Looking at the front cover of Wanderings on Darker Shores... one gets the idea of the places Ms. Pop wants to take her readers. A full moon lit water scape with the mirror as a door into the realms of this author's world inside and the nod to Edgar Allen Poe, its red eye looking at you- daring you to take yourself through the mirror. I never saw the cover before I obtained my copy but once I did, the fit with the world on the other side of the mirror was an exact match. Simply said in working with Cora in editing her manuscript I was held captive in a genre of writing that I rarely go near. What captured me was that though she openly states her influences of Wells, Lovecraft, and of course, Poe. Her world on the other side of the mirror is uniquely hers, she is a romantic willing to place the constructs of love, humanity, and human desire in places only the most confident of writers can successfully accomplish. She is bold in her attempts and extraordinary in her success. There are no "clever writing tricks" within her story arcs, only the beauty of well performed language.
Cora, is quite successful in taking the reader into this maze of subtly lit darkness. Her use of vocabulary is a charm, a potion that causes the reader to not stop reading until stories end, a style making you wish your day’s toils were ended so you could escape back to darker shores, where suddenly you are comfortable. Once each tale is told and completed in this work one can put the book down on the end table to contemplate what was just read but the charmed reader will soon be reaching for it again to begin another, different journey, to an alternate realm within the mirror.
Each piece within is a path in the maze of a mind that only shows the reader a hand sign- a finger pointing a way, always cautioning to choose wisely as the reader becomes the protagonist in the story, the subject of the poetry. That is the true gift in Ms. Pops writing talent I, usually a cynic, was forced to believe I was within the dimly lit borders of the tale being told, I believed I was on the page and that is a journey few storytellers have been able to take this reader on. Now that I have read the book, in this, its final form, it is shelved on my prize shelf along with Tolstoy, Dickens, Verne, and yes even Poe. It is a book a cut above most modern writing. I am certain I will return to it; for there will be a scene that will unbidden rise in me and I know I will not sleep until I see if I have made it out of the maze or am still wandering, trying to get to the side of the mirror I belong on.