Of Sirens and Sorrow – Part 3

Sirens Blog Tour

Of Sirens and Sorrow – Part 3

Amanda Kespohl

Continued from Part 2

CONCLUSIONS

As you can see, when a fairytale involves romance between humans and merfolk, it often ends in tragedy. Someone typically ends up losing his/her life, his wife, or both. So what’s behind this recurring theme? Well, in the case of these three tales, it could be as simple as shared inspiration. Sources suggest that Fouqué was inspired by Melusina’s tale when he wrote Undine.[1] Similarly, Andersen took inspiration from Undine when he wrote “The Little Mermaid.”[2] It’s easy to recognize the similarities that support this theory. Undine, like Melusina’s tale, involves a water spirit who marries a human man. In each case, the man makes certain unusual promises to his wife, only to break them and lose her forever. In the “Little Mermaid,” as in Undine, a water spirit seeks to obtain a soul by marrying a human, who ultimately does not appreciate her, but seeks out another of his own kind.

Yet, there may be more at play. After all, these are not the only tales of merfolk/human romances that involve tragedy.[3] Additionally, fairytales often serve as metaphors for real life. In life, as in fiction, lovers are often divided by being from different worlds—separated by class, religion, or geography, for instance. Similarly, the lovers in the merfolk/human romances are trying to bridge the gap between two worlds—land and sea, mortality and immortality. In either case, the divide may prove to be insurmountable, and struggling against it can result in suffering. Indeed, author Terri Windling suggested in her article, “Hans Christian Andersen: Father of the Modern Fairytale,” that Andersen was inspired to write “The Little Mermaid” by his own realization that no matter what he endured to try to dwell in the upper class world he admired, he would never truly belong there because of his humble origins. [4]

One of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Undine (1909).

One of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Undine (1909).

In the introduction to Undine, C.M. Yonge points to the differences in kind as being the divisive factor in that tale. She writes, “we cannot help sharing, or at least understanding, Huldbrand’s beginning to shrink from the unearthly creature to something of his own flesh and blood. He is altogether unworthy . . . , [and] we cannot but see that Fouqué’s thought was that the grosser human nature is unable to appreciate what is absolutely pure and unearthly.”[5] This is a fair point. Humans are inherently flawed. It must have been difficult for Huldbrand to relate to his perfectly loving and forgiving wife. Similarly, Melusina’s tale seems to embrace this notion—that a human must ultimately prove unworthy of such an ethereal partner. Even the prince in “The Little Mermaid” could not appreciate the mermaid’s devotion, but looked past her to find a human mate. However, Andersen treats him a little more kindly in his tale. As author Rosellen Brown observes, the mermaid comes to him “deprived of her voice, of her personality, her self, left only with her looks, which are captivating but (to the prince’s eternal credit) insufficient compared to the pleasure of a complete speaking woman.” [6] Still, one wonders what would have happened if she had come to him with a voice. Would it have been enough to give the story a happy ending, despite the innate differences between the prince and the mermaid?

Ultimately, the beauty and tragedy of such tales is as intoxicating a combination as salt air and sandy beaches. They reflect the beauty and tragedy of the ocean itself—an unknowable world of hidden depths, dangerous creatures, and the husks of drowned ships and humans. Is it any wonder that we should view such an untamable and mysterious force and the creatures that might live there as a source of tragedy?

I drew inspiration from these tales and hid little nods to them in my own story, “The Fisherman and the Golem,” which will be published in the forthcoming anthology, Sirens, edited by Rhonda Parrish. To discover whether my characters escape the tragic fate of those whose lives are touched by water spirits, check it out when it’s released on July 12, 2016. In the meantime, if you’re looking for further reading material, try some of the fairytales mentioned in footnote 3.

Amanda Kespohl is an appellate judicial clerk who writes bench summaries by day and fantasy novels and short stories by night. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her beagle, Bailey, and spends her spare time reading fairy tale retellings and Marvel comic books. Check out her website at https://amandakespohl.wordpress.com/ or find her on Twitter at @amandakespohl.


SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

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[1] “Undine—An Introduction.” The Historical Mermaid. Web. May 27, 2016. http://academics.wellesley.edu/Psychology/Cheek/Narrative/Stories/undine_intro2.html; Ferber, Michael. A Companion to European Romanticism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005. Print. 152; “Hans Christian Andersen: The Little Mermaid.” HubPages, Nov. 14, 2014. Web. 27 May 2016. http://hubpages.com/education/hans-christian-andersen-little-mermaid.
[2] “Hans Christian Andersen: The Little Mermaid.” HubPages, Nov. 14, 2014. Web. 27 May 2016. http://hubpages.com/education/hans-christian-andersen-little-mermaid.
[3] You might try, for instance, “The Golden Mermaid,” or “The Fisherman and his Soul,” or any of the many tales about selkies.
[4] Windling, Terri. “Hans Christian Andersen: Father of the Modern Fairy Tale.” Journal of Mythic Arts. The Endicott Studio. 2003. http://www.endicott-studio.com/articleslist/hans-christ.html.
[5] Yonge, C.M. Introduction. Undine. Friederich de La Motte-Fouqué. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2825/2825-h/2825-h.htm#link2H_INTR.
[6] Brown, Rosellen. “Is It You the Fable Is About?” Mirror, Mirror On The Wall: Women Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales.  Kate Bernheimer, editor. New York: Anchor Books, 1998. 62.

Of Sirens and Sorrow – Part 2

Sirens Blog Tour

Of Sirens and Sorrow – Part 2

Amanda Kespohl

Continued from Part 1

ONDINE / UNDINE

One of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Undine (1909).

One of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for Undine (1909).

Undines are a magical race of water spirits popularized by the novella, Undine, by Friederich de La Motte-Fouqué in 1811.[1] In that tale, a knight named Sir Huldbrand meets a beautiful, mischievous maiden named Undine while he is lost in a spooky enchanted forest. He is so smitten with her after a short time in her company that he decides to marry her.

After their wedding, Undine confesses her secret—she comes from a magical race of water spirits who live beneath the sea. They are fair and powerful, but lack an immortal soul, which they can only obtain by marrying a human. Undine’s father wanted his child to have one, so he sent her to live among mortals. Her uncle, Kuhleborn, the spirit of a nearby brook, used his magic to shepherd the knight and a priest into the forest to further the plan. Although Huldbrand is taken aback by this tale, he believes her. Since their marriage, he’s found her much changed from a whimsical, silly girl into a sincere and loving wife. Together, they return to the city he was visiting before his misadventure in the forest.

For a time, all is wonderful—for everyone except Bertalda, Huldbrand’s lady love, who has been waiting for him back in the city. When she finds that he’s married someone else, she does what any good noblewoman would do—she becomes Undine’s frenemy. Suspecting nothing, Undine accepts her friendship. Despite attempts by Kuhleborn to warn her, she decides to invite Bertalda back to Sir Huldbrand’s castle. Huldbrand and Bertalda immediately begin an affair.

Thereafter, Kuhleborn tries to punish the knight for mistreating Undine, but Undine uses her magic to block him at every turn. She still loves Huldbrand, though he’s often cruel to her now, and she won’t let her uncle hurt him. To keep Kuhleborn from coming into the castle, she seals up the fountain in the courtyard with a spelled stone and warns Huldbrand never to remove it. She also warns him never to reproach her while they’re near water, because her kin will take it amiss and she’ll be dragged back down to live in the depths.

As you might have guessed, Huldbrand doesn’t listen. One day as they’re sailing down the Danube River, he chastises Undine for conjuring Bertalda a gift, calling her a witch. Undine is snatched away into the water, and Huldbrand is very sorry . . . for a while. Then he gets over it and decides to marry Bertalda.

He receives a multitude of warnings that this is a terrible idea—the priest who married him to Undine tells him so, and Undine even sends him dreams in which he overhears her speaking to Kuhleborn. In the dreams, her uncle gloats over the fact that the laws of their people will require her to kill Huldbrand if he marries another. Undine reminds Kuhleborn that she won’t be able to enter the castle as long as the spelled stone blocks the fountain. Upon waking, Huldbrand presses forward with the wedding plans, undeterred.

After the wedding ceremony, Bertalda laments her lack of access to the waters in the courtyard fountain, which brightened her complexion so. Overhearing, an industrious maid sends workers out to uncover it. Out comes Undine, who kills her husband with a kiss, and Bertalda is a widow within hours of becoming a wife. At Huldbrand’s funeral, Undine becomes a spring, encircling her husband’s grave.

Little gems lie hidden throughout this tale. For instance, Undine’s name comes from the Latin word for “wave,” while Huldbrand’s name was modeled after that of the famous German hero, Hildebrand, mixed with a syllable to indicate “grace” or “favor.”[2] Kuhleborn, appropriately enough, means “cool fountain.”[3] Unfortunately, unlike the “cool fountain,” Huldbrand had zero chill, and his temper and his illicit passions brought about his ruin.

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Illustration by Kay Nielsen (1924).

Illustration by Kay Nielsen (1924).

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, “The Little Mermaid,” by far the most familiar story on this list. It tells the story of a little mermaid who rescues a handsome prince from drowning, but is scared away before he awakens by a group of women coming down to the shore.[4] Afterwards, she learns that the only means for her people to gain an immortal soul is through marriage to a human. So enamored is she of the prince and the notion of having a soul that she makes a bargain with a sea witch to shed her tail in favor of human legs.

The price she pays is steep—every step she takes on her new legs brings a pain like being cut by knives. She can never return to the ocean, and if the prince marries another, the morning after his wedding day, she’ll dissolve into sea foam. Preparation for the draught of transformation also requires the sea witch to cut out her tongue. When she finally meets her prince again, she is mute and wracked with pain.

The prince treats her with great affection, but he views her as a child, and not a partner. He confides to her that the only woman in the world he believes he could love is the young woman who discovered him on the beach after the shipwreck. When his parents send him to meet a foreign princess, it turns out that the princess is the woman who found him on the beach. The prince enthusiastically agrees to marry her.

The prince and princess marry, and there’s a celebration aboard the prince’s ship. After the festivities, the heartbroken mermaid is alone on the deck when her sisters appear in the water. They’ve traded their long tresses to the sea witch in return for a knife. If the little mermaid uses it to kill the prince, when his blood washes over her feet, she’ll be a mermaid again. She takes the knife into the prince’s bedroom to do as she was bidden. When she looks down on him, sweetly sleeping in the arms of his beloved, she can’t do it. As the sun rises, she casts the knife into the sea and dissolves into sea foam.

Only, she doesn’t die. Instead, she becomes an air elemental with the ability to earn an immortal soul by performing 300 years of good deeds. When the prince and his bride come out on the deck to search for her, she kisses the bride, fans sweet air over the prince, and soars joyfully into the sky.

The author of this enchanting tale, Hans Christian Andersen, was inspired by folklore, although his own tales were original.[5] As a child, he used to accompany his grandmother to the insane asylum where she worked to listen to the old women in the spinning room tell stories.[6] Using the notions in those tales as a starting point and relying on his own creativity for the rest, he ultimately wrote 210 fairytales that are still wildly popular today.[7]

Amanda Kespohl is an appellate judicial clerk who writes bench summaries by day and fantasy novels and short stories by night. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her beagle, Bailey, and spends her spare time reading fairy tale retellings and Marvel comic books. Check out her website at https://amandakespohl.wordpress.com/ or find her on Twitter at @amandakespohl.


SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

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[1] This section is based upon a reading of the novella, which available for free through ibooks or through Project Gutenberg.
[2] Blume, David. Telling Tales: The Impact of Germany on Children’s Books 1790-1918. Cambridge: Open Book, 2009. Available at http://books.openedition.org/obp/607?lang=en. ¶ 6.
[3] Ibid.
[4] This section is based upon the annotated version of the story featured on Sur La Lune’s web site: http://surlalunefairytales.com/littlemermaid/index.html.
[5] Windling, Terri. “Hans Christian Andersen: Father of the Modern Fairy Tale.” Journal of Mythic Arts. The Endicott Studio. 2003. http://www.endicott-studio.com/articleslist/hans-christ.html.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid. at 2.

 

Of Sirens and Sorrow – Part 1

Sirens Blog Tour

Of Sirens and Sorrow – Part 1

Amanda Kespohl

 

“The Mermaid and the Dolphin” Arthur Rackham (1908).

“The Mermaid and the Dolphin”
Arthur Rackham (1908).

The ocean. So beautiful. So mysterious. So “full of fish,” as Kevin Kline’s character from French Kiss observed.

And merfolk, maybe?

For thousands of years, man has thought so. As early as 2,000 B.C., the Babylonians worshipped a half-fish, half-human deity by the name of Era or Oannes.[1] From that time, tales of merfolk have cropped up across many cultures: from Sovann Macha, the mermaid of the Hindu belief system[2]; to the Tritons of Greek mythology[3]; to Yemajá, the mermaid who is the mother of all according to the traditions of Cadomblé, which originated in Africa.[4]

Yet often folklore concerning mermaids also involves great sorrow. Why is it that we associate merfolk with tragedy? Perhaps a review of some popular tales can help us find the answer.

 

MELUSINA / MELUSINE

French Heraldry—Melusine

French Heraldry—Melusine

At first blush, Melusina doesn’t seem to fit in our list of fictional mermaids. Although her mother was a water fairy associated with a fountain or spring, Melusina began life as merely another fetching fairy lass.[5] However, as a teenager, she inspired maternal wrath by mistreating her human father. For this sin, her mother cursed her to be a fish (or a snake in some tales) from the waist down every Saturday.

Afterwards, Melusina wandered for a time, occasionally stopping to participate in fairy revels. At one such gathering, she met a handsome human count. As you might expect, the count fell in madly love with her and asked for her hand in marriage. Melusina said yes, but with one caveat—after their marriage, he must make no attempt to see her on Saturdays. Whatever he thought of this strange condition, the smitten count could only agree. He took his bride back to his castle, and they were wed.

Predictably, the count was unable to keep his word. After years of being happily married, he was persuaded to peek in on his wife one Saturday. In some tales, curiosity got the better of him, while in others, he feared his wife was having an affair. As he peered through a crack in her bed chamber wall, he spied his wife in the bath. At first glance, she appeared to be her normal, lovely self. Upon closer inspection, he realized that she had the tail of a fish (or serpent) from the waist down. Oddly enough, his reaction wasn’t, “Holy crap, I married a mermaid!” No, the count sailed right past shock to guilt. He had broken his wife’s confidence, and if she found out, she would leave him. Wisely, the good count opted to stay mum.

He might’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids. Some time later, one of his children killed another, and the count was grief-stricken. Melusina came to comfort him. Unwisely, he lashed out at her, suggesting that the murderous son had inherited his nature from his fishy (or serpentine) mother. Sadly, Melusina rebuked her husband for his betrayal and disappeared. The count never laid eyes on his beloved wife again.

Interestingly enough, some sources suggest that Melusina is the inspiration for the Starbucks logo.[6] If true, this means that all the poor count needed to do to see his wife again someday was live long enough to order a half-caff, no foam, mocha latte.

Now that’s a tragedy.

Amanda Kespohl is an appellate judicial clerk who writes bench summaries by day and fantasy novels and short stories by night. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her beagle, Bailey, and spends her spare time reading fairy tale retellings and Marvel comic books. Check out her website at https://amandakespohl.wordpress.com/ or find her on Twitter at @amandakespohl.


SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

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[1] Radford, Benjamin. “Mermaids and Mermen: Facts and Legends.” Live Science. Web. May 22, 2016. http://www.livescience.com/39882-mermaid.html.
[2] “Sovann Macha—The Mermaid of the Hindu Mythology.” http://mamiwatafilm.com/sovann-macha/; “Suvannmaccha.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation. Web. May 27, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suvannamaccha.
[3] “Triton.” Greek Mythology. Web. May 27, 2016. http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Figures/Triton/triton.html.
[4] Jan Sochor Photography. Yemanjá: Candomblé Cult in Bahia (Recôncavo Baiano, Bahia, Brazil). Feb. 2012. Web. May 27, 2016. http://www.jansochor.com/photo-blog/yemanja-candomble-cult-bahia-brazil; “Yemaya, Mother Goddess of the Ocean.” A-Muse-ing Grace: The Magical Art of Thalia Took. Web. May 27, 2016. http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/yemaya.php.
[5] This whole section is based on a review of this source: Ashliman, D.L. “Melusina (Melusine, Mélusine).” Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts. University of Pittsburgh. Web. May 27, 2016. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/melusina.html.
[6] Rubio, J’aime. “Who Was Melusine? Water Fairy, Mermaid or Serpent?” ORIGINS- “What Does History Say?” July 17, 2012. Web. May 27, 2016. http://whatdoeshistorysay.blogspot.com/2012/07/who-was-melusine-water-fairy-mermaid-or.html; Pyrdom, Carl. “The Other Starbucks Mermaid Cover-Up.” Got Medieval. Aug. 31, 2010. Web. May 27, 2016. http://www.gotmedieval.com/2010/08/the-other-starbucks-mermaid-cover-up.html.

 

 

Sirens: The Blog Tour

Sirens Blog Tour

The release date for Sirens keeps inching closer and closer. To celebrate it I’ve organised a blog tour, and I’m pretty stinkin’ stoked about this one 🙂 Beginning tomorrow a series of blog posts will go live on my blog here as well as several other locations across the web. The incomplete and tentative schedule looks something like this:

Sirens Blog Tour Schedule

June 28, 29th and 30th

Rhonda hosts “Of Sirens and Sorrow” three part mini-series by Amanda Kespohl

July 5th

Rhonda hosts “Why I Wrote Safe Waters For Sirens” by Simon Kewin

July 7th

Rhonda hosts “The Drama in Japanese Dramas” by Eliza Chan

July 12th (Release Day)

Pippa Jay hosts an announcement with an excerpt
Beth Cato hosts an announcement with her blurb
Mia Rose hosts a guest post by Amanda Kespohl
Tons of announcements from those directly involved in the book

July 13th

Elesha Teskey hosts a guest post by Tabitha Lord
Simon Kewin hosts a guest post by Michael Leonberger
Laura VanArendonk Baugh hosts a guest post by Eliza Chan
Rhonda hosts The Horrors in the Closet by Adam Bealby

July 14th

Stephanie Cain hosts a guest post by Tamsin Showbrook
Hayley Stone hosts a guest post by Amanda Kespohl
Rhonda hosts Voices in my Head… by Tabitha Lord

July 15th

Anna Kyle hosts a guest post by Adam Bealby
Linn Arvidsson hosts an interview, subject TBD
Samantha Saboviec hosts three question interviews
Rhonda hosts flash fiction, Listen and Repeat by Tamsin Showbrook

July 16th

Dea Poirier hosts an announcement and giveaway
Reb Kreyling hosts a guest post by L.S. Johnson
Rhonda hosts Literary Crush by Michael Leonberger

 

July 18th

Paul A. Hamilton hosts interviews with K.T. Ivanrest, Cat McDonald and Randall G. Arnold
Tiffany Michelle Brown hosts an interview, subject TBD
Rhonda hosts Notes on “We Are Sirens” by L.S. Johnson

July 19th

Rhonda hosts Four (and a half) Things I Learned Writing Threshold by K.T. Ivanrest

July 20th

Rhonda hosts Notefisher alternative opening by Cat McDonald

I am excited to be able to share all these extra perspectives, alternate openings, flash fiction and so much more over the coming days and weeks 🙂 This is, as I said, a tentative schedule though and I will be traveling during some of this period so I may not do an awesome job of keeping it up-to-date. All the same, I wanted to show some skeleton idea of what the blog tour is going to look like. I hope you’ll visit some of the stops 🙂

 

AmberEScott-Blurb

Haunted Hospitals Cover

I wasn’t going to share this just yet because my bio on the Amazon page is wrong (I haven’t lived in Calgary for 36 years) but I can’t resist 🙂

Check. This. Out.

Haunted Hospitals

The cover for Mark and my book, Haunted Hospitals has been decided upon. What’s more, it’s all online and has a release date and everything! Exciting!

Making this move into non-fiction was definitely not easy but, thus far, it’s been a very positive and rewarding experience 🙂

 

p.s. I’m glad this is the cover which got used in the end. I liked the hospital beds option, thought it did a fantastic job of capturing the lonely, institutional feeling of a great many of these stories and the hospitals they are set in, but “Mary” captured my heart from the beginning. I love the colours, the imagery of an empty hallway (who knows where it leads?) and I think when it’s sized down to a thumbnail it will be much more legible than the beds.

p.p.s. I named this apparition Mary (and Mark was lovely enough to go along with it) because, as I frequently bemoaned on social media while I was researching this book, a disproportionately high number of female ghosts are named Mary. It makes me happy to see us continuing with that tradition 😉

New Twitter Chat! #DarkLitChat — Join us on June, 21st at 8pm EST!

Because writing is a team sport (and I like them, when D.H. Poirier and Elesha Teskey asked for people to help spread the word about their new Twitter chat I raised my hand. Here is the result 🙂

dark-lit-promo

What is #DarkLitChat?

#DarkLitChat is a monthly Twitter chat for writers, authors, or readers who appreciate dark fiction. Writers and authors at all stages are welcome, and encouraged to join in. Whether you’re plotting, procrastinating, or published, you’re welcome to join us!

When is #DarkLitChat?

Tuesday, June 21st at 8pm EST, on Twitter. (You can find us for subsequent chats every 3rd Tuesday of the month, at 8pm EST)

Why #DarkLitChat?

Writing dark fiction can be hard — and it can be lonely. Many times it’s difficult to find other writers who appreciate a good blood bath in a world filled with happily ever after. Network with other writers of Dark Fiction while we discuss the ups and downs of writing dark fiction.

Who’s hosting #DarkLitChat?

D.H. Poirier, (@PoirierPages) Young Adult Author of dark historical fantasy, and horror. And Elesha Teskey, (@e_teskey) Urban Fantasy Author, and Publicist for Pen And Kink Publishing.

What is Dark Lit?

Any genre or market covering darker topics. Thrillers, horror, suspense, urban fantasy, mysteries, etc. Dark Lit would include murder, crime, abuse, drugs — things of that nature. Dark Lit is subjective, if you think you write Dark Lit, chances are — you do.

How can I help?

Help us get the word out on your blog, and on twitter.

#DarkLitChat Future Chats

We’re looking for published authors open to doing Q&As for future chats. If you’re interested, tweet at @PoirierPages on Twitter, or DM.

Need a reminder for #DarkLitChat? You can sign up for an email reminder for the chat here.

Encounter Cards

DungeonDealerI’ve been spending a lot of time editing these days, and the writing I’m getting done is largely of the non-fiction variety, so when Justin Sirois approached me and asked if I would consider writing some encounters for his Dungeon Dealer Kickstarter I was intrigued. Then, once I’d checked out the project, I was excited to say yes 🙂

In grade one, one of my favourite parts of the school library was the spinning shelf in the back corner which held all the Choose Your Own Adventure books. They were meant for older kids, but I devoured them just the same. Around about grade three (I think) the school brought in some Choose Your Own Adventure books aimed at a younger audience and I consumed those too.

In grade seven the boy I had a crush on played Dungeons and Dragons and, though I had no idea what Dungeons and Dragons was, I wanted to play it too (both to impress him and also because it sounded cool). The problem was I had no one to play with, no idea how to play it or even where to find the books to learn (this was before Google and I lived in a small town with no bookstore). Eventually, in the book section of a thrift store a couple towns over I found a handful of Choose Your Own Adventure-type books in which the protagonist (me!) had to roll dice and keep track of hit points. I played those and enjoyed them… some more than others LOL

Two years later the boy I was dating, who was not the same one I’d had a crush on back in grade seven, DMed my very first D&D game–well, D&D-ish game. We had a borrowed monster manual, some character sheets and a whack of d6s. It was pretty improvisational–and I was hooked. Well and truly addicted.

Dungeon Dealer as a solo activity feels a little bit like those D&D Choose Your Own Adventure-type books, but it has the potential for so much more within a group. I think it will be an awesome addition to our games, or a super fun way to throw together a quick dungeon to run through just for kicks when the party wants to do some hack and slash and forget about detailed plots.

I’m stoked about it, and I’m even more stoked to be writing a handful of the encounter cards. It’s gonna be a good time and, for better or for worse, give people a peek at what my D&D groups have to (get to?) deal with on a regular basis 😉

Deck

Dream Eater

KoiI’m not sure that I blogged about it when it happened, but a few months ago my role at World Weaver Press expanded from Anthologist to include a new spiffy Assistant Editor title, and today I get to announce the first book I have acquired for them in that role. You are going to love this book. No. Seriously. It’s amazing. It’s got–well, maybe before I tell you what its got, I should tell you what it’s called 🙂

Dream Eater, by K. Bird Lincoln is a Japanese-inspired urban fantasy novel with so. many. characters that you’re going to fall in love with. Trust me on this one.

Her whole life she’s avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact–a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee–transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit.

But Koi’s getting her act together. No matter what, this time she’s going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it’s not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Alzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy PCC professor’s hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi’s father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself.

I don’t want to spoil any surprises but this story has got so many elements that made me love it that I know anyone reading this blog will love it too *cough*corvid*cough*.

We don’t have a cover yet, so I’m using an image of koi to accompany this blog post, because did you see what the main character’s name is? Koi!

Dream Eater is coming out next year but you can add it to your Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf today. In fact, you should do that right now… go on. You know you wanna 😉

Dream Eater on Goodreads

 

Haunted Hospitals Cover Options

We have cover options for Haunted Hospitals!! *bounces* Check these out:

Options

Which one do you like better?

Also, while I have you here and I’m talking about this book I just want to clear up a couple things. First, I didn’t edit this, I wrote it alongside Mark. It’s an easy mistake to make, I do a ridiculous amount of editing, but for this one I get to share an author credit. Secondly, this is paranormal non-fiction. Mark and I didn’t make up any of the stories we’ve collected for this book. Not a single one.

Now that’s all sorted, tell me again, which one do you like better? I have a favourite but I’m not gonna tell you which it is 😉

Omega Rising

OMEGA RISING

My dear friend, Anna Kyle, has a brand new book out today. Omega Rising is the first book in her Wolf King series but because sometimes publishing is weird, it’s actually the second one to be released LOL It’s a long story, but in this case the unusual order of publication worked. Anyway, my point is that not only can you read the first book in the series which is out today, if you love it as much as I did, you won’t have to wait to read book two, Skye Falling 🙂

One step at a time though. If you like paranormal romance check out Omega Rising!

Cass Nolan has been forced to avoid the burn of human touch for her whole life, drawing comfort instead from her dreams of a silver wolf—her protector, her friend. When her stalking nightmares return, her imaginary dead sister’s ghost tells her to run, Cass knows she should listen, but the sinfully hot stranger she just hired to work on her ranch has her mind buzzing with possibilities. Not only does her skin accept Nathan’s touch, it demands it. Cass must make a decision—run again and hope she saves the people who have become her family, or stand and fight. Question is, will it be with Nathan or against him?

Nathan Rivers’ life is consumed by his quest to find the Omega wolf responsible for killing his brother, but when the trail leads him to Cass and her merry band of shapeshifters, his wolf wants only to claim her for himself. When evidence begins piling up that Cass is the Omega he’s been seeking, things become complicated—especially since someone else wants her dead. Saving her life might mean sacrificing his own, but it may be worth it to save the woman he can’t keep from reaching for.

Get it online:

Direct from the publisher

Amazon

iTunes/Apple ibooks

Kobo

Omnilit / All Romance ebooks

And don’t forget to add it to your shelves on Goodreads!