Tempest series

Fifth selkie book: Selkie by Anne Cameron

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts.

Today’s pick is pure CanLit, albeit of the magical realism flavour–Selkie by BC author Anne Cameron. Her stories are often narratives of abuse, narrative, and the survival and resilience of the human spirit, frequently with queer and aboriginal characters. I like her books, but have to take a break in between them to read something lighter.

selkie-cameron“One morning it starts raining in Cassidy’s house, and nobody can get it to stop. Like everyone else, Cassisy figures it’s just a problem with the pipes. She doesn’t know that she’s about to embark on the ride of her life. She doesn’t know that before the year is out, she will have wound up in hospital with every bruise and welt from her twenty-year marriage showing on her body, and survived a surreal whale-watching raft accident, and travelled through lifetimes and constellations, and written her life story into a salt-encrusted rock on a deserted beach. Even more strange and wonderful, she will have experienced the selkies, those mythical creatures, half-seal, half-woman, who swim through the deepest waters of every woman’s heart.”

Fourth selkie book (or story): “In Salt Sea Tears” by Seanan McGuire

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts.

In Salt Sea Tears is a short story from Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, and she recommends you read it after the fifth book, One Salt Sea. Selkies feature into the series as a whole, but I thought I’d highlight this short story because it’s all about selkies, and it’s a free download from her website. Selkies and girls in love with each other–I’m in favour of both. She’s done some fantastic, heartbreaking things with the selkie mythology in her books, and her sea witch is much more ambivalent than the sea witch that figures into the Tempest series.

In Salt Sea Tears cover“It was 1972, and a teenage girl named Elizabeth Ryan thought her world was coming to an end. The daughter of two Selkies, Elizabeth had just been passed up for a skin. But when a mysterious cousin who calls herself Annie appears, Elizabeth finds other things to think about…

It can be easy to forget that worlds don’t wait for heroes before they begin. It can be easy to forget that things happened before the lights came up and the story started. This is one of those things that happened: this is one of those tales that slipped through the cracks. It is the story of a girl named Elizabeth, and a girl named Annie, and what they were to one another, in the sight and sounding of the sea.

Maybe it isn’t fair. But fairy tales never really are.”

Bonus filk songs! “In This Sea” and “Still Catch the Tide” on the album Stars Fall Home, and a con recording of the author and her friends performing Still Catch The Tide .

Bonus-bonus link! I wanted to include Gail Carriger’s short story Marine Biology because it’s about a romance between a gay werewolf and a flirty merman, but had a hard time justifying giving it its own post this week because the selkies are secondary characters. So here it is.

Third selkie book: The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts.

I haven’t read The Folk Keeper myself, but I had enough people recommend it to me and talk about loving it that I had to include it. Kids’ books can be awesome, too, and I’ve added it to my to-read pile. This isn’t where I got Eddie’s last name in Coral, but…

folk keeper cover“She is never cold, she always knows exactly what time it is, and her hair grows two inches while she sleeps. Fifteen-year-old Corinna Stonewall–the only Folk Keeper in the city of Rhysbridge–sits hour after hour with the Folk in the dark, chilly cellar, ‘drawing off their anger as a lightning rod draws off lightning.’ The Folk are the fierce, wet-mouthed, cave-dwelling gremlins who sour milk, rot cabbage, and make farm animals sick. Still, they are no match for the steely, hard-hearted, vengeful orphan Corinna who prides herself in her job of feeding, distracting, and otherwise pacifying these furious, ravenous creatures. The Folk Keeper has power and independence, and that’s the way she likes it.

One day, Corinna is summoned by Lord Merton to come to the vast seaside estate Cliffsend as Folk Keeper and family member–for she is the once-abandoned child he has been looking for. It is at Cliffsend that Corinna learns where her unusual powers come from, why she is drawn to the sea, and finally, what it means to be comfortable in her own skin. Written in the form of a journal, The Folk Keeper is a powerful story of a proud, ferociously self-reliant girl who breaks out of her dark, cold, narrow world into one of joy, understanding, and even the magic of romance. “

Second selkie book: Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

And now for something much lighter than Margo Lanagan! Today’s book, Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler, is the first of an urban fantasy series about the daughter of a selkie. (Yes, that’s technically a spoiler but come on, I’m talking about selkie books, and it’s right on the back cover!) Genre-wise, think Sookie Stackhouse, Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, or C.E. Murphy’s Walker Papers.

Tempest Rising book cover“In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp. For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human.

With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu. When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane. The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?”

First selkie book: The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

Very few people can combine fairy tales and dark and disturbing and come up with more than the sum of its parts like Margo Lanagan can. The Brides of Rollrock Island, originally titled Sea Hearts in Australia, is her take on selkie mythology and its potential consequences, and has racked up an impressive number of awards and nominations.

Rollrock Island US cover“On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings—and to catch their wives.

The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment.

Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire, despair, and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also unspoken love.”

Seventh selkie song: Selkie by Tori Amos

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

Tori Amos CD coverHa, I’ve been hoping this would actually be released in time for me to feature it. Tori Amos has a song called, what else, Selkie, on her new album Unrepentant Geraldines. Not only is it something new, but it’s a hopeful song that speaks of trust and taking chances, and that’s where I want to get Finn to in my Tempest series. I have a lot of Tori Amos songs on my various writing play lists, but sometimes her stuff takes me in directions I didn’t expect! You know the drill by now, preview the song on Itunes or last.fm

Next week–selkies showing up in books!

Sixth selkie song: You Brought Me Up

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

Silver Sea CD coverToday’s song is You Brought Me Up from Irish artist Meav Ni Mhaolchatha. Listen on Itunes or last.fm. Again, heartache and betrayal, but it’s such a pretty, pretty song.

And if like me, your skill with Celtic languages is non-existent, here’s some helpful fan suggestions on pronouncing her name.

Fifth selkie song: First Rising Tide

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

CD CoverClick on through to bandcamp to listen to a sample and see the lyrics for First Rising Tide by Alexander James Adams for a different tact, this time the point of view of the selkie in love yearning to leave the ocean. Alternatively, last.fm or the musician’s own site.

When I came across the song, it seemed there was some sort of connection with filk artist Heather Alexander–and Wikipedia solved the mystery for me! His official bio is a bit more whimsical.

Fourth selkie song: Ballad of the White Seal Maid

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

Lui Collins album coverWe’re back to heartache and seal wives today. Ballad of the White Seal Maiden is actually a poem by Jane Yolen (who has written so many things I won’t even bother trying to start telling you), performed by Lui Collins. You can read the lyrics (is it still lyrics if it started life as a poem?) at Lui Collin’s website, or listen to a sample on last.fm or Itunes. Lui Collin’s albums are also on CD Baby. It’s been a while since I ordered an actual, physical CD from them, but they used to have the best shipping notice email in the world.

The poem’s also included in its original form as a spoken-word poem on a CD collection of Jane Yolen’s poems.

 

Third selkie song: The Great Selkie of Sule Skerry

To celebrate the release of my new book, Coral Were His Bones, I’m going to be posting a month’s worth of things about selkies. Coral is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Finn, a selkie who’s in love with his childhood sweetheart Devon, but bound in a magical contract to a cruel master. It’s a story of modern magic, snark, sex, and how to heal when everything hurts. 

More folk music today with The Great Selkie of Sule Skerry. You might have seen some references to the song in the folklore links I was posting last week, like this one. The first link will take you to fantasy author Katherine Langrish’s blog, and there’s a video of the Joan Baez version towards the end. (Gotta say, I do like Joan Baez.)  There are a lot of different renditions and variations out there.

Folk tales figure prominently in Katherine Langrish’s own books, and she has a great series of guest posts with notable fantasy authors talking about fairy tales that mean something to them personally. There is a post by Megan Whalen Turner. I love her Thief books with the heat of a thousand burning suns. Read them. But do not read the description of the second book until you’ve read the first, or the third book until you’ve read the second, because spoilers abound. Seriously. I mailed copies to one of my best friends wrapped in brown paper and labelled so she wouldn’t spoil herself accidentally. But I digress.