Blog Tour, Day 2: The Origins of Music of Sacred Lakes + A Giveaway

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Music of Sacred Lakes Book Cover

Boy is descended from a long line of unhappy farmers, boy becomes desperate, boy accidentally kills girl, boy seeks redemption. Redemption comes from the most unexpected place: the voice of Lake Michigan in the form of the spirit of the girl he killed. Who wha? Where does a plot like that come from? That story, Music of Sacred Lakes, flowed out of my hands in three short weeks last year, but it was actually the result of one whole year of research into the connections between the natural and spiritual worlds. Come along with me (if you’ve had your coffee) on the journey I took in creating Music of Sacred Lakes. It began with a question. You like metaphysics? Good. Me, too. :)

What is the relationship between music and the land it comes from?

That was where it all began, thinking about the unique music of ancient England and America and Egypt and how that music seemed to reflect that land it came from. I wanted to know if there could be some relationship, beyond the fact that most traditional instruments are made from local materials, that connected the immensely varied traditions of music from around the world with the places where that music originated, because the music of each culture did seem to mirror the mood or energy of each place it came from.

Pretty soon, the scope was getting bigger. Cultures reflected their natural environments as well. Why? Could I break it down? Was there a metaphysical relationship to music and culture and the places they originated? Was there such a thing as the spirit of a place? Could this be understood in physical or scientific terms as well as mythic or religious ones?

Uh oh, it began to look like it, and it wasn’t a simple matter. Land, natural forces that shaped it, natural energies of the earth and sky in particular places, even the energy of past events that somehow seemed to imprint themselves on particular locales were all playing into this question. So it became broader. What is the relationship between sound (music) and matter (place)?

This took me to physics. We all know that sound is a wave. But Super-string Theory says that matter also operates as a wave at its base level, as if matter itself were vibrating like notes on a scale more than as distinct types of matter. And M Field Theory says that all these strings are connected across space-time so that everything is connected to everything else, which would explain a lot. Hmm. So we were getting to the woowoo categories of science where it veers dangerously close to metaphysics, mysticism, and spirituality. Actually, that’s perfect for me. We dig deeper.

I began to read what mystical traditions of various religions had to say about music, energy, and the spirit of place. Much to my surprise, not only did my awesome librarians find results to my bizarre questions, but there were many many results. This was not a thing I was inventing out of thin air. I was stumbling on a long tradition of mystical understanding of the nature of matter and the workings of the universe. Bingo!

In the end, what I discovered was actually very simple: connectedness. I will go into this in more detail in interviews throughout this blog tour, because it’s a lot to unpack in one post, but at the bottom of all this was a discovery that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and that this has vast implications for the way we live, understand ourselves and the world, and the way we feel while we are alive. My unhappy sixth-generation farmer and accidental murderer could find his answers. And they came to him through nature itself, and the spirit of the land and the girl he killed. I hope you like the story. It was one heck of a ride to write it, and I hope it’s quite the ride to read it as well.

Giveaway!

Win a signed paperback copy of Music of Sacred Lakes this week on LauraKCowan.com!

1st Mandatory Entry: We’re gonna kick it old school. Just leave a comment on this blog post to enter, telling me about your experience with or thoughts/feelings on this subject of connectedness or rejection. Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Extra Entries: After you have completed the first mandatory entry above, you are eligible for extra entries. For each extra entry, share this post on social media or in groups you are a part of you think would love this topic/giveaway, and leave a comment (1 comment per share) on this blog post with a link to your share. (Limit 10) e.g. Goodreads groups, Pinterest boards, Twitter, your Facebook page.

Bonus Entries: Visit any post on another blog in the blog tour below and leave a comment on the post. Then leave a comment on this post with a link to your comment or telling me what you said. Let’s give these great authors and bloggers some bloggy love for supporting Music of Sacred Lakes this week! (Limit 1 comment per blog post = Total 5)

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents over the age of 18. The author will do her best to ship the prize to the winner but cannot be held liable for lost or damaged packages.

Blog Tour Schedule

April 15, 2014: Author Martin Tracey | A Meditation on Rejection: An Interview

April 16, 2014: Signed Paperback Giveaway and The Origins Story for Music of Sacred Lakes on LauraKCowan.com

April 17, 2014: Hook of a Book w/ Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi | Book Review and Interview

April 18, 2014: Paws 4 Thought w/ Debbie Manber Kupfer | Dimension-Shifting Mice, Redemptive Ghosts, Werecats and Nazis (A Guest Post and Interview)

April 19, 2014: To Breathe Is To Write w/ Author Jackie Phillips | Book Review and Interview

April 20, 2014: Announcement of Signed Paperback Giveaway Winner on LauraKCowan.com

April 21, 2014: Author Chasity Nicole | Book Review

April 22, 2014: Write In The Moment w/ Author Diane S. Loftis | Book Excerpt and Short Interview

April 23, 2014: Words From The Heart w/ Reverend Linda Neas | Book Review

April 24, 2014: Malcolm’s Roundtable w/ Malcolm R. Campbell | Connectedness, a Guest Post

April 25, 2014: Book Doctor Dara Rochlin | Fear & Spirit, a Guest Post

April 26, 2014: LAUNCH DAY! Winner of the Goodreads Signed Paperback Music of Sacred Lakes Giveaway TBA on LauraKCowan.com, + A Creative Mind w/ Diane Riggins | Book Review

Welcome To The Music of Sacred Lakes Blog Tour!

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Music of Sacred Lakes Book CoverWelcome to the beginning of the Music of Sacred Lakes blog tour, running today through launch day for the book, April 26! I’m so excited to bring you this redemptive ghost story, about grace and connection, as it has now been a long time coming. Join me every day of this tour for a unique new angle on this book, the story behind it, and some cool events with some of my awesome author and blogger friends. Here’s the schedule, and don’t forget, I’ve got a Goodreads giveaway going this whole blog tour for a signed paperback copy of Music of Sacred Lakes, as well as a giveaway that will be running on this blog starting tomorrow and running for a few days. Stay tuned, and thanks for checking everything out!

Today’s post is from author Martin Tracey, an interview in which we discuss themes from Music of Sacred Lakes, particularly rejection and its impacts on a family’s generational legacy. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Tour Schedule

April 15, 2014: Author Martin Tracey | A Meditation on Rejection: An Interview

April 16, 2014: Signed Paperback Giveaway and The Origins Story for Music of Sacred Lakes on LauraKCowan.com

April 17, 2014: Hook of a Book w/ Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi | Book Review and Interview

April 18, 2014: Paws 4 Thought w/ Debbie Manber Kupfer | Dimension-Shifting Mice, Redemptive Ghosts, Werecats and Nazis (A Guest Post and Interview)

April 19, 2014: To Breathe Is To Write w/ Author Jackie Phillips | Book Review and Interview

April 20, 2014: Announcement of Signed Paperback Giveaway Winner on LauraKCowan.com

April 21, 2014: Author Chasity Nicole | Book Review

April 22, 2014: Write In The Moment w/ Author Diane S. Loftis | Book Excerpt and Short Interview

April 23, 2014: Words From The Heart w/ Reverend Linda Neas | Book Review

April 24, 2014: Malcolm’s Roundtable w/ Malcolm R. Campbell | Connectedness, a Guest Post)

April 25, 2014: Book Doctor Dara Rochlin | Fear & Spirit, a Guest Post

April 26, 2014: LAUNCH DAY! Winner of the Goodreads Signed Paperback Music of Sacred Lakes Giveaway TBA on LauraKCowan.com, + A Creative Mind w/ Diane Riggins | Book Review

Music of Sacred Lakes, book signing, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, ghost stories, new fiction, literary supernatural novel, metaphysical fiction, magical realism, Michigan fiction, Mackinac Island Fudge, fudgies, Petoskey, Charlevoix, East Jordan, Ojibwe, OdawaFor you locals to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, area, I will also be signing books at my local Whitmore Lake library on launch day. Come say hi and we’ll have a good time. :) My librarians know how to party. For more info on the book signing call (734)449-0066. The signing will be held from 12-2 at the Northfield Township Area Library at 125 Barker. Rd. in Whitmore Lake, MI 48189. We’ll have a reading, signed paperbacks for sale, and Mackinac Island Fudge samples as featured in the book from Martha’s Fudge.

 

Er, Another Triple Book Cover Reveal

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Sooo I don’t want to get in the way of my own blog tour, but I’ve just updated my Novels page of this blog with three more books coming down the pike next year. Here are the covers and blurbs. What do you think? And now back to your regularly scheduled programming. :)

Suffering and Rest, It's Good To Be On Earth, Visions in Love and Rest, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, spiritual fiction, shamanic storytelling, metaphysical fiction, fantasySuffering & Rest [Spiritual + Fantasy + Magical Realism]

A man who has lost his family and his reason for living visits a shaman as his last hope to discover the purpose of life. Instead of offering him answers or platitudes, the shaman begins to tell him strange stories, of ghosts who play drinking games, the suffering of grass, and the ways that many beings discover a reason to move forward despite breathtaking loss. It’s Good To Be On Earth is a tender story that sits down in the middle of suffering and offers no more than understanding and compassion, and no less than a dry humor, ambitious hope and a glimpse at many lives that were more than what they seemed. Told in a layered shamanic storytelling style, It’s Good To Be On Earth is a unique story of one man’s search for a shred of hope.

Shane wakes up in a Spanish villa, and the gardener tells her she is in a room of heaven. She is more inclined to believe she has been the victim of a stalking and kidnapping. She can only remember snippets of her life, and the gardener is taking his time in telling her why. But when she dreams her way through an ocean and wakes up drowning in the fountain, and the flowers dust off a place for her to sit down–when the gardener reveals an inexplicable collection of her fondest childhood possessions, which her mother threw away–Shane knows she needs to find answers. The answers she looks for, in the rooms of the great house and down the paths of the garden, are the ones every wandering, wounded heart is not sure it can find, in Visions In Love & Rest.

Suffering & Rest is a collection of two novelettes that explore the depths and heights of loss and healing, in the tender, imaginative style Dreaming Novelist Laura K. Cowan has become known for. You will find no cheap answers here. Only stories of people so wounded by their lives that the only answer can be death or something so soaringly optimistic that it heals the heart.

Trees, books, fiction, fantasy, magical realism, Laura K. Cowan, dreams, short stories, spiritual fictionTrees [Fantasy + Magical Realism]

What does a tree dream? What does it become when it really lets itself go? Trees, a new collection of fantasy stories from fantasy and magical realism author Laura K. Cowan, explores the possibilities of where these beings go and what they do when they move. Because trees are surely not held down by their roots but rather their consciousness, like us all. What can a tree accomplish when it cloud jumps at night or soars with the birds, or sits up thinking of solutions for the world’s problems? And when a tree is content to sit in one place, could it be a portal not only for parallel universes down through the roots but for the sky planes up through its leaves? But if every tree of a different species and size has its own personality that changes as it grows, what if it took you to a different place every time you used it to travel? Could you find your way home, traveling with the Trees?

Sweets, fantasy, fairy tales, magical realism, Alice Hoffman, The Sugar Queen, Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Joan Aiken, The Last Slice of Rainbow, Laura K. Cowan, new fiction, new booksSweets [Fairy Tales + Magical Realism]

Come into the kitchen and watch fairies bake a triple decker death cake for sweet revenge, valentine cupcakes that are poured for the right reasons become extra yummy (and effective), and gritty frosting purposely send a manic grandmother over the edge. Sweets, a collection of fantasy stories that dive into every kind of gooey confection, is one part modern fairy tale, one part magical realism, and all parts irresistible. Pixies offer something better than powdered sugar for the top of a sticky lemon bar. A girl dreams she eats her own home made of meringue and wakes up to a terrible surprise followed by a home-baked happy ending. An evil stepmother offers her daughter a poisoned cashew cluster only to find she can taste her murderous intentions. Add one teaspoon of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender), a dash of The Last Slice of Rainbow (Joan Aiken), and some zest of The Sugar Queen (Alice Hoffman), plus one hefty helping of the inimitable imagination of Laura K. Cowan, and you’ve got Sweets.

Goodreads Giveaway: Music of Sacred Lakes, A Redemptive Ghost Story

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Music of Sacred Lakes Book CoverStarting today you can win a signed paperback copy of my upcoming literary supernatural novel Music of Sacred Lakes on Goodreads! You’ll have another chance to win a copy of the book here on the blog once the book tour starts in a week, but this is your first opportunity to win leading up to launch day.

Enter to win on Goodreads.

Good luck!

Announcing The Music of Sacred Lakes Blog Tour & Book Signing

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Music of Sacred Lakes Book CoverThis day has been a long time coming now. I finally can announce the blog tour for my upcoming novel, Music of Sacred Lakes, a redemptive ghost story about a young man in crisis helped back to a discovery of his place of belonging in the world by the spirit of the girl he accidentally killed. I will be signing books locally in Ann Arbor, MI, but you can check out the various interviews, backstory on the novel, and giveaways through the following blogs and websites from April 15 to launch day, April 26. Every day will have an interview or guest post with different content. Collect them all! :)

magical realism, laura k cowan

Plus, I’ve got two signed paperback giveaways running during the tour, one starting in just a few days on April 5th on Goodreads that runs through launch day, and another on this blog from April 16-20. I’ll see you all in a few days, and at the end of the tour, check back for more details on the rapid launch of half a dozen books I’ve got coming out this year, about one every month. This is going to be a big year for finally launching these books I’ve been working so hard to get to you. I hope you enjoy them. Everything from literary ghost stories to new fairy tales and mythic fiction to magical realism and psychological thrillers–all centered around the connections between the spiritual and natural worlds, dreams, and the imagination. I can’t wait, and I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

April 15, 2014: Author Martin Tracey | A Meditation on Rejection: An Interview

April 16, 2014: Signed Paperback Giveaway and The Origins Story for Music of Sacred Lakes on LauraKCowan.com

April 17, 2014: Hook of a Book w/ Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi | Book Review and Interview

April 18, 2014: Paws 4 Thought w/ Debbie Manber Kupfer | Dimension-Shifting Mice, Redemptive Ghosts, Werecats and Nazis (A Guest Post and Interview)

April 19, 2014: To Breathe Is To Write w/ Author Jackie Phillips | Book Review and Interview

April 20, 2014: Announcement of Signed Paperback Giveaway Winner on LauraKCowan.com

April 21, 2014: Author Chasity Nicole | Book Review

April 22, 2014: Write In The Moment w/ Author Diane S. Loftis | Book Excerpt and Short Interview

April 23, 2014: Words From The Heart w/ Reverend Linda Neas | Book Review

April 24, 2014: Malcolm’s Roundtable w/ Malcolm R. Campbell | Connectedness, a Guest Post

April 25, 2014: Book Doctor Dara Rochlin | Fear & Spirit, a Guest Post

April 26, 2014: LAUNCH DAY! Winner of the Goodreads Signed Paperback Music of Sacred Lakes Giveaway TBA on LauraKCowan.com, + A Creative Mind w/ Diane Riggins | Book Review

Music of Sacred Lakes, book signing, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, ghost stories, new fiction, literary supernatural novel, metaphysical fiction, magical realism, Michigan fiction, Mackinac Island Fudge, fudgies, Petoskey, Charlevoix, East Jordan, Ojibwe, Odawa

 

If you’re local, you will find me signing copies at my local library in Whitmore Lake on the 26th too. Come say hi and have some fun! My librarians rock, and we’ll have a reading, signed paperbacks for sale, and samples of the Mackinac Island Fudge featured in the book. I hope to see you there!

WHEN: April 26th, 12-2 pm

INFO: (734)449-0066

WHERE: The Northfield Township Area Library is located at 125 Barker Rd. Whitmore Lake, MI 48189, just off US-23 several exits north of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Modern Story Project with Laura K. Cowan: Maple Dreams

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Icy Tree

“Maple Dreams”: A Short Story

From Laura K. Cowan’s Upcoming Collection Waking Dreams

What do you think a maple tree dream tastes like? A maple syrup running up and down through the vision? A flight of fancy, far from the deep soaked roots of soft living wood?
Does the dream of a maple tree run slow and thick, or is that only my impression because of the maple syrup I have tasted, like sampling the thoughts of another living being, after it has been distilled into speech? No, I think the dream of a maple tree runs fast like a brook in sunshine, stopping here in this nodule of consciousness, dashing over here to the tips of the leaves, all five, pointed in colors like a fall rainbow.
The maple tree I decided to sample sat on the edge of a ravine, pleasant, content, healthy and strong. A good contender for my experiment. I simply hooked in my nodes and sat down next to the tree, sure this would a short and profitable exercise.
I suppose I didn’t know much about trees. Nothing at all, really. I was such a fool.
The tree began its experiment by folding its arms around me. I didn’t cry out, though I probably should have. It stifled me in its woody hug, branches all over my face. Like a woven hammock of wood it enveloped me. I sat there, watching, waiting. I could still see the trees all around. The birds flew off to a safe distance for a few minutes, but then they were back.
I suppose it was their instinct—however fleeting—that told me I could relax as well.
And that was when the maple tree plugged into me, and showed me its dream.
The dream was of filtered sunlight, dappling down through glowing leaves to a dark, damp, soft forest floor. A path, humans—I hadn’t thought trees would like humans much, but this one did. Maybe this was a hug? The humans walked softly past, in moccasined feet. Ah, not my kind of humans. My kind cut these trees down, assuming they would pop back up like lollipops on a game board. Or not. Some were simply that greedy that they would see this tree as a resource. Not me. I was a scientist, I said, and the wackiest kind, so that had to be good, right?
Not so, said the tree. Relax, said the tree. I had to scratch an itch. It was driving me wild. The tree actually scratched it for me. I swear.
So what next? The tree moved on to meadows with soft wildflowers, which gave the earth a sweet flavor. We followed the rainclouds over the meadow, and the rain fell down and brushed the sweetness from the earth, pressing it down into the soil. The roots extended and swelled, the soil pressed this way and that by various living things. I think I began to scream when I saw the life under the ground. And me, a scientist. But I tell you, it was all so alive. All so present and all around me, up, down, I couldn’t get away. It was as though the tree held my eyes open wide and forced me to watch this movie of unceasing movement. I was aghast.
Then, the tree took a deep drink of water, sending the sap rushing up its trunk to all its boughs, and it began to grow seed pods, those lovely little helicopter things that twirl down in the fall. And we were twirling with them, and the leaves were falling, and the tree fell so deeply asleep that I felt myself overcome with depression. The sleep of winter. The darkness. I fell down against the tree, and it rolled me up like a rug against it, hushed me against its breast. I wept.
Suddenly the sun struck me in the eyes over the horizon, a hundred storms swept over me, frozen winds, tumbling rain, and the grass was pushing up beneath me. Spring was here, and with it the cacophony of life.
“Let me go,” I groaned. “I thought it was a simple thing to be a tree. I came here to find peace. This is not peace. This is anarchy.”
The tree unfurled abruptly, so that I rolled down the hill. And as I sat there dazed and nursing my bruised head, I swear it winked at me. With what I do not know, but I know that on that day I quit being a scientist and became a raving lunatic, the man of faith. The trees were capable not of simple lives rooted in one spot. They were capable of more than I was, of standing firm and flexible both while tossed a million ways by all of life.
Was I not capable of the same? Was I not a flexible and strong man?
The true answer was no. I had judged a tree, and its dream had set me free of this illusion I had lived under, which had brought me so much false comfort as I dissected and categorized the world.
I was a tree, the simple one who could not move among all these strange things. Struck dumb by the movement of life. The tree was doing just fine, even though my ancestors had struck it down. I went back to my home and burned my papers, then wept over the idiocy of using paper at all, then destroying it after destroying the trees. I stared, glassy-eyed, out at the forest across from my house where the tree lived, quiet, unassuming, smarter than me.
I don’t know when it was that I began to plant a garden, but it happened quickly, I’m fairly sure. It was like a dream, like being surrounded by plant dreams as I pushed this plant in here, and that one by the foundation of my house. Soon, the place was surrounded. Every day I cam home with a new specimen. Every day they grew a little taller. They seemed to like me, or if like was too strong a word, remembering my origins, they reached for me, at least. I can say that with confidence.
There is not much I can say with confidence anymore. They let me eat them a little at a time to sustain myself, but they won’t let me leave anymore. I am bound on all sides by an arbor of living consciousness, an arbor of dreams. And I am happy here, in my new horrified kind of way. Perhaps I will become one of them and in that way escape this prison I created for myself. I wish I had not asked. The tree’s knowledge was too much for me.
I am a scientist no longer. Now I am a tree in a forest, waiting to be chopped down.

Book Review: The Life and Remembrances of Martha Toole By Jason Derr

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Martha Toole, Jason Derr, speculative fiction, ghost story, literary fiction, supernatural fiction, book reviewI just finished reading a literary ghost story, The Life and Remembrances of Martha Toole, by a friend of mine, Jason Derr, and you guys let’s make this simple. Go buy it. It’s $1.99 on Kindle and completely addictively awesome.

An ancient matriarch comes to stay at her family’s home and is in the process of making them miserable when the son of the family discovers that the woman’s younger self has somehow followed them home after a visit to the old family homestead. Which of the Martha Tooles is real, and which is the ghost? And what kind of trouble is this guy getting himself into? Oh dear. Written in a deliciously sophisticated literary style and yet completely addictively packed with fascinating story, The Life and Remembrances of Martha Toole is one of my new favorite novellas. $1.99, guys. If you like my literary supernatural stuff, you’re going to love this. Go buy it. It officially launches this Friday, but you can pick up a copy now on Amazon.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this blog post. This review is my opinion only, and I have no business affiliation with Jason Derr and receive no profits for the sale of this book.

Read The Scent of Yellow Flowers for FREE on Wattpad

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Permanence & Choice, The Scent of Yellow Flowers, The Day The Cows Came Home, Twilight in the Firmament, fantasy, novelette, magical realism, paranormal, fiction, ya paranormalFREE ALERT! I’ve got my first fantasy novelette trio coming out in June, and I just put the first story, called The Scent of Yellow Flowers, up on Wattpad so you can check it out for free. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think. It certainly has a few surprises in it:

Read The Scent of Yellow Flowers, a fantasy novelette by Laura K. Cowan

Welcome to The Transformations Taproom: Serving Up The Surreal and The Sublime

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Sahib, Victorian sci-fi, Victorian fantasy, steampunk, literature, fantasyI’m happy to announce that I’ve finally created a space for readers and writers of fantasy, magical realism, fairy tales, mythic fiction, high-concept sci-fi, surrealism and related genres to hang out and geek out on their favorite topics. It’s a Facebook group called The Transformations Taproom, and you’re very welcome to join us! I’ll still be here and on my own Facebook pages as well, but wanted to create a place for people to relax and enjoy these genres and find new reads. Hope to see you around the bar!

“Welcome to the Transformations Taproom, a virtual bar so surreal no one is ever sure they’re really there. Grab a drink, kick back, and enjoy the reading. Keep an eye on the lounge wizard, though. He’s likely to stick you with an extra limb if you turn your back.

“The Transformations Taproom, a place to share your love of fantasy, magical realism, high-concept sci-fi, mythic fiction, fairy tales, surrealism and other related genres. Find new authors, say hi to our admins The Three Fates (known in sketchier circles as authors Laura K. Cowan, Carina Bissett, and Erika Harlitz-Kern), meet other readers and writers of these magical genres, and generally have a smashing good extra-limbed time. But play nice. We know extra-nasty spells.”

Check out The Transformations Taproom.

Another Triple Book Cover Reveal!

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Things have been a little nuts over here lately, and I am happy to announce that not only will I be able to release my second, third, and fourth books between April and June–even faster than I originally planned–but that I also have three new books in the works that I can now reveal the covers for! Hope you like them, and thanks for your patience. All of these books will be available soon, and then I should hit my stride a bit more here, with a steady stream of new fantasy fiction coming your way every few months. Eep! What a pace to keep up, but it seems to be easier than slowing down. Here they are. What do you think?

Face the Falling, fantasy, book cover, new fiction, fantasy fiction, young adult fantasy, Laura K. CowanFace The Falling

When the military shuts off people’s dreams so that they can forget the great war, their dreams begin to bleed into the waking world. The houses uproot themselves to dance with the trees. Nightmare creatures roam the streets. Reality itself begins to bend and flatten like the page from a book. Sam and Rosa Roseimer discover the possibility that it was their father who initiated this strange experiment on them and on their town, and set out to put the nightmares back where they belong. But a book appears, into which the phantom Nightshades pull those people who can’t face their darkest dreams. Even after they banish the nightmares to the dreamtime, Sam and Rosa still must find a way to rescue their friends and family from the book, a strange and fantastic world in which people’s nightmares balloon into a new reality of war and despair. Rosa finds a way in and attempts a rescue. But can she find the doorway to get out before the world she is unraveling rolls up behind her? Is there any way to banish the book itself before more people become nothing more than words on paper trapped in their own worst fears?

Elementals, fantasy, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, contemporary fantasy, mythic fictionElementals

An old gnarled oak begins to sprout gargoyles from its dead branches, and they become a special kind of trouble for a town that is already overrun by forests. The air over a waterfall shifts and comes alive as multiple sentient beings, who drag reality this way and that. Fire takes on a personality all its own. Nature comes alive in Elementals, a collection of stories about the magic of the natural world. A companion volume to author Laura K. Cowan’s speculative fantastic novelette trio Permanence & Choice, Elementals brings the magic from the night sky down solidly to earth. A world of fantasy where everything is alive, not unlike a composite form of Charles de Lint’s Memory and Dream in which even art is sentient, Elementals brings new magic to the word “nature.”

Waking Dreams, fantasy, fantasy fiction, American Fabulist, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, contemporary fantasyWaking Dreams

Dreaming Novelist Laura K. Cowan is back with another short story collection of reality beyond belief. Waking dreams, lucid dreams, snow dreams prescribed for hot middle-aged women–this new collection of fantasy stories about all the ways we dream and all the ways we might takes the reader on a flight through the dreams of people, animals, even trees. Want to know what dreams dream? What happens not just in parallel universes but in parallel dream worlds? You’ll just have to read this lovely little book and hold on, hoping that you’re not dreaming yourself right now, because it would be a pity to forget any bit of these lyrical and strange stories.

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