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.

Brand-New Shades of Fear Charity Anthology Hits Kindle Top 100

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Shades of Fear, Kindle bestseller, Amazon bestseller, bestselling anthologies, bestselling short stories, bestselling thrillers, bestselling suspense, D.L. Scott, Tom Deady, Dara RochlinHi guys! I have a story in a new anthology out today called Shades of Fear, the proceeds of which all go to pediatric cancer research and patient care. It just hit the top 100 bestselling Kindle anthologies on Amazon, and I would love to see this keep going. If you’re interested in this anthology, full of stories from thrillers to magical realism all about facing down fears, pick it up today to help us push it up the bestseller lists and make it more visible. We would love to help these kids face their challenges with as much support as possible. Thanks! Click on the photo or here to purchase a Kindle copy.

Announcing The Modern Story Project by Laura K. Cowan

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fairytale illustration, monograph illustration, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, short stories, imaginative fiction

The new publishing industry is a crazy place full of rapid changes, but it offers indie authors such as myself a huge benefit: we can now control our careers and the speed at which we publish. In the last year and a half since finishing my first novel, which took me four years to write, I have written SIX novels and short story collections. And you got it: I’m publishing them all this year, because I’m no one-trick pony. I’ve got dozens more imaginative books to write for you in the years to come: magical realism, speculative fiction, supernatural mysteries, fantasy–all centered around the crazy dreams and imaginative elements you’ll find in all of my books. To celebrate and take advantage of the flexibility of this new industry, I’m launching The Modern Story Project, in which I will regularly publish short stories I’m working on here on the blog. Maybe you’ll even see some stories from my writer friends occasionally, or compilations of unique stories that have been made possible by this wide-open marketplace in which authors are no longer told what to write.

You see, if I were traditionally published, they would say these stories were no good to them after being published on a blog. They would say I had to save up my stories for two years at a time before releasing each new book, in order to avoid cannibalizing sales. But that’s not how readers consume content anymore. (Anyone binge-watched a Netflix series recently?) And it’s not how I’m going to work. So sign up for email updates here or like my Facebook page to get updates, because these stories will be posted whenever I’ve got something to share. Because you shouldn’t have to wait even months to see new stories you want to read and I want to publish. I’ll still collect them with extra content in new collections, but you’ll see the stories unfold here first, in real-time. Maybe you can help me write a few, like I’ve started doing on Pinterest. It’ll be a fun year. :)

If you have suggestions for The Modern Story Project, hit me up. This is all about flexibility, and we can do whatever we want this time around. Digital disruption ftw!

Triple Book Cover Reveal!

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I only just revealed the cover to my upcoming second novel Music of Sacred Lakes, but things have been moving quickly here, and I am excited to show you my next THREE book covers today, all to be released over the next year. This is the year I’ve been waiting for and working so hard toward (and having fun, finally!): in the next few months I will have modern fairytales, imaginative fantasy fiction, and a psychological thriller with supernatural elements (and a romance) to offer you. Maybe even two more books including a psychological murder mystery (you know I’ll fit some crazy nightmares and supernatural psychological elements in there too) and a more YA fantasy novel about a whole town whose dreams bleed into waking reality. For now, here are the next three books, and I’ll be back soon. These blog tours and releases will go quickly, so I can get back to writing more stories. Stay tuned!

The Thin Places, supernatural fiction, mythic fiction, new fairytales, Laura K. Cowan, speculative fiction, short storiesThe Thin Places: Supernatural Tales of the Unseen [Coming June 2014]

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.

Lone Cypress, psychological thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, supernatural romance, supernatural fiction, speculative fiction, Laura K. Cowan, ballerina, Half Moon BayLone Cypress [Coming October 2014]

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 and changed their name so she could pursue the dream. But after Shana was kicked out of school for experimenting with new dance forms that could wreck her ballet-trained body, 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.

Permanence and Choice, supernatural fiction, mythic fiction, new fairytales, animal fable, literary fantasy, Italo Calvino, Charles de Lint, Ursula K. Le Guin, Laura K. Cowan, fantasy fictionPermanence & Choice: 3 Dimension-Shifting Novelettes [Coming November 2014]

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.

Pre-Release Ebooks and Signed Paperbacks for Music of Sacred Lakes!

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Music of Sacred Lakes Book CoverMusic of Sacred Lakes will be available on April 26th, but if you would like to support my effort to get not just this literary supernatural novel but another 2-5 books out this year as well, or you just would dig a pre-release e-book or signed paperback with your name in the acknowledgments, click the book cover above to support my mini Kickstarter project to fund the cover art and fees associated with getting this book into the world. I will be posting separate Kickstarters for each books so everyone can support the books they’re interested in. Thanks again for all your encouragement and support! This is going to be an amazing year.

Blessings,

Laura

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