Monday, August 24, 2015

Guest Post: Blue Spirit Blog Tour with E. Chris Garrison


Since it is the first date of the tour, I'd do something introductory in nature about the book and the Tipsy Fairy Tales, kind of an intro thing.


Once upon a time, a drunk gamer girl named Skye was possessed by a demon. She got better. But something amazing happened to Skye: she became two people. You see, when the demon took possession, it left a little hole where her soul leaked out, just a little bit. When the hole was healed, that little bit became its own person. Because there's no such thing as half a soul. Cut it in two, and you've got two souls, not two halves.


This new soul formed a tiny being that lives entirely in the spirit world that opened up to Skye after her possession. The new being looked like a miniature Skye, except squat and sort of Gothic, since Skye's gaming alter ego is a Vampire Baroness, it must have influenced her form. Skye, being a whimsical sort of girl, called the new being “Minnie”, as in her “mini-me”. Minnie took this with good grace, and is Skye's constant companion, like a twin sister or her own Jiminy Cricket. Because Skye's awfully prone to getting into trouble.


The only thing about this arrangement is that Skye, having been drunk when it all started, can only properly perceive and interact with Minnie and the world she lives in when she's in a similar state.


And it can be vitally important that Skye keep in touch with Minnie and her world, because many things in her own world are not what they seem. Passengers on the bus who seem like shabby homeless teenagers show their true colors in the spirit world as wolf-people, satrys, and other strange fairy creatures.


Oops. Don't use the F-word. No, that one. As Minnie would tell you, “fairy” is a bad word to the creatures in the spirit world. Humans have told far too many ridiculous stories for that word to mean anything close to reality. Call them what you will, these are powerful and dangerous interdimensional entities, not something cute and musical from Never Never Land or Fern Gully. No, the Grimm brothers got some of their stories right; their so-called fairy tales contained bits of truth among the fables. The visitors from the fairy-- I mean spirit world, haven't got the same kind of morals we have, they're all about keeping bargains (like an evil genie) and telling the truth (just not ALL of the truth) and amassing power. And there's power in belief, whether in an ugly truth or a pretty lie.


The Tipsy Fairy Tales are set in Skye's home, modern day Indianapolis. She gets around on the bus system, which is ruled by a (mostly) benevolent spirit called the Transit King, a sort of Fairy Godfather who gives generous favors to those in need, with the expectation of calling those favors in one day.


So join Skye as her worlds collide and she's set down some dark paths to protect her friends, Minnie, and herself, from the machinations of a very unscrupulous Fairy Queen. Oops, there's that word again.

Book Synopsis for Blue Spirit: Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she's tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships.

With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen's plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

Print:

Kindle:

Barnes and Noble Link:


About the Author: E. Chris Garrison (who also writes as Eric Garrison) is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

Chris’ novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013.

Seventh Star Press is the home of Chris’ supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ‘til Late, Sinking Down, and Me and the Devil.


Author Links:
website:
Facebook page:

Twitter:
@ecgarrison

Tour Schedule and Activities
8/24 Obsessive Book Nerd Review
8/24 
Darkling Delights Guest Post
8/24 
Reading Away the Days Author Interview
8/24 
Shells Interviews Guest Post
8/25 
Marian Allen, Author Lady Guest Post
8/25 
Deal Sharing Aunt Author Interview
8/27 
The Southern Belle from Hell Author Interview
8/28 
Jorie Loves a Story Review
8/29 
Coffintree Hill Guest Post
8/29 
Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
8/30 
A Work in Progress Guest Post
8/30 
Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post






Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons Guest Author: Douglas Kolacki

Cover Art by Jamie Chapman
Author Douglas Kolacki is my guest today . He's talking about his demon story "The Devil Never Takes a Vacation and Neither Do I." Please welcome him to Darkling Delights. 

Thanks for hosting me.

My short story, "The Devil Never Takes a Vacation and Neither Do I," appears in Rayne Hall's upcoming anthology Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons.

After getting serious about writing a long time ago (1988) and far away (Naples, Italy), I placed stories in Christian publications like Dreams & Visions, Dragons Knights & Angels, and The Sword Review. These ranged from end times science fantasy to steampunk. I've also appeared in a number of Sunday School papers, digest-sized publications featuring 1200 to 1500-word stories about various aspects of the Christian life.

I've rarely written stories about supernatural evils. There are "demonstorms" in my novel Elijah's Chariot, but other than that I can recall only one yarn starring real, honest-to-goodness demons.

So, why a demon story now?

I'm a believer. If anyone asks if I'm religious, I always say I try to be. But I seem to be the rare Christian who loves weird tales: reading them, watching them and, most of all, writing them. I'm thrilled to be living in H.P. Lovecraft's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. My apartment, in fact, is only a few suburban blocks from his birthplace. So I guess it was inevitable I'd arrive at this subject sooner or later.

The few Christian stories I've seen about demons, generally involve tackling them with "spiritual warfare," like The Exorcist with a happier ending. Christ banished a whole legion of them at once.

But folks, we're not Christ. We're human, and we have our weaknesses. Our faults, our errors in the system.

And if the minions of hell know them, they're bound to try to exploit them. They're said to be clever, like, really clever; they could clever us under the table. The serpent tricked Eve pretty quickly into eating the forbidden fruit--maybe she was hungry at the time? Could the devil have known, somehow, that she wanted something to eat, and waited till then to make his move?

When Rayne told us she was seeking stories for a demon anthology, I could have followed the standard Out-in-the-name-of-Jesus format. I'd read it in novels, and in a comic book. But something nagged at me, an issue I wanted to address.

During my San Diego days, I met a young pastor who worked for the local megachurch. This guy was a fiery Type A, a regular pinball always ricocheting from his church work, to riding with the police as their chaplain, to leading our Tuesday night Bible study, to studying for his Master's degree, to participating in a retreat, to jetting off--always, it seemed, he was jetting off on a missionary trip somewhere. I knew him about a year, and he was like that the whole time.

I was astonished. I mean, how much can any person have in the tank? I didn't fault his achievements, but I thought someone should caution him that there is such a thing as spiritual burnout. It's happened enough times, to enough fiery Type A's, for someone to coin that term and for that term to stick.

When I told him, he looked astonished. Flabbergasted, almost. As if he couldn't believe I would say such a thing.

So when brainstorming for a demon story, I pictured someone along those lines, the most well-intentioned, dedicated, and most of all, hard-working man there is. Someone with a sense of mission, of wanting to make a difference. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that.

But be on your toes. For as the pastor in the story himself notes, the devil really does prowl about like a roaring lion, seeking human dinner. And as someone once told me, "That's how Satan works--subtle."

Perhaps more subtle than we know...as the character finds out.

Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons is available on Amazon:  myBook.to/Fiends


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fandom Fest 2015 Recap

Author & filmmaker Amy McCorkle manning her table.
I have to admit to being nervous about Fandom Fest this year. It would be the first time I drove up to the loading dock, and while getting in proved fairly easy, getting out was a different story entirely. (Yes, I admit, I needed help. And no, I will never qualify as a semi driver.)

This was the first year of the concurrent Fantasmagorical Film Festival, and my screenplay adaptation of my short angel paranormal novel Death Sword was a finalist. Alas, it didn't win.

However, I scored with parking this year, finding a lot a short walk away. Only cost $5.00/day.

Everything seemed to run smoothly from what I can tell. Glad to hear some of the literary panels were full. I was only on  the manga/anime panel, which went well.

Book sales also went well. I brought a few copies of The Ripper's Daughter and Malice and Mayhem: Tales of the Macabre. Sold them all.

Next convention is the Indie Gathering Film Festival at the end of this month, then Imaginarium in September.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Death Sword Character Mini Retro Interview: Samael

Out of all the characters in Death Sword, Samael has proven to be the most infuriating and confounding I've ever created. Initially the antagonist, he's demanded to tell his side of the story, and has ended up becoming an impact character, as well as somewhat of an anti-hero in Serpent Fire and Devil Inside, two current WIPs that follow Death Sword.

The following is an interview written while I was creating the characters. Of course, Samael would only think it appropriate I interview him first.

Q. What do you want to accomplish?

A.  I want Xariel back. The Seraphim forced us apart, but they forget that when I want something, I won't give up until I get it.

Q. There are those who say you use your powers to control and manipulate Xariel and his new partner, Karla.

A.  Look, you have to understand something. Xariel and I were lovers a long time ago. And then he left me. Just like that. Do you know what rejection feels like? Then Metatron decides this half-human, half-angel girl is worthy of being an angel of death? Please! It's an insult to me and others of my kind. At least I have pride, even if no one else does. All I'm doing is making sure others remember their place.

Q.  What about Azrael? Rumor has it you put a binding spell on him and exiled him to his island of apple orchards.

A.  Well, there it is. I'm obviously not the cruel angel you think if I put him under "house arrest" as it were. So yes, I did put a binding spell on him. But he tried to cross me and turn Metatron and the other angels of death against me. He forgot my role as chief of satans. Just because God gave him the role as archangel of death was no reason to try to usurp my role under Metatron.

Q.  Despite your difficult relationships with the other angels, you seem to get along with Metatron, despite your differences.

A.  Definitely. He relates to us, doesn't think he's superior, despite his rank as king of angels.

Q.  Thank you for your time.

A.  You're welcome.


Death Sword Blurb:

The only thing more dangerous than an angel of death is one obsessed with vengeance. 

Karla Black has always known she's different from other people. She learns just how different after she's fatally stabbed and brought back to life as a half-human angel of death.With new found power comes a new found boss. Samael despises her. He considers Karla impure and resents her relationship with her partner Xariel. . .who also happens to be Samael's ex-lover. When he takes that hatred to a higher level, Karla vows vengeance – a task easier said than done. 

With the loss of their angelic powers, Karla and Xariel face a dilemma – how will they defeat an unstoppable Samael, whose poisoned rapier can kill human and angel alike? 

If Karla doesn't awaken to her true identity, both heaven and earth are in danger of annihilation.



Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook

Kobo

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mini Retro Interview: Death Sword

Death Sword Cover
Q. Who or what inspired Death Sword?

A. In 2005, I participated in my second National Novel Writing Month challenge. I had "won" the year before with a vampire novel and thought this time around would be as easy. But Cathedral Girl turned out to be more complicated than I thought, so I set it aside. Nevertheless, the research I had started, which included studying angels and fallen angels, piqued my interest so much I was inspired to write Death Sword for NaNoWriMo 2008. (I've also finished Cathedral Girl, after nearly ten years.)

Q. What's the premise of Death Sword?

A. A half-human angel of death resolves to avenge her friends' murders before she becomes the killer's next victim. But that's not easy when she's banished to earth and stripped of her powers. Not only that, but the murderer, her new boss, also threatens her relationship with her angelic parole officer, his former lover.

Blurb:

The only thing more dangerous than an angel of death is one obsessed with vengeance.

Karla Black has always known she’s different from other people. She learns just how different after she’s fatally stabbed and brought back to life as a half-human angel of death.With new found power comes a new found boss. Samael despises her. He considers Karla impure and resents her relationship with her partner Xariel…who also happens to be Samael’s ex-lover. When he takes that hatred to a higher level, Karla vows vengeance – a task easier said than done.
With the loss of their angelic powers, Karla and Xariel face a dilemma – how will they defeat an unstoppable Samael, whose poisoned rapier can kill human and angel alike?
If Karla doesn’t awaken to her true identity, both heaven and earth are in danger of annihilation.

Excerpt:


“Karla!” Xariel yelled, ignoring the back door as it banged open.

He skidded to a stop in the living room, eyes narrowing. He sensed Samael’s presence, but not Karla’s.

Gabriel came up behind him. “What the hell happened here?"

“He’s got her.” Xariel’s breathing and heart rate slammed into overdrive. His vision blurred as fury clouded the logical part of his mind.

“What?”

“Samael, Goddamn it. He’s got her. I know he does.” He glared at Gabriel. “And if he knows who she is, he’ll kill her.”

Xariel  stumbled to the bar, grabbing a half-pint of Crown Royal. Unscrewing the cap, he poured a shot glass, gulped down the whiskey, and ignored the burn. Another shot followed. Then another. 
And another. And still another.

He continued to glower at Gabriel as he drained three-fourths of the whiskey in less than thirty seconds.

“Get a fucking grip.” Gabriel grabbed the bottle and tossed it aside, ignoring Xariel’s protesting cry. His scythe materialized in his hands. “Or I’ll kill you myself.”


Buy Links:




Kobo


Honorable Mention
Script Adaptation


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Film-Com 2015

Downtown Nashville
I'll admit, I love Nashville. The city has such a positive vibe for me. And this past week was no exception.

First, thank you to Amy McCorkle, who invited me to join her at Film-Com, a financing, distribution, and packaging market. This was my second year attending, and I had just as great a time this year as last. Joining us were horror author L. Andrew Cooper and James Chakan.

We met producers who generously gave of their time. I even had a producer give me advice on an idea I had, which made me very happy.

What I most appreciated was how people could be pragmatic, yet encouraging. Of course, one has to be aware of the realities of the business, but that doesn't mean one shouldn't pursue his or her dreams.

Here's hoping more visits to Music City are in my future.

Meantime, please enjoy this Nashville Pinterest page.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reel Dark: A Twisted Look at Cinema on the Page

Reel Dark Cover
Last year, fellow Louisville author L. Andrew Cooper asked if I'd be interested in co-editing an anthology of stories that focused on cinema, but with a twist. While the focus was geared toward horror, all genres were welcome.

The result is Reel Dark: Twisted Projections on the Flickering Page. Not only does it include stories and poetry from Bram Stoker Award finalists, but also new and emerging authors. Here's the blurb:

THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR CUTS BACK
Welcome to a macabre cinema for the imagination, to screenings of twisted tales projected not on a movie screen but on the page.
In Reel Dark you'll find stories and poems by authors ranging from new voices to bestsellers to Bram Stoker Award finalists. From the battle for recognition between a child actress and a vengeful, long-forgotten film star in "Whatever Happened to Peggy...Who?" to a madman controlling a student à la The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in "Caligarisme," to a hapless Dreamist, whose talent propels him into a nightmare of jealousy and revenge in "The Dreamist," the authors have created worlds filled with madness, twisted desires, and broken dreams.
The genres inside include suspense, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. You'll meet a lone deputy whose pursuit of justice harkens back to the wild West (complete with a gunfight), a director who literally puts himself into his film, a young woman haunted by a mysterious stranger who warns her of her impending demise, and an aging actress who may have been a little too good at playing her roles.
In a world where the lines between reality and fantasy blur, where film frames flicker at 24 frames per second, we catch a glimpse of strangers' dreams and nightmares. As David Lynch puts it, "This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top."
As Karen Head writes in her poem responding to Lynch, "In the movies / everything is illusion." But in a world with cameras everywhere, how do you know whether you're in a movie?
****
My story "Rival" was influenced by Jayne Mansfield, Sunset Boulevard and, apparently, film noir, which I love, but never imagined I could write. I'm fascinated by the Hollywood of yesterday, from silent films to the 1940s. 
This is the sixth anthology I'm published in, and the first I've helped edit. Thanks to Andrew for believing in me and for giving me a chance to read some wonderfully talented authors.
You can find Reel Dark (paperback) here:
Happy Reading!