Curiosities of the Deep – ride a mule (M.H. Boroson)

Ahoy there mateys!  For those new to me crew, this be a category for those novels whose stories of acquisition be strange and unusual – like the time someone commandeered me 12 pages!  There be a tale to tell on how I got me grubby mitts on this one . . .

Ye see this short story is not available to just any scalawag with a hankerin’.  It is given to only those few who belong to a secret society of book lovers.  And how does one join this society and get to add this treasure to their tally of booty?  Well sit back me hearty (and grab that grog), for this tale twists and turns, and let me tell ye . . .

So a long while back, at nearly the start of keeping this here log, a curious thing happened.  Ye see I be always on the lookout fer treasure as all Captains be.  So every time I be back in port, I follow hints and whispers to find the shady places, full of shady characters, wherein the clues and possibilities for plunder might be found.

In one such adventure, after evading local authorities, brandishing me cutlass at the cur who thought I could be followed, and stopping by the local inn for some rum, I ended up in . . . a local bookstore.  Egads!  What hints there be of riches and exciting locales all ripe fer plunderin’.  Being the smart Captain that I be, I quickly took notice of interesting ports for plunder.  Number 9 on said list be this gem:

the girl with the ghost eyes (M.H. Boroson)

And what a lovely one this is.  This author’s debut novel is a historical fiction fantasy set in Chinatown of San Francisco in 1898.  It is expertly written, in my opinion, and full of surprises – including the ending.  Quite frankly, I adored it.  The author hinted that more of the glorious tales of Li-lin might exist.  So through every storm, every port, every glass of grog, I kept me eye out and me ears to the wind to catch a glimpse of me elusive prey . . .

And then behold, a wink here and a nudge there lead me to Goodreads, an oft frequented haunt, wherein a connection was made with Raquel who be an interestin’ lass who seems to love both cats and books.  With those interests, she be a source I could trust, a rare find indeed.  So with her set of coordinates, I set sail for me next part of the adventure.

And what did I find there but a message in a bottle from the master manipulator himself . . . the author, M.H. Boroson!  The salty cad.  The trickster led me from the source that started this search, the girl with the ghost eyes, to a map written in his own log, wherein if ye are lucky ye might find his master plans.  Now as members of me crew, I will share the secret of how to find the story story.  Spread the word to other members of the crew.

What!  Ye lazy scurvy dogs!  Too full of grog and victuals and the pleasures of port to move.  Arrrrrgh!  Fine.  For those of ye who cannot read so good, like One-Eyed Jack . . .

That M.H. Boroson (good name for a ship rather!) is crafty and wants more folk to read his debut novel.  So like any good sailor, he knows ye need the best bait.  So basically, if ye read his debut novel and post a review (for the good or evil) on his book’s Amazon’s log page, then he will send ye the delight that is the short story.

Now me being the crafty sort, I had already posted me review of the novel.  But I sent him a scroll and we came to an accord.  His return scroll stated:

Ahoy, Captain! Attacht be a copy o’ RIDE A MULE. Yer review be appreciated, arr!

So as part of the Code and in terms with the accord, here be the conclusion to this awesome adventure . . .

If it wasn’t made clear before, this Captain adored this short story.  It immediately took me back to the world of Li-lin and Chinatown.  I could read a million more brief snippets of her adventures while waiting on M.H. Boroson to finish the next novel so I can challenge him to a friendly duel and commandeer it.  While only 21 pages long, the story contains elements of the world-building that made the novel so wonderful.  Favorite characters like Mr. Yanqiu and Mr. Pu make an appearance.  It was short and sweet and left me wanting more.   If ye love Daoism, kung fu, monsters, magic, love, and Chinese folklore then ye should read this.

Now get out there and read me matey’s debut novel and join the secret society that loved it and gets to read this short story.  Savvy?

Amazon has this to say about the girl with the ghost eyes:

It’s the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes–the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and the death of her husband bring shame to Li-lin and her father — and shame is not something this immigrant family can afford.

When a sorcerer cripples her father, terrible plans are set in motion, and only Li-lin can stop them. To aid her are her martial arts and a peachwood sword, her burning paper talismans, and a wisecracking spirit in the form of a human eyeball tucked away in her pocket. Navigating the dangerous alleys and backrooms of a male-dominated Chinatown, Li-lin must confront evil spirits, gangsters, and soulstealers before the sorcerer’s ritual summons an ancient evil that could burn Chinatown to the ground.

With a rich and inventive historical setting, nonstop martial arts action, authentic Chinese magic, and bizarre monsters from Asian folklore, The Girl with Ghost Eyes is also the poignant story of a young immigrant searching to find her place beside the long shadow of a demanding father and the stigma of widowhood. In a Chinatown caught between tradition and modernity, one woman may be the key to holding everything together.

To visit the author’s website go to:

M.H. Boroson – Author

To buy his first novel visit:

the girl with the ghost eyes – Book

To add the short story treasure to yer Goodreads list visit:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Me Previous Curiosities of the Deep:

Patrick, Den – the boy with the porcelain blade – Part One (Fantasy)

Patrick, Den – the boy with the porcelain blade – Part Two (Fantasy)

Parr, M.J.R. – kings of the wilderness – the 700th arc book one (Sci-Fi)

Auxier, Jonathan – the night gardener (Young Adult Fantasy)

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