Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Distinctly Familiar!

Didn't it used to be conventional wisdom that you don't release books in July or August, because everybody's going on vacation and not reading? Doesn't seem to be the case with indie publications, for which I am everlastingly grateful. First Pam Uphoff and now Alma Boykin have substantially improved these long hot summer afternoons with the kind of light reading I like best.
Distinctly Familiar is Boykin's sixth entry in the Familiar series - and by the way, a tip of my hat to her in the stroke of genius that has supplied her with so many excellent titles since the first in the series, Familiar Tales. She hooked me with one line in that first collection: "After the third water-shifting class got nearly eaten by Monsters from the Unseen Depths, the publisher finally issued corrections." And the winning blend of folklore, intriguing characters, and a slightly but beautifully skewed version on the modern world has continued unbroken through the present volume - at least as far as I've gotten with it! This collection starts with an eerie view of magic on the North Sea that's reminiscent of Theodor Storm, continues with a solidly built antique sewing machine (no plastic here!) that may or may not be haunted, and... well, read it for yourself. Enjoy! Meanwhile, having frivoled away the morning, I shall get back to introducing the blend of mismatched lovers and misunderstood magic in the sequel to Salt Magic. I'm saving the last "Familiar" story to read as a reward for pushing my own story another couple of thousand words down the road.

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