First Fiction Fridays: Cauchemar

March 13, 2015

See why "True Blood wishes it was [as] good" as Alexandra Grigorescu's haunting and gorgeous debut, Cauchemar, set in the Deep South. Ignore winter's last gasps and immerse yourself in the magic and romanticism of Grigorescu's Louisianan bayou.

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What:  Cauchemar (ECW Press, 2015)


Who: Alexandra Grigorescu has a Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Toronto, where she attended writing workshops led by George Elliott Clarke and Jeff Parker, and wrote her thesis under the guidance of Camilla Gibb. She lives in Toronto, Ontario. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Why you need to read this now: Cauchemar is an eerie and romantic debut novel set in the Deep South. Grigorescu tells the story of Hannah, a 20-year-old woman who tragically loses her adoptive mother Mae and finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisianan swamp. Before she knows it, she’s fallen in love with musician and laidback boat captain Callum, who begins to fill her beloved Mae’s shoes as Hannah’s protector. Hannah’s biologicial mother Christobelle had been outcast as a witch, rumoured to commune with the dead. When Christobelle comes back into Hannah’s life, she must confront the swamp’s deadly spirits, the secrets of her past, and the nascent gift that she possesses.Gorgeously written, Cauchemar is a nightmare and a love story that will have you teetering between this world and the next.


Review quotes:

“Alexandra Grigorescu’s debut is a straight-up old-school Southern Gothic. True Blood wishes it was this good.”
— Jeff Parker, author of Where Bears Roam the Streets

“Alexandra Grigorescu works pure magic with the line, pulling proverbial rabbits from alligator hats and performing mind-bending enchantments upon every page. Like many of the spellbinding characters of Cauchemar, Grigorescu possesses a preternatural talent.”
— Spencer Gordon, author of  Cosmo

“Grigorescu is a literary sorceress — who has possibly hung out with the Louisiana witches, because she evoked them something strong in this book.”
— Bella’s Bookshelves

“It is well-written with just the right amount of suspense to keep the reader guessing what will happen to the characters until the very last page.”
The Book Binder’s Daughter

“A bayou setting, a dash of supernatural intrigue, and enough music and cookery to fill anyone’s plate . . . Goes well with fresh-caught fish, gumbo, and sweet tea.”
— Bibliotica

“As quickly as Alexandra Grigorescu evokes the robust spices in deep south cooking, she sends shivers up your spine at the mention of something white and scaly sneaking through Hannah’s dreams . . . and into her reality.”
 Editorial Eyes



Follow along on the Cauchemar blog tour at  



Thanks so much to ECW Press, especially Sam Dobson, for sharing Cauchemar with us.


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