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Review: Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Spellbinding by Maya Gold

spellbindingThere’s more than one way to be powerful . . .

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva–sixteen and nearly friendless–makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush–and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there’s Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history–and her heart–before she can face the powerful truth.


I received this book in digital ARC form through NetGalley. I read it in three days, which says a lot. I normally have a few books going at a time, but I couldn’t put this down. Gold has a magical way with words. She drew me into her story with ease and held me there. I’m now in desperate need of a trip to Salem ASAP. It can’t be as charming as she describes, can it? I need to know this!

The concept of a young girl discovering her witchy legacy isn’t new. What makes this story amazing are the characters. Gold writes a cast of people you want to know. The hero is charming. The heroine is one of my favorites. She begins small and grows into someone strong and feisty. Every girl contemplating a change will identify with Abby. She makes some questionable choices but redeems herself. No rescuing necessary. She toils with heavy emotional situations and fares as well as anyone could. I appreciate the honesty Gold gives us here. I love a girl who calls the shots, deals with consequences and does it with her chin high. The danger is high. The tension is palpable. The romance is dreamy. The world in Spellbinding is done so well, I wanted to jump in my car and visit. This is a must read for YA lovers. Enjoy!

Cover Reveal: Written on Her Heart

My next sweet romance is coming! I’m counting the days to my March release and am thrilled to have my ARC in hand and cover art to drool on. Of course I had to share it with you :)

Are you ready to swoon?

Here it comes….



Soooooooo pretty….*sigh*….



Written on Her Heart by Julie Anne Lindsey



Emma’s falling in love with a man she’s never met, or has she?  

Emma has her reasons not to fall in love, but fate has other plans. When she finds a journal near Honey Creek lake, she sneaks a peek at the words of a stranger, but finds the heart of a hero instead. Soon she’s savoring every word, opening her heart to the man inside and her mind to possibilities she gave up long ago.

 Across town, Nicholas is devastated at the loss of his grandfather’s journal, one he’s written in since he left for Iraq a decade ago. The thought of a stranger mocking his words, or worse, someone from Honey Creek knowing his most intimate trials…. If his journal falls into the wrong hands, humiliation is sure to follow.

But what if it fell into the right ones?


Coming March 2013



Sequel Writing, Anyone?

WhatI’m writing my first sequel. It’s hard. Like make my brain scream and bleed. Hard. For one thing, I didn’t expect the original story to be published. I know. I know. I’m the writer/blogger who says “You can doooo eeet!” And I believe that. I didn’t believe, however, that my first attempt at writing a cozy mystery would live to see the light of day. Sure, I read a ton of cozies. I’m flat out addicted to Janet Evanovich and Gemma Halliday. There’s something about a smart, funny, non-detective woman solving a crime that pulls me in every time. I can totally see myself and a bestie having coffee and deciding how to break into an abandoned warehouse to see if the bodies are in there. Because my friends and I are random, and silly. We are not fearless. But we are curious. When I open a new cozy, I fall directly into the role of heroine and imagine my friends in the secondary character roles. We have a great time in my imagination regularly. You should join us sometime.

Anyway, so, my cozy was picked up along with two sequels. FUN! Then I started writing the sequel and had no idea what anyone looked like or where the buildings were located. Not fun. Who was the mailman again? I didn’t make preparations in advance for a sequel. Sure, I had a blurb pitch, but that was it, very hooky and vague. A great teaser. No details. *hangs head* I had to go back to the beginning and do the work I should’ve done in the first place. Take a lesson from me: If you think you might make a sequel, do the legwork now. After writing my cozy, I wrote a YA SyFy, and two sweet romances. Then I revised the YA SyFy, and scribbled 50K for Nano. By the time my cozy sold, I barely remembered the plot line, let alone any details about the world my heroine lived in.

If you don’t do this already, let me suggest you make a couple charts somewhere. Just in case. For easy reference.

1. List everyone’s first and last names. Their obvious features, hair, eye color, fashion sense, height etc. List their profession. Education level if that’s important. Their family situation and How they related to other characters in the story. Also where they work or live.

2. List the streets mentioned in your story. What’s on which road? Where are those buildings in relations to the other buildings in the story? Your MC can walk a block for lunch. She can’t walk someplace for lunch you mentioned her driving 40 minutes in traffic to during book one.

3. Time frame! When did the other story take place? Be as specific as possible and begin your new story at a point that makes sense from your last story.

You can make these lists/charts as involved as you want, but any details you take the time to document will help you oodles and bundles when you start a sequel. I promise you this. The extra effort now will go a long way later.

I Want to Go to There

My favorite part of a shiny new year is hunting down places and events I can visit or attend. Aside from family vacations, I hit every Ohio writer’s conference and bookish event I can find. I also show up at random community events. Many of which are nowhere near my community. My love of books is in a tight race with my people watching obsession. We are sooooo delightfully odd, aren’t we? People, I mean. Not specifically you and me, but that’s probably true too.

So, I’m busy sending out my famous (at my house it’s totally famous) emails announcing my total competence and great enthusiasm for speaking and book signing. *Beams* Hey, it’s the less glamorous side of writing. Everyday can’t be me imitating a sloth wearing yoga pants and slurping coffee.  Sometimes I have to tell people I’m out here. If I don’t tell them, how will they know? Right? Plus, I really DO love speaking to readers, encouraging writers and attending those events. So, I send emails with love and my big foam finger “Pick Me! Pick Me!”

Too soon I’ll have to send emails to authors asking them to read my book, endorse my books, etc. THOSE are the emails I’m dreading. Writing to authors in my genre is like writing to huge celebrities and asking them to approve of me. This is terrifying and humbling and I don’t want them to hate me online for bothering them. I’m sure there will be posts about that whole nightmare coming your way soon.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll consider seeking out local book events and attending some. Most are free. Stop in and talk to authors about their books and how they ended up there. Writers are so encouraging to those of us trying to get published. The connections you make with local writers are priceless. They’ll be your advocates when it’s your turn to sign :) Meet the reporters attending the events and read their review columns. Maybe one loves your genre. Get their card for the future. Meet the librarians. I so love librarians. Get out there and do some recon. It’s a nice respite from collecting rejections and staring at your manuscript. Look ahead. Think positive. Network now before you’re in a time crunch to get things scheduled and you’ll feel less like a salesmen when you have to contact them in the future because they know you already.

Today’s Takeaway: If you’re still looking for an agent or a publisher, know it will happen. Plan for the future. Assume the best. Don’t stop now. Your YES! is right around the corner.

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Back Dana Sitar!

I love social media. Have I said that before? One of the fabulous friends I made online last year is a fellow writer and all around delightful lady, Dana Sitar. Dana created a fun new book for writers and she’s here to day to tell us about it. If you’re an aspiring author, or one open to what you might be missing, then this is for you! 

So, Dana, Tell us about A Writer’s Bucket List.

A Writer’s Bucket List is a launching point for all the possibilities of being a writer. Instead of another how-to book, I call it a “Why not?” for the writer’s life. The book is a collection of 99 things I’ve either done to further my own writing career and bolster my creativity, or are on my own bucket list to do so in the future.

I love that you did this. *LOVE* it. What motivated you to spend your time writing a book for other writers?

Thank you! Because I spend most of my time writing or thinking about writing, it’s also become one of my favorite topics to write about. I’m not an expert in the industry, but I realized that I’m in a position to motivate other writers because I don’t seem to have the same fears as a lot of people I talk to. They’ll say things like, “I’d love to be able to do what you’re doing, but my job/husband/kids/mortgage/etc…” I wrote the book as a motivator and inspiration for those writers who are stuck in a place like that, where they can’t seem to overcome whatever excuses society has given them to not be a writer.

I intentionally didn’t write a how-to guide, because so much of that already exists, and I wanted something that tells writers, “Just try something — right NOW!” A how-to guide makes it easy to put stuff off — you get to procrastinate while you read through the whole thing, and then you get to procrastinate because you don’t have the proper tools for Step 3, and you don’t have the money for Step 4, and you don’t have time to learn how to do Step 5, etc. A Writer’s Bucket List says, “Here’s an idea of what being a writer can be — start where you want, and go make it happen in your way.”

Where are you on the Bucket List now? Is there an area you’re stuck on/struggling with?

I’ve crossed off 79 tasks on the Bucket List as of this writing. The biggest chunk I haven’t done are tasks related to traditional publishing — pitching an agent or publisher and having a book published with a publisher. I’d also like to attend a writer’s conference, and will probably wait until I am ready to move into traditional publishing to cross that one off. I’m eager to dive into traditional publishing, to get the experience of pitching and working with agents and editors — but I’m also so impatient! Self-publishing is so much quicker, and I love being involved in every aspect and having total control of the project.

Did you make any resolutions for 2013 based on the Bucket List?

I did! I want to do a lot more professional creative writing this year (right now, professionally, I’m a blogger and a journalist), and publish some things to Kindle to connect with that audience. I want to cross “Write a novel” off my Bucket List. I’ve also been reading a lot more fiction because of putting that on the list, and that is a huge motivator and inspiration to write more creatively.

My other big goal this year, which I hadn’t considered until I put it on the Bucket List, is to find a mentor. I’ve connected with a lot of amazing writers online, and that education and support has been invaluable, but I’m ready to expand that network and find someone with whom I can have a coffee once in a while and take complete advantage of their creativity, knowledge, and experience.

What’s up next for you? Are you writing something now?

I’m polishing a few short ebooks for writers, which are workbooks and guides on various topics. I’ll release those throughout the year. I’m finishing up my first “novelette”, which I plan to publish to Kindle in early Spring. And I just started a YA novel that I plan to finish at least by the end of NaNoWriMo 2013 and maybe try for the traditional pub route in 2014?

Any words you’d like to leave fellow writers with today?

Don’t be afraid of anything. My 2013 focus word is “fearlessness” — that’s both what I am focusing on in my life and what I want to spread to others. I want to encourage writers (and all creatives) to be fearless with me, to take on those projects you’ve been putting off, to try something new and scary that will finally put you on the path to your dreams. Leave fear behind in 2013 :)

Thank you so much for having me at Musings, Julie!

I LOVE having you! Please, come back soon and tell us how it’s going! Congratulations, Dana!

About Dana:

DanaSitar is a freelance journalist and indie author. Her latest ebook, AWritersBucketList, is a launching point for all the possibilities of being a writer, a kick-in-the-butt for those who don’t know what to do next, and a simple guide to help writers forge their own unique career/life paths.


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