Read The Excerpt


Does Jinx have bad luck – or special powers?

Misfortune has followed Jean Honeychurch all her life – which is how she earned the nickname Jinx. And now her parents have shipped her off to New York City to stay with relatives – including her sophisticated cousin Tory – until the trouble she’s caused back home dies down.

Could she even be . . . a WITCH?

Tory is far too cool to bother with Jinx – until Jinx’s chronic bad luck wreaks havoc in Tory’s perfect life–including causing Tory’s crush, Zack, to start paying way too much attention to her red-headed cousin from Iowa. Only then does Jinx discover that beneath Tory’s big-city glamour lies a world of hatred and revenge. Now it seems that the jinx that’s driven Jean crazy may just be the only thing that can save her life . . .

About the book

I got the idea for JINX from my family history: I’m related to a healer who is rumored to have been one of the last women burned at the stake in England for witchcraft.

My family legend goes that every seventh granddaughter descended from her is supposed to have inherited her magical powers. I always thought that meant me…although, like Jinx, every time I’ve tried to test it out, it never went well–down pours instead of snow days, the wrong boy liking me, etc. So I’ve learned to leave well enough alone!

My dad always maintained that his grandmother was a witch. She could heal warts with a touch of a hand, he claimed.

Weirdly, my mom’s nickname is Jinx…but only because she was born on Friday the 13th! She claims to possess no magical powers, however, beyond those of having inspired The Princess Diaries…and the title of this book, as well!


“Jean, aka Jinx, has been a “bad luck magnet” since the moment she was born, when a freak thunderstorm caused a hospital blackout. Now, due to a vaguely described incident involving a stalker, she has moved from Iowa to stay with her aunt’s family in a ritzy New York City townhouse. Jean’s regular bad luck gets worse thanks to Tory, the snotty cousin who is now her classmate at an exclusive private school. After Jean mysteriously prevents a cute neighbor from a terrible accident, Tory is convinced that Jean is a witch-just like herself, and as proof she dredges up a story their grandmother used to tell about magic in their bloodline. Jean refuses to join Tory’s coven, saying, “I don’t think messing around with magic is such a good thing, you know” (though she soon performs a binding spell to prevent her cousin from hurting the family’s au pair). Tension between the girls rises, causing Tory to ominously declare, “I have a very special thank-you I’ve been saving up, just for Jinx.” With its assurance of a satisfying outcome despite the odds, predictability is a virtue in a Cabot (Princess Diaries) novel, and readers will guess most plot points, including the truth behind the stalking story. Readers will enjoy the premise and the naiveté of the heroine, and they’ll wonder, as Jean does, how much magic is actually at play. The final supernatural showdown proves that Cabot can do harrowing just as well as she does pop romance.” – Publishers Weekly