Locus, August 2023 published by Locus Publications (August 2023)
The Woods All Black by Lee Mandelo (March 2024)
The Woods All Black is equal parts historical horror, trans romance, and blood-soaked revenge, all set in 1920s AppalachiaLeslie Bruin is assigned to the backwoods township of Spar Creek by the Frontier Nursing Service, under its usual mandate: vaccinate the flock, birth babies, and weather the judgements of churchy locals who look at him and see a failed woman. Forged in the fires of the Western Front and reborn in the cafes of Paris, Leslie believes he can handle whatever is thrown at him — but Spar Creek holds a darkness beyond his nightmares.
Something ugly festers within the local congregation, and its malice has focused on a young person they insist is an unruly tomboy who must be brought to heel. Violence is bubbling when Leslie arrives, ready to spill over, and he’ll have to act fast if he intends to be of use. But the hills enfolding Spar Creek have a mind of their own, and the woods are haunted in ways Leslie does not understand.
The Woods All Black is a story of passion, prejudice, and power — an Appalachian period piece that explores reproductive justice and bodily autonomy, the terrors of small-town religiosity, and the necessity of fighting tooth and claw to live as who you truly are.
House of Odysseus by Claire North (August 2023)
This “powerful, fresh, and unflinching” reimagining from the award-winning author of the Penelope trilogy breathes life into ancient myth and gives voice to the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men (Jennifer Saint). On the isle of Ithaca, queen Penelope maintains a delicate balance of power. Many years ago, her husband Odysseus sailed to war with Troy and never came home. In his absence, Penelope uses all her cunning to keep the peace — a peace that is shattered by the return of Orestes, King of Mycenae, and his sister Elektra. Orestes’ hands are stained with his mother’s blood. Not so long ago, the son of Agamemnon took Queen Clytemnestra’s life on Ithaca’s sands. Now, wracked with guilt, he is slowly losing his mind. But a king cannot be seen to be weak, and Elektra has brought him to Ithaca to keep him safe from the ambitious men of Mycenae. Penelope knows destruction will follow in his wake as surely as the furies circle him. His uncle Menelaus, the battle-hungry king of Sparta, longs for Orestes’ throne — and if he can seize it, no one will be safe from his violent whims. Trapped between two mad kings, Penelope fights to keep her home from being crushed by a war that stretches from Mycenae and Sparta to the summit of Mount Olympus itself. Her only allies are Elektra, desperate to protect her brother, and Helen of Troy, Menelaus’ wife. And watching over them all is the goddess Aphrodite, who has plans of her own. Each woman has a secret. And their secrets will shape the world.
The Parliament by Aimee Pokwatka (January 2024)
“Murder owls are extreme,” Jude said. “What’s more extreme than murder owls?”Madigan Purdy is stuck in her home town library.
When tens of thousands of owls descend on the building, rending and tearing at anyone foolish enough to step outside, Mad is tasked with keeping her students safe, and distracted, while they seek a solution to their dilemma.
Perhaps they’ll find the inspiration they seek in her favorite childhood book, The Silent Queen.…With food and fresh water in low supply, the denizens of the library will have to find a way out, and soon, but the owls don’t seem to be in a hurry to leave…The Parliament is a story of grief and missed opportunities, but also of courage and hope.
And of extremely sharp beaks.
Projections by S. E. Porter (February 2024)
S.E. Porter, critically-acclaimed YA author of Vassa in the Night, bursts onto the adult fantasy scene with her adult novel that is sure to appeal to fans of Jeff Vandemeer and China MievilleLove may last a lifetime, but in this dark historical fantasy, the bitterness of rejection endures for centuries.
As a young woman seeks vengeance on the obsessed sorcerer who murdered her because he could not have her, her murderer sends projections of himself out into the world to seek out and seduce women who will return the love she denied — or suffer mortal consequence. A lush, gothic journey across worlds full of strange characters and even stranger magic.
Sarah Porter’s adult debut explores misogyny and the soul-corrupting power of unrequited love through an enchanted lens of violence and revenge.
The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers (January 2024)
A young woman descends into a seductive magical underworld of power-hungry scholars, fickle gods and monsters bent on revenge to break her family’s curse in this spellbinding contemporary fantasy debut.
For centuries, generations of Everlys have seen their brightest and best disappear, taken as punishment for a crime no one remembers, for a purpose no one understands. Their tormentor, a woman named Penelope, never ages, never grows sick – and never forgives a debt.
Violet Everly was just a child when her mother Marianne vanished on a stormy night, determined to break the curse. And when Penelope cannot find her, she issues an ultimatum: Violet has ten years to find Marianne, or she will take her place. Violet is the last of the Everly line, the last to suffer from the curse. Unless she can break it first.
To do so, she must descend into a seductive magical underworld of power-hungry scholars, fickle gods and monsters bent on revenge. She must also contend with Penelope’s quiet assistant, Aleksander, who she knows cannot be trusted – and yet whose knowledge of a world beyond her own is too valuable to avoid.
Tied to a very literal deadline, Violet will travel the edges of the world to find Marianne and the key to the city of stardust, where the Everly story began.
Twice Lived by Joma West (February 2024)
***Two Worlds. Two Minds. One Life.
- There are two Earths. Perfectly ordinary and existing in parallel. There are no doorways between them, no way to cross from one world to another. Unless you’re a shifter.
Canna and Lily are the same person but they refuse to admit it. Their split psyche has forced them to shift randomly between worlds – between lives and between families – for far longer than they should. But one mind can’t bear this much life. It’ll break under the weight of it all. Soon they’ll experience their final shift and settle at last in one world, but how can they prepare both families for the eventuality of them disappearing forever?
Twice Lived is a novel about family and friendships, and about loss and acceptance, and about the ways we learn to deal with the sheer randomness of life.