Urban Fantasy About Modern Day Russian Witches Living in NYC

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    Auden Shepard

    I just published my first urban fantasy on Amazon and I am trying to figure out what author is the closest to the way that I write. There is a lot of historical research, fable, myth, but also poetry and a comic book element. Thanks for letting me be shameless! :) Auden

    Iris Korovin is a 21 year old witch living on her own in Manhattan trying to figure out why someone is hunting her. In order to save herself, she must understand the shifting stories of her past and allow herself to be taken care of by her human family. This story of magical realism is much like a fairy tale itself–time bends, ghosts come to life, portents are written by unseen hands, and spirits of the sea must be summoned for the ultimate battle.

    The story all begins with the family grimoire. The Book of Baba Yaga is barely held together—the threads of the spine look like the skeleton of a fish. The leather on the front is desiccated—crumbling in places and in others the tool work is greased into a slippery shine. The Book is bloated, full of pasted in mementos: sketches, slivers of fabric, petrified wood, a pebble, a lock of hair, and later there are thin sheets of yellowed photographs, and newspaper reports. The Book is the personal history of a line of women, a heritage of witches, passed down through the centuries.

    The Book had many names but mainly it was a repository, a vault of sorts. A witch’s death is supernatural, mythic, heralded and scorched, payback for deeds done in the womb or in the sky. For witches rarely die of what most would consider normal means: pneumonia, cancer, or being hit by a truck. A witch doesn’t simply grasp at her bosom and fall over with a thud. There are actors and re-actors, destiny and fate, and occasional very old, very bad blood.

    The old thing. The heap of bones. The tenacious lock. The family graveyard. The Book is an odd record. Some pages have their own wind and a waft of scent. On others illustrations distort and flip when viewed. Recipes for potions abound: Firebird Love tincture, Mongol Hatred potion, Beauty of Rose Red with juniper and cherry, Marigold and Honey health tonic. The handwriting and personality of the authoresses change over time: some write slanted, some curly and round, some scratch like a chicken. Some give advice to never-seen heirs, some decree their lives were travesty and list mistakes they hope you never make: do not antagonize the one you love, do not wade in the swollen river, do not leave your husband for his fiery brother, do not feel sorry for yourself when you have caused all of your own troubles.

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