New book alert!

Publishers Marketplace Deal Report. Mage You Look by Valerie Valdes. Imprint: Avon. Where Peace Is Lost and Chilling Effect author Valerie Valdes's Mage You Look, first in a romantasy series, pitched as Witch Please meets The Love Con, in which a magic shop technician in Miami must win a spellcasting competition reality show before she's unemployed, broke and evicted, only to find herself partnered with a celebrity best known for his spectacular spell fails.

I’m so pleased to announce my next big project!

Mage You Look is the first book in a new contemporary romantasy series. It’s about a magic shop technician in Miami who has to win a spellcasting competition reality show before she’s unemployed, broke and evicted… except she ends up partnered with an internet celebrity best known for his spectacular spell fails.

The drama! The magical mishaps! The inevitable smooching!

This book has had a long and winding journey. It started out as secondary world fantasy, in a Caribbean-inspired Regency-adjacent setting, and the competition element was apprentices vying for a place in a mage’s renowned workshop. Then, everything changed when the fire nation attacked.

Okay, no fire nations, but the book languished until I started watching the Great British Bake-Off. I hadn’t realized I needed that puzzle piece to make my story complete, but there it was! And so instead of apprentices trying to become mages, it was amateur casters trying to win lucrative prizes and prestige in a spellcasting competition.

As much as I loved that book, it didn’t win over any editors, alas. But Tessa Woodward, who’s been working as my editor since I debuted, asked me: what if we make this modern instead?

Oh, the possibilities! I jumped right in and reworked the characters, the setting, the plot. Still a woman working in a magic shop who dreams of more, still a magical competition where she might win her way out of customer service drudgery, but now we’re filming reality TV on a sound stage in Miami. We’ve traded carriages for a party bus, and a fancy manor house for a boutique hotel. Totally sweet.

I’ll be sharing more details as we get closer to publication time, so stay tuned. For now, let’s Snoopy dance together in excitement!

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