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  • Writer's pictureNeighborhood Reads

Dawn & Benji's Pick: "Small Town, Big Magic" by Hazel Beck

In anticipation of authors Megan Crane and Nicole Helm’s visit this week, I read their new book, the first in their Witchlore series, “Small Town, Big Magic.” It’s been more than a decade since I’ve read an adult paranormal series — but this novel reminded me how much fun a witchy rom-com read can be!

Crane and Helm write as the duo Hazel Beck. Helm lives in Missouri, and the novel is set in a fictional small Missouri town called St. Cyprian, nestled on the confluence of two rivers. Emerson Wilde is a driven young professional — Chamber of Commerce president and owner a bookstore she's inherited from her grandmother.

Wilde is focused on drawing business to her small community through a series of festivals. But she’s facing pushback on her efforts from the town’s mayor, Skip, who's carrying a grudge going all the way back to their schooldays.

With support from a circle of close friends, Wilde is overcoming the mayor’s hurdles and bullying, but a mysterious early morning phone call threatens the festival and the ensuing discovery upends the young woman’s life — challenging everything she thought was normal and exposing another side of St. Cyprian, her family, her friends — and especially Skip.

Once the magic started, I couldn’t put the book down and I was happy to reach the end and realize the story is only just beginning. A second novel in the series, “Big Little Spells,'' will be published next year.

“Small Town Big Magic" ticked all the boxes of a good read: a bookstore, strong female character, good friends, romance — and magic. Hurry and read this one so you’re ready for book 2!

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