Tour: Southern Fried Wiccan by S.P. Sipal @HP4Writers

Southern Fried Wiccan by S.P. Sipal

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Cilla Swaney is thrilled to return stateside, where she
can hang up her military-brat boots for good. Finally,
she’ll be free to explore her own interests—magick and Wicca. But when she arrives at her grandma’s farm, Cilla discovers that life in the South isn’t quite what she expected. At least while country hopping, she never had to drink G-ma’s crazy fermented concoctions, attend church youth group, make co-op deliveries...or share her locker with a snake-loving, fire-lighting, grimoire-stealing Goth girl…

…Who later invites her to a coven that Cilla’s not sure she has the guts to attend. But then Emilio, the dark-haired hottie from her charter school, shows up and awakens her inner goddess. Finally, Cilla starts believing in her ability to conjure magick. Until…

…All Hades breaks loose. A prank goes wrong during their high school production of Macbeth, and although it seems Emilio is to blame, Cilla and Goth pay the price. Will Cilla be able to keep the boy, her coven, and the trust of her family? Or will this Southern Wiccan get battered and fried?
The Southern Fried Wiccan's Top Ten YA Reads
by S.P. Sipal
The books we read and love affect us throughout our lives, but perhaps more deeply and long-lasting when we are young. There are stories I read years ago that I still remember clearly today because they both touched my heart and steered me toward my future. So my list of top YA includes not only books I've read recently, but books I devoured when I was a teen and still have not forgotten.

Here they are, in no particular order, my favorite YA reads:

Compulsion by Martina Boone – As a Southerner, this story reminded me a lot of the spooky tales my grandfather used to tell my dad, and my dad passed on to me, of strange lights that rose from an old graveyard and floated over the peanut field beside my great-grandfather's farm house. Or of the voices speaking to my great-grandfather from natural springs and hollow logs, spirits telling him where to find old family treasure buried during the Civil War era. (Which I'm still looking for!) I'm looking forward to Boone's next book of the trilogy, Persuasion, which I've been lucky enough to have a sneak peek of.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare – In the days when I was a teen (and I won't say how long ago that was!) YA was not a thing yet. We did have a few, but most of us just went from children's books direct to historical romance novels. I think I remember The Witch of Blackbird Pond fondly because it was a bridge between the two. I loved the history (loved the witch element even then), the brave and compassionate character of Kit, and the forbidden romance between her and Nat.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I'm always fascinated when an author can take an ancient myth and reinterpret it for today…or, in Collin's case, the future. It was the character of Katniss whom I found particularly appealing…how she could take such an awful situation she was thrust into and still be true to herself.

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman – To be honest, Pullman's trilogy is a little darker than I like most of my reads. I think what drew me to this series was the depth of his meaning and his twists of theology. Plus, his world building was deeply inspired.

Soul Crossed by Lisa Gail Green – I love it when an author can take two polarized characters, with a true conflict between them, and still draw them together in a way that makes sense. Green did this with Josh and Grace. This book was at times quite chilling and dark, especially with the "soul" they were both fighting to attain, but always engrossing. Loved the high stakes and how Green envisioned her angels and demons.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I loved Jo, just loved her. I don't think a character had quite captivated me as much since I'd graduated from the Little House books. Jo's passion for reading and her tomboy personality are probably what I identified so much with. We love to see ourselves in the characters we read.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I loved the whimsy of this book. And the theme of obedience being a curse was wonderful. Plus Levine's twists on certain fairy tale and adventure tropes made this a delightful read for me.

Forever by Judy Blume – I include this iconic book mostly because of certain awkward memories associated with it…memories I can now laugh at. I'll never forget how it was surreptitiously passed around under desks when I was in seventh grade with certain pages dog-eared. I also vividly remember a guy I liked laughing at me when my face turned bright red from reading those pages. The perils of a pale complexion!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg -- I know this is technically probably more MG than YA, but I have to include it in my list because it was one of my favorite books of all time when I was younger. I read this book over and over. I think it was the exquisite combination of mystery and adventure that drew me in, coupled with two kids taking care of themselves alone. I loved the details. I still remember Claudia and Jamie fishing for coins in the museum's fountains and crouching on toilets to stay out of view of the night guards.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – The Harry Potter series tops my collection of best-loved books. Besides the actual books themselves, I loved not only being a part of the generation who got to experience the magic and mystery of these books as they were released, but especially having experienced it with my children. They grew up with the feel that a book release was a rock-star event and that debating the mysteries of a book and predicting the next was how things should be. I'll always be thankful for that. Of the seven books, I'd say Goblet of Fire was my favorite.

How many of my favorite books have you read? I'd be very curious what your reaction to them was as we always experience a story in such a unique, personal way.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Susan Sipal had to travel halfway across the world and return home to embrace her father and grandfather's penchant for telling a tall tale. After having lived with her husband in his homeland of Turkey for many years, she suddenly saw the world with new eyes and had to write about it.

Perhaps it was the emptiness of the Library of Celsus at Ephesus that cried out to be refilled, or the myths surrounding the ancient Temple of Artemis, but she's been writing stories filled with myth and mystery ever since. She can't wait to share Southern Fried Wiccan with readers in March 2015.


  1. I used to always talk about The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and nobody ever knew what I was talking about!

    1. So glad to meet another "Mixed-Up" fan! I loved that book, and now that I've been thinking about it, feel that I need to go back and reread. ;-)

  2. Thank you so much, Kristen, for hosting me today! I'm so excited to finally share Southern Fried Wiccan with readers. And I have to ask, are your guineas names in part after Snape and Dumbledore? ;-)


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