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Save this month's two credits for just $13.99 each. You can use your Member Credits right away, or save them up to use later at your convenience – either way, you’ll pay just $13.99 per book!
Member Credits cost only $13.99 each, and can be used to purchase any book on the site. You can use your Member Credits right away, or save them up to use later at your convenience – either way, you’ll pay just $13.99 per book!
You may have read The Sleeper and the Spindle in Gaiman’s recent collection, Trigger Warning, or in the anthology Rags and Bones. The text has not changed but the illustrations are worth talking about. Their inclusion is like adding ice cream to a brownie. Sure, the brownie works fine without ice cream, but it’s soooo good with it. If you haven’t read the story yet, you’re in for a treat. The Sleeper and the Spindle could be described as a Snow White/Sleeping Beauty mashup, but it’s so much more than that. It takes the fairytales back to their dark roots while at the same time utterly turning their plots on their heads. Gaiman maintains a charming fairytale-style narration even though the content of the story is rather dark (not as bloody as the Grimm versions, but there’s no sugar-coating either). The familiarity of the fairytales is an illusion; Gaiman takes his stories through unexpected twists and turns as only he can, surprising us with changes that are so believable we wonder why the original tales didn’t go this way in the first place. A master of his craft, Gaiman doesn’t waste words but builds us a rich world nevertheless. The queen, our clever heroine, doesn’t spend time fumbling about searching for solutions, waiting for outside help, or cursing fate. She has agency that’s lacking in too many fantasy protagonists, regardless of gender. Chris Riddell’s illustrations are a perfect match for the tone of the story. They have the same “old-fashioned but not” feeling. They’re delicate yet macabre. They contain exquisite detail; each line is carefully placed, without excess. The black and gold color scheme adds richness without overwhelming the fine pencil work. The whole book is just a beautiful feast for the senses. I can’t stop fondling it.
Running a ranch is filled with unrelenting work, isolation, harsh elements, and a high risk of failure so it hardly seems like an ideal setting for a novel. However, these same components shape and mold a man’s or woman’s character, imparting determination, resilience, courage, and the appreciation of family. That is why readers are so drawn to books with a western setting. In The Legacy of Copper Creek, hero Whit Mackenzie personifies these characteristic and more. Whit is no stranger to hard work. He has lived all of his life in Montana, surviving twenty hour work days—laboring in blizzards with temperatures below freezing and then under the sweltering, merciless summertime sun. And as for the isolation, as a loner—a trait that made its appearance when he was in his early teens -- Whit welcomes the time alone even though he has a sincere gratitude for his well-meaning, boisterous family. So after spending a long day dropping off hay for his cattle because of an unexpected spring snowstorm, Whit is looking forward to relaxing solitude in one of his family’s remote range shacks. Instead, Whit finds an unauthorized squatter. From the first moment of their charged meeting, Whit felt that sizzle of attraction—he would have had to have been dead not to have been attracted to the half-naked woman with the riotous thick blonde hair, and green eyes. But Cara is a mystery, keeping her secrets close. Still the time spent in the cabin fosters a hint of intimacy that lingers long after they leave. Cara’s mother was only fifteen when she gave birth to her. Raised by her grandmother, Cara’s childhood was filled with unconditional love. But somehow Cara’s life has gotten off track. She almost slipped into an abusive relationship. That experience, plus the lack of progress in her career, leaves her feeling she has to earn people’s regards. But the Mackenzies from the very beginning treat her differently. She is showered with immediate acceptance and regarded like family. It is a heady feeling –this sense of belonging, even if Cara doesn’t believe she deserves it. Whit’s family knows that Whit and Cara are a perfect match. They both are unpretentious with an appreciation for the simple things in life—the beauty of snow-capped mountains and the fun of playing Scrabble. However, unsurprisingly, their romance is complicated and difficult. Bear Mackenzie’s killer is still loose, and trouble follows Cara to her sanctuary. The Legacy of Copper Creek is filled with heartwarming moments –from the no-holds-barred snowball fight between Whit and Cara to the simple family blessing over a home-cooked meal. It is also a story of two deserving people finally finding the “one” amidst danger and menace. It is a book to enjoy on these hot summer nights.