Thank you to the Mysterious Carp and Bee Society

Posted at Feb 2, 2017 4:48 am

For the past few weeks, whenever I’ve gone to my mailbox, mysterious letters have been arriving for me. They are sent from all over the world, by anonymous members of a “Carp and Bee Society,” sending me encouraging wishes about my books. I’ve taken a picture of the ones I’ve received to date:


Aren’t they wonderful? I’m floored that another person would take the time out of her day to write to me, to draw something beautiful for me, to create calligraphy, to even think of me in this very sweet way. I am incredibly honored and super-grateful.

Many thanks to the Carp and Bee Society. You have given me a much-needed lift, and I can’t ever repay the kindness you’ve shown me. Thank you. It means more than you’ll ever know. 



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Release Day for NINE OF STARS!

Posted at Dec 27, 2016 6:35 pm

Today is the official release day for NINE OF STARS! I’m going to be kicking back in my jammies, enjoying some hot chocolate and sending good thoughts for the latest book bird to fly out of my nest. 


From critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy) comes the first novel in the Wildlands series, NINE OF STARS. Longmire meets Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson in this exciting new series that shows how weird and wonderful the West can truly be.

Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…

As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors – especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.

The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill – a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.

It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.

“Bickle is well on her way to establishing her work as a cornerstone of her genre.”  – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“…Laura Bickle’s latest hits that sweet spot.”    – John DeNardo, Kirkus

“Following the prequels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde, Bickle’s series launch mixes alchemy, folklore, and Native American traditions with a wintry Western landscape that will intrigue fans of the Weird West subgenre.” – Library Journal

“Full marks to Bickle for being unafraid to shake things up on this still relatively new, but consistently engaging series.” – RT Book Reviews (4 Stars) 

“Readers who like no-nonsense characters, the occult, Native American myths, and the modern Wild West will enjoy this. The writing is fun, compelling, and straight from the hip, with no apologies as to language used.” – Booklist

“Bickle’s world and characters are enjoyably complex, sinking the reader happily into this contemporary fantasy landscape.” – Omnivoracious



More deets, including buy links are here

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Posted at Nov 22, 2016 11:53 pm

Edited: The contest is now closed! Winners are Alicia and Colleen – thanks for entering! 🙂


Hey, folks! I have a handful of ARCs of the NINE OF STARS paperback to give away! If you’d like to enter, please enter below. The winners will be announced on Nov. 27. 

NineofStars mm c (003)


From critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle (Dark Alchemy) comes the first novel in the Wildlands series, NINE OF STARS. Longmire meets Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson in this exciting new series that shows how weird and wonderful the West can truly be.

Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there’s more to fear than just the cold…

As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors – especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can’t explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.

The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn’t helping matters. He’s a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill – a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra’s partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he’s all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.

It’s up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.





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Library Journal and RT Book Reviews on NINE OF STARS

Posted at Nov 22, 2016 6:54 pm

I’m thrilled to share two new reviews of my upcoming book, NINE OF STARS:

NineofStars mm c (003)


From Library Journal:


As a geologist, Petra Dee considers herself a woman of science, but she is also the daughter of an alchemist. Living in Temperance, WY, she has dealt with all sorts of magical issues, including her once-immortal partner, Gabe. Now there are rumors in town of an 18th-century wraith known as Skinflint Jack; someone has been killing the wolves in the area, leaving their skins in the snow. New sheriff Owen Rutherford, haunted by a past death on his watch and investigating his cousin’s murder, finds the clues lead to Gabe and Petra’s doorstep. Soon, the couple must flee from Owen and Skinflint Jack and go on the run with the wolves of Nine Stars, which have more than one surprise in store for everyone. VERDICT Following the prequels Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde, Bickle’s series launch mixes alchemy, folklore, and Native American traditions with a wintry Western landscape that will intrigue fans of the Weird West subgenre. —KC


And from RT Book Reviews:

Full marks to Bickle for being unafraid to shake things up on this still relatively new, but consistently engaging series. Our protagonist is as likeable and resourceful as ever, but there are pretty immediate changes in this installment that have major ramifications and probably will for a while. The way the series sticks to a single source of the supernatural (alchemy) while still managing to come up with a wide range of manifestations and applications is very compelling. At some points this particular book does feel like it’s setting up for future entries, rather than just telling its own story, but that’s partly because of how much is going on. When the result is to plant this much interesting material (and really promising new characters) for future use, the slight hitch is worth it. (4 Stars)

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PW Starred Review for NINE OF STARS

Posted at Nov 7, 2016 3:39 pm

I’m delighted to share PW’s review for NINE OF STARS:

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Beth Cato’s BREATH OF EARTH Excerpt

Posted at Aug 23, 2016 6:49 pm

Beth Cato’s BREATH OF EARTH releases today! Deets and an excerpt below…



An Excerpt from Beth Cato’s Breath of Earth

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

This excerpt from chapter 1 offers an introduction to geomancy.

Whimpers and moans welcomed Ingrid to the junior classroom. Nearest to the door, a dozen boys half sprawled over their desks. A blue mist overlay their skin, and beneath that mist were the sure signs of power sickness—skin flushed by high fever, thick sweat, dull eyes. The rest of the class stared, their expressions ranging from curiosity to horror. Some of them still showed signs of very recent recovery in their bloodshot eyes. None of these boys was older than ten; the youngest was a pudgy-faced eight.

“There you are!” The teacher scowled, as if it were Ingrid’s
fault he’d been so inept with his accounting. Biting her lip, she held out the bag. He snatched it from her fingertips.

The chalkboard laid out the terminology of the lesson, one
Ingrid had seen taught dozens of times: hyperthermia, hypothermia, and the quick timeline to a geomancer’s death. These young boys experienced the hard lesson of hyperthermia. The last earthquake noticeable by the wardens had taken place
three days before. These students had been directly exposed to the current and hadn’t been allowed access to any kermanite. As a result, they spent the past few days bed-bound in misery as though gripped by influenza.

Thank God none of them were as sensitive as Ingrid. Another direct tremor would cause their temperatures to spike even more, and could even lead to death.

The teacher adept pressed a piece of kermanite to a boy’s skin. He gasped at the contact. Blue mist eddied over his body, the color evaporating as it was pulled inside the rock.

If she could see the kermanite in the adept’s hand, the clear crystal would be filling with a permanent smoky swirl. It took a trained mechanic to rig an electrical current to tap the trapped magic as a battery. When the energy within was exhausted, a crystal turned dull and dark. Once that happened, kermanite became a useless rock.

The young boy sat up straighter. “Thank you, sir,” he whispered,
voice still ragged. It would take him hours to fully recover.

Ingrid looked away, that familiar anger heavy in her chest.
Wardens and boys in training carried kermanite openly from
watch fobs and cuff links, or most any other accessory where
stones could be easily switched out once they were full.

She had to be far more subtle. Her kermanite chunks clinked together in her dress pocket. She had to take care not to touch them today, or the energy she held would be siphoned away.

Ingrid loved this slight flush of power, because that’s what it was — power. It sizzled just beneath her skin, intoxicated her
with how it prickled at her nerves. Certainly, if she absorbed
any more energy, she’d use the kermanite. She didn’t want to feel sick, though she could hold much more power than these boys, or even the wardens. Mr. Sakaguchi said she took after
Papa — that she stored power like a bank vault, while most
everyone else had the capacity of a private safe.

When it came to her natural skill, Ingrid often regarded herself as a rare fantastic or yokai — not like garden ornamentals like the kappas or naiads sold to the stuffed shirts on Market Street — but like the geomantic Hidden Ones Mr. Sakaguchi so loved to research. She was a creature relegated to idle fancy and obscure mythology, and aggravating shoes.


Barnes & Noble

Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger series from Harper Voyager, which includes her Nebula-nominated novella WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE. Her newest novel is BREATH OF EARTH. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.



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Posted at Aug 9, 2016 9:26 am

Brooke Johnson’s THE GUILD CONSPIRACY releases this week! Deets and an excerpt are below!


pre order press kit author photo TGC cover & blurb



In the face of impossible odds, can one girl stem the tides of war?

It has been six months since clockwork engineer Petra Wade destroyed an automaton designed for battle, narrowly escaping with her life. But her troubles are far from over. Her partner on the project, Emmerich Goss, has been sent away to France, and his father, Julian, is still determined that a war machine will be built. Forced to create a new device, Petra subtly sabotages the design in the hopes of delaying the war, but sabotage like this isn’t just risky: it’s treason. And with a soldier, Braith, assigned to watch her every move, it may not be long before Julian finds out what she’s done.
Now she just has to survive long enough to find another way to stop the war before her sabotage is discovered and she’s sentenced to hang for crimes against the empire. But Julian’s plans go far deeper than she ever realized … war is on the horizon, and it will take everything Petra has to stop it in this fast-paced, thrilling sequel to The Brass Giant.
Release Date: August 9, 2016.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play | HarperCollins




“What do you want?” she spat.


Mr. Goss arched an eyebrow. “You would do well to show a little respect, Miss Wade,” he said, his usual honeyed voice carrying a hint of impatience. He gestured down the hall, away from the council chamber. “A quick word, if you please.”


She didn’t move. “I know what you’re going to say. You’re asking me to start a war.”


“No,” he said, forcibly taking her arm and leading her away from the council chambers. She tried to resist, but his fingers tightened like a vice. “I am asking you to keep your word. We had an agreement.”


He stopped at the end of the hall, far from the council chambers, and glared at her, his grip still tight on her arm. “I grow tired of this game of yours. This war will happen, and it will go far better for you if you cooperate.”


Petra raised her chin. “I will not.”


“You will,” he said, lowering his voice to a whisper. “I have been patient with you, Miss Wade. I have allowed you to study here, to inconvenience the council with your banal proposals and Guild applications. I have even allowed you to continue communications with my son . . . but my generosity is now at an end.”


He released her arm and gathered to his full height. “Understand me, Miss Wade. If your next project is not in line with our agreement, not only will I revoke your studentship and prevent further association with my son, I will repeal the council’s pardon of your crimes and deliver you to the Royal Forces as a traitor and a spy. You will be conscripted into the military as a prisoner of war, forced to build my war machines—or else hang for your crimes.”


She swallowed, her mouth dry. “You can’t.”


“I can, and I will.” Footsteps sounded down the hall, and Julian leaned close. “You will build a war machine for me. By choice or by force, I will have what I want. Make no mistake.”


One of the redcoats from the council meeting rounded the corner and spotted them. “Pardon the interruption, Minister,” he said crisply, “but you are needed back in the council chambers.”


Julian glared at the junior officer. “Very well. Inform them that I will return shortly.”


But the soldier made no motion to leave. “The vice-chancellor is expecting you now, sir.”


“Well, as you can see, I am presently occupied,” he said sharply. “The vice-chancellor can wait. I have important matters to discuss with Miss Wade, and I require a measure of privacy. Now go.”


The soldier hesitated, his gaze lingering a moment on Petra. “Of course, sir,” he said with a stiff bow. Then he strode away.


Julian waited until the officer was well out of earshot before turning back to Petra. “I leave the decision to you, Miss Wade,” he said. “You know the consequences should you refuse my request. However, if you cooperate, I give you my word that I will not question your studentship, I will continue to allow your relations with my son, and I will even offer you my recommendation for Guild placement. Help me, and I will help you. Do you understand?”


Petra glared at him. “Yes, sir,” she hissed.


“Good,” he said, his charismatic smile brightening his face with the same easy handsomeness as his son. “Then I expect your next proposal will be most satisfactory. Good day, Miss Wade.” With that, he turned on his heel and left.


His footsteps faded into silence, and Petra pressed against the wall with a shaky sigh, hands trembling. Damn him! Damn the Guild for giving him such power over her. He could do it. He could take away her freedoms and hand her over to the Royal Forces with a single order. He would, if given the chance.


If she defied him again, he would end her.


Slow footsteps approached, and Petra started, but it was only the Royal Forces officer again.


“Are you all right?” he asked, his voice kinder than she expected.


“I’m fine,” she said automatically.


“Are you sure?” he asked. “The minister seemed angry with you.”


A bitter laugh escaped her throat, Julian’s threats still fresh in her mind.


Forced conscription.


That was her punishment for her disobedience if she defied Julian again. She had delayed and resisted as long as she could, had pushed his patience to the brink, and now her choice was made for her—choose to build his war machine or lose everything she had left.


“For what it’s worth, I thought your project had merit,” he said. “Assuming you could achieve what you proposed.”


“Of course I could,” she snapped. She peered down the hall toward the council chambers. “Not that it matters to them.”


“Why not?”


“Why do you think? They want a war machine. Anything less isn’t worth their time.”


“Then why don’t you build one?”


She glanced sharply at the soldier.


“That’s what they want from you, isn’t it?” he went on. “Why the minister is so angry with you, why the council keeps rejecting your projects. I overheard them talking. You’ve applied to the Guild five times in the last six months, but none of your proposals were for war technology. Why not? If you built what they wanted, they’d accept you into the Guild, wouldn’t they?”




“Then why don’t you?”


“Because becoming a Guild engineer isn’t worth that,” she said. “If I earn my certification, I want it to be on my own terms, not theirs.”


Not that she had a choice. Julian had made that very clear.


“Could you, though?” he asked, a hesitancy to his voice. “If you wanted to? Could you build a war machine?”


She dropped her gaze to the floor, thinking of the automaton she and Emmerich had built together the previous summer, how brilliant it had been when Emmerich powered it up for the first time, all its gears exposed, whirring and ticking with musical synchronicity. It had been a terrible, wonderful thing to behold, a beautiful monstrosity . . . capable of so much destruction.


Yes, she could build a war machine. She already had.


But she never wanted to build another like it, not for the rest of her life.


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The Inevitabity of the Cute

Posted at Aug 2, 2016 9:23 am

The Inevitabity of the Cute

Guest Post by Marcella Burnard


Actors have a saying. Never work with children or animals. Reason being that if there’s an animal or a kind in whatever work you’re doing, no one is looking at you. Or listening to you. Not ever. They’re looking at the cute thing.

I’m a little surprised to find the same is true of novels. When I wrote Damned If He Does, I knew the heroine needed a cat with some attitude. Inspiration wasn’t hard to find. Anyone who knows me or who takes the occasional gander at my social media sites knows that I’m a crazy cat lady. All I had to do was look around. I have an orange tabby, though my orange guy is a short-hair and has no tail (amputated by the Humane Society vet before we got him).



But I needed just a bit more of a sense of entitlement. So I combined Autolycus with his littlest sister, Hatshepsut, and came up with a long-haired, orange tabby with some serious opinions on the people who enter his house. That trait came from a third cat – a Siamese queen from my childhood named Natoa. She used to sit in the window that looked out at the front door. If you walked up to ring the doorbell, there would be this baleful seal point Siamese giving you the evil eye and hissing at you. So Archimedes is grounded in cats who’d once been real-live cats.


The bit about no one wanting to work with animals and children, though, is that after writing a story about an asexual heroine, an incubus who needs to bottle her sexual energy for the devil, and the devil himself, the character who’s wining the popularity contest in reviews? You guessed it.


The cat.


Looks like feline kind really did make a deal with the devil.




Rejected by heaven, twisted by hell, what’s a damned dead man to do when he stumbles upon a life and love worth fighting for?

Though damned for his earthly sins, Darsorin Incarri likes being an incubus. Prowling women’s dreams to siphon off their sexual energy for Satan’s consumption has its perks: an array of infernal power and a modicum of freedom. Sure, Ole Scratch holds Dar’s soul in thrall, and Dar has to spend a few hours recharging in Hell every day, but it could be much worse. All he has to do is hold up his end of his damnation contract – five women seduced, satisfied and siphoned per night for eternity. So when he encounters gorgeous, bright, and funny Fiona Renee, it’s business as usual. Deploy the infernal charm and rack up another score. Except it doesn’t work. She’s immune. He has to find out what’s gone wrong or face Lucifer’s wrath.

Fiona Renee has the life she’d always wanted: a career, a home, a cat with a bad attitude, and peace. Fiona’s dated. Had boyfriends. And hated every minute of it. She’s reconciled to being lonely. So when a man shows up in her bedroom in the middle of the night demanding to know why her dreams turn to nightmares every time he tries to seduce her from within them, Fiona winds up negotiating a contract with a demon that allows him access to her life. She never anticipated that it would also give him access to her heart. If she’s going to fall in love at all, something she never thought would happen, shouldn’t it be with someone who’s alive? If Fiona wants to hang on to Darsorin, she has to find his true name—the one he’d been given at his birth over a thousand years ago. But Satan, himself, stands in her way. Even if Fiona can dodge Lucifer, she and Darsorin have to face the question neither of them can answer: What happens to a dead man if you manage to wrest his soul from the Devil?




“What the hell was that?” she gasped. Wrapping her arms around her chest, she shivered and switched on the bedside lamp. She glanced around the room, looking for comfort in the form of her orange tabby cat. “Archimedes?”

She frowned. No cat. He usually slept on the pillow beside hers. The bedroom door was closed. When had that happened? She climbed out of bed. The covers had been tossed askew as if she’d fought them the way she’d fought her dream. She hauled the sheet and blankets back into position. Her hands shook.

She opened the bedroom door. “Archimedes?”

He sat outside the door, staring up at her, expectation in the forward set of his ears and whiskers, and a dead mouse at his feet.

Gasping, she backed up a step. “Eugh. First a slightly rapey sex dream involving a patient, now mice? Thank you so much for nabbing it, Archimedes. I’m not crazy about the notion of mice waltzing through our living room and kitchen.”

The cat seized his prize, tossed it into the air, and then pounced when the limp body landed. He batted the rodent into the bedroom.

Fiona jumped back. Just what she needed to complete her less than restful night: stepping on a dead mouse in her bare feet.

Pupils dilated, whiskers quivering, Archimedes shot a glance her way, as if to be certain she’d noticed.

“You are a mighty hunter,” she said, crouching down and offering a hand to him. “And I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you protecting me.”

He tickled her fingers with his whiskers, then nudged them with his furry head. His rusty purr soothed her.

“Archimedes, my love, I’m going to the shower. I’ll never get back to sleep if I don’t wash off the memory of that dream,” she said, reaching for the mouse’s tail. “Could I have your prize, handsome? You caught and killed it, it is rightfully your snack, but I am not crazy about having to clean mouse blood out of my carpet. Not to mention the notion of where and how I’d find whatever bits you didn’t eat.”

As she pulled the corpse closer, the cat whirled and pounced. He grabbed the limp body in his jaws, growling. He bolted out the bedroom door.

“I’m not chasing your furry butt all over the house at 2:30 in the morning.” She sighed, rose, and went to turn on the shower. “I just had to share my life and living arrangement with an obligate carnivore. At least I’m not on early shift. Maybe the store carries carpet cleaning products.”




Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation. Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011. An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013. Nightmare Ink, an Urban Fantasy novel from Intermix came out in April of 2014 and the second in that Living Ink series, Bound by Ink, came out in November 2014. She lives aboard a sailboat in Seattle where she and her husband are outnumbered by cats.








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Why an “American” faerie tale?

Posted at Jul 12, 2016 9:42 am

Guest Post by Bishop O’Connell 

Why an “American” faerie tale?

The Returned is the fourth book in my series, An American Faerie Tale. The obvious question is, why the qualifier? Why an “American” faerie tale? Well, there isn’t much in the way of American myth, or legend, or faerie tales. Yes we have Ichabod Crane and the like, but most of our stories and legends came with the hopeful immigrants who carried them. I want America to have a mythology, a faerie tale that’s all its own. I want to write not “the great American novel,” but “the great American faerie tale.”


To do that, the stories have to reflect America. That means people from other nations should feel something familiar there. Have their own neighborhoods; a little Italy, Chinatown, little Havana, Irish district, or any other cultural neighborhood. Some might be just a block or two, and in this literary world I’ve formed it might be only a few pages, but I hope it’s something that feels like a warm and sincere welcome.


So how do I achieve that familiarity but keep the story “American?” It turns out the two aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re one and the same. Just consider this simple phrase: e pluribus unum. Out of many, one. It’s the motto of the United States, and what the phrase embodies is what I love most about it. Originally it might have referred to the many states forming one nation, but I think it has come to mean so much more. It’s a cliché, but this nation really is a melting pot, a nation of immigrants. The United States’ culture is a collection and blending of countless other cultures. Most remarkably, none of them are diminished and the whole is made more with each addition. In short, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


So to be an American faerie tale, I knew that’s what I have to achieve with my series. Each book is a snippet, a piece that adds to the whole. The Stolen, the first book, is set in New England, which has a large Irish influence, so that culture is what I focused on. I’m very proud of my Irish heritage. My family came to this country along with millions of other Irish and Scots, fleeing death during the Potato Famine. So, Celtic culture will continue to influence the series, but in keeping with the larger theme, it will blend into all the others as well. Just like the immigrants themselves did through the generations.


The Forgotten, the second book, is set in Seattle and includes the influence of Russian, German, and Native American mythologies. Three Promises, the third book, is a collection of short stories about characters from the first two books, so reflects both. Additionally, it has a short story about World War II, and the weight of those who fought tirelessly and valiantly, but always felt like could’ve done more.


The Returned, the fourth and latest book is set in New Orleans. There are Cajuns, Creoles, Native Americans, Haitian, French, and African mythologies at play. There is of course another history to the city, one that goes back to the days of slavery, and the implications such a history brings into the modern age. Like our country as a whole, it’s a city of complex history; some beautiful, some shameful. But I tried to capture the spirit of the city, embodied by its residents and best described by their official motto: laissez les bon temps rouler, let the good times roll.


In the natural world, diversity, genetically speaking, is what keeps a species relevant. I think culturally speaking, it’s what has made these United States relevant through history, and why I love it. Across the country there are endless stories and they all have their own magic and wonder. Some are terrifying, some heartbreaking, some beautiful, some truly hysterical, and still others all of the above. They’re told by the young and the old, the privileged and the disenfranchised, the hopeful and hopeless, the dreamers and cynics, those with long histories and those right off the boat. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m indecisive, but I don’t want to choose just one, I want them all! That probably says something about how long this series will continue if I get my way.


I want to write an “American” faerie tale because I want to reflect what I think makes America great. But, to truly be American, it must be a tale blending the cultures and heritages that define its citizenry. Individually we might be Irish American, Scots American, Russian American, Mexican American, African American, Native American, LGBTQ, straight, rich, poor, and countless combinations thereof, but together, we’re just Americans. I hope my series achieves this, but with stories. It might be lofty, but I’ve always believed there is no shame in failing if you’re reaching for the stars.

Bishop O’Connell is the author of the American Faerie Tale series, a consultant, writer, blogger, and lover of kilts and beer, as well as a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Born in Naples Italy while his father was stationed in Sardinia, Bishop grew up in San Diego, CA where he fell in love with the ocean and fish tacos. After wandering the country for work and school (absolutely not because he was in hiding from mind controlling bunnies), he settled Richmond VA, where he writes, collects swords, revels in his immortality as a critically acclaimed “visionary” of the urban fantasy genre, and is regularly chastised for making up things for his bio. He can also be found online at A Quiet Pint (, where he muses philosophical on life, the universe, and everything, as well as various aspects of writing and the road to getting published.


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The Returned_HiRes

Almost a year after their wedding, and two since their daughter Fiona was rescued from a kidnapping by dark faeries, life has finally settled down for Caitlin and Edward. They maintain a facade of normalcy, but a family being watched over by the fae’s Rogue Court is far from ordinary. Still, it seems the perfect time to go on their long-awaited honeymoon, so they head to New Orleans.
Little do they know, New Orleans is at the center of a territory their Rogue Court guardians hold no sway in, so the Court sends in Wraith, a teenage spell slinger, to watch over them. It’s not long before they discover an otherworldly force is overtaking the city, raising the dead, and they’re drawn into a web of dark magic. At the same time, a secret government agency tasked with protecting the mortal world against the supernatural begins their own investigation of the case. But the culprit may not be the villain everyone expects. Can Wraith, Caitlin, and Edward stop whoever is bringing the vengeful dead back to life before another massacre, and before an innocent is punished for crimes beyond her control?

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