A family receives land after a bargain with a fairy, which is then passed down to the next generation. Two sisters in this family have been warned to deal carefully with the fairies and bargains. Alaina uses the bargains for better crops, but everything changes when her sister marries into a wealthy family. Delphine later admits to her sister that her husband is cruel and abusive, but is trapped in her life. Alaina, who runs the family orchard, tries to help her sibling. Alaina was a strong woman with a supportive husband and daughter when women had few rights, including voting. Her devotion to her land and family led her down a path where she had been cautioned not to travel, and it made me very nervous that she was doing so. The book’s first half focuses mainly on the sisters and their relationships. It was a slower and more thoughtful pace as Alaina found ways to help her sister. The book’s second half deals more with the consequences as it picks up the pace and veers into another realm. This story has many layers, including family relationships, magic, folklore, woman’s rights, trust, and love. A good read that held my attention, especially at the end.
By Unity Hayes
“Secrets in the Blood” opens with a young boy witnessing his mother’s death and his older brother finding him. Then the story moves on to the current POVs set in a charming old western town park. West, the handyperson, is looking for a job, and Cassidy is drawn to him. There is a mystery to his past, and things aren’t what they seem. Plus, there is a killer on the loose with the arrival of West. I loved the developing feelings between Cassidy and West. It was obvious that West was hiding something from his first interaction with Cassidy. Although he tried to conceal his physical scars, most found it hard to trust him, including his brother. The setting was vivid, making me wish this was a place I could visit with the staged train robberies and other interactive activities. A few surprising twists, mysteries, love, and family dynamics made this fast-paced story hard to put down.
By Merril Smith
“River Ghosts” poetry evokes a depth of emotion through beautiful imagery. I enjoyed all the poems I read, and here are a few that touched me. “Too late,/watch the last butterfly/in a shimmering glow/of gold and tangerine”—Observe, And Again. “Once stars shimmered brighter in/the night,/and you left your handprint, a/symbol on the wall,”—Handprint. “and we reach up, swallow them-/then filled with honeyed light/we whisper in glimmering tones,/leap-and fly.”—Dreams and Stars. “Angel-breath flowers in the morning/and soft blush-clouds sail/in dancing rhythm/waking all the ifs—/and so—/let ghosts fly.”—The Secret of Poetry Stars. These are just some of the ones I highlighted. A wonderful collection meant to be read over and over, and I can easily recommend it to poetry lovers.
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!
Embrace your inner child, and read a good book! D. L. Finn