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Escape to Fable Hollow

In 2020, before everything shut down, Alyssa Stewart and Casey Jessen met in a local writing group and the pair became quick friends over their shared interests – particularly their fervor for fantasy novels. As the pandemic wore on, they started talking about what it might be like to run an independent bookstore that catered to general interests but had a soft spot for fantasy works. By 2021, they were meeting in an official capacity and sketching out a two-year plan for what would become Fable Hollow. Inspired by the fairy tales born out of the Black Forest, Alyssa and Casey secured a space with room to grow on Tazewell Pike and opened their mythical, magical coffee and bookshoppe last fall.

“When it came to the actual space, we knew we wanted enough seating so people would come in and stay. That helps with the coffee shop side. We wanted a place to be for the community,” says Casey.

“We wanted it to feel like you were walking into your favorite story – whimsical, away from reality,” adds Alyssa. “We have a lot of regulars who work remotely and this functions like their office. People smile when they come in.”

A quick perusal around the store reveals new and old works from all the major genres, but there’s no question their love for fantasy dictated the décor. The space is a witch’s brew of enchanted forests and cozy corners, clever collectibles and stationary cards. Amid the shelves are book suggestions, full collections, and stand-alone standouts.

Of course, no visit is complete without a stop at the coffee counter for a Fable Hollow specialty, such as Dragon’s Breath (Honey Cardamom Latte with Cayenne and Cinnamon), a Faerie Kiss (Strawberry Rose White Mocha), or a Woodland Spice (a house made Chai Latte with caramel).

“We wanted a space with no politics, no religion, nothing to take sides on,” says Alyssa. “We wanted a place that was safe and accessible and comfortable.”

Book Recommendations from Alyssa and Casey

Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco

Vampires are back, and we are here for it! “Silver Under Nightfall” is an epic fantasy full of court intrigue, queer romance, and terrifying monsters. If you loved “The Priory of the Orange Tree” by Samanthan Shannon and need all the vibes of the adult animated series “Castlevania” this October, “Silver Under Nightfall” is for you. When a terrifying new breed of vampire is sighted, vampire bounty hunter and possible half-vampire, Remy Pendergast investigates alone…or so he thinks. Joined by a vampire couple, Remy is forced to choose sides and determine where his loyalties truly lie. For those who love vampires, epic fantasy, and LGBTQ+, look no further!

Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

“Once Upon a Time” meets “The Office” in this laugh-out-loud viral TikTok series turned novel.

A notorious, high-ranking villain is seeking a loyal, level-headed assistant for “unspecified office duties.” With an ailing family to support, Evie is willing to put up with unspecified duties.

But as Evie gets used to the severed heads and terrifying, but undeniably hot boss, she starts to suspect a rat, and not just the literal kind.

For those who are dying for romcom vibes in a fantasy setting, “Assistant to the Villain” might be the perfect next read.

The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

From bestselling YA author Susan Dennard of the Witchlands series, “The Luminaries” is a haunting contemporary Young Adult fantasy about the magic it takes to face your fears in the nightmare-filled forest of Hemlock Falls. If you loved Netflix’s “Wednesday” and are dying for more atmospheric reads, you are sure to fall in love with Winnie Wednesday and her quest to become a nightmare hunter. “The Luminaries” has all the true YA themes of coming of age mixed with dark academia and a touch of romance. The sequel, “The Hunting Moon,” comes out November 7, and both books can be purchased at Fable Hollow or pre-ordered online.

Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Join our fantasy romance book club, Fanciful, for our October and November reads!

Half-fae and half-human, Bryce is on a revenge mission in this contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance. Finishing with our read through of the first three books in Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling fantasy romance “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” we are excited to continue into the world of “Crescent City,” preparing for the January 30 release of the third book in the series, “House of Flame and Shadow.”

All recommended titles are available at Fable Hollow and online. For information on book club meetings and other events, visit