Pub date: Summer 2014
Adoni is a teenaged girl who lives in a downtown apartment with her mother, an emotionally and physically abusive woman who drinks too much. One evening, Adoni finds herself drawn to the enchanting voice of a man singing in the alley beneath her bedroom window. The man, Ritter, brings Adoni to the Welcome, a northern colony of the In-Between world, where young people who have been rescued from harm are kept safe by their sworn immortal protectors, the pipers. But when the Welcome is attacked by changelings—led by the vicious and charismatic Sylvester—and a centuries-old grudge spills over the edge and threatens to destroy the colony and everyone who lives there, Adoni must find the strength and courage within to stop the oncoming war. This stirring LGBTQ-positive coming-of-age fantasy novel accurately portrays issues such as domestic violence and emotional abuse, as well as cultural and sexual identity.
“In The Voices In Between, Challenger has created a brilliant urban fantasy haunted by a melody line and dark secrets that cut beneath reality. Her words sing on the page, weaving a world that draws you in with its claws and refuses to let go. Captivating, intriguing, and most of all musical, Challenger sets the stage for a series whose insistent voice will continue whispering into your ear long after you’ve turned the final page.” —S.M. Beiko, author, The Lake and the Library
“Brave, wrenching loving, wise—and absolutely breathtaking. I have not read a debut novel more clear-eyed and heartfelt than The Voices in Between.”—Leah Bobet, author of Above
“The descriptive passages are lyrical and make powerful use of metaphor”—Resources Links Magazine
“The Voices in Between is an ambitious and sophisticated fantasy, written with evocative, brooding beauty. Challenger makes words on a page caress the ear like music or jar against the soul with a chilling and suspenseful grip.” —Ellen Wu, Canadian Review of Materials
“The Voices in Between snatched my attention straight away with its unusual, atypical heroine… I found the book beautifully written and smart. There is something poetic and enchanting in the In-Between with its snowy landscape and its Christmas air… I sincerely enjoyed The Voices In Between and I highly recommend it.”—Angelique, Maple Books
The book is about so many things….making choices, finding your identity, fitting in, anger, manipulation, dealing with abuse (bullying). It is a great journey that brings forward many social issues that our young generation faces on a daily basis. I’m eagerly awaiting book two!!—lostintherain.com
“shows remarkable wisdom, with fluid prose and masterful plotting that hit all the right notes at just the right times. A multi-tiered accomplishment in YA fiction, the heroine and heroes are anything but typical, with remarkable diversity representative of the city in which it’s based.”—amazon.com customer review
Charlene Challenger is a writer, a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School, and the first recipient of the Gladys Shibley Mitchell Scholarship Award. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. Tightrope Books published the sequel to the The Voices in Between, The Myth in Distance, in the fall of 2016.
Pub Date: 2007
In the fantastical world of Sandra Kasturi’s poetry, myth intersects with reality resulting in a unique dream world that even those who generally shy away from poetry find irresistible. Filled with instances of role reversal, shapeshifting and gender bending, the feminist streak running through these poems becomes a bedtime story whose ending is suspect, unexpected and filled with dark humour. Whether running with the wolves, or sleeping with them, Kasturi uses her sly words to turn everyday conventions inside out. Animal Bridegroom features an introduction by Neil Gaiman
“The Animal Bridegroom is to be revelled in as though you were wandering in a zoo of the most outlandish creatures, stopping often to watch and wonder at their strange behaviour.”—A. Getty, author of Repose and Lyric and Elegy
“The Animal Bridegroom is a wonderful showcase for Sandra Kasturi’s work—she has a lot to say and hundreds of ways to say it. Filled with poetry of sheer, spinning invention and genuine passion, none of it comfortable or conventional, this long-awaited book is a genuine pleasure to read.”—Peter Straub, author of A Dark Matter and Mrs. God
“Sandra Kasturi’s magical poems transform the ordinary into the surreal and exotic.”—Phyllis Gotlieb, author of Birthstones and Red Blood, Black Ink, White Paper
Sandra Kasturi is a poet, writer and editor. In 2005 she won ARC magazine’s coveted annual Poem of the Year award for her poem “Old Men, Smoking.” She has also received several Toronto Arts Council grants, and a Bram Stoker Award for her editorial work at the on-line magazine, ChiZine. Sandra has three poetry chapbooks published, as well as the well-received SF poetry anthology, The Stars As Seen from this Particular Angle of Night, which she edited. Her poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Prairie Fire, On Spec, several of the Tesseracts series, 2001: A Science Fiction Poetry Anthology, and Northern Frights 4. Her cultural essay, “Divine Secrets of the Yaga Sisterhood” appeared in the anthology Girls Who Bite Back: Witches, Slayers, Mutants and Freaks. The Animal Bridegroom is her first full-length poetry collection.