Although The Formations is intended for adults, most older teenagers would probably be fine. The book contains a mild, non-graphic consensual sex scene. There is also drug use, but no real drugs are glorified. If parents want to pre-screen the sex scene, it’s on page 88 of the paperback, halfway through chapter 6 of the eBook, 1:12:30 into the audiobook as a whole, and 5:13 into chapter 6 of the audiobook.
The Formations is not a horror genre book. There are some suspenseful scenes, but there is no gore, no torture, no rape.
The Formations: A Natural Mystery
Published by Streamwood Press
Typesetting, Cover, & Illustrations by Kate Baldwin
Paperback ISBN: 979-8-9876490-0-8
eBook ISBN: 979-8-9876490-1-5
Audiobook ISBN: 979-8-9876490-1-2
Library of Congress Control Number: 2023902042
1. Subjects: LCSH: Social isolation–Fiction.
2. Mushrooms, Hallucinogenic–Fiction.
3. COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020—Fiction.
5. Mystery fiction.
[Interestingly, there are no biology-related Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) for fiction books.]
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth.
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths.
PS3602.A43 F67 2023 (print) | PS3602.A43 (ebook) | 813/.6–dc23.
The Formations is a long Novella.
The Formations is available in Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook. The paperback and eBook are currently only available through Amazon/Audible, but there are more marketplace options for the audiobook. Let us know if there is somewhere else you would like to see it!
The Formations is available for libraries to buy in Paperback and Audiobook if they choose to add it to their collections, and the audiobook is available as “Library-Pay Per Use”. They are ready to enter the card catalog, including PCIP and MARC Records. The eBook is being sold exclusively through Amazon/Kindle for 90 days starting in March, 2023.
One of my cousin’s books, Field Season, is about biologists at a research station in South America. I really enjoyed the book and I was talking about it with the author. I told her how I was excited about the recent discovery of weird web-like formations on the sides of trees in the Amazon. At the time, no one had any idea what they were, and the theories ranged across multiple kingdoms of life. I tried to convince my cousin to weave that into a sequel, but she didn’t take the bait.
Inspired by my cousin, I had the idea of writing it myself. I wanted it to be a mystery, but where biology is part of the conundrum. Not just a crime-who-done-it, but an ecology-what-is-it too. I wanted to follow one-person’s investigative journey.
But that is where I got stuck, because it didn’t seem reasonable that a relatable person would work in isolation as an individual to unravel this minor natural mystery. So, the idea simmered on the back burner for a few years.
Halfway through the year 2020, I was feeling isolated, reckless, and very cooped up. I realized the pandemic was the catalyzing event that would make an otherwise regular person go on a dangerous campaign of discovery. Also, I had plenty of quiet time at home with nothing better to do!
My husband and my friends helped me come up with many of the details. Jeremy, my husband, in particular, is responsible for the minor car collision and the body swap.
All the companies, people, and locations are entirely fictional.
If you enjoyed, The Formations, check out these recommended mystery books with natural history themes:
Dr Nell Ward is an ecologist, not a detective. But when she’s the prime suspect in a murder, only her unique set of skills could help to clear her name…
Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.
Patrolling the remote West Texas backcountry, Anna’s job as a national park ranger is marred by violence: the brutal death of a fellow ranger. When the cause of death is chalked up to a mountain lion attack, it’s up to Anna to save the protected cats from the politics and prejudices of the locals.
Yes, the animal facts and plant and fungi ecology and biology information is factual with a few exceptions:
In a word, Amazon. The prices of the paperback and eBook are minimums Amazon would allow to cover their required costs plus royalties for the publisher of less than a dollar. The publisher and author have no input on the selected price for the audiobook on Audible: It’s entirely chosen by Audible/Amazon based on mysterious criteria that include the book length.