Cover Shot! Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I loved Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  Loved. It.  Now the second book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles has a cover, and I only have until June to wait before I can read Star Cursed.  This is one of my most anticipated 2013 titles!



With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

Pandora the Curious (Goddess Girls #9) Book Blast Giveaway!

I have read and enjoyed a few of the Goddess Girls books, so I’m happy to participate in this book blast for the latest, Pandora the Curious.  This is the 9th book in the series. Enter below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or Paypal Gift card!

Goddess Girls #9 – Pandora the Curious

Is Pandora about to open up a box of trouble?

One of the few mortals at Mount Olympus Academy, Pandora is famous for her mega quizzical nature—not that she thinks there’s anything wrong with being curious, of course!

Her curiosity kicks into high gear when a godboy named Epimetheus brings a mysterious box to school. Epimetheus is the nephew of an MOA teacher in whose class Pandora once opened another box that sent a few weather disasters to earth. Still, Pandora can’t help but take a peek inside this new box when it unexpectedly lands in her lap. What could be the harm in that, right? Little does she know that opening the box will open up far more trouble than she ever expected!

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.


Praise for The Goddess Girls
“…a clever take on Greek deities…”
~ Booklist

"Readers familiar with Greek myths should get a kick out of this plucky restaging."
~Publisher’s Weekly

“…an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity…”
~ School Library Journal

The Goddess Girls Series

The Goddess Girls series, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.
  • Athena the Brain Finding out she’s a goddess and being sent to Mount Olympus brings Athena new friends, a weird dad, and the meanest girl in mythology—Medusa! 
  • Persephone the Phony Hiding her feelings works fine for Persephone until she meets a guy she can be herself with—Hades, the bad-boy of the Underworld. 
  • Aphrodite the Beauty Sure Aphrodite is beautiful, but it’s not always easy being the goddessgirl of love. 
  • Artemis the Brave She may be the goddess of the hunt, but that doesn’t mean Artemis always feels brave. 
  • Athena the Wise Zeus says Heracles has to do twelve tasks or he’ll get kicked out of MOA! Although she’s not sure it’s wise, Athena agrees to help out. 
  • Aphrodite the Diva Isis claims she’s the goddess of love? Ha! But to keep the title all to herself, Aphrodite has to find the perfect match for Pygmalion, the most annoying boy ever. 
  • Artemis the Loyal It’s time for the annual Olympic Games, and Artemis and her friends are not happy. It’s boys only. Not fair! 
  • Medusa the Mean Medusa wants to be more like her two sisters and the other kids at Mount Olympus Academy — immortal. Is that too much to ask? 
  • The Girl Games (Goddess Girls Super Special) Listen in on what all four goddess girls are thinking as Mount Olympus Academy hosts visitors from many lands–including an adorable kitten!The first-ever standalone superspecial in the Goddess Girls series! 
  • Pandora the Curious
  • Pheme the Gossip (Apr. 3, 2013) 
  • Persephone the Daring (Aug. 7, 2013) 
The Goddess Girls

Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children’s choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 – 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 – 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.

Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children’s books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children’s book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts — Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children’s books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.

Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/16/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Joan and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent’s permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Alison Packard, Author of Love in the Afternoon

Alison Packard is celebrating the release of her new Carina Press romance, Love in the Afternoon.  As a reformed soap junky, I am delighted to be able to chat with her.  Please welcome her today.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Alison Packard] Book loving introvert, daughter, sister, aunt and author of contemporary romance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Love in the Afternoon?

[Alison Packard] Love in the Afternoon is a contemporary romance set in Hollywood where Sean Barrett and Kayla Maxwell, two actors on the country’s most popular daytime drama, fall in love when their characters are paired together on the show. Soon Sean and Kayla are living in their own soap opera, complete with a jealous co-worker, a controlling father, and a mysterious stalker who just might want Kayla dead.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Alison Packard] As a long time viewer of soaps, I’d often wondered if the actors on the shows I watched ever fell for each other in real life. And with that thought, the idea for this novel was born.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Kayla?

[Alison Packard] Talented, genuine and humble

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Sean had a theme song, what would it be?

[Alison Packard] Sean loves to surf, so I have to go with Catch a Wave, by the Beach Boys.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Kayla won’t leave the house without.

[Alison Packard] Sunglasses. There’s a lot of sunshine in Los Angeles.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Sean’s bedroom?

[Alison Packard] A photograph of his father, a mirror on the ceiling, stuffed animals

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sean’s greatest regret?

[Alison Packard]  Sean’s biggest regret is not carrying out his mother’s last request of him.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Alison Packard] Probably every romance author whose books I’ve ever read! LOL. I’m a huge fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Julie James and Rachel Gibson so I’d have to say these marvelous authors have most definitely been an influence.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Alison Packard] My computer, silence, and snacks (preferably chocolate).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Alison Packard] Wow. That’s a tough one. I haven’t had a chance to read as much as I used to, but the last book I literally couldn’t put down was T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. I’ve read all the previous books in her Kinsey Milhone series and in my opinion this one was, by far, the best.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Alison Packard] I’ve been turned on to reading since I was a kid so there isn’t any one book that I can give you made me think, hey, I want to do more of this reading thing. From the very beginning, reading has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Alison Packard] Besides reading and writing, I enjoy watching movies and sports (San Francisco Giants, 2012 World Champions…just sayin’), shopping and spending time with my friends and family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Alison Packard] Readers can connect with me at:

My website:



[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order Love in the Afternoon from your favorite book seller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

pKayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime’s most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.

Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm’s length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.

But when Kayla receives threatening letters, her past as a scream queen seems to be coming back to haunt her. Succumbing to an attraction neither one of them can deny, Sean and Kayla must face down her stalker and their own personal demons before trusting what they both feel—a love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.