Monday, December 4, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from The Fairytale Life of Dorothy Gale by Virginia Kantra

New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra delivers escapist reading at its best in THE FAIRYTALE LIFE OF DOROTHY GALE, a whimsical, contemporary retelling of the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz about four friends who face love, heartbreak, and academic and professional hardships during one fateful year at Trinity College - available now!

About the Book

The Fairytale Life of Dorothy Gale
by Virginia Kantra

Format 384 pages, Paperback
Published December 5, 2023 by Berkley
ISBN 9780593547717
A woman learns to follow her own road in this heartwarming novel inspired by The Wizard of Oz by New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

Dorothy “Dee” Gale is searching for a place to belong. After their globe-trotting mother’s death, Dee and her sister Toni settled with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in Kansas, where Dee attends graduate school. But when Dee’s relationship with a faculty member, a bestselling novelist, ends in heartbreak and humiliation, she’s caught in a tornado of negative publicity. Unable to face her colleagues—or her former lover—Dee applies to the writing program at Trinity College Dublin.

Dee’s journey to Ireland leads her to new companions: seemingly brainless Sam Clery—who dropped out of college and now runs a newsagent’s shop—is charming and hot, in a dissolute, Irish poet kind of way; allegedly heartless Tim Woodman—who stiffly refused to take back his ex-fiancée—seems stuck in his past; and fiercely loyal Reeti Kaur, who longs for the courage to tell her parents she wants to teach underprivileged girls rather than work in the family business.

In a year of opportunities and changes, love and loss, Dee is mentored by powerful women in the writing program, challenging her to see herself and her work with new eyes. With her friends, Dee finds the confidence to confront her biggest fears—including her intimidating graduate advisor, who may not be so wicked after all.

Faced with a choice with far-reaching consequences, Dee must apply the lessons she’s learned along the way about making a family, finding a home...and recognizing the power that’s been inside her all along.


“I told you you’d need a drink by the time The Ward was through with you,” Reeti said. “How bad was it?”
The pub was packed with people off from work or out to dinner, the air thick with the smell of grease and beer. The cheerful noise of music and conversation wrapped our table in a bubble of privacy.
“Bad.” I took a sip of Guinness. The chosen drink of Ireland puckered my mouth. Like I’d made a mistake in ordering it. In being here at all. “She had his book. Grayson Kettering’s. She showed it to me.”
“What book?”
“Destiny Gayle.”
Maybe I should pretend that everything was okay. That I was okay. I didn’t want to watch the sympathy fade from Reeti’s face, replaced by contempt. I wasn’t running away, I told myself. I hadn’t slunk off to my hotel room to lick my wounds and search the Internet for scraps about Gray’s bestseller rank and upcoming movie. I was out for dinner in a real Irish pub, drinking a real Irish Guinness. Trying new things. Making a new friend. Take that, Dr. Ward.
Except . . . A clean slate.
A fresh start.
Weren’t friends supposed to tell each other things?
Another bitter swallow. “That’s my name. I’m Dee Gale.”
Reeti’s brow furrowed. “I don’t understand. I mean, the name . . . That’s a weird coincidence, sure. But Grayson Kettering . . . He’s kind of a big deal, isn’t he? I mean, it’s not like he wrote a book about you.”
“Actually . . .” I rubbed the wet ring from my glass on the tabletop. Forced myself to go on. The worst that could happen . . . It had already happened, right? What did I have to lose by being honest? Other than Reeti’s respect. “He did. At least . . . He based her on me. His character, Destiny. We . . . We knew each other at the University of Kansas.”
“Wow.” Reeti sat back. “So you’re, like, famous.”
I grimaced into my glass, afraid to look at her. “Me and Hester Prynne.”
She laughed. “It can’t be that bad.”
“Have you read it? The book?”
“Not yet.”
“It’s sort of a Pygmalion story.” That’s how Gray had described it whenever I asked him what he was working on. “An engrossing—if occasionally sordid—exploration of creativity and obsession,” according to the Times review. “About a young female graduate student who moves in with a professor in her writing program and basically ruins his life until he escapes her sexual thrall.”
“Whoa.” Her eyes narrowed. “Wait. You lived with him?”
I lowered my gaze. “Not me. Destiny. In the book.” Gray had always been protective of his privacy. Careful about appearances.
Toni knew there was someone. She’d even met Gray when she came to visit me on campus. Aunt Em suspected we were involved. But I’d never told anyone how serious we had been. I had been.
“He gave me a key,” I said.
So I could pick up his dry cleaning and drop off his groceries and water his plants. And every time I’d let myself into his house, I’d felt a little thrill that he trusted me in his space. Another bitter swallow.
I looked up, shocked and warmed by her immediate defense.
“He was your professor,” she said. “You should have reported him to your university.”
“I wasn’t in any of his classes.” He’d been careful about that, too, I realized. “Anyway, I loved him. We were together for two years.”
“Loved,” Reeti repeated. “Past tense?”
“Y-y-yes.” Anything else would be too pathetic.
And yet whatever I told Reeti or myself, there was a part of me that still needed to get over him. At least in Ireland I wouldn’t be confronted by reminders of him everywhere. The sound of his laugh down the hall from the office I shared with four other graduate students. The way he’d catch my eye across the table at departmental meetings. His books on my shelf. His sweater in my closet. A menu from his favorite takeout place at the back of my kitchen drawer.
“So, did you tell The Ward?”
I dragged my attention back to Reeti. “She already knows. I mean, obviously she read the book.”
“His book. She only knows his side of the story.”
I managed a smile. “Are you saying I should put Gray in a book?”
Reeti nodded. “And then kill him.”

Excerpted from The Fairytale Life of Dorothy Gale by Virginia Kantra Copyright © 2023 by Virginia Kantra. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra is the author of almost thirty novels. She is married to her college sweetheart, a coffee shop owner who keeps her well supplied with caffeine and material. They make their home in North Carolina, where they raised three (mostly adult) children. She is a firm believer in the strength of family, the importance of storytelling, and the power of love. Learn more online at

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