A gift to the author’s fans and a compelling introduction to her supernatural universe for new readers.



From the Oracle series , Vol. 1

In this first book of the Oracle fantasy series, a young woman ages out of a foster-care system only to learn she’s a being of great magical potential.

An orphan from birth, Rochelle Saintpaul has just turned 19. She’s now allowed to leave her Vancouver Residence home and follow her bliss in an RV. Her online business of selling charcoal drawings is successful, but her unknown psychotic disorder (plaguing her since she was 13) produces seizures and visions. The visions—featuring a tall man in a black suit and a blonde woman wielding a sparkling green knife—become the subjects of her drawings. While saying goodbye to her social worker, Rochelle receives a jewelry box that belonged to her mother, who died in a car accident. Inside are a gold necklace and “an antique white rock.” Rochelle then buys her RV and heads for Washington state, just as a scraggly local named Hoyt tries once more to befriend her. No sooner does she find a roadside diner across the border than someone asks her, “What are you?...A witch?” The buff, charismatic stranger, named Beau Jamison, notes her tattoo sleeves and alluring eyes. After buying her some pie, Beau wins Rochelle over and returns with her to the RV. Expanding the world of her Dowser series, Doidge (Catching Echoes, 2016, etc.) merges romance, carnality, and supernatural fantasy to lush effect. Her characterization of Rochelle as someone who’s earned her place in the world is encapsulated by the line “My entire life had been dictated by other people’s tragedies and shortcomings, but now I had a future that was just mine.” Later, Doidge hints at the bond forming between her protagonists when Beau “tucked my hair behind my ear...then caressed down my neck and across my collarbone,” only to moments later shove readers off an erotic cliff. The fantasy elements, including shape-shifters, sorcerers, and Rochelle’s connection to them all, proceed more gradually. The volume ends with a compromise—made for love—that promises dire consequences later in the series.

A gift to the author’s fans and a compelling introduction to her supernatural universe for new readers.

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-927850-16-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Old Man in the CrossWalk Productions

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in white society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her white persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.


High-stakes weepmeister Sparks (A Walk to Remember, 1999, etc.) opts for a happy ending his fourth time out. His writing has improved—though it's still the equivalent of paint-by-numbers—and he makes use this time of at least a vestige of credible psychology.

That vestige involves the deep dark secret—it has something to do with his father's death when son Taylor was nine—that haunts kind, good 36-year-old local contractor Taylor McAden and makes him withdraw from relationships whenever they start getting serious enough to maybe get permanent. He's done this twice before, and now he does it again with pretty and sweet single mother Denise Holton, age 29, who's moved from Atlanta to Taylor's town of Edenton, North Carolina, in order to devote her time more fully to training her four-year-old son Kyle to overcome the peculiar impediment he has that keeps him from achieving normal language acquisition. Okay? When Denise has a car accident in a bad storm, she's rescued by volunteer fireman Taylor—who also rescues little Kyle after he wanders away from his injured mom in the storm. Love blooms in the weeks that follow—until Taylor suddenly begins putting on the brakes. What is it that holds him back, when there just isn't any question but that he loves Denise and vice versa-not to mention that he's "great" with Kyle, just like a father? It will require a couple of near-death experiences (as fireman Taylor bravely risks his life to save others); emotional steadiness from the intelligent, good, true Denise; and the terrible death of a dear and devoted friend before Taylor will come to the point at last of confiding to Denise the terrible memory of how his father died—and the guilt that's been its legacy to Taylor. The psychological dam broken, love will at last be able to flow.

More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2000

ISBN: 0-446-52550-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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