Spotlight & Excerpt: Raven Woman’s Tavern + Giveaway

Raven Woman’s Tavern
by Laura Koerber
Genre: Dystopian, Magical Realism


A backwoods bar run by a shapeshifter.‬
A road that changes length, direction, and destination.‬
A young man, lost in the forest and dying, hears the cry of a raven.‬
Set in a dystopic near future, Raven Woman’s Tavern is the story of a collection of survivalists who are squatting in the remains of a dead timber town in the Northwest. The residents—most of them old, sick, and in need—help each other by means legal and extralegal under the watchful eye of Rachel, the tavern keeper. When the peace of the community is disturbed by the sudden visit of four members of the local militia, the survivalists are frightened; not all of them are law-abiding and some are not citizens. ‬
But, as Crazy Mary said to Charlie the Poet, “You don’t piss Rachel off. She’s got her ways.”‬
raven womans tavern teaser 2
ravenwomanstavern - excerpt
The next morning, they saw a coyote. They were hanging
out by the car, Randy whining for a cigarette while Pete and Mel
smoked. They were all sore and cranky, their faces bruised with
exhaustion. The gel in Mel’s hair was stiff with dirt and lint. Bay
supposed his hair looked pretty rough, too. He needed a shave,
and he needed desperately to brush his teeth. He was thinking
about his furry teeth and spiky hair when he saw the coyote, and
his first thought was how much better the coyote looked than
It was a handsome animal, not flea bitten and skinny like
other coyotes. Bay remembered his biology teacher saying that
the huge outbreak of fleas was a global warming thing. Somehow,
that coyote had missed out. He stood silently in the woods and
observed them with eyes that seemed dispassionate, maybe
cynical. He doesn’t like us, Bay thought.
“Uh, look!” Randy hissed on a sharp intake of breath.
“Is that a wolf?” Mel whispered.
“No,” Bay told them. The coyote was almost big enough to
be one, but wolves had been shot out of the woods long ago. The
coyote lounged confidently, head up, ears forward. Bay felt a
trickle of ice water in his spine. The coyote was not at all afraid
of them.
“He’s waiting for us to die,” Randy shrilled suddenly, “so he
can eat us!”
“Oh, shut up.” Pete’s hand tugged Bay’s sleeve. “Got your
gun?” he whispered. He’d ordered them to have their weapons
handy at all times.
“Yeah, Bay,” Mel jeered, but quietly. “Get your goddamn gun
Bay didn’t move. His pistol was in his holster and he felt
the weight of it on his hip. The coyote was only forty or so feet
away, clearly visible, standing on a mossy log. Its eyes were
mesmerizing: yellow, back lit and iridescent, like opals. The
coyote seemed to be assessing them, evaluating them for some
quality that Baylor was not sure he had.

Laura started off life as an artist. Even in early elementary school she could draw with near-photo realism. She liked to tell herself stories while driving, or doing boring tasks such as housework, but never thought of herself as a writer.

That is, until she got involved in the rescue of an abused dog. Her first book, a collection of short stories entitled The Dog Thief, made the Kirkus Review list of one hundred best indy publications and set her on a course of writing.

With one exception, her subsequent novels are in the genre of fantasy, though four have themes relating to current events, and three are also dystopias. Wild Hare, the story of a half/man-half/nature spirit and his feud with the local civic powers also made the Kirkus Review “best of” list.

The exception, I Once Was Lost But Now Am Found, is the nonfiction account of the largest dog rescue in the US to succeed without help of local authorities.

Laura is a retired teacher and lives on an island in Puget Sound with her husband; her one-eyed cat; and her elderly, disabled and chronically grumpy shih tzu. She is volunteers at a rescue for unadoptable cats.

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4 Replies to “Spotlight & Excerpt: Raven Woman’s Tavern + Giveaway”

  1. I love the cover and the synopsis and excerpt are intriguing, this sounds like a must read for me. Thank you for sharing the book and author details

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