Painted Pathways by Melinda VanLone and Sonja Field is an intriguing fantasy with a different feel to it. Lark Previn is an artist who moved to New York from a small rural town and like most artists, she is broke and worried. She’s not able to recapture the free spirited art she did as a child and her work is not good enough to keep her scholarship.
Things change when she receives a mystery gift in the mail, a set of brushes and paints. With those she is transfixed, completely taken over by the need to paint. Several days later when she wakes up she finds she has recreated the carnival she had envisioned as a child. But these paintings are magic. They have real paths to the carnival and someone threatening wants them. And her.
The story flows well although the plot is somewhat confusing. People die. Or do they? She meets a hawk who is a man, and a man who is a type of vampire. Lark wants to understand the paintings and how she makes them but is terrified of losing more days in a fugue, forgetting to eat, to drink, to feed her cat.
Overall this is an intriguing novel; in fact I looked at more by Melinda VanLone. The plot could use a bit more clarity and the character is somewhat flat. We never learn why Lark is connected to the carnival, why she continues to see and paint it. She learns to paint stories as they occur, or do the stories happen because she paints them? This isn’t a great novel, still a pleasant read.
I’m not including links because this is not available currently on Amazon.