Young witch flees family abuse, seeks own happy ending

“A multi-layered and intoxicating fantasy that explores the adverse effects of emotional abuse and the courage it takes to break away and pave your own path.” 

-Lenore Borja, author of The Last Huntress”

Greensboro, NC – Wander the world with Georgette and her magical friends in this tender and hopeful fantasy story from award-winning author, Alison Levy. Magic by Any Other Name: The Witch’s Odyssey (Nov 7, 2023, SparkPress) follows one young witch’s difficult decision to leave her toxic family and seek a better life for herself. With the help from a diverse group of magical creatures, Georgette confronts the demons of her past in order to pave a way for a brighter future.

CIBA-winning author of the Daemon Collecting series, Alison Levy returns with a new whimsical and cozy  fantasy series taking readers on an enchanting exploration of the world and within yourself. Loosely based on the heartbreaking yet empowering family decisions Alison made for herself, Georgette’s story will resonate with young readers choosing “no contact” and creating their own found families.

Ivy Nichols O’Reilly has grown up in a wealthy family full of magic, fantasy creatures, and emotional abuse. When her narcissistic mother arranges an unwanted marriage for her, Ivy decides to leave her life of privilege behind and flees across the country with her best friend, a Wood Nymph named Mei-Xing. Along the way, she encounters a number of different magical creatures all on their own journey of purpose. But in order to grow into her new identity, help her new friends, and develop a healthy relationship with a man she’s beginning to care for, Georgette will have to confront the privileges that have shielded her from the pain and ugliness of the magic community in which she was raised—and find the strength to overcome the trauma of her childhood. Perfect for fans of The Secret Society of Irregular Witches.

Magic by Any Other Name

Alison Levy | November 7, 2023 | SparkPress | YA Urban Fantasy 

Paperback | 978-1684632244 | $17.95 

Ebook | B0BQBLLNF9 | $9.95

Alison Levy lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband, son, and a variety of pets. When she’s not writing or doing mom things, she crochets, gardens, and walks her collies. Find out more on her website.

Follow Alison Levy on social media: 

Facebook: @AlisonLevyAuthor | Twitter: @ALevyAuthor | Instagram: @alevyauthor

Praise for Gatekeeper

Book One in the Daemon Collecting Series

“A compelling, yet endearing, read about a very resourceful inter-dimensional cop Rachel who deals with broken daemons, homeless oracles, linguists, and serial killers with her own style of grace and tenacity. You might not see your own world in quite the same way as you look for the hidden passageways just out of view.”

Ellen Clary, author of Pursuits Unknown: An Amy and Lars Novel

“Alison Levy offers us a lens that penetrates the facade of a recognizable world to reveal a thought-provoking analog. Ideas of right and wrong, intention, human value, and justice are all reconsidered. The story leaves the gate at a dead run and never lets up. Written in a clear and incisive style, Gatekeeper was a pleasure to read, and happily, suggests more to follow.”

Patricia Minger, author of Magic Flute

Gatekeeper is a wickedly fun romp from start to finish, and Rachel Wilde is a fiery protagonist who doesn’t take crap from anyone or anything. In her debut novel, Levy provides an action-packed story with a delightful taste of the immense, unique world-building to come for future books in the series.” 

– Cheryl Campbell, author of Echoes of War

Praise for Blue Flame

Book Two in the Daemon Collecting Series

“Masterful storytelling and exceptional worldbuilding. A unique, action-packed Urban Fantasy series with grit, wit, and a whole lot of heart. Levy has created a truly original series in a genre that doesn’t see much originality these days.”

Lenore Borja, author of The Last Huntress (Mirror Realm Series Book I)

“The Daemon Collecting Series is a great spin on an age-old stereotype. It’s fun, engaging characters will create a fantastical journey without leaving the very world surrounding us.”

– Chanticleer Book Reviews—5 Star

“Startlingly original, Blue Flame provides not only an insightful commentary on our society but also rich, complex characters who will stay with you long after you finish reading.”

– Jen Braaksma, author of Evangeline’s Heaven

In an interview, Alison Levy can discuss:

  • How the author’s own experience of dealing with a narcissistic parent inspired her novel 
  • Why she uses the fantasy genre to tell a story about healing from emotional abuse
  • How reading fantasy was a means of escapism from emotional abuse as child, and now has become her profession as a writer and a primary tool in her healing journey 
  • Why fantasy can reveal real, human truths that realism can’t
  • What she hope readers will learn about taking steps towards their own healing from emotional abuse

An Interview with

Alison Levy

1. What is one takeaway you want readers – particularly those who can relate to Georgette – to have upon completing the novel? 

I’d like readers to understand that a found family is a real family. Blood relations who

make unreasonable demands or mistreat you all in the name of “family” are not entitled

to control your life. It is okay to step away from people who don’t have your best

interests at heart. A true family is not made from DNA, but from love.

2. How do the fantastical elements in your story help you address topics such as family trauma and mental health with a unique perspective?

By telling Georgette’s story through a veil of fantasy, I hoped to emphasize how

alone she feels as she flees her family. Breaking away from an abusive family can be

incredibly isolating, even with a strong support network around you. Because her family

is already separated from general society by their magic, Georgette has even less

connection to the wider world than the average person. Overcoming her upbringing is

that much harder for Georgette since she can’t fall back on typical social safety nets.

3. How did writing help you overcome some of your own personal family trauma?

I started writing this book shortly after my final contact with my narcissistic parent, the

last interaction I had with him before going no contact. It was a difficult, emotional time in my life when I was coming to terms with the fact that a lot of my family relationships were not healthy and never had been. Writing Georgette’s story was a way to help me process what I was going through and help me figure out how to move forward. Georgette is not an autobiographical representation but she shares some key characteristics with me that made her a useful means of exploring my trauma.

4. What are some challenges you faced while writing Georgette’s story?

My book features a diverse cast of characters, drawing on mythologies and

cultures from all around the world. I was very conscious of the fact that I’m a cis white

American woman writing about characters from other ethnicities and backgrounds. I did

a lot of research on related issues and topics to make myself as knowledgeable as

possible while developing these characters. Doing so has led me to confront some

privileges I wasn’t fully aware of for most of my life. I’ve done my best to write my

personal growth into the story.

5. Can you tell us about the relationships Georgette has in the book that help her navigate her healing journey as she works through her family trauma?

Mei-Xing (a Wood Nymph): After Georgette helped Mei-Xing escape from her birth

family, Mei-Xing became her rock, supporting Georgette through this challenging time of her life. Ishak (a Werehyena): Through Ishak, who she initially declined to help in his time of need, Georgette learns to recognize the privileges that her upbringing afforded her.

Nico (a curandero): Nico becomes Georgette’s de facto therapist and is the first person to

give her the terminology she needs to contextualize her abusive childhood. Neil (her love interest): Dating a good man like Neil shows Georgette that not all close

relationships are inherently manipulative. Kazimiera (a Vampire): Georgette’s problematic employer who shows her the dark side of the magic community that her family avoided.

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Former Vet Nurse pens poignant children’s book on compassion and second chances

One beagle’s journey thoughtfully sheds light on the reality of animal neglect

Colorado Springs, CO – W.B. Murph is a real-life silly Beagle who loves whispering his story ideas to his faithful, former veterinary nurse human. Together, pet and owner have created a heartfelt new children’s picture book that confronts the importance (for animals and humans) of love and care despite perceived flaws, fears, and failures. “Molly’s Miracle: A Chosen Dog, Not a Broken Dog” (November 7th, 2023, National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week) takes young readers on an adventure of hope and second chances with lovable Beagle Molly, inspired by real events. This emotionally-charged TAIL teaches young readers to love and respect our beloved four-legged friends, and that what makes us different is what makes us special.

“Everyone has to be a bit broken, because that’s how the love gets in.”

About the book: Molly has been abandoned by a cruel owner, left alone to fend for herself in the streets. She is hurt, she is hungry, and most of all, Molly is unloved. She tries to make friends but everywhere she goes, she is turned away, treated harshly, told to leave. When all hope is lost, Molly meets her miracle…a girl whose very special gift is just what Molly needs to see the value in herself.  Molly’s Miracle is a story of love, acceptance, kindness, and the light that shines in everyone – no matter their circumstance. 

Molly’s Miracle

W.B. Murph | November 7, 2023 | Children’s Picture Book

Paperback | 979-8-9882462-0-6 | $9.99 

Hardcover | 979-8-9882462-1-3 | $18.99 


W.B. Murph  is a 5 year old Beagle living his best life in Colorado. He whispers story ideas to his ever-faithful, former veterinary nurse human, who writes them down, as Beagles are not so very good at holding a pencil. Murph’s stories focus on children from all circumstances, with all abilities, and their less-than-typical dogs. Murph tells tales of love, acceptance and equality for all because when we learn to love our differences we start to live our best lives – just like Murph! Find out more about them at their website.

Follow W.B. Murph on social media:

Facebook: @MurphWrites | Twitter: @WonderBeagMurph

Instagram: @WonderBeagleMurphy

In an interview, W.B. Murph and

his human can discuss:

  • Their hope in teaching the responsibility of caring for animals, and reminding people that pets should never be purchased or adopted on a whim
  • The reality of animal neglect throughout our world, and how we can start small to make a big difference
  • The decision to make Molly have a missing leg, and how what makes us different makes us special
  • Their human’s experience as a veterinary nurse, and how it lead them both to write about the value of pet ownership
  • How Jacob Frey animated short “The Present” has inspired their writing and mission

An Interview with

W.B. Murph and his human

1. How do you hope to teach young readers the responsibility of caring for animals with this book?

The time to think section gives children a chance to reflect on the story, answer questions in their own mind, and gets them reflecting on how animals are treated. Having an animal main character assists in making the feelings and thoughts of animals accessible, anthropomorphizing a concept that can be somewhat unknown to children. 

2. In what ways do you think this story will make young children not only learn to treat animals with respect, but also feel seen and comforted in their own adversities?

Both main characters (Molly the Beagle and Mandy) have faced and ultimately overcome adversities. Lessons in Murph’s books are intended to be subtle, and allow children to draw their own conclusions. I believe the conclusion to be drawn here is “If Molly is OK, maybe I can be as well.” 

3. When writing this story, how did you go about balancing Molly’s struggles (her leg amputation) with her triumphs (finding Mandy)?

It was important to me that the story ended on a very positive and hopeful note, so the logical place for Molly’s struggles was at the beginning of the story. The trick in balancing a serious and sensitive subject like animal neglect with a hopeful and triumphant message about acceptance and love is to leave the reader with a final impression of hope and love. 

4. Animal neglect takes place all across the globe. What are some ways we can bring about change in our local communities, and inspire others to do the same?

Children can (and SHOULD!) be encouraged to join with parents in safe volunteer activities for which the children have a keen interest.  Foster a rescued animal in your home and give some responsibilities for its care to the child. Rescues are always in desperate need of foster homes. Other opportunities include earmarking a couple of dollars a month for a rescue organization or donating items to an auction, or making a donation with a fundraiser the child dreams up. 

This topic is definitely something I could go on and on about. 

5. Can we expect anything else from W.B Murph and his human?

Absolutely! Murph is a passionate and prolific writer! We have 2 books almost ready to go to press and 4 more books in the process of being illustrated. These books will be part of the “Molly’s Miracle” series and will focus on other aspects of pet care such as remembering to tag and microchip, taking dogs to the “dog-tor”, and dealing with old age and death in dogs.

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Triumphant coming-of-age memoir uncovers the truth about love and queer pride after purity culture

Minneapolis, MNIn the inspirational coming-of-age memoir, “Finding Sunlight” (Wise Ink, November 2023), Chrissy Holm separates purity culture, LGBTQ religious trauma, and a patriarchal father-daughter relationship from all the possibilities of meaningful love. 

The church has a lot of views on women’s relationships. Respect the sanctity of marriage. Save yourself for your husband. And never, ever think about having a wife.

Homeschooled at church and raised by a devout father, Chrissy internalized scripture’s strictest messages. She suppressed her bisexuality and followed all the teachings of purity culture.

When she turned sixteen, her parent’s divorce flipped the script. Devastated and unsure of her values, Chrissy jumped from one relationship to another, searching for commitment and solace from a depression that crept more to the forefront every day.

Readers who grew up in evangelical or fundamentalist religious communities will find themselves in these stories as Chrissy seeks meaning in her religious upbringing—finding forgiveness for her dad, her past relationships, and ultimately, herself.

Raw and hopeful, this liberating memoir is an intimate look at how one woman found the courage to question what she was taught to believe to uncover her own truth and navigate love with pride.


“We don’t have a map or directions for relationships, love, religion, or God. We get lost. We stumble . . . and we pray that we will find the sunlight.” 


Finding Sunlight: A Coming-of-Age Memoir
About Love Within the Wreckage of Purity Culture

Chrissy Holm | November 14, 2023 | Wise Ink Creative Publishing | Nonfiction, Memoir 

Paperback | ISBN: 9781634896498 | $18.95 

Praise for the book…

“‘Finding Sunlight’ is an eye-opening journey. Told through the lens of growing up in the church, various tumultuous relationships and her parents’ marriage, we get a glimpse into how it truly feels to wrestle with one’s own queer identity. That feeling of authenticity within ourselves is one we can all relate to, and you’ll be rooting for her until the very last page.” 

—Stacey Chomiak, author of “Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming-of-Age Story”

“‘Finding Sunlight’ is a reflection on the impacts of growing up within Christian fundamentalism and the shaping of adolescence onward. Religious harm is real and silences too many with shame and guilt about their sexuality and being their authentic selves. A must-read for anyone who questions what the church taught them to know they are not alone.”

—Stacey Schultz, Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner

“Those with similar stories will find an invitation to the same freedom Holm has found for herself.” 

—Matthias Roberts, queer psychotherapist, podcaster, and author of “Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms”

About the Author…

Chrissy Holm (she/they) is a writer, editor, and project manager. She is the host of the podcast Stirred By Words, where she talks about words, writing, and wellness. Her writing has been featured on Everyday Health, National Council on Aging, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, and more. She is an alumni at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where she studied Public Health Education and Promotion. Chrissy lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and daughter.

For more of Chrissy’s writing—and support on your own creative projects—connect with her on social media @chrissyholm_ or visit

Follow Chrissy Holm on social media:

Instagram | TikTok | Twitter | LinkedIn

In an interview, Chrissy Holm can discuss:

  • How “Finding Sunlight” began as a way to work through her parents divorce but ended up being about so much more
  • Her experience with purity culture and what it took to move beyond confusion and shame into a place of greater clarity
  • How embracing her bisexuality helped her find her individuality and learn what love means to her
  • Her advice for teens (and adults) who may be struggling to find their true selves amidst restrictive church teachings

An Interview with

Chrissy Holm

1. What was the inspiration behind “Finding Sunlight”?

Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to write a book (inspired by many authors before me), and in 2018, I was hiking in the Grand Tetons, finding a million excuses not to write it. One of the people on the hike suggested one simple solution, which flipped the script in my head, and I dedicated myself to writing it. Initially, I wanted to explore why my parents divorce hit me so hard and wanted a space to reflect on why I made certain relationship choices. For many years, I felt alone in my struggle and wanted to be vulnerable and connect deeply with others.

2. For those who aren’t familiar with purity culture, what does that phrase mean?

Purity culture often is related to conservative religious practices of promoting abstinence before marriage, emphasizing traditional gender roles, and discouraging any form of sexual expression outside of heterosexual marriage. Typically, there are strict rules around how one should dress (i.e., girls have long hair and wear dresses) and limited sexual education (i.e., abstinence-only approach). It also includes other ideals, such as women being responsible for men’s sexual behavior.

3. How did your perspective on love shift after your parents divorce? 

Before my parents divorced, I thought love was about finding the “right” man with whom I would share intimate experiences and my life. Love essentially was only reserved for whomever I would marry, and anything outside of that was shameful. After my parents divorced, my perspective broadened. I learned that love and intimacy could happen outside of marriage. And although I hadn’t always been truthful in my relationships, as time passed, I had a greater appreciation for communication and honesty. 

4. What advice would you give to others who are struggling to find their true selves, queer and otherwise, within the church?

Finding your true self can be challenging in general, whether within the church, outside of it, queer, or not. So first, acknowledge that it is HARD work and self-discovery is a lifelong journey! Some things that have helped me are engaging in personal reflection (i.e., journaling and writing this book), leaning on a community that supports the multifaceted layers of me, and prioritizing my mental health and well-being (one of which I still struggle with). If you stay within the church or religion, find one that supports and affirms you. If you choose to leave, know that you can still have a meaningful spiritual life outside traditional religious institutions. 

5. What’s next for you?

Speaking of mental health, I will celebrate my accomplishment of publishing this book over the last five years, then take a mental break for a short while. After feeling rejuvenated, I will work to promote Finding Sunlight, attend events, and connect with readers and writers. I’ve also been slowly percolating ideas for a second book! As I focus more on writing, I will attend writing conferences to continue learning about the book publishing industry, connect with other authors, and grow my writing skills.

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Stanford and Harvard graduate explores complexities of marriage and expat life in her debut novel

“This novel makes the reader feel emotion with every fiber of their being.” 

— CAMILA SÁNCHEZ BOLAÑO, Editor-in-Chief, Newsweek en Español

“Boldly honest, yet tender at the core—a novel with something important to say.” 

—DEBRA THOMAS, author of “Luz”

SAN MIGUEL de ALLENDE, MEXICOCo-founder of microlending organization Mano Amiga and former Vice President of Casita Linda, which builds homes for families living in extreme poverty, Ann Marie Jackson is releasing her debut novel The Broken Hummingbird (October 3, 2023, She Writes Press). The Broken Hummingbird wrestles with marital dissolution and cultural dissonance, following a woman’s struggle to truly know her new country and her own heart. Jane—mother, lawyer, enthusiastic expat, and fatally unhappy wife—sets out to help two little girls but must also save herself and her own sons while navigating the parallel worlds of wealth and poverty in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Appealing to readers enthralled by the fate of innocents and not-so-innocents abroad in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, The Broken Hummingbird includes a propelling dose of the energy, edgy sisterhood, and dark domestic secrets of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. The Broken Hummingbird balances the raw undoing of a marriage with the joys of discovery that lie in building a new life.

This title also offers crossover appeal from literary/upmarket women’s fiction to travel writing audiences as San Miguel de Allende has repeatedly been named “#1 Small City in the World” by readers of Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler.

F I N A L I S T,  W O M E N’ S  F I C T I O N

2 0 2 3  I N T E R N A T I O N A L  B O O K  A W A R D S

“The Broken Hummingbird”

Ann Marie Jackson | October 3, 2023 | She Writes Press | Women’s Fiction; Literary 

Paperback | 978-1-64742-559-3 | $17.95 

Ebook | 978-1-64742-560-9 | $9.95 

IN THE MIDST OF A MARITAL CRISIS, Jane hatches an unusual plan to avoid a custody battle. She convinces husband Kevin to walk away from the pressures of New York—in particular, her demanding job and an affair she almost had—in the hope that moving to their favorite city abroad will fix their family. In San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Jane and her young sons delight in new adventures, but Kevin seethes. Jane befriends a circle of intriguing women and helps two girls who remind her of the brother she abandoned when her own parents divorced. After witnessing violence involving the girls’ father, Jane’s vivid dreams, possibly guided by a hummingbird messenger from the hereafter, grow ever darker. When tragedy strikes San Miguel, the community fractures and then rises, and Jane must make a dangerous choice. 

ANN MARIE JACKSON: Ann Marie Jackson is co-founder of microlending organization Mano Amiga and former Vice President of Casita Linda, which builds homes for families living in extreme poverty in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Early in her career, after earning degrees from Stanford and Harvard, Jackson joined the U.S. Department of State to promote human rights in China and other East Asian and Pacific Island nations. She has worked with Human Rights Watch, A Better Chance, and Internews, among other organizations, to further social justice causes and advance respect for human rights, and has traveled widely on five continents. Her short stories, essays, and articles appear in Mexico News Daily, THIS Top Destinos, San Miguel Life, Solamente en San Miguel, Atención San Miguel, and more. “The Broken Hummingbird” is her first novel. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will benefit nonprofit organizations serving women and families in central Mexico. A native of Seattle, Washington, Jackson resides in San Miguel de Allende. Visit her at  

Early praise for “The Broken Hummingbird”

“…sensitive…feminist…empowering…Handling the difficult subjects of immigration, charity, and abuse with care, The Broken Hummingbird focuses on a community of activists in Mexico that changes a family’s life…and a woman who comes into her own…when pushed to take back the power she has ceded.” 


“Rich symbolism complements the strong plotline of this inspirational novel… psychologically profound and realistic, The Broken Hummingbird is a remarkable debut from a talented author.”

— 5-star READERS’ FAVORITE review

“The Broken Hummingbird shimmers with the iridescent beauty of San Miguel de Allende. In this well-crafted story, Jackson succeeds in depicting the harsh realities of domestic violence, the complexities of a broken marriage, the significance of community support, and the comfort and strength found in enduring friendships. Boldly honest, yet tender at the core—a novel with something important to say.” 

— DEBRA THOMAS, author of Luz

 “With insider’s knowledge, Ann Marie Jackson writes with nuance and panache about the agony and the ecstasy of twenty-first-century expat life in San Miguel de Allende. Her debut novel is vivid, moving, and highly entertaining.”                                  

— GINA HYAMS, author of In a Mexican Garden

 “This story beautifully illustrates the power of connection. The author’s deep love and respect for the culture of her adopted country shine through in her writing. Bravo!”                                            

 — DEANNA SINGH, author of Actions Speak Louder and Purposeful Hustle

“A mother’s love is powerful beyond measure in a world where domestic violence touches every circle of society. With colorful intensity, Ann Marie Jackson speaks truthfully of San Miguel de Allende: its impressive traditions and cultural strength as well as the inevitable frictions within a community formed of people from every corner of the world who face the excruciating pain of loss. This novel makes the reader feel emotion with every fiber of their being.” 

— CAMILA SÁNCHEZ BOLAÑO, Editor-in-chief, Newsweek en Español

“A powerful story beautifully told, both lyrical and compelling. This book is for anyone who has ever felt their world coming apart and chosen to embrace a courageous journey forward. Here is one woman’s story you do not want to miss.”

— JAN BAROSS, author of José Builds a Woman

“With vivid and colorful descriptions, Ann Marie Jackson renders a vibrant literary canvas that transports the reader to Mexico’s treasured San Miguel de Allende. While there, we witness the transformation of a woman who, surrounded by the strength of her close friends and community—as well as through her own focused determination—is able to rise above the pain of a broken marriage and restore her spirit to what it once was.”    

— JESSICA WINTERS MIRELES, author of Lost in Oaxaca

 “Women from two worlds, coexisting in San Miguel de Allende, are empowered in different ways while depending on each other far more than one might suspect. Jackson provides a richly detailed depiction of place as well as close, careful study of tragedy and triumph in these women’s lives.” 

— LUCINA KATHMANN, Vice President emerita of PEN International, representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and author of Para Que Nos Escuchen/To Make Ourselves Heard

 “With visually rich prose, Ann Marie Jackson tells a moving tale of a woman’s resilience and reinvention through the eyes of an expat in the beautiful but complicated city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.”

— BRIAN CREWE, award-winning film director

“A deep, delightful read! Spanning the parallel worlds of privilege and poverty in San Miguel de Allende, Ann Marie Jackson’s The Broken Hummingbird captures the heartbreak of a dissolving marriage alongside the joys of making a difference in others’ lives as well as one’s own.”   

 — LUCIE FROST, satirist published by Slackjaw, NextTribe, and The Belladonna

6-million-viewed webcomic series to hit bookshelves

Acclaimed TV series animator expands storytelling to graphic novel that modernizes classic horror for YA

“A wickedly sharp adventure!”

ND Stevenson, New York Times bestselling and Eisner-award winning creator of Nimona and co creator of the Lumberjanes series

LOS ANGELES, California – After amassing a dedicated fandom with over 180,000 unique visitors to and more than 6 million views (and counting) on TikTok’s #TheGlassScientists, S.H. Cotugno is releasing the first volumized edition of their delightful webcomic inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Glass Scientists: Volume 1 (Razorbill, Oct 3, 2023). Having worked in the animation industry as a director, writer and storyboard artist on hit shows such as Gravity Falls, The Owl House and Star vs. the Forces of Evil, series creator Cotugno dazzles readers with a warm-hearted gaslamp fantasy starring Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and more. The series is perfect for young adults and debuts just in time for Halloween!

The Glass Scientists follows Dr. Henry Jekyll who, determined to help reshape the nasty public image of his fellow mad scientists, creates the Society for Arcane Sciences  a place where a colorful cast of like-minded eccentrics could come together to defy the laws of nature in peace. When a mysterious stranger arrives to take the Society in a new direction, Jekyll’s life spirals out of control, shattering his carefully laid plans, and threatening to expose his darkest secrets.

Perfect for fans of Lore Olympus, The Adventure Zone, and The Night Circus, this beloved webcomic of mad science and misunderstood Victorian monsters is publishing in print for the first time!

“The Glass Scientists: Volume 1”

S.H. Cotugno | October 3, 2023 | Razorbill | Graphic Novel (12+) / Fantasy

Hardcover | 9780593524428 | $24.99

S. H. COTUGNO is a queer and mixed-race Victorian horror nerd born and raised in Los Angeles, California. They are a director, writer and storyboard artist in the animation industry and have previously worked on projects such as Gravity Falls, The Owl House and Star vs. the Forces of Evil. The Glass Scientists will be their first published graphic novel. You can see more of their work at

Follow S . H. COTUGNO on social media:

Facebook: @arythusa | TikTok: @arythusa

Twitter: @arythusa | Instagram: @arythusa

In an interview, S. H. Cotugno can discuss:

  • What personally inspired them to produce a Jekyll/Hyde graphic novel retelling
  • How retelling a classic story helped them explore gender and sexuality
  • How The Glass Scientists’ story helped them through creative heartbreak
  • How their acclaimed work on shows like Gravity Falls, Star vs. The Forces of Evil and The Owl House influenced this series
  • The story’s themes of duality and self-acceptance, and its reflection in their own life
  • Why taking a classic gothic horror story and making it more accessible to young readers is not only fun but important
  • Their decision to create The Glass Scientists as a webcomic that has since amassed millions of views and a loyal fanbase
  • The ways that monsters and mad scientists can be empowering characters to people from marginalized identities

An Interview with

S. H. Cotugno

1. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is such a classic and inspiring story! What went into your decision to re-tell this story in your graphic novel? How did you turn this classic into something modern young readers can relate to?

As a mixed-race, bisexual, and nonbinary person, I’ve always been drawn to stories about characters caught between two worlds. I can’t think of a character who embodies that experience more than Dr. Jekyll, a man so desperate to fit himself into the boxes society laid out for him that he literally splits his soul in two. But I totally get why young readers would be reluctant to pick up a 140-year-old novella, especially one where everyone already knows the twist at the end. Yeah, we get it, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were the same person the whole time! So I wanted to reimagine Dr. Jekyll, as well as Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Moreau, and all my other favorite mad scientists, in a fun and fast-placed story that both eager and reluctant readers could fall in the love with.

2. Why is The Glass Scientists important to you on a personal level?

Among other things, the Glass Scientists helped me discover my transgender identity. The story has gone through so many changes over the years, but somehow I always knew exactly what Jekyll looked like. I hadn’t heard the term “transition goals” yet, but I started to suspect that something might be up after more than one reader messaged me saying that his “egg crack” moment (the moment someone realizes they are trans) had something to do with him. I always got so excited when I received those messages, but I couldn’t quite articulate why until a friend sent me a Glass Scientists fanfiction depicting Jekyll as a trans man. This was one of the first–if not the first–time I had seen transmasculine representation, and it kickstarted my long and messy journey of gender exploration. 

3. The Glass Scientists was originally a webcomic. What went into your decision to share it online?

Since I work in the animation industry, people often ask, “Why didn’t you pitch The Glass Scientists as a TV show?” But the range of stories deemed marketable for TV animation is incredibly narrow, and it was even narrower when I started in the business ten years ago. Series aimed at young adults were incredibly rare, and queer representation was virtually unheard-of. But I knew there was an audience out there for stories like this, even if studio mandates and focus groups insisted otherwise. I tested the waters with a mini-comic funded through Kickstarter, and after I blew past all my stretch goals, I decided to take the plunge and commit all my nights and weekends to the sordid webcomic lifestyle. 

4. You have such an impressive resume of shows like Gravity Falls, Star vs. The Forces of Evil and The Owl House. How did your experience working on those shows influence this series?

I was so lucky to begin my career working on incredible shows that just happened to line up with the kinds of stories I wanted to tell, balancing fantastical worlds with relatable characters and conflicts. My time on those projects, working alongside some of the most talented artists and writers in the industry, taught me everything I know about visual storytelling. I’m sure you can see the Gravity Falls influence on my sense of comedic timing or the Owl House vibes in some of the more gruesome monsters who show up later in the story. Fans of those shows will find plenty to like here!

5. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is definitely a more gothic tale, but you’ve made it so colorful and vibrant. How did you incorporate more humor into the story?

The Glass Scientists deals with some pretty intense themes, from self-loathing to internalized homophobia. But if you start your story in a completely dark and dreary place, it’s easy to say: “This guy barely has anything to live for to begin with, so does it really matter if a few more terrible things happen to him?” But if you saw him at his best, when the future seemed bright and full of promise, you know exactly how much he has to lose. My hope is: if I can get you to laugh along with my characters, you’re more likely to care when I throw them off a cliff. 

6. You recently started a TikTok and have put a lot of effort into connecting directly with your fans. Does interacting with your readership on a daily basis affect your creative process?

I’ve been posting my work online since the days of Elfwood and Gaia Online, but nothing I’ve ever posted before has gathered a loyal following like the Glass Scientists. The fact that people show up week after week and even make their own fanart, fanfiction, cosplays, and crafts based on my characters is a privilege I never take for granted. It’s particularly fun when you get to know your most frequent commenters and think, “I bet RB will have a hot take on this one,” or “I think Arin will love this drawing of Lanyon.” Of course, having that personal relationship with fans can make it hard to stay true to your creative vision and not be swayed by what you think they want to see. But there’s no way I would have made it through the grind of a weekly webcomic for eight-plus years if it weren’t for the enthusiastic support of my readership!

7. What drove you to begin writing The Glass Scientists?

Nearly every step of creating the Glass Scientists was marked by creative heartbreak. 

I began outlining the story in earnest after I was rejected from the Disney Animation story trainee program in 2012, and I pitched it to my literary agent shortly after my first animation development project was shelved in 2020. Those career setbacks absolutely sucked when I was going through them, but they also challenged me to develop my creative voice and build self-confidence on my own. And at a time when studios are so quick to cancel shows or disappear them from their streaming services, it’s been a source of stability and comfort to have a story that is entirely my own.

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Summer travel adventures and their perfect book companions

Take Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune to Lake Tahoe

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in the city. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.

At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort–something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.

She needs a plan–a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?


Take Wild by Cheryl Strayed to HorseShoe Bend, Arizona

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State–and she would do it alone.

Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.


Take On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor to Zion National Park, Utah

While thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing.

Throughout, Moor reveals how this single topic–the oft-overlooked trail–sheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity’s relationship with nature and technology shaped the world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life?


Take Happy Place by Emily Henry to Leavenworth, Washington

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college–they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now–for reasons they’re still not discussing–they don’t.

They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?


Take The Guest List by Lucy Foley to Block Island, Rhode Island

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?


Take Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster to Moab, Utah

During a culture-shocked exchange year in Japan, 15-year-old Lisa Dempster’s imagination is ignited by the story of the henro michi, an arduous 1,200-kilometre Buddhist pilgrimage through the mountains of Japan.

Perfectly suiting the romantic view of herself as a dusty, travel-worn explorer (well, one day), she promises to return to Japan and walk the henro michi, one way or another, as soon as humanely possible.

Fast-forward 13 years, and Lisa’s life is vastly different to what she pictured it would be. Severely depressed, socially withdrawn, overweight, on the dole and living with her mum, she is 28 and miserable. And then, completely by chance, the henro michi comes back into her life, through a book at her local library. It’s a sign. She decides then and there to go back to Japan almost immediately: to walk the henro michi, and walk herself back to health.

Brushing aside the barriers that other people might find daunting – the 1,200km of mountainous terrain, the sweltering Japanese summer, the fact she has no money and has never done a multiday hike before – Lisa is determined to walk the pilgrimage – or die trying.


Take Chlorine by Jade Song to Half Moon Bay, California

Ren Yu is a swimmer. Her daily life starts and ends with the pool. Her teammates are her only friends. Her coach, her guiding light. If she swims well enough, she will be scouted, get a scholarship, go to a good school. Her parents will love her. Her coach will be kind to her. She will have a good life.

But these are human concerns. These are the concerns of those confined to land, those with legs. Ren grew up on stories of creatures of the deep, of the oceans and the rivers. Ones that called sailors to their doom. Ones that dragged them down and drowned them. Ones that feasted on their flesh. Ones of the creature that she’s always longed to become: mermaid.

Ren aches to be in the water. She dreams of the scent of chlorine–the feel of it on her skin. And she will do anything she can to make a life for herself where she can be free. No matter the pain. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter how much blood she has to spill.


Take Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin to Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Rice Moore is just beginning to think his troubles are behind him. He’s found a job protecting a remote forest preserve in Virginia Appalachia where his main responsibilities include tracking wildlife and refurbishing cabins. It’s hard work, and totally solitary–perfect to hide away from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, the quiet solitude he’s so desperately sought is suddenly at risk.

More bears are killed on the preserve and Rice’s obsession with catching the poachers escalates, leading to hostile altercations with the locals and attention from both the law and Rice’s employers. Partnering with his predecessor, a scientist who hopes to continue her research on the preserve, Rice puts into motion a plan that could expose the poachers but risks revealing his own whereabouts to the dangerous people he was running from in the first place.

James McLaughlin expertly brings the beauty and danger of Appalachia to life. The result is an elemental, slow burn of a novel–one that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.


Take The Cutting Season by Attica Locke to the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it’s something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn’t know. As she’s drawn into the dead girl’s story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

Circe unsnarls an obsessive and vengeful romance in new Greek myth retelling

Seattle, WA – Return to Circe’s mythical story in this fast-paced, adventurous, and tragically romantic reimagining of Glaucus and Skylla in  “An Unexpected Ally” (She Writes Press, October 3, 2023).  Sophia Kouidou-Giles’s debut fiction sheds new light on the classic story revealing the terrible origins of one of the most legendary Greek monsters against a background of romance, revenge, and unlikely sisterhood. With the sequel to release in November 2025!

The Greek born Sophia Kouidou-Giles, who has won the American Writer Award, has a background in Greek translation, poetry, and memoir-writing. She brings her own interpretation to the famous story of Circe, Glaucus, and Skylla creating a lush depiction of ancient Greek life amidst a scandalous relationship that ends in tragedy.

Following Odysseus’s departure, Circe journeys to Delos to meet an amphibian god, Glaucus. Intrigued by his abilities with herbs, she finds Glaucus to be a suitable match only to realize he’s in love with the local beauty, Skylla. However, the same couldn’t be said about Skylla and when Glaucus’s jealousy turns into revenge, it’s up to Circe to help the two undo the damage they’ve caused.

With another thrilling adventure in Circe’s world, readers will be enthralled by the compelling and whimsical interpretation.

An Unexpected Ally: A Greek Tale of Love, Revenge, and Redemption

Sophia Kouidou-Giles | October 3, 2023

She Writes Press | Historical Fiction + Greek/Roman Mythology

Paperback | 978-1647425555 | $17.95

Sophia Kouidou-Giles was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and university educated in the USA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and masters in social work. In her over-30-year child welfare career, she served as a practitioner, educator, researcher, and administrator and published articles in Greek and English professional journals. In recent years, her focus has shifted to writing nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and translation. She has published in Voices, Persimmon Tree, Assay, The Raven’s Perch, The Time Collection, and The Blue Nib. Her poetry chapbook is Transitions and Passages. Her work has appeared in anthologies, including The Time Collection, Visual Verse, and Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis.

Her memoir, Επιστροφή Στη Θεσσαλονίκη/Return to Thessaloniki, was published in Greek by Tyfri Press. The book in English: Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past, was published by She Writes Press. Sophia  lives in Seattle, Washington, near her son, her daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. Find out more about her at her website. Perse is a sequel to An Unexpected Ally. Look for it in November 2025. 

Follow Sophia Kouidou-Giles on social media: 

Facebook: @Kouidou | Twitter: @Kouidou | Instagram: @sophiakg1

Advanced praise for An Unexpected Ally

“Sophia Kouidou-Giles’ novella deftly eschews such bland storytelling, providing us instead with characters who, despite their superhuman powers, are nonetheless flawed, which adds extra spice to the narrative mix. Furthermore, we also have the opportunity to explore the experiences of women endowed with power, ingenuity and, importantly, a convincing voice.”

— Clare Morris, Poetess and Editor of The Blue Nib

“Lovers of Greek myths and myth retellings should not miss this soaring tale. With An Unexpected Ally, Sophia Kouidou-Giles takes the oft-maligned goddess of sorcery to new heights and dimensions. In this fresh take, love, hate, and jealousy are channeled into a compelling story of sisterhood.” 

— Maria A. Karamitsos, Journalist & Author

“Both young and old know the suffering of love’s end… and the disaster of wrong attraction. But if you happen to be the sorceress Circe—a shape-shifter and spell-caster—the outcomes are unrestrained by human proportion. An unforgettable story of infatuation, tragic error, and redemption for readers of all ages.”

— Jean Gilbertson, author of Dancing on the Whisper of God: A Novel

“Kouidou-Giles’ book captivates the reader from the first paragraph. The story traveled me to vibrant worlds with rich descriptions of an ancient, mythical world. Through the fascinating adventures of Circe, the author extols the talents, emotions and skills of the feminine nature, revealing the primary virtues of female solidarity. A page turner!”

— Nora Kazazi, Author of Colours of My Soul/Στα Χρώματα της Ψυχής Μου.

“Circe by Sophia Kouidou-Giles is an enchanted reimagining of an ancient Greek myth, and has all the hallmarks of human drama with a powerful woman, Circe, at the center of the story.  Circe includes timeless themes of family conflict, use and misuse of power, desire, prophecy, dreams, sacrifices to the Gods, and love gone awry. Curl up in front of the fire, or enjoy this book sitting in the sun on vacation. A fun and educational read, Circe is highly recommended.”

— Diana English, PhD

“What a wonderful mix of adventure, mythology, age-old relationship issues; the reader encounters engaging, unusual characters and visual images that take them out of the daily grind and into another realm, including under the sea, into the sky. A true adventure tale with just enough history and psychology to elevate it above mere escapist pleasure.”

— Mary Weikert, Journalist

“What an unexpected retelling, filled with characters from Greek mythology! I couldn’t quite remember my Greek myths from high school but it hardly mattered… all that’s needed for the story is here. It centers on Circe, enchantress, mini-goddess & daughter of the sun god, as she learns how to use her magic in healing ways, and the story has a whole new take on Skylla, the monster with 6 dog-heads who figures in the adventures of Odysseus. It’s an enjoyable read, with twists and turns!”

— Meg Mahoney, Educator

In an interview, Sophia Kouidou-Giles can discuss:

  • Creating a fantasy world based on Greek myth and the challenges faced when re-interpreting an already well-known story
  • Her unique reasons for choosing the story of Circe in her retelling
  • The importance of sharing Greek myth with readers and bringing more people to love the classics
  • Her love for Greek culture and mythology and how it has played a role in her career and life
  • Her love for Circe’s story and how it fueled her inspiration for this book after years of translation work and memoir-writing
  • Her experiences as an author and her approach when creating fiction
  • Which character in An Unexpected Ally she most enjoyed writing about and why
  • Why did she decide to become an author in retirement, and what sparked her novel 
  • How has her bilingual background been beneficial to her writing

An Interview with 

Sophia Kouidou-Giles

1. Which Greek mythological elements heavily influence this novel?  

An Unexpected Ally’ focuses on Circe’s story, in particular the months after Odysseus left her to return home. The novel draws from Homer’s epic, the Odyssey, where he briefly mentions Circe’s story. The myth of Skylla and Charybdis and the myth of Glaucus, an amphibian god are woven into this novel revealing a complex character’s adventures and alliances.

2. Why did you decide to pick Circe? What about that particular story inspired you to re-interpret it?

Homer dedicated a few lines to Circe’s character, mainly portraying her as a two-dimensional witch, who converted people to beasts. In my book she is a complex character, who displays relatable, admirable and flawed characteristics in her relationships, while being at the same time a powerful enchantress with extensive knowledge about potions and other elements of magic.

3. What inspired you to fabricate this fantastical world and characters?

My Greek origins and familiarity with myths were two important factors.

My grandmother’s facility to create original stories on the spot gave me the model and motivation to mirror her. I have always been a reader of literature and enjoyed mythology and fairy tales. All these influences conspired to help me craft the wonderful ancient world of Circe and to reconstruct her mythical character. Immortality means she has a vast amount of experience; her associations with Odysseus and Glaucus allow for exploration of relationships with men; her interactions with Skylla, a younger woman, demonstrate the depth of her loyalty. As a powerful witch, she can harm and help others. The question remains, who is her ally?

4. How would you describe your writing style? What was your process like to create this book? 

My friends and other writers tell me my writing is descriptive, immersive and evocative. I developed a fast-paced plot, using vivid language and imagery to describe settings and characters.

I started “An Unexpected Ally” without an outline, and continued without one through the project. Never knowing what comes next makes for an exciting process of discovery and means that several drafts and redrafts were required.

5. What is the main takeaway you want readers to have after reading your novel?

I hope readers already familiar with Circe will discover and appreciate new depths of her character and that all readers of the book will feel empowered to emulate the problem solving attributes displayed in the story.

6. Do you plan to write another book either set in similar settings or based on Greek mythology?

I have already written a sequel about Perse, Circe’s mother, forthcoming in November 2025. The story investigates three new myths, Phaethon, and Daedalus and refers to Homer’s Odyssey; it explores new themes in this ancient Greek world.

7. Tell me about the research that is required to develop a story such as you have created about Circe.

Growing up in Greece, I lived in a land dotted with museums and archaeological sites. That was an education in itself that helped me to get a sense of place and objects as well as to visualize everyday living.

Original sources used would include Homer’s Odyssey, Books 10 and 12; in Hesiod’s Theogony, he mentions who Circe’s parents are; in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, both Skylla and Glaucus are mentioned.

Other sources include Google searches, Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica. It also was interesting to read authors who interpreted Circe’s character differently, such as Madeline Miller and Margaret Atwood.

8. Why was it important to you to take the witch Homer presented negatively and create instead a positive persona?

In Homer, the warriors and kings are the leaders and heroes of his epics; Circe is a two-dimensional secondary character that is given brief space in his Odyssey. My goal was to empower and detail her personality and make her the protagonist of a story that builds out her character more fully, showing strengths and flaws.

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YA fantasy author is back with new adventure trilogy

Titanian Awakenings takes place 20 years after Titanian Chronicles, following 3 lead characters

“Journey of Destiny” by Leisl Kaberry

Paperback, 978-1480057876, $17.99 | Ebook, 9781480057876, $2.99

Found beyond the Elvin borders, Afeclin, a human child, is taken in and raised by an Elvin King. Now grown and longing to learn about the mystic arts, he embarks on a journey back into a land now unfamiliar. Accompanied by his elvin friend, Wolflang, they leave their homes to seek out their destiny. Unbeknown to Afeclin and Wolflang however, the warlord, Moorlan and his confederate, a dark mage, are preparing to bring war to the peaceful Land of Marrapassa, putting their lives and those they care about, in danger. Readers’ Favorite is calling book one “one of the best fantasy stories I have read in a long time”.

“Ormnhi Moon”

Paperback, 978-1502483461, $15.00 | Ebook, 9781502483461, $2.99

In the five years since Afeclin, Wolflang and Lenna crossed the Tebelligan border, the Warlord’s presence in Marrapassa has strengthened. His trolls and dark knights have inhabited towns and cities, slavery has returned and people are angry and fearful. Adding to their unease, the Dark Mage has grown in power and will stop at nothing to procure the elusive merndaicur shells. Afeclin is sent on a quest in order to uncover the truth, and his abilities and allegiances are put to the test as Afeclin learns to hone in his newly acquired gift. In amongst the darkness and chaos the sign of the foretold chosen one, is upon them: The Ormnhi Moon.

“Child of Prophecy”

Paperback, 978-1694162885, $23.43 | Ebook, 9781694162885, $2.99

A stolen child, a distraught mother, and a desperate race to claim the mystical merndaicur shells, this final installment of the trilogy follows Lenna as she seeks to take back her child, stolen by the Dark Mage and gifted to the Warlord Moorlan for an heir. Afeclin finds himself on an unexpected journey of self-discovery with a unique stranger. Wolflang works to stamp out slavery on the Mainland of Marrapassa with his Scorpion brothers, until a mysterious friend guides him in an alternative direction. But will that be enough to destroy the Dark One before he lays claim to all the merndaicur and brings destruction against the inhabitants of Titania? While all paths seem to lead to Alkarrien, will the three friends from Tebelligan be reunited against their common enemy or be thwarted due to mortal weakness and pride?

More info about the first book in the new trilogy,

“Shadow of Darkness” (October 2023), coming soon.

About the Author

KITIMAT, B.C. Canada:As far as storytelling goes… I was always a writer. As far as writing goes, it took becoming a mother.”

Writing became Leisl’s passion after an inspiration to create led her to write a single chapter in which the world of Titania was born.

An Aussie born and bred, she has lived in a variety of places including the Australian outback and Montreal, Canada. She currently resides in Kitimat, Northern British Columbia with her husband and four children. She has a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and works for Victim Services at the local RCMP. She has a brown belt in karate, likes training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and singing karaoke with her mates.

Follow Leisl Kaberry on social media:

Facebook: @TitanianChronicles | Twitter: @lawfabex

Instagram: @lawfabex | TikTok: @authorleislkaberry

Praise for

“Titanian Chronicles”

Within this lore lies a tightly told and exciting tale of heroes and the struggles that lie between them and the promise of peace in their lives.”

– Readers’ Favorite on “Ormnhi Moon”

“Child of Prophecy reserves many surprises for readers and it is the kind of story for anyone wanting to escape from the doldrums of everyday life.”

– Readers’ Favorite on Child of Prophecy

The imaginative creatures and races, descriptive imagery, and near-constant adventure make “Journey of Destiny” a very enjoyable book! The world-building is good, and the lead characters are sympathetic and distinctive.  Additionally, there are beautiful charcoal pencil sketches at the beginning and end of each chapter by the artist Kristen Caruana… the “Titanian Chronicles” should appeal to fantasy readers who love a good, clean tale!:”

-InD’Tale Magazine

“Baffling, Breathtaking and Mind Boggling!”

– Amazon reviewer 

“…if you cut aside all the epic fantasy, fabulous beasts, and kings and warriors of legend, what you have is the most profound story of all: the story of a human looking for his place in the world. Leisl Kaberry manages what all fantasy writers strive to do at the beginning of their tale, only to get lost in the thickets of their imagination: to create realistic, believable characters who are human beneath their fantastic names and powers.”

– Amazon reviewer 

“Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny melds elements of Tolkienian fantasy with Potterian whimsicality.”

– Goodreads reviewer

“Titanian Chronicles offered something new to the realm of fantasy – something that’s hard to come by in a genre replete with ‘more of the same’ stories.”

Goodreads reviewer

“Lord of the Rings meets Narnia! Titanian Chronicles is imaginative and beautifully written. Reading Titanian Chronicles was a pleasure as the author has the ability to describe the wonders of Titanian Chronicles with her pen. Every detail has been put into play for a reason.”

– Goodreads reviewer

In an interview, Leisl Kaberry can discuss:

  • How she began her writing journey, even though she never had the intention of becoming an author, and why it took 10 years to write the first book
  • Her passion for fantasy books and how she created the beloved world of Titania, including how traveling to different parts of the world inspired the landscape and terrain of Titania
  • The creation of three-dimensional, loveable characters who come to life on the pages of her books, and how to make them feel rich, full and real
  • The themes of friendship, loyalty, and courage, and the discussion of how our differences may set us apart, but also make us special
  • What’s to come in the world of Titania

An Interview with

Leisl Kaberry

1. You created an entire fantasy world for this series. What inspired you to write this series and build the world of Titania?

It really started from an image (screensaver) on my computer of a massive green moon

overlooking a palm beach and I wondered who would be there sitting on the edge and why. I wrote a chapter about it for fun and by the end of the chapter I had figured out the main plot of Titanian Chronicles. That was just the beginning of the fun of world building… and I never looked back. That original chapter now exists as chapter 2.

2. All of your characters are very three-dimensional and come to life while you’re reading the series. Were any of your characters inspired by people you know in real life?

I’m afraid if they have been it has been accidental. People have always fascinated me. I really like to understand a person’s motivations, good and bad, and the more you understand about people the easier it is to write characters that are believable as they are motivated by believable emotions and influences. I have also done a lot of acting over the years and that informs how I bring a character to life and make them seem real… I think to myself, how would I act this?

3. What drew you to the genre of fantasy?

I never would have thought I would write fantasy, I mean, I loved the genre as a kid but as an adult if I was actually choosing to become a writer I would have gone into crime mystery writing because I absolutely love it. As it happens I had been reading Dragonlance books a lot before I got married and so the combination of that big green moon and my enjoyment of Dragonlance led me in a fantasy direction. Undeniably no regrets though!

4. How do you think your series differs from other fantasy adventure novels?

I think, and I could be wrong, that it is more the focus that I put on the story and the characters rather than focusing on the fantasy aspect of it. What I have written is a story that could exist in any world about love, devotion, adventure, heartache, hardships, crimes… etc but it also happens in a world of my creation and contains mythical animals and magic. Also, each prologue and epilogue are written from the antagonist POV.

5. What do you hope readers will take away from this series and your characters? 

I hope that people will see themselves in one of the characters, that they have imperfections and even though they may try hard, sometimes they fail. I would really like people who read the books to accept that nobody is perfect and everyone can change and grow, that its really not so important about the mistakes (because we all make them) as what you do after.

6. What else is coming for the world of Titania?

Beyond the Titanian Chronicles is Titanian Awakenings which furthers the timeline 20 years into the future where we see children of the original characters have grown and are forging their own paths. The new series follows these secondary characters from the first series on their own adventures, however we see favourites from the first series making an appearance. They are no longer the mains, but they are far from forgotten.

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Former Fortune 500 corporate executive, Capitol Hill staffer and Washington lobbyist pokes fun at DC and the politicians who comprise the circus we call Congress

ATLANTA – George Franklin is a man who has worn many hats – lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate, speaker and author. In his latest work of political fiction, “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” releasing in Sept. 12 2023, Franklin draws from his career experiences to offer a hilarious take on Congress today.

“A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is a rollicking tale of Washington lobbying that will have you in stitches while making you think twice about our government. Filled with a cast of characters only to be found in our nation’s capital, Franklin’s novel is a hilarious look at the politicians, lobbyists and assorted scalawags that work behind the scenes to create public policy. A laugh-filled work of fiction that exposes how Congress really works, “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is a must read for anyone who thought it couldn’t get any worse.

About the Author

As a lawyer, lobbyist and former Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs for Kellogg Company, George Franklin has an insider’s perspective on how Washington works and doesn’t. He spent years in the halls of Congress as a major player on behalf of the food industry where he developed the anecdotes and saw first hand the outrageous personalities parodied in this book. “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” along with his other three books – “Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars,” “So You Think You Want to Run for Congress” and “Incentives: The Holy Water of Free Enterprise” – mark him as a must read for anyone with a keen eye for politics today. Find out more about Franklin at

Follow George Franklin on social media:

Facebook: @georgefranklina8uthor | LinkedIn: George Franklin

“A Feeding Frenzy in Washington”

George Franklin | Sept. 12, 2023

Political Fiction / Humor / Satirical Fiction

In an interview, George Franklin can discuss:

  • Blending fact, fiction and political satire in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington”
  • How “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” relates to today’s political climate
  • His multifaceted career as a lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate and speaker – and how that informs his work as an author, specifically writing political fiction
  • How “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” draws inspiration from his experience as the former Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for Kellogg Company and career in the food industry
  • His experience running for Congress – including lessons from campaigning and how it influences his satirical approach to political fiction
  • Insight into the widely misunderstood role of corporate government relations and how it affects public policy

An Interview with

George Franklin

Can you briefly introduce us to the colorful characters and major players we meet in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington?”

  • P.J. “Snakeboots “ Jackson – Washington lawyer/lobbyist who greases the skids and makes it all happen
  • Annika Svensson – Corporate VP who specializes in managing up while climbing over the backs of anyone in her way
  • Rod McDonnell – Feckless good ol’ boy who finds out Washington can be a ruthless town
  • Clyde Cartwright – Trade association executive from the heartland who gets deposed by a cunning intern 
  • Congressman Mickey Girtz (R FL) – A leading Luddite with delusions of grandeur 
  • Congresswoman Lizzie Pendergast (D RI) – Loud mouth progressive whose feet never touch the ground
  • Congresswoman Barb Breen (R GA) – Fantasist flame-throwing right wing populist 
  • Congresswoman Lucy Sprout (D CA) – Inside player who deftly manages to survive
  • Wienermobile – All hell breaks loose when this American icon is hijacked by vegans

Were the politicians in your new book based on real people?

The politicians and other characters are composites of people I knew and saw over a career in and around politics. They ran the gamut from serious and studious to whack jobs that made you question the whole concept of democracy. The fact that some of these people were actually elected was quite terrifying. If Gorbachev had spent a week in Washington before dismantling the Soviet Union, he might have reconsidered the whole thing.

How does “Feeding Frenzy in Washington” relate to today’s political climate? Is it particularly timely?

“Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is both timely and timeless. Set in current time, it satirizes Congress in action today while serving as a reminder none of this is really new and most likely will be the case in Congresses to come. Getting an appropriation in one body and then holding on for dear life is not unusual. I managed to get a $5 million earmark in such a manner. What you read in your high school civics book has nothing to do with what really goes on in Washington behind the scenes.

How did you balance fact vs fiction in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington?” 

The people and the story is all fiction, but there is a vein of truth in how lobbyists and Washington really works. As I mention in the book, lobbyists really do run in packs like wolves and spend a lot of time talking to themselves. Some of the stuff they dream up in those cabals is absolutely amazing and, even crazier, ends up in public policy. Good lobbyists are never accused of having a lack of imagination.

It’s easy to take politics seriously – but why is it important for you to weave humor into your political fiction?

Politicians are a reflection of their constituents, and it is time we all looked in the mirror and had a good laugh. We send these people there and keep sending them back. We rationalize all this by determining our local member of Congress is not part of the problem; it’s those other people. Also, as far as earmarks are concerned, if the money flows to our hometown, it is good government, but if it goes somewhere else, it is wasteful government spending. It is like every citizen enters the voting booth wearing blinders.

Your career has brought you down many paths – lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate,  speaker and of course, author. Can you talk a bit about your multi-hat career trajectory? Did anything surprise you along the way? Do you have a favorite role / experience from your career?

Over my career I have learned a few things. Nothing is simple. Beware of sanctimonious people or those who wear religion on their sleeve. Also, what appears to be isn’t necessarily so. The legislative process is built on smoke and mirrors. What people say may have nothing to do with what they really do. Oftentimes a member of Congress will be given a “pass” to vote for or against something when their vote is not needed, so they can go home and declare support or opposition when in fact if their vote was needed they would have done the opposite.

How have your varied career experiences inform your literary career?

Being a corporate officer for a major worldwide company, I saw the mismatch between what business people think goes on in Washington and what really does. They operate in two different worlds, and the interaction of the two is a comedy machine. I remember coming back from DC on the company plane after a meeting with a senator and one of my colleagues remarking what a good meeting it was. I had to quickly disabuse him of that notion. A senator telling you that he was “concerned “ or “disturbed” and telling the staff to “look into the matter” meant nothing! It was mere political blather.

In 2018, you ran as a Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House. You joke that while you lost, you survived to write about it in your nonfiction tell-all, “So You Think You Want to Run for Congress” (2019). Can you tell us about this experience?

As far as running for Congress, I blame it on temporary insanity. It was the most exhausting thing I ever did. It made a job in corporate America seem like a walk in the park. The personal attacks, mudslinging and skullduggery was beyond anything I ever imagined and to make it worse, this was a primary so this was from my own team.

What do you hope people will take away from your newest book?

I hope all who read this book will get some good laughs and take solace in the fact that our democracy has survived this long and somehow will continue.

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Award-winning author uncovers shocking big pharma conspiracy in new tension-filled thriller

Fans of Kyle Mills and Alyssa Cole will devour this twisty murder mystery scandal

Chicago, IL NYC Big Book and Best Book Award-winning author J. Lee is back with a tense new mystery inspired by his real-life work in the pharmaceutical industry. “The Deadly Deal” (Moonstone Cove Publishing, Sept. 12, 2023). This big pharma corruption thriller follows a junior businessman who is thrust into a world of deception and accusation when his best friend’s tragic death is exposed as a cold-blooded murder. 

“The Bottom Line: A perfectly crafted conspiracy thriller with a truly noble hero at its core, The Deadly Deal is the twisty tale we’ve been waiting for. Highly Recommended.”

– Best Thrillers Book Review

David Centrelli is just an average junior business development executive at a pharmaceutical company in Richmond when a knock on the door reveals that his best friend’s death two weeks earlier was no accident, and his buddy has a message for him from the grave. As skeptical as he is, clues keep coming, and soon his own home is engulfed in flames. When the perpetrator contacts him, he learns that the accusations are legitimate–and that people trained to eliminate problems have labeled him one. 

Blackmailed by decisions he made years ago, informed that his brother has been kidnapped, and threatened with a future not even his worst nightmare could imagine, the temptation to give up what he knows and disappear into affluent anonymity grows stronger by the second…until he learns that millions of lives depend on him doing the right thing. But can an ordinary guy really escape death from experts trained to administer it, and prevent a colossal calamity already set in motion by the highest levels of government?

“The Deadly Deal”

Lee | September 12, 2023 | Moonshine Cove Publishing | Mystery/Thriller

Paperback | 9781952439582 | $19.00 | Ebook | B0C5WB52PJ | $6.99

Early Praise for “The Deadly Deal”

Regardless of how you feel about the pharmaceutical industry, this book is a must read. J. Lee pulls you into a fast paced thriller of good vs. evil that never lets up. Tight writing, intricate plot, believable characters and a sharp, fast-moving dialogue that gels it all together. Put this one on your reading list!” 

– Jesus Leal, author of “True Diversity”

“J. Lee is a must-read new talent.”

– Mike Lawson, Edgar Award Nominated author of the Joe DeMarco series.

“The Deadly Deal is a fast-moving, page-turning thriller propelled by rapid scene changes, frequent plot twists, and an enemy that grows more powerful and menacing as the full extent of the conspiracy. Fans of plot-driven thrillers will find plenty to like…

– Windy City Book Review

J. Lee does it again with “The Deadly Deal”.  Fans of mysteries and thrillers will love this new cliffhanger. I was immediately hooked as the story began to unfold and this fast-paced and intriguing mystery kept me guessing until the very last page. Impossible to put down, I finished the book in days and loved every minute of this captivating read!”

– Nicky Steinberg, Publisher of  Downers Grove Living Magazine

“Action packed and sharply written. Grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go. I’ve already made room on my nightstand for the next J.Lee thriller.

Davin Goodwin, author of “Paradise Cove” and the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series

“‘The Deadly Deal’ is my kind of thriller. Clever premise, complex characters, a pulsating plot and a satisfying, but in no way predictable ending. Easily J. Lee’s best work, and that alone is saying something.”

– Drew Yanno, author of “In the Matter of Michael Vogel”

“’The Deadly Deal’ evolves superb characterization, satisfying twists of plot, and a focus that will keep even seasoned thriller readers guessing about its outcome.”

– Midwest Books Book Review

“A terrific follow-up to The Hubley Case and The Silent Cardinal.  In ‘The Deadly Deal’,  J. Lee lays out an explosive tale of political intrigue, government conspiracy, and murder. If you haven’t yet read Lee’s thrillers, it’s time to jump aboard the bandwagon.”

-Alfred C. Martino, author of “Pinned”, “Over The End Line”, and “Perfected By Girls”


“Set yourself some time to read  The Deadly Deal , because once you start, you will NOT want to stop turning the pages.

– Pamela S. Wight, author of “Twin Desires”, “The Right Wrong Man”, “Flashes of Life”, “Birds of Paradise” and “Molly Finds Her Purr”

J. Lee is the author of The Hubley Case, The Silent Cardinal, and The Deadly Deal. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Engineering and Sociology, and lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his family. To learn more about him or his award-winning novels, please visit

Follow J. Lee on social media:

Facebook: @authorJ.Lee

Twitter: @JLeeauthor

Instagram: @j.leeauthor

In an interview, J. Lee can discuss:

  • His real-life experience in a pharmaceutical environment that with personal research inspired the plot of the story
  • The themes of the book that apply to real-life corrupt big pharma companies and how he went about researching the possibilities
  • Using multiple perspectives and characters in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming, but rather adds to the suspense of the story
  • Writing well-written, multi-layered leads thrust into a dangerous situation
  • Balancing work life with writing mysteries, while also overcoming writer’s block and rejection in the writing industry
  • The difference between writing a series and writing a standalone
  • Generating ideas as an author, editing work and rewriting storylines over and over

An Interview with


1. How has your professional life, working with a pharmacy automation company, inspired “The Deadly Deal”? 

In my first job out of college, I got some high-level exposure to the FDA’s drug approval process. While this is certainly a work of fiction, that baseline knowledge and experience ultimately served as the impetus for the book’s storyline. Times and processes have changed, but the premise still intrigued me enough that I wanted to update it and pursue the idea. 

2. You mentioned you wrote this book 16 years ago! What made you want to release this novel now?

In a lot of ways, it feels like my writing baby. It had a different title back then, but I’d obtained a literary agent and was ready to go. Shortly after signing, and one week before he was set to reach out to publishers, my agent was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently passed away. When that happened, I put the book in the proverbial drawer and proceeded to move on in life and wound up publishing two others along the way. But the concept has always fascinated me, and I suppose deep down I believed (and hoped) that this day would come.  

3. Let’s talk about your characters. What is the inspiration behind them?

Ironically, one of the most interesting aspects of the protagonist to me as I wrote was that he’s an “ordinary” working professional who has been thrust into an extraordinary situation. In my previous novels, the main character is a Marine specially trained for the types of dangerous situations he encounters in the book, but this time writing the suspense was more challenging and intriguing because I didn’t have the crutch of him being so well trained. 

4. What are some tips for writing a twisty mystery that keeps readers guessing?

Every writer has his or her own style. For me, the only way to successfully keep the readers on their toes is to outline the story first, so that I can see it from start to finish, before I allow myself to write the first page. That lets me insert twists and turns, red herrings, and various clues that serve the overall plot. And I learned that the hard way. When I don’t outline at first, I have to rewrite a lot and usually end up creating one before it’s over anyway. I know some authors who have the ability to just start writing freestyle and hammer out a really great story, and I envy them. It’s just not me. 

5. Is there anything else in the works for you as an author?

Thanks for asking. I’ve got some thoughts about continuing the Ben Siebert series, and some fans have asked about that possibility. There’s also another standalone storyline I’m toying with that, similar to The Deadly Deal, I find extremely intriguing. If history is any judge, I’ll have to pursue that too…

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