Despite there being few absolutes in this world, the human brain finds comfort in its ability to classify something as good or evil, right or wrong.  The unfamiliar or mysterious makes humans uneasy and fearful.  Shelby Mahurin explores this truth in her recent book Serpent and Dove, a story that takes place in a world of shadows, rituals, and magic. The characters that populate this setting in seventeenth-century France include Coco Monvoisin, a Dames Rouges—a red witch whose blood is a powerful ingredient in most enchantments. Wild, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous, their magic is not bound by any laws or rules, unlike that of theRead More →

Having been abandoned by a mother who can’t love like a normal mom, fifteen-year-old Sarah-Mary and her eleven-year-old brother Caleb live with their Aunt Jenny in Hannibal, Missouri.  And even though Sarah-Mary is normally a rule-abiding, responsible girl, her best friend Tess Villalobos convinces her to exchange school for a road trip to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch.  While there, a mild case of claustrophobia and acrophobia overwhelms Sarah-Mary.  Because she passes out, she is found out, so her aunt tightens the rules and sends Sarah-Mary to Berean Baptist, a strict private school, not only to teach her the value of discipline but toRead More →