystery, and a theatre book all rolled into one. (New Myths)

About the Author

Barbara Ashford grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and began her theatrical debut at an early age. After performing all over in converted playhouses from barns to churches to used car showrooms, she gave up performance to write musical theatre. Eventually she returned to fiction, using her theatre background to create the novel that became Spellcast. Barbara Ashford can be found at

Product Details

  • File Size: 903 KB
  • Print Length: 446 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 075640682X
  • Publisher: DAW (May 3, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XFZ4DG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,032 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very unexpected June 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Kindle books because if a book is bad I usually haven't spent a bunch on it and don't feel bad in getting rid of it.

Spellcast is one that I'll read again in a few months and again after that and maybe again after that. The description of the book is mild compared to just how good this book is. It held me captivated, the characters are well drawn, the plot is not what you think and the resolution of the two main characters will surprise you. And it's a good surprise and in hindsight makes sense, it is the only resolution that makes sense for these character. It would be nice to know or think that there will a sequel but I don't see how one would work as well as Spellcast.

I'm not trying to be mysterious, just don't want to ruin it for anyone. Take a chance and BUY THIS BOOK.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books of this year May 9, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After hearing so many good things about Spellcast by Barbara Ashford I knew I had to read it, I was waiting for the perfect moment and it came during my vacation, a vacation in which I vowed not to read (much) or do anything book related. But Spellcast had another idea; after reading just couple of paragraphs I found myself completely surrendered to its magic and wishing for more alone time to read.

I like and enjoy theater but if I'm being honest I don't know much about what's going on behind the curtains nor do I know about the process it takes for an idea to become a reality in a stage. Mrs. Ashford clearly knows her theater and in Spellcast she masterfully brings all her knowledge to the pages making us live and experience the life behind and on the theater.

What I liked about Spellcast? I liked everything, there is nothing I can say I didn't like. Spellcast is a book that made me laugh, cry, hope and wish for more. The characters are diverse and so well written that they felt very real, so real that you can identify them with people you know. They all have their flaws and their good qualities, flaws and qualities you also identify in yourself and others.

Maggie is a great heroine, her life is upside-down and she finds herself in a weird theater, surrounding by unconventional people. She knows there is more to them and the theater even though they are pretending everything is normal. I loved how she was stubborn enough not to let other people's suggestions change her reality.

Rowan is the mysterious hero with a secret past and an aura of sadness surrounding him. He is moody and reclusive but lives to helps others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Gem of a Read... July 30, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Totally taken by surprise regarding SPELLCAST by Barbara Ashford! This book was sugary sweet, but deeply introspective all wrapped up in a musical that was laced with a little paranormal tid-bits here and there. I still don't know why I accepted this review copy, I'm not into musical theater, I guess it was the cover, or the originality, or maybe even the glowing reviews - but I'm so glad I did take it, read it and subsequently highly enjoy it. Don't judge, just read. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

On a whim Maggie Graham, unemployed, unattached and slightly frayed, ends up in Vermont looking for a bed and breakfast. Instead of finding a place to crash for the night she ends up auditioning for the Crossroads Theatre and being cast into minor rolls for three separate plays that will be performed that summer. Not know why she accepts the gig, Maggie ends up in a run down hotel, being paid $100 a week and now a part of a very strange cast of characters and an otherworldly staff - that casts people not by the character they could best play, but by the character that will teach them the most.

Maggie is the only one that has any prior acting experiences, but the ridiculously handsome, yet strangely ethereal director will only put her in characters that he thinks will make her a better person. It would seem that Rowan, the director has made it his life goal to help people through singing and acting and he has an almost magic voice that brings the motley cast together to make something spectacular. At first skeptical Maggie is soon drawn into friendships and helping others like she never has before. She finds herself eerily drawn to Rowan and his mystery and the aura of otherness that surrounds the staff of the Crossroads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Couldn't put it down! July 25, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I got this book from the book section at Fred Meyer and wasn't really expecting too much. All I can say is that I just spent the last 5 hours doing nothing but being completely engrossed in the world of the Crossroads Theater! It is refreshing to have characters that are not a vampire or a werewolf or a zombie and the writing was mesmerizing!

This is by far one of the best books I've read in months and will be pre-ordering the sequel as soon as I am able.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy-romance May 20, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Spellcast is a wonderful fantasy-romance with enough mystery and suspense to keep readers guessing until the last page. A mysterious director beckons people from all over the country to his theater to perform musicals based on what they "need" to learn. The 32-year-old heroine begins to delve into the director's secrets while (naturally) falling in love with him.

The narrative voice tends toward chic-lit side rather than epic fantasy, and it worked marvelously well. I loved getting the inside knowledge of theater that Barbara Ashford obviously brings to the tale.

Despite being lifelong lover of fantasy, I have found most fantasy romances to be largely unsatisfying (the books of Juliette Marillier being an exception). Spellcast won't disappoint.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonder !
Such a magical, enchanting story ! It will make you laugh, cry, fall in love with the characters. You will wish that it never ends ! Wondrous !
Published 3 months ago by Jacqui Bradshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars By far one of my favorite fantasies to date...
32 year old Maggie Graham is having a very, very bad day. First she loses her job, then she watches as the bathroom ceiling in her tiny New York apartment falls down. Read more
Published 7 months ago by MyBookishWays
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love it, but....
Paperback/Paranormal Romance: I wanted so much to like this book more, but it was a struggle to read it for me. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Brave Warrior
4.0 out of 5 stars Paranormal romance in a contemporary theater setting
This is an unusual novel in that it combines contemporary fantasy and a highly realistic account of what it takes to put on musical theater in summer stock. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Carol Holland March
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and idiosyncratic "urban fantasy"
This is the first novel, and it has an equally good sequel. However, I'd recommend reading this one first, because the sequel expects one to know the intricate relationships... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Cissa
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a grabber!
I totally enjoyed this book! It brought me back in time thinking of my theater days. The humor and wit that Barbara uses completely captured me and I couldn't put this down. Read more
Published on August 4, 2012 by Maureen Ross Gemme
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting read
4 3/4 stars!
"Spellcast" by Barbara Ashford is a sweetly fantastic book that conjures up the highs and lows of summer theater as it tells the tale of Maggie Graham who ends up... Read more
Published on July 16, 2012 by Elf2060
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful & Subtle
In SPELLCAST, Maggie Graham's life is a bit of a mess. And then it gets worse. She's not the sort of heroine who packs a sidearm and looks good in leather; she finds her strength... Read more
Published on April 22, 2012 by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Enchantment
For those of us who love to be in control of all things - our jobs, our personal lives, our reputations, SPELLCAST is a wonderful tale of what happens when fate has other plans... Read more
Published on April 22, 2012 by R. C. Fitzsimmons
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting New Book!
I enjoyed reading Ms. Ashford's book. She definitely has a passion for Theater. I love the relationships that are developed in the book , particularly among Rowan and Maggie. Read more
Published on April 19, 2012 by Steven F. Silverstein
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More About the Author

Barbara wrote her first novel "Cherokee the Wild Pinto" when she was eight years old and prepared the final manuscript on her Tom Thumb typewriter. She abandoned a career in educational administration to pursue a life in the theatre, working as an actress in summer stock and dinner theatre and later, as a lyricist and librettist. Her years as an actress inspired her to create the Crossroads Theatre series - "Spellcast" and "Spellcrossed." Barbara lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband whom she met while performing in the play "Bedroom Farce." Visit her at

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