A friend of mine loves my contemporary women's fiction but the paranormal books leave her cold. She's never said it in so many words but when you've known and loved a friend for as long as I've known and loved her, it's isn't so much what she says that clues you in but what she doesn't say. My Sugar Maple books, the ones filled with knitting and magic, just don't seem to be on her reading radar.
We were comparing notes about upcoming books and deadlines and the never-ending terror that comes with facing the blank computer screen on a daily basis. (BTW that terror never goes away. It's as sharp and fierce and deadly today as it was when I wrote my first book in 1982.
I've just learned how to keep it in line.) She told me her new book would be released in December.
I took a deep breath. "My new one comes out on Election Day."
Her silence spoke volumes and I knew the time had come to call out that big pink elephant in the room.
"It's okay," I said with a laugh. "You're not a paranormal fan. I understand."
"I love your writing," she said, sounding relieved and embarrassed and everything in between.
"Your contemporaries are on my keeper shelf but . . . " Her voice trailed off.
"Go ahead," I said. "You can say it." I mean, I don't read westerns or thrillers. We all have different likes and dislikes and that's okay. This isn't school. You can read what you want to read without worrying about the reading police staring over your shoulder and tsk-tsking your choices.
It was my friend's turn to take a deep breath of her own. "Why?" she asked. "Why in the world would you stop writing down-to-earth, real-world books and start writing paranormal with vampires and ghosts and sorceresses-in-training?"
You have to admit it's a good question. It's also one I've been asked an awful lot since I began my Sugar Maple series two years ago.
I finally have an answer.
I love my very real earthbound world. I love my everyday life. Grocery shopping. Doing laundry. Paying bills. Rooting for Maks on Dancing With The Stars. Seeing my husband smile when I conjure up something deliciously spicy in the kitchen.
It's all good. Very good, in fact.
I wouldn't trade it for anything.
And yet despite that I sometimes find myself imagining a secret door just beyond the produce aisle at Shoprite or a hidden room accessible through my office closet or maybe a gathering of faeries in that odd little hideaway beneath the dogwood at the far end of the backyard. And who's to say those things aren't waiting for me, hidden in plain sight? They say that human infants are born with a "third eye" that sees beyond our three-dimensional world and grows dimmer as the baby moves out of diapers and into toddlerhood. I'd love to believe that's true. I'd love to believe that all we see isn't all there is, that the world is still filled with surprises and possibilities. I'd love to think the kilt-clad bagpiper who crested the hill behind a Long Island supermarket in 1985 was stepping from a dream and not a volunteer fireman late for an Ancient Order of Hibernians meeting.
What can I say? I'm a dreamer. Always was, always will be. The little girl who believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and guardian angels is alive and well, tucked deep inside my middle-aged writer's heart and these days she's writing about a magickal small town and yarn shop in northern Vermont and loving every minute of it.
The newest Sugar Maple book is Spun by Sorcery:
Readers love to visit USA Today bestselling author Barbara Bretton's Sugar Maple. There's just one problem-it's fallen off the map!
Chloe is always losing things-but an entire town? Just when she was about to settle down in Sugar Maple with her soul-mate Luke MacKenzie, her Fae enemy Isadora strikes, and her new hometown is gone. Even the Book of Spells, her lifeline to magick, can't help her now. Just in the nick of time, her friend Janice roars up in Chloe's ancient Buick with Penny the cat and her yarn stash in tow. If she is going to save her home she has to go back to Salem, where family secrets and centuries- old feuds pull her into the fight of her life.
If you haven't yet had the chance to read this series- now's your chance.
Barbara is generously offering five complete sets of the Sugar Maple Series.
That's 5 Sugar Maple sets of 3 books each (CASTING SPELLS, LACED WITH MAGIC, and SPUN BY SORCERY) for 5 winners drawn at random.
Open to US Shipping Only
Winner TBA Wednesday Nov 10
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