Monday, 19 November 2012

Review+Interview: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman

At the Other End:
Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training.

When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past

Shhh....... Don't Tell:

Magical Chocolate Cake

Warning: May induce feelings of intense lust and even love, especially when baked by a witch and served fresh.


• 4 ounces (2/3 cup) super awesome (i.e. expensive) bittersweet chocolate
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• Fresh berries (optional)
• Whipped cream and/or caramel (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and butter an 8-inch (20cm) round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper (aka, baking paper).

2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler, melt chocolate with butter until smooth.
3. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well.

4. Sift ½ cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture until combined—don’t stir more than needed.

5. Pour batter into pan and bake 25 minutes, or until thin crust forms on top.

6. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. Top with fresh berries, drizzled caramel or whipped cream if desired.

First Impressions Last:

A moving tale of love and life. A novel inspiring us all to embrace our inner self, and to do what you feel is right. A recepe is simple, but there are a few steps you need to follow.


Behind the 293 Pages:

With so many unique things happening, it is hard to review this. Most parts of this novel make it unique and I am out of words to describe it all. Ok, here goes nothing.

I absolutely love the way that the book is made personal easily, by the way that Audrey is made to write like in her journal  , or also know as her guide. We get all of her recipes written, making us feel as though we are the journal/guide as well as her constant shadow. This method easily gets us to connect with Audrey on levels that most novels don't seem to achieve. As Audrey's journal, we see every side of her and know exactly what she would think and say in many situations. It is so easy to relate to her, she is the kind of person that is every bit teenage girl. Funny, smart, obsessive, and at times a little bit of delusion added to the mix. She does what she feels is right and what is right for her family and the ones that she loves.

We get led into the story unknown to Audrey's Witchiness, and start to experience all the unusual things that start to happen, including the dreams and the ever-so-scary creme brule.

There is always a sister like Meg lurking in the shadows of nearly every novel and in our lives (my sister included). If you don't have said annoying, want-it-all sister, you will get your dose from this book. You feel like Meg is your sister and sometimes you just want to slap her (lightly of course....ok fine, just a bit harder so she feels it). I really could rant on her all day, especially how she acts like she is older, superior, a rock star, and should always get her way. She has the perfect band, the perfect social life, and gets annoyed that Julian falls for Audrey and not her, so she blames it on Audrey, yet knows of her sister's boy history. She could at least be happy for her sister, instead of make out that she gets nothing, is deprived...Whatever. Ok, enough ranting about Meg.

I wish we would have seen more in on Audrey's training, we only get a few training sessions and she seems to pick it up too quickly. It goes along with the fast plot and still keeps us hooked, yet at times like these we question if it is too fast.

Love Julian, he is the sweetest guy and is always there for Audrey. They suit each other so well and we wonder why he is so special and doesn't get affected by Audrey's protective spell-ball. This makes us want the next book to find the answers to the questions that prod and poke at us, especially the looming questions of what will happen after the novel is finished. How far will she go to reach her mother? Who will she run into? And what will she do with the information that has shocked her?

We predict some parts of the ending. Who the necromancer really is was one of my first predictions when we first hear about him and the story that involves her mother.

A great story of Witches, can't forget Sadie and her animals. Wished there was more 'guide' to the book. I loved the spells and the recipes, wanting to be able to make that Chocolate Cake! (recipe is above) We get the recipe at the start and wish there were more throughout the book.

Buy Me!


What's Next:

Audrey's Guide to Slaying Zombies and Breaking Hearts (Audrey's Guides #2)
Title not yet confirmed

Jody GehrmanAuthor Bio:
Jody Gehrman is the author of seven novels and numerous plays. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin's Dial Books). Babe in Boyland won the International Reading Association Teen Choice Award and has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel. Her adult novels are Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin (Red Dress Ink). Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College.

Handy Hinty Links:
Goodreads:                                     Audrey's Guides                                      Jody Gehrman
Facebook:                           Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft                                      Jody Gehrman
                      Website                                           Blog                                  Twitter

Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)

So far I've published seven novels. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is my most recent Young Adult book. My other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin's Dial Books). Babe in Boyland has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel, which I'm super excited about.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?

Like most writers, I can get pretty obsessive. I have to discipline myself to step away from my computer and live in "the real world" so I don't just keep checking my Amazon page every three seconds. It's nerve-wracking, waiting for reviews to come in, but it's also exciting.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?

Well, I've always been fascinated with witchcraft. I even dabbled in it a bit in my youth. I started writing this about seven years ago as a book for adults, but I never felt like it was quite working. Then I realized it would work well as a YA novel, so I pulled out the old draft and gave it a radical makeover. 

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?

I think, "Ouch!" Negative reviews hurt, and it's difficult not to get defensive. Really, though, if you're pleasing everyone, you must not be making very strong choices, right? Sometimes I look up my favourite authors on Goodreads or Amazon and check out all their negative reviews; that makes me feel like I'm in excellent company!

5. How long was the writing/planning process?

About seven years, with big breaks in between drafts.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?

Actually, for the first time in my career I got to design and create the cover myself. My husband and I spent the day taking photos of our friend Roseanne, a gorgeous redhead who embodies my main character perfectly. Then we spent a week trying out various looks for the cover. My agent ran some of our ideas past other pros in the business. Luckily, it was unanimous: everyone felt the red dress/red smoke image was the most eye-catching, so we went with that. I loved the whole process. It gave me a lot more insight into what book designers must go through. I never could have done it without my artist husband though! 

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?

I've got outlines for the sequel to Audrey and have a few chapters written. The working title is AUDREY'S GUIDE TO SLAYING ZOMBIES AND BREAKING HEARTS.

8. Recommended books

I adore everything by Beth Fantaskey (such as JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE). I also really love Stacey Jay's work (especially YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME). Nina LaCour's THE DISENCHANTMENTS is haunting, sweet and beautiful. 

9. Why read your novel? 

Of course I'm biased, but I feel it offers an unusual cocktail of magic, danger, romance, and snarkieness. It's also got chocolate cake! 

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This novel was received for review via the author. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.

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