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Celtic Myths Series

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Celtic Myths series (2021) A. L. Lester

Surfacing AgainThese are stories based upon various Celtic myths, shifted, twisted, and retold.

Surfacing Again (2021)

Lin (Malinda) is now spending her Christmas alone, after a blow-up with the friend with whom she was supposed to be vacationing with.

The subtext was that she’d turned up on Lin’s doorstep because she’d exhausted everyone else’s patience.

After watching the sunrise–and otters playing on the beach–she walks into town and meets a lovely cafe owner.

Surfacing Again is very atmospheric, with the sea and the Christmas stars.

It is loosely based upon St Cuthbert and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Rating: 6.5/10

Taking FlightTaking Flight (2021)

Gwyn is supposed to be learning the ropes at an hotel in Ireland his family business is about to purchase. He desperately wants to succeed, because he wants this to be his project–something of his own.

But after a blow-up with the current manager, Gwyn has to head home, and decide if he trusts the man helping him get back home.

This story is loosely based upon Brânwen, sister of King Brân of Wales, from the The Mabinogion.

I’ve also cut out the child-murder, the horse-disfigurement, the battles and the resurrection cauldron. Sorry.

It also has on-the-page physical abuse and transphobia.

Rating: 7/10

Playing ChickenPlaying Chicken (2021)

After an unpleasant break-up with his ex, Marc is headed home after a year and a half away to regroup.

Looking back with a clear head, he supposed David hadn’t been very kind to him, really. He had pushed Marc’s friends away and Marc had let him.

He is surprised to discover chickens nesting on his porch–and an abused man in his woodshed.

“And three, I’m not that sort of person.” He paused again and then said apologetically. “I should probably have led with that. Sorry.”

This story takes St Dwynwen as it’s base and then, well, mostly only keeps the chickens.

I am highly amused by the chickens.

Rating: 7.5/10

As the Crows FlyAs the Crows Fly (2021)

Kevin works as a veterinary assistant, and lives in an old cottage where he is content to draw and hang out with the crows he befriended.

Web spent twenty-some years in the army, and after an injury, is taking a month to walk to coast, to decide what he wants to do with his life.

This is, I think, my favorite story of the lot. I particularly liked the crows, but I also liked how Kevin and Web were careful with each other, and their choices.

St Kevin is the patron saint of crows and ravens.

He is said to have stood still for weeks when a blackbird made a nest in his hand and laid an egg there, waiting for the egg to hatch.

Rating: 8/10

I also want to note that the author created all the covers. The chicken one amuses me, but I like the cover for As the Crows Fly the best.

Categories: 8/10, British, eBook, Good Cover, LGBT, Novella, Romance, Short Story

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