Ana K. Wrenn portrait



Let me introduce you to the Appalachian Ice Queen, and this time I’m not talking about my main character, Dr. Sonja J. Storey in my debut novel, Strange Attractors (coming August 2022, Ylva Publishing).

Here in Appalachia, Autumn sinks into Winter’s skeletal embrace. Upon first look, it is an unsettling sight, trees naked, their gnarled trunks exposed, their emaciated limbs raised toward the sky.

If unaccustomed to these parts, the winter woodlands may appear unwelcoming, ominous. Please, I implore you: look again.

See a circle of grand crones, stripped bare under an azure sky during daylight hours. Then, at midnight, watch them silver in the inkiness, their skin shimmering under the moon’s cold caress. See them slip into their ivory raiment, slick satin or fluffy, snowy coats.

After the showy grandeur of Autumn, Winter looks bleak, a lesser sister. Look again, I urge you. There is another story here, one about endurance and nakedness in the face of what is coming.

And the storm is coming.

Winter storms drape the Appalachian Mountains in pearl, pewter, and onyx. At times, this region will drip in diamonds too, frozen rain showering the muted ground with crystal beads, large and small, and encasing limbs in ice.

It’s important to treat this region with the respect it deserves. After all, an Appalachian Winter can kill like any powerful ice queen.

Ice-encrusted power lines can fall, robbing us of heat and electricity. Black ice on roadways can interrupt a journey in the most abrupt and violent ways. Heavy wet snows can cave in roofs, exposing inhabitants to a frosty, unforgiving world.

The Appalachian Ice Queen is to be revered. She may unnerve you. She should unnerve you. But if you see her for the glorious winter mistress that she is, then she may bestow her favor on you.

Welcome to the Appalachian Winter. Welcome to the land of the Appalachian Ice Queen.

The storm is coming. Take shelter, and curl up with a good book by a roaring fire. Check out Ylva's sizzling offerings. You'll find something to warm you (like the newest by Lee Winter, Cheyenne Blue, and Rachel Sommers).

May the Appalachian Ice Queen hold you in her frosty gaze and envelop you in her freezing embrace.