This time, the MacBrides are home to stay.
The Biscuit Witch
A Crossroads Café Novella
Book One of The MacBrides
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 her parents' tragic deaths 20 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.
This is a wonderful old fashioned old time feel good story of people coming together to help each other. A place where everyone considers themselves family and help is always given. I really loved this story it made me feel happy listening to it. I was reminded how life used to be a long time ago and it made me very nostalgic.
Misty Grey brought this stoy to life for me.
Looking forward to the next book.
Author Deborah Smith has written a delightful, quirky, Southern novel incorporating food, family, and finding love. Family in the South usually goes back for generations and this story doesn't disappoint. As the family tree's gnarled branches are exposed, the adept narration [AUDIO] by Misty Gray flips effortlessly between a medium southern drawl and a rich Scottish brogue, adding Delta's thick deep south and various other voices ranging from Appalachian to New York which take center stage as required. Although there is an HEA (Happily Ever After) rounding out book #1, a clear overarching series arc has me wanting to start immediately on the next volume.
Wonderful, magical story of love, loss, and a new beginning with quirky fun characters. I enjoyed this audio book and recommend it to those fanciful romantics out there. I voluntarily reviewed this audio book after receiving an advanced copy.
I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
This is not generally my typical genre. It was a light, happy, feel-good sort of story. Kind of reminded me of Fried Green Tomatoes meets Practical Magic... it is a short, cute, romantic tale with a dash of magic thrown in.
Would you try another book from Deborah Smith and/or Misty Gray?
Absolutely. Now that I know what to expect in Deborah's writing, I would be willing to try more of her work. And Misty was an excellent narrator I would love to listen to again.
Any additional comments?
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
This is my first book with Misty Gray narrating. I found her interesting because we start with Delta who wrote the letter and get a Southern accent, then we get a section from Douglas with a Scottish accent. We end with chapter one from Tallulah's voice, which is different than the previous two. I was struck with these different accents and taken by them. Misty was clear and clean throughout the book, nothing to distract from the words of the story.
Delta feels like a strong woman with solid beliefs of all around her from her letter we read in the prologue. She sounds like a kind person based on that first line. From that letter, it feels that family is important to Delta. She keeps track of the family line as though it's important, and uses it. However, we only meet Delta at the beginning in the letter and at the end by phone.
For listening, the book is broken up strange and, at times, it's hard to pick up on. There are sections in each chapter with sub-titles instead of a new chapter. For audiobook, it doesn't always translate well because we don't see these titles, and sometimes sound to be part of the story. I did adapt and knew to keep an ear open for them.
Okay, in the beginning I wasn't sure where the story was going. We get Delta's letter then Doug's account with the sheep. I thought I knew where the story was going, but then we get into chapter one that's Tal's reminiscing about her family past. This felt like it was a huge info dump without leading us on the story. It was about her parents - who related to, who died, and what they did and how they died. Then we end the chapter right where Doug ended up with the sheep. The story took off from there.
The story is good. But it's not my style of writing and format. I like Tallulah and her story. She's on the go, trying to get away from the father of her child as he's not a good person or the lifestyle she wants for her daughter. She makes her way to the home town of her family roots. And here she finds a good man and good people. Tal even learns about her family heritage, which she didn't know with losing her mama so young.
The romance... Tal does find a man. But the relationship between her and him and him and her daughter seems to happen so fast. Like in two days fast. Okay, maybe three? I know it's a novella and looking past the quickness, it made for a sweet story.
The story has a few different angles to it. There is a sweet love that blossoms, of course. But we also see more here. Tal has a daughter and some troubles she's running from. Tal gets a solution to those problems and grows as a character too. We also see the thread that will connect the stories in this series - Free Wheeler, a small town. There is a history here that Tal starts to dig into and learns.
As for the cooking reference, I was expecting more "magic" in the baking. There is love backed in those biscuits, and people love them but I thought there would be some spark related to the baking. It wasn't as much of a tie as I thought there would be, but that's okay.
It's a sweet story with Tal who's drawn to bake all sorts of goodies with heart and memories. Family and friends are everything, and will help you when you are in need.
Any additional comments?
This audiobook was given to me for a honest unbiased review. This was incredible. The personality and quirks in the characters were hilarious. That Bear was awesome. This community is what we as a civilization should strive for, the support, and loving care. I want to move here!
I really enjoyed this book an it's not even my genre. I'll be looking fwd to the next installment
If you get a letter form a distant cousin, you open and do as requested...at least you do if you get a letter from- Delta Whittlespoon, proprietress of The Crossroads Café!
This was an absolute delightful read. Loved all the forgotten town with treasures from the past, the quirky characters, and that includes the animals who have their own big personalities! This has an air of the "Woo Woo" as our Scott calls it but us firmly routed in reality. You will want to keep reading to the end, and you will want to try Tallulah's cupcakes and biscuits too!
Worth a credit: YES
I was provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I normally do not enjoy romance novels but really enjoyed this due to the characters and the narration .I loved the characters of Tallulah, Doug, the animals as well as their family as they are real characters. It is about Tallulah leaving NYC with daughter Eve and returning to her birth place in North Carolina. It was a funny, light hearted book. Narration was good with different voices for each the characters and made the book. Look forward to next book. I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you