I am so happy that I’m co-hosting the Authors Are Rockstars Tour, because it means that I get to have an author that I think is a total rockstar stop by the blog for a guest post. And that author is none other than the very awesome Jessica Spotswood.
If it weren’t for this tour I’d have never had the courage to invite the author to stop by. And I definitely wouldn’t have been able to ask her why she chose Cate as the voice of her series.
While Cate is a heroine I absolutely adore – for all those reasons the author mentions in her post, below – she isn’t the stereotypical heroine. Of course that’s probably why I love that it’s her voice the story is told in.
But that’s not the only reason why I love the Cahill Witch Chronicles. The writing is beautiful. The story is completely captivating, magical, suspenseful, exciting and more than a little bit heartbreaking.
And while I may only have been recently introduced to this author’s writing, the intriguing world she built and the amazing characters she created, I instantly fell in love and Jessica Spotswood achieved immediate rockstar status.
But if you haven’t yet read the first two books in this amazing series, and you haven’t yet met Cate Cahill, be sure to check out the “Why Cate Cahill?” guest post, below, to learn just a little bit more about her, and the books’ descriptions that follow below the post, to discover more about the series.
And if you want a chance to win some bookish prizes be sure to enter the giveaways at the end of this post.
But before all of that, if you’d like to know why I think this author rocks, here’s why….
Jessica Spotswood is a Rockstar because…
Her writing is beautiful, gorgeous, heartbreaking, riveting, enchanting.
She made me fall in love – and fall hard – with a series whose setting and world are not from my “go to” genre.
She made me adore a heroine who isn’t perfect or kick-a** or “the best” or “the most.”
She made me root for the good boy. (Believe me, it’s not an easy feat.)
She was able to instantly transport me into the world she created and keep me there from beginning to end. (I never wanted to leave.)
She knows how to create killer cliffhanger endings. (I’m still reeling over what happened at the end of STAR CURSED.)
And she made me swoon with passages like this one….
Finn tilts my chin up with one finger, and I kiss him. I kiss him as though I will break into a thousand tiny pieces if I don’t; I kiss him as though my lips on his can protect him from any possible danger.
When he pulls away, there are tears gathering in my eyes. I tilt my head down so he won’t see them.
(Passage from STAR CURSED.)
Oh and she named a character Finn. (Favorite character name ever.)
Although Jessica Spotswood has only recently become a rockstar author to me, she is one that I know will forever hold that title. I will read everything fiction she has on offer. And heck yes, I wish the third book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles was “on offer” right about now.
Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles: BORN WICKED (2012), STAR CURSED (2013), and as-yet-untitled book 3 (summer 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.
One of the topics Rachel proposed was: Why Cate Cahill? The Cahill Witch Chronicles explores the relationship between three sisters, so why did I choose Cate as the protagonist? Why tell the story from her point of view?
Cate isn’t the cleverest of the three (that’s Tess). She isn’t the prettiest (that’s Maura). I’ll leave the question of whether she is the most powerful aside for now, for fear of STAR CURSED spoilers – but she isn’t the one who wants to be the most powerful (Maura again). Maura dreams big – of sailing off to Dubai or Paris on an adventure, of falling in love, of a world where witches are governing New England. Tess has a questioning spirit; Paul and Cate joke in BORN WICKED about how when she was little, she went around constantly asking why? She dreams of learning new languages and reading all the books in the Sisterhood’s library and then writing her own someday. Cate’s dreams are smaller: she wants a garden of her own and a husband and children. She wants to be safe. In many ways, she’s the most traditional of the three sisters. She has to be dragged (well, blackmailed) into adventure, and when she’s presented with enormous responsibilities – well, she manages, but she doesn’t leap into them joyfully. She frets and whines and wonders why me for a bit first.
Does it make her a typical heroine? No. But I think – hope? – it makes her relatable. Cate isn’t like Katniss or Katsa or Tris. She’s not badass; she’s not kickass; she doesn’t have any particular physical strength. She’s clever, but she’s not Hermione either. She’s just stubborn and loyal; she wants to take care of the people she loves. In STAR CURSED we learn that she’s extremely good at healing magic, because she is able to put aside her body’s natural reticence and endure the subsequent sickness in order to help people. Her best quality – how fiercely she wants to protect her sisters – is also her biggest flaw, because she can’t see around what she wants for Maura and Tess in order to let them live their own lives. And, oh, are there consequences when she makes decisions for them that go against their own wishes. The bad things that happen to Cate can often be traced back to her own mistakes. That interests me.
Cate is flawed. It was important to me to write a heroine who isn’t perfect. She is super bossy – borne in part from her promise to her dying mother to look after Maura and Tess, but also because she’s the oldest and it’s the role she’s been playing for so long it’s become habit. She keeps secrets when she shouldn’t – not just from her sisters but from her father and her friends and Finn – in part to protect them, but in part because she thinks she knows what’s best. Also, Cate is judgey. She prefers climbing trees and running through the gardens to dressing up for a fine tea party. She would rather not draw attention to herself, which means she tends to wear serviceable blues and grays instead of the bright hues and lace and feathers that are all the fashion; she would rather be alone with her hands in the dirt than make awkward small talk. She has so many secrets to keep that at the beginning of BORN WICKED, she’s never sought out any girl friends; she doesn’t see the need for them. In fact, she judges girls like Sachi and Rory who are loud and laughing, who flirt and take pleasure in looking pretty. Cate calls them cabbageheads and thinks they’re stupid. But the fantastic thing about having a flawed heroine is that over the course of the series, she has an opportunity to change. She can realize her own mistakes and try to do better. I think – hope? – that makes Cate her own kind of powerful heroine, and one we can all relate to.
About BORN WICKED…
A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!
Everybody thinks 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. Then Cate finds her mother’s diary, and uncovers 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. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe–not even from each other.
About STAR CURSED…
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.
The Cahill Witch Chronicles
What’s Up for Grabs
Giveaway #1 – There will be three winners total for this giveaway.
–A signed copy of STAR CURSED to ONE winner (US/Canada)
— A Cahill Witch Chronicles swag pack containing BORN WICKED and STAR CURSED bookplates and stickers, bookmarks, a BORN WICKED wristlet and a STAR CURSED postcard to TWO winners (International)
Giveaway #2 – There will be one winner for this giveaway.
–A set of BORN WICKED and STAR CURSED to ONE winner (International)
– You must be 13 or older to enter
– Giveaway #1 will have 3 winners (one US/Canada ONLY, two International)
– Giveaway #2 will have 1 winner (International)
– ALL giveaways end on August 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
– ALL winners will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
– Giveaway #1 prizes will be sent directly from the author
– Giveaway #2 books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository
For each giveaway there is a mandatory “Leave a Comment” entry. And for giveaway #1 there is an additional requirement to determine eligibility US/Canada or International.
All other entries are optional. The tweet entry is a daily option.