#ThrowbackThursday ~ Wake-Robin Ridge by @MarciaMeara #Mystery set in the North Carolina Mountains

My Throwback Thursday choice is the first of the Wake-Robin Ridge trilogy, a dual time line story with flashbacks to fifty years previously. I’ve read all three books and loved them.


My thoughts

Two women, two stories, fifty years apart, their lives connecting in a terrifying way. Ruth and Frank met in the 1960s when Ruth escaped from an abusive husband and settled in a little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Ruth thought she was safe and could at last find happiness when she met Frank, but it wasn’t that easy to remove Lloyd from her life. Her husband, Lloyd Carter, himself an abused child which shaped him into the man he was to become, had been imprisoned for multiple charges, including assault with the intent to kill. Ruth took her chance and made the break for freedom, taking Lloyd’s money and car. From prison, Lloyd employed his cousin to keep an eye on things for him. When he learned what Ruth had done his anger knew no bounds and he swore revenge. While he served his time, he plotted and planned, and two years later he was paroled. That’s when Ruth’s nightmare began.

Lloyd crouched low in the bushes, peering at the little cabin in the clearing. This was what she chose to do with his money? Hide out on a deserted hillside in a stinkin’ little wooden shack that looked like it should have belonged to the Beverly Hillbillies before they struck it rich? God, he could kill the bitch. “Oh, that’s right,” he said. “I’m going to.”

Fifty years later, aspiring author Sarah Gray is working in a library in Florida, as a cataloguing and research assistant. Until one day she has a flash of realisation. She is financially secure, with no need to work, especially at such a dreary, uninspiring job. She needs to move her life forward and realise her dream of a writing a book. With that in mind, Sarah decides on a move to the mountains of North Carolina, a place she loves. There was nobody in Florida who would miss her, or that she would miss, apart from her best friend, Jenna.

Jenna was crying again. I knew she would be, but I had to give her credit for trying to make it as inconspicuous as possible. She had a brave smile plastered on her face, and it broke my heart to see how much she wanted me to stay, but everything was in place. My cabin awaited me with electricity turned on, phone and wireless connected, some basic groceries in the fridge, and firewood outside the back door.

What Sarah didn’t count on was the complication of meeting the complex and solitary MacKenzie Cole, who has a heartbreaking tragedy in his past, causing him to be reclusive. Sarah and Mac have a less than promising first meeting when Mac’s dog, Rosheen, a huge Irish Wolfhound, slips her lead and ends up at Sarah’s cabin. I would have loved to have been witness to the resulting meeting between Rosheen and Sarah’s cat, Handsome!

trail-50236_640A really accomplished and skilfully written novel. Sarah and Mac’s story is intertwined with flashbacks to Ruth’s tragic life. The engaging characters and scenic setting are so well defined and beautifully described. There’s a wonderful sense of place and I had clear images running through my mind while reading. The author’s love of the mountains, with it’s forests, trails and rivers, shines through. A lovely touch to take the title from a pretty sounding species of spring flower, native to the mountains, with deep red blossoms called Wake-Robin.

This is my third book by Marcia Meara and, like the others, it’s a well-balanced mixture of romance, mystery and suspense with strong, distinct characters, this one with an added extra, a supernatural twist which I love. There’s evil and a hate so deep on Wake-Robin Ridge that even death can’t stop it.

About the Book

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.



35 thoughts on “#ThrowbackThursday ~ Wake-Robin Ridge by @MarciaMeara #Mystery set in the North Carolina Mountains

  1. How lovely to see Wake-Robin Ridge as your Throwback Thursday post this morning, Cathy. Thanks so much! Your review even made ME want to read it! 😀 Definitely reblogging this one today!

    And believe it or not, I’m more than halfway through WRR #4, working title, The Light. It features the infamous Brown Mountain lights, a phenomenon that has never been explained. A new mystery, several new friends, and another tale for the Cole family involving Rabbit’s remarkable gift of The Sight. 😀 Lots of setbacks over the past year or so, but I’m still hoping to get this one out soon. Working on it this morning, in fact! 🙂

    Thanks again, Cathy. You made my day! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’re very welcome Marcia, and it’s great to know there’s a fourth instalment on it’s way 🙂 I know you’ve had a rough year, hope all is well on the way normality…and thanks for the reblog 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    What a happy way to start my day! Cathy at Between the Lines has chosen Wake-Robin Ridge as her Throwback Thursday review post, and what a super review it is, too! Please stop by and see what Cathy thought about my first Wake-Robin Ridge book. (My first book, period, as a matter of fact.) I’m feeling extra inspired today after reading it, and am hard at work on Wake-Robin Ridge #4: The Light. Hope you’ll enjoy checking this out (be sure to say hi to Cathy while there), and please share all over the place, if you can. Both Cathy and I would appreciate that! Thanks, and my heartfelt thanks to Cathy for starting my day off on such a high note! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oooh, how nice to see Wake-Robin Ridge featured here today for Throwback Thursday. I LOVED this book. Heck, I LOVED the whole series, and can’t wait for #4 “The Light.” Congratulations to Marcia for kudos well deserved!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Mae! I’m working on #4, and if things would quit falling on us or failing to work or causing us a few health issues, it JUST MIGHT GET DONE. One day. 😀 Seriously, hoping to wrap this draft up in the next week or two, and then it shouldn’t be too long before it’s available. Fingers crossed. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. So glad you enjoyed Swamp Ghosts, Joan! The folks of Riverbend have grown on me, especially the Painter brothers, and when I finish my current WIP, I have a new story in mind for that sleepy little town. 😀 (Shhh. I can say no more! 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A series I’ve never come across, and it sounds good! I could just be doing with a little trip to a mountain cabin, though hopefully without a vengeful husband and a ghost as houseguests!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m very glad Marcia is writing book 4. The setting is described beautifully, in the following books too, despite the vengeful husband/ghost 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. In that case, I do hope you’ll take a trip to Wake-Robin Ridge, where things still go bump in the night. But to be fair, a little boy with what the mountain folks call The Sight has usurped the series, and become everyone’s favorite character. Are there still some spooky goings on? Yep. But the Boy Named Rabbit (introduced in Book 2) has changed the lives of everyone he meets. Would love to hear your thoughts on these stories someday. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I wouldn’t call it gruesome, but it does have some scary moments. However, I prefer stories where the good people win out over the bad, myself, so that’s what I aim for. Maybe they have to struggle to get there, but I am never going to pull a trick like a certain very popular writer does, where you suffer through all sorts of sturm und drang with the main characters only to have him kill one of them at the end. ARRRGGGHH. All that says to me is “Why bother? You’re just gonna die in the end.” And I’d prefer to have stories where the good guys win, no matter the genre. I want the the villain brought to justice, the monsters driven away, the vampire staked & gone to dust, and relieved smiles on the faces of my readers. (And I try to provide lots of comic relief along the way, too.)

      I would just add that I don’t recommend reading the books out of order, though I know some people have done so. Not because you can’t follow the tales, but because you’ll miss out on how the relationships have developed to that point. But having said that, I have several readers who’ve read everything back to front, and swear they like it. Whatever makes them happy is fine with me. Hope this helps you decide. 😀 I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts if you give it a try.

      Liked by 2 people

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