Author Spotlight: Cindy C. Bennett

Cindy C. Bennett is the published author of countless works including Geek Girl, Heart On A Chain and her anticipated upcoming release of Rapunzel Untangled. She won me over with Heart On A Chain (see review here) and I’m really excited to be spotlighting her and allowing you guys the opportunity to get to know her and her work. You can read her full bio here but below is an excerpt to hold you over:

I write contemporary YA, though I am currently working on a book which dips a tiny toe into the paranormal. I have four amazing kids – two boys, two girls. I’m married to a man who makes it possible for me to pursue this crazy dream. I live in Utah, have my whole life, and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

I started writing a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . . no, wait, that’s Star Wars’ intro, not mine. I did start writing a long time ago, that part is true. I can’t remember when I started making up stories and putting them down on paper, it seems I always have. Then, in high school, I had an amazing English teacher, Mr. Bickmore, who really expanded my passion for writing. Every day as we came into class, he had a “ten-minute writing” assignment, which is exactly what it sounds like. I looked forward to that ten minutes each day like you can’t believe. He taught me a love of pure, creative writing, and a love of great literature. (Who knew Romeo and Juliet begins with two pages of dirty jokes?)

cindy bennettThen at some point, YA became a popular genre, and, having two teen daughters, I found my house inundated with it. So I read many of the books, and fell in love with them. I mean seriously, who doesn’t have a crystal clear remembrance of that time in your life: the awkwardness, the insecurity and drama – the flush of new love. A few years ago, I began writing Heart on a Chain. And I found my niche.

I followed the completion of that manuscript with Geek Girl. My daughters encouraged me to publish them. I decided Geek Girl was the easier sell, so I began writing the dreaded query letters. In the meantime, I joined an online critique group from a real editor, telling you whether your first page would capture the attention of an agent, and subsequently a publisher. I received high praise for my first page, and with renewed enthusiasm began sending out even more query letters, deciding the original agents who had rejected me didn’t know what they were talking about.

I resubmitted the dreaded query to the ones who would even take a look, received a couple of rejections, and then (cue angelic music and light from the heavens) I received an email from Cedar Fort Publishing, saying they wished to publish Geek Girl.

In the midst of this wonderful insanity, I’m still being a mom, helping my husband run our cabinet business, co-hosting a podcast with my son called The RyTime! Geekcast, where we talk all things geek, along with the time I spend volunteering with a group of girls ages 12-18. Jeff, Cami and I have added another author to our little group, Kimberley Patterson, as we all work on our next books together. I could use a clone of myself to double my time!

We have a lot of great things planned for this spotlight but in the mean time to find out more about Bennett or interact with her visit her on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog.

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Book Review: Heart on a Chain

Title: Heart on a Chain

Author: Cindy C. Bennett

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Synopsis: 17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns.

Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun an to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him.

Kate can’t figure out what game Henry is playing with her – for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her?

Kate finally decides to trust Henry’s intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?

My Review: I’ll start by saying WOW, this is an amazing read! This is truly a roller coaster of a book. You never know where the story line is going. There is absolutely nothing predictable about it. Also, you spend the book in emotional highs and lows. Although admittedly, I spent most of the book crying. It was also so romantic and I loved watching their love form and evolve.

The book was truly impossible to put down. There is something about the book that is so relatable, especially when it comes to the main character. Bennett also does a great job portraying Kate, the main character as a victim. I was truly impressed by the depth of it. Bennett then does a great job with her characters development and with Kate’s transformation.

Those of you who read the synopsis know that Kate is abused and I’ll tell you that it is raw and really hard to stomach. Kate is a great narrator and it is so easy to see and feel what she feels and that’s what makes reading this kind of tough. Experiencing her fear; it is something palpable that consumes the reader. But on the other hand, when the bond starts to develop between Henry and Kate it is absolutely, heartwarmingly romantic.

As previously warned, if you read this book be prepared to shed tears, smile and fall in love. It is suspenseful, captivating, romantic and not a book you’ll regret picking up.