Here at Parisian Phoenix, we have three books hopefully going to press within the next 60 days.
Last night, I finished the (hopefully) final line edit of Recovery, the third volume of the Fashion and Fiends series.
In case you missed the first two volumes:
Book One is Manipulations, where a 400-year-old fire made stalks and seduces a supermodel for her water magick. It’s a blend of horror fiction and fashion rich chick lit, with strong paranormal romance elements.
If you forgive my academic nature, Manipulations uses the supernatural as a metaphor for domestic violence and that theme brings the novel to some dark places.
Order Manipulations here. (You can also use Barnes & Noble.com, Target.com, Bookshop.org, etc.)
Book Two is Courting Apparitions, a ghost story. This novel looks at grief & depression and their effects on relationships. Order Courting Apparitions here.
I try to write each of these novels as stand alone as possible so they may be read out of order.
And last night, as mentioned above, I finished the line edit for Recovery.
Recovery, like it’s predecessors, is a supernatural story, but it’s also part medical romance. It has multiple feminist themes, presenting some exploration of female sexuality’s intersection with culture (and even has characters impacted by female genital cutting).
But what I noticed when I was finishing my role as editor on this manuscript was the way the book portrayed motherhood. One of the central female characters in the series is Basilie Saint-Ebène d’Amille.
After several miscarriages earlier in life, Basilie has her first child at age 45. We learn she is pregnant when she tells the baby’s father, her ex-husband Étienne d’Amille, the news in an early chapter of Manipulations.
Both mother and child face mishaps throughout Manipulations and Courting Apparitions, and the baby celebrates his birthday in Recovery, even if there is nothing ordinary about his birth.
He comes into this world on March 3, 2003– 03-03-03– recognition of the most holiest of Celtic numbers.
Basilie faces first-time motherhood as I imagine all women do; with some adjustments, she starts to adapt and make it look easy, but in a heartbeat it comes crashing into chaos.
A lot of scenes feature her breastfeeding, and there are real moments of her trying to find a place to change the baby’s diaper. She has moments of triumph (running a few errands successfully), and also failure (the baby is too distraught to nurse and she can’t settle him). But throughout it all, she is real.
Basilie is doing her part to resolve the supernatural mystery around them, while sharing her vulnerability with us. Does it further the plot to have her surfing the internet with a baby on her breast? No. But surging the internet does further the plot and how she mothers that baby shows us far more about her character than any other situation will.
Basilie is one of three viewpoint characters in this novel. Étienne is another. And the other is Basilie’s sister, Jacqueline “Doc Saint” Saint-Ebène. This is the first novel in the series where villain is not a viewpoint character. This is the first novel in the series where there is no clear villain.
Jacqueline is a obstetrician/gynecologist who, as she says, “got bored of vaginas” and joined the French Army Health Service. The health service handles all of the medical needs of the French military branches and runs all the medical hospitals.
Her career and her family intersect at the end of Courting Apparitions. So, she opens Recovery. She tries to understand what the civilians couldn’t earlier in the series.
I’m so excited to share these stories with you and to release our other future books. I’ve seen a rough draft of the layout (with pictures) of our pocket romance Trapped. Today, I received the copyright for our nonfiction anthology exploring marginalized identities, Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money.
We’re trying to release Trapped for Valentine’s Day, Recovery for March 3, and probably the identity book around March 29.