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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Guest Post Most Fables are Anchored in Fact by Jill Baguchinsky

Guest Post:


By Jill Baguchinsky

Author of “All Bitterness Burned Away”


I have something very cool to share with you today! As part of the Black Crow PR blog tour for the amazing new anthology, Into the Forest, I have a guest post from one of the authors, Jill Baguchinsky, talking about the origins of fables. This looks like a fascinating book, a series of stories by some of the best women horror writers about one of the quintessential women in folk horror, Baba Yaga. Expect to see a review of it here soon!

And don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour, with lots more author features to come.

Learning to process fear is a common rite of passage. When it comes to things that go bump in the night, we’re taught to reason and dismiss, to disbelieve. Remember that slasher film you watched without permission when you were young, the one that left you with nightmares of hockey masks and blood-splattered blades?

Go back to sleep. It’s just a movie.

Or maybe you stayed up late reading a horror novel, priming your imagination to turn every creak and sigh of a settling house into footsteps or whispers or the ragged breathing of something lurking just around the corner.

Don’t worry about it. It’s just a story.

And for the most part, they are just stories. Legends. Tales told at slumber parties or around campfires, each creeping detail another thread woven into a strangely cozy blanket of faux fright. 

Deep down, we know there’s nothing to fear from those stories. They let us thrill in the resulting shocks and shudders and adrenaline rushes without ever posing a threat.

Just stories. Fictions. Fables.

As the main character in “All Bitterness Burned Away” notes, though, “Most fables are anchored in fact.” Part of INTO THE FOREST: TALES OF THE BABA YAGA, a women-in-horror anthology from Black Spot Books, “All Bitterness” is a witch-of-the-woods tale told by the witch herself, who’s quite aware that she’s inspired legends like that of the Baba Yaga. She’s a story parents might tell to keep children from wandering into the forest alone—don’t go too far, now, or she’ll snatch you up and eat you for dinner!

When we were young, the thought of her might have made us shiver with fear-spiked delight. 

She couldn’t actually exist, but it was fun sometimes to pretend that she did, to shriek and run and stay just out of reach of her bony fingers as she chased us home. We assumed she was the villain of any tale she inhabited.

Then we grew up, and we were met with reality. We saw news stories, or we read articles—so many of them, each darker and more gut-twisting than the last—and even the most sheltered among us realized that some children would likely be better off with the witch. The alternative was worse.

There’s another misplaced assumption in “All Bitterness,” along with a correction that might ring true for those of us who’ve been cornered, trapped, harassed, or hurt. The real villain isn’t always a story’s most obvious suspect, but sometimes we can’t see that until we dust off the surface of an old fairy tale and get a good look at the bones beneath. Then we move beyond the fun frights and confront the kinds of things that truly scare us—not in fables, but right here in the all-too-real world. Those are the monsters that actually exist.

After all, most fables are anchored in fact.

But isn’t it satisfying when those fables also give us the power to confront and defeat? To nourish our need for a fitting comeuppance? We yearn for a sense of fairness that’s all too often missing in reality. Sometimes, by twisting fact into fable, we can find that justice, if only for a moment.

In that way, stories can be fiercely cathartic, as vicious as a mythical witch of the wood, and there’s nothing fictional about that.

Into the Forest, out 8th Nov 22 is edited by Lindy Ryan and with a foreword by Christina Henry, features twenty-three new and exclusive stories inspired by the Baba Yaga—the witch of Slavic folklore—written by some of today’s leading women-in-horror and is published by Black Spot Books.


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