Tag Archives: Jessica Spotswood

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Jessica Spotswood

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

It’s been a while since I’ve hosted an author edition of Book and a Beverage but I am SO excited to be getting back into the swing of things! I had an overwhelmingly wonderful response from authors who were interested in participating so keep an eye out for even more author posts within the next few months!

Give a big welcome to author JESSICA SPOTSWOOD!


Name: Jessica Spotswood
You know her best as the author of… The Cahill Witch Chronicles: BORN WICKED (1/25/12), STAR CURSED (6/18/13), and SISTERS’ FATE (8/14/14)


BORN WICKED: Amazon // Goodreads
STAR CURSED: Amazon // Goodreads
SISTERS’ FATE: Amazon // Goodreads



What are you reading? FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? Sophie jessica spotswood baabis bisexual and a drug addict, and when her best friend Mina is murdered everyone thinks it’s because of a drug deal gone wrong and blames Sophie. But Sophie knows that she’s clean and she is determined to stay that way – and find Mina’s killer. I’d absolutely recommend it; Sophie is a really intriguing, flawed, smart protagonist and the pacing is wonderful.
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? I don’t know if I can pick my top 3 of all time, but my favorite so far this year have been Courtney SummersALL THE RAGE (an important, infuriating indictment of rape culture); Nova Ren Suma’s THE WALLS AROUND US (creepy-gorgeous and a master class in voice); and Erin Bowman’s VENGEANCE ROAD (a Western revenge story that I loved so much I blurbed).


What can you tell us about your current work in progress? I just finished drafting my first contemporary YA, WILD SWANS, which will be out next April! It’s about a girl named Ivy whose mother – who abandoned her when she was two – comes back home with the two half-sisters Ivy’s never met. There’s also a romance with a biracial tattooed poet. (What can I say? I love bookish boys.)
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I like to outline a few chapters ahead, but I love when characters surprise me, and most of the time when I get really stuck, I wind up realizing that it’s because I’m trying to stick to the outline instead of following my characters.
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? I love reading in bubble baths (Lush bath bombs & bubblers are my favorite) or in bed before sleep. I write either on my loveseat in my office, or at a nearby coffee shop.


What are you drinking? Iced tea
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? In the summer – iced tea; in the winter – hot tea


If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? I’d love to write a short story about Cate’s best friend and roommate, Rilla. Rilla’s bouncy and chatty and big-hearted. She gets her own love interest in SISTERS’ FATE – patronizing newspaperman Alistair Merriweather – and their banter kept threatening to take over scenes. It would be hugely fun to write about Rilla as a girl reporter getting into scrapes and arguing with Merriweather!
What type of scene is your favorite to write? Kissing scenes! But terrible heartbreaking scenes that will make people cry are my next favorite. I’m a contradiction.

 A big thank you to Jessica Spotswood for taking part in Book and a Beverage today! I love her Cahill Witch Chronicles books and I’m so excited for a new YA contemporary next year!
I also REALLY need to read Far From You soon! I’ve heard such good things about it and it sounds so interesting!


jessica spotswood author photoJessica Spotswood is a full time author who lives in Washington, DC with her husband Stephen and a very cuddly cat named Monkey. Visit Jessica online at jessicaspotswood.com or on Twitter at @Jessica_shea.

Website // Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook


Fortnight of Fright: Guest Post from Author Jessica Spotswood!

Fortnight of Fright Banner

Welcome to our second annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Last year, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again this year and we have a TON of fun Halloween things planned for you!

Today I am SO excited to host author Jessica Spotswood whom you may know from her books BORN WICKED and STARCURSED (and book three SISTER’S FATE is out August 2014)! She’s sharing with us her mom’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (which sound FABULOUS) and of course, her favorite witches of all time! Take it away, Jessica!

In honor of Halloween, here’s one of my favorite recipes: my mom’s recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.  

3c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1.5 cups vegetable oil or applesauce
16 oz can pumpkin
2 cups chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil/applesauce, and pumpkin. Mix until everything’s incorporated but be careful not to overmix. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake 16-20 minutes at 400 degrees. (Makes about 36 depending on muffin size)

And here’s a list of my top 7 (seems a good witchy number) favorite witches — the Cahill sisters not included, of course! 

  1. Hermione Granger  (Harry Potter series)
  2. Luna Lovegood (ditto)
  3. Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  4. Samantha Stevens (Bewitched – I loved watching reruns of that show when I was little!)
  5. The three witches from Macbeth
  6. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz
  7. Kat Stephenson from Stephanie Burgis’s Kat, Incorrigible series 

Honorable mention: the New Orleans witches from the new show The Originals (the Vampire Diaries spinoff) seem to have potential! 

We also had Jessica answer some quick and fun Halloween Q&A! We like getting to know authors a little bit more, especially when it has to do with their Halloween preferences 🙂


Why do you love Halloween? It’s a good excuse to dress up, eat candy, and have a party!

Do you have any fun Halloween memories?  Yes! We used to go up to my grandparents’ cabin in the woods and carve pumpkins and walk down to the lake, where people would gather to set the pumpkins afloat on a giant raft as an offering to the Hairy Hand of Fuller Lake (a local ghost story).

What was the best costume you ever had? (Or if you don’t have one, someone else’s): I like this picture (see attached) of me and my sisters from 1990. I’m the genie (with blue eyeshadow?), my sister S is the pumpkin, and A is the witch. 

Sisters Hween 90

Do you prefer mild scares or hair raising horror? Mild scares — more psychological horror than gross-out stuff. My favorite recent scary book was April Genevieve Tucholke’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. There’s this scene with spooky children in a graveyard that totally creeped me out!


Halloween Candy? Reese’s peanut butter cups

Paranormal creature? (ghouls, gobilins, vampires, witches, etc) Witches, of course!

Halloween Movie? Scream is probably my favorite scary movie.

Halloween TV episodes or TV Shows? My fave scary shows are The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off, The Originals! I don’t know if they are truly “scary” so much as “excuses to watch cute guys” though.


SC cover2Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles: BORN WICKED (2012), STAR CURSED (2013), and SISTERS’ FATE (August 2014). She grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or – most often – with her nose in a book. Now Jess lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She can be found doing yoga, teaching writing workshops for teens, or – most often – with her nose in a book. Some things never change.

Find Jess online!
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Cahill Witch Inspiration Pinboard

Another BIG BIG thank you to Jessica Spotswood! It was such a pleasure to have her fun thoughts on Halloween and share a delicious recipe with us (which I most certainly am trying!!) — If you haven’t read her books yet, I highly recommend them! They’re absolutely wonderful!

Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica SpotswoodTitle: Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood
Publishing Info: February 7, 2012 by Penguin
Source: Library
Genres: Alternate Reality, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 9, 2012

    Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Breaking It Down Further: Cate Cahill and her sisters are witches. When their mother (also a witch) died years ago, she left them begging them to promise to keep their magic a secret — from their father, from the staff, and especially from the Brothers. The Brothers overtook the witches when they were in power and are now on a constant witch-hunt, teaching the girls of the community all of the evils of magic. It’s now Cate’s duty to keep her younger sisters safe from being shipped off to a ship to work practically slave labor or to the mental institution, and she manages quite well. That is, until her life is turned upside down in a matter of days. Her father hires a governess named Elena who Cate cannot trust although she’s not quite sure why. Cate finds out she had a godmother who was a witch. And she begins to fall in love with their gardener and old friend Finn Belastra. Now Cate struggles even more to keep their darkest secret, keep their family from falling apart, and figure out if it’s possible for her to have a true love.


BORN WICKED was quite the interesting book! I think one thing I really liked was the fact that the story line wasn’t really good magic vs bad magic and their battle against each other. Of course, it did touch on the fact that magic can be used improperly or for the wrong reasons. BUT the main idea of the book is the fact that magic is seen as unnatural and morally wrong as a whole. Poor Cate has to keep her family’s secret from the Brothers for fear that they will all be taken away – her conflict is with the Brothers and their teachings, as well as the conflict we seen within her family and her magic itself.

Right away, we see that Cate doesn’t like her magic. It’s been a hardship for her and some of the last words said to her made her doubt that it could ever be a good things. We find out she has the ability to do mind-magic and is fearful to ever use it, but had to use it on her father once to keep him from sending her away from her sisters to go off to school. Magic is also a conflict between Cate and her sisters, especially Maura. Maura wants to learn to use her magic and she finds it exciting. It’s difficult for the younger sisters to keep their magic under wraps and Cate is the one who always has to scold them, creating a sort of rift between them.
I really liked the interaction between Cate and her sisters. Although they are at odds and their secret puts quite a strain on their relationship, it just seemed so real. I feel like it’s not often that I come across relationships that feel as real as this so it was really nice to see. It really pulled me into the book and I felt more involved in it.

I absolutely adored Cate and Finn. It’s such a bittersweet romance because you can tell they’re just perfect for each other, but Cate’s proper match would be Paul. She also can’t ever marry Finn because even though her family isn’t quite held in the highest esteem, marrying Finn would still be marrying below her class, and that would make matters for the Cahill family even worse. I just loved them together though.

The ending of the book was quite surprising and visually shocking (in the sort of “finale” scene – I could just picture the whole thing!) – After that ending, I can’t wait to pick up the next book and see what happens!


Cate Cahill: It’s kind of hard to say how I feel about Cate. It’s really hard for me to gauge a character who’s forced to keep the most important aspect of her life a secret. But I guess that is a big part of the story – No one really gets to know Cate who doesn’t know about her magic. Well, I guess until Finn. I do have to say though, it was so nice to see her loosen up around certain people! I could just feel the tension that she has to carry around with her all the time and you could tell it’s definitely not easy!
Finn Belastra: Oh, Finn! I simply adored him. He just seemed like the perfect match for Cate and cute and polite and sweet and strong – But at the same time, I also felt bad for Paul. Even though Cate doesn’t love Paul, she still does like him and he’s a perfectly nice guy.
Tess Cahill: I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about Tess that just made me love her like the little sister I never had. She seems really mature for her age (12) and she just seemed like such a real character. I absolutely adored her.
Elena: Oooh, this girl. I was with Cate — I didn’t trust her from the start. The story line following the entrance of this new governess was quite interesting!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE BORN WICKED