Archive for the All Hallows Read Category

Now Available — Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 31, 2019 by Occult Detective

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Available now in trade paperback and kindle on Amazon and Amazon UK, Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum is my love letter to the occult detective genre. I think it’s pretty good… but don’t take my word for it —

“Descendant is like the bastard lovechild of The X-Files, H.P. Lovecraft, and Doctor Strange; and I mean that in the most loving way possible.”

— Erik Smith, The Monster Librarian

“Descendant is up there at the top my favourite paranormal investigation novels… the depth of occult knowledge that has been intertwined into the story is vast.”

— Jim McLeod, Ginger Nuts of Horror

“Bob weaves an excellent tale here, moody and at times grim, but never dull. The characters made me give a flying dang about them and I found myself smiling at turns in the dialogue & plot. Executed with precision, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Mr. Freeman. This stuff should be on TV.”

— Steven L. Shrewsbury, author of Mojo Hand

“Between ancient bloodlines, unholy alliances and magical orders of great power, Freeman’s knowledge of dark magic and its history shows throughout every page.”

— Rodney Carlstrom, The Sci Fi Guys Book Review

“…Agents Wolfe and Crowe, are colorful, smart, emotionally driven, wise-cracking, resourceful, tough and just plain fun to watch. Er, I mean to read. Well, that’s just the thing. I always had the impression that I was actually seeing them, like watching a movie. Man, I love these two characters! They each have very distinct personalities that play off each other extremely well. If this was a movie, I’d have to say the casting was perfect. Wolfe and Crowe have a terrific chemistry going on.”

— Gary Val Tenuta, author of Ash: Return of the Beast

“This is not a story with an occult theme; this is a fictional storyline based on Freeman’s detailed knowledge of the occult, with extensive terminology and background information. While this novel could be a stand-alone – no wicked cliff-hanger or blatantly open-ending – it is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to the sequel.”

— Ursula K. Raphael

Descendant will be released tomorrow

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 30, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

Tomorrow’s a double your pleasure kind of day: Hallowe’en reaches its zenith and Descendant reenters the world.

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I’m extremely proud of Descendant. I think you’ll more than like it. If occult detectives or horror or even just a good mystery yarn is your thing, then this one’s for you. It twists and turns in all the right places…

You’ll be able to find it on Amazon tomorrow. Don’t worry. I’ll point you to it.

Three days till Hallowe’en? Maybe so, but it’s already Occult Detective Season.

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detective RPG, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 28, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

Hallowe’en is always a special time for me, but this year it is even more exciting. Why? Well, let’s take a quick rundown of what lies ahead.

First, of course, there’s All Hallow’s Eve itself. Let’s just underline that one.

What else?

First Born will be released as an audiobook.

Descendant drops in trade paperback and ebook.

Our final round of playtesting the Occult Detective RPG begins.

My Parker Brothers short story “Nos Galan Gaeaf” made Horror Delve’s annual Halloween Suggested Reading List. You should check it out. Heck, read every story on Matt’s list. It’s a good one.

And, last but by no means least, The Bookhouse, the pallet shack Connor and I have been working on all summer, will finally be unveiled.

I’m planning on uploading a video tour, so stay tuned…

Speaking of tours, do you want to host me on your blog? I’m doing a blog tour in November and would love to stop by your place for a chat. Sign up HERE if you’re interested.

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All Hallow’s Read 2019

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror on October 15, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

We’re just 16 days away from the sacred night… As I’ve said in years past, Hallowe’en is all about the masquerade, all of us behind masks, but when the masks come off, the real monsters are revealed. Or so it seems, especially these days…

And yet, 2019’s Hallowe’en season has been as magical as any from seasons past. Perhaps this one seems a tad bit busier, or maybe I’m getting older and it’s all a bit more…well, more everything.

But there is one tradition still to come that takes precedent over all others and that’s All Hallow’s Read.

“I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en,
we give each other scary books… Who’s with me?” — Neil Gaiman

Conceived of by Neil Gaiman in 2010, All Hallow’s Read really is the perfect way to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve. At the heart of it, Hallowe’en has always been about the stories… be they told around a campfire or read from an overstuffed chair. Poe. Lovecraft. Howard. Machen. Blackwood… and so many more.

It’s become a tradition very important to me and I hope you embrace it too.

Here’s my “Pumpkin King” poster for this year:

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93rd & Blackstone? An excerpt from Descendant, for your reading pleasure.

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 8, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

As the release of Descendant is fast approaching, just 23 days out, I thought another glimpse inside its pages was due:

frraineyRainey stepped out of the Yellow Cab on the corner of 93rd and Blackstone in front of the dark Victorian that set nestled in a copse of ancient ash and oak. Time had taken its toll on the Star & Garter, but its reputation alone drew the knowledgeably curious, as well as the serious student of the esoteric. The priest knew that if he were to unravel the mystery that was born this night, born upon a bloody Catholic altar, the road to understanding would begin here. He made his way across the uneven walk, climbed the porch stair and knocked upon the faded door.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” a frail man, bent and twisted, welcomed.

“Love is the law,” Rainey responded, finding the discourse distasteful. “Love under will.” The traditional Thelemic greeting was required to gain entry and each time he was forced to say it, he felt that a little piece of his soul were dragged into Hell.

The attendant took the priest’s hat and coat and hung them within the coatroom, just off the small foyer. The priest waited impatiently for the old retainer, eager to put this night’s dark work behind him. With a wave of a withered hand the old one directed Rainey toward the Drawing Room where the sounds of animated discussion emanated.

The room was filled with a magical blend of exotic aromas. Three men sat in Elizabethan chairs drawn together in a semi-circle about the fireplace. The stream of smoke from their pipes mingling with the cedar logs in the hearth; it was a scene that could have been cut from the eighteenth century. Their period dress was perfect in every detail, as were their accessories. A fourth gentleman, the proprietor of the Star & Garter, stood above the others, a cryptic tome held in his well-manicured hands.

middle pillar“Rubbish,” the largest of the three seated gentlemen bellowed, “there has never been an exact Thelemic equivalent to the Middle Pillar Rite as conducted by the Golden Dawn.”

“Surely you’d agree, Kline,” another responded indignantly, “that the vertical and horizontal enchantments of Reguli seem to be a form of it.”

“Feh,” the large man huffed, “then why is Nuit attributed to Kether in the vertical enchantment? I know, I know “lady of the stars”, etc., but in the Star Ruby, Nuit is used in the North and attributed to Earth. In Reguli, Nuit is again found in the North but attributed to Air, while Kether is traditionally associated with the fifth element of Spirit.”

“That would lead one to believe,” the third man, a bookish twenty-something who had probably not grown his first beard, sat forward and stated, “that the vertical enchantment component is to be conceptualized from a solar perspective.”

Rainey shook his head. “Excuse me, gentlemen,” he interrupted, “but who says that Nuit is equivalent to Earth in the Star Ruby? In the original version of the ritual, as found in The Book of Lies, the direction of North is attributed to Water.”

“Father Rainey,” the proprietor said, turning to greet the priest, “welcome to the Star & Garter. It has been too long.”

“Indeed, Mr. Buckland,” Rainey responded, accepting the hand offered, “it has been far too long.”

“What is this about the original version of the Star Ruby?” Kline demanded.

“Oh, Father Rainey is quite correct,” Buckland replied to the larger man’s query, “Around the same time that Crowley wrote Reguli he edited the Star Ruby. It makes sense that the elemental directions follow the same scheme.”

starruby“It’s interesting to note that in both versions of the Star Ruby,” Rainey added, “the position of the guardians stays the same.”

“But that would mean,” the young scholar mused, “that they are not elemental.”

“Precisely,” the priest quipped, impressed by the young man’s deduction.

“As always, Father Rainey,” Buckland said, placing a hand on the priest’s shoulder, “you are a fount of wisdom. Come… let us talk. These gentlemen can continue their discourse without further interruption by us. We have some catching up to do.”

The youngest of the three men rose and offered a hand to the priest.

“My thanks to you Father,” he said with a soft boyish voice, “it is rare to be in the company of one so well versed in the esoteric. I am in your debt. You have given me much to think about.”

“I am glad that I could shed some light on your discussion, Mister…?”

“J’Adoube… Andre J’Adoube, Father. And it my pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“The pleasure is mine,” the priest responded. “God be with you.”

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There are a lot of Easter Eggs to unpack in this excerpt, many that will be revealed later in the text, but I thought I should clarify that there is a corner of 93rd and Blackstone in Chicago, but you’re not likely to find the Star & Garter there, any more than Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum is to be addressed at the actual 177A Bleecker Street.

Or is it?

To be honest, when I wrote the address for the Star & Garter I had no idea these two streets existed within the confines of the Windy City. let alone actually converged.

The 93, as reference to Crowley, was obvious enough, while Blackstone was an allusion to one of my favorite Robert E. Howard stories, The Black Stone.

It was only mush later that google maps showed me that such a place existed, albeit in a far different form from that found in my imagination.

93rd and Blackstone

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Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum is available in trade paperback and ebook on Hallowe’en, October 31. You can preorder the kindle version now via amazon.com.

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Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 4, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

blogtour2019

In support of my latest novel, Descendant, I will be embarking on a blog tour that will run from November 18-25. There will be feature reviews, interviews, guest posts, and top ten lists, spread out all across the internet.

If you’d like to have me as a guest, click on the following link to sign up:

Bob Freeman’s Descendant Blog Tour

Available in trade paperback and ebook on October 31, Descendant is a supernatural thriller filled with daring action, adventure, and artifice set against the backdrop of a very familiar world – but it is a world in which preternatural entities, clandestine magical orders, ancient bloodlines, and unholy alliances converge within the shadowed recesses of our darkest imaginings.

Federal Agents Selina Wolfe and Martin Crowe are called in to investigate a series of bizarre deaths in a small rural community. What first seems to be a misadventure involving black magic and satanic ritual soon takes on even more deleterious overtones, as the agents become embroiled in a plot by a sinister cabal intent on unleashing Hell on Earth.

Day 2 of the 31 Day Hallowe’en Blog Challenge: Favorite Horror Film

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Media, Occult Detectives on October 2, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

Today’s blog is a divergence as I look to finish up some All Hallow’s related things, but it’s a pleasant divergence. As I mentioned yesterday, this blog is shining a spotlight on my favorite ‘horror‘ film.

Now, that gets a bit tricky, because horror is so subjective.

Let’s face it, most of us grew up on scary movies (that’s why you’re here, no?). Being of a certain age, that meant watching black & white films at the drive-in or on late night tv hosted by Sammy Terry.

wolfmanAs a little kid, my favorite was The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney Jr. I watched it over and over again, enthralled by the magic and folklore of it all.

As I grew older, a number of films captured my imagination — but we’re here for me to draw the proverbial line in the sand.

What one movie, barring all others is my favorite horror film. Obviously it must have heavy occult overtones, with an occult detective of sorts involved in the mystery.

I can narrow it down to two.

On the one hand, The Devil Rides Out is such a near perfect picture, and Christopher Lee is a marvel to watch in it. It’s hard not to settle on it as my favorite…

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But alas, after much soul searching, another film nudges it out of the hallowed spot. The film I declare as my favorite horror film is an occult detective classic. It stars award winning actors, is beautifully directed, and ticks all the right boxes for me.

It also has the distinction of being adapted from one of my favorite novels and yet has the distinction of actually being better than the book from which it is derived.

The film is Angel Heart, the 1987 adaptation of William Hjortsberg’s novel Falling Angel. It was written and directed by Alan Parker (of Pink Floyd’s The Wall fame), and starred Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Dann Florek, and Pruitt Taylor Vince.

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Angel Heart is a visual masterpiece with an intriguing mystery wrapped up in a psychological thriller with noir sensibilities. This is a quintessential occult detective film, with plenty of twists and strange magics sprinkled throughout.

If you’ve not had the pleasure, rectify that at your earliest convenience.

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Don’t forget, I’ll be giving away some spooky books come Hallowe’en, including a signed copy of Descendant, which you can pre-order the ebook right HERE. If you prefer the trade you’ll have to wait till All Hallow’s Eve.

To have a chance at winning the frightfully delicious prizes all you need do is tag me (twitter.com/OccultDetective) and use the hashtags #Descendant and #Halloween together on Facebook and Twitter and you’re entered to win

Tune in tomorrow and I just might offer up some magical book reviews more than fitting for this Hallowe’en season…

Day 1 of the 31 Day Hallowe’en Blog Challenge: All Hallow’s Read

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives on October 1, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

The Hallowe’en Season has a number of tropes and traditions associated with it and we’ll have a great time this month discussing them all, but to start things off, for me, it’s always been about the stories…

A few years back, Neil Gaiman started the ‘All Hallow’s Read’ tradition, suggesting people give out scary books as gifts during the season. I can’t think of a better idea, but I like to expand it a bit too, in that I see All Hallow’s Read as also a time to talk about the books we’re reading.

Every year, since I first learned to read, picking my “Hallowe’en Book” has always been one of my favorite things about the holiday.

willieThis year I’m reading William Meikle’s The Midnight Eye Files, published by Gryphonwood Press in two volumes so far.

Volume One includes The Amulet, The Sirens, The Skin Game, The Fourth Protocal, and One, Two, Go! while Volume Two collects Rhythm and Booze, The Weathered Stone, The Inuit Bone, A Slim Chance, Farside, Eeny Meeny Miney Mi-Go, Deal or No Deal?, Call and Response, and Home is the Sailor.

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There’s nothing quite as good as a good occult detective yarn and Meikle’s Derek Adams stories are some of my favorites. While I’ve read many of these stories already, there are a few that will be new to me and that makes this year’s pick all the more exciting.

So, how about you? Do you have a book to curl up with this All Hallow’s Read? Please comment below, or better yet, tweet or blog along with me.

And, in fine All Hallow’s Read tradition, I’ll be giving away some spooky books come Hallowe’en, including a signed copy of my very own Descendant, due to be released on All Hallow’s Eve. If you fancy yourself a chance at them all you need do is use the hashtags #Descendant and #Halloween together on Facebook and Twitter and you’ve got a shot.

Tomorrow’s blog will answer the question, what’s my favorite horror film? You don’t want to miss that.

Just 30 days until the release of Descendant (and Hallowe’en)

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 1, 2019 by Occult Detective

bobfreeman copyWe are a mere thirty days away from the release of Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum and I thought I would share with you a random chapter from the book, letting the fates decide that which would be revealed to you.

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into the novel, due to be released on All Hallow’s Eve.

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Selina Wolfe stared into the Jeep’s computer monitor, soaking in the information the Monster Manual had coughed up. It seemed the grimoire had a history.  The tome in question, the Mortuusilvestricon, had been “missing” since the nineteenth century, having passed through the hands of famed magician and author Eliphas Levi.

Levi had it and several other important volumes stolen from his hotel while on a visit to England in 1854. Legend had placed it in various hands since then, from the Theosophical Society to the Ordo Templi Orientis, the Process Church of the Last Judgment to the Freemasons and the Vatican.

The history of the text was one of bloodshed and madness. The Book of Dead Trees was supposedly transcribed in virgin blood by a Kabbalist named Abulafia ibn Rey in the port city of Lemoses on the isle of Cyprus in 1191 during the Third Crusade. While Richard the First’s fleet laid siege to the city, Abulafia received a vision. This vision commanded him to draw ink from the well of an innocent.

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What followed was a litany of spells and incantations whose purpose was lost to antiquity. All that was known was that ibn Rey somehow escaped the city and appeared some weeks later in a tiny village alongside Ekron and the River of Naphtali in Judea where he was executed for defiling a temple and killing three laborers.

Before the ax fell, taking his life, he claimed he had been the victim of an Ibbur, a demonic spirit, and that, so long as the arcane text existed, the Abyss would remain open and the demons would have free reign over the earth.

The arcane tome next appeared in the possession of the Knights Templar, though upon the eve of their arrest at the behest of King Phillip the Fair and Pope Clement the Fifth in the early fourteenth century, it, along with their fabled treasure, disappeared into the night to become the stuff of legend.

And now it was here, in rural Indiana, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and blood had already been spilt.

 “You look like someone just walked over your grave.” Selina turned to see her partner coming back from a briefing with the Lieutenant. The Beckinsales’ property had been taped off, and the majority of the cops had headed home, save for a small security detail.

What’s the skinny?” she asked.

“Nothing of use from this group, as you can imagine,” Crowe answered. “How Lt. Carmichael made it this far up the ladder is beyond me. He’s dim-witted and short sighted to say the least.”

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“On the plus side, he should be easy enough to keep out of our hair.”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” he said, lighting a cigarette. “Something’s bugging you. Wanna spill it?”

“Not really. I mean, how the hell does a tome like the Mortuusilvestricon end up in a quiet little place like this?” she asked rhetorically. Crowe answered anyway.

“You saw the history of this region,” he said, taking a long drag of the smoke and exhaling even slower. “It’s a wonder there isn’t more than that going on around here. This is one of those places, Selina… you know, the kind of place that attracts evil. I don’t know why it happens. I just know it does. And that, pretty lady, is why we’re here.”

“I uploaded the relevant files to the home office,” she said, reaching inside his suit jacket and swiping a smoke. “We should have the analysis by this afternoon.”

“Afternoon?” Crowe grumbled. “That’s the best they can do? Do they realize what we’re dealing with out here?”

“I know, I know…” Selina said. “I’ll feel better once we have that data back, and we can pore over it.”

DescendantCoverYou’ll feel better once you’ve had a bite and some coffee… and what we need is five minutes alone with that Compton kid so we can find out where in the hell he’s got that book stashed.”

“Speaking of…?”

“Carmichael’s had the kid under surveillance as we asked,” Crowe said, obviously displeased.

“You don’t trust him,” Selina said, putting her cigarette out.

“Who? Carmichael or the Compton kid?”

“Exactly.”

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Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum is available in trade paperback and ebook on Samhain, October 31. You can preorder the kindle version now via amazon.com.

September Mourn

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on September 30, 2019 by Occult Detective

September comes to a close and we approach All Hallow’s Eve in 31 days.

We always pack a lot into September and October. So many red letter days, so many events that have become annual affairs. We were married on the equinox and our son was born on Leif Eriksson Day. Those signposts, coupled with the rest of our fall lineup make this time of year more than special — it makes them magical.

We take in the Mississinewa 1912 reenactment and the Fishers Renaissance Faire, we go to plays, take hikes through our Hoosier woodlands, we prowl antique shops and bookstores, and so much more…

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We have special game club events all month long, I line up as many paranormal investigations as I can muster, and we read and watch suitably appropriate content.

The mood is everything.

But most of all, it’s a time for writing. I’m working on five projects right now. Some more than others. Conn and I have two tabletop projects in the works, plus I’m tackling a follow-up collaboration with my pal Greg Mitchell, a unique anthology experiment with my old buddy Ash Hamilton, and Cairnwood Manor and Liber Monstrorum are going to get the endings they deserve…

All of that, and we’re building a magical shack on the edge of our property too, positioned amongst the trees and mere inches from where Kim and I said our vows some 19 year ago. It’s been a family project and a special part of the summer that is carrying over into fall.

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So we bid September a fond farewell and prepare for October’s glorious traverse. There’s more than a bit of magic in the air and I am ready to experience the five weeks that remain in our astounding adventure. We’ve spells of our own to weave and memories to create and hold dear…

DescendantCoverAnd, we’ve the release of my novel Descendant to look forward to, of course, and on All Hallow’s Eve no less. If you want to read it on Hallowe’en, you most certainly can, simply by pre-ordering the ebook via Amazon. Or you can wait a day or so and read the trade. I assure you, it will be no less spine-tingling by reading it after Samhain. In fact, the story takes place a few days after the night when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. Seems a fitting time to curl up with the novel…and pretend the events described are happening right outside your door, somewhere, out there in the wilds of rural Indiana…

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