#Bookreview – Wake-Robin Ridge by Marcia Meara

Book reviews

What Amazon says

Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, has set Book One of her Wake-Robin Ridge series amid the haunting beauty of the North Carolina mountains, where ghosts walk, ancient legends abound, and things still go bump in the night.

“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news. Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.

My review

Sarah is a woman of some financial means who is tired and disillusioned with her life as a librarian and research assistant. Wake-Robin Ridge in the mountains of North Carolina is a fondly remembered holiday destination from her childhood and Sarah decides to take the plunge and purchase a remote cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge in order to pursue her dream of writing a book.

Sarah hasn’t been in her new cabin for long when she meets her neighbour, Mac, and his large half wolf half dog pet, called Rosheen. While Rosheen quickly takes to Sarah, her neighbour blows hot and cold and, despite being good looking and pleasant on the surface, manages to arouse a lot of tumultuous and conflicting emotion in Sarah who can’t understand his strange and contrary behavior.

The reader is introduced to second woman, Ruth Carter, who lives in an earlier time period [1962] and who is clearly the victim of an abusive husband. In the opening section of Ruth’s story, she commits a transgression in the eyes of her husband, Lloyd, who beats her nearly to death. Lloyd is arrested and imprisoned as a result and Ruth takes his hidden money, a substantial sum, and his car and flees. Lloyd comes to hear of Ruth’s actions and undertakes to get his revenge on her.

The story is a dual love story about both Sarah in 2011 and Ruth in 1962 with the injection of a murder and a frightening supernatural twist.

I enjoyed this story, but it was rather a slow burn initially for me with most of the action and revelations taking place in the second half of the book. I would describe this book as a romance with a paranormal sub-story rather than predominantly a paranormal book. The author’s beautiful writing and poignant emotional descriptions keep the story moving and maintain reader interest throughout the book.

I enjoyed the characters of both Sarah and Ruth, who came across as determined women who made the best of their opportunities and made some tough decisions to help and protect their menfolk. I particularly, like Ruth how showed unbelievable fortitude and resilience.

I would recommend this book to lovers of romance and deep and emotional writing with some mystery and an exciting paranormal twist.

Purchase Wake-Robin Ridge

24 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Wake-Robin Ridge by Marcia Meara

  1. A great review of Marcia´s book. I haven´t read this book yet but I do enjoy her writing. Since I don´t care for paranormal that much, I think I would enjoy this one. (I get frightened very easily) xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw, thanks, Darlene. But to be fair, I should tell you that while the paranormal element takes back seat to both love stories, there is one scene that I’ve had people tell me was pretty scary. But the primary focus is definitely between ex-librarian, Sarah Gray, and the very reclusive MacKenzie Cole. (Whose dog, a huge Irish wolfhound, brings the two together, and, true to her breed, is a staunch defender of both of them.) You COULD jump right in and start with #2, A Boy Named Rabbit, and it would make sense, but you’d understand the family dynamics a bit more if you read the books in order. I hope one day you’ll work up the nerve to give it a try. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for that terrific summation, Robbie. I do like to get inside people’s minds, and with the central characters of this book, they run the gamut, for sure. The three men couldn’t be more different, though I wasn’t thinking about that when I wrote them. But between the cruelty and meanness of one, the gentle kindness and generosity of another, and the damaged and brokenhearted turmoil of the third, you’ve got a lot to assess. And that’s not even counting Ruth and Sarah. It really was a fun book to write, and I’m glad it was received well, because that’s what encouraged me to keep going. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW! That’s an amazing testament, Robbie. I know how much poetry you read, and even though it’s a hard thing to sell these days, I’ve always loved it, myself. (I wrote my first poems at about 5, and filled up yellow legal pads with long verses about cowboys and horses, and cats. 😀 ) That’s why I wrote Summer Magic immediately after Wake-Robin Ridge. I wanted to publish some poems before I was done, little knowing I’d still be going more than six years later. SO glad you enjoyed it. There’s one “semi-autobiographical” one in there called “On The River,” and that, plus all the poems about Mac as a boy really made me happy to get “out there.” I’m THRILLED you like them that much!! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your lovely review of Wake-Robin Ridge, Robbie. (Lots of alliteration there! 😀 ) It was my first book, and I didn’t expect to write more, so I threw everything I had into it. I considered it a Romantic Suspense, with the paranormal aspect the “suspense” part, and definitely a sub-story. Of course, once Rabbit came along in Book 2, things changed completely, since that little boy and his gift of the Sight usurped the entire series. In a good way, I think.

    I had a wonderful time finally writing my first book and indulging my love of those ancient mountains, and it’s always great to receive another wonderful review, even if the series as a whole has slightly changed focus. So this made my afternoon, for sure. Thanks again!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. HI Marcia, I have Rabbit as my next book of yours to read. My own books seem to take on a life of their own as I write them Marcia. It doesn’t always go the way I had planned. I am aiming to finish A Ghost and His Gold and then take a break from adult writing for a while. I feel more inclined towards writing for children again at the moment. Maybe because the topics are lighter and more fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good luck on finishing your book. I seem to be unable to write at all, with all the turmoil around us. Somehow, I’ve lost the ability to “leave” here and step into that other world to record what’s going on in the lives of my characters. 😦 I’ll be happy when I get back to that. I miss it!! It does seem like other writers are experiencing the same thing, so it’s good you are able to move past this stuff and work on your craft.

        I have not left my house in nearly six weeks now, and it’s beginning to get to me, even though I’m usually fine with staying home 9 out of 10 days. (Apparently, I still needed that 10th one! 😀 )

        As an aside, in case you aren’t familiar with the breed, Irish wolfhounds aren’t hybrids, but an ancient purebred breed of enormous dog from Ireland, “sight hounds” used to hunt wolves. (That’s where that part of the name comes from.) I don’t know if they’re a popular breed in South Africa, but they’ve been around centuries, and are considered the tallest of all dogs. They fascinate me, even though we’ve only had dachshunds, who are FAR removed from that description, instead being scent hounds used to hunt badgers in their dens. Because I’m fascinated with fictional characters that have pets, I’m thinking of doing a series of posts on my own blog about the various animals I’ve given mine. I’m hoping to get back to my regular schedule of blogging soon, and that might be a cool place to start. It could be fun, maybe. What do you think?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think a series about dogs would be a great hit, Marcia. People are dog and cat crazy. I have had dogs but now we only have cats because of Greg’s OCD. I do love my two girls though. I have owned great Dane dogs which are also on the large side.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I probably couldn’t read this because I grew up in the North Carolina mountains and would find SOME way to complain about how they’re represented, or I would cringe while imagining all the bad pronunciations of Appalachian.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve read several “Appalachian” works where I’ve thought the descriptions more like the rockies but with the inevitable word “rolling” thrown in. The biggest things, though, are usually cultural or people related.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I know how you feel, H. R. R. and even if the story itself might not be your cup of tea, I’d sure like to think I got those mountains right. 🙂

      I’ve spent a LOT of time in the Lake Lure/Chimney Rock area, and my parents lived in Charleston (where my main male character grew up) for years. I’m a southern gal who would rather be hiking a trail in that area than anywhere else in the world, and have many friends who live there year-round, lucky them. 🙂 I like to think I did a credible job, even though the main characters in Book 1 of the series aren’t native to the area. By the second book, when my little mountain boy comes along, the particular accent of some mountain folks makes a pretty strong appearance, and readers from there have said I got it right. Crossing my fingers they were sincere, because I sure made it just the way I’ve always heard it.

      But I know exactly why you think it might not work for you. Being a Florida gal and very connected to the outdoors and wildlife of our state, I absolutely cringe when I’m reading a book that gets it wrong. (And I’ve seen that happen with some of the best authors out there.) I’m pretty familiar with our wildlife, especially birds and reptiles, and a line that describes a river bank as having “thick, green snakes hanging from every other branch,” stopped me cold. 😀 Our only native green snakes are usually less than a foot in length and the diameter of a pencil. Scarce, too. And I’ve canoed many a mile on our rivers, so I’m pretty sure I’d have noticed what this book described. 😀

      Nothing in my heart makes me happier than being in those ancient North Carolina mountains, though, and I wanted readers to wish they were there, as well. The Appalachians are the oldest mountain range in the world, and having seen both, I agree they are nothing like the Rockies. (Also beautiful, in a very different way.) Maybe it’s that layer of smoky clouds blanketing their softened shapes, or just the way a foamy white waterfall plunges over the rim of a bald, or even those blood-red splashes of wake-robins here and there amid the white trillium and bluebells in the spring. Don’t think I can pick a favorite sight, but pretty much all of it makes me happy. When I write about my native state of Florida, I focus on the rivers and wildlife, which I do love, but all things considered, I’d move to the North Carolina mountains in a heartbeat, if it were feasible for us to do so.

      Throughout the series, I’ve done my best to present that corner of the world exactly as I’ve always seen and enjoyed it. I guess I want everyone else to love those mountains and the folks who live among them as much as I do.

      Thanks for commenting, and for reminding me how important it is for a writer to understand at least a bit about the people and habitats in their books. Folks do notice when you get it wrong, which is probably why I only write books set in Florida or my beloved North Carolina Mountains. If I make a mistake with those settings, I have only myself to blame. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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