A DOWRY OF BLOOD is coming spring 2021

Huge news! My Dracula’s brides reimagining A DOWRY OF BLOOD is going to be published by Nyx publishing in early 2021! It’s been such a pleasure to work on this novella with the editor at Nyx, Celine Frohn, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

This one is by far my darkest, sexiest, most experimental book yet, and I’ve had so much fun playing around with the epistolary format and exploring the intricacies of the character’s relationships.

Head over to the Nyx website to get the full scoop, and enjoy the blurb below!

A lyrical and dreamy reimagining of Dracula’s brides, A DOWRY OF BLOOD is a story of desire, obsession, and emancipation. 

Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband’s dark secrets. 

With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death.

You’re definitely gonna want to grab this one if you like:

  • sapphic yearning at the opera
  • bi rep for days
  • obsessive love
  • tangled polyamorous relationships
  • kisses in cathedrals
  • gothic abandoned chateaus
  • eating abusive men

Dont forget to add the book on Goodreads! Pre-order information will be coming soon.

NEW POEM: Sapphics and Werewolves and Yearning, oh my!

I’ve got a hot-off-the-press publishing update for you all today! The marvelous Star*Line recently published “Darker Urges Still”, a piece about feral women, monstrous appetites, and desires so tender they feel like violence. I affectionately refer to this one as my “lesbian werewolf poem”, and it’s a good, medicinal tonic of wildness for us while we’re all cooped up indoors.

I spent much of last winter and fall working on poems, most of which you can spy over on my instagram, but this one was special. I excavated a long of tender, tangled feelings for this one and put a lot of myself into it. This one deserved a more formal home.

Grab your copy to read the whole piece, along with other great S/FF poems! I’ve included a little teaser below for your hungry eyes. Enjoy!

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Worldbuilding with Tarot!

So pleased to share this essay I wrote for The Stellar Beacon: “Forging Fortunes: Tarot as a Woldbuilding and Storytelling Tool”! I was able to dig my fingers into two of my favorite subjects, tarot and writing, and discuss how I used the tarot to plot the character arcs of the newest book in my Odd Spirits universe.

I discuss the cultural trend towards alternative spirituality, break down how I use tarot in my character builds and outlining work, and share tarot exercises that can benefit any worldbuilder; no experience or woo-woo streak necessary.

Enjoy this tasty little teaser, and then head on over to The Stellar Beacon to get your copy!

tarot

VIRTUAL Q&A: Romancing the Gothic

I’m happy to announce that I’m going to be dropping into the amazing (and free!) Romancing the Gothic literature course as a guest speaker next Thursday April 30th at 7pm London time!

Dr. Sam is an amazing wellspring of spooky book knowledge and I’m so excited to chat about queering fairytales, writing ROBBERGIRL, and the modern gothic movement with her class. There will also be a Q&A for me at the end, so bring any burning questions or meandering musings.

Robbergirl Class Spot

Interested parties can DM the professor on Twitter directly so get looped into the private Zoom room, or you cansign up using this interest form for the course! Just specify that you’ll be attending for the Robbergirl Thursday book group! You’re free to participate in class discussion or just sit back and enjoy the chat.

Virtual events have been such a wonderful  way to connect with readers since my in-person events have been cancelled for the year. All are welcome in the class; it’s a very low-pressure supportive environment. Looking forward to meeting you!

The UNSPEAKABLE Queer Gothic Anthology is Here! (And FREE in ebook!)

I’m so thrilled to announce the publication of this amazing anthology of spooky, swoony, and spine-tingling stories, collected by the wonderful Celine Frohn of Nyx Publishing.

unspeakable cover

“Unspeakable contains eighteen Gothic tales with uncanny twists and characters that creep under your skin. Its stories feature sapphic ghosts, terrifying creatures of the sea, and haunted houses concealing their own secrets. Whether you’re looking for your non-binary knight in shining armour or a poly family to murder with, Unspeakable showcases the best contemporary Gothic queer short fiction.”

My contribution is a tri-narrated, historical Dracula’s Brides retelling about running away to join an immortal poly murderfamily. It sprung directly from my love for B-rate action fantasy movies like Van Helsing and Dracula Untold, and my burning desire to make them gayer, more sapphic, more trans inclusive, and of course, sexier. I talked about why I identify with vampires and how to write a great short fiction piece over on The Gothic Bookworm’s blog, which you should definitely check out!

It’s a pleasure to be featured among so many talented writers, and to be edited by someone who is so enthusiastic about broadening access to queer literature (if you know of any schools who may want a copy, get in touch!). In a characteristically generous gesture, Celine is offering FREE copies of the ebook through the Nyx shop with the code BOOKY100. A lot of people are feeling the financial pinch or stuck in quarantine right now, so let us hook you up with some free queer short fiction! A review on Goodreads or Amazon is a wonderful thank you, if you feel so inclined. There are also paperbacks and hardcovers for sale on Nyx’s website for those who prefer physical copies.

Feel free to pass the deal on to your friends, and happy reading! Stay spooky out there.

NYX PUBLISHING (code BOOKY100) // AMAZON // GOODREADS

 

ARC REVIEW: Mexican Gothic

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MEXICAN GOTHIC has my heart racing and my mind reeling, and I was absolutely spoiled to get an arc for review from author Silvia Moreno-Garcia at Boskone this year. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and it did not disappoint.

Think Crimson Peak meets Get Out in the 1950’s Mexican countryside and you’re coming close to what makes this book so special. This book both loves and subverts classical Gothic tropes, infusing the familiar crumbling English manor home and looming handsome predator and whispers of family curses with a strong tonic of post-colonialist sensibilities. The writing is heady and lyrical, but the taut plot doesn’t get lost in the lovely, gloomy atmosphere.

This book will weave mystery and malice around you before you even know you’re in dancer, and the dark enchantment of manor High Place will get in your blood and never let you go. I loved heroine Noemi terribly, from her will to survive to her couture gowns to her double-edged wit. There’s a romance in here to root for as well, and women wrenching agency away from horrible men with bloody hands. The book won’t be widely available until June 30th, but you can pre-order right this second. So what are you waiting for?

CW: There’s a pervasive threat of sexual violence and attempted sexual assaults in this book, but they’re handled with an appropriate amount of both rage and grace, and I found the heroine and the ending to be a really satisfying kick in the teeth of patriarchy and sexual violence. But if it’s a delicate topic for you, proceed with discretion!

 

FICTION REVIEW: A Choir of Lies

Welcome to September, goblins! Yesterday was publication day for one of the prettiest books of 2019, Alexandra Rowland’s A CHOIR OF LIES, which I was so happy to get my hands on an arc copy of. To celebrate, I’m bringing you all my review. Trust me, you’re going to want this one on your TBR.

Three years ago, Ylfing watched his master-Chant tear a nation apart with nothing but the words on his tongue. Now Ylfing is all alone in a new realm, brokenhearted and grieving—but a Chant in his own right, employed as a translator to a wealthy merchant of luxury goods, Sterre de Waeyer. But Ylfing has been struggling to come to terms with what his master did, with the audiences he’s been alienated from, and with the stories he can no longer trust himself to tell.

That is, until Ylfing’s employer finds out what he is, what he does, and what he knows. At Sterre’s command, Ylfing begins telling stories once more, fanning the city into a mania for a few shipments of an exotic flower. The prices skyrocket, but when disaster looms, Ylfing must face what he has done and decide who he wants to be: a man who walks away and lets the city shatter, as his master did? Or will he embrace the power of story to save ten thousand lives?

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This is a gem of a book full of grit-teeth, open-eyed hope in humans’ ability to pull themselves up off the ground and do the right thing, even when the chips are down. It’s also full of snarky storytelling rap battles, tulip mania, whirling auction houses, lies that catch fire and almost take the teller down with them, and some grade A flirting. I’m so pleased to have gotten an ARC for review.

I loved so much about this book. I loved the slow unraveling of half-forgotten myths, the stories from faraway places dispersed throughout, the crowded canal city where our sweet, sensitive protagonist Ylfing finds himself living. Tender, introspection male protagonists are in short supply in any genre, but Ylfing is so wonderful and richly drawn. The strong, vibrant, morally complex middle aged women he finds himself surrounded by gave me life, and I fell in love with his problematic, smooth-talking, hedonist beau.

I’m not usually a fan of second world fantasy; one look at a string of fantasy place names and proper nouns and my eyes start to glaze over. But Rowland has pulled off a very clever magic trick here in making a complex, detailed fantasy world feel cozy and folkloric. They do this by feeding the audience world-building in tiny, tasty bites, like they’re guiding us through a cheese plate. A lot of people have already talked about the metatextual elements of this book (we have footnotes from an annotator reading the memoir of our protagonist about events they both experienced! your faves could NEVER!) but even those clever moments of commentary insertion feel naturalistic, effortless. Hell, Rowland can even make economic commentary RIVETING. Want to see how bubble economies are hatched, nurtured, and then grow big enough to threaten the safety of entire merchant city-states? Yes, you do. Trust me.

This is a book that takes you by the hand and spins you a yarn that grows bigger and wilder than you can ever imagine, but you don’t want to pull your hand away, not even for a second, because you trust somehow that you want to end up on the other side of wherever it’s going. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

AMAZON: tinyurl.com/yxpwgemo

BARNES AND NOBLE: tinyurl.com/y2hqzv34

INDIEBOUND: tinyurl.com/y6pxw6jd

GOODREADS: tinyurl.com/yxfjjptq

99 Cent ROBBERGIRL Flash Sale

Hello goblins! ROBBERGIRL has been marked down for 48 hours as part of the I Heart Lesfic spring megasale! There are amazing women-centered love stories in over 40 subgenres in this sale that have been marked down to 1.99, .99, or even free. You’ll never see ROBBERGIRL at a cheaper price, so snag your copy of my dark and sapphic Snow Queen retelling before the sale ends on May 31! 

Robbergirl

AO3 TAGS

  • femme witch with secrets
  • disaster tomcat knife bisexual
  • haunted churches and cursed castles
  • found family telling stories around the fire
  • only one bed in a snowy Swedish winter
  • tilting your enemy-to-lover’s chin up with a knife
  • the power of forgiveness
  • a slow burn to knock you down at twenty paces
  • a historical lesbian love story with, wait for it, a happy ending

Grab your copy for a single dollar before the sale ends on the 31st!

 

Happy Book Birthday ROBBERGIRL!

At long last my sapphic Snow Queen retelling is here!  Celebrate Valentines Day with a Snow Queen retelling full of secrets, ghosts, and a disaster bi thief and femme witch falling for each other opposites-attract style.

In a Sweden wracked by war and haunted by folk stories so dark they can only be spoken of in whispers, Helvig has been raised by her brigand father to steal whatever treasure catches her eye. When her men ambush a strange girl on the road with hair pale as death and a crow perched on her shoulder, Helvig cannot resist bringing home a truly unique prize: a genuine witch.

Drawn irresistibly into the other woman’s web, Helvig soon learns of Gerda’s reason for walking the icy border roads alone: to find the Queen who lives at the top of the world and kill her. Anyone else would be smart enough not to believe a children’s story, but Helvig is plagued by enchantments of her own, and struggles to guard the sins of her past while growing closer to the other woman.

As Christmastide gives way to the thin-veiled days when ghosts are at their most vengeful, the two women will find themselves on a journey through forest and Samiland to a final confrontation that will either redeem them or destroy them entirely. It’s DEATHLESS meets FINGERSMITH in this coming-of-age fable! 

KINDLE: http://tinyurl.com/yxf5pa46
PAPERBACKhttp://tinyurl.com/y2bqwsty

GOODREADShttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43154099-robbergirl