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I just turned sixteen and what a crazy ride it has been since my birthday. My magic was always less than expected and hard to control. My Aunt Janie thought my ordinary half was affecting my spellcasting witch half, but I recently learned that my diamond bloodcharm, a gemstone pendant from my mom, enhances my magic, and it has really made a difference in my spellcasting, but don’t tell anyone! I have a surprise in store for my coven.
2. Are your parents alive? Are they married? Are they divorced?
Sadly, my parents passed away when I was a small child. I have some memories of them, especially sitting on my mother’s lap and the warmth of her embrace. Their deaths haunt me because I have a feeling the mystery surrounding what happened has something to do with black-hearted Judge Mather. He is the father of the guy I’m falling hard for, but he is an unethical man who stops at nothing to get what he wants. He’s locked up half of my coven’s witches for magical slip-ups, and I fear he had something to do with my parents’ deaths.
3. If you were sent to a deserted island what three things would you take?
My godmother Phoebe’s sugared pansy petals because they are delicious and they melt in your mouth. I would bring my red diamond bloodcharm for sentimental and practical reasons. It belonged to my mother and it enhances my magic, which would come in handy on a deserted island. I would also include my hot boyfriend because he’s fearless when danger is near and that’s been a lot lately.
4. Do you have a hidden talent?
I can make a mean purple spaghetti sauce. It requires purple tomatoes and pink Parisian garlic along with a few special herbs from my Aunt Janie’s enchanted garden. I cast a simple puree spell on it to blend the ingredients together and it’sdelicious.
5. Do you consider yourself and introvert or extrovert?
I’m an introvert. I’m not sure if being an introvert is my true nature or from a habit of keeping secrets and trying to blend in. The ordinaries in Wethersfield, a small Connecticut town steeped in Puritanical history, just can’t handle witch magic, so it’s best for everyone involved if we keep our talents hidden and being an introvert helps.
6. What is your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day would be a day full of swoony kissing with my forbidden boyfriend, Alexavier. He’s an ordinary and a Mather. In case you don’t know your American history, theMathers played a big role in condemning witches to hang in New England. Alexavier is a descendant of the man who condemned my ancestor, Rebecca Greensmithto hang at Gallows Hill so I get that he’s forbidden, but his bad boy ways and his hot British accent are so irresistible. Plus he’s hiding a secret that I just have to know. Did I mention he’s tall, dark-haired, and has lips that taste like sun-ripened peaches?
7. If I asked you to write an entry in your journal what would it be about?
A journal? I’ve been trying to unlock entries from my ancestor’s enchanted journal from three hundred and fifty years ago. So if I had a journal of my own, I might want to repay the favor and write something down that would help my descendant sometime in the future.
8. Tell me something no one else knows about you?
I love living in Wethersfield. It’s a small town, but I think in time, the people here will come to embrace the witches living among them. Fingers crossed!
A dark curse, a forbidden love, an impossible choice.
Orphaned sixteen-year-old Sophie Goodchild is an outcast among the ordinaries and her coven, but not because she’s untalented. Descended from a powerful Wethersfield witch, her spellcasting gift is awkwardly emerging, but that’s the least of her worries. The boy she’s forbidden to fall for, a descendant of the man who condemned her ancestor to hang, carries a dark secret that could destroy them both unless Sophie learns how to tap into the mysterious power of her diamond bloodcharm.
Suspenseful, dark, romantic, and brimming with old magic, Disenchanted captures the intrigue of New England’s witchlore.
After taking several writing courses in college and attending professional writing workshops after I graduated from the University of Maryland, University College, I began writing young adult fiction with purpose. I joined the Maryland Writers’ Association and Romance Writers of America and became an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council.
My debut novel, Disenchanted, is now available, and I am working on my next, The Witch’s Ring, which will be set in Annapolis.
Boy Red is a story about identity, about where you come from and where you belong.
The day after his sixteenth birthday, Red discovers that the man he calls ‘Dad’is not his biological father. Will Red be able to track down the anonymous sperm donor who gave him life? What will he learn about himself along the way? And just what else are his parents hiding?
It was Saturday night, and Mum was up on the makeshift stage doing a classy number—that is to say Tina Turner complete with big h air and five-inch red heels. The booths were taken by the karaoke regulars clutching their song sheets and medallions. A throng of studded students drank cheap German beer at the bar, disappearing outside every few minutes for a smoke. Tourists dripping with backpacks chatted in a zillion different languages.
A few weeks ago, I told Mum I wanted low key, meaning a night out down the Lock with Si—no wigs, microphones, or other parental contributions in sight. But she would have none of it.
“Red, baby, you only turn sixteen once,”she’d said. “You’ve got to mark it in style. You’ve got to have a party.”
My name’s actually Jed, but everyone calls me Red. I share two things with Mick Hucknall: mad orange hair and a slightly odd face. Sadly, I don’t have his musical talents. Not like Mum. She wins a lot of prizes. It’s embarrassing to see her in her Cher wig and polka dot dress, but it could be worse. She could be something really boring like an accountant. Dad’s an academic. He’s a professor of science. They make for a strange combo, but Camden caters for all sorts. The posh and the rough rub shoulders every day. Not that I’m saying Mum’s rough or anything, but her Madonna impersonations can make for scary viewing.
So there I was down at the local pub, staring at the purple swirly carpet, starting to feel nauseous. My sixteenth birthday party. It may as well have been musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey. It was that bad. My six-year-old brother, Freddie, sat smirking in the corner while Mum warbled out her rendition of City Limits. Dave, the karaoke organiser, all burly biceps in a frilly pink shirt, tapped his right foot in time to the music. Dad smiled amiably at the bar as he downed an orange juice. That man lacked the capacity for embarrassment. He must have a gene missing or something.
“Your mum’s reading the lines off a television. Where’s the harm in it?”he reasoned. He could be so rational, it was maddening.
Si was chatting up a pair of Asian twins who’d just finished their version of The Cheeky Girls’“Touch My Bum.” He winked at me to join him, while Mum carried on gyrating in red polyester as she reached the climax.
“Dad. Dad!” Freddie tugged at Dad’s jeans.
Dad checked his watch, stood up, and cleared his throat. Uh-oh.
“Oh, yes. Thank you, Freddie. Gaye!”
Mum smiled at Dave as she gripped the microphone. “Thank you, everybody. I have a little announcement to make,” she said. The shrieks and applause died down, leaving a low hum of conversation. The Cheeky Girls stopped drinking their Barcardi Breezers and looked expectantly at Mum. They wore white PVC hot pants and matching kneehigh boots. They were hot all right. Not the type of girls I wanted around to witness this kind of embarrassment. I looked on in horror and considered my options. This would have been a good time to escape to the bog, but Dad had already covered that one by asking Dave’s brother, Stu, to keep guard. Dad’s best mate, Phil, stood to my right, smiling inanely at me. There was nowhere to run. So I downed half of Stu’s pint instead. He didn’t seem to mind. Just winked.
“Okay, guys and girls,” continued Mum, running her hands through her wig. “I hope you’ll all join me in wishing our Red a very happy sixteenth birthday.”
I’d never get served alcohol in here after that. It was all right for girls, they always got served. The Cheeky Girls couldn’t have been much older than I was, and they were knocking them back.
Stu waved manically over my head for the benefit of anyone who might not know who the lucky boy was. The Cheeky Girls whispered to each other and raised their collective eyebrows as I fixed a boomerang smile on my face.
“Ha-a-a-a-ppy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you…”Mum had gone into Marilyn Monroe mode, all silly girly voice, while Dave brought out a blue football cake fit for a five year old, complete with sixteen flaming candles. It was excruciating.
When the humiliation was over, Mum came over and kissed me on the forehead and ruffled my already wild hair, just to add insult to injury.
“I think that needs a cut, mister,” she said.
I looked at Freddie’s smooth pudding basin cut performed by Mum the day before and shuddered. I didn’t think so.
I’d always been the odd one out with my orange mane. Jokes about the milkman were rife.
I blew out my candles and cut the cake as a million digital cameras flashed in my face. Another one for the family album.
It was all so normal. Well, normal as far as my family went anyway.
Hailey Tarbell is still struggling to come to grips with her special gift as a Healer and the good that it can do. And even more so with the horrific effects it can have if her gift is harnessed and used by the wrong people. She has already experienced this firsthand. An experience she never wants to happen again. Click here to read my full review.
An unfortunate incident sends 14 year old Gabby to the afterlife WAY before she is ready. First thing on her afterlife journey...witnessing her wake. Not only is she mortified that her mother dressed her in the worst, most non-flattering, white, pleated pants for all eternity, but her least favorite person in the whole world, Angela Black, shows up acting like she is a super model at a fashion show instead of a funeral. Read the full review here.
Zeeta and her mother Layla have moved to a new country every year for Zeeta's entire life. When they end up running cabanas in Mazunte, Mexico, Zeeta is determined to make it stick. After all, her beloved Wendell has an internship nearby and her long-lost father is supposedly from Mazunte. Of course, nothing can be that easy, especially when the cabanas where Zeeta lives are said to be cursed and someone is poaching the sea turtles' eggs. Laura Resau's fans will love The Jade Notebook, the final book in the Notebook trilogy.
1. The idea for the story came about originally when I was in the sixth grade. I used to read those YA and middle grade novels about those groups of girls who had the perfect close-knit relationships—the whole best friend forever thing personified. I was in grade school and I saw the cover of the Bangles “Everything” cd and they looked like that type of clique and I wondered what they were like at thirteen/fourteen. As an adult I wrote the story to show how Landry thinks everyone else has these tight groups of friends who never get mad at one another and everything is always perfect and she wants that and hopes to find it with Devon, Peyton and India. However, reality sets it…reality is such a bummer sometimes, isn’t it?
2. The older actor Devon has a crush on that the other girls make fun of her for is based on my crush on Liam Neeson.
3. People ask if I had best friend necklaces/bracelets/earrings/etc. when I was growing up. Yup, with several friends. Some I’m still close with, too. The day I told my writing group about my book contract I noticed I was wearing a silver bracelet with a heart charm and it never occurred to me before how much this was like the bff bracelet in the story—or the bracelet Landry’s dad gives her. I took that as a sign and that’s why you see the broken bff heart on the cover dangling off the, “s,” in “Colors.” BTW, one of my favorite gifts is still a thoughtful bracelet from a friend.
4. Landry’s last name, “Albright,” comes from Madeleine Albright. As a kid I was very aware there weren’t a lot of female role models in my social studies books. I distinctly remember being amazed as a kid seeing Benazir Bhutto in my Weekly Reader at school. So I used the name to pay tribute to a woman who broke through the glass ceiling—the first female U.S. Secretary of State.
5. The designer, Franciszka T, all the girls are obsessed with got the name because my great-grandmother, two of my great-great-grandmothers, and my great-great-aunt, were all named Franciszka. I picked “T,” because the great-great-aunt used to design and make clothes (she made her sister’s wedding dress and her own bridesmaid’s dress). Her last name started with a, “T.” I also look a little bit like her—we have the same big alien eyes.
6. When I first saw the possible cover models, I thought the one who ended up on the cover looked like a couple cousins of mine. I knew she was the perfect choice. Months later, the cover model found out about being on the book and contacted me. Turns out she lives in Poland and is from a town next to the city my great-grandpa was from! Crazy coincidence.
7. I’m not from the city the story is set in (Grand Rapids, MI), but my parents were, so I decided to have Landry and her mom live there. I’m actually from the other side of the state—an hour north of Detroit.
8. Landry’s name was originally, Sydney, but I changed it because the name was getting overused. My mom suggested the name Landry because she had a little girl in her class years ago with that name. I loved it and what’s funny is she had a student named, “Krysten,” too, and she told me that Landry and Krysten were best friends.
9. I named the ice cream parlor everyone hangs out at in the story after my great-grandfather. I picture the ice cream place being in Grand Rapids, MI (where the story is set)right near where he lived when he first moved to this country. In case you’re from the area and curious, I picture it being on Diamond Avenue.
10. Like Landry and Ashanti, I was a big soap opera fan. My favorite was, One Life to Live. I pictured two of the characters, Colin and Lanie, as being Landry’s parents. If you look at the cover model, she really resembles them both.
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like.
She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing. She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.