Blog Buzz on TANTALIZE

What the blogosphere is saying about Cynthia's delicious dark fantasy debut.

"Prepare yourself for a tantalizing mixture of romance, the world of the supernatural and Italian food."

Simple Pleasures Book Blog

"This story had lots of action to it and twist and turns in it. Just shows some times you can't trust those who you thought you could even a family member or one who you start to have feelings excellent read."

Reading Is So Much Fun

  "The format of her novel is delectable and creative, with its sections that come from a menu, starting with your appetizer all the way to your dessert and wine. This was very clever of Smith; it fits right in with the main setting of the book, a vampire themed restaurant.  The ambiance she sets is one that makes you feel like you are participating in an elaborate and elegant play."

Alison Defenbach: Collection of Digital Materials

"Huge kudos to Cynthia Leitich Smith for giving me the refreshing, amazing read that I needed! This story takes off at the first page, and just keeps going. It has everything: romance, deceit, suspense, vampires and werewolves..."

The Obscure Vixen

“This book could help teens who find themselves with more responsibility than they can handle, or whose parents/guardians are absent. It could also help teens who feel they may have a drinking problem.”

Troublingly Good Teen Lit

“The last few chapters of TANTALIZE were my favorite. This is where you see Quincie show who she really is. These last few chapters are also packed with suspense and action, much of which is unexpected.”

Truth Be Told

TANTALIZE earns a "Four Pitch Forks" review...

—from Edifying & Edgy


"Not only is this a good read for 14-year-olds, but I believe that mothers will truly enjoy the wit as well."

Once Upon a Romance

"Readers who become hooked on Tantalize will be happy to learn that a second book is underway — Eternal [Candlewick, Feb, 2009]. It can't show up in bookstores soon enough."

—Reading Junky

What makes Tantalize unique?

“Probably my most remarked-upon twist on the tradition is that the story largely revolves around Sanguini’s, a fictional a vampire-themed restaurant set here in Austin, Texas.

“As an older teen, I’d waited tables in restaurants to help pay for college tuition and expenses, and I loved how each was a stage for drama — complete with thematic décor, menu, costumes/uniforms, music, and more.”

Books That “Suck” Interview: Cynthia Leitich Smith from The Compulsive Reader.

"With an intriguing murder mystery to capture the reader's attention, Ms. Leitich Smith fuels her captivating tale with a heavy paranormal influence and a sweet first time love."

Darque Reviews

"From young hot werewolves to street bums with a Nosferatuian bite, Tantalize will have your mouth watering for more!"

—The Faerie Drink Review

"It's a fun, inventive read, filled with vampires, werewolves, and food. Bravo to Cynthia. (Though there's no way I'm ever letting her cook anything for me. Read the book to find out why.)"

David Lubar, author of TRUE TALENTS

"[i]n Quincie, the author has created a strong female character capable of kicking supernatural butt with a pair of snazzy red cowboy boots. Verdict: Tantalizingly cute."

Burlesque of the Damned

"What a ride! I love the way the book is structured (Italian menu). So much fun!"

Jo Knowles, author of LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL

"Totally Buffy-esque. Of course I thoroughly enjoyed it. Actually I enjoyed it more than I ever enjoyed 'Buffy.'"

—author Elizabeth Gallagher

"No one is safe in this thrilling vampire tale of murder and seduction."

Becky's Book Reviews

"She makes you believe, with a capital B. Werepeople? Of course they exist. Shapeshifters? Absolutely. Vampires? Well, you'll have to read the book!"

Deborah Lynn Jacobs, author of POWERS

 "It's more mystery than horror, more horror than comedy, more comedy than coming-of-age story (and probably more Thirsty than Twilight), but it's all these things and more. Even if you don't know much about vampires, I highly recommend Tantalize. It's good undead fun, and I hope Cyn plans a sequel."

Alex Flinn, author of BEASTLY

"Don't read this book on an empty stomach! I'm serious. In the very first paragraph of the first chapter, we find Quincie, our heroine, eating fettuccine with scallops and garlic. I think my mouth actually started watering at that point."

Sara's Holds Shelf

"The blend of gothic horror and romance will make it a perfect pick for [fans of] the Stephenie Meyer books. I suspect that there will be a pretty serious clamor for a sequel."

—Leila Roy, Bookshelves of Doom

"This is a vampire novel that moves like—well, a bat out of hell."

—Gail Giles, The YA Novel and Me, author of

"Simply put: FABULOUS. So good and dark. Best ending I've read in ages, and nicely feminist as well."

—Gwenda Bond, Shaken & Stirred

"Vampires have never really been my thing, but Holy Moly! She made it so compelling I could not put the book down. And funny. It's funny! I really felt like I was getting a classic vampire story that was satisfying on every single level and everything about it made sense to me."

—Cecil Castellucci, The Divine Miss Pixie Woods,

"Tantalize is written at a higher level than most YA books these days, and as such is a moderately challenging read. However, it adds to the appeal of the book, making it accessible for adult readers and more desirable for older YA who feel the need for 'juicier' reads."

E Cubed

"...this is a no-holds-bar gothic, titillating scintillating tale with a hot werewolf boyfriend and murder mystery with bloody fangs. Fans of Libb a Bray's Beauty series take note: this is where to wait. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!"

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer,

"A dark fantasy with plenty of humor that will also make you very hungry. …It's as if someone opened a restaurant in Sunnydale."

—Liz B. at A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy

“Cynthia Leitich Smith’s TANTALIZE is unique: it stands alone as the only book that has ever inspired me to genuinely freak out…a genuine sense of foreboding, contrasted with the frenetic atmosphere of a major restaurant opening. This unusual combination made for a constantly surprising and highly effective horror story.”


“There is murder, love gone awry, distrust and suspicion, menacing foes, were-people and vampires, and more murder. This is a fun read and one that you probably will want to read from cover to cover because it is just that enjoyable and easy to read.”

—Patti, a teen services librarian from Austin

“...delicious twists and turns to this story. Werecreatures, vampires, unsolved murders, and more are sure to satisfy readers who lust for blood lore and romance and mysteries. ...a lovely tale…”

—Teri Lesesne, The Goddess of YA Literature

“...a stimulating paranormal mystery mixed with romance. The relationship between Quincie and Kieren is touching and so deep that the reader feels Quincie’s pain at the thought of losing Kieren, while at the same time understanding Kieren’s reasons for keeping Quincie at arms length...”


"Book of the Week:" "Tantalize is a seductive read, perfect to savor with it myriad twists and turns… This delectable novel is already creating quite a buzz among teen readers with good reason."

—Diana Tixer Herald of Genrefluent

"…we can say with confidence that if vampire novels are your thing, THIS is one book you must read."

—APL Teens (Austin Public Library)