Saturday, February 28, 2009

Enchanting Review: Evermore

Paranormal YA
St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN# 978-0-312-53275-8
301 Pages
Trade—Available March 2009

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Sixteen year old Ever Bloom isn’t exactly your typical teenager. Orphaned after a tragic car accident she feels responsible for, she’s been relocated from the only home she’s ever known to live with her single aunt in California. And since the accident, Ever’s been able to see and hear things that others can’t, including her little sister. Already feeling alienated from pretty well everyone at school, except for her two closest friends who are a bit of the outcasts themselves, Ever isn’t sure what to make of the hot new guy, especially when it seems like he’s interested in her.

EVERMORE is a fantastic paranormal read that I couldn’t put down. From the moment I opened the book, right through to the end I was hooked, wondering what was going to happen next and trying to figure out what it was both Ever and Damen were hiding. I liked Ever right from the start, enjoying her voice and her sense of humor that she never lost, even with what she was going through. Newcomer Damen Auguste is a total mystery for a good portion of the book and even when the readers are let in on a bit of his secret, there are still questions around him. How can he control what he does? And how come he’s the only person Ever can’t get a grip on? I have to say I really liked the chemistry between Ever and Damen, and can’t wait to see their relationship grow in the next book.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Damen first comes over to Ever’s house and her little sister is practically climbing all over him. It’s all Ever can do from admonishing her sister to stop—something she can’t do in front of someone who obviously can’t see what her dead sister is doing—or so it seems, til she thinks he actually moved around Riley to get up. I also loved the scene where Ever finally finds out what the red tulips mean and what the meaning behind the flowers he was giving to her high school nemesis was.

Readers looking for a unique paranormal read can’t go wrong picking up EVERMORE. Look for the second in the series, ‘Blue Moon’ to be released summer 2009.

Alyson Noel is the author of Saving Zoe and Art Geeks and Prom Queens. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she is at work on her next book. Visit her on the web at

Enchanting Reviews
February 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Guest Blogger: Jessica Burkhart

First, thanks so much to Lisa for inviting me to guest blog! I’m excited to be here.

I wanted to talk about passion and writing. Not passionate writing, exactly. But injecting passion into your writing. :)

When I started writing as a teen, I thought, “Ha! I’m going to write whatever it takes to get published!” If that was “10 Tips for a Great Kiss,” then I’d *so* do it. Yeah, like I had a lot of great kisses at fourteen. Um, no. Kisses, but not so great ones.

I sent out a zillion magazine queries or submissions for articles, quizzes and stories for things that I thought editors wanted to read. Surely, they couldn’t tell that I sooo didn’t want to write about fashion and animal cloning, right?


The editors knew. Editors have this special superpower that detects fake writing. Fake writing meaning, “Yeah, editor! I love (insert something here that you really don’t care about)! Can’t you tell?”

They know. They just know.

It took a hundred or so queries before I figured it out. Why was I trying to write about skateboarding when I really wanted to write about, well, myself?

I stopped writing bad articles and wrote a piece about what it felt like to move around a lot as a kid. I submitted the essay and bingo! Teen Ink Magazine published it.

I finally got it. If I wrote about things that I cared about, my work was that much better. My passion showed though on the page and the story was MINE. Unique. Different.

I kept writing about things going on in my life and that helped me rack up the publication credits.

Do I regret writing about personal things? Nope! Do I still publish essays about my life? No. I stopped. I got scared. I worried about having so many pieces out there when I published my first book.

But this year, I decided that I didn’t care. I’m writing essays again and will start submitting them soon. An annoying little voice kept telling me to write them, so I can’t ignore The Voice. :)

What are you passionate about? Would you ever write about it?

Canterwood Crest, a new series from Simon & Schuster's Aladdin MIX
Five girls. One academy. And some serious attitude.
TAKE THE REINS, out now!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Enchanting Interview: Kelly Parra

Enchanting Interview: Kelly Parra

1. Where did your inspiration for Invisible Touch come from?

I've always been fascinated by the paranormal and afterlife. I would watch talk shows about psychics and wondered if it was really possible to speak to those who have past, or if there were even really people with "gifts". And when I began watching Ghostwhisperer there was one episode where a "sign" or symbol appeared to her, I thought wouldn't that make a cool book about an average girl who sees signs in order to piece together puzzles to help people? And it all spiraled from there.

2. Why did you choose to write a paranormal mystery?

I hadn't written a mystery before, but always enjoyed reading them. It was a big challenge to write, but completely satisfying to have accomplished writing one!

3. What is the best part about being a YA author?

I've often shared how difficult it is for me to write a book. I struggle all the time while building characters and story lines from scratch. Writing a book is an intricate process from rough drafts to editing to final drafts to galleys and arcs and final publication, so that when you have the final product in your hand, all these words that sprouted somewhere from within myself, it is one of the most amazing feelings. Holding the final product has always been my favorite part after all the hard work.

4. Which character was the most difficult for you to write about? Why?

It had to be Kara because her loneliness and grief was so very sad. It's emotionally trying to portray someone like that.

5. I felt you really got to the heart of some difficult familial problems. What was it like to write about these issues?

Growing up, I had a lot of teen issues that were difficult to deal with. Sometimes I wondered if I would ever get through them. I recall these emotions as if they'd happened a year ago instead of like 15. (haha!) That's why
I do my best to make teen and family issues as realistic as I can in my books.

6. Invisible Touch is infused with much about Hispanic culture. How did you research this? Did you know from first-hand experience? Or both?

I live in an agricultural community and Valdez was based on my hometown. Also, being half Mexican, it's very easy to slip in cultural details when it surrounds me at every turn.

7. Why is Kara called the Sign Seer? Why not some other title?

It really was a simple solution to an anonymous blogging name. She sees signs and that was mostly what she would sharing on her Secret Fates blog. I thought it would fit perfectly.

8. What part of writing this novel was the most fun?

I love visualizing characters and details, so the creative part of writing is always the most fun. I often refer to writing as starting off with a blank canvas and adding all those descriptions and details is like painting a picture
for the reader. :)

9. If there was one thing you could change about Invisible Touch, what would it be?

I've been taking in reader feedback about the book, and some were a little bothered by the fact that the problems for Kara's best friend Danielle weren't addressed more. Maybe one day they will be!

10. What’s next for you? We’d love details, however minor, about what you’re writing next!

I'm currently writing out of my comfort zone--again! I'm challenging myself to write an urban sci-fi novel. Which is a whole new animal to tackle when it comes to world building and creativity. It's not under contract so
I'm hoping a publisher will find the idea promising!

Thank you very much for the interview!

Interview by Rachael
February 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Enchanting Review: Revelations

YA Vampire paranormal
ISBN# 978-142310228-1
264 pages
Hardcover- Available now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Schuyler Van Alen is now living under the Force’s roof. This means she is forced to share a living space with her rival Mimi, and her love Jack. Her best friend is now her familiar and is completely in love with her. Schuyler must choose between the two of them or someone will get hurt, and it might be Schuyler if Mimi finds out that Jack and Schuyler are still seeing each other. Schuyler’s grandfather is now the Regis and he is spreading the word of how dangerous the Silver Bloods truly are. What no one can figure out is who exactly is harboring the silver bloods and what their plan is. When an accident in Rio forces everyone to fly down there, lines will be drawn. Secrets will be revealed. Evil will be unleashed. Will Schuyler’s friends be who she thought they are or will one of them betray them to the evil Lucifer?

REVELATIONS is the best story yet! Schuyler is torn between two men who both truly love her. Both men however are forbidden from being with her. One is forbidden by law and the other by destiny. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out who was behind the Silver Blood attacks. Every time I figure it out I am proven wrong. I was shocked, SHOCKED, at the ending. But that is what makes a story truly wonderful. I cannot wait for the fourth book, THE VAN ALEN LEGACY that is released in September 2009 when we see where we can pick up after tragedy strikes.

Melissa De La Cruz is the author of the Ashleys series, the Au Pairs series and now the new Blue Bloods series. To find out more about her and her books please visit her website at

January 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Enchanting Review: The Seach For The Red Dragon

YA Fantasy
Simon Pulse
ISNB# 978-1416948513
400 Pages
Paperback- Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON is the second installment of the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. John, Jack and Charles are back together again after 9 years. They have been very careful to avoid contact unless an emergency arose. Such emergency has arisen. Children are disappearing from all over the Archipelago, a magical world. A girl flies down into the garden where the boys are gathered, with a secret message for the previous caretaker. The message tells the boys that they must step up in their role as caretakers and travel to Archipelago and search for the Red Dragon, as all of the legendary Dragonships are going missing. The boys encounter several adventures on their quest. They come across old friends and meet new ones along the way. One of the boys will fully step into his role as caretaker and make the ultimate sacrifice.

THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON is an action packed fast paced story. This story has so many ties to Greek mythology, classic story tales, and even history as the mystery surrounding the lost colony of Roanoke is revealed. James A Owen deserves his place among C. S. Lewis, J. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling. THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON can be fairly compared to the works of these authors because it is truly that great. There is so much action and hidden clues that you will find yourself going back to reread it just to make sure you got it all. My only qualm with this book is that it is geared towards the YA crowd yet there is a lot that this crowd would not get or understand. As an adult I can fully appreciate all this story offers. A must however, is to read the first book in the series, ‘Here, There be Dragons’, to understand the magical world and the boys. This book is a recommended read for all who love fantasy, young and old!

James A Owen is not only the author of THE SEARCH FOR THE RED DRAGON but he is also the illustrator. To find out more about his stories or to see some of his beautiful art please visit his website at

January 2009

Enchanting Review: Masquerade

YA Vampire paranormal
ISBN# 978-1423101277
336 pages
Paperback- Available now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

Schuyler Van Alen is on a mission to find her grandfather, Lawrence Van Alen. Her grandmother’s last plea was that Schuyler find her grandfather so that he could save the blue bloods from the Croatan, or Silver Blood. He is the only one who truly believes that the Silver Bloods are alive. Schuyler and Oliver travel to Vienna to find the infamous Lawrence, but what they find is a man who does not want to come back to a group that shunned his ideas and cast him out. Schuyler decides that maybe the Silver Bloods are not back and it was all the delusional ideas of her grandmother after all. Schuyler attends a masquerade ball in the hopes of seeing her secret crush, Jack Force. What she finds is a mysterious masked man who takes her breath away.

Bliss Llewellyn has never given up hope that Dylan, her love is still alive. Everyone thinks that he was turned by a Silver Blood or was the Silver Blood but Bliss knows deep in her heart that it was not the truth. When Bliss attends the 400 Ball her father gives her a huge Emerald necklace. He tells her it was her mother’s and it is an emerald that fell from Lucifer him self’s crown. Bliss has a unique attraction to it but surely her mother could never own something so evil right? Who is her mother anyways? And how did she die?

MASQUERADE is the second installment in the Blue Bloods series. The story picks up a mere few weeks after the end of Blue Bloods and is just as action packed. Schuyler is coming into her character quite nicely. She is not afraid to dig a little deeper. The only part of Schuyler’s character I do not like is how distracted she gets from the big picture. She knows there is a serious problem and that the Silver Bloods are roaming free yet she seems to forget everything when she is around Jack. I loved the progress that the story made. The ending made me run out immediately to buy the third book, which I devoured in one sitting also. MASQUERADE is a book that is not to be missed, but Blue Bloods really should be read first for the story to be fully understood.

Melissa De La Cruz is the author of the Ashleys series, the Au Pairs series and now the new Blue Bloods series. To find out more about her and her books please visit her website at

January 2009

Enchanting Review: North Of Beautiful

YA Contemporary
Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316025058
384 Pages
Print - Available February 2009

Rating: 5 Enchantments

From the back, Terra Cooper is gorgeous. She works hard at looking perfect by daily workouts and she ends up looking like a model. But up front, she hides her 'flawed' face from others. Terra wants to leave her small town and start a new life where others don't know her and where she'll have nothing to hide. But an acceptance to the college of her choice is thawed by her controlling father.

On a trip to yet another surgery to correct her port-wine stained birthmark, she runs into a car. Inside is Jacob, a Goth Chinese teen, who seems to understand her better than those around her. Jacob and his mother Norah are staying in Terra's town to avoid the upcoming remarriage of Norah's ex.

After two years, Terra's older brothers come to visit for Christmas Eve. But after yet another family argument, they leave. Later, Terra's brother emails tickets for her and her mother to come to China where he practices law. Seizing on an opportunity to not be around during the marriage of her ex, Norah invites Terra and her mother to come with them as they search out Jacob's orphanage in China.

On the trip, Terra finds her carefully laid plans for her future in question. Should she listen to her heart and see the world through the eyes of those who don't judge beauty by its cover? Or continue down her present path where it's easy to hide the truth from others by not being yourself?

I loved this moving tale. Terra is a strong character who struggles with her own definition of beauty while longing to break free of her critical father. Jacob helps Terra see the world in a whole different light. I especially enjoyed the trip to China. Terra's mother also grows as a character. It was nice to see the relationship between Terra and her mother.

The author does a great job of showing the changes that occur in Terra's life. The references to cartography, map making, are interesting and are also very symbolic of the changes in Terra's life.

This story is scheduled for release in February 2009. I highly recommend readers grab a copy of this sure to be a hit story. Terra's struggles and triumphs will stay with the reader long after the last page.

Justina Chen Headley grew up near Buffalo, NY and San Francisco. She's the author of GIRL OVERBOARD and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (and a few white lies) which was a Book Sense Pick. Check out more on her website at or her MySpace site:

Enchanting Reviews
June 2008

Enchanting Review: The ABC's of Kissing Boys

Contemporary Young Adult
ISBN# 978-0-385-73582-7
215 Pages
Trade—Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

Parker Stanhope has a plan. Since she was unceremoniously left on JV soccer, she knows the absolute perfect way to get herself bumped up to the varsity team, where she rightfully belongs. But there’s one big problem with the plan. Parker’s a little less than experienced where boys are concerned and if she’s going to pull this off, then the kiss she lays on her brother’s best friend has to be beyond believable. Enter freshman Tristan Murphy, neighbor and after an impressive display of removing the starburst wrapper with his tongue—her new kissing tutor.

THE ABC’S OF KISSING BOYS has it all—a fab girl in Parker, the mean evil girl and surrounding clique in Chrissandra and co, and the unlikely potential boyfriend in Tristan.

I really liked how Parker was willing to try something crazy to get herself back to where she believes she rightfully belongs, up on the varsity team with the rest of her friends, where she would have been had the numbers not been against her. The side story of the feud between her father and Tristan’s added a good extra layer of tension and humor to the story, with Parker having to sneak out to see her new ‘boyfriend’, a label their both inadvertently stuck with after a chance meeting with Chrissandra, which was one of my favorite scenes in the book. Another of the best scenes is when Parker finds her locker decorated with a baby theme courtesy of her ex-best friend. I loved the conversation between the two that followed. Anyone looking for a really fun read can’t go wrong picking up THE ABC’S OF KISSING BOYS.

Visit Tina’s newly redesigned website at and check out her myspace at

Enchanting Reviews
January 2009

Enchanting Review: Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side

Paranormal Young Adult
ISBN# 978-0-15-206384-9
351 Pages
Hardcover—Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

I loved JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE. It’s a unique tale, with Jessica Packwood—Antanasia Dragomir—finding out the truth about herself. She’s not the typical teenager she thought she was, something she realizes when Lucius Vladescu shows up to claim her as his betrothed and her parents sit her down to have a ‘talk’. She’s actually a Vampire Princess, from the royal Dragomir family and the only surviving pure blood left of the line. The marriage between her and Lucius will unite the two families and keep war from breaking out. This would be okay, if Jessica believed in any of it. But she doesn’t. She thinks Lucius is crazy and so are her parents for keeping him around, while he plays the role of exchange student and takes up residence in the apartment over the garage. But there’s something about Lucius and Jessica finds herself slowly drawn to him, despite everything.

I have to say one of my favorite parts of the book was Lucius’ letters to his Uncle Vasile back in Romania. I loved seeing things from his point of view and some parts were just downright hilarious, like his few notes about joining the basketball team and observations on the ‘American’ way of life. But my all time favorite scene is when Lucius takes Jessica shopping and they go into the high end store and he makes her try on the dress. I loved what he said to her and how after that she started to see herself differently.

Fans of lighter paranormal looking for something different should definitely try JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE.

Beth Fantaskey grew up in the small tow of Montoursville, Pennsylvania and later moved to the edge of Amish country, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has a master’s degree in journalism and has written everything from speeches to newsletters, articles to short fiction but JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE is her first book. Visit her online at

Enchanting Reviews
January 2009

Enchanting Review: The A-List: Hollywood Royalty Book 1

Contemporary YA
ISBN# 978-0-316-03181-3
Trade--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

Meet the latest HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY. There’s Myla, the oldest adopted daughter of Barbar, the hottest couple in Hollywood; Amelie, the teen star who’s desperate to shed her goody-goody image, or at least her pink fairy inspired wardrobe and grow up a little; JoJo, the biological daughter of Barbar who’s about to meet her parents and family for the first time and Jake, well Jacob, who wants to shed his old geeky image and finally be accepted.

HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY is a really fun read. If you like reading about the Hollywood scene, you’ll definitely enjoy Ms. Dean’s brand new series. I have to say I was pretty partial to Amelie and JoJo, the two girls who were a little more outcast. I love how Ms. Dean connected the characters, including the unlikely pairing of Amelie and Jake, and JoJo and someone who used to be really close to Myla. Even though Myla could be a bit of a bitch at times, even she was relatable at times. Hands down my favorite scenes in the book were the ones between Jake and Amelie, especially the first meet and when Myla discovers JoJo hanging out with her recent ex. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Dean has in store for these four great characters!

Learn more about this new series and check out an excerpt at and look for THE A-LIST: HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY #2: SUNSET BOULEVARD coming August 2009!

Enchanting Reviews
January 2009

Enchanting Review: Glass Houses

Paranormal YA
ISBN# 978-0451219947
256 Pages
Paperback—Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

I honestly can’t believe I’ve waited this long to read this fabulous series. Morganville, Texas is truly a creepy place. With vampires running the show, the population of Morganville is all under protection of one of them—or at least most of them are, except for the unaware university students, such as Claire Danvers. She had no idea vampires even existed until she finds herself on the wrong side of Monica and ends up at the Glass House desperate for a room or having to face the wrath of Monica who promises ‘she’ll get what she deserves’.

GLASS HOUSES is an amazing paranormal read that had me hooked from the start. When Claire finds herself on the bad side of Monica, she couldn’t have imagined just how bad things would get. Or that her odd new friends and roommates, Eve, Shane and Michael would end up being the only people she can truly trust. I really loved the characters, Eve and Michael especially and how Claire was willing to do almost anything to save herself and her newfound friends. The lengths that Monica and co. were willing to go to get Claire were actually surprising. I think the one scene that sticks out in my mind is when Claire decided she was going back to school and Shane went with, playing the role of bodyguard. In the midst of her chemistry lab, one of Monica’s little friends takes the chance to get her revenge on Claire.

A fast paced read with a startling climax and an even more jaw dropping ending, paranormal fans won’t go wrong picking this one up. However, it is seriously recommended to pick book two, THE DEAD GIRLS DANCE up with it, because when you finish this one, you will definitely want to see what happens next.

Rachel Caine is the author of the popular Weather Warden series, the Morganville Vampires series as well as many other books. You can visit her online at And read a sample from Glass Houses at

Enchanting Reviews
January 2009

Enchanting Review: Jurassic Grampa

Children’s (Ages 4-8)
Little, Brown
ISBN# 978-0-316-00692-7
107 Pages
Paperback--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

WILEY & GRAMPA’S CREATURE FEATURES: JURASSIC GRAMPA is a hilarious read that will no doubt be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their age!

When Wiley and Grampa stumble upon some fossilized dino dookie, they can’t imagine the chaos that’s about to take place. On their way out of the cave with their new prize, they are held up by a nefarious duo. It doesn’t take long after that for things to start happening. Suddenly all the Gingham County critters who are eating pet treats are transforming into an ancient version of themselves. Can Wiley and Grampa save the day?

This is the first WILEY & GRAMPA book I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last. Filled with hilarious scenes and fun illustrations to accompany the story, this is a really great children’s read, that boys especially would enjoy. I loved the various character names, especially the evil duo. And the scenes while short, keep the book moving at a really great pace. My favorite bit was when Wiley, Grampa and co. are on the run from the suddenly ancient animals all around them and are saved by a group of unusual four year olds on bikes.

You can visit the official website of the series at:

Enchanting Reviews
January 2009