Best Review So Far!

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Thanks, Matthew! See for yourself buy picking up Satan’s Sorority over at Fahrenheit Press — along with a wealth of other noir, crime and wild new classics.

Story for a Sunday: The Cabal

“The Cabal” from  Pulp Metal Magazine back in June of this year:

‘I’d kill for more reviews,’ Chris muttered, downing the dregs of his pint. In his head he calculated how much was left of the twenty he was meant to hold onto until Friday.

‘I’d sell my soul for more reviews,’  moaned Sandy. The bartender chuckled but no demon appeared in a puff of smoke at the summons.

‘But your books are so good. Don’t you have a bunch of five star reviews?’ Chris didn’t want to admit that he had long ago decided a four star wasn’t all that bad.

Sandy exhaled noisily. ‘I never get more than three of them though. The one novella I set to free? That one’s got seven. But no sales. People only want free stuff unless you’re famous…

Read the rest at Pulp Metal Magazine and take gander at the other stuff M. Michel has gathered there.

Occult Crime: The Dain Curse

In Satan’s Sorority, I wanted to explore the idea of crime that uses occult connections even if there’s nothing supernatural happening (it’s open to interpretation, of course — the characters certainly believe something diabolical occurs). Admittedly my forthcoming story Elf Prefix, which again mixes up crime and the occult, is a little more beyond acceptable reality, but I’m interested in the ways the occult has been used to cover up or shield crime.

You don’t think of Dashiell Hammett as a ‘fantasy’ writer, though he did pen a short supernatural tale of a magician and his assistant (‘Magic’). But he was aware of how the occult could be used to con people — he was always interested in how people manipulated one another. After all, many cults are just a way to swindle folks — another big con.

The Dain Curse has a fascinating occult motif in the middle of it. California has long been the hotbed of strange cults so it’s not surprising the Continental Op would run up against one. The Temple of the Holy Grail supposedly resurrects a sort of druidic practice of Arthur’s Britain. While guarding Gabrielle Leggett, inheritor of the curse, the Op discovers her blood-soaked with a dagger in her hands, confessing to murder.

Entering the temple itself through a ‘small iron door’ he sees ‘dim stars in a night sky’ as they walk over ‘a floor of white marble, or pentagonal tiles that imitated white marble…The light glittered and glistened on a wide altar of brilliant white, crystal and silver.’ The victim lay upon the steps pooling blood.

Later as the Op tries to protect Leggett in her room, he’s aware of the persistent smell of dead flowers intensifying. Then he sees something weird:

Not more than three feet away, there in the black room, a pale bright thing like a body, but not like flesh, stood writhing before me. It was tall, yet not so tall as it seemed, because it didn’t stand on the floor, but hovered with its feet a foot or more above the floor. Its feet—it had feet, but I don’t know what their shape was. They had no shape, just as the thing’s legs and torso, arms, and hands, head and face, had no shape, no fixed form. They writhed, swelling and contracting, stretching and shrinking, not greatly, but without pause.

The Op figures things out eventually–and as you might suspect, the cause of the seemingly supernatural vision has a lot to do with the strange smell and suggestibility, but it’s worthwhile thinking about how even the hard-nosed Op can be thrown off kilter by what appears to be inexplicable. You might breathe a sign of relief when the Scooby-Do ending gets revealed, but for a time even the hard-boiled reader might be willing to suspend disbelief for a time.

See all the overlooked books at Patti Abbott’s blog.


Now Reading: Satanic Panic

I helped fund this volume and it’s chock full of all kinds of material. Though mainly US-centric it hops the pond to for a chapter on the UK version intertwined with the hand-wringing over the video nasties and how Genesis P-Orridge was driven out of the country for a time, as well as heading down to Australia to look at the career of artist Rosaleen Norton.
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It’ll be handy for musing about the sequel to Satan’s Sorority!

Out in October: Satan’s Sorority

Satan LesbianMark October 13th on your calendar! It’s the day SATAN’S SORORITY will be spawned from Number 13 Press. Yes, I am pleased to announce that my influenced-by-those-60s-and-70s-satanic-panic-films novella has been chosen to be one of the lucky thirteen — and the Halloween release at that.

I had a wicked lot of fun writing this (thanks to Mr B for nudging me to finally get around to it). I even have ideas for a sequel (not everyone survives that long though). Here’s the skinny:

The devilish girls of Sigma Tau Nu
There’s simply nothing they wouldn’t do —

It’s 1958: Sandra DeLites gets packed off to college in Connecticut after an ‘incident’ with another girl. Her father thinks a small town university will be just the thing to get her to straighten up and fly right, but he never counted on the sisters of Sigma Tau Nu. President Trixie Faust sees a lot of potential for Sandra and asks her to pledge. Rush week is nothing like the brochures say. Their rites are bloody and the girls are hot—but not for the boys! Halloween is going to be extra scary this year. Forget black cats: You don’t want one of these sisters to cross your path.

Get the first nine Number 13 novellas here and see what people have been saying about them. I’ve got a plan to write about some of the films that filled up my memory bank all those years ago, so look forward to a lot of sexy satanic dames!