“The Yarn Spinner” by Deborah Smith (short story)

April 7, 2014 short stories, The MacBrides 4


A Crossroads Cafe short story.

She’s destined to love Gus MacBride–if she survives her first year in the Crossroads Cove.

A thread of hope is all she needs.

Damaged, confused, alone. Cathy Deen Mitternich recognizes her old self in the fragile survivor huddled in the sheep barn’s storage room at Rainbow Goddess Farm. Former art teacher Lucy Parmenter may be beyond even the tough-love magic of the farm, a live-in counseling center for abused women. Afraid to set a foot outside, drugged on medication, and filled with despair, Lucy needs the big biscuit magic of the Crossroad Café’s Delta Whittlespoon. Together, Cathy and Delta search for a lifeline that represents Lucy’s best hope of holding on.

Their search ends in Lucy’s new home at the barn. When Lucy discovers the magic there, neither she nor Cathy will ever be the same.    (Goodreads)


“The Yarn Spinner” both intrigued and frustrated me. While it’s well-written in terms of engaging my interest and involving me emotionally, it can’t make up its mind whether the protagonist is the narrator Cathy or Lucy, the young woman the story is ostensibly about. While I expected to learn more about Lucy’s healing process, much of that takes place almost entirely off-stage, as it were… and the romance mentioned in the blurb is nowhere to be found. I suspect “The Yarn Spinner” is meant as a teaser for the third MacBrides/Crossroads Cafe novella (the first two, a novella and a short novel, are already available), and that Lucy’s story will be expanded upon in that volume.

“The Yarn Spinner” did succeed is in piquing my interest in the first book in the overall series, The Crossroads Cafe. Cathy is the main character in that book, and I learned enough about her in “The Yarn Spinner” to want to know more.  I’d also like to follow Lucy’s story, and I hope that whenever the next book or novella comes out, it does focus on her.

*   *   *

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Women’s fiction; short story
Series: Crossroads Cafe
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Release date: Jan. 17, 2014
Book source: review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

4 Responses to ““The Yarn Spinner” by Deborah Smith (short story)”

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    Weird that the romance wasn’t there but maybe you are right and this is a teaser. I am curious and would probably try to the full-length book

  2. Jan @ Notes from a Readerholic

    It irritates me when an author uses a short story as the teaser for another book–especially if I paid for the short story. I don’t generally like short stories very much since many of them don’t have a lot of character development because of the length. At least this one made you want to read some of the other books in the series!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I don’t mind if I know that it’s intended as a teaser – but of course, I didn’t buy this one; it was an ARC. As I told Kimba above, I just checked book 1, The Crossroads Cafe, out from the library. Now if I can just find some time to squeeze it in!