4.21.2014

The Ophelia Prophecy: Online book tour!


I think Sharon Lynn Fisher has one of the best voices in Sci Fi romance. I really enjoyed and loved Ghost Planet (which I also highly recommend) but this book really cements her as an auto-buy author for me. 
- The Book Pushers

Happy release day, THE OPHELIA PROPHECY! Watch this space for a running lists of blog stops on the tour. 

4.21.14
Books Beside My Bed: Guest post / excerpt

From a very nice review at On Starships & Dragonwings:
The Ophelia Prophecy is an excellent sci-fi with a swoon-worthy romance. If you’re like me and tend to think of yourself as not a fan of romantic plots, have no fear. There is plenty of excellent plot and world-building to sink your teeth into. Just be prepared for some serious sexy times as well. 

4.19.14
Book Passion for Life: Excerpt / giveaway
Savvy Authors: Guest post (advice for authors - "The 2 AM Panic, or Stupid Brain Tricks")
Closet Geeks and Slow Mo: Interview / excerpt

From a review on Bookish. This is one of my favorites!
The book is literally overflowing with sexual tension and amazing chemistry between the characters. The world-building and unique mythology created by the author are truly epic. Sharon Lynn Fisher presents us with a broad palette of interesting characters and vividly described settings, through which she paints a fascinating, fully realized world. It's an intriguing sci fi vision and a hot romance, but don't think that's all it is. [...] It's quite a clever and multi-layered exploration of what makes us human. It's a complex political intrigue. It's a tale of love and trust, passion and betrayal, unexpected alliances and fighting for what is right

4.17.14
Short & Sweet Reviews: Excerpt / giveaway

From Short & Sweet's sweet review:
Like Ghost Planet, Fisher did an amazing job combing two types of genres, creating a harmonious balance that showcased her writing/ storytelling ability. The world-building was very detailed and plot just as engaging; accomplishments in itself…as there are many books out there that lack one or the other.

From a review on All About Romance:
I especially liked Pax, an alpha warrior who is an amazingly decent guy. Throughout the book as new and surprising pieces of information were thrown at him he was able to adjust his world view and become a real champion for the underdog. Very cool. [..] Too often in science fiction romance alpha males are arrogant jerks or peaceniks and it was refreshing to see a character who was fully rounded.

4.16.14
Urban Fantasy Investigations: Interview / giveaway

From the Booklist review:
The setting is excellent, the social politics compelling; the romance [...] ultimately sweet.

4.15.14
Smart Girls Love SciFi: Guest post ("History v. Future: Averting Wars Through Marriage/Romance")

4.14.14
Bookworm Blues: Giveaway
Book Pushers: Excerpt / giveaway

From the Book Pushers giveaway write-up:
Ohh, we have a treat for you to start off your week. Almost [1.5] years ago a few of us discovered an author by the name of Sharon Lynn Fisher. We reviewed one of her books Ghost Planet and absolutely loved it. In fact several unsuspecting individuals on twitter became targets of our “book pushing.” As a result we were anxiously awaiting her next SFR and were lucky enough to review The Ophelia Prophecy a few weeks ago. 

4.13.14
Aussie Bookworm: Review / guest post ("Top 5 Reasons to Give a Bug Romance a Try)

From the review:
I highly recommend this book for anyone that likes Sci-fi romance. I admit I was a bit put off by the whole bug/human type of person but don’t let this put you off, It is a great twist to the sci-fi Alien, dystopian type story.

4.12.14
Seeing Night Book Reviews: Review / excerpt / giveaway
Steamy Guys After Dark: Interview / giveaway

From the Seeing Night review:
I couldn’t wait to read another science fiction romance by Fisher. After Ghost Planet I knew she would create another romantic plot twisting storyline with all the thrills of science fiction. I wasn’t disappointed...

4.11.14
Reading Reality: Interview / giveaway
That's What I'm Talking About: Excerpt / giveaway

Great Goodreads review (Evie):
Fantastic world building, exciting plot line and lots of great chemistry between the main characters - this book was beyond entertaining! I demand more Pax!!

From a very nice review on Reading Reality:
The bits we see of Manti society are fascinating. The politics are cut-throat, and every bit as intimately deadly as The Game of Thrones. I wish we could see more!

4.10.14
The Literati Press: Guest post ("From Dragons to Insects: My journey to writing sci-fi romance")
USA Today HEA: Sci-Fi Encounters mention

From a great Goodreads review (Bridget):
..this sci-fi romance cranks it up with an insect DNA hero and a heroine that is one of only a handful of human survivors left after a great war. We get a romeo and juliet style love story minus the double suicide.

4.9.14
From a wonderful review on Not Yet Read:
"Craving a sinfully delicious romp on a futuristic Earth? Then, The Ophelia Prophecy is sure to deliver! [...] This is the second such book of Sharon Lynn Fisher’s I have read and I must say now that I was hooked with the first one and The Ophelia Prophecy has cemented my status as a fan of her work." 

And an awesome comment on same review:
*fans self* just finished this one last night :D. If this is what romantic SFF is considered, I’m game! I really just need an actual solid plot beyond the romance and was quite happy with Ophelia Prophecy’s balance when it came to that, now I need to know what happens next!

4.8.14
Blogger Girls: Guest post ("Confessions of a Genre Writer")

From a terrific review on Dames Unrestrained:
The description doesn't do this book justice. It's everything science fiction stories should be, and too often aren't. [...] this is one of the best books I've read lately, and I recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction, urban fantasy, or post apocalyptic stories. The Ophelia Prophecy is pricey at $9-10 for the ebook version, but well worth the cost.

And another from The Blogger Girls:
...a phenomenal novel with a mix between a post apocalyptic and sci-fi setting. With just enough suspense and deception to keep you on the edge of your seat, the chemistry between Asha and Pax will no doubt suck you in and take you for a wild ride. With a fascinating society and descriptive characters, I’m hoping there will be more to come in this world because I know I want to see what happens next!

4.7.14
Tor.com blog: Guest post ("Romancing the Mantis")
Dear Teen Me: I wrote a letter to my teen self (with teen photos!)
SF Signal: Blogger Heather Massey interviewed me
Poisoned Rationality: Guest post (Uncrossing the Star-crossed Lovers in THE OPHELIA PROPHECY)

From a review on Bookworm Blues today:
I have enjoyed both of Fisher’s books, and I will honestly probably read everything she puts out. Her books, so far, are the exact kind of high-quality-popcorn that I’m looking for when I need a mental vacation. I truly enjoy how she merges science fiction and fantasy into something unique and interesting, but mostly, I want more.

And the first iTunes review (5 stars):
This is another great book by a great new author! I never read books that have no reviews or ratings but I took a chance since I enjoyed Ghost Planet and I'm so glad I did! This author has a gift for creating deep, dynamic, and lovable characters and putting them into these amazing and unique worlds. Can't wait for the next book!

4.6.14
Books, Bones & Buffy: Guest post / giveaway ("Writing the Interspecies Couple")

4.5.14
From the Badass Book Reviews review:
The Ophelia Prophecy was a wonderful science fiction romance about bioengineering, inter-species politics, and of course the smexy lovin’... Sharon Lynn Fisher kept adding layer after layer of intrigue and deception onto the Sanctuary/Manti relationship.  The story was quiet, but never boring, and my only complaint is that I felt the end wrapped up too quickly.  I would love to learn more about Asha and Pax and the coming struggles they will face.

4.4.14
Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust: Guest post / giveaway ("Top 5 Reasons to Fall for a Manti")
Badass Book Reviews: Interview
Love, Laugh, and Read: Excerpt

From an Amazon 5-star review today (by a dude!)
Sharon Lynn Fisher is the queen of world building. This world is so fascinating and imaginative! The plot is also very fast paced and I never got bored or could predict what was going to happen. Another interesting thing is how incredibly believeable and real this book was even though it's a post-apocalyptic story - the writing is that good!

4.2.14
The Qwillery: Interview

4.1.14
Spacefreighters Lounge: Release day party / giveaway!
My Bookish Ways: Interview / giveaway

Stacey Brutger: Not part of the tour, but a release day review, and also the book's first Amazon reviewer:
Ultimately, it was the complex relationships between the characters that really won me over, not to mention the exotic locals were so vividly depicted that I was captivated. If you enjoy sci-fi, don’t miss this fast paced, unique book!

3.24.14
Team Tynga's Reviews: Guest post / giveaway ("What is biopunk?") and review


3.24.2014

THE OPHELIA PROPHECY blog tour has liftoff!

Starting the tour out right with a fabulous review, guest post, and book giveaway over on Team Tynga's Reviews today!

Tynga's Reviews wanted to know why biopunk?, so I wrote a really nerdy post. You can enter a giveaway for one of two copies of the book at the bottom of the post.

And here's an excerpt from the fabulous review, which you can read here.

This is one special book. It’s that rare sci fi novel that’s accessible to people who aren’t die-hard fans of the genre, with a minimal amount of technobabble and a lot of juicy story. [...] THE OPHELIA PROPHECY is very character driven; it just happens to have a science fiction setting. If you’re looking for a book with political and emotional tensions, regardless of genre, THE OPHELIA PROPHECY should be on your list. Fisher has created a complex story and world and you’ll really enjoy the ride.

3.20.2014

Review Roundup!

Just over a week until liftoff for THE OPHELIA PROPHECY! Figured it was about time for a roundup of some early reviews. I pinky-finger promise none of these lovely words were written by close friends, family, or people I paid.

* * *

Once again, Fisher has written a hard-to-put-down adventure story that seamlessly combines romance with everything I love about science fiction. [...] The author keeps the suspense going up until the very end, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen until literally the last few pages. The Ophelia Prophecy was exciting, sexy, and kept me guessing. I don’t know if there’s a sequel planned, but I sure wouldn’t mind diving back into this fascinating world.

Full review at: Books, Bones & Buffy

* * *

Well then, color me surprised. Romantic science fiction hasn’t been this good since Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series! With a strong worldbuilding and an even stronger romance, The Ophelia Prophecy is a breath of fresh air in a (sub)genre that desperately needs it. [...] The ending left plenty of room for a sequel, and I do hope we’ll get one in the near future. I’ve grown to care for these characters and I wouldn’t mind another lengthy visit to their exciting world.

Full review at: The Nocturnal Library

* * *

I adored Sharon Fisher's first book Ghost Planet which was a haunting and atmospheric tale. In The Ophelia Prophecy the tone is much more action packed and full of political wrangling and intrigue in a vibrant world. I really liked the romance especially which is a slow burn that builds up throughout the book and the romantic elements really gel well with the overall story especially as it combines and mirrors the conflict between the two factions. [...] I think Fisher is an amazing writer who has combined both SF and Romance elements very effectively and I think she's cemented herself as an autobuy author for me for SF romance.

Full review on Goodreads

* * *

What a brilliant idea to invent a race of transgenic creatures, part human and part insect. I mean insect!! Seriously? That was sort of freaking me out but kept me interested at the same time. Needless to say that I enjoyed the world-building a lot. It was flawless, captivating and so very complex. [...] But not only did Fisher some epic world-building or created highly fascinating characters and a riveting adventure. She also took her world to a more complex level of thought, of philosophical and political questions.

Full review at: Challenging Reads

* * * 

Which I'll give Fisher credit, even though Pax is very very keen to get with Ash he is also very very keen to gain her trust, help her recover her memory, keep her safe and untangle the web they're in.  So while his body (which is part insect) is urging him to make her his, his mind (and heart) are like OMG STOP. TELL THE SHIP TO SHOOT YOU IF YOU TRY.  So refreshing from the paranormal books I read. [...] I was also genuinely pleased with how Fisher handled Pax and Ash's evolution towards their trust.  It felt organic and well paced, with only a little bit of impatience with Pax on my end (his urge to mate with Ash had him making...tactically unsound decisions at times, but it was all right, his sister was there to hit him upside his head for it.  I loved his sister so much.).

Full review at: Poisoned Reality

* * * 

I had enjoyed Ghost Planet so much, that I was hoping The Ophelia Prophecy would be equally as amazing. I was not disappointed. Ms Fishers world building is just amazing. [...] The storyline continues to twist and turn all the way until the last few pages, keeping you thinking continually [...]. There are some amazing characters in The Ophelia Prophecy and I can't wait to see their stories too. They had better be coming Ms Fisher!

Full review on Goodreads

* * * 

The world-building in this story is exquisite. While I wouldn't want to live there, I'd definitely like to visit it again in another story, or for some of the characters to visit here, especially a sexy Manti named Pax. I loved The Ophelia Prophecy just as much as Ms. Fisher's debut release, Ghost Planet. I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys action, science fiction, and/or a great love story. It is one I'll read again and again.

Full review on Goodreads

* * * 

...fans of the author's first book should pick this one up, as should anyone who loves science fiction romance that's truly got a unique setup in the terms of world.

Full review on Goodreads (Carina Press editor Angela James)

* * *

There are few very good writers of sci-fi romance, who give readers considerably more scientific and technical details and world-building, and not just an interplanetary or inter-species sex-romp. Sharon Lynn Fisher joins R Lee Smith as my other go-to author for great sci-fi romance.

Full review on Goodreads

* * *

Not bad, not bad at all!

3.09.2014

THE OPHELIA PROPHECY audiobook available for pre-order

THE OPHELIA PROPHECY is the first of my books to be available in audio version. GHOST PLANET will follow, and later ECHO 8 (at release time in 2015).

OPHELIA is narrated by Coleen Marlo (Publishers Weekly Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010, among other awards). I haven't heard it yet, but Coleen is very talented and I'm really looking forward to it!

You can pre-order the audiobook from either the Amazon or Audible site.

And for a taste of what's to come: Readers who enjoyed GHOST PLANET can look forward to Murphy's Irish accent! GP will be narrated by another talented voice actor (and TV and film actor), Dina Pearlman.

Stay tuned for details about OPHELIA release day festivities!

2.22.2014

Goodreads review and a giveaway

Books are incredibly subjective, and when I was working on my second book for Tor, which is very different from my first, I wondered whether fans of the first book would enjoy it as much. Part of that equation is certainly author voice, and I think readers who love an author's voice are disposed to enjoy everything they write. Take me and Anthony Trollope. There's only one of his books I haven't read yet and I've put it off, not caring much for the idea that there will never be any more.

But what about when a reader/reviewer doesn't like your first book? Is there any likelihood of them trying, much less enjoying, your second?

Today I got a lovely Goodreads review for THE OPHELIA PROPHECY from someone who had issues with GHOST PLANET. Here's an excerpt:

There's a lot packed into this book--we have the memory issues, the truth of what lies between the Manti and the humans, the rebel faction, the religious faction, the religious rebel faction, Ash and Pax's...relationship and the truth above all truths ... I wanted to see where the whole thing with Pax was going, what was going to happen with his sister, why it was so damned important for Ash to risk everything on a gamble that could have turned out badly (spoiler: she has 9 lives, I swear it).

I was also genuinely pleased with how Fisher handled Pax and Ash's evolution towards their trust. It felt organic and well paced, with only a little bit of impatience with Pax on my end (his urge to mate with Ash had him making ... tactically unsound decisions at times, but it was all right, his sister was there to hit him upside his head for it).

You can read the full review here.

While we're talking about Goodreads, I have a new giveaway listed - for 3 signed copies to be given away on release day!



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher
   

   

     


          The Ophelia Prophecy
     
     


          by Sharon Lynn Fisher
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends April 01, 2014.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter to win








2.03.2014

Monday roundup of random things

First of all, here is the final cover for THE OPHELIA PROPHECY. Well, final but for a couple of tiny wording tweaks. Yay!


Second, OPHELIA is now available on NetGalley!

Third, I've put up the first chapter for my third book, ECHO 8!

Fourth, I was quoted in an article in Scandalous Women's February issue (about the rise of the empowered woman in romance and erotic fiction)!

Fifth, I'm working as acquisitions and developmental editor for a new venture in short romantic fiction, SilkWords, launching Feb. 14! (Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? More info coming soon!)

Sixth, maybe you heard:  The Seahawks won the Super Bowl, wahoo!

Cheers,
Sharon

1.23.2014

Endorsement #3: Sara Creasy

Less than 3 months from release of THE OPHELIA PROPHECY (April 1, Tor Books)! 

I have another blurb to share with you, from the awesome Sara Creasy. Sara was a Philip K. Dick award nominee with her book SONG OF SCARABAEUS. The book has some overlapping themes with my first novel, GHOST PLANET, and the two books shared the hot seat as April 2013 picks for the Vaginal Fantasy book club

Sara was kind enough to read THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, and this is what she had to say: 

The Ophelia Prophecy is a page-turner, full of exotic historical locations with nightmarish futuristic creatures. Fisher has populated this weird and wonderful world with incredibly memorable characters. Can't wait to find out what happens next! 

Thank you, Sara! 

THE OPHELIA PROPHECY has also received endorsements from New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones and the fabulous paranormal and urban fantasy talent Skyler White. 

11.22.2013

First Goodreads review for THE OPHELIA PROPHECY

We still have about 4 months until THE OPHELIA PROPHECY releases, but ARCs are going out to reviewers, and today I have the first Goodreads review to share! 5 stars from author Willa Blair (Linda Williams), who also reviewed GHOST PLANET for both Goodreads and Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

Linda and I met when she made her way over to my Facebook release event for GHOST PLANET and informed me she knew about the book because award-winning sci-fi romance author Linnea Sinclair had used an excerpt in a class she was teaching. (!!)

Here's a bit of Linda's review!

Asha and Pax's journey from enemies to lovers starts hot and stays spicy despite the mistrust, conflict and betrayals they face along the way. Fisher easily balances both science fiction and romance elements in this story, plunging the reader from page one into the remarkable world she creates. Her masterful portrayal of both human and Manti folklore and politics, as well as their shared, tragic history, leaves you rooting for both sides. Plenty of action and intrigue keep the reader guessing as the romance develops.

11.18.2013

Goodreads ARC giveaway!

For some reason their code doesn't work well in blogger - the interface is kind of a mess! But you should be able to click below to enter...



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher
   

   

     


          The Ophelia Prophecy
     
     


          by Sharon Lynn Fisher
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends January 01, 2014.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter to win



11.13.2013

Make that 2 endorsements!

What a week! A second fabulous endorsement for THE OPHELIA PROPHECY. This one from the lovely and hilarious Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author of the Charley Davidson series (FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, etc.).

It seems the book is a winner with redheads (see Skyler White endorsement). The truth is I know a number of brilliant, beautiful gingers. Skye. Darynda. My beau. His daughter. My favorite British ex-pat (who also was the first to rate OPHELIA on Goodreads). 

Seriously though, Darynda is a tremendously busy lady, and I was lucky to get her. She and I met back in 2009, when both of us were named finalists for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award (paranormal category). I soon learned she lives in the same small, New Mexico town where I attended my first year of college. And that she is the only other person I know outside my family who has been to Sulpher, Oklahoma (stinky, but beautiful). 

Darynda won the Golden Heart that year, but she is such a doll it really wasn't possible to hold it against her. 

Anyway, on to the unveiling of endorsement No. 2 (which came in an email that began, "OMG your writing!!!!! You have such a fantastic voice, just crisp and magical and crystal clear") ...  

With the elegant pen and graceful hand of a master storyteller, Sharon Lynn Fisher lures us into a world where adventure lurks in every corner and nothing is quite what it seems. Exotic and powerful, The Ophelia Prophecy is absolutely captivating. SF Romance at its finest. This book is a rare and delicious treat! 

11.12.2013

Awesome endorsement for THE OPHELIA PROPHECY

When advance reading copies are created for an upcoming release, some of them go out to reviewers and some of them go to other authors. The hope with the latter is other authors will (a) have time to read the book and (b) enjoy the book enough to provide a quote for the packaging - back or front cover, inside pages, etc. The publisher calls these "blurbs."

GHOST PLANET got amazing blurbs from award-winning sci-fi romance author Linnea Sinclair and bestselling paranormal author Kat Richardson

Just last night I received a wonderful endorsement from Skyler White (the author, not the Breaking Bad character). I know Skye, and asked her to read my new book, because she once gave GHOST PLANET high marks in a writing contest. We got acquainted via email, and later met at the Romance Writers of America national conference in Orlando. (I almost bumped into her coming out of the bathroom.) She was a few steps ahead of me in the publishing process, and I turned to her for advice on several occasions. 

Skye and I both have a passion for blending romance with geeky spec fic - science, philosophy, worldbuilding, and sexy times (yay, genre mashups!). She has a way with words that makes me green with envy. A truly mesmerizing authorly voice. She writes smart, sensual paranormals, and most recently co-authored an urban fantasy with Steven Brust, THE INCREMENTALISTS (fab premise, starred Booklist review, "blurbed" by John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, and Cory Doctorow).

Beyond all that, look at that crazy hair! I'm pretty sure we were separated at birth. [Trivia: Skye's crazy hair makes an appearance in my third book from Tor, ECHO 8, due out in January 2015. An energy vampire with a mean streak. (Skye is neither.)]



So what did Skye have to say about THE OPHELIA PROPHECY? I'm so glad you asked, because this is incredibly cool. First off, she said, "It's kinda like Lois McMaster Bujold meets William Gibson." (!) She also said, "It’s a remarkable thing, with a cast as large as you have, and some of them off screen the whole time, that you manage to make me really believe in [all of them]. You really are remarkably good at people."

And here is the sound bite you've been waiting for: 

An immediately likeable heroine, a gorgeously layered world, rich supporting characters, and a powerfully exotic hero in a heady blend of high-stakes adventure, sexual tension, philosophy, and high concept SF – superbly written and thrilling to read. 

If someone asked me, "What would you want me to say to a reader considering buying your book?", this would be it exactly. This this this this. 

10.30.2013

Happy birthday GHOST PLANET! (with giveaway of THE OPHELIA PROPHECY)

GHOST PLANET turns 1 today! I'm hosting a party over at Spacefreighters Lounge. Drop by and say hi, read about last year's highlights, AND enter to win a signed ARC of THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, hot off the presses. (Release date not until April 1. You'll be the first on your block!)

9.19.2013

Research trip (and excerpt)!

Amtrak to Portland - Sightseer car
So, what do you do when you're waiting for galleys on one book and a revision letter on another? Start something new of course!

This weekend I took the Amtrak down to Portland to do research. I HEART Portland. Any excuse will do, but setting a book there gave me a reason to immerse myself for a couple of days. And really Portland is a perfect setting for my latest story, LOST THINGS, FOUND THINGS. Artsy/funky worldbuilding, a supernatural undercurrent, and an exploration of the tactile nature of books themselves.

I walked and bussed all over the city. I especially loved wandering the streets of Southeast Portland -- the Hawthorne, Belmont, and Division Street neighborhoods. Another highlight was my VIP tour of Powell's City of Books, where key scenes in the book will be set -- what a treat! Many thanks to store manager Bruce for agreeing to be my guide, introducing me around, and making me feel welcome.

Curious yet? Just for fun, here's an excerpt, with a few photos from my trip.

LOST THINGS, FOUND THINGS (Excerpt)

Belmont neighborhood 
I knew my version of reality was a little skewed from most people’s. My focus was often no more than three feet in front of my face. I could see a world in a grain of sand without even trying, and I found comfort in the connections between things that most people ignored. But the daydreams of the last few weeks were something new, and they had troubled me. They made me feel like I was living another life in the spaces in between—the bus ride home, brushing my teeth, sipping my morning coffee. They waited for quiet moments to ambush me.  

In contacting Galen Oss, I hoped to learn something that might help me understand what was happening to me. It was a measure of how desperate I’d become that I considered the possibility he might be someone who’d been watching me—maybe even someone who wanted to hurt me—an acceptable risk.

Still, when Galen emailed to confirm that he could be at Powell’s in half an hour, I texted Nasra and told her I was meeting a prospective client and asked if she could drop by the cafe after she got off work. Just in case.

# # #

Powell's City of Books
I was fascinated by the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. By Holly Golightly’s lifestyle—the troubling symbiosis between her and the men in the film—as well as her odd backstory. Holly and I both had a twist of Southern weirdness in the cocktails of our past. Prowling the aisles of the labyrinthine Powell’s City of Books, I realized I felt the same way about the store as Holly felt about Tiffany’s: “Nothing very bad could happen to you there.”

After ten minutes of half-hearted browsing I made my way to the coffee shop at the 11th and Burnside corner of the street-level floor. As I scanned the other patrons my eyes were drawn to a figure rising from a table near the windows that faced onto the street.
Coffee shop at Powell's - Hero & heroine meet

He was not at all what I’d expected. Dressed in jeans and a soft-looking heather-gray t-shirt with a pocket too small to be practical, he looked like one of my friends. And my friends could not afford my work. I reminded myself that wasn’t really why I was here.

I weaved my way toward his table, studying him. He was tired, that much was obvious from the shadowy indentations and crinkles around his eyes. But there was something else about him I was avoiding—attempting to distract myself with details rather than take in the whole.

He was a flesh-and-blood storybook hero. Or at least my idea of one, which like most of my ideas probably veered a few degrees from center. But it was hard to imagine anyone could fail to appreciate the aesthetics here.