The Secret Ingredient of Wishes: A Novel

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes: A Novel

by Susan Bishop Crispell

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Overview

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250089090
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 293,724
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

SUSAN BISHOP CRISPELL earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. Susan lives and writes near Wilmington, NC with her husband and their two literary-named cats. She is the author of The Secret Ingredient of Wishes.

Read an Excerpt

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes


By Susan Bishop Crispell

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Susan Bishop Crispell
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08909-0


CHAPTER 1

Birthday parties made her nervous. Itchy. She didn't mind the screaming kids, puddles of melted ice cream, or even the clowns who twisted dogs out of skinny, colored balloons.

It was the birthday candles — and subsequent wishes — that did it.

Wishes had a funny way of coming true around Rachel Monroe. Whether she wanted them to or not.

Too bad that excuse didn't fly with four-year-olds. So there she sat, sideways in a plastic booth, next to a pile of discarded plates and crumpled, pizza-sauced napkins, flicking her gaze to anything in the cramped party room but the source of her discomfort.

"Ray!" the birthday girl, Violet, yelled, waving her twiggy arm in a circle to beckon Rachel over. "Cake! Cake! Cake!"

Rachel scooted out of the booth but stayed a safe distance from Violet and her unicorn-shaped cake with four candles protruding from its back. The ice cream cone horn was slathered in white icing and silver sprinkles. "I'm not hungry," she said and avoided looking at her best friend, Violet's mom Mary Beth Foster, who was no doubt rolling her eyes at Rachel's wariness.

Violet stared, mesmerized, as Mary Beth lit the candles and said, "Make a wish, baby." Then she scrunched up her face, squeezed her eyes tight, and blew as hard as she could.

Mary Beth gave her daughter a thumbs-up, then walked to where Rachel stood — still a good five feet away. She brushed her auburn bangs out of her eyes and gave Rachel's hand a squeeze, whispering, "Nothing bad is going to happen."

Rachel squeezed her hand back, grateful that Mary Beth had always believed her about wishes. But, she thought, experiencing it firsthand made it hard not to believe. "Reflex," she said. "Sorry."

Logically, she knew Mary Beth was right. But moments like that sent her right back to her teenage years when she couldn't tell what was real and what was all in her head. "When everyone tells you you're crazy for years, it kind of sticks, you know?"

"I know," Mary Beth said, rubbing Rachel's back. "But you can handle it."

"Really, Maeby? Because from where I'm standing, it feels like if I can't even make it through a four-year-old's birthday party, I'm pretty much screwed."

"Thinking like that is not going to help, Ray. You've got to focus on the good. A wish was made, and nothing happened."

Rachel took a ragged breath and focused on Mary Beth's husband, Geoff, as he sliced up the unicorn cake. A faint outline of the Blue Sun logo bled through the button-up shirt he wore over his favorite tee. "Well, yeah, there is that."

She shrugged, like it wasn't a big deal, but her nerves refused to settle down. Sometimes the wishes, which floated down on small, white slips of paper unnoticed by everyone but Rachel, went wrong. And there was nothing she could do to fix them. Still, the fact that Violet's birthday wish hadn't immediately materialized in front of them meant Rachel might have a better handle on things than she'd thought.

"There's also the fact that I refuse to let you backslide," Mary Beth said. "We didn't go through years of sharing our feelings with a bunch of other head-case teens just to relapse when things get hard. You're going to be okay. I promise."

"How are you always so sure?"

Mary Beth shook her arm gently, forcing Rachel to look at her. "Because you'll do anything to keep from letting down the people you love."

I've done enough of that already. Rachel shoved the guilt down and forced a smile. "All right, all right. Point made. I will stop obsessing and enjoy your kid's birthday."

Geoff, having broken free from the mass of cake-devouring kids, sandwiched himself between his wife and Rachel and draped his arms over their shoulders. "Don't tell me you ladies are skipping out on the cake."

Mary Beth wrapped her arm around his waist, pulling him closer. "Just letting things calm down first."

"I just gave massive amounts of sugar to a roomful of kids. A rush like that could last a week," he said.

"I guess we better go get some before they come back for seconds," Mary Beth said.

"I'll be there in a minute. I just need to ..." Unable to decide on a suitable excuse, Rachel trailed off. She shrugged out from under Geoff's arm.

His thick eyebrows pulled down in confusion as he watched Rachel retreat. "Don't take too long. Presents are up next and Violet's got your gift on top of the pile."

Mary Beth gave Rachel a tentative smile and tugged her husband toward Violet and her mound of presents.

Rachel found the bathroom door hidden between the soda fountain and the token machine. She could just make out the melody of some teenybopper song over the clanging, whooping, and beeping of the games from the arcade on the other side of the door.

She hadn't seen a wish appear in years. And then a month ago, some unknown person somewhere else in Memphis had wished for their deepest desire and it found Rachel as she swept the front walk of the coffee shop where she worked. She left it unread — and ungranted — on the sidewalk, hoping that was the end of it. But another one turned up a few days later curled into the bottom of a mug with the dregs of someone's coffee. Then another appeared in the pocket of her favorite jeans when she pulled them from the dryer. Wishes had come almost daily after that, and she'd done a good job of pretending they didn't exist. But if anyone would have a wish strong enough to push through Rachel's defenses, it would be Violet, who'd been talking about her birthday wish in high-pitched squeals and a perma-smile for weeks.

Rachel twisted on the faucet and splashed water on her face. The shock of cold helped to dull the worst of her nerves. Even if the wish appeared, she didn't have to end her wishing boycott. Didn't have to read it and make it come true. She didn't have to make another wish come true ever again if she didn't want to.

Because if the ability refused to give back what it had taken from her, she was done with it. For good.

With a deep breath, she reentered the mayhem and hoped her resolve didn't crumble under the weight of Violet's pleading brown eyes.

"Ray, c'mon! Presents!" Violet called as soon as she saw Rachel. Her blond hair was a mass of stringy tangles. A cluster of pink icing was crusted at the tips as if she'd tried to make her hair match the flowing mane on the cake. Her lips and tongue were stained purple from the dye the baker had used on the vanilla cake to make the unicorn's inside match Violet's favorite color.

Before Mary Beth had even pulled the empty plate out of her way, Violet hugged the box wrapped in Sunday funnies and tore through the paper.

Nudging Geoff's shoulder, Rachel asked, "Does she have retractable claws?"

"She's our very own Wolverine," Geoff said, chuckling.

"Too bad I got her a kitten. She might accidentally stab it while trying to get it open." Geoff raised an eyebrow, and Rachel laughed. "Kidding."

With the wrapping paper floating to the ground beside her, Violet tugged on the lid of the box. It opened with a soft pop. The pink and orange plastic slug night-lights looked even cuter in person than they had online. Their crooked antennae-like eyes stared up at Rachel as Violet showed them off by dancing them back and forth through the air.

"Bunnies! I love them!"

"How can you love them? You don't even know what they are," Rachel teased. She took the slugs and placed them in the white fitted base. "They're not bunnies, they're slugs. And they're also night-lights. You can pick them up and carry them around at night and they'll make it so you can see in the dark."

Violet launched out of the booth and threw herself at Rachel. The force of it knocked her back a step. "I love you."

"I love you too," Rachel said. Leaning down, she didn't even attempt to avoid the icing on the girl's puckered lips as she smacked a kiss on her mouth.

"Wanna know what I wished for?" Violet asked before Rachel could pull away.

"If you tell me, it won't come true," Rachel said, hoping the threat would be enough to tamp down some of Violet's desire for whatever she wanted.

Violet shrugged, her eyes bright with wanting, and leaned in to Rachel's ear, whispering her secret with warm, vanilla-scented breath. She held a sticky finger to her lips for secrecy, then raced back to her parents.

Rachel's laugh bubbled out of her when, with a quick flash of white, a small piece of paper materialized in mid-air. Grabbing the wish, she read it and shook her head. Leave it to Violet to wish that hard for something that doesn't exist. Poor kid's in for a hell of a letdown when this doesn't come true.

CHAPTER 2

Rachel dreamed about unicorns. Despite the absurdity of Violet's wish, it had rooted in Rachel's subconscious while she slept, and she awoke the next morning with a stress headache that felt like dozens of hooves bucking against her skull. Massaging the base of her neck, she closed her eyes against the dull grayish-blue light that slithered in between the slats of the metal window blinds and reminded herself this particular wish was not one she needed to worry about.

She hadn't always known she could make wishes come true. At first, they seemed like happy coincidences. Like when she was five and her favorite stuffed animal, a rabbit called Bit, appeared in her bed with both ears still attached — despite having been thrown in the garbage the week before, his fluffy brains spilling out of the hole in his head. When her mom asked her how she'd gotten him back, and fixed, she just smiled and said, "Magic!"

As she grew, she discovered that it wasn't just her wishes that came true. She didn't have to be in the presence of someone making a wish for it to appear, just in the same town, as she discovered one year at sleepaway camp. And most of the time, she had no idea who a wish belonged to. She just knew that when a wish was strong enough, it would pop into existence, written on a scrap of paper like the ones that came out of fortune cookies, and make its way to her. She'd find them floating in the air, and tumbling out of the cereal box when she poured her breakfast, and underneath her pillow at night.

No one else seemed to notice them appear, but once she'd touched them, igniting their power, anyone could see them clutched in her hand or stuffed into the pocket of her jeans. And anyone could read them if they managed to snatch them away from her. Anyone could discover what she could do if she wasn't careful, even if they were unlikely to believe it.

So she waited until no one was looking to pick up the wishes. Then she hid them all in a wooden box on her dresser, the papers stacked a few inches high in neat rows, and smiled to herself when she overheard kids at school excitedly whispering about how they'd gotten exactly what they wanted.

When her mom found the stash when Rachel was eight and asked why she was collecting these bits of paper with wishes written across them, Rachel confessed they weren't hers but that she had made them come true. Her mom nodded, like she believed her, and joked about all of the things she'd wish for. Then she told Rachel to be sure and add her wishes to the top of her pile so they would come true first.

But that was when her parents thought she just had a very active imagination, before anyone said there was something wrong with Rachel's brain.

Rolling out of bed, the headache reined in to a dull ache, she thought as she always did after a wish appeared about wishing things could go back to the way they used to be. Before Michael — the little brother she wished away one rainy, ordinary afternoon because he was irritating her. Before her parents watched her warily and spoke to her in soft, concerned voices, reminding her over and over that she never had a little brother. Before her dad walked out on them and her mom started to believe in Michael too, and, unable to live with the possibility she'd had a son and lost him without even remembering he existed, downed a handful of Rachel's antipsychotics and chased it with a five-dollar bottle of Cabernet a month after Rachel's eighteenth birthday.

But no amount of wishing could change the past. In the eight years since her mom's death, she'd tried countless times to set everything right.

And she'd failed.

She paused in the hallway on her way downstairs. She'd inherited her childhood home after her mom died and hadn't changed a thing. Discolored patches of wallpaper created a mosaic on the wall as if half a dozen frames had been removed from the collage of family photos and the wallpaper refused to blend back into one monotonous shade of green.

The wall had once held pictures of Michael next to the rest of her family. She could see his face as clearly as if he were standing in front of her. The curly brown hair and easy smile he'd inherited from their dad. The three-quarter-inch scar through his right eyebrow from when he'd fallen out of bed at age three and cut his head open on the nightstand.

But everyone else insisted Michael had never been real. They said he was just a delusion her mind had created. The first symptom of her psychotic break. That was the line the doctors gave her parents when she was ten to convince them to sign the papers and have her hospitalized for a month in the psychiatric ward.

Pinching her eyes shut, she counted to three. With each number, she inhaled long and deep before releasing it. He's gone. And there's nothing I can do to bring him back. She touched one of the discolored spots on the wall as if she could will a photograph to appear. Breathing in deep, she imagined what Michael would look like now. Would his hair still be scruffy and tease the collar of his shirts? Would his baby face have slimmed down so his jaw and cheekbones are sharp and angular like our father's? Would he still smile at me in the way that said we were about to do something silly?

But try as she might, the face remained stubbornly childlike. Something in her brain refused to let him age past four — the age he was when she wished him away.

When she was younger, Rachel told her parents and the doctors she no longer believed Michael had been real — it was less painful than meeting their faces, lined with worry and disappointment. But her memories of him were still very much alive. Especially here, in the house where she'd ended his existence.

She kept waiting for them to disappear like the doctors had promised, but some small part of her refused to let him go.


* * *

In the kitchen, she started a pot of coffee and set to work on the dishes that were piled in both sides of the sink. Violet's voice happily shouting "Ray!" broke her concentration. Startled, Rachel dropped a plate into the sink from her soapy hands, but thankfully it didn't break. Her phone's screen lit up on the windowsill when Violet's voice — the ringtone she'd set for Mary Beth — called out her name again. She bumped the faucet handle with her wrist and dried her hands on the towel hanging from the oven door.

"Did you do this?" Mary Beth asked when Rachel picked up.

"Do what?"

"A pony. On my front porch. With a sugar cone strapped on to its head with a piece of elastic." The words tumbled out in the thick Tennessee twang that always showed up when she was really agitated. "She said it's what she wished for and you made it come true."

How the hell could Violet's wish come true? Unicorns do not exist. There's no way I did that. Rachel tapped her nails against the ceramic mug in her hand. "Just wait. There has to be an explanation that doesn't involve me."

"Vi said she wished for a horse with a horn on its head and that's basically what I've got," Mary Beth said. "Are you sure you didn't do this? Not even accidentally?"

"You know I don't do that anymore." Rachel ignored the voice in her head telling her she still could do it even if she didn't want to. That she was solely responsible for the pony appearing at Mary Beth's house. That more wishes could start appearing again, and who knows what else she might accidentally cause? What she might do to Mary Beth or Geoff or their girls if she wasn't careful.

The pounding in her head roared back full force at the thought. She'd been so determined in the past few years to keep the wishes at bay. And with one careless action, she'd put everyone she loved at risk.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell. Copyright © 2016 Susan Bishop Crispell. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Secret Ingredient of Wishes 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Rachel has a huge secret, one that has brought her guilt and turmoil for years: she can grant wishes. For years she has ignored this ability and managed to not see the little slips of paper with wishes written on them that fall with each “I wish”. Until Violet’s birthday – when little Violet grabs Rachel and “shares” her birthday candle blowing-out wish. When a pony with a sugar cone held to its head with a rubber band, Rachel knows she has to get far away from her best friend Mary Beth and her family, before something horrible happens. On a random ‘this looks good” road from Memphis, suddenly Rachel’s car is out of gas, and she’s completely lost. But is she found? Nowhere North Carolina is the town of Lost and Found, and some believe that arriving there is meant to be. Soon Rachel finds herself sitting with Catch, a third generation Secret Binder, who enables silence and tightly held secrets with concentration and incantations spelled out with butter underneath the fruit filling of her pies. Complex characters with plenty of secrets – shared and not highlight the story that truly is Rachel’s journey to growing up and learning to make choices. Rachel, with Catch’s help, is coming to learn that her belief in the worst always happening may just be why things are not always a happy result. With several sub-plots that do seem to use secrets kept and not, as well as wishes and a romance, the story is gripping, engaging and while the tumult for Rachel is visceral and palpable, it is all the more wonderful for the ending. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Rachel has a gift, she can make wishes come true. This complicates her life, because sometimes the granting of a wish has disastrous consequences. Rachel has been trying to ignore her gift for years, but when she grants one by accident she decides to leave the people she loves behind before anything bad can happen to them. Rachel has experienced what it's like to make a wish that never should have been made come true and she doesn't want to cause disaster again, so she packs her bags and drives away. Because she runs out of gas Rachel ends up in a village in North Carolina called Nowhere. Fortunately a woman named Catch offers her a place to stay. Catch also has a special ability, she can bind people's secrets by baking them into her scrumptious pies. Catch has a great friend and neighbor, Ashe. Ashe has been hurt in the past and knows what it's like to mourn and lose and he and Rachel have an instant connection. Rachel has finally found people who understand her, but she tries to hide her wish problem from them. However, by trying to keep the wishes away from them they keep following her and they come to the surface in the most uncomfortable circumstances. Rachel has no idea how to stop them, but she knows she has to do something before her life in Nowhere will be ruined as well. Will she eventually be able to find a way to live with the gift she keeps seeing as a curse? The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is an impressive enchanting story. Rachel is kind, generous and caring. She made a mistake in her past and didn't have a chance to fix it. It's hurting her terribly and the grief will never go away, even after many years. My heart ached for her because of everything she went through when she was younger. Rachel is a wonderful person and she deserves love, peace and happiness. She wants to protect people, but who's protecting her? When she arrives in Nowhere it's clear she's with the people she's supposed to be with and I absolutely loved this aspect of the story because it felt completely right. Susan Bishop Crispell is a skilled narrator and I really enjoyed reading her beautiful descriptions of emotions, character traits, settings and secrets. She's written a fantastic story with a gorgeous atmosphere about an intriguing village with fascinating inhabitants who are all having plenty of colorful secrets. She combines this with delicious descriptions of pie, plenty of charm and a fabulous dosage of magic. The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is a real treat, it's a story to treasure and cherish and I highly recommend it.
Laeljeanne More than 1 year ago
Rachel wished her brother would get lost. And he did. So lost that their parents forgot him and explained him away as Rachel’s imagination, and then as her illness. Having repressed her wish-giving ability through to adulthood, Rachel runs away from her life when the wish-granting bursts forth to affect her best friend’s family. She ends up in Nowhere, NC, where she discovers others’ magic and how to control her own. Crispell’s talented in creating complex characters, with their roller coaster emotions and love-hate relationships with their talents. Like Sarah Addison Allan, the magic is a part of everyday life, including emotional trees and sometimes challenging townspeople. Readers who daydream of having magical capabilities can live out their fantasies through Crispell’s stories. Check out her website http://www.susanbishopcrispell.com/ to learn more about her and purchase her books.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book BUT had some issues with it, especially the ending. I liked the characters. I think the writing is excellent. I loved the idea of a touch of magic throughout the book. But ... I thought the ending was very rushed. I don't want to say too much that might ruin the story for others. But overall I did enjoy the book and it's freshness. I think there is definitely potential for future book(s) about the town of Nowhere, North Carolina and the characters we met.
GenaS More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was one of those books that end up being more complex and enjoyable as the story goes on. Rachel is 26 years old and she has a magical ability of granting wishes. This is hard for her, because sometimes things happen that don't go well. Rachel takes off and ends up in Nowhere, North Carolina, where she decides to stay. This is a small town where everyone knows everyone. Be prepared for a complex story about family and friends in this town. And lots of yummy pies! Will Rachel be able to make things right someday and find some peace?
LeighKramer More than 1 year ago
I'm a little swoony over this one. I love books with magical elements but this went next level on me with the premise by giving us someone with an ability who has never had anyone teach her how to use her gift. Rachel can grant people's wishes but she's never understood how or why it works (or doesn't work, as it were) and when she's young, she wishes her brother would disappear after he annoys her one day. He does disappear and no one in her family or town remembers him but her. After that, she ends up in a mental institution to receive help and her family falls apart. She ignores all the wishes coming her way and tries to get on with her life, until one day she accidentally grants her best friend's daughter's wish. She flees town and ends up in a town called Nowhere and it seems as if she was fated to be there. It was lovely to see Rachel get to know the townspeople and learn about Catch's gift for baking secrets in pies, as well as her friendship with hunky neighbor Ashe. As the novel progresses, she begins to take more chances on herself and on others. And slowly, she begins to wonder if her ability to grant wishes isn't a curse but a gift after all. She has to learn some lessons the hard way but I loved seeing her gain confidence and become more fully who she is. The town itself is interesting and Catch's side story was quite compelling. My only complaint is how quickly it wrapped up. I needed more! The last chapter could have easily been further developed. But maybe it's leaving us open to a sequel. I can only hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the magical theme. It was very well done, and that can't be easy for an author to sustain. Wonderful characters.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell is set in Nowhere, North Carolina. Rachel Monroe has the ability to grant wishes. She has been able to do this since she was a child. But one incident changed her perspective on this gift. Rachel’s four-year-old brother was annoying her one day (when she was little) and she wished he would go away (like any other brother or sister). Unfortunately for Rachel, her brother really did disappear and everyone (except her) forgot about him (which caused several problems for her and her family). Rachel has avoided her gift since then (never learned to use it or embrace it). After accidentally granting the wish of her best friend’s daughter, Rachel feels she needs to get far away (before she does harm). Rachel ends up running out of gas in Nowhere, North Carolina. Nowhere is known as the town of lost and found. Rachel meets Catch Sisson. It turns out that Catch has a special gift of her own. Catch ends up inviting Rachel to stay with her and helps her find a job at Lux, owned by Everley Hays. Rachel also meets Ashe Riley who lives next door to Catch. Rachel is enjoying her stay and hopes that maybe this is the place for her. But then she starts seeing wishes (little slips of paper that no one else can see). She tries to avoid reading them (once she reads them the wish is granted), but sometimes it cannot be helped. What happens when people find out about her special ability? Will Rachel ever be able to embrace your special gift? You will have to read The Secret Ingredient of Wishes for the answer. The Secret Ingredient of Wishes has good writing, and I liked the premise (I enjoy books with magic in them). I wish there had been less focus on Rachel’s romance with Ashe (who is married to someone else, though they are separated). I wanted there to be more about Rachel’s abilities (and hoped there would be others like her). This book could have been so much more. I give The Secret Ingredient of Wishes 3.5 out of 5 stars. Rachel’s attitude towards wishes (the bad attitude) went on a little too long. She came across as whiny (and defeated). It took too long for Rachel to accept her ability (to embrace it and learn to use it properly). I thought the ending was abrupt (it could have been smoother and more complete). I enjoyed Chance. She was the best character in the book. I would love a book about her life (I be it would be interesting). A series based on Nowhere and the special people in the town has potential (hint). It would need less romance and more magic. The potential is here, but it just needs a little tweaking (to bring it up to Sarah Addison Allen standards). I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest evaluation. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
. Rachel had been cursed [ at least that is how Rachel seen it] with the ability to grant wishes but it didn’t seem to work out right only make things worse. When she was a young girl she wished her brother Michael would go away and he disappeared and no one remembered him as though he had never been born. Everyone thought Rachel was going crazy even though Rachel knew and remembered Michael had been born and her brother. Eventually as an adult Rachel left Memphis without goodbye and just started driving. She left Marybeth -her only family as far as Rachel and Marybeth were concerned. Then Rachel ran out of gas and she ended up in the town of Nowhere. Rachel ended up staying at an elderly woman’s home named Catch who made “special” pies and had a hot neighbor Ashe and Rachel started to feel good about where she was. I absolutely loved this story. Especially how Rachel eventually accepted her abilty and use it right. The story had a strong fantasy vib but that was just fine in the story. The story was also well written with awesome characters. This story sucked me right in and I stayed there until the last page. I loved all the ins and outs of this story especially the ones including Rachel and Ashe. I highly recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Susan's words for a while now, so I was beyond excited to get a copy of this gorgeous thing in my greedy hands. Love love loved Rachel. She's easy to relate to {well, besides that granting wishes thing...}, smart, and stronger than she realizes. It was enjoyable being in her head and going through the highs and lows with her. Catch is my favorite type of character. I love the snarky grandmother type, and let me assure you Catch is exactly that. She has a secret of her own and it's fun to watch Rachel find it out and then figure out what it all means. Ashe...well, he's a perfect southern gentleman. There are definitely some swoons, but I'll let you find those on your own. Oh and did I forget to mention pie? Yeah...pie has a serious role in this story. **Huge thanks to Susan for spoiling me rotten and sending me an arc**