From Winter, Spring is Born

Speculative Fiction
Urban Fantasy
Magical Realism
Possible Fact
(names changed to protect both innocent and guilty)


Evil can sometimes present as benevolence. While some applaud what is presented as the wholesome overthrowing of a despotic regime, others will know as fascism. Or religious supremacy. Or moral superiority. History often eventually births evidence of a greed-driven fallacy.

Mercy Riley is thrust into life in the cramped, cold little room down back of Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows Mother and Baby Home. In the rarely-visited coastal village of Weary Bay. A place of shame, Mercy is born and raised a secret. Never permitted to know her mother, her name concocted for expedience by strangers. While social acceptability is not her destiny neither is obscurity and around the age of thirteen she escapes. Lost and vulnerable she is discovered and aided by Black Annis, not even slightly mortal. Taken in by the Travelers she is sequestered, for her protection and education, with Maisie Raith the Weary Bay’s generations-long practitioner of witchcraft, where she learns some semblance of what it means to live beyond a walled, barred institution. She learns to heal and foretell a person’s death through tarot cards, but she is also taught—maybe randomly, maybe by design—to kill with precision.

In the style of mixed folktales Mercy finds herself a piece on the chessboard of mystery. Her reason for existence woven into a tapestry of seeming confusion.

At the very close of winter, the city of New Rathmore is rendered powerless beneath the frozen discord of a late season arctic ice vortex. The metaphor of From Winter, Spring is Born, is sung in folktales the world over; is anthropomorphized, of necessity, for children and should change as a youngster becomes adult but… What of truth? What is the game and how serious are the players? And where are the rules?

Almost everyone underestimates Mercy Riley. Most do not realize she is not—and never will be—like them. One, a faerie man called Raven, reclusive, busted, dangerous and lost, has his heart broken by her while another, her mother, although buried, is undead.


Characters are woven into The Changeling in such a way as to confuse an opponent, or a reader, into believing they have answers that they do not. Each, however, is integral to Mercy’s revenge, even when that revenge liberates her true nature. When springtime finally comes…?

Is justice done? Who really knows? Because of the obscurity of possible violation presented, saccharned, by Disney? And is that real? How does santa claus, a tooth fairy and an egg-laying rabbit prepare a child for the reality of danger? Or love? Doesn’t justice also depend on an individual’s viewpoint? How can a person make meaningful choices when fed on fiction that always ends with a kiss? We are told so many things, as children, that are lies. Falsehoods dressed up in tutus, with wands topped with starlight. Tinkerbell castles. No one explains that castles were built from the ruin of indigenous peoples, do they?

THE CHANGELING is not a pretty faerie story. It breaks the rules. It confuses and disturbs. Mercy fulfils one part of her destiny, when one part does not make a whole in a storytelling that is, hopefully, never ending.

Written with the voice of what seems like old Irish but that could relate to any indigenous folk anywhere in the world, there is no redemption. No happy-ever-after. Just more.

THE CHANGELING draws on the author’s lifetime researching folklore, the true abomination of stolen children and shamed, disregarded women. It pulls on the author’s own liberation from possession by people who kept her from knowing herself, ancestral identity and why they did what could be seemed compassionate and upstanding–good–but that, in reality, hid a disturbed agenda.

Sold by the catholic church in what was termed ‘clean break’ ideology the practice of abandonment has never been far away from the author’s reason for achievement. The worldwide truth of atrocity is only now coming to light with the discovery of Tuam’s burial of children in sewers and the fate of so many babies and mothers, under the seeming-benevolence of residential schools and institutions, exposing religion and state’s disdain of those who are unrepentant.

Click here for FIRST 60ish PAGES

Image Marcin Wuu