Posts Tagged Historical Fiction
Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.
A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST
Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.
A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE
Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…
Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.
Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.
Disclaimer: This is an edgy retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
🎬 Book Trailer 🎬
🥀 Review 🥀
Once again, this author delivered an extraordinary novel!
I am an avid fan of Beauty and the Beast, but I feel that Rachel Demeter has completed this story for adult women.
Adam and Isabelle are imperfectly perfect.
An extraordinary adaptation of the original bedtime story, Demeter writes with a sense of realism that brings you closer to the characters and their beautiful tragedies. The true nature of the story is elevated to a more mature level with remarkable skill, making this an intense read that’s impossible to put down. I simply love this novel, and I’m convinced that the author lives and breathes historical fiction, as it is definitely her forte.
The characters are enchanting, the story is engrossing, and the ending wraps up beautifully! You will not regret reading this novel. A MUST READ!
🥀 Excerpt 🥀
~ The East Tower ~
Arms sprang out from the darkness. They spun her full circle and slammed her body against the king’s portrait. Isabelle gasped, more in shock than from pain, as she stared into Adam’s deformed face. The lantern flickered behind his massive form, casting his cloaked body in silhouette. But she saw enough to know he was far from pleased. Rage and frustration radiated from his body like a palpable force.
“I warned you to stay out of here,” he said, his voice dangerously cold and deep. Those rugged vocals vibrated against her body and seeped into her marrow. “What part of forbidden didn’t you comprehend?” His voice lashed out from the darkness like a hurtled knife, and the word “forbidden” seemed to whisper another meaning altogether. Isabelle tried to answer but failed to find her voice. Indeed, her vocal cords had turned to solid ice, as numb and cold as the blood rushing through her veins. She couldn’t breathe; she felt like she was suffocating.
“My mother gave me that musical box on my fourth birthday,” he said, the sensual lull of his voice causing the fine hairs on her nape to stand erect. “And now your recklessness has destroyed it. Have you nothing to say?”
“I—I’m sorry.” He offered no reply; only the ragged sound of his breathing and the hammering blizzard broke the silence. “Please—I didn’t mean any harm.”
She struggled under the weight of Adam’s colossal body and battled to free herself. He merely gave a low chuckle and pressed her firmly against the portrait. He looked otherworldly at that moment, like an angel of death seeking vengeance. Both beautiful and monstrous, his cool, sapphire eyes overflowed with warring emotions. In spite of his harsh and ruthless exterior, she detected a quaver in his voice and saw that his large, cloaked shoulders trembled. The darkness in his soul cast a shadow that embraced her; as she peered up at him, she knew he was drowning in the turbulent waters of a past time.
“What a disappointment,” he went on, his voice growing deeper still, mocking her words from so many days ago, “You’re like any other woman.”
“I—I’m sorry. Please, Adam. I—” Her gaze shot past his body and over the wreckage of a past life. She thought of her private chamber again—of the stale perfumes and outdated garments.
Her flight or fight instinct seized hold of her. She attempted to scramble free, but he merely grabbed her shoulder and whirled her back against the portrait. Gloves wrapped his hands; his long, silk-clad fingers grasped her shoulder and kept her firmly in place.
Hands like two steel bands held her wrists in place. Hot breaths, which faintly smelled of wine, seared her cheeks and assaulted her senses. Her breasts flattened against the pressure of his strong chest, and she felt that same chest swell and deflate in perfect sync with her own. One large hand slipped down her elbow and glided across her extended arm. The lush material of his gloves drew a shudder from her heaving chest. His breathing grew more ragged, shallower, and the erratic beat of his heart banged against her own.
Anger and desire warred on his face, twisting his features into a mess of both monster and man. “Find anything of interest, aside from my musical box? Come, come. You went through such great trouble to get here,” he asked, his voice now threaded with both anger and something else.
Yes, Isabelle recognized that something else. It was the same note that had entered Raphael’s voice that night…
She attempted to duck under his arm, but he moved swiftly, capturing her in the crook of his elbow. Reeling her toward him, he emitted a low, haunting chuckle that swelled the eastern tower to its rafters. She was back where she’d started—pinned against the portrait, Adam’s body serving as a flesh-and-blood blockade.
Hunger radiated from him, enfolding her in a current of sizzling power. His silk-clad hand grazed the curve of her breast as it moved down her body in a painfully slow caress. Even more alarming was her reaction to him. Her treacherous body responded with a crush of hot and cold pulsating waves. Then he whispered a taunt in her ear, and his liquid baritone slid down her backbone like honey; it swirled inside her, finding its home in her most intimate area.
He leaned closer still. His face’s uneven skin brushed against her neck, the black waves of his hair tickled her chin… His thick arousal expanded against her, reminding her of what he was capable of—and of her sheer vulnerability.
🥀 Meet the Author 🥀
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of fourteen years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.
Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.
Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
🥀Enter the Giveaway🥀
Thomas Carrick is determined to make his own life in the bustling port city of Glasgow, far from the demands of the Carrick clan, eventually with an appropriate wife on his arm. But disturbing events on his family’s estate force Thomas to return to the Scottish countryside—where he is forced to ask for help from the last woman he wants to face. Thomas has never forgotten Lucilla Cynster and the connection that seethes between them, but to marry Lucilla would mean embracing a life he’s adamant is not for him.
Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla knows Thomas is hers—her fated lover, husband, protector, mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. How can he ignore a bond stronger than reason and choose a different path? She’s determined to fight for their future, and while she cannot command him, she has enticements of her own to wield when it comes to tempting Thomas Carrick.
He knew they had to stop, to cease and desist before he lost all hope of ever stepping back from her. Of ever letting her go.
But her hand remained on his cheek, her touch scalding in a way that had nothing to do with heat, effortlessly holding him captive. Holding his senses, snaring them in a net of want from which he couldn’t break free.
His senses and his mind were literally reeling.
She seemed to know, to realize.
But instead of comprehending the danger, pulling back, and letting him go, she reached—with her lips, with her body, with the gentle pressure of her hand on his cheek.
A sudden clattering clang of hooves on cobbles snapped them both free; on a mutual gasp, both pulled back from the kiss.
The sharp clatter was followed by shouts and calls.
For one instant, they remained locked together, gazing into each other’s eyes. Both of them were breathing rapidly. His pulse thudded in his ears.
Then the calls rising from below hauled them both fully back to the here and now.
They stepped apart. Side by side, they moved to the window.
That end of the disused wing overlooked the stable yard. On the cobbles below, they saw Nigel and Nolan, still mounted, their horses dancing, infected by the brothers’ transparently ebullient spirits.
Nigel had called for the stablemen—that had been the summons Thomas and Lucilla had heard—but Sean, Mitch, and Fred were taking their time.
Thomas watched as the stablemen slowly ambled across the yard and—it seemed grudgingly—held Nigel’s and Nolan’s horses. Apparently oblivious to the almost sullen disapprobation radiating from their clansmen, the brothers continued exchanging comments with each other as they dismounted, then haphazardly flung their reins toward the stablemen and started toward the house.
There were no greetings exchanged between the stablemen and the young masters of the house. As far as Thomas could see, there hadn’t even been any true acknowledgment of each other—a remarkable contrast to when he’d ridden in.
Frowning, he stepped back from the window. Less than a second’s thought sufficed to suggest that making his presence known to Nigel sooner rather than later would serve everyone, Manachan especially, best.
He looked at Lucilla. She was still gazing down at the stable yard, at the stablemen leading the horses away. Even though he couldn’t see her eyes, from her pensive, assessing expression it was clear that she’d detected the strain between the two groups of men and, like him, found it curious.
“I should go and break the news to Nigel.” He took another step back. When she turned to look at him, he pointed over his shoulder at the door just along the corridor. “That’s the door to the gallery in the main wing.” Briefly, he met her gaze. “I’ll see you later.”
He didn’t wait to see if she would reply; he turned on his heel, strode to the door, and escaped.
Lucilla watched him go. He left the door ajar; whether he’d meant to or not, it was a clear invitation to follow. Which she fully intended to do.
The kiss…had been everything she’d wanted. Even more than she’d dreamed of. But now Nigel and Nolan had arrived, such personal matters had to be set aside—for the moment. Until later.
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing romances as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her first novel was accepted for publication, and with entirely becoming alacrity, she gave up writing about facts in favor of writing fiction.
Laurens’s novels are set in the time period of the British Regency, and her settings range from Scotland to India. Laurens has published fifty works of historical romance, including 29 New York Times bestsellers. All her works are continuously available in print and digital formats in English worldwide, and have been translated into many other languages. An international bestseller, among other Stephanie’s email contactsaccolades Laurens has received the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA Award for Best Romance Novella 2008, for The Fall of Rogue Gerrard.
Her continuing novels featuring the Cynster family are widely regarded as classics of the genre. Other series include the Bastion Club Novels and the Black Cobra Quartet. For information on upcoming releases and updates on novels yet to come, visit Stephanie’s website.
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Nothing Left Sacred takes the reader on a twisting, panic-filled journey through the secretive corridors of power surrounding Henry VIII and the glittering Tudor court. This taught political thriller carries us from the grandeur of the royal palaces to the seldom-glimpsed resistance network that rose in opposition to Henry’s radical religious reforms which would create the Church of England.
When the mounting panic created by the King’s emotional instability combines with the twisted machinations of a corrupt justice system, they collide head-on with the leaders of England’s fantastically wealthy, yet tragically naïve, monastic community. The struggle between these opposing forces creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and dark political paranoia not found in an historical novel since Umberto Ecco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’.
I’ve read a couple of novels by this author, and his writing skills are extremely versatile. The story is detailed expertly, the plot is extremely captivating, and the characters are perfectly written. After years of reading Tudor novels, the complexity of this novel sets it apart from the rest. While some may find the little things cause a lag in the story line, I find them fascinating! I appreciate the small details that may make or break a character for me, and Diehl leaves no stone unturned. I simply love his work!
Lovers of Henry VIII and the Tudor Court, as well as those interested in Historical Fiction involving religious/civil unrest will love this!
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
Daniel Diehl is an author, writer, and investigative historian with thirty years experience in his field. For nearly twenty years Diehl has been involved in writing for publication and documentary television production.
Diehl’s work has won awards from the Houston (Texas) Film Festival, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (US) and the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Arts Foundation. Working alone and as a part of the multi-award winning team of Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly, Diehl has produced work in two main categories; trade publication and television documentary scripts. His canon of work includes eighteen non-fiction books (which have been translated into nine foreign languages) and scripts for more than one hundred and seventy hours of documentary television primarily for A&E Network, The History Channel, History International and Discovery Network.
Favorite Daughter, Part One
by Paula Margulies
ISBN 13: 978-0-9913545-2-8
ISBN 10: 0991354524
One People Press: July 21, 2014
Set in the time of the Jamestown settlement and the English explorer John Smith, Favorite Daughter, Part One recounts the story of Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, as she prepares to take her place as one of our nation’s earliest leading women. Pocahontas invites readers to experience her native world when strangers appear on the shores near her village. From forging a relationship with the charismatic Smith, to experiencing love for the first time and creating a role for herself in her father’s plans for peace, this young girl takes us on a poignant and harrowing journey through the turbulent events of her life. Eventually betrayed by all of the men she loves, Pocahontas matures into a heroine of tremendous nobility, courage, and heart.
Told in first person, in a voice brimming with compassion and wisdom, Favorite Daughter, Part One provides a compelling look at the early days of one of the most remarkable legends in American history.
Pocahontas was one of my favorite heroines growing up, as my ancestry carries Native American blood. Her bravery and perseverance through what must have been a nightmare at times is not only heartbreaking, it’s inspiring.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! The author has done a wonderful job of bringing this extraordinary character and the Powhatan tribe to life, in a manner that’s believable. The research invested is evident, and shines through with every turn of the page. Although a work of fiction, I found this to be the most intimate and realistic portrayal of Pocahontas to date.
This is a treat for lovers of Native American History, as well as Historical Fiction/Romance. Adding to the story, Margulies has a Powhatan glossary for reference. Readers should be aware that this is a cliffhanger and merely covers Pocahontas’ coming of age. I look forward to the next installment as we read this author’s take on our heroine’s adulthood.
*Editor’s Choice Award Winner, 21st Annual San Diego State University Writers’ Conference*
Paula Margulies is the owner of Paula Margulies Communications, a public relations firm for authors and artists. She has received numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and novels, including her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One, her debut novel, Coyote Heart, and her short story collection, Face Value: Collected Stories. Paula is a contributor to Author Magazine, the San Diego Examiner, and The Writers Edge
As Director of The War Office, Stuart McKenzie, has proven himself capable of making difficult decisions in times of crisis and keeping government secrets safe. When he walks in on someone ransacking his study he quickly moves to apprehend them, only to be tossed on his back as the burglar escapes into the night.
Cassie’s father has become a pawn in the fight against Napoleon. When the enemy kidnaps him, she will do anything it takes to get him back – including stealing government secrets from Stuart McKenzie, the Director of the War Office.
When Cassie is caught, she reluctantly agrees to Mack’s assistance as there is something far more sinister going on. As Mack embarks on his mission, he will find that enemies are often closer than one would think and that sometimes your ally will come in the least likely form. When passion erupts between Mack and Cassie, they find their lives forever altered. But just as they believe their lives to be free of danger, a new threat is lurking about, promising to rip their happiness away from them. Will they be able to trust each other enough to defeat this new threat, or will they be torn apart for all eternity?
This was a fast-paced read that I simply could not put down!
I admit that I was expecting more content pertaining to the wars during this period, but the author has done a superb job of delivering a thrilling alternative.
Mack and Cassie are intelligent, gorgeous, and very hard-headed! Both have inner demons, which sometimes cloud their judgment. It is this, along with a few other similarities that cause the fiery couple to butt heads. These altercations can be comedic, heartbreaking, and incredibly sexy! I enjoyed reading as the layers were peeled back and our hero and heroine were truly revealed.
This novel stands alone well. Each sorrowful scene was countered with either comedic relief, or an act of kindness. The mystery involved had me second guessing everyone, and I couldn’t get enough of the passion! I will be reading the rest of the author’s work, as the secondary characters are too wonderfully written to ignore. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I recommend it for romance and mystery lovers.
About This Literary Chef
From a young age I could always be found carrying around books to read while watching my grandmother’s soap operas with her. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on and even made up skits and stories for my friends and me to act out. Once I outgrew the children’s and YA books, my mom introduced me to an entirely new world – contemporary romance. Upon discovering I had a love for history I began devouring historical romances. One day, sitting in a college British History class, something the professor said made me think, I wonder. I quickly called mom (also a writer) and ran the idea by her. After being told, “Of course you can do it, you’re my daughter,” the rest, as they say, is history. I currently share my love of reading with the next generation as a high school librarian, and share my personal life with my demanding dog trapped in a cat’s body, Ajax.
Stories by John Vanderslice
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2014
This thematic, novel-length collection of stories, is set on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Nantucket as we know it began as an English settlement relatively early in the colonial period of the United States. In the heyday of its nineteenth century success as a whaling center, the island, for being as small as it is, was quite the cosmopolitan center. Sailors from across the globe mingled with the mixed local population of descendents of the original English settlers, black Americans, and native Americans. Today too Nantucket is known as being especially open to visitors from around the world. When one travels there, one feels that one is no longer in the United States but in a culturally indistinct, in-between land, somehow equidistant from North America, the Caribbean, and Northern Europe.
Vanderslice has written an engrossing collection of stories that spans a little over 200 years. Set in Nantucket, the tales cover the darker side of the beautiful little island and its inhabitants. Bigotry, jealousy, betrayal, greed, religious indifference, and murder are just a few of the topics covered in this evocative novel.
The chronological order in which this is written makes it a bitter reminder that mankind has advanced in many ways, but there are some things that will never change. Believable, entertaining, and quite haunting is my best description. Great read!
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
John Vanderslice hails from southern Maryland, specifically the eccentric community of Moyaone. After twelve years of Catholic schooling, and too many summers working as a lifeguard, he left the southern Maryland woods to attend the University of Virginia. In 1991, he received his MFA in the Poetry Writing program at George Mason University, where he studied under Peter Klappert and Susan Tichy and started teaching writing to college freshmen at GMU and Northern Virginia Community College-Annandale. In 1993, he entered the Ph.D program in the English Department at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing at UCA, teaching fiction writing, poetry writing, and nonfiction writing both to undergraduates and to graduate students in the new Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop. He also serves as associate editor of Toad Suck Review magazine. More than seventy of his stories, poems, essays, and one-act plays have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including Seattle Review, Versal, Sou’wester, Laurel Review, Crazyhorse, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, 1966, Squalorly, Foliate Oak, Red Wheelbarrow, and Exquisite Corpse. Some of the anthologies are Redacted Story, Chick for a Day, The Best of the First Line: Editors’ Picks 2002-2006, and Tartts: Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers.
Holly Payne’s spellbinding tale brings the unparalleled poet, Mevlana Rumi, to life, and transports readers to the enchanting world of 13th century Persia. Simply but elegantly told, the story unravels the mystery surrounding a legendary orphaned girl, who discovers her gift of turning roses into oil. Named after the flowering rosa damascena, the girl reluctantly assumes the role of a living saint for the miracles she performs—longing only for one that matters: finding her mother. Deeply wounded by the separation since birth, Damascena undergoes a riveting transformation when she meets Rumi and discovers the secret of the rose. Imbued with rich historical research and inspired by the devastating disappearance of Rumi’s most lauded spiritual companion, Shams of Tabriz, Holly Payne has courageously opened herself to receive Rumi’s teachings and offer a timeless love story. Inspiring and magical, the story of Damascena transmits the wisdom of the heart, inviting us to transform our pain into love.
My first thought was how brave the author was for choosing such a prominent figure for her novel. As I began reading her work; however, I couldn’t help but wonder if the figure chose her.
Holly Payne has delivered a masterpiece that embraces the soul. The beauty of this story mirrors Rumi’s poetry, which is placed impeccably throughout the novel. Every emotion imaginable accosted me at some point during my reading, but the overall feeling of love always rose above the rest. It’s obvious a great amount of research was involved, but the creativity of how Damascena’s life leads to Rumi’s is stunning. A beautiful mind crafted this novel.
Simply put, this is a must read!
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
Holly Lynn Payne is an internationally published novelist in ten countries whose work has been translated into eight languages. Dutton/Plume published her first two novels, The Sound of Blue and The Virgin’s Knot, her debut novel, selected as a Discover Great New Writers and Border’s Original Voices book. Her third book, Kingdom of Simplicity was nominated for a national book award in Belgium and was named to the mandatory reading list in Ghent. It has also published in the Netherlands, Taiwan and China, and is the winner of a Marin Arts Council Grant, first place winner of a Benjamin Franklin Award 2010 and won Grand Prize for the Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards 2011. Payne studied journalism at the University of Richmond, where she received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. She earned a MFA from University of Southern California and has taught throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, serving on the faculty at the Academy of Art University, California College of the Arts and Stanford. She lives in Northern California with her young daughter, and serves the literary community as a writing coach, publishing strategist and volunteer producer for Litquake.
When she’s not writing or coaching other writers, she enjoys getting dirty on a mountain bike and studying integrative and holistic medicine. In 2013, she earned a master’s certification in intuition medicine and is licensed to practice Intuition Medicine in California. She is currently a PhD candidate for a doctorate in integrative and holistic medicine with an emphasis on creativity and consciousness at Energy Medicine University.
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Published by Diversion Books
In this dazzling first book in the EMPRESS CHRONICLES series by the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…
When city girl Liz is banished to a
rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.
One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.
When Liz finds a timeworn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria. It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…
Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES
Only a few days short of the 116th anniversary of The Empress Elisabeth’s death, I was excited to get my hands on what turned out to be a creatively crafted novel!
Although I’m an avid Historical Fiction fan, I’m very open-minded with the avenues an author can take. It’s hard not to become immersed completely when a story steps out of the norm and leads you into the unknown. I love the fact that Vitello paired the famous beauty “Sisi”, known for her eccentricities, with a young woman from present day who suffers as she did. This tale takes the reader on a mystical journey full of sorcery, love, and aristocracy. It suits the Empress, as she herself was a mystical force on her own!
The Bonus material at the end is always a favorite of mine, as well. The author gives background on one of the focal points that connects the two heroines, and interesting tidbits about some of the characters.
I rather enjoyed this read and I’m quite curious as to where the author will take it from here.
About This Literary Chef
Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).