Spellsinger, Chapter 1: Tweenage Squee

It’s another big day for Kara: today — if the inspection goes well — the Town Council will give the party a permit for their Ravenswood Benefit Concert. So what better way to pump Kara up for the meeting than singing along to Be*Tween’s latest single?

Okay, not the kind of music that would get me pumped up, but whatever. Be*Tween is Kara’s new favorite band, and they’re supposed to play at the benefit, so it’s appropriate.

Anyway, Kara rushes outside to meet her dad, making sure to take a moment to say bye to her mom. Mrs. Davies just says a cursory “Okay, dear,” which isn’t commented on in the original edition. The scene is expanded in the revision, and sheds some light on Kara’s personality and her relationship with her mother:

“I have a big meeting with the council about the benefit!” Kara yelled. For a second she wished her mom would just show a little interest in all of her hard work at Ravenswood. Well, this concert would be hard to ignore! Cheered by that thought, she shot out the front door, bolting into a crisp October morning.

For those wondering about the series’ continuity, you’ll be glad to know this book takes place sometime in October, meaning that the events of the series so far have taken place over three or four months.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Windor and some members of the city council — Sid Stewart, Lionel Waxxer Hoover, and Mary Rollins — are waiting impatiently for Mayor Davies and Kara to arrive. Emily shows up and decides to do some advertising for the Ravenswood website. Of course, in the original edition it’s also an opportunity to mention a real-life sponsor of the series:

“We’ve linked to the kids’ division of the National Humane Society called NAHEE [National Association for Humane and Environmental Education]. It’s all about helping animals.”

It’s a little bit harder to get to the parents, educators, and kids sections of the website now, so the above quote is significantly different in the new edition. Emily only mentions that she’s posted articles on animals and environmental issues, because “we all have to think ‘green'”.

Mrs. Windor doesn’t really give a shit about the website, though — she just wants to make sure there’ll be no more incidents with “fake” unicorns or other wild beasties. She seems to be alone in this regard; everyone else on the town council loved Lorelei’s unexpected appearance at the last football game. Hell, the team actually won that night. (And against a high school team, too!)

Kara finally shows up and gives the city council a tour of the great lawns, where the benefit should take place. She’s enthusiastic about Be*Tween’s participation in the event, and the council is excited by all the media attention Stonehill will get. However, Adriane arrives and bursts everyone’s bubble by showing Kara an e-mail from Be*Tween’s agent. Be*Tween has disappeared, so they won’t be able to attend the benefit. This pisses off everyone who isn’t Mrs. Windor.

Then Adriane shows Kara another e-mail. Be*Tween’s agent is sending another of his clients to take the band’s place at the benefit: current teen idol Johnny Conrad. The party turns into a puddle of squee, because Johnny Conrad is Just That Awesome. Meanwhile, Mrs. Windor does a Finger Pyramid of Evil Contemplation and imagines Ravenswood trampled under the feet of a herd of squeeing pre-teens.

Interesting note here: the name of Be*Tween’s talent agency in the original edition (Cigam Management) holds a clue to defeating a boss that shows up in the next book. The agency’s name is changed in the new edition to “Worldwide Tours Unlimited”, and has no connection to the boss. Unfortunately, it also means that when Kara does figure out how to beat said boss in the new edition, the solution is kinda pulled out of thin air because it’s not referenced anywhere else.

Anyway, I hate Mrs. Windor and her unreasonable hatred of the party, nature, and unicorns. Nobody can be as bitter as her in real life, right?

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • It’s official: “B*Tween” is how you spell the band’s name.
  • Mrs. Windor doesn’t call Emily by name in her inner monologue initially — she just calls her “red-haired girl”.
  • Kara doesn’t run up to Adriane when she arrives with the news regarding B*Tween and Johnny Conrad.

Next time: Mrs. Windor kicks everyone’s favorite magic German koala bear.



  1. After seeing the things I have, I don’t have a problem believing someone could be that bitter. Naming her “Beasley” is just trying too hard though. A real name, but I’ve never seen it as a personal name before.

    The Cigam Management/Worldwide Tours Unlimited change is just bizarre. This would be the first time I wished there had been no change at all.

    1. In hindsight, I didn’t know any bitter people until I moved to Boston and started grad school … the latter of which happened after I wrote this post. Now I can say with confidence that those sorts of people are out there.

      I’ve never met anyone named “Beasley” before, but the name does conjure images of crabby middle-aged ladies for some reason.

      1. Ms. Beazley (or Beasley; not sure how it’s spelled) is the name of an old woman that works in the cafeteria in Archie Comics.

        Do you have the song MP3s from the old Avalon site? I tried downloading them, but they weren’t actually there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s