Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton

I first discovered this book by reading a review of it at Wrighty's Reads. Wrighty so thoroughly convinced me I HAD to read this book, I immediately checked the library website and saw they had a copy. I went that morning to check it out!

Casting Spells is a delightful book about Chloe, the owner of Sticks and Strings, a yarn shop in Sugar Maple, Vermont. Though, everyone in town is somehow part of the paranormal world, humans/visitors to town only see "normal" things. They do not see anything out of the ordinary. This is all part of the protective spell that Chloe's mother and the entire female lineage of her family have put on the town. As long as the spell and the Book of Spells is passed down to another direct female family member, the town will keep its secrets and the inhabitants will be safe from the clutches of evil.

All of this seems like it will be put to the test when it appears that Chloe will not gain any magic powers from her family (she's only half-witch, her father was a human). And she has no children to pass the Book of Spells down to. Isadora, a fairy with an evil plan, is after the Book of Spells in order to take control and bring Sugar Maple to another realm. When a visitor to town winds up murdered, the state sends in a cop (Luke MacKenzie) to investigate. Chloe cannot deny the magnetism (and many sparks that fly) between the two and just as she feared she would never have magic, her powers begin to blossom.

Can she really be falling in love with a human? Will she make the same mistakes in life as her mother? Can she figure out what exactly is the Book of Spells and will she be able to save it from the clutches of Isadora? You'll have to read the book to find out!

What grabbed me about this book? Oh gee, I don't know. Could it be that it had to do with not only knitting, but a whole town of witches, vampires, fairies, trolls and more?! Yes! For some reason I really enjoy paranormal books, especially ones about witches. After reading Wrighty's review, I just HAD to read it. Casting Spells is actually billed as a paranormal romance, which normally would send me running in the other direction, but this little town and all its fantastic characters, plus the lack of too much romance (thank god!), make for a fun read. Especially around this time of year. I absolutely LOVED all the knitting references in this book. I was familiar with several of the yarns discussed and all the talk about the knitting projects just fueled my desire to continue reading. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Tips for Knitters found in the back of the book by Barbara Bretton and a couple other authors along with links to their knitting blogs.

The story is told in first person from both Luke and Chloe's viewpoints. Here are a couple of fun quotes:
In one of Luke's chapters:
"I stepped deeper into the store, past a polished maple worktable piled high with pointed sticks and scissors and things that would never make it past airport security. The place smelled of lavender and licorice and a hint of mint. Lots of magazines with sweaters on the cover were stacked in more piles on one side while an equal number of unfinished knitting projects were stacked on the other. I noted a ball of something blue and fluffy and picked it up. I squeezed it and the price tag jumped out and I quickly put it back down again. For one ball of yarn? This was worse than crack. Get addicted to this stuff and you would be living in your minivan." (page 76)

And from Chloe's point of view:
"Who are you?" I demanded and probably not in the friendliest tone of voice. For the record, I don't wake up each morning brimming over with the joy of life. The joy of life pretty much arrives around the same time as my third cup of coffee and the fourth round of my latest sock-in-progress." (page 79)

I have to say if you are a knitter, you may enjoy this book even more than others, just because you will be familiar with the terminology and yarn discussions. But these are not overpowering and I believe anyone can really enjoy this one.

And the great news is, this book is part of a series! Laced With Magic is now on bookshelves so you can rush right out and read that one too. I picked it up at the library this morning. Though, I'm disciplining myself and I have to read two other books I've had waiting around before I can get to it.

Highly recommend this one!
Here's the book trailer:


holdenj said...

I just read it as well and quickly dashed through Laced With Magic! I thought both were very good and I thought they were good reads for this time of year.

Holly said...

Wow, this one sounds like a lot of fun. I'm not familiar with her as a writer, I need to check it out.

Amber said...

I'm going to have to get this next time I'm at the library...sounds great.