Slide background

Cobalt Blue: A Novel

A novel for courageous readers and seekers, COBALT BLUE is a turbulent, gorgeous ride into sacred sex..

Order Now

Visionary fiction. Novels of the supernatural, spiritual, paranormal present and active in our physical world.

“…Mesmerizing…” The New York Times calls Sister India.


Available May 1, 2023. Pre-order digital copy now!


Quail Ridge Books


The Official Announcement

New York Times Notable novelist Peggy Payne’s new multiverse novel My Life on Earth and Elsewhere will be released on May 1st, 2023

 “…Achingly REAL…Both teen and ‘adult’ readers will love it.” –Lee Smith, New York Times best-selling author, The Last Girls, Dimestore

“Her writer’s eye sees to the center of things—to the spiritual center of our beings whether we’re from this side of the earth, or the other.” –Clyde Edgerton, author of The Night Train, Raney, and others

“This was a powerful and captivating YA Paranormal and Fantasy read…(of) mind-blowing metaphysical nature…Heartfelt, moving, and emotionally driven…” Anthony Avina, blogger and author of Nightmare Academy Series

My Life on Earth and Elsewhere is the story of sixteen-year-old Darcy, who, in the midst of her parents’ separation, takes flight. She feels herself rise above her house, above her patio, to the height of the trees. That’s where she first sees Risto, a beautiful boy who can fly, who magically appears, vanishes, and reappears in the days to follow.

This new novel is highly unusual in that it treats traditional organized religion and the occult with equal respect and seriousness, and at the same time is a perfect fit for the hotly trending appetite for stories of parallel universes, such as the movie Everything, Everywhere All at Once, that swept the Oscars.

The more time Darcy spends with Risto in the night, the more her earthly troubles fall away—her parents’ divorce and mother’s new boyfriend, the pressure she feels at school to fit in, and the ongoing dramas with her best friends. Though her friends and parents express concern for Darcy’s increasing isolation, Darcy finds herself experiencing rapture in the astral realm with Risto. Together, they travel to the Taj Mahal, they fly, they even make astral love. But how can their worlds ever coexist? After all, Risto is from the spirit realm, and Darcy is helplessly human. They are the most star-crossed lovers of all.

This is a book for enthusiasts of supernatural and spiritual fiction, those interested in religions and the occult, and fans of writers like Alice Hoffman. In her fourth novel, Payne beautifully marries themes ranging from astral travel, reincarnation, to social anxiety and familial trauma. This is a story that will move readers from middle school through adulthood, but will be particularly profound for young adults experiencing the confusion and glory of adolescence and first love.

About Peggy Payne: A New York Times Notable novelist, Peggy Payne is also the author of Sister India, Revelation, andCobalt Blue.

Payne’s most recent novel, Cobalt Blue (2013) won a 2014 IPPY for Visionary Fiction. It is probably the only novel to be featured on a Playboy Radio Network program and simultaneously in the top 100 spiritual books for Kindle.

Payne was born in 1949 in WilmingtonNorth Carolina. She graduated from Duke University in 1970 and worked for The Raleigh Times for two years before beginning her freelance career, which has taken her to more than twenty-five countries.

She was awarded the Sherwood Anderson Award in 2003, given in memory of the author of Winesburg, Ohio. She has been the recipient of an NEH grant to study fiction at Berkeley, an Indo-American Fellowship to research Sister India in Varanasi and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship.

Her work has been cited in The Best American Short Stories and published in anthologies including God: Stories, edited by Atlantic Monthly fiction editor C. Michael Curtis; New Stories from the South; and Remarkable Reads. An interview with her, “Writing and Revelation,” is included in Dale Brown‘s Of Fiction and Faith: Twelve American Writers Talk about Their Vision and Work.

She lives in Apex, North Carolina near Raleigh, in a log house next to a woodland pond with her husband, a psychologist who counts clinical hypnosis among his specialties. She is a gardener, kayaker, traveler, and of course: reader.

My Life on Earth and Elsewhere by Peggy Payne
Hydra Publications
Kindle: $6.99
Paperback: $18.99

Available for Pre-order:

Quail Ridge Books

Publication date: May 1, 2023

For media requests and interviews contact:
Susan Assadi, Gitenstein & Assadi PR, [email protected]
347 977 7125

soul's afterlife

Cobalt Blue

At work painting in her studio, commercial artist Andie Branson has a sudden, shocking spiritual experience, a brush with the divine that is seductive and terrifying.

She has long hungered for whatever would force her out of her familiar limits, her increasingly narrow routine. But her spiritual hunger, her reaction to the experience, leads her first to compulsive sex, a sort of abandonment of herself, which is not the expansiveness she’d had in mind. She is shocked, appalled at losing self-control.


Sex and spirituality seem contradictory to some, but they do coexist very powerfully. God and sex can be on the same page, perhaps stirring new feelings and thoughts about both.

This dark and raw, yet ultimately redemptive story follows a brave and very troubled young woman to a triumphant new start on life.


One of the most intense psychological thrillers, Cobalt Blue is an erotic and spiritual pilgrimage, winner of an IPPY for Visionary Fiction.

For fans of The Magus by John Fowles or John Updike’s blend of religion and sexuality or Doris Lessing.

Read more

img2 (1)


When a college town minister hears the voice of God, the doubts and confusion he experiences threaten his career and his marriage, test his conscience and his soul.

The Rev. Swain Hammond had never believed in a God speaking out loud in English in his back yard. But he knows what he heard. it’s undeniable.

His situation is made more difficult by the fact that his Chapel Hill congregation is largely UNC professors and their families. Is their cool brainy pastor losing his mind?


This might sound like the premise of a comic story. It’s not. Revelation unfolds the story of a man in spiritual crisis, spiritual emergency, and the people who admire and fear for him.

For fans of Susan Howatch’s Starbridge novels or work of John Updike or any literary spiritual fiction.

Read more

Sister India, Varanasi, fiction, novel

Sister India

A troubled young American woman tries to start life anew in a Hindu holy city on the Ganges.

After an incident of devastating violence for which she feels some responsibility, Estelle leaves home in her small Southern town. She flees to Varanasi, taking a new name and gradually a radically changed appearance.


She hides her beauty in  hundreds of pounds of fat, because she feels it sparked the trouble she wants to forget. She hides her tender feelings behind an angry manner. She is reclusive, rarely leaves the guesthouse on the river where she is manager. Instead she communes with the river.

But trouble follows her here. Love too finds her again.  She becomes embroiled in a web of hot religious conflict suffused with unlikely intimacy.

Sister India is a Varanasi novel, an odd sort of love story unfolding in a city heavy with the smoke of burning pyres, with intense religiosity, conflict, and the prayers of pilgrims for many thousands of years.

For fans of India fiction, especially by Manil Suri, Anita Desai, or Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, or of Robertson Davies’ Deptford trilogy.

Read more