Review: The Biscuit Witch (A Crossroads Cafe Novella) by Deborah Smith

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Title: The Biscuit Witch
Author: Deborah Smith
Format: eBook
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Pages: 125
ISBN: 978-1611943047
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The MacBrides: Book 1
Best Read in Order: Yes
Stars: 5
Purchase Now:  Amazon

About the Book:

Dear Dr. Firth: 

I know you are in your cups at this time, drinking, taking pills, and sleeping under trees, but I have some experience rehabilitating lost souls in that regard, and so I am enclosing a box of my biscuits and a cold-wrapped container of cream gravy for dessert. Please eat and write back. We need a veterinarian of your gumption here in the Crossroads Cove of Jefferson County.
–Delta Whittlespoon, proprietress of The Crossroads Café

Biscuit witches, Mama called them. She’d heard the term as a girl. She’d inherited that talent. My mother could cast spells on total strangers simply by setting a plate of her biscuits in front of them. –Tal MacBride

Welcome back to the Crossroads Cove where new loves, old feuds, and poignant mysteries will challenge siblings Tal, Gabby, and Gus MacBride to fight for the home they lost and to discover just how important their family once was, and still is, to the proud people of the Appalachian highlands. Tallulah MacBride hasn’t been back to North Carolina since their parents’ tragic deaths, twenty years ago. But now, Tal heads to cousin Delta Whittlespoon’s famous Crossroads Café in the mountains above Asheville, hoping to find a safe hiding place for her young daughter, Eve. What she finds is Cousin Delta gone, the café in a biscuit crisis, and a Scotsman, who refuses to believe she’s passing through instead of “running from.” He believes she needs a knight in shining flannel.When a pair of sinister private eyes show up, Tal’s troubles are just beginning. For Tal’s brother and sister—Gabby, the Pickle Queen, and Gus, the Kitchen Charmer—the next part of the journey will lead down forgotten roads and into beautiful but haunted legacies.

Book Review:

I really enjoyed this little novella: quirky characters, even quirkier animals, a compelling story and a mystery to solve – what’s not to enjoy?

This little story will draw you in: Smith has a unique talent for storytelling, switching the point of view with ease between Tal and Doug, providing the story with a depth that makes the potentially over the top action feel possible, and the comedic relief provided by the animals keeps Tal from appearing to be paranoid and overreacting.

The romance is well-balanced, as we have seen both Doug and Tal’s thoughts and interactions with one another, and the peculiar habit that Tal has of classifying people’s intentions and personalities with scents, the mystical and unknowable winds through every element: it all feels real, if strange.

Full of interesting secondary characters, clever asides in conversation between adults with a 5 year old present leads to odd questions and justifications: no one will look at pink fondant and purple sprinkles in the same way after reading this story! The author has planned a trilogy for the MacBrides, and this is a great introduction to both the characters and the author. While this is the first I have read of this author’s work, I will be going to seek out Crossroads Café to see more of the characters that Tal has just met.

I received an ARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About the Author:

Deborah Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of A Place to Call Home, Sweet Hush, The Crossroads Cafe, A Gentle Rain and other acclaimed romantic novels portraying life and love in the modern Appalachian South. A native Georgian, Deborah is a former newspaper editor who turned to novel-writing with great success.

With more than 35 romance, women’s fiction and fantasy novels to her credit, Deborah’s books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Among her honors is a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times Magazine and a nomination for the prestigious Townsend Literary Award. In 2003 Disney optioned Sweet Hush for film. In 2008 A Gentle Rain was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards.

For the past nine years Deborah has been a partner in BelleBooks, a small press known for southern fiction, including the Mossy Creek Hometown Series and the Sweet Tea story collections. As editor, she has worked on projects as diverse as the nonfiction Bra Talk book by three-time Oprah Winfrey guest Susan Nethero, and the In My Dreams novella by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen.

In 2008 BelleBooks launched Bell Bridge Books, an imprint with a focus on fantasy novels. Deborah produces book trailers for the Bell Bridge and BelleBooks titles, creates the company’s podcasts, and also narrates and produces audiobooks for BelleBooks Audio.

She lives on a secluded dirt road high in the mountains of north Georgia with Hank, her husband of many years, plus a herd of deer, a flock of turkeys, numerous well-fed raccoons, possums and the occasional bear, also eight cats, a dog and more than one-hundred pond-raised goldfish.

Website  § @deborahsmithauthor

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