Protecting You From Yourselves

One of things I loved the most about Jessica Spostwood's Born Wicked is that it is an alternate history. I find alternate history novels fascinating and I loved how she tweaked around the real history of the witch trials for her book. In Spotswood's story, New England is ruled by the Brothers, a religious organization that is ruled by men who fear women having power....more
 I'm sure that with my personality I would have been branded a witch by the Brothers even if I ... more

Born Wicked: On Being a Sister

How are you like your characters? readers will inevitably ask, and with Born Wicked my answers come easily: I'm not as selfless or brave as Cate. I've never climbed a tree, and I have a black thumb. But like Cate, I am a worrier who has to be pushed into adventures. Like her, I am an introvert. And like her, I am the oldest of three sisters. Let me be clear: my sisters are not Maura and Tess. But I did draw on our relationships to portray the Cahill sisters’ complicated, competitive love. ...more
I too, thought that Born Wicked was more a book about sisters than about Cate's romance.  As I ... more

Born That Way

In Jessica Spostwood's Born Wicked, Cate tries really hard to deny that she and her sisters are witches. Her society has told her that they are wicked and dangerous. She's tried not using her magic and that just caused it to leap out, uncontrolled, at unfortunate times. She uses it just enough to keep it in control but the magic wants out. It wants to be used and she can't completely stop it....more
I guess you could say I am talented at sewing.  It was something I picked up without struggle. ... more

Living With the Consequences

For every choice there is a consequence. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not. In Jessica Spotswood's Born Wicked, Cate thought that she was doing the right thing by trying to keep her sisters out of the public eye. It turned out by not being in public she might well have exposed them all to greater suspicion. ...more
With big important decisions I will do the research, pros and cons, and the like before I make ... more

Born Wicked: More Than Magic

Jessica Spotswood's Born Wicked, the first in her The Cahill Witch Chronicles series, was not quite what I expected. I expected a novel about a young witch who was afraid of her powers. What I got what that and so much more. It reminded me a little bit of The Handmaid's Tale, a bit of The Scarlet Letter, and it's the first alternate history novel I've read in a long time that wasn't steampunk. It kept me flipping through the pages, torn between wanting to know what happened next and not wanting the story to end. ...more
I really enjoyed Born Wicked and cannot wait until 2013 when the next book will be released! ... more

Do You Know Your Inner Wild Girl?

I tend to think that more adult responsibilities we get and the more grown-up we act, the more we lose our childlike enthusiasm for things. Some people might argue that's a good thing, but I don't agree. I think there's a lot to be said for maintaining our joie de vivre. It made me sad to see Cate's inner wild girl retreat farther and farther away from the surface in Jessica Spotswood's Born Wicked. ...more
My inner wild child would have ever changing hair colors in all shades of the rainbow depending ... more

Nurturing Relationships

When reading Julie Klam's Love at First Bark it's easy to think of it as a "dog book." In doing so you forget the subtitle of the book -- How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help Save Yourself. The dogs in the book helped Klam sort through some of her own problems and her relationships with the people nearest and dearest to her. ...more
My husband and I don't get much time for going out on dates so we try to work in a stay-at-home ... more

What Do You Do When You Feel Stuck?

We've talked about how with each decision we make, we take a leap of faith. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When Julie Klam's family move to a new neighbourhood and new building they hoped they were doing the right thing. It didn't turn out the way they'd hoped and as she discusses in Love at First Bark, she felt stuck. ...more
Over the years I have experienced feeling stuck in a situation several times. The one that ... more

My Dogs Are Finally Housetrained

I was a little late writing this essay -- I meant to do it a week ago, but was in the middle of moving from one apartment to another. The reason we were moving was because our apartment had become Manhattan’s answer to the Amityville Horror. It wasn’t haunted by poltergeists or ghosts, but instead by extremely bad plumbing and the occasional rat riding the elevator. Also, there was no gas, going on for some seven months, and there were drug dealers on the fourth and eighth floors. Though the walls hadn’t actually bled, we’d seen blood on them, as well as on the floors and in the elevator -- some sort of “stabbing incident” was the explanation we got. ...more
Congratulations! That must feel so awesome to have your little furbabies all going outside ... more

Finding Love Through Animal Rescue

While I'm probably more of a cat person than a dog person, I found much to appreciate in Julie Klam's Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself. Giving rescued animals a forever home is something that is near and dear to me. While not all the animals in my life have come from a shelter, they've all been rescues. ...more
We adopted a pug named Eddie earlier this year. We already had a pug named Mason, and we would ... more