Novels & Current Projects
Laura K. Cowan, The Dreaming Novelist, writes imaginative stories that explore the connections between the spiritual and natural worlds. Reviewers called her first novel, a speculative supernatural coming of age story titled The Little Seer, “riveting from the beginning to the end” and said, “If you feel that you are not loved, read this book.”
Laura’s second novel, Music of Sacred Lakes, was released to rave reviews and topped the Kindle bestseller lists for free titles during its launch promotion, including #42 on all of Kindle, with 9,000 copies downloaded in just five days. Her speculative supernatural short story collection, The Thin Places: Supernatural Tales of the Unseen also received high praise and was followed closely by four more well-received novelette collections and novels. Please sign up for email updates or join Laura on Facebook or Twitter (@laurakcowan) to keep up with updates on when these and other new novels will be published.
The Little Seer [Available in Paperback, E-Book, and E-Book Novella Trilogy: Exodus, Desert, & Midnight]
A young girl wakes from a dream that a tornado destroyed her church and her pastor ordered crows to peck out her eyes, only to discover deep cuts on her arms where she was attacked. Soon her dreams begin unfolding in her waking reality, her church and family begin to fall apart, and the only anchor of her sanity is a strange man who keeps appearing in her ever stranger dreams. What is happening to Aria? How is it that her dreams can tell the future? And why is her identity key in a spiritual battle raging over her church and town that could decide not only her fate and that of her friends, but that of the whole country or even the world?
A story for the dreamers and the truth tellers, The Little Seernever averts its gaze from the tragedies and possibilities of modern American Christian spirituality, and provides a vision for the hope of another great spiritual awakening that could be just around the corner–if we have eyes to see.
Peter Sanskevicz doesn’t belong anywhere. He doesn’t want the sixth-generation family farm his great great-grandfather unwittingly stole from its Odawa owners, and can’t continue his jobs serving “fudgies,” tourists in Northern Michigan who seem more at home than he is. He can’t seem to take charge of things or do anything but make a mess. Then, Peter accidentally kills a girl.
Seeing his life is at risk, his friend takes him to his uncle, a pipe carrier of the Odawa tribe, who tells him he must live by the shores of Lake Michigan until the lake speaks to him.
Peter lives and loves and rages by the shores of the great lake, haunted by its rich beauty, by strange images and sounds that begin to pursue him through his waking and sleeping hours, and by the spirit of the dead girl, who seems to be trying to help him.
One day, he finally finds an inner silence. And then, he hears what the lake has to say to him. A story about reconnecting with the source of your life and your joy, Music of Sacred Lakesgives voice to the spirit of the land and lakes that gave birth to us all.
Dreaming Novelist Laura K. Cowan cements her reputation as one of the most imaginative new American Fabulists, a writer of spiritually-oriented magical realism, literary fantasy, and visionary fiction in the line of Alice Hoffman, Ursula K. Le Guin, or Paulo Coelho, but characterized by an electric mix of lyrical language, an evocative sense of place, and quick-moving narrative that harkens back to a time when literary fiction was served up raw and ghost stories weren’t told for their sad and scary parts.
The prayer poems of a bullied girl come to life when read in front of her class as a cruel joke. A young boy asks his mother why she ignores the customers in a mountain town shop, but she sees no one but him. A boy’s faith literally moves mountains, which destroys the life of the Sunday school teacher who doubted him.
Reality doesn’t behave quite as expected in The Thin Places, a collection of short stories that explore the thin places between the physical and spiritual worlds, portals, time juxtapositions, dreams, and other possibilities of the might-be-real.
A young girl chases down clues in a dream maze, shrunk to a tiny size and running for her life from burning dollhouses and flying projectiles at night, while evading the mob’s watchful eye by day. Some most unexpected family friends help her and her mother finally make a break for freedom. Short, sweet, and unbelievably imaginative, The Scent of Yellow Flowers is a story for anyone who has ever been lost and needed to be found.
In the animal fable The Day The Cows Came Home, the farmer’s wife has died, the farmer sells the farm, and the world falls into war. At the abandoned farmhouse, deep in the Finnish wintertime when nothing ever seems to change, the animals are on a quest to understand if time is at an end and they with it–only to discover time itself is not what they assumed.
The Man in the Moon holds on while the grumpy moon tries to shake him off. His friends the stars urge him to jump, but something holds The Man in the Moon in the Twilight in the Firmament. But soon, the universe begins to change, and The Man in the Moon is off on a fabulous adventure to discover the beauty of the existence around him, and how his choices and those of other beings shape space and time.
Permanence & Choiceis a collection of contemplative fantasy stories all about what it is to be lost and found again, and how our own choices shape the world.
What does it mean to be possessed? By a person, by a dream, and by your demons? Shana knows. Shana was a ballerina. At least that was what her mother told her when she moved them to New York so she could pursue the dream. But after Shana was kicked out of school for experimenting with new dance forms and escaped her stage mom only to fall into a dangerous marriage, all she has left is a list of things she thought she was. The only thing still alive in her spirit is the ballet she wanted to choreograph, and suddenly it has taken on a life of its own. Shana runs, from her husband, from her life, and from the terrifying dreams that insist she make a change–until she runs out of time and must face not only her husband’s hired gun but the monster in her mind.
Magical realism, supernatural, psychological, spiritual contemporary fantasy romance. Lone Cypress is all of these things, at once a love story and a story of emotional healing, though it won’t ever let you rest on one conclusion for too long. Just how literal are the events of this story–possession, mental illness, symbolic nightmares, visions, mystical voices and magical objects that guide a young woman to a new love and community–and what is their source? Lone Cypress invites the reader to decide for him or herself how deep the rabbit hole goes, because all events point in the same direction, but just how far you suspend your disbelief will determine where the story ends for you.
A famous pianist disappears, leaving behind a bloody suicide note. Her therapist visits the family under the guise of grief counselor, but his motivations are ambiguous. Soon he finds himself helping investigate the family for not just one murder but two, three, four…. This is a family with secrets, which begin to spill out the edges when a prodigy’s dreams come back to haunt everyone she once loved, who didn’t love her very well in return. But nothing is quite as it seems in this fairytale cozy mystery set in modern L.A. The house begins to torture the family of pretend elites with voices from the past, the golf course is accused of eating the paparazzi, and the rose garden seems to be spitting up children’s bones. What has happened to the family Scoville? No one is helping poor Mr. John Thibodeau find the truth, not even the lovely late Kate Scoville herself, if she even knew which reality was real.
With this, her first mystery novel, Dreaming Novelist Laura K. Cowan is back bringing her unique inter-dimensional, magical realist twist to the classic cozy mystery. In part a bit like Alice Hoffman’s The Red Garden, a touch like a classic Agatha Christie Poirot mystery, but still completely standing on its own, Sonata & Fugue is a rabbit hole sucking you down into a musical world of intrigue, mental illness, and betrayal, all with Laura K. Cowan’s signature imaginative touch. This book will remind you of all your favorite hauntings, and yet you’ve never read a ghost story quite like this.
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.
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?
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.
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 short story collection Waking Dreams, Elementals brings the magic from the sky and psyche 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.”
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?
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.