Spells For Forgetting

Book Review

Spells For Forgetting By Adrienne Woods

Magical Realism, Suspense Thriller

5 Stars

A rural island community steeped in the mystical superstitions of its founders and haunted by an unsolved murder is upended by the return of the suspected killer in this deeply atmospheric novel.

Emery Blackwood’s life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily. Now, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence among the community that fractured her world in two. She’d once longed to run away with August, eager to escape the misty, remote shores of Saiorse Island and chase new dreams; now, she maintains her late mother’s tea shop and cares for her ailing father. But just as the island, rooted in folklore and tradition, begins to show signs of strange happenings, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that no one wants to remember.

August Salt knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night that changed everything. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from the past that has never healed—Emery. But the town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises that span generations threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily’s death once and for all.

Evocative and compelling, Spells for Forgetting is a vivid exploration of lost love and the unraveling of a small town and its many secrets.

I think if I’d read the blurb instead of just leaping in on a whim, I wouldn’t have even started this book. I’m so glad I did (or, didn’t read the blurb and just read the book).

This book embraced me from the very first pages. I felt Saoirse; smelled and tasted it through every page. Then, I just needed to know. I couldn’t stop until I found out. Page after page turned with this physical need to get to the end, my heart breaking with every new reveal, my mind skipping ahead trying to put the pieces together, curious whether I should root for August or not. Wanting to. Because weaved in this tale of mystery and murder is a story of soul mates torn apart. This is the feeling I want when I slip into the world of stories.

I feel a book hangover that might last for days…

Happy Reading 🙂

CMM

My Process

I was all set to start releasing my new Dark Fantasy series, CLAIMING KRINKAE, when I changed my mind to wait to finish writing book 2 for a rapid release. Then, I started writing books 3 and 4 and waited some more. And then, I went back and rewrote the front 30% of book 1. You’ve seen it. Claimed by Shadows had a cover reveal over a year ago…

Apparently, my process is to start something, get about 3/4 through a first draft, go away to another project, and repeat. I do, eventually, come back around to finishing, but sometimes a year or more goes by. I keep trying to rectify this by adding clear deadlines to my calendar, with realistic word count goals that will get me there. It has helped, but I’m still all around the multiverse with my focus.

Once a draft is finally completed, it gets put aside to marinate while I complete the other drafts I started. When those are finished (sometimes closER to finished, but not quite), I go back to edits on project 1, and around and around and around. This might not be so bad if I didn’t have nine projects working. Yes, nine. Five Krinkae novels, two Magic Fade books, the final book in Rishi’s Wish, and an unnamed novel I swear will be a standalone (no, I will not promise this as fact). And that’s not all of them. There are more stories traipsing for attention in my head, many with significant word counts started. These nine are just the ones I’m ‘focusing’ on. Yeah, focus is a word I need redefined. I know.

So, while 2022 had zero published books come from my little slice of reality, it looks like five will release this year.

Part of this focus problem was my indecision to publish my YA Fantasy traditionally. Deciding not to do that has brought that project back to the top of the pile. I’m super close to a published draft I’ve finally decided to title MAGIC FADE. Keep a lookout for that four-book series to start releasing this spring… (you can sign up to be an advanced reader and get it next month here).

I know we all want that final book of Rishi’s Wish to come out. Don’t worry, Dee will get her ending. I bit off more than I could chew with my Dark Fantasy Saga. It all started because I just wanted to see if I could write a romance novel. It is the largest money generator in the publishing world, and indie authors do super well publishing in that market. Of course, I’d want a piece of that. But I can’t do something simple. My idea of merging Warcraft with Prythian turned into a multiple-character saga whose surface story spans a hundred years. I won’t even mention all the side stories spawning organically from this adventure… Let’s just say the undertaking is a lot more than I planned for. Five books to start off the main attraction, with at least three to take it to the end. And because the characters’ stories are so closely tied, I had to ensure their overlapping paths were cohesive and correct. Hence, writing four books at once.

Through all this chaotic excitement of jumping universes, plotting has become a friend of mine. Do I still struggle with vomiting thousands of words I have to edit extensively because I just let my unconscious brain take over? Yes. Would plotting have sped up the writing process on all of these projects? Also, yes. Like so many things, the practice is in the doing. In my life, that’s how it works. And I think it is working. It’s been a few years, more than I wanted, to get all these ideas to pages and in your hands, but things happen in their time. I hope you’re half as excited about all these new books as I am!

Happy Reading!

CMM

Want to hear more about my process and/or my works-in-progress? Tell me in the comments, or sign up for my newsletter here.


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