Says it all, really.
Says it all, really.
Those devilish girls of Sigma Tau Nu — here’s a few portraits of ones who are new!
Many thanks to the multi-talented Chloë Yates who swings a fine pen herself: check out her many publications here.
This Halloween pledge Sigma Tau Nu! Never mind black cats — you don’t want once of these sisters to cross your path. Sexy, violent and a little bit mad, this racy crime novella is for adults only!
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Satan’s Sorority. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/98596c22807400fd NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Oct 25, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.
Hey, that award-winning writer Linda Sands has grilled me with her 10 Questions. Drop by to see if you really should put haggis on your burger…
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.
There are witches and then there are witches; the trope of making them acolytes of the devil persists, though my gals in Satan’s Sorority would never want to be confused with witches. Devil or no, one of the finest films in that vein is Dario Argento’s masterpiece Suspiria which features an equally legendary soundtrack by Goblin. If you’ve never indulged, I suggest you grab your black cat and sit down for a spell.
That’s what’s in my mind as I eagerly anticipate the Occult Humanities conference next weekend.
As part of the Near to the Knuckle Halloween extravaganza, my story ‘Masquerade’ went live last night. It’s a kind of prequel to Satan’s Sorority. 13 stories in 24 hours: text and audio! Darren Sant & Craig Douglas outdid themselves — and you’re the one who benefits. Check out all the deliciously decadent treats and be prepared for a trick here and there.
Congratulations! If the rest of you would like a commemorative badge, shoot me your address via email [victoriasquid at gmail] and I’ll send you one.
Thanks so much for entering — and just look at the fabulous image by the lovely SL Johnson. Get her for all your design needs and she’ll do you right.