Sep 23, 2011

Barbara Bretton's Paranormal series

Something you should know about Barbara Bretton (besides being an excellent writer) is that she is a an avid knitter who has also been known to pick up a crochet hook from time to time. In the Sugar Maple Chronicles, Chloe Hobbs, the heroine, owns a yarn shop, Stick & Strings,  gives knitting workshops, and gets to open sumptuous boxes of the loveliest yarns. This shop and its owner are rather extraordinary.

The setting is the charming Vermont town of Sugar Maple, a place surrounded by magic. All sorts of paranormals reside - ghosts, troll, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, fae, etc. To the many human tourists, however, it remains simply a lovely place populated by extraordinarily good-looking people. (Chloe bears a strong resemblance to Uma Thurman).

As the first novel begins Chloe, a half human, has yet to come into the powers left to her by her sorceress mother. Complicating everything is Chloe's love for the fully human police detective Luke MacKenzie.

Book one is Casting Spells (Berkley, 2008). This novel sets the stage for what comes in the following Laced with Magic (Berkley, 2009) and Spun By Sorcery (Berkley, 2010)

In Laced with Magic the evil Isadora returns threatening to seize Sugar Maple and move it to another realm. Chloe had banished her once before in Casting Spells but this powerful fae is not ready to give up. She has harnessed her powers and is ready to battle Chloe by using the spirit of Luke's dead daughter as bait. Spun By Sorcery continues where Magic leaves off. The town of Sugar Maple has disappeared. A forest remains in its place as if it had never existed. Chloe immediately suspects Isadora, but her friend Janice does not agree and neither does Luke. Only a trip to Salem, MA will sort out this problem.

Each book has knitting patterns and advice as an appendix from Barbara and her knitting fanatic pals. Lots of fun. I am such a beginner at this craft yet when reading Chloe's chapters her love for it comes through so strongly that I want to pick up my needles and make something - something simple of course. Usually I put that off because the story is so engrossing that I don't want to stop reading. I have yet to find a way to do both things as once.

Note: Book four Spells and Stiches will be out in December of this year.

Review of Casting Spells

Review of Laced with Magic


booklover0226 said...

Thank you for this Barbar Bretton post. I've heard of her but never checked out her works; I'm sorry I didn't! Now I'm ready to read this series.

Tracey D

SandyG265 said...

I like this series and I'm glad to know that a fourth book is comming out.

Susan Blexrud said...

I'm always excited to hear about a new Barbara Bretton book. I bought Casting Spells on your recommendation, Pat, and I've loaned it to several friends who enjoyed it as much as I did.


Patricia Altner said...

Hi Tracey

It's always so much fun to spread the word about an author I like.

Hope you enjoy this series as well. Let me know!

Patricia Altner said...


It seems like forever before the next book appears. You and I know about the new character!

Thanks for writing

Patricia Altner said...

Hello Susan!

Isn't it fun letting others know about exciting books?

As some of you may know Susan is an excellent writer as well, and if you hurry you might win a copy of her book Black Fang right here on PVN. Go to

Denise Z said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us today. I am so happy to have found an new (to me) author and series. I thinks Chloe Hobbs story sounds amazing and I will definitely be checking out these books further.

Patricia Altner said...


So glad you liked the post, and yes, Chloe is an amazing character. So is Luke, her hunky, significant other.

If you have a chance to read this series I would like to know your opinion.

Thanks for writing!

LoriStrongin said...

I haven't come across this series before, but it sounds super cute! And I like the idea of combining sorcery with knitting (the whole 'threads of magic' thing). Definitely going to have to check this one out. Thanks for the rec!


Vickie said...

This is the type of series that makes me wish so very much that I could knit!! Add the paranormal aspect and it's a winner. Off to add to the WWBL.

Patricia Altner said...

Hi Lori

Yes, knitting and magic are a perfect combo and BB has done a great job with it. Hope you enjoy the books!

Patricia Altner said...


I am such a newbie knitter it's almost pitiful, but I belong to a small group of knitters (and crocheters) who are very helpful and supportive. Give it a try!

Hope you like the books.

Always great to hear from yo!