Recommended Book: ALL THE MURMURING BONES by A. G. Slatter


ALL THE MURMURING BONES
A. G. Slatter

Macabre sea deals, crumbling manors, and haunting magic that infiltrates all the nooks and crannies of this world make this a novel worth falling in love with.

We follow Miren, the last of the O’Malley line, who have, through the centuries, been blessed with bounty from the sea, with riches that made them powerful and influential in their seaside town. But now, that magic is disintegrating; the O’Malley family is crumbling, with Miren being the youngest, the sole first-born daughter who might be able to change the family’s fates. But with everyone around her wanting to use her, she must combat her birth-right and seek answers to the disturbing questions about her family’s history and the truth about how they had gained their prosperity.

Between the narrative are short fairy tales of a dark variety. Each one is an engaging fable of the O’Malley history, steeped in layers of wonder and danger, each one adding another clue to the mystery that echoes back centuries, concerning children being sacrificed to the mer.

Miren is an engaging character, a young woman who is both feminine and powerful, using all her knowledge and ability to seek out the secrets that had been hidden from her. I highly recommend this tale to anyone who loves gothic strangeness, who loves the darker edges of merfolk, who wants engaging mystery and all their fantastical creatures to be haunting rather than bright.

Content warning: there is child death discussed within this book.

Thank you to Titan Books for an eARC of this title.


Recommended Short Fiction: FROM WITCH TO QUEEN AND GOD by L. D. Lewis & AS IF WAITING by A. Katherine Black


These are two stories both dealing with women taking the power of a choice into their hands, though they diverge in theme and in resolution.

FROM WITCH TO QUEEN AND GOD by L D Lewis is a dark tale about a merwitch who ascends to land with her army of unwanteds in order to become even more than who and what she is. This is a tale of power and control and its nuances. Published in Mermaids Monthly.

AS IF WAITING by A. Katherine Black is a lighter fare that follows a feline woman as she progresses through a physical representation of an impossible choice she’s deliberating over. This one deals with our conflictions in the face of multiple positive, wonderful paths where we can only choose one. Published in Zooscape Magazine.


My Odyssey Workshop Experience: The Aftermath

Where the beginning of Odyssey began slowly and ramped up, the end of Odyssey came abruptly. One day we were at lecture and critiques, had a graduation party that evening. The next day…nothing.

I wandered around, feeling lost, confused, pacing because my mind and body felt as if it was supposed to be doing something specific.

This was my life for six long weeks. I lived and breathed on Odyssey time. If I wasn’t attending lecture, I was reading a story to critique. If I wasn’t at a critique session, I was writing a story. If I wasn’t doing any of those things, I was working on a journal entry.

It got to the point where my daughter no longer asked me for tuck-ins at night. Six weeks of dad giving her nightly kisses. Six weeks of mom being locked in her office or buried in her computer or taking a walk with printed-out critique story and pencil took its toll. [I’m please to say that it only took another six-eight weeks for me to become the nightly requested tuck-in-er once more :)]

In terms of my writing, and all the things associated, my first week off Odyssey I did really well. Got back into the swing of things, went into writing-mode immediately M-F. Only, then I went on vacation, had the vacation cut short because of a hurricane and felt…morose. Partly because that vacation had been something I’d considered my reward and partly because suddenly I was smacked with all the things I’d let slide for two months.

I work on two pen names at once, so the list I compiled of projects to finish suddenly felt astronomical. Both blogs needed attention and posts; a novella needed finishing; promo work for a novel needed to be done; my submission number had dropped to a measly 1-2 out and stories desperately needed to be sent out; I had a stack of stories from Odyssey and before that needed editing; another novel to start preparing to write; my house was a complete wreck; my book club needed to meet; I was behind on reading I’d wanted to do; school was starting and would be at home; family felt partially abandoned by me and needed time and attention; and I’d agreed to do small extra things, like critiques & practice sessions that were now on the calendar; …I began to get that frozen feeling ones does when they feel like nothing you do will get you closer to finishing that goddamned elephant. Continue reading

Recommended Book: BLACK SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse


BLACK SUN
(Between Earth & Sky I)
by Rebecca Roanhorse

Roanhorse has an easy reading style that quickly immerses you into this wonderful world filled with tales of gods and sea-people, crow-riders and spearmaidens. There are giant water spiders and blood magic and a city that stretches vertically above a river. And that’s just the tip of the awesome world-building.

This is a political drama mixed with an adventure journey featuring three lead point of views: a Sun Priest, a Crow God and a woman of the sea. This is a tale about setting right past wrongs, about vengeance and power and, ultimately, the desire for peace and respect.

Serapio, a blind man from the mountains, journeys with Xiala, a captain in need of a ship, toward the great city of Tova where the Sun Priest and all her dedicants prepare to welcome the eclipse. This is the beginning of an epic fantasy trilogy inspired by historical cultures in the Americas.


Recommended Short Fiction: SHE’D NEVER HAD A NAME BEFORE by J. R. Dawson & YOUR OWN UNDOING by P. H. Lee


The stories for this week are both about possibility. They’re about what might have been or what might be.

SHE’D NEVER HAD A NAME BEFORE by J. R. Dawson is a story about a woman who meets the sister she never had, the two of them from neighboring universes. They discover parallels about themselves and their lives. At its core, this tale delves into what-ifs in a literal sense, touching on what-could-have-beens had things been just a little different. Published in Lightspeed Magazine.

YOUR OWN UNDOING by P. H. Lee is a second person narrative where a familiar takes on different shapes in order to sneak in where their witch is being kept. They tell her a story, the story of her life, pushing her to understand what is real and what is story. This is a dark tale with a beautiful metaphor. Published in Apex Magazine.