Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Enchanting Review: Shadow Kiss

YA Paranormal
ISBN# 978-1595141972
448 Pages
Paperback- Available now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Rose Hathaway is in her final year at St. Vladimir’s academy for Dhampirs and Moroi. As soon as she and Lissa graduate she will be officially Lissa’s guardian. All she has to do is get through the trials. She thinks it is going to be a piece of cake considering she took care of Lissa while they were away from the Academy. But something goes wrong and she is given Christian as her trial charge. Oh well, at least she will be with Lissa a lot since Lissa is always with Christian. And it is not like she will not be assigned to Lissa once they graduate.

The only thing standing between Rose and graduation is her trials. If Rose can pass trials she will become Lissa’s guardian. The only problem is that once she is Lissa’s guardian that means Dimitri will be too. There is no way the two of them can be together if they are protecting Lissa. Rose knows that Dimitri care for her the same way that she cares for him but neither of them are willing to risk Lissa’s life. On top of this worry Rose has been seeing Mason’s ghost. Is it guilt eating at her or is she really being haunted by her ex-non boyfriend? When tragedy strikes St. Vladimirs Rose must jump into action and show that she is capable of doing her job. But when faced with the ultimate decision, who will Rose choose, Lissa or Dimitri?

I love and hate this book. The story progressed wonderfully. The characters were great. The romance was perfect. The only thing I hated was the ending. It left me openly crying. With that said I actually love the ending. It was the perfect ending to the perfect story. I love how Rose’s character matures quite a bit and she really wants to take responsibility for herself. The only thing I did not like was how she was unwilling to get help from other people when she really needed it. I love Dimitri. I think the way he handled his relationship with Rose was just beautiful! I absolutely cannot wait for the fourth Vampire academy story. I have to see what will happen. Thank you Richelle Mead for creating a truly wonderful read!

Richelle Mead writes three fantastic genres. Her paranormal romance series has started with Storm Born, her YA series is Vampire Academy and her Urban Fantasy is her Succubus series. To find out more about her very popular books please visit her website at

Enchanting Reviews
December 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Enchanting Review: Sara's Face

Contemporary YA
Simon Pulse
ISBN 978-1-4169-5815-4
264 pages
Paperback – Available now

Rating: 2 Enchantments

Jonathon Heat has nearly everything—fame, millions of fans, success, and money. Unfortunately, he no longer has the one thing he craves most—beauty. Years of experimental cosmetic surgery, and all for fame, have caused his face to collapse, leaving disgusting strips of rotting flesh. Now, he hides behind a mask and waits, hoping his cosmetic surgeon Dr. Kaye will find a way to restore his beauty.

Sara is an elusive and mysterious girl, known by few and truly understood by no one, not ever herself. She is obsessed with beauty and convinced that she is never pretty enough, skinny enough—perfect enough. This fixation leads her to idolize the rock star Jonathon Heat. In him she sees a kindred spirit. Unfortunately, this can't be a good thing if Jonathon Heat is as cunning, imaginative, ambitious, and unreliable as Sara is.

Sara's big break comes when she meets Jonathon Heat after an "accident" scars her face and leaves her in the hospital. The aging rock star recognizes Sara as beautiful—and offers to pay for the cosmetic surgery she yearns for. Sara is ecstatic; fame is nearly at her fingertips. But the longer she stays with Jonathon, the more she begins to doubt his pure intentions. She, and the rest of the world it seems, begins to wonder, what really will become of Sara's face?

Don't let the intriguing summary fool you; I was incredibly disappointed in this book. I originally picked it up because it sounded like a unique psychological thriller, but I was less than impressed with the execution of the plot and Burgess' style of writing, which pretty mush ruined my experience with this novel. SARA'S FACE is written almost like an investigation (biography wouldn't be the correct word) of Sara, with interviews with primary sources, transcripts of Sara's video diary, and other published documents. Now, I'm all for innovative writing styles, but the problem was that Burgess didn't totally stick to his format. There were conversations that seemed made up, because it was unlikely a witness would remember it word for word, and accounts of events where only Sara was present, which would be impossible for the author to know because he made it clear that no one knew Sara. The plot was frankly boring most of the time; it felt like I was reading a monotonous textbook. Only at the very end does anything get truly interesting, but by then, I've lost my sympathy for Sara because the preceding events in the story were way too jumbled and confusing. I felt Burgess' message in SARA'S FACE was very weakly conveyed, and I'm sure most readers will miss it, if they even make it to the end. SARA's FACE does provide some food for thought about fame and vanity, but overall, it's just not interesting enough for me to recommend it to anybody.

Melvin Burgess has written many novels, including SMACK, DOING IT, BLOODTIDE, and BLOODSONG. His works have also been adapted for film and television.

Rachael Stein
Enchanting Reviews
November 2008

Enchanting Review: The Youngest Templar: Keeper Of The Grail

Historical Fantasy YA
ISBN 978-0-399-24763-7
272 Pages
Trade--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

When the Knights of Templar arrive to spend the night at the St. Alban's Abbey, young orphan Tristan couldn't know his life is about to change forever. But he soon agrees to become the squire of the kind Sir Thomas; and not soon after Tristan is the victim of a violent attack in the stables and that's all before they've left for Dover, a short stop before they begin their trek to Outremer, the Holy Land.

I absolutely loved KEEPER OF THE GRAIL. It really felt like you were going back in time to the time of King Richard, the Lionheart and the Crusades. Tristan is a wonderful character, very brave and adventurous. I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding his real identity, the odd way the King looked at him, what Sir Thomas really knows about him. Sir Hugh was truly an evil villain, with his ire for Tristan visible almost right off the bat when the poor boy hadn't done anything wrong. The rest of the characters are equally strong and well done.

One of my favorite scenes in the book takes place shortly after Tristan becomes squire to Sir Thomas. In the midst of a training session with his new friend Quincy, the awful Sir Hugh approaches and tries to 'teach Tristan a lesson', the young squire manages to evade the brutal attack until Sir Thomas approaches and pulls Sir Hugh away. That's when Tristan overhears the first hint that there's more to his real identity than he knows or could even suspect. This is a wonderfully detailed, exciting adventure guaranteed to keep you turning the pages till you reach the very last word. If you love historical YA, this is one book you don't want to miss. Look for the second in the series, THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR BOOK TWO: TRAIL OF FATE coming in Fall 2009.

Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children. When not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with his family and worrying over the fact that he really should be writing instead of doing other stuff. He lives in Michigan with his wife Kelly, son Michael, daughter Rachel and two dogs Willow and Apollo.

To learn more about THE YOUNGEST TEMPLAR, visit Michael's website: or the official website of the book:

Enchanting Reviews
November 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Enchanting Review: LilyDale: Believing

Paranormal YA
ISBN 978-0-8027-9656-1
256 Pages
Hardcover--Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Ms. Staub does an excellent job melding paranormal and suspense together in her LILY DALE series featuring Calla Delaney.

Picking up mere moments after the first book left off, LILY DALE: BELIEVING has Calla finding herself the target of a serial killer targeting teenage girls, a case that first came to light in book one. However, reading "Awakening" is not required to enjoy LILY DALE: BELIEVING for it stands quite well on its own. Calla is still trying to deal with the unexpected loss of her mother, the realization of her own medium abilities and adjusting to life in Lily Dale with her unique grandmother Odel and the physical distance between her and her father. Add in the normal teenager issues and things can get pretty complicated. What I like most about Calla is her willingness to learn about her newfound abilities, something that's much changed from her behavior in book one. The fact that we see things from both the killer's point of view several times during the story adds a creepiness to the book that keeps the reader rapidly turning the pages, knowing that at some point there will be a meeting between he and Calla.

Threads left unsolved from the first book continue on in book two, and with BELIEVING's own startling ending it will no doubt leave readers waiting anxiously for book three releasing November 2008.

Learn more about the Lily Dale series and Ms. Staub on her website,

Enchanting Reviews
October 2008

Enchanting Review: The Boy Book

Contemporary YA
Delacorte Press
ISBN 978-0-385-73209-3
193 Pages
Trade--Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Life hasn't gotten any easier for Ruby Oliver. In fact, its getting even more confusing. Sure, she really has no friends after what happened between them at the end of the school year; she and Jackson are definitely over (aren't they?) and the only person she kept in contact with over the summer is Noel, but who knows if their friendship is real or he's just being nice to her for the sake of being nice. The only thing Ruby knows is life is getting complicated and all she's got left of her friendships is THE BOY BOOK, the book she and her friends have written in for years. Its just too bad it doesn't tell her how to get them all back.

THE BOY BOOK is hands down one of my favorite reads of the year. I really enjoyed Ruby. She's a really fun character and I loved the scenes with her and her therapist Dr Z. So much of this book had me laughing out loud and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. From her footnotes which were hilarious at times, to her trying to figure out how to deal with the fact her ex is sending her notes again, all the while his girlfriend and her former BFF is in Japan…well things couldn't get worse could they? But unfortunately for Ruby they do. Between juggling guys, trying to renew friendships with at least one of her former friends and dealing with her wacky parents and her appointments with Dr. Z, Ruby struggles with a lot and the result is quite amusing and a total keeper of a book.

I can't wait to read more about Ruby and co. She's definitely become one of my favorite YA characters. Hope the next two books come out soon!

E. Lockhart is the author of two books about Ruby Oliver — The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book — plus two more coming soon. Other books: Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and How to Be Bad. You can visit her online at her brand new website:

Enchanting Reviews
October 2008

Enchanting Review: That's What's Up

Contemporary Young Adult
ISBN 0-7582-2582-2
320 Pages
Trade--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

The best thing about Ms. Chase's DEL RIO BAY CLIQUE series is that the stories focus on the entire clique, not just solely on Mina and that continues in THAT'S WHAT'S UP, the third book in the series. Its almost spring break and that means everyone is heading to the O.C. to cheer on the varsity cheer squad compete at Extreme. All right, so not everyone is going, while Mina and the guys are headed for fun, Kelly, Jacinta, and Lizzie are stuck at home…well, they're supposed to be stuck at home until one of them comes up with a surefire plan to get them all to the Extreme. But can things actually work out for the three girls? With her new Upper status, Mina can't wait to head to O.C for spring break and the Extreme. Sure, it sucks that some of the clique has to stay behind on vacation, but it gives her a chance to enjoy her time with the Uppers…including her sworn enemy Jessica Johnson. But when Jessica mysteriously calls a truce before the Extreme, is it too good to be true?

What I love about Ms. Chase's books is the realism she brings to her characters and high school life in general. Everyone can identify with the cliques, especially the exclusive Uppers. Jessica is the perfect mean girl, willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Mina ends up back on the outside of the Uppers. And what she has in mind for poor Mina is truly disastrous. I'm anxious to see what happens in the next book, because there's definitely going to be fall-out from this one. My favorite part of THAT'S WHAT'S UP is when the book shifts to the O.C. and the Extreme itself. That's when things truly got interesting. All in all, THAT'S WHAT'S UP is a great third book in the series.

Learn more about THAT'S WHAT'S UP at and read an excerpt at

Look for the fourth book in the series, WHO YOU WIT'? out in November 2008.

Enchanting Reviews
August 2008

Enchanting Review: Parties And Potions

Paranormal YA
ISBN# 978-0-385-73645-9
352 Pages
Hardcover—Available December 23rd, 2008

Rating: 5 Enchantments

PARTIES AND POTIONS is a really fun, paranormal read. Its definitely one of my top favorites of the year. When her younger sister Miri wants to delve deeper into the witch world, Rachel’s resistant. Sure, its one thing to be a witch, but to be one openly is quite another. But when Miri gets them invited to dinner with one of her new witch friends, Wendaline, off of MyWitchBook, Rachel finds herself exposed to a whole new witchy world.

I really enjoyed PARTIES AND POTIONS. Ms. Mlynowski creates a wonderfully unique paranormal world that’s easy to enjoy even if you haven’t read the other books in the series. I was pulled into the story right from the start. Rachel is a great character, stuck having to deal with her younger sister Miri’s obsession with having a Samsorta, a debutante-like debut for witches in Romania. Now Rachel’s forced into Samsorta lessons, in Arizona no less, plus there’s a cute warlock, Adam, who might just make things even more complicated. Things would be so much easier if she could tell her mortal boyfriend Raf that she’s a witch, but she can’t bring herself to do that. What if that breaks them up? Besides, she’s just not as outgoing with her witchy ways as her new friend, Wendaline. And things get even more complicated when Miri suddenly decides they have to tell their father about their witchy ways.

I loved Rachel struggling to deal with her witchy ways in a mortal world and then in comes her new friend Wendaline, who keeps announcing to everyone she’s a witch—she’s definitely a scenestealer! One of my favorite scenes is when Rachel and Miri go to their first Simsorta, the warlock’s version of a Samsorta. The mix of humor and paranormal really made this a great read.

This is the first of the series I’ve read and I absolutely enjoyed PARTIES AND POTIONS. Can’t wait to pick up the other books and see how Rachel got to this point. If you’re looking for a fun, guaranteed to make you smile paranormal, PARTIES AND POTIONS is definitely the one to pick up.

Sarah Mlynowski’s novels include the first three books in the Magic in Manhattan series. Like Rachel, Sarah lives in Manhattan. Unlike Rachel, Sarah has no magical powers . . . yet. Visit her anyway at and To learn more about the Magic in Manhattan series, check out

Enchanting Reviews
December 2008

Enchanting Review: Fat Hoochie Prom Queen

Contemporary Young Adult
Simon Pulse
ISBN# 978-1-4169-3603-9
290 pages
Paperback- Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Margarita “Madge” Diaz is a chubby, fashionista, funny girl who loves her curves. Everyone likes her, except for her ex-best friend-student body president and queen bee-Bridget Benson. She’s a foxy Hispanic girl, who loves her gay best friend, and doesn’t let anyone step all over her.

One night, drunk at a party, Madge gets into a heated fight with Bridget. They both agree that whoever wins the Prom Queen title will do what the other says. If Bridget wins, Madge won’t be able to speak to her again but if Madge wins then Bridget will have to wear whatever Madge decides to a photo shoot for OK magazine.

It took me a while to get into this book but once I did, I immensely enjoyed it. Madge had a strong voice, and was funny as well. She felt real. All the characters had such strong voices that it felt as if they were right in front of you. The Spanish words mixed in really made Madge stand out more and made the story much interesting. The high school scene felt real: there was some crushes, cattiness, and the characters resembled real student which you might know. The book was fast, fun, and an easy read to take your mind off of things. Nico Medina is a great author and now, after reading Fat Hoochie Prom Queen, I feel like reading his other book.

Nico Medina is a graduate of the University of Florida and now resides in New York City. This is his second novel. His first book was titled The Straight Road to Kylie. To learn more about him, visit his website at

December 2008

Enchanting Review: Boys Are Dogs

Contemporary Middle Grade
ISBN# 978-1-59990-221-0
208 Pages
Hardcover--Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

When Annabelle returns from summer camp, she’s in for a whole lot of changes. She knew her mother was moving them into a house with her boyfriend Ted, aka Dweeble, but there’s also the change in schools, from an all girls elementary to Birchwood Middle School and the biggest surprise of all--a cute new puppy--to deal with. Getting used to a new school is hard enough, but dealing with boys, especially bullying, jerkish boys is harder than Annabelle originally thought it would be. But then she comes up with the idea to start applying her puppy training manual to dealing with the troublesome boys at school.

BOYS ARE DOGS is a really fun middle grade read. Annabelle’s a very likeable, spunk tween who comes up with a unique way to deal with things, especially the annoying boys she’s forced to deal with at school. Her newfound friends at Birchwood, including neighbor Rachel, who unfortunately is the younger sister of one of the bigger jerks of the entire school. One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Annabelle’s out eating lunch with her new friend Rachel at school and finds out the boy who sent her to the wrong classroom that morning on the first day of school is none other then Rachel’s older brother, Jackson.

Ms. Margolis does a great job capturing what its like dealing with a new puppy and struggling to fit in at a new school at the same time and I loved the uniqueness of Annabelle applying the puppy training manual to dealing with boys. Anyone looking for a fun middle grade read won’t go wrong picking up BOYS ARE DOGS.

Leslie Margolis lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her fairly well-trained six toed mutt named Aunt Blanche and her less-well-trained husband, Jim. She is also the author of the young adult novels FIX and PRICE OF ADMISSION. Visit her online at

Enchanting Reviews
December 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Enchanting Review: Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home For Christmas

Children's (Ages 4-8)
Little, Brown
ISBN 978-0316033831
32 Pages
Paperback--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

TOOT & PUDDLE: I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a perfect holiday read, featuring the beloved characters of Toot and Puddle. This time, when Toot goes away for a family reunion in Scotland, he sends Puddle a postcard promising to be home in time for Christmas. But when Toot reaches Boston, a sudden snowstorm may keep him from getting home for the holidays. Will Puddle's lucky nut, a gift from Great-Great-Aunt Peg be the key to getting home?

Cute charming illustrations accompany this fun story as Toot struggles to get home in time, and with time running out, and the to-do list too big, Puddles and Tulip are forced to start the decorating without their friend. I especially loved the pictures of Tulip and Puddle's Christmas preparations and Toot struggling to reach home in time for the holidays. This is one book I'll be adding to the holiday stack for years to come.

Holly Hobbie has worked as an artist for more than thirty years and is the author of seven previous and highly acclaimed Toot & Puddle picture books, as well as an illustrated memoir, The Art of Holly Hobbie. The mother of grown children, she lives with her husband in Conway, Massachusetts.

Enchanting Reviews
November 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Enchanting Review: Down To The Bone

YA contemporary
Harper Collins
ISBN # 9780060843106
367 pages
Hardcover--Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Laura has a secret which is revealed when her Catholic school teacher reads a loud a love letter—a love letter sent to Laura from another girl. Laura is a tortillera, which means she loves girls. Then the Mother Superior calls her mami, who can’t face that her daughter might be gay. So Laura’s mother ends up kicking her out.

To make matters worse, the love of her life is shipped back to Puerto Rico to marry a guy. Laura is heartbroken. But there is some hope. Her bighearted friend Soli and mother take her in. All the while, Laura struggles to make sense of who she really is while the world still frowns on those they claim are ‘different.’

I enjoyed this tale of a Latina who struggles with her sexuality while battling prejudice from those in her family to those around her. The author paints a very vivid world that isn’t layered in the usual gay stereotypes. I also like how she shows Laura’s cultural background. Laura is funny, down to earth, and also someone I’m sure many teens will relate with. Plus, Laura learns that sometimes a family isn’t just the one you’re born into, but those that accept and love you unconditionally.

Mayra Lazara Dole suffers from M.C.S. or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and must live in a ‘bubble’ in order to survive-a glassed-in room. A chemical injury from pesticides damaged her immune system.

Mayra was born in Cuba and now lives in Miami with her partner, Damarys. You can read more at her website—

December 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cbay Books—an imprint of Blooming Tree Press
ISBN# 9781933767130
288 pages
Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Thirteen-year-old Benjamin Holt and his friend Andy like to use their ‘special’ gifts to place tricks. Then Benjamin is startled when his mirror starts talking and tells him he’s going to eight weeks of summer school. But not in the world he knows. He is teleported to the world Lemuria-a hidden continent-where he finds out he’s not a human but a telegen. He also finds out in Lemuria his so-called gifts aren’t really that unique.

While in Lemuria he finds the mysterious Emerald Tablet that chooses him to be a champion to help restore balance to the world, for both telegens and humans.

Along with his friend Andy and others, they set out on a series of riddles to find the missing three keys that will help with this task. But in a world where the ancient gods of mythology are based on fact and where the unusual is common place, finding these keys is a lot harder than it appears. And time is running out for Benjamin and his friends. He needs to find the mysterious keys or wait until next summer. That is if he can get the keys before someone else does. Someone who has other plans on using them.

This story will sure appeal to fans of HARRY POTTER and also Garth Nix’s THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM series. Right off the bat, Hoover starts with a great hook that sets Benjamin off on his adventure. The scientific facts are blended nicely in this story, for example, using DNA to teleport to anywhere you want. The idea that gods were in fact based on real individuals is interesting too. Fans of mythology will also enjoy reading how Hoover puts twists on the classic tales.

A must read for fans of fantasy, especially with a boy hero. This book will not disappoint.

P.J. Hoover when not writing, works as an electrical engineer in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a Yorkshire terrier. Check out PJ Hoover and her books at Also check

November 2008

Enchanting Review: Omnibus

YA Fantasy Anthology
Double Dragon Publishing
ISBN# 1-55404-507-X
219 Pages
Trade--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

OMNIBUS is a delightful collection of four short fantasy stories by Ms. McGathy.

Wonderfully detailed, Ms. McGathy paints a delightful visual in this short story. When the wheel of seasons stop changing and war is imminent between the Winter and Summer, daughter of Summer, Astara must go to the Winter King to demand his freeing of the seasons Along the way she helps a pair of robins, saves two children and the flower they were freezing to protect and frees the wisp, all of which play a surprising role in the ending of the story.

Nerys Devi has been promised to Gerard Regan since birth, but while Gerard may have her hand, he’s far from having won her heart. When a chance encounter at the faire leads her to meet Cody, she finds herself attracted to him much more so than the controlling Gerard. When fate intervenes in the form of her father, he decides to give both men a year to win the lovely Nerys’ heart. But Nerys already knows who she chooses, will she finally have her chance at happiness or will Gerard conspire against her?

Talwyn, daughter of the Golden, was reborn from the mist into a beautiful world of colors. But when a vision in the pool foretells a dark future for her friends, the trees and spirits that dwell within, Talwyn must make a choice, to sacrifice her own future and her return along with the other Goldens back to the mist, or to stay behind and do what she can to keep the vision from coming true.

Hired to take the mysterious scarred Faylon to the mystical city of Sha-da-nay, Seeker Tanner couldn’t imagine what awaits for her deep within the cursed Hagath Forest. But the journey isn’t easy. Ghosts of her past haunt her and Tanner easily declares ‘she cries for no one’, something that might not be so true once she reaches her ultimate destination.

Its hard to pick a favorite from the four stories in this anthology, though I admit I’m partial to THE BIRTH OF SPRING for its great description, not to mention its sweet story and THIEF OF DREAMS for its story and characters. Gerard was a true despicable villain and Cody the perfect choice for the sweet Nerys. I loved how the faery ring actually played a big part of the story and how things alluded to early on later came back.

Fans of Fantasy and short stories will no doubt enjoy Ms. McGathy’s tales found within the covers of OMNIBUS.

During the weekdays, Ms. McGathy’s a Graphic Arts Coordinator/Copy Editor in prepress. In the evenings and weekends, she’s a writer. You can visit Sheri online at her website to check out excerpts from all the stories in OMNIBUS

Enchanting Reviews
August 2008

Enchanting Interview: P.J. Hoover

How long have you been writing?

Since the birth of my second child, which seems kind of counterintuitive, I know! My son came first, woke up a couple times a night, every night, for over a year. So when my daughter was born and started sleeping through the night at two months old, I was in heaven. I found all this extra time on my hands in the evenings I never had before. I started writing in 2004 and have only missed a handful of nights since.

What do you like best about being a writer?

The amazing feeling that kids are reading my stories and loving them. That’s just so cool!

What's your writing schedule like?

I’m super fortunate that my hobby is now also my job. I used to work as an electrical engineer, but in April 2008 I quit to focus on writing full time. I write in the evenings, every evening, from about 9:00-11:00. During the days, I work in clumps. If there is a bunch of publicity stuff to get done, I’ll spend the day knocking it out. If the publicity isn’t as front focus, I’ll spend the day writing. I have until I pick my kids up from school each day to work which is wonderful!

What's your writing process like?

I’m playing around with various techniques to help improve my craft. On some books I’ve spent months plotting and planning before even writing the first word. On other books, I’ve spent a couple days and then jumped in. It’s a matter of experimenting to see what works well for what kind of book, and what time spent improves the piece the most.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Hmmm…let’s see. Putting my hair up in a ponytail? Drinking a cup of coffee before attempting the first word? Emptying my inbox?
No, really, let’s see. I always write on a computer, never on paper. I always finish a first draft before attempting any revisions. I keep a digital voice recorder in my purse for when inspiration hits. I read the genre I’m working on. I read books on craft. I talk writing whenever I can.

What inspired this book?

A youth of sci-fi and fantasy TV watching inspired THE EMERALD TABLET. It all started with an 80s TV show called The Powers of Matthew Star. Matthew Star was an alien with telekinetic and telepathic powers who had to fit in with teenagers in a normal high school. He got to do cool things like save the world on a regular basis. So although the characters in THE EMERALD TABLET aren’t aliens, I’m happy to say Matthew Star was the original inspiration for the story.
Also, I’m a Trekkie. And one of my favorite episodes was Who Mourns for Adonis where they found out the Greek gods were actually just super humans on earth. I loved this idea, and incorporated it into THE EMERALD TABLET.

Favorite character in the book?

I’d have to go with Heidi. She’s a spunky girl whose hair spontaneously changes color when her emotions flare up. She’s fun, doesn’t mind breaking the rules, and can read minds like nobody’s business.

Which character is most like you or most unlike you?

I’ll start with the simple one: Iva is the most unlike me. She’s gorgeous, serious, and a vegetarian. I definitely eat meat.
I’d say I’m a combination of Gary and Heidi. I have the nerd qualities of Gary, but like to have fun like Heidi (not to mention I’m a girl).

Which character gave you the toughest time to write in the book?

No one character gave me a hard time. Hard for me was making sure the five kids all had distinct voices. It took many, many revisions to make sure lines of dialog were actually true to the characters saying them. And what’s nice about writing a trilogy is that with each book this can be improved upon even more!

Who would your ideal cast be if a movie was made?

My kids and their friends J
Seriously, no idea. I’m not a pop culture kind of gal and don’t follow who’s popular at all!

What's next for you?

Next for me is hopefully a lifetime of writing!
The second book in The Forgotten Worlds Trilogy, THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD, comes out in Fall 2009.
The third book, THE NECROPOLIS is due out in Fall 2010.
I’m also working on a MG urban fantasy series and a YA urban fantasy.

Interview by Kim
December 2008