One of the extraordinary things about being an author is that I get the opportunity to read some pretty spectacular books by friends in my writing community. It's like playing with a friend's toy, and they get to play with yours, and at the end of the day we both feel enriched for the experience.
I met Stacey Rourke at the Once Upon A Book Author Event last year in Frankenmuth, Michigan. It was a fun event, and tremendously supportive for authors, myself included. I'll be going again this year, too.
By far, the best part of that event, apart from meeting readers and selling books (of course) was meeting Stacey. She is a dynamic soul who has an abundance of creativity... evidenced by her book, "Crane".
This is a delightfully spooky book that is difficult to put down. Whatever happened to the Headless Horseman, and the town of Sleepy Hollow after the days of Ichabod Crane? This story takes you on that adventure, and whets your appetite for what might come next.
It's difficult for me to write this review because I don't want to spoil the adventure for anyone. But I will say this... Stacy does a magnificent job of creating tension that had me eager to ignore work... and laundry... and a host of other things, and read her book instead! In fact, I downloaded the audiobook version just so I wouldn't have to stop reading, and yet still have clean clothes and a meal on the table. Thank goodness for alternative formats!
Her characters were well-crafted with little idiosyncrasies that made them feel like people I could easily relate to... even old Rip! I was entranced with Stacy's use of "before" and "now" settings and dialogue, and how she used those devices to enhance her storytelling. Oh, and the old crone's sing-song was a wonderful addition to her character! I found that this small detail made that particular character even more believable to me.
I felt like each scene was masterfully crafted, making the story become one that I was a part of rather than simply watching unfold from afar. I felt the air on my face, felt the softness of the horse's muzzle, felt the sting of hot coffee. It was quite invigorating to become a piece of the story rather than a passive spectator.
Stacey was also quite brilliant in her creation of the sub-plot characters. Each had a significant role, even though they perhaps participated from the sidelines. I never knew who would do what next... nothing was predictable... the best kind of cast for a story!
My To-Be-Read pile has just increased in size... as there are two more books in this series, and Stacey has written other works, too. I am excited to read what comes next in this saga!
Thank you, Stacey Rourke, for sharing the gift of your imagination with me!
Diana Kathryn Plopa
I love being in love; writing; reading; mammals of nearly every kind, and especially micro-humans! Come enjoy my world with me - Secret Decoder Ring not required!!