Out Now: TURNING by Jessica J. Lee (Virago)

LeeJJ-TurningUKPBThis title is a bit unusual for CR, but I wanted to share the great cover for the UK paperback edition of Jessica J. Lee’s Turning, published by Virago. Full disclosure, it is by a friend of mine, but I think some readers of CR might be interested in checking it out — especially if they’re looking for something a bit different. Here’s the synopsis:

“The water slips over me like cool silk. The intimacy of touch uninhibited, rising around my legs, over my waist, up to my collarbone. When I throw back my head and relax, the lake runs into my ears. The sound of it is a muffled roar, the vibration of the body amplified by water, every sound felt as if in slow motion…” Summer swimming… but Jessica Lee – Canadian, Chinese and British — swims through all four seasons and especially loves the winter. “I long for the ice. The sharp cut of freezing water on my feet. The immeasurable black of the lake at its coldest. Swimming then means cold, and pain, and elation.”

At the age of twenty-eight, Jessica Lee, who grew up in Canada and lived in London, finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is there, ostensibly, to write a thesis. And though that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.

This is the story of a beautiful obsession: of the thrill of a still, turquoise lake, of cracking the ice before submerging, of floating under blue skies, of tangled weeds and murkiness, of cool, fresh, spring swimming — of facing past fears of near drowning and of breaking free.

When she completes her year of swimming Jessica finds she has new strength, and she has also found friends and has gained some understanding of how the landscape both haunts and holds us.

This book is for everyone who loves swimming, who wishes they could push themselves beyond caution, who understands the deep pleasure of using their body’s strength, who knows what it is to allow oneself to abandon all thought and float home to the surface.

Turning is out now, published by Virago in the UK, Penguin Random House in Canada, and Berlin/Piper in Germany.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Interview with MARKUS HEITZ

HeitzM-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Markus Heitz?

An ex-RPGer, old Goth, who likes living and laughing and telling stories. Many stories in many different worlds. That’s the curse of being a roleplayer (p&p) for 16 years. Now I’m writing and it’s a kind of methadone. Oh, of course, I wear black. It calms people around you – did I mention, that I am 1.89m tall?

Your latest novel, Righteous Fury, is published by Jo Fletcher Books. How would you introduce the novel to a potential reader? Is it part of a series? Is it connected to your previous novels?

When I started the Dwarves, I knew that my evil elves – called the Älfar – must have their own series. The idea of changing the perspective was very seductive for me. And, like the Emperor in Star Wars, I wanted to say to readers: come to the Dark Side. Look, we even have art and paintings and culture. Okay, we use bones and blood and other parts of our enemies, but, well, art is art. Playing the devil’s advocate was the challenge. Continue reading