Monday, August 25, 2014

Guest author Bob Freeman and His book Shadows over Somerset

Shadows, Long and Dark
by Bob Freeman

goth·ic - Pronunciation: 'gä-thik - Date: 1591: (often not capitalized) of or relating to a style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent incidents

ro·mance - Pronunciation: rO-'man(t)s - Date: 14th century: (1) : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural (2) : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious (3) : a love story b : a class of such literature

In an interview some time back, I was asked to describe my novel, Shadows Over Somerset, in a single sentence and I referred to it as a “Gothic Romance with testosterone”. I could tell immediately that the interviewer was put off by this description, but I stand by it, and proudly so.
I’ve never understood the disdain most people feel for the Gothic Romance sub-genre. It has been the redheaded stepchild of horror since before I was born. Truth be told, some of the greatest horror novels I’ve ever read fall under the Gothic Romance umbrella… The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a prime example. The Gothic Romance flourished in the late 18th and early 19th century in Great Britain. Focusing on mysteries that often involved the supernatural, the Gothic Romance was heavily tinged with horror, and they were usually set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted castles.

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole was the forerunner of the type, which included the works of Ann Radcliffe , Matthew Gregory Lewis , and Charles R. Maturin , not to mention the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley . These works usually concerned themselves with spirited young women, either governesses or new brides, who go to live in large gloomy mansions populated by peculiar servants and precocious children and presided over by darkly handsome men with mysterious pasts, but look to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and its decidedly gothic overtones on how the themes could be explored with even more vigor…

As a kid, reading my way through the stacks of our small town's public library, I discovered writers like Mary Stewart and Virginia Holt, Anya Seton and Phyllis Whitney. They, and others like them, were very influential and inspiring, and they filled my imagination with a sense of wonder and enchantment... and a sense of dread whenever a fog settled in and the wind howled in a particular way.

But more importantly, to me anyway, was Dan Curtis, who explored the genre in the late-sixties and seventies, and was quite successful with it, in television. Dark Shadows and his masterful retelling of Dracula, with the spectacular Jack Palance as the cursed Prince Vlad, were cornerstones of what Gothic Romance could be.

A wealth of beautiful prose and horrifying verse have been penned within this proud genre, and I would be proud to have Shadows Over Somerset considered among their ranks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guest Author Crymsyn Hart of Death's Dance (Deathly Encounters Book 1)

A Conversation with the Angel of Death
         Let me introduce myself. I’m sure you’re expecting my friend Crymsyn to be writing this, but I figured I would let her take a break from writing. Her fingers do get worn out these days. Sometimes I wonder how it is that she is able to keep up the pace she has going. Forgive me, my name is Azrael, I am The Angel of Death. Crymsyn and I first met when she was in college, working as a psychic at the Tremont Tearoom in Boston. I’m not sure what it was that drew me to her, but there was something distinctive about her energy that called out to me. Please note, it is a very rare thing for me to speak to the living. I spend most of my time racing throughout the universes, worlds, dimensions, and wherever it is that death touches, gathering souls to bring them to the other side.  And yet there was Crymsyn, or as I knew her first as Raven, the name she did her psychic readings under.

In the beginning, she was a tad frightened of me, but that gave way to curiosity the more we conversed. As we learned of one another, I realized she was something of kindred spirit and understood the rigors of my position and I felt comfortable sharing part of my world. As time passed, she became aligned with my energy and I found she had a direct glimpse into my life. It was disconcerting at first, but I got used to it. When I confronted her about it, I found she had transcribed many of my adventures and somehow had also tapped into that of the woman I loved, Brenna. How Crymsyn did that is a mystery, but it has worked for her benefit as she has penned many a novel that people assume to be fiction when in reality, they are all true.

She has extracted incidents that I have been involved with and spun them into books of their own. It is quite a remarkable feat. Over the course of the years I've known her, her awareness of my duties and those I manage, other grim reapers, has expanded. She has been able to cull friendships with other reapers and learn about their lives also. It doesn't seem to matter in what universe they are doing their duties, Crymsyn is able to record their lives.

All these years, it is good to say I have a friend among the mortal coil. However, she understands that one day; I’ll be there to collect her soul. And then maybe in time, someone will be able to write her story.

It has been a pleasure talking with you, but I have duties I must attend to. Souls are screaming to be released and I have more time to waste.  I bid you all farewell.

Death’s Dance Blurb:
Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are.

Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost.
From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.

From there things went from bad to worse.

Death’s Dance Buy Links:
Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo

Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn:

Twitter: @crymsynhart