Thursday, September 21, 2017

Flesh by Laura Bickle - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular





Flesh
Laura Bickle

Genre: YA Horror

Date of Publication: September 19, 2017

ISBN: 9781537857992
ASIN: B074XBJ697

Number of pages: 307
Word Count: 76,573

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

Book Description:

The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

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Glittery Ghoul Donuts
By Laura Bickle

When I saw vampire donuts come across a friend’s Facebook feed, I knew that I had to give them a try. I’ve had my own share of Pinterest disasters, to be certain, but I think this is something I can handle. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be that I’d have a dozen mangled donuts, right? I could eat all the evidence before anyone was the wiser.





1.         I gathered my materials. I picked up a dozen glazed donuts, a bag of plastic vampire fangs, and a package of candy eyes. For fun, I got some edible glitter. I originally thought I might make sparkly vampire donuts with silver glitter, but decided to get green so that the completed creatures would remind me more of ghouls.


2.         I squished some vampire fangs into the donut holes to make mouths.



3.         Then I added the candy eyes. They stick very well into the donut glaze.



4.         Then I dusted the donuts with edible green glitter. I was pretty pleased with my green choice…they seem particularly monstrous.


5.         And ta-da! A horde of flesh-eating ghoul donuts!




I’m counting this as a Halloween craft win. Do you have any Halloween crafts you’re going to make this season? Any raven wreaths, bat cookies, or carved pumpkins on your agenda?



About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

The latest details on her work are available at:



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Deep in the Hollow by Brandy Nacole - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular


My novel Deep in the Hollow is based off the urban legend “The Dover Lights”. Here are some eye witness recounts of what others experienced while at the Dover Lights.

Justin Minor of “On the Fringe” tells about the crews experience while investigating the Dover Lights phenomenon. “We have tried to rule out every possible cause, I mean every cause. We still can’t believe what we saw.”

My family is from around Dover. Someone submitted a story concerning the Dover lights and I have a few things to add to it. My grandma used to live nearby and she has said that the lights occured way before electricity was.  -Kayla Freeman, www.ghostlights.org

Hello, although I don't know for sure if this story is fact, I do know there were supposed to be silver mines somewhere in or around the Dover area, so it would make the most sense to me. Anyway, the story I heard about the lights, (which I am a former resident of Dover, and have myself seen things I couldn't quite explain.) was that around the great depression time, there was an elderly couple who lived "out in the boonies". At one time, the edlerly lady became very ill, and her husband sent for a doctor. (unfortunately I do not know any names) He gave the husband medicine to give to his wife, but the old man did not have any money. Instead, he made a deal with the doctor. He was very skilled at making his own hunting equipment, and assured the doctor that in payment for saving his wife, he would make him anything he needed, and handed him a bag of bullets. As time went on, both the old man and his wife passed away, and years later the doctor was going through some of his old belongings. He looked at the bullets the old man had given him, and remembered their deal, and polished them to display in his home. While polishing, he realized the bullets were made from silver. So the story after that is that the doctor sacrificed everything, his home, family, fortune, and spent his remaining days searching for the lost silver mine, and that the lights seen on occassion to this day is the light from his lamp. And that is the story I heard, believe it if you wish.  -F.B. www.ghostlights.org

The lights appear in the valley and flicker and sway most of the time. On one active occasion I saw them move about 3 miles in around 10-15 seconds. They appear all colors and can even light up the whole valley.  Brian R. www.ghostlights.org



Deep in the Hollow
Chindi Series
Brandy Nacole

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Brandy Nacole

Date of Publication: September 15, 2016

ASIN: B014U7BMU0

Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 80,000

Cover Artist: The Book Cover Machine

Tagline: Greed has a price, and the dead do not always rest.

Book Description:

Let me share some wisdom with you. There is evil in this world we cannot see, not because it is hidden from us, but because our minds refuse to accept its existence. But once we are able to get past what everyone says should not be, it becomes our responsibility to stop the evil we now see.

This insight wasn’t given to me until a year after I lost the most important person in my life: Bryce Rowan. Now, after another death at the same spot where he died—the overlook, where the mysterious lights dance amongst the trees—I begin to wonder if they were accidents after all.

Lucky for me, I’m not the only curious one in town. Cooper, a ghost hunter (aka chaser), and his sister Jada have moved to town and are starting to ask questions.

But the more we find out about this town and the people who live here, people who I have known my whole life, the more I begin to think there are those who would rather keep the evil secret, even if it means we will never be safe, and that more will die.


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Excerpt:

Prologue
July 11, 1972 

Once again I’ve fallen prey to MaryAnn’s pleading, and I follow her out the window, my stomach churning with dread, a contrast to her excitement. I don’t know why I let her talk me into these things. She’s always getting us into trouble, has been since we were little. Yet, here I am, still following her after seven years of mistake after mistake. There’s something about her I can’t say no to. I’ve always thought of her as my sister, not my cousin, and considering we were born only two days apart, we are more like sisters—look like it too. But still, even sisters tell each other no every once in a while. Not me. This time though, I should have.
Our tiny flashlights give off little light in the dark forest, mine unsteady as it shakes in my hand. Thorns scrape at my skin and I look back, hoping to see a light in the cabin on and my grandfather coming out to see where us girls have run off to. No such luck. The small, two-bedroom cedar cabin is dark, its frame nothing but an outline against the trees around it.
“I think we should go back,” I whisper, my voice trembling.
“Will you quit whining, Ester? This is no different than walking through the woods during the daylight.”
I beg to differ. During the day, the green leaves look welcoming, not over-powering and creepy like now. I don’t feel trapped and afraid when walking these familiar woods when the sun is shining bright, but now I do.
“But, MaryAnn, grandpa said—”
“He was just trying to scare you,” she hisses, as she shines her light on a raccoon scavenging for food. It rushes off to hide from what he perceives as danger and we continue on through the thicket.
No matter what MaryAnn says, I know she’s wrong. I saw the fear in our grandfather’s eyes as he told us the story of the thing that haunts these woods. MaryAnn had been enthralled as she sat by the fire, her eyes bright, her body unmoving as she absorbed every word. I had been terrified. Our grandfather has never been a skeptical man, always saying rumors and legends are nonsense. “What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” So to see the fear in his eyes as he witnessed the story he told us tonight is enough to convince me he was telling the truth, and not just some tale to scare his grandchildren.
An owl hoots overhead and a chill slowly creeps up my back, making me shiver.
“I think we should wait. I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
MaryAnn ignores my pleas, knowing I won’t go back alone.
The leaves rustle as a slight wind picks up. I can no longer see the outline of the cabin. I don’t know if it’s from my fear, but our lights seem to grow dimmer, making the darkness feel as if it is weighing down on us.
A small clearing comes into view, with timber laying hazardously along the ground.  
“We are almost there,” MaryAnn whispers. “This is where grandpa and his workers have been logging close to the overlook.”
Good. Once we reach the overlook and she sees it is the same during the night as it is during the day, we can go back to the safety of the cabin. I can already feel the relief of being back under my blankets, eagerly waiting for morning, with the fresh smell of biscuits baking in the oven and bacon frying in the pan filling the air.
Whoosh.
“What was that?” I ask, panicked, and spin around in a circle, my flashlight shaking with more force.
“Ester, please stop this nonsense. I’m sure it was nothing.”
Once on the other side of the clearing, we start the mile hike up the incline and once again I wish we had stuck to the main road instead of taking the shorter path through the woods. The ground is slick from the rain we had yesterday, and with every step I take, I lose two as I slide back down.
MaryAnn grabs my hand, steadying me, as we both use our weight to climb the impossible hill.
Whoosh.
“Did you hear that?” she asks, her voice a bit higher than before.
I close my eyes, my stomach tensing. She better not be playing any games with me. I will rat her out in a heartbeat if she is.
“Yes. What do you think it is?”
Before she can answer, a strange mist builds in front of us. I examine it closely and point it out to MaryAnn, but before it takes on a shape, it’s gone.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
A strong wind spins around us, and not caring about what MaryAnn thinks, I let go of her hand and tumble back down the hill, scared for my life. My feet are unsteady as the land levels out again and I fall over a log. Seconds later, MaryAnn lands on top of me.
“Come on!” she screams, terror in her voice. “We have to get back to the cabin.”
“What did you see?” I demand, as I race after her, dodging fallen limbs. But she doesn’t answer. She keeps running, looking back to make sure that I am close behind her.
A strong force comes from behind me and I’m shoved into MaryAnn’s back, making us both lose our footing.
Whoosh.
Tears pour down my face as we scramble to our feet, our flashlights lost in the darkness. We try our hardest to run through the darkness with no light to guide our way. MaryAnn grabs my hand, our sweaty fingers clinging as tightly as they can while we try to make out where we are.
When MaryAnn screams, her body jerked away from me, I feel as if I can’t breathe. Something is trying to take her from me. My grip on her hand tightens, my small twelve year old frame pulling as hard as possible against whatever is trying to tug her away.
A movement behind her catches my eye as we struggle, but I can’t make out who or what it is. It’s shrouded in a black cloak, practically invisible under the blanket of night. I do make out the grey mist behind it, as if it’s drifting and waiting for its prey.
My heart thrums, feeling as if it’s trying to escape out of my chest, and my throat grows tight as I choke on my tears. MaryAnn screams, begging me not to let go of her, as our fingers begin to slip.
Why can no one hear us? We have to be close to the cabin.
A sharp pain explodes in the back of my head, and I pitch forward, disoriented. My legs slip out from beneath me, and I can feel myself losing consciousness. MaryAnn’s fingers slip out of mine as I land against the damp leaves on the ground. The last thing I hear is her pleading for me to save her.



About the Author:

Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy and paranormal books published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself.  She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs. 






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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Betwixters: Once Upon A Time by Laura C. Cantu- Haunted Halloween Spooktacular






Betwixters:
Once Upon A Time
Betwixters Book One
Laura C. Cantu

Genre: Middle-grade fantasy

Publisher: Winterwolfpress.com

Date of Publication: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9885851-9-5
ASIN: B071F5M61D

Number of pages: 288
Word Count: 85,189

Cover Artist: Laura C. Cantu

Tagline: When you believe, magic awakens.

Book Description:

A mysterious forest near the cozy town of Herogate, England is more than what it seems. The gnarled trees appear to breathe, gloomy storms follow you around, and prowling shadows come to life before your very eyes. Referred to as The Dark Wood by the townsfolk, the forest is guarded by a strange old man and creatures not of this world. Even the locals never set foot in the bewitched woodlands, and trespassers have a way of turning up dead.

When Noah Walters moves to town with his parents, his father—a contractor working on a top secret project for a private security firm—makes Noah promise to never enter those woods; but he doesn’t know that Fate has other plans.

Noah and his new best friends, Ethan and Skye, are chased into The Dark Wood by Grucker, a schoolyard bully, and their lives are changed forever. They are forced into the heart of the forest, where they discover a lost fairy who needs their help to find her way back home before it's too late.

Join Noah and his friends on a magical adventure as they race against time and plunge headfirst into the unknown. They are challenged with secrets to keep, a dangerous mission to accomplish, and a test of courage that will bring them face-to-face with magical creatures they thought only existed in fairy tales.

This is more than a tale of discovery, mystery, and excitement; it’s an epic adventure that will usher you into a world where magic is in the air, in the trees, and in every heart.




Meeting a Monster -A True Story

When I was younger, a group of newly acquired friends and I tried to think of something eerie to do on Halloween night. Little did we know, that we would see something truly terrifying that would change our lives forever.
Like many teenagers, we decided that visiting a cemetery was just about the perfect way to give ourselves a good scare. I had just moved to town, and my new friends insisted that there was a glowing tombstone in an old, run down graveyard off a gravel road about thirty miles outside of town. So, we piled in a small, two-door car and drove, excited about the prospects of having some good ghost stories to tell on the way.
The road we were driving on was a narrow, two-lane service road with lots of potholes, hills, and curves. The locals had spread rumors that “devil-worshipers” often held ceremonies along that road, and one of the girls, who was sitting in the back seat, seemed to be enjoying herself as she recounted the spooky stories. She spoke of how the Satanists skinned animals alive, and how there were strange sightings in the area. Her last story was about the glowing gravestone; she claimed it was cursed.
We drove farther and farther from town, well over thirty miles, and I fidgeted in my seat. I was beginning to have second thoughts about going so far out into the night, especially since I hadn’t let my mother know where I was going. Back then, we didn’t have mobile phones. If something unexpected or dreadful happened, there would’ve been no one around to help, and my mother wouldn’t have even known where to look.
I shook my head, trying to shake off my growing apprehension as silence suddenly fell over the car like a soft, suffocating blanket. I cleared my throat to speak up but thought better of it. I didn’t want to be the one who chickened out and insist on turning back.
The car’s headlights pierced the darkness of the night and bugs thumped into the windshield as we continued to drive along. That’s when it happened.
The car came to a screeching halt.
There, in the middle of the road, sat a coyote. The driver of the car, a sixteen-year-old girl with short curly hair named Angie (her name has been changed to protect her identity), honked at the coyote. To our amazement, it didn’t move. Instead, it lazily looked in our direction as if it had nothing better to do than sit in the middle of the road, blocking our way.
She honked again.
The coyote blinked. The lights of the car reflected on its retina, causing its eyes to glow a dull shade of red.
When it did not budge this time, Angie yelled and honked again, but this time she held her hand down so that the horn blared into the night air.
It was then that the coyote stood on its two hind legs and turned toward us, a tall looming monster with sharp teeth and penetrating eyes.
Angie’s hand slid from the steering wheel as we all sat in amazement at this towering beast. It seemed to be looking us over, mulling over what it would do next.  Was he contemplating eating us?
I couldn’t find my voice. All I could do was sit there, slack-jawed and bewildered.
Just when I thought we were going to have to flee for our lives, the creature turned and ran away, its movements akin to that of a running human.
Everyone in the car finally found their voices to scream! Angie whipped a U-turn, and we hightailed it back to town.

Even today, over twenty years later, the vision of that creature is still clearly etched upon my memory. That was the day that I began questioning how magical and mysterious our world truly is.  -Laura C. Cantu

About the Author:

Laura C. Cantu is a multitalented artist, visionary, and humanitarian. Throughout her life, she has felt an overwhelming desire explore the mysteries of the unknown and to expand her awareness and experiences. By allowing her perspective to shift and change, Laura has learned to unleashed her imagination and use it to guide her through creative processes. She passionately follows her dreams and has achieved high levels of success in her various careers. As a professional dancer, Laura won six national titles and placed fourth in the Professional Argentine Tango World Championships. She also stretched her creative muscles as a visual artist with drawings that toured across the globe. Adding to her diverse accomplishments, Laura earned her master’s degree in Oriental Medicine in 2012, which has afforded her opportunities to assist many along their journeys to realizing wellness.

Despite her already jeweled career, there is another passion Laura delights in—the art of storytelling. Her first young adult fantasy novel, Xandria Drake: Ancient Rising, earned rave reviews and a Goodreads' book of the month award. Currently working on The Vathylite Realms, Laura is harnessing and focusing her energies to craft engaging stories that are meant to bring joy, inspiration, and awareness to all who read them.

Laura is on a mission to live a life of inspiration, truth, and empowerment. With future books pending release, she continues to dance as a hobby, study energetics and wellness, and explore her imagination. Laura also enjoys drawing and creating 3D art and animations, hiking, meditation, playing guitar, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.









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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rise of the Nephilim A Blackmoore Prequel

 



Rise of the Nephilim
A Blackmoore Prequel
Marcus James

Genre: Erotic PNR/Gothic Horror

Publisher: Candiano Books

Date of Publication: 07/24/2017

ISBN:1545039895
ASIN: B073q4gb9w

Number of pages: 201

Word Count: 61,272

Cover Artist: Ransom Graphics

Tagline: Sex, witchcraft, and rock and roll on the Sunset Strip

Book Description:

LOS ANGELES, summer of 1987.

Kathryn Blackmoore, the 26 year old heir to Blackmoore World Corp. and the future matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches has fled the haunted old monied neighborhood of South Hill in Bellingham, Washington looking to trade in a century of rumors, superstition, and her own heartache  for the sun, sex, and music of the Sunset Strip.

Taking up residence in the famed and decaying Chateau Marmont hotel, Kathryn quickly finds herself in an erotic and thrilling journey into the world of Niiq, Arish, and Kuri; members of the band Nephilim, who seem to have the women of the Strip enthralled by their dark and sensuous sound. When bodies begin to turn up all over town and a mysterious and haunting figure fixates on Kathryn, she quickly learns that you can never escape your destiny.

RISE OF THE NEPHILIM is the first of a two part erotic paranormal romance/thriller revealing the beginnings of one of the most captivating characters in The Blackmoore Legacy series. It is a standalone prequel of eroticism, romance, and suspense.



Excerpt:

The library was quiet with the exception of the short and humming-to-herself library assistant stacking the books left out or returned through-out the day. The girl was a junior; she was sure of it. She had never talked to her; they had never orbited the same solar system in the day-to-day endless galaxy of Mariner High School, but that didn’t matter.
She could still reach inside the girl’s mind whenever she wanted to, and explore everything she kept hidden from the rest of the world. She could travel the fleshy terrain of the girl’s brain and see her hopes and dreams, her fears, her loves, and her longings.
She was able to pick out that her name was Tammy. She was a studious girl with dirty blonde curls that hung to her breasts, her skin milk-white and soft, her face delicate and scattered with a dusting of freckles across the bridge of her small nose. Her brown eyes were golden and looked over the spine of each book, scanning their titles and looking up to each aisle to see where they belonged.
Kathryn Blackmoore stood from the table where she had been discussing after graduation party plans with her best friend Lila Sifuentes and with her boyfriend Sheffield Burges, excited to finally walk and receive their diplomas and be done with this place forever.
She was tall – five feet and nine inches. Her lean body was dressed in a pink-and-white pin-striped collared shirt, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, the collar popped and buttoned only to her full breasts.
A three-tiered pearl necklace glistened in the bright white fluorescents overhead, and her thick shoulder-length feathered mane was a rich auburn that seemed to glow around her like a halo.
She gathered her books and began to make her way to the doors to begin the walk through campus back to her home. Her long legs were encased in a khaki, knee-length Ralph Lauren skirt with a slit up the left thigh and a tasseled and thin brown leather belt was fastened loosely around her waist and rested on her hipbones. Kathryn looked at her watch; it was 9:00 p.m. They had been put in charge of the after-party by the entire student body – at least by the Golden Gods, as the popular kids were called – and it was their job to deliver.
Somehow by some cruel joke perpetrated by the universe, Kathryn had somehow become one of them. That was a first for her family, and it was no surprise to her that this ascension in the school’s hierarchy was achieved by her relationship with Sheffield. He was one of the kindest and most popular guys at their elitist school, and was a rock star on the Soccer field. It was the school’s claim to greatness and claim to fame. Other schools had football, but Mariner was known throughout the country for their school’s soccer team. In the eighteen years of its existence – as long she had been alive – Mariner was a crowning achievement and had only ever lost three games. Families from the country over, who dreamed of soccer field futures for their children chose Mariner – a public high school – over the best sports-driven private schools.
Mariner was a dynasty of Bellingham Washington, and the rite of passage for the exclusive children of South Hill, with their centuries-old Victorian, Tudor, Colonial, and Craftsman mansions that stood on large plots of land between treacherous and almost guard-like evergreens on every street, and sidewalks lined with monstrous oaks and maples. Homes filled with inhabitants of both the living and the dead.
Then there werethe Edgemoore kids. Nouveau riche. Most of them were native Californians whose parents moved here in a great rush for cheap land when California’s real estate began to climb higher and higher, and for the chance to get their kid on the Mariner soccer team.
Here, on the cliffs on the other side of Bellingham Bay, and staring back at the old genteel mansions, were the castle-like and gaudy estates of Edgemoore.
These kids had no respect for the history that still stood in the city, and the almost haunted charm of Fairhaven, that filled the space along the water between these two wealthy neighborhoods. Fairhaven was the last town to merge with the county of Whatcom in 1903, finally forming the greater city of Bellingham. For the city, and everyone in it, there was a difference between the South Hill neighborhood and the rest of Bellingham itself, as if it were still its own town.
Connecting the south to the north of Bellingham was the campus of Fairhaven University, which in the 1890s had been the Washington State Normal School. Fairhaven University was carved through the trees and made up of tall, red-orange brick buildings and concrete bridges overpaved pathways in between the green. The city was not unlike Bram Stoker’s description of Transylvania: a place wild and filled with spirits, and fiercer things that lived in the mouth of the Carpathian Mountains that surrounded it.
The city was surrounded by cliffs and an endless army of evergreens.
Interstate 5 snaked through all of this above the city, so that every exit dipped down into it. Kathryn had grown up here, had been born here, into South Hill’s superstition and paranoia and never-ending fears.
South Hill was filled with the descendants of the founding families, and the majority had worshiped at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
The white wood church with its gorgeous and detailed mammoth windows of stained glass was crowned with a single black-slated roof and spire.
The first time Kathryn had ever used her witchcraft against another was the priest who had tried to take advantage of her when she was twelve. It had felt invigorating to watch his body convulse and the blood begin to slip out of his mouth, eyes, and nose – even his ears.
When he had hit the floor, his brain fried, she had screamed and run out of the office as soon as one of the nuns and another priest – Father
Malady – opened the door, covering her tear-stained face.
It didn’t help anything when she told them what he had been attempting to do when the aneurism hit. She could hear the headmaster’s thoughts, as well as the two nuns and Father Malady, who had sat with his arms folded, his angular and almost rat-like face with his beady green eyes looking at her with a smug grin. They knew she had somehow caused it. She was a Blackmoore, after all; she was a witch and she had used her charms to seduce the priest. To bewitch him and befuddle him and make him lose all of his sense and self-control. She had made him weak on purpose so that she could kill him – to sacrifice him to Satan and make another hit in their diabolical war with the Church.
She had said nothing. She wanted to leave and go to Fairhaven Middle School. She was in her last year of junior high and she didn’t
want to be in this place any longer, with ruler hits and other obscene punishments. They were more than happy to get her out. Her father,
Trevor Mayland, had been the one to insist she go to Catholic School.
He feared the Blackmoore name as much as anyone else, regardless of the fact that he had married her mother, Annaline Blackmoore in 1961.
He had loved her so much that he had wanted to save Annaline from what he saw as the Blackmoore curse. He thought that she would be far from the devil’s reach if he could marry her and make an honest woman out of her. A God-fearing woman who would go to mass every
Sunday and keep far from her family’s other practice, aside from Blackmoore World Corp. – a multi-billion-dollar-a-year international company which handled almost all the shipments of goods, most legal and some more questionable, of the entire world – was running the Church of Light, the Spiritualist church that her great-grandmother Aria had started in 1898, where she would commune with the dead, read palm, tarot cards, and tea leaves.
It was a place where for a hefty sum, Aria could be hired to work her witchcraft for others, no matter the intention. The Church of Light was then run by Aria’s daughter Fiona, and now her daughter Mabel, her mother’s older sister. Annaline had been too adventurous for that anyways, and so Trevor’s plan meant nothing one way or the other, as Annaline was too much of a wild child, concerned with music festivals and poets and drinking while smoking pot and cigarettes.
This fact did not stop Trevor Mayland from worrying about “his girls,” as he called his wife and daughter, and sending Kathryn to boarding school, only a few blocks from her actual home, to only visit on the weekends, was extremely easy for him.
Yes, she had had enough at that point, and the death of the priest put a smile on her face – a smile she had to fight back when they almost hesitantly told her that she was finished and would be going back home.
They were witches; this was true, and Father Malady had known this. A man of forty-seven, straight from Ireland – in Kilcommon,County Mayo – where the Blackmoores had originated from, and where they still lived inside the great limestone citadel known as Blackmoore Hall on the shores of Broadhaven Bay.
Everyone in that part of Ireland knew of the Blackmoores. They believed them to be a family who grew into their wealth because of a pact with the devil, and those who knew them gained fortune or befell ruin simply for knowing them.
During the witch hunts her ancestors had fled the Black Moor and built a rustic cottage with a thatched roof along the cruel and wild sea, in hiding from both the evils of Christian men and the even greater and ancient evil that had tormented the clan of the Black Moor for centuries before finally escaping. He was a dark and bloodthirsty God who had tried to make slaves of the clan and had forced them to sacrifice the weak and the innocent to his altar.
They had finally escaped him, turning their back on him and refusing to write his name down or speak it from their lips. This went on for two hundred years, until all those who had known him had died, and he had grown weak from being forgotten. They left the moor in the year 1145 and journeyed northwest, as far from the wood and that deity as possible. They were secluded and far from wealthy, and then suddenly in 1845, they began to buy up nearly thirteen thousand acres of land and built a great, almost castle-like home. They were all certain that the family was finally reaping their rewards for the trade of their souls.
This had never been the case. The reason for the wealth was far more mundane; Katy Blackmoore of New Orleans – where the family
had moved to in the 1780s – denounced the family and the many evils that served the Dark God of the Wood who wished to wipe out the Blackmoores, and left for Spain. She returned almost a year later married to Spanish royalty, and bequeathed a fortune enough for a kingdom to her father Tristan, her brother Nicholas, and her grandparents Sarafeene and Malachey, in exchange for being left alone by them so that she could live a normal life.
She had lost her mother to her family and their Legacy – the name of their great curse – and she was certain that if she separated herself from her family and lived a good Christian life, never summoning her witchcraft, then she would not lose her husband, and her children would never suffer the loss of a parent, or the feeling of knowing who you were and what you were would end up killing the one you loved.
The Blackmoores had agreed and with that money, they made the family flourish. First in New Orleans and Ireland, and then later, the family moved west and north, and all points in between. Spreading out all across the United States, England, France, Italy, and Ireland, in vesting in industry and especially shipping; and acquiring and building fleets upon fleets of ships, until there was no one to rival them.
By the time the family had arrived in Fairhaven to begin building their empire in the “Gateway of Alaska,” as it had been known, the residents of the city were openly hostile – being fueled by the legends and superstitions of immigrant priests and servants who whispered about the dangerous and devilish Blackmoores of Kilcommon and their mission to take over the Christian world and hand it to the devil and his fallen angels, wrapped with a big bloodstained bow.
It was shit, but superstition is slow to die, and even in 1979, the people of South Hill still feared the Blackmoore name and what it meant if you talked to them. Kathryn had suffered that for so long, and for the longest time, Lila Sifuentes – the only Latina in the school –had been her only friend.
Her father had always loved Kathryn, but up until his death a week after the incident – due to the sudden brain tumor that claimed the lives of those who have unprotected sex with a Blackmoore – he had always been slightly wary of her, as if he could see the curse deep under her veins.
Unprotected sex with a Blackmoore always seemed to kill seven to twelve years later, and always of a severe seizure and hemorrhage caused by the tumor. Blood pooled from the nose, mouth, and other parts of the face, and the body would convulse. They would be biting their tongues so hard that often they bit the tip off completely. Every witch in her family always hoped and often believed that they would be the Blackmoore to survive the curse, that their lover would be strong enough to beat it back.
They always died, and her father had been no different.
Kathryn had been dangerously beautiful all her life, with a statuesque body and icy eyes – the palest of blues – and soft olive skin with an always-perfectly-feathered auburn mane lik ealion, and the latest fashions straight out of Vogueclothing her. She had a husky whiskey voice, much like the actress Kim Novak. She had loved Bell, Book, and Candle, so the comparison was flattering; besides, she thought Kim Novak was a magnificent and stunning creature.


About the Author:

Marcus James is the author of five novels and has contributed to several anthologies with Alyson Books and has been a contributing writer for Seattle Gay News. He lives in Seattle with his husband and Staffordshire terrier. He is 32 years old.





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