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Twixt (Enchanted Outlaw Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 12, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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"Twixt is the perfect blend of contemporary fantasy fiction and romance. Diane J. Reed writes with a captivating richness of detail, whether she is describing the fairy realm that spills over into the modern world or the protagonist's struggle to break out of a negative cycle in her life and reconnect with her family and ultimately herself. I bought the paperback version, and I'm so glad I did! Some books you just want to feel the pages turning beneath your fingertips, and Twixt certainly is one of them. It has an adored place on my bookshelf with my contemporary fantasy fiction novels. Diane Reed drew a fairy ring with her book Twixt, and it was a 'fairy blessing' for me to jump right into it!" -Lori J. Fitzgerald, White Raven Writing Review
"In search of romance, Rose finds out more about herself and the spirits that surround her, including the truth about her past lives. Twixt is an intriguing modern fantasy, well worth considering." -The Midwest Book Review
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Rose and her new age-y friend Amy, who babbles about so-called transmigration therapy and psychic repair spruce up Rose’s father’s miners’ outpost. Calling it The Rainbow’s End, they turn it into a warm sanctuary for hardscrabble speculators. Reed sets up vivid relationships fraught with tension: between Rose and her cold, all-business sister Laurel, between Rose and bad-boy Vincent, who has just rolled into town and set up The Magpie Saloon, a tavern across the street from The Rainbow’s End.
Rose is broke and weary. Fiercely protective of Crystal, her little daughter from a disastrous relationship, Rose worries Crystal is irrevocably damaged from a near-drowning. Crystal is mute, and seems trapped in her own distant world, where she spins and rocks. While Rose has set out exercises and learning charts for Crystal, she balks at her sister’s dogged attempt to send Crystal away to a special school. Will Crystal ever get better? If so, how? And what exactly is she suffering from anyway?
The other aspect that really deepens this story is that Reed is dealing with elements of rebirth and reincarnation. On a more philosophical level, that we all embody strong elements of those who came before us—both the upsides and downsides, the talents and so-called curses. She also introduces the possibility of a “twixt” world between this and the world of dreams where one can spin a practical, healing magic. Whatever your views, these are intriguing concepts, which Reed weaves throughout quite deftly.
I won’t post spoilers so I hesitate to say much more, except there’s also great romantic suspense. Vincent, the new owner of the Magpie Saloon is dashing yet sketchy in a way Rose can’t put her finger on. And Chance, another handsome, yet eccentric stranger has a very different pull on her. The question is who should she trust her heart with?
Twixt is highly recommended for those who like unusual mashups of genres (paranormal romance, myth, fairytale, dark fantasy) in their helping of speculative fiction.
Normally, when I read books, I look for realism. Never far from my mind is the question of, "Would I do that in this situation? Or would I just pack up and get out of Dodge?" But between Diane Reed's lyrical, rich writing and Rose's deeply sympathetic story, my disbelief was so fully suspended that I half-expected to step outside my door onto green Irish shores. Rose's world is a world where the spiritual, the fae, the world of belief, is right there alongside the world that most of us perceive as "reality." This story is her spirit walk, and like all spirit walks, it changes all who are on the path.
Aiding Rose in her quest are a cast of quirky, weirdly wonderful characters that fit perfectly into the Skid Row collective of this dinky little gold-rush town, yet have unique appeal because of their redemptive potential. Rose's best friend is both the somewhat-clueless instigator into trouble, and at the same time, the wise mentor with an unerring sense of direction to bring Rose right back out of trouble. Chance Murphy, the tetched-in-the-head forest ranger and Rose's "soul guardian" has a story of his own that will move anyone with a pulse. Rose's meddling sister Laurel, Ray the town paranoid, and the host of other supporting characters are full of depth and dimension. Even the villain of the piece moves with such subtle, sophisticated menace through the landscape of Rose's redemption, you won't notice how white-knuckled your grip on the Kindle has become until your fingers cramp and you realize it's after midnight on a week night. Because time has little meaning in the spirit world.
Twixt is a true love story where the motifs of love and redemption manifest in strange, wonderful, and unexpected ways. Not the least of which is Rose's connection to her traumatized little girl. Anyone with a special needs person in their lives will recognize the anguish, hope, and frustration of trying to understand someone whose understanding of the world is different from your own, and the triumph of traveling along with Rose as she shifts her hope from charts and development milestones to her trust in her connection with her daughter.
This is not a book you race through. It should be savored. If you read it fast, you'll miss the beauty, the layers, the real magic in the story. Rose's journey is one of healing, of mending fences, not just physically or in the relationship realm, but in her own acceptance of herself, her flaws, her family, and the transformative power of love.
As a reader following vicariously this journey of Rose's, I had to stop and put the story down several times as I looked around my world and realized that I was being gently led into the realization that as a "grown-up," I had forgotten a lot about how to dream. Twixt helped me to remember.
Who will love this book: Readers of magical realism, people who love emotional journeys, people who believe in fairies, and anyone who's ever twirled around in a backyard under a brilliant sun or a full moon until they fell down, laughing and dizzy and out of breath. Or who would like to do so again.
Most recent customer reviews
Twixt was a very luxurious read. Ms. Reed's writing style is exquisite.Read more