Friday, June 24, 2016

What is Claire Humphrey reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Claire Humphrey, author of Spells of Blood and Kin.

Her entry begins:
I have three primary types of reading. The first is, of course, for my own enjoyment. The second is for research to support my writing. And finally, I work as a buyer for a book retailer, so I often read advance copies of books we’re considering, books we’ve commissioned or books publishers are promoting.

In reverse order: the most recent book I read for my job was Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin. Martin presents herself as a sociologist, living among the people of the Upper East Side for the purpose of studying their customs and culture; it’s a funny conceit at times, but a false one, as Martin is actually quite invested in “going native”, as she calls it, and becoming a fully-fledged member of this privileged society. Part gossipy pleasure, part cultural document, part personal memoir...[read on]
About Spells of Blood and Kin, from the publisher:
Where we love, we ruin…

Some families hand down wealth through generations; some hand down wisdom. Some families, whether they want to or not, hand down the secret burdens they carry and the dangerous debts they owe.

Lissa Nevsky's grandmother leaves her a big, empty house, and a legacy of magic: folk magic, old magic, brought with Baba when she fled the Gulag. In the wake of her passing, the Russian community of Toronto will depend on Lissa now, to give them their remedies and be their koldun'ia. But Lissa hasn't had time to learn everything Baba wanted to teach her—let alone the things Baba kept hidden.

Maksim Volkov's birth family is long dead, anything they bestowed on him long turned to dust. What Maksim carries now is a legacy of violence, and he does not have to die to pass it on. When Maksim feels his protective spell fail, he returns to the witch he rescued from the Gulag, only to find his spell has died along with the one who cast it. Without the spell, it is only a matter of time before Maksim's violent nature slips its leash and he infects someone else—if he hasn't done so already.

Nick Kaisaris is just a normal dude who likes to party. He doesn't worry about family drama. He doesn't have any secrets. All he wants is for things to stay like they are right now, tonight: Nick and his best buddy Jonathan, out on the town. Only Nick is on a collision course with Maksim Volkov, and what he takes away from this night is going to crack open Nick's nature until all of his worst self comes to light.

Lissa's legacy of magic might hold the key to Maksim's salvation, if she can unravel it in time. But it's a legacy that comes at a price. And Maksim might not want to be saved…
Visit Claire Humphrey's website.

The Page 69 Test: Spells of Blood and Kin.

Writers Read: Claire Humphrey.

--Marshal Zeringue