Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Mosaics Volume 2" by P. K. Tyler

A Collection of Independent Women
Volume 2
by Nina Pérez, Kim Wells, P. K. Tyler, and others

Mosaics Volume 2 has just been released. You can read my review below. You can also join the launch party on Facebook for author chats, giveaways, and shenanigans. Join the Facebook group to participate.

Also available: Mosaics Volume 1 (ON SALE for only $0.99 for a limited time).

Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women Volume Two will inspire and shock you with its multi-faceted look at the history and culture surrounding femininity. If gender is a construct, this anthology is the house it built. Look through its many rooms, some bright and airy, some terrifying - with monsters lurking in the shadows.
Mosaics Volume Two features twenty-two self-identified female authors writing about Intersectionality, including women of color, disabled, trans, and GLB/GSD* (Gender and Sexual Diversities). We have curated amazing short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, essays, and art. It’s personal, political, and a great read.
This collection includes Hugo Award Nominees, Tiptree Shortlists, Pushcart Prize Winners, USA Today Bestsellers, indie superstars and traditionally published talents alike. The anthology combines leading and new voices all proclaiming their identity as Women, and their ability to Roar.
Profits donated to the Pixel Project to end Violence Against Women.

Story Summaries
"Foreword" by Nina Pérez

"Painted Truths and Prayer Beads" by Nillu Nasser Stelter
Malek is forced to flee Uganda with her two sons in the 1970s and finds herself deposited in London. There, she must start anew. Joyce has everything she wants, or so it seems to those on the outside. Her made up face and pretty window boxes betray what really goes on at home. One night Joyce and Malek's worlds collide, and in the inferno that follows, they must decide whether to make a stand for what matters most.

"Starting Over" by Zen DiPietro
A war refugee is given a second chance at life by a ship full of generous misfits. She must then choose between holding her family close and reaching for the stars.

"Blue Silk Dress" by Alison Ripley Cubitt
Elise must learn to be her mother's keeper, in this coming of age story set in the Australian Outback.

"Poems" by Kristina Webster Shue
A collection of poems about inhabiting the female body.

"Embracing the Kinks: A Naturalista Manifesta" by Willow Naomi Curry
Long before "body positivity" was a buzzword, the natural hair movement stole onto the beauty scene, inspiring millions of black women to cut off their straightened tresses and embrace an Afrocentric aesthetic. But ten years in, many black women question whether this liberatory movement has oppression at its roots. In Embracing the Kinks: A Naturalista Manifesta, Willow Curry investigates the movement's radical past and problematic present, and challenges all naturalistas to create a beauty paradigm that is truly revolutionary.

"Adderall on the Rocks" by Lana Bella
A poem about a wife whose sacrifices for her forsaken spouse are fallen by the wayside, and now she is searching for hope in booze and prescription drugs by spinning down a rabbit hole in what she sees as a marvelous victory against self-imposed sufferance.

"Remedios and Leonora" by Lorraine Schein
Inspired by the author's reading about the less well-known women artists of the Surrealist movement. Based on fact, the relationship between Remedios and Leonora explores both the magic of art and of women's friendships.

"Sunshower" by Kim Wells
The recovered recordings of the deposition of a notorious "witch" in a future post-apocalyptic Climate Changed community. The history of women in a world far more patriarchal than today, where one woman's knowledge as a midwife is challenged and another's is changed forever.

"Like Father" by Audrey T. Carroll
Andrea meets a local rich hermit. Curiosity gets the best of her and she follows him home to his family's estate. When the two of them are alone in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night, what can possibly go wrong? A modern day Gothic re-telling of Bluebeard.

"No One's Land" by Anne E. Johnson
In 1860 Morocco, Rajae wants her people to be free from colonialist invaders. But when the warring factions unite against an alien species, it makes Rajae wonder how humans can be so short-sighted.

"Durnushka" by Nikki Richard
A high school girl of Russian decent finds herself living with a foster family in Southwest Louisiana, and her dark past causes her to enact violent revenge upon those who hurt others. However, her righteous vendetta limits her ability form meaningful connections with others, and she struggles to accept the beauty in her scars.

"Don't Shut Up!" by Kimberly Fujioka
A young shoeless woman walks the berm, ankle deep in snow. On this lonely small town road, she waves away the only car that pulls up. Read Kimberly Fujioka's "Don't Shut Up!" to find out how one woman escapes sexual abuse.

"Fixing Her Truck" by Rage Hezekiah
A poem about the unexpected nature of desire.

"The Cow Tower" by Tara Calaby
What's a kingdom to do when the king's only heir is born with the head of a cow? A new fairy tale by Tara Calaby.

"Forever an Other" by Joan Brown
A short story set during the 1920's about a young European/Native American woman who leaves the logging camps of Louisiana and travels to a remote area in Oregon.

"Border Talk" by Emily K. Michael
Disability activist and poet Emily K. Michael explores the everyday politics of labels. Though she chooses to call herself "blind," she finds that others don't respect this label and won't try to understand it. Each social encounter offers an opportunity for Emily to assert her identity and negotiate with a community in which representations of blindness are limited and one-dimensional. This essay makes a case for a blindness that defies erasure, a blindness as multi-faceted as any other kind of human experience.

"One Quiet Night" by Asha Bardon
It only takes one quiet night for humanity to die... Everyone expects zombies and nuclear fire to herald the destruction of the Earth but the end, at least in this tale, comes much more quietly. Your daughter is sick, the entire world is dying, and there's nothing you can do. Yes, you. Step into the shoes of a single mother whose daughter doesn't just have a bug but is one of millions afflicting with a terrifying virus which is quietly decimating humanity. And you're not the only one watching her die.

"El Naddaha" by P.K. Tyler
Nadirah barely sleeps, never dreams, and her parents have always forbidden her to go swimming. When she moves to a lake side town to begin college, she finds out why.

"A Mermaid Tale" by Rachel Steiger-Meister
On an isolated island, a fisher girl's life changes when someone strange washes ashore.

"Cookies" by Catherine Schaff-Stump
Jane believes she has escaped her abusive childhood until her oldest brother re-enters her life, causing her to question the family mythology.

"The Lion and the Dragonslayer" by Jennifer R. Donohue
When the village of Orford asked for help with a dragon, they didn't expect the king to send a woman, no matter how big her sword is. 

Book Video

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Praise for the Book
"['Blue Silk Dress'] is a short but incredibly powerful narrative, filled with a rich assortment of sensory gems. From the billowing red dust and the intense heat, to scattering termites and geckos and the mud dried creek; Ripley Cubitt is a master of painting a picture in the reader’s mind and filling our hearts with fear and trepidation for young Elise as she rides her pony to the meeting place - and for what she might find once she returns home. The best short story is one a reader wishes was longer. It is one that draws the reader in, makes them feel invested in the atmosphere and the characters, and one that makes the reader feel disappointed when it comes to a close. 'Blue Silk Dress' affected me in this way. Well done, Alison Ripley Cubitt. This is a story well told." ~ J. C. Wing
"It is always a wonderful day when I get a new anthology to read. Having read Mosaics Volume 1 I was looking forward to the release of Volume 2. It was well worth the wait (which btw was not unduly long) and I am not in the least disappointed. I hope you enjoy [it] as much as I have." ~ Churra

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Mosaics Volume 2 is a collection of short stories, poems, and essays from 22 female writers. It also includes artworks by three female artists. Here are my thoughts on some of the stories:
"Painted Truths and Prayer Beads" parallels the stories of Ugandan refugee Malek and her English neighbor Joyce, two very different women from two very different backgrounds. It will take a tragedy to bring them together.
In "Starting Over" Kellis is rescued by a Bennite hospital ship (Onari) after a fire aboard the space ship on which she was traveling to be reunited with her family on Barthon IV. Jerin cures her of a spinal injury suffered six years earlier, Trin helps with her physical therapy, and Endra puts her to work and makes her feel useful. With her new friends, work, and lifestyle, will Kellis ever want to leave the Onari?
In "Blue Silk Dress" Elise and her family live in a barren town in North Queensland. Elise's mother is slowly losing her mind and has already had a stint at the funny farm. When her mother puts on her best blue silk dress, Elise knows no good can come of it.
"Remedios and Leonora" is a story with a basis in fact, in which two female artists experiment with time travel - with a bit of help from their friend Frida Kahlo.
In "Sunshower" a witch is on trial for her crimes, but witchcraft isn't the only thing of which she is accused. And these aren't the olden days, this is the future, in a time after global warming has brought about the Change.
In "Like Father" Andrea goes home with Devon, the rich town recluse whose father died recently. What starts out as curiosity will turn into a nightmare.
"No One's Land" is set in Morocco in the 1800s. Rajar witnesses an object fall from the sky. But in a land already at war, everyone is viewed as an enemy.
In "Durnushka" sixteen-year-old Vera has been fostered by the Delahoussayes. She bears a burn scar on her face, courtesy of her father who is now in prison. Even her own mother calls her Durnushka or "ugly girl". Her new brother Isaac unexpectedly becomes her champion when she defends him against the neighbourhood bully. But is she as innocent as she seems?
In "The Cow Tower" Princess Annabelle is born with the head of a cow. Will she ever find love and happiness?
"El Naddaha" is based on an Egyptian legend. Nadirah barely sleeps and never dreams. What will happen when she finally experiences the dream state?
Artworks include "Grafitti Photo", "Wisdom Harpist", and "Girl With Wings".
Poetry includes "Poems" on sexuality and the female body; "Adderall on the Rocks" on coping through the use of alcohol and prescription drugs; and "Fixing Her Truck", a poem focusing on the hands of a girl working on her truck.
Essays include the "Foreword"; "Embracing the Kinks" about kinky hair and racism; and "Don't Shut Up", on sexual abuse at the hands of her step-father.
All of these works have a common theme of celebrating our femininity and our differences, whether they be race, gender, color, sexuality, or physical ability. These little pieces of beauty are pieced together to create a unique work of art. Whatever your taste, Mosaics Volume 2 has something for everyone: stories, poetry, essays, art, contemporary, historical, romance, family drama, LGBT, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, horror, fairy tale, post-apocalyptic, and speculative fiction. You will be enthralled, devastated, and addicted.
My favorites pieces: "Blue Silk Dress", "Fixing Her Truck", "The Cow Tower".

About the Authors
Find out more about the authors on Amazon or Goodreads.

Support the Thunderclap Campaigns
Please lend your support to the Thunderclap campaign promoting the fact that Mosaics Volume 1 is currently on sale for only $0.99. Profits donated to the Pixel Project to end Violence Against Women.

Please lend your support to the Thunderclap campaign promoting the fact that Mosaics Volume 2 is now available. Profits donated to the Pixel Project to end Violence Against Women.