INDIES Gold award for this contemporary fantasy story about family dysfunction and healing, with neurodivergent characters with strange powers.

BIG NEWS! A Spell of Rowans took Gold in the fantasy genre in the 24th, 2021 Foreword INDIES contest.

A Spell of Rowans is an exciting contemporary fantasy story about family dysfunction and healing, featuring neurodivergent characters with strange powers who attempt to solve the mystery of their mother’s murder. The book fits the magical realism genre, under fantasy or literary fiction.

Foreword Reviews is a book review journal focusing on independently published books. The INDIES recognize the best books published in 2021 from small, indie, and university presses, as well as self-published authors.

To celebrate there is now a Goodreads Giveaway – be sure to sign up if you want a chance to win a copy!

This blew me away because this books means a lot to me personally. While it is not based on actual people or events, many of the characters and what happens to them IS drawn from my own experiences. This book, of everything I’ve written, pulled deeply from dark places in my life.

From reading reviews, I think one reason it effects people (both good and bad) is because the characters feel like real people. That has sometimes disconcerted reviewers who either disliked the Vic character immediately (one reviewer even stated it was because Vic was too much like themselves) and several who were upset that Vic and her siblings didn’t mourn her mother like society demanded that she do.

This book really is more about the dysfunction of families and how can we move on from it, maybe bent and dinged, but still strong and healthy.

Some blogs from all over the Internet gave this book a chance. Check them out:

There’s an old saying that a death in the family, particularly the head of the family, opens all the closets full of secrets. In the Rowan family, they’re not mourning their mother’s death but exhaling. The wicked witch is dead and can no longer control them. But the fallout, the abuse, the pain, still needs to be dealt with and Byrd Nash’s writing exemplifies all the emotions perfectly.

A Spell of Rowans is so much more than a magical story, it’s a gripping tale of family dynamics, abuse, autism, murder, small-town life, and so much more. — I felt a bit like I’d jumped into the middle of a play, not knowing what was going on. While some authors do this and I’m forever lost, Byrd Nash takes the reader and slowly builds the backstory. Piece by piece, the story begins to take shape until the reader becomes a part of the story. Brilliant writing, engrossing characters, a mystery to solve, and healing. A Spell of Rowans is a superb story from start to finish.

Liam is probably my favorite character. I love his quirkiness and his to-the-point way of talking. Sometimes it’s comical. Most of the time it’s endearing. We get clues all along the way of his Autism. I like how he communicates with inanimate objects. The one scene that I love is when he is asked how he knows a certain piece of information. He replies, “I went for an early morning walk. Before the world gets busy with people. I was standing outside Rosemary Thyme, talking to one of the new street lamps. They aren’t really old. It’s just a reproduction. But, many people stop there to cross the sidewalk, so it picks up gossip.” I absolutely love that scene.

How can you be the centre of attention when you aren’t even alive? A mother, normally the main function, the main artery of the family circle has proven to be the very opposite. 

A Spell Of Rowans is a gripping story of abuse and the misuse of powers. Rachel Rowan is dead when we begin the story but her presence is felt throughout as this angry specter looming over her children. The sibling relationship was one of the warmest I have read in recent times and Liam was a character that I simply loved. Byrd Nash has used magic very sparingly in the story which was surprising, in fact, the story explored family dynamics and the effects of long-term abuse and letting go of its past in such a genuine way that it was easy to forget the paranormal elements of the story.

I enjoyed reading this book so much that I had to read it twice. It’s fascinating and affecting because it has the elements of mystery, magic, and, most importantly, family drama. — I love the characterization of each character. I particularly adore the interaction of the siblings and the little romance in there. (And speaking of romance, you have got to watch out for Reed—I think we all need a person like Reed in our lives.)

This is such a unique blend of family drama, mystery, with just a touch of magic. The magic aspect is very light and more a supporting characteristic of the family rather than being the central plot of the story. Instead, our plot is focused more around the Rowan family dynamic and the lingering effects of their child abuse at the hands of their mother.

I thought that Byrd did a great job of developing our main characters throughout the story, and felt that each of our main characters were fully flushed out and brought plenty of personality to the story. I felt completely invested in our character’s lives and would actually love to read an additional story about the Rowan siblings.

I was very impressed with how this book was written. I fell in love with the characters and felt attached to them until the very end.

I am hoping Nash makes more stories like this one, she truly has a knack for the darker side of writing. Sometimes the beautiful things in life come with a lot of darkness. But then again that is what makes a story more believable. I highly recommend that you give this book a try and then tell me your thoughts!

I like A Spell of Rowans; it is a well-written story about family finding closure. The past hurts, but without closing the door, it is hard to move forward. The book has also inspired me to do something drastic in my own life.

These many challenges that the Rowan siblings faced stirred a lot of emotions in me; anger at how their mother treated them when they were still young; sympathy for the siblings who had to deal with difficult situations because of the death of their parents; fear that the justice would not be on their side; fascination about the power of an empath; curiosity about their neighbors’ reaction and reception to the siblings’ power; and hope that everything would end up well for the family and for the town. With all these emotions that I felt while reading, I could say that the book is difficult to forget.

We have this word in Filipino that describes romantic excitement or the feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you see your crush or someone being romantically sweet to another person. The word is “kilig”. The romantic story definitely has a kilig factor for me.

Nash has created one of my favorite books of 2021. This book is an exciting magical mystery that could easily be turned into the next Netflix series. I enjoyed the characters, the sibling dynamic, and the plot development from page 1 all the way until the end. Even the short epilogue was great!

Everyone knows everyone, but no one knows anyone’s truth, and that’s what makes this book so, so good. There’s mystery, murder, betrayal, love, and intrigue until the very end.

This book has well written characters, a great mysterious plot, a little bit of romantic tension, and some magic. I love this author’s writing style and look forward to reading more of her books.

Nash’s smart, witty writing quickly turns this paranormal whodunit into something more memorably special than your usual urban fantasy. The characters are all layered and complex, the setting utterly convincing and the writing sufficiently edgy that I wasn’t convinced that the very appealing protagonists were going to prevail.

I’m congratulating myself on having discovered yet another talented writer and highly recommend this one to fans of contemporary, paranormal crime.

A Spell of Rowans is an interesting mystery given a twist with touches of magic, but it’s more a compelling story of family, of three adults who were abused while growing up but who find their way back to each other and to overcoming what they went through. I enjoyed it.

The author’s writing style is excellent and pulled me into the story so that I could not put the book down. The way she writes each character’s dialogue and Vic’s inner thoughts serves as a very effective form of character development. Her absence of overly flowery description and use of a clipped writing style makes you feel as though you are in each scene, participating in solving this fast-paced mystery.

I loved this book and would recommend it to all my friends. I can’t believe this is the first book I’ve read by Byrd Nash – She is now on my list of favorite authors.

  • 2021 Foreword INDIES Gold Winner in Fantasy genre
  • Literary Titan, Gold Winner
  • Reader’s Favorite, Silver Winner
  • 100+ Amazon reviews
  • 250+ Goodreads reviews
  • 119 NetGalley reviews

Magic and troubles come in threes

We all had our magic twisted by our mother’s games, but after her death, I thought it was safe to come back home. Instead, the police haul in my autistic brother for questioning about a murder, while my sister knows what Mother was really doing. Hint: nothing good.And that hometown boy I dumped? He’s now with the FBI and thinks he knows the truth about me.

Suitable for 18+, contains scenes of childhood trauma and adult abuse.

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