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  • Throwback Thursday: The 1% Fairy Godmother Strata by Janet Bowdan

    Editor's Note: Today's Throwback Thursday is a classic tale as seen from a different perspective that you may not expect. Enjoy! If you ask me, they get more credit than they deserve swooping down at the last minute with a wand and a fancy dress like that’s going to solve all the world’s problems. Where have they been while the rest of us are struggling to get the day’s work done? Sure, they came to the naming party, brought a gift, something useful like “the voice of a lark” or “tresses as gold as wheat,” flutter of wings, wave of magic wand, bye-bye, see you in 20 years or so once you’ve grown up and gotten interesting. By which they mean ripe for romance with a side order of toppling the status quo just to set it right up again claiming to be better at it than the previous lot. Different, maybe. Less experienced, sure. And okay, let’s say our fairy godmother pops in, rights a wrong, restores the lost heiress to her family and high position, throwing in a makeover while she’s at it: where was everybody else all those years watching as the wicked stepmother abuses her, the oblivious dad neglects her, the family she doesn’t fit into bullies her? Assuming a small flock of bluebirds and a couple of mice were going to step up? Thinking that was going to be sufficient? Why was nobody noticing, or if noticing, why was nobody trying to help? How is that godchild going to turn out by the time the fairy g shows up—good, sweet, patient? What view of the world would you have, left to fend for yourself? Janet Bowdan's poems have been published in APR, Denver Quarterly, Clade Song, Verse, Gargoyle, Free State Review, Wordpeace, and other journals, most recently Meat for Tea and Amethyst Arsenic. She teaches at Western New England University and edits the poetry magazine Common Ground Review. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, son, and sometimes a stepdaughter or two. Image by Emma Florence Harrison.

  • Phantom Reflection and We Could Be Lovers by Kim Malinowski

    The constructs of poetic inspiration and romantic love have been mingled for centuries, and Kim Malinowski’s works, Phantom Reflection and We Could be Lovers, breathe new life into this ancient pairing. Both are sweeping stories rendered in beautiful verse that will leave readers contemplating the boundaries that define the borders of the self. From the beginning, Phantom Reflection, a retelling of the book and musical versions of The Phantom of the Opera, captures the intensity of love and desire that pulses beneath the original plot. Malinowski’s version pits The Artist against The Man of Words as they compete to possess the soul of Christine. The poem unfolds as characters gaze into mirrors implying that the story about the three protagonists is refracted and reflected in the larger study of what human love offers to and requires of those who surrender to it. The poetry in this verse novel is beautifully rendered. Colorful brushstrokes and pools of ink become manifestations of the men’s desires and prompt the question “Does one sacrifice their art / for a kiss?”. Malinowski delves into the desires of Christine as she struggles to choose between two men who crave to own her. While she asks poignant questions such as “Oh, what is love but painting / a lifetime together?”, she also recognizes that she wants to “outrun / love’s terror” and wonders “Do feet that waltz alone do any less?”. The novel shines a blinding light on the obsessive qualities of erotic love while also striving to define the individual self through art, agency, and choice. Like the original story, Phantom Reflection explores the roles of the muse and the artist and alludes to the idea that all people wear metaphorical masks. Fans of The Phantom of the Opera will find much to love in the words and ideas of Malinowski’s novel and will rejoice as the female artist is empowered by the conclusion of the poem. Malinowski provides readers with another intense exploration of poetic inspiration and romantic love in her upcoming work We Could Be Lovers. This poem opens with a poet who is observing the statues and strollers in a contemporary park when a good-looking stranger passes her a closed umbrella, winks, smirks, and opens his own leather journal to begin writing as music pours from his headphones. The moment’s odd intimacy prompts the poet to think “we could be lovers”. What follows is a sweeping story that oscillates between their silent companionship in the park and recollected imaginings of their past lives together. She has been a healer and he has been a warrior. Past love, past loss, and past repetitions of survival echo through the poem as the poet explains “He holds me as if we have known each other for millennia. / He holds me like we have met only moments ago”. In the hour and a half that the strangers commune together on the bench, they participate in intimate moments through the shared act of writing. He glances over at her papers, and she wonders if her words might woo him. She imagines “our words dancing / syllables merging” and notes that “Words flow and halt mysteriously” as “The stranger and I scratch out / memories and love, / lie to ourselves, tell stories, / scream”. In each generation of their love, they are beset by demons, creating a tapestry that captures the turbulence and depth of passion. The narrative offers a stunning look at love and the way it is both defined by and transcends time. It also captures the beauty of inspiration, imagination, and creation with its metacognitive contemplation of the poet’s work. We Could be Lovers left me thinking about the intimacy that passes between strangers and how strange intimacy itself can be. The poem, which takes place over the course of one afternoon, is both small in scope and vast in its reach as it connects us to the ideas of our ancestors and the way that the enormity of love helps us to define the self. In one of my favorite passages, the poet says “I am beautiful, even in this thin place. / Not because he says I am beautiful, / but because I blaze”. Phantom Reflection and We Could be Lovers by Kim Malinowski will leave readers spellbound as they journey deep into the imagination and back again. The words and ideas in both poems offer readers new and creative ways of contemplating love, poetry, and the spaces we use to define ourselves as individuals and as connected pieces in the vast galaxy of human life. You can find a copy of Phantom Reflection HERE And learn more about We Could Be Lovers HERE Kelly Jarvis teaches classes in literature, writing, and fairy tale at Central Connecticut State University, The University of Connecticut, and Tunxis Community College. She lives, happily ever after, with her husband and three sons in a house filled with fairy tale books.

  • Kate Recommends...

    Check out Kate's fabulous finds that you can enjoy, too! This week's pick: The Old Farmer's Almanac Enchanted Friends living in the Eastern half of the US, in case you don’t know it yet, we are likely in for a humdinger of a winter. That’s why I’m recommending you visit The Old Farmer’s Almanac today and find out the forecast for your region. Yes, even though it’s two days before Autumn, the greatest season of the year, it’s worth looking up the winter predictions if you live anywhere from the Lower Lakes Region like me, straight down into northern Texas! Here’s a link to a map that gives an overview. If you want to get a more local forecast from the Almanac, use this tip: Google “winter forecast 2022-2023 Old Farmer’s Almanac (with the name of your state).” If you don’t, you might end up with last year’s forecast. When you get to the right page, enter your zip code and you should get a pretty good forecast—but, again, make sure it’s for this year. I use the Almanac because it is right 80 percent of the time in weather forecasting. (Canadian friends, they do a forecast for you as well.) Based on what I’ve seen so far, “bone chilling” is what Indiana is going to see. Yikes! Of course, better forecasts will emerge as we get closer to actual winter, but it’s worth looking into now to plan. Since this is a place for folklore as well as fairy tales, here’s a link to folklore on how to spot a hard winter coming. I’ve read elsewhere that heavy rose hips on your rose bushes means a hard winter and mine are covered in plentiful, huge hips! (I could not find the artist for the Jack Frost image, but it’s perfect for this post, so I used it.) Have an enchanted week!

  • Throwback Thursday: Winter Dream by Carolyn Charron

    Editor's note: This gorgeous coming-of-age exploration of a young girl's discovery of the fae and herself made this an easy April 2014 winner, way back when we had contests! The fae live in my garden. The ones my mother says don’t exist. At first I think I am dreaming, but I see them so often, I am soon certain it is not my imagination. They are as tangible as I. They are beautiful with iridescent wings and high-pitched voices but rather shy. If I stay silent for a long while, they creep out of their hiding places. How I love lying there half hidden in the bushes, grass tickling my skin, watching them as they play games of "flying tag" and "touch the butterfly." All too soon though, a dog barks or someone calls my name, frightening them and they scatter in all directions. I move my heavy earthbound arms and legs, wishing with all my heart that I possessed their light and graceful limbs. I have seen them alight on a flower and rest, cross-legged on a petal, barely moving it. The wind itself moves those soft petals more than they. After my discovery, I spend as much time as possible watching them, whenever I might affect an escape from my parents or my tutor. The summer days fly by and autumn is well underway before I begin to understand some small part of their speech. I recognize their names first, such musical sounds! I cannot replicate them with my clumsy tongue but I can taste them on my lips and hear them chiming in my mind. Oh, and the colors! There are not enough words to describe all the colors they are made of! Purples and pinks, blues and greens, all hues, sparkle from their skin, from their wings, from their hair. They wear no clothing; these are not domesticated fairies. They are the fey, the sidhe—the mischievous and sometimes cruel creatures from legend. They ignore my presence for the most part but I always feel an underlying threat even while they play. I read everything I find about them. Many of the books have such ridiculous information that I toss them away unfinished. But there are a few tomes which keep me spellbound. I begin a journal of my observations, comparing my fairies to the sidhe in those dusty old books, learning more about them. Each of them is a distinct individual, with likes and dislikes that are simple to discern. One of my favorites has dusky green skin and a faint pink tinge to her hair. She sits motionless on a leaf or petal and watches the others. She rarely flies in those rough and tumble games, but the others defer to her in subtle ways. I am certain she is the leader, perhaps even their queen. As she sits so quietly on her leafy throne, I watch her, learning more about her than any of the others who are unable to sit still for more than a moment. I believe she is watching me too while she grants me this opportunity to study her. But for what purpose, I am uncertain. So I watch them through all the seasons, my large mortal body shivering in the snow and sweating in the heat. I pay little attention to the passage of time but I grow from a pudgy child to a gangly-limbed young lady whilst I watch. I fill my first journal with my observations and begin a new one. I dream of them every night. Nothing else seems important. Until the day my blood blooms. Mother comes to me that terrible winter day, my journals in her hand. In her usual no-nonsense voice, she reminds me I am grown now—it is time for me to put away childish things. Then she tosses my journals into the fireplace where a freshly laid fire devours my beloved books. My heart turns to stone, tears streak down my cheeks. I run away from the sight of my dreams turning to ash. Despite the cramps troubling my stomach, I wrap myself up in my warmest clothes and find a quiet spot in the garden to vent my tears. The moon is full this midwinter night and I creep across a lawn lit up as if the sun still shone. I crouch quietly in my habitual spot and hot tears spill down my icy cheeks. A sparkle of color heralds their arrival. But this day, this day is different. Instead of flying to her usual throne-like leaf, the queen flits to a bare branch beside my face. I have never seen her so closely before. She looks directly at me. Her tilted eyes are a feral orange and they search my face, finally resting on my own prosaically brown eyes. I feel naked, my dreams exposed. She speaks to me, but so quickly I don’t understand all her words. She repeats them in her high-pitched voice. And this time, I understand. I glance behind me once, looking at the brightly lit house where I glimpse my mother bustling about her daily tasks, then I turn back to face the tiny creature who waits for me. I reach out my hand in answer and her tiny hand touches my fingertip in a butterfly kiss. Light explodes around me, flickering in the snowflakes that fall. The air around me comes alive with her subjects, touching me, pulling off my winter cloak, my skirts and petticoats. I gladly shed the bulky garments, hating the way they bind me to the earth. My exposed skin tingles in the frigid air. The naked branches of the bush loom larger around me. Lightly falling snowflakes grow huge in my vision. The chill in the winter garden disappears, warmth spreads through me. It is a wonderful sensation. I slip free of the final layer of cloth, shrugging my shoulders against the tingling I sense. My shoulders feel different, strange, and I twist around to look behind me. I laugh at what I see. I flutter my newly sprouted wings and gladly join my brothers and sisters in a game of "catch a snowflake" under the winter moon as our queen watches over us with a sly smile. Carolyn Charron has been watching the fae for years and is still waiting to join them. Her works have been published in Mused, Fabula Argentina, and other publications. Image: Pixabay

  • Book Review: The Story of the Hundred Promises by Neil Cochrane

    Neil Cochrane’s novel The Story of the Hundred Promises (publication date: October 4, 2022) uses the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” to launch a sweeping fantasy quest that confronts generational trauma. When Darragh Thorn uses a magic rose to transform and align his body with his masculine gender identity, his father, who refuses to recognize him as anything other than a girl named Beauty, banishes him. After ten years of adventure on the high seas, Darragh returns home to find his father gravely ill and sets out to search for an enchanted cure. Darragh’s story is punctuated with inclusive fairy tales that work to establish a world of queer optimism where love transcends heteronormative patterns. In the beautiful fairy tale that lends the book its title, a farmer, herder, and blacksmith wish for a child to love and are instructed to offer one hundred promises of acceptance for their future child to secure their heart’s desire. The novel centers queer relationships while tenderly advocating for the self-definition and acceptance that beats beneath the plot of traditional fairy tales. While not a strict retelling, the book uses key symbols, characters, and themes from “Beauty and the Beast” including roses, thorns, statues, books, ineffective fathers, ships, sorcery, and the construct of choice. It is an inspiring read for fantasy lovers eager to envision a more beautiful and inclusive world. Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. Kelly Jarvis teaches classes in literature, writing, and fairy tale at Central Connecticut State University, The University of Connecticut, and Tunxis Community College. She lives, happily ever after, with her husband and three sons in a house filled with fairy tale books. She is also Enchanted Conversation’s special project’s writer.

  • Kate's Picks: A Bit of British Reading

    Check out Kate's fabulous finds that you can enjoy, too! This week's pick: A Bit of British Reading I’ve always liked Queen Elizabeth II and have found the royal family interesting historically and quite the reality show in the present day. So I was sad when the Queen died, and the events surrounding her death brought me back to reading—as most things do. I love reading actual history but especially love historical novels. I first discovered them in the book Katherine, by Anya Seton, and I’ve never looked back. Jean Plaidy was also responsible for my obsession with historical fiction as a tween. She wrote dozens of historical novels, usually containing tales of royalty (almost always women), written in the first person. To find her books, just check out her Goodreads page. Plaidy wrote series about the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, etc. They are intimate portraits of the thoughts and feelings of women as imagined by Plaidy, and they never fail to drag me into them. They are entertaining comfort food and feel strangely cozy for stories that often end in sadness and/or beheading. My particular favorite is Victoria Victorious, about my favorite interfering queen. (It’s also on Kindle.) Plaidy is only one of the pseudonyms used by Eleanor Burton Hibbert, for whom the word “prolific” feels inadequate. She also wrote as Phillipa Carr. For those of us of a certain age, those names will be familiar. The age issue is something to bring up here. Plaidy was a woman very much of her time. Her attitudes towards gender roles, for example, reflect that. So if you’re interested in reading her books, bear in mind that Eleanor Hibbert was born in 1906. I hope you’ll find this recommendation useful in this time of historical change in the UK. Have an enchanted week!

  • Throwback Thursday: Fracturing Fairy Tales For Fun & Profit by Heather Talty

    Editor's Note: Fracturing fairy tales is one of the most amusing and enjoyable ways to recast the stories. Heather Talty does a terrific job of explaining fracturing in this guest post from 2011. Find out more about her on her Goodreads page. In some ways, fracturing a fairy tale is just like fixing a car or performing surgery (though the stakes may not be quite as high): you take some things out, put some things in, or just tweak what’s already in there. When you’re done, you’re left with something that looks and acts like the original but isn’t entirely the same. Of course, this act of altering a traditional story has been done for centuries, by oral storytellers, collection building folklorists, and enterprising animated mice alike. But why fracture a fairy tale? Why take something that clearly works and break it apart and rebuild it with the risk of getting it wrong? Well, for a laugh. That’s one reason. Here’s another. Fracturing fairy tales can be a way to engage in a sort of dialogue with the story itself, and of course, with other readers. Just as a scholar might analyze a story, the writer of the fractured fairy tale might write a new one precisely to question interesting or baffling elements of the original. As a writer of fractured fairy tales, I often find myself writing stories to answer questions I have. If the princess of "The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body" knows exactly how to defeat the giant, why does she need the prince to carry out the task? Isn’t it interesting that a “true princess,” a la "The Princess and the Pea," must be very finicky, sort of like a cat? Let’s take a look at this idea in action. In the introduction to The Rumpelstiltskin Problem (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), Vivian Vande Velde writes that the book emerged out of her realization that the original tale made no sense. Why, she wondered, did the miller make such an outrageous claim about his daughter’s ability? And why did the king believe him? Why did Rumpelstiltskin need a baby, anyway? Each short story in the book is an attempt to answer one or more of these questions. Maybe Rumpelstiltskin wanted to eat the baby. Maybe the whole spin straw into gold thing was just a metaphor, and things got out of hand. Maybe the miller’s daughter was in on it the whole time. Vande Velde also recently released Cloaked in Red, a similar approach to "Little Red Riding Hood." Gail Carson Levine, too, wrote a few books out of a desire to understand why. Her series of fractured fairy tales, The Princess Tales (Harper Collins, 1999-2002), often work to explain or flesh out fairy tales. She explains her motivations on her website in discussing her book, The Fairy’s Mistake. It isn’t likely, she posits, that a prince, coming upon a girl “blessed” with an inconvenient habit of spitting up valuable gems, would fall in love with her. More likely, he’s in it for the gems. The Fairy’s Mistake tells the story from that point of view. Her stories often attempt to explain how characters fall in love in fairy tales, or why they decide to undertake various quests (think the Prince’s long trek through the briar patch in "Sleeping Beauty"), giving them back-stories to make more sense. Through reading these books, and others like them, readers are exposed to both the questions the authors have about fairy tales and possible answers to those questions. But it’s always worth it to try it yourself. Take a fairy tale you love and rewrite it. Then take a step back and read over your own work. You might be surprised at what you learn about your favorite tale, and of course, yourself. Illustration by Florence Mary Anderson

  • Book Review: "Faerie Silver, Iron Cold" by Vic Malachai

    Faerie Silver Iron Cold by Vic Malachi (publication date July 31, 2022) is everything a fantasy novel should be and more! The novel follows the life of a girl named Ciar who, after losing her mother to illness, is sent to live with her grandparents on the border of the faerie world. Ciar, called Collis in the old language, is a precocious child who accepts the local children’s dare to cross the stream into the Faerie Woods, meeting an unseelie faerie boy known as Mael. The two of them spend their days together, much to the horror of Ciar’s grandparents who fear the child will be spirited away to the faerie realm never to return. When Ciar turns thirteen, her absent aristocratic father arranges to send her to school in the city and, despite a promise from Mael that he will be waiting for her when she returns each summer, the unlikely pair do not see one another for five years. As Ciar comes of age and prepares to marry, Mael comes back into her life igniting a breathtaking adventure through the faerie world. Malachi’s prose is rich with otherworldly detail about faerie superstitions. Ciar and Mael are expertly drawn characters, and readers will delight in watching their relationship unfold over the years. The novel allows readers to cross the boundary between the human and faerie lands alongside Ciar as it explores the difference between striking a faerie bargain and making a conscious choice for love. I loved it! You can find the book HERE. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review. Kelly Jarvis teaches classes in literature, writing, and fairy tale at Central Connecticut State University, The University of Connecticut, and Tunxis Community College. She lives, happily ever after, with her husband and three sons in a house filled with fairy tale books. She is also Enchanted Conversation’s special project’s writer.

  • Kate's Pick: The Most Magical Party Mix

    Check out Kate's fabulous finds that you can enjoy, too! This week's pick: The Most Magical Party Mix I recognize that I may seem to have gone way down the rabbit hole with a recipe for snack mix. How is that related to fairy tales? Well, people think it’s magically tasty and it comes together in less time than it takes for a pumpkin to turn into a carriage. Also, my picks aren’t always fairy-tale related. Sometimes they are just delicious. This is one of those times. Process is key here. To make the perfect party mix, you need to follow the directions as I’ve laid out here. I also strongly recommend using Crispix as the cereal if you can find it. However, if you can’t find it or like the traditional mix, then use a mixture of corn and rice Chex cereal. I do not think the wheat cereal tastes nearly as good as the other two, so I leave it out, but mix up the three cereals if that is your preference. Also, I find that cashews really do taste better than mixed nuts, but if you’d prefer mixed nuts, use them. Finally, you can use a real lemon for the juice if you are following the traditional method and not using the packet—a half should do it. I’m giving you this recipe on Labor Day, because to me, Labor Day is the beginning of fall, and fall is the beginning of the eating season that stretches from now until the Super Bowl. The Most Magical Party Mix 8 cups of Crispix 1 cup cashews or mixed nuts 1 cup pretzel sticks Sauce: 1 stick butter 1 packet of Chex seasoning mix OR: 1 stick butter 10 shakes of soy sauce, from the bottle—some people do half soy sauce, half Worcestershire Three quick squirts lemon juice from one of those plastic lemon juice lemons Five shakes each of garlic and onion powder First, read the third paragraph above completely before starting, then melt the butter in a deep, wide bowl in the microwave for 1.5 minutes. If you use the seasoning packet, just melt butter and stir in the packet contents, then move on to adding the ingredients. If not using the packet, to the butter add the soy, lemon, and powders. Stir very thoroughly. Taste. The mixture should be very salty, but the butter should assert itself as well. Add more of anything your taste buds ask for. Add nuts and stir. Allow them to absorb the sauce. Add pretzels and do the same. Then add the cereal gradually, stirring gently so each addition absorbs the sauce. Give every addition time to absorb the sauce. Put in the microwave. Cook on high for two minutes. Stir from the bottom, gently. Do it again after another two minutes. Stir. Cook one minute more. (If you are using an oven, follow the directions right up to microwaving but instead put it in an oven preheated to 275 degrees. Spread the mix into a shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.) Cool on paper towels. If the mix seems bland, shake a little soy or Worcestershire sauce or on it, widely distributing. You probably won’t need to do this if you use the seasoning packet. This keeps for a few days if stored in a well-sealed tin or large zip-lock bag, but I suspect it won’t make it more than 24 hours. Supposedly, this makes 15 servings, but that’s optimistic. I’d say it makes maybe 10 servings, because most people like at least one full cup each. Have an enchanted week! (Image is from Ralston Purina, 1966.)

  • Book Review: Into the Woods by Lorraine Murphy

    Into the Woods by Lorraine Murphy drops readers into the frantic search for Paddy and Karen O’Hara’s eight-year-old deaf daughter Scarlett who disappears from the family home while her father is away on a trip for work and her mother is organizing a conference on a zoom call. Told through alternating first-person perspectives that share the personal feelings and motivations of key characters, this novel is a tense, addictive mystery that unfolds quickly on the page. I couldn’t stop reading! Beneath the plot is a meaningful exploration of the complexities of marriage and motherhood along with a searing commentary on the dangers and benefits of social media. Paddy and Karen’s relationship has always been fraught with difficulties, and both Paddy’s extramarital affairs and Karen’s struggles with postpartum depression and the demands of raising a special needs child come under scrutiny during the police investigation. Secondary characters round out the novel’s contemplation of adultery, mental illness, and motherhood as readers’ wait with bated breath for a resolution to the tragedy. The contemporary story is artfully framed by fairy tale references; Karen must learn to read hidden clues dropped like breadcrumbs and Scarlett must learn to play the role of the trickster to escape. Into the Woods is about all the things we fail to see and hear until we risk losing everything we love. You won’t be able to put it down! Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. Kelly Jarvis teaches classes in literature, writing, and fairy tale at Central Connecticut State University, The University of Connecticut, and Tunxis Community College. She lives, happily ever after, with her husband and three sons in a house filled with fairy tale books.

  • Kate's Pick: Kindle Unlimited

    Check out Kate's fabulous finds that you can enjoy, too! This week's pick: Kindle Unlimited My life is awash in books, although they are mostly ebooks, as osteoarthritis in my hands makes it tough to hold onto books without pain. Still, I read at least a couple hours a day, even if I stay up too late doing it. As you can imagine, my reading habits are expensive. I do borrow ebooks from the library, but they have fewer choices than I’d like. Enter Kindle Unlimited. At $9.99 a month, Kindle Unlimited is a pretty good deal, because if you read even one KU ebook per 30 days, you’ve earned back your money for the month, as most ebooks you truly want to read will cost you at least that much, and paperbacks will cost you more. The system works like this: For $9.99, you get to borrow up to 10 books at a time. If you are at your limit and want to borrow another book, you must return one book in order to get the latest KU book you’d like to read. That’s it. Easy, isn’t it? There is a downside, though. The fact is that a lot of KU books are just poorly edited self-published bad fantasy, YA, mysteries and romance. It can be an absolute sinkhole of unreadable dreck if you aren’t careful. (Why are bad self-published writers so drawn to KU? Not sure, but maybe they are betting on the system working for them.) How to avoid the sinkhole? To begin, look up some of your favorite genre authors to see if they are on KU. Many highly successful series writers will offer the first novel in a series on KU to help get readers hooked. Second, do check reviews on KU books. If a book has 45 reviews and a rating of 4.3 stars, it’s probably worth giving a chance. Third, be aware that romance and fantasy dominate Kindle Unlimited in a huge way. If you are a fan of either genre, KU is worth it. Fourth, be willing to give self-published books on KU a chance, as there are many outstanding self-published books on that platform, despite the dreck. Right now, I’ve started the Miss Fitz series, which only has two books so far and has a paranormal midlife mystery focus. It’s fun so far and that’s why I have a picture of the two books with this writeup. Until next week, stay magic!

  • August 2022 Issue: "Weather Spells"

    The wind and the waves echoed her heart- constant and pure. The storm was her soul-wild and untamed... And when the tempest raged around her, she faced it until the rainbow appeared and a new beginning was born. While whispers of wind stirred echoes of the past and scattered thoughts of a different time and place through her mind. It was then that she formed her most powerful spell; The weather spell that no living creature could stop, and she once more remembered her true name. Mab stepped out of the shadows and her raindrop crown glittered with the power of eternal starlight. ~ A. Bergloff Weather echoes the human heart, and we are connected to it. The ever changing weather of the seasons brings calm days and turbulent ones, much like how our hearts can experience love and joy, and also, tribulation and sadness. It is through experiencing and enduring all aspects of the weather around us, and the seasons that we carry inside our hearts, that balance is found and the beautiful spell of life goes on. This month, The Fairy Tale Magazine is presenting two stories and three poems in the final issue in our series of "weather-works" for 2022 that explore some element of weather - from rain to wind to snow and beyond. So, please enjoy, and as always dear readers... Stay enchanted! - Kate, Amanda, and Kelly We wait at the borders for mortals to remember the reckoning of time .. The Weather Witches Kelly Jarvis My son wishes to wed the Moon's eldest daughter... Hounds of the Heavens Rose Q. Addams Our birthplaces crumble while we ride on swans' wings... The Snow Queens of Southern California Marisca Pichette Don't stir the pot, child, don't coax the wind or tempt the rain... Curious Emma Liz Bragdon The heat of summer continues to elude me... The Song of the Rain Faniyi Oluwatomiwa Elijah MUSIC Sharing some rainy, weather-themed classical music accompany this issue: ALL COPYRIGHT to the written works in this issue belong to the individual authors. Editor-in-Chief ~ Kate Wolford Art Director ~ Amanda Bergloff Special Projects Writer ~ Kelly Jarvis Cover Painting ~ by Frederic Leighton, 1892 Graphics ~ Amanda Bergloff