Archive for the All Hallows Read Category

A Sneak Peek at Descendant, available Oct 31

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 16, 2019 by Occult Detective

Descendant , my occult thriller from Seventh Star Press, will be available on Hallowe’en. Here’s a sneak peek —

D03“I think we know where this is going,” Selina said, while finalizing her test of the demon blood. “It’s clear that the creature we faced in the I.O.O.F. Lodge was no ordinary denizen of the Underworld.”

“Yeah, I was thinking a Ring Spawn initially, but now I’m not so sure. They don’t normally go for the human disguise angle.”

“Well, we’ll know in a minute,” she said, jotting down some figures onto a notepad. “Let me at the laptop.”

“Sure,” he said, moving to opposite bed. He watched her type in the information from the blood sample. It was all over his head. Proteins, serum albumin, thrombocytes, and a bunch of other shit he didn’t really understand. He was good in a fight, but science? Not his cup of tea. He knew that blood meant life, and that if you lost enough of it you were done, no matter what kind of creature you were.

“This can’t be right,” Selina said. She rechecked her notepad then reentered the chicken scratches. “Damn,” she muttered.

“What?”

“That fucking thing was an egrigori,” she said, sitting back.

“One of the Banished?” Crowe said, lighting another cigarette. He rose and crossed the room, opening up a Styrofoam cooler and drawing a beer from the iced water. “What the hell would a fallen angel be doing mixed up in this shit?”

“There’s more,” Selina said, returning to the Monster Manual. “Central decoded the EVP from my cell last night.” She called up the media player and turned up the volume. “Listen to this.”

The sound of white noise played over the speakers. There was an indistinguishable hiss that had the cadence of language, but it was too far buried underneath the static resonance. Selina closed that file and opened another.

“Here it is cleaned up,” she said.

The hiss was there, but muted, farther back and conjoined with a garbled menagerie of chaotic sounds, and then… something… clearer than before. It almost sounded like… Crowe flashed her a quizzical look.

“One more time,” she said, “but with additional filters.”

Crowe sat down and listened. The white noise was almost gone now. The chaotic noise within it now taking the shape of mournful cries. Then the words came… clear now. He strained to perceive them, to wrap his head around the voice.

It was David Greene.

“The demon… his name… it is Amaros. The demon’s name is Amaros.”

summoning

 

DescendantCoverDescendant: 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.

For more information on me and my work you can listen to my interview on The Star Chamber. I had a great time chatting with Stephen, Holly, and Daniel. Not only did we cover my fiction writing, including Descendant, but we also spent a fair amount of time delving into the paranormal.

If you’d like to catch me in person, I’ll be a guest at ParaUnity — a paranormal convention being held at the Riverview Event Center (421 W Canal St in Peru, IN) on Saturday, October 19 from 5– 8pm.

 

Descendant: New novel available on All Hallow’s Eve. Read the Reviews.

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 10, 2019 by Occult Detective

DescendantCover

Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum will be released on All Hallow’s Eve, but you can pre-order the kindle ebook right now. There will be a trade paperback available, as well as other book reader formats, on the release date.

Here’s what people are saying about Descendant:

“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

 

 

Cover Reveal for Descendant, A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum by Bob Freeman! Kindle Pre-Orders Open!

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 9, 2019 by Occult Detective

For Immediate Release:

Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the cover art by Bob Freeman for his new novel Descendant, A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum. Descendant will be released in print and eBook editions on October 31st, the day of Halloween!

Pre-order the Kindle edition today at the link below!

Kindle Pre-Order Link

A supernatural thriller that readers of horror will also love, Descendant includes several original illustrations from Bob Freeman! The novel is interrelated with Bob’s short story collection First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum, but can be read on its own.

Synopsis: 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.

About the Author:

Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer whose previous works include Shadows Over Somerset, Keepers of the Dead, and First Born.

A lifelong student of mythology, folklore, magic, and religion, Freeman has written numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for various online and print publications and is a respected lecturer on the occult and paranormal phenomena.

He lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.

This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part Five of Five)

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on November 1, 2018 by Occult Detective

tswos

Part Five of Five

FLESH & BLOOD

The trees pressed in on the magical procession, each intent on the path beneath their feet. It was treacherous footing, where a wrong step could mean the difference between life and death. A perilous cliffside trail, weaving through the Germanic landscape, was a physical manifestation of the spiritual journey these four found themselves bound to.

“The flesh is weak,” Samael muttered. He was at the head of the pack, the fire and impetus of their quest. He wore the skin of Guy Starbiter, long time friend and confidante to the father of the man who walked close behind him.

Landon Connors was calmly repeating a nursery rhyme his mother had recited to him as a small child, over and over again, punctuating each step. It was a talisman of sorts, magic words to block the pain that racked his body each time his ruined knee propelled him forward.

“One for sorrow and two for mirth. Three for a funeral and four for birth. Five for heaven and the sixth is for hell. Seven’s for the devil that we know so well.”

Behind the good doctor came Tracy Larson. Her jaw was set, a scowl locked on her lips. She had been through so much. The thought of following this archangel, fallen or not, soured her. Her instinct was to gut the thing, regardless of its intentions.

Bringing up the rear, Michelle Hawkes felt the same. Both women had their reasons to distrust the entity that had taken root inside Starbiter, both stemming from the loss of their first borns. Though there was more than twenty years separating them, they were bound by that commonality.

A crow cawed from deep within the grim forest as a mist drifted up from the cavernous ravine. A perverse clicking sound mingled with it, driving the corvus from its perch. It swooped over their heads, as if warning them that their journey had neared its end.

woods

“What is that?” Tracy asked, her teeth chattering against the sudden drop in temperature. She tried to sink deeper into her jorongo. Her feet gave way then, slipping in the rich, black mud. Eyes wide, she looked to plunge over the side of the cliff, but a firm hand clasped hers and pulled her to safety. She stared up into Hawkes eyes, thankful for her quick reaction.

“Careful, kiddo,” Michelle said, “the doctor would have my hide if I let you take a tumble.”

“Sometimes I wonder,” Larson sighed. She looked toward him, pressing on, oblivious to what had transpired behind him. “I don’t get him,” she added, dusting herself off and resuming their hike toward who knew what. “It’s almost like he’s two people.”

“Only two?” Michelle laughed. “Wait till you’ve known him longer.”

They tried to hurry their pace, to catch up with the two men ahead of them. It was easy enough. One was slow with age. The other due to crippling injury.

“How much further? ” Michelle called out.

Samael stopped and sniffed at the air.

“We’re here,” the fallen said. “Come, up this way.” They left the path and entered the woods, leaving the cliffside trail behind. It was a short walk, up a steep ravine, until it plateaued. As they entered the grove the clicking stopped and all was as silent as the grave.

The mist had settled here, knee high, swirling about as a thing almost alive and sentient. The effluvium was light, like a sheer fabric and the moon overhead cast a magical luminescence on the clearing, causing the tendril mist to glow a phantasmal white.

A shovel was stabbed into the turned earth beneath the hanging branches of a twisted oak. An ancient bind rune was carved into the bark of the tree. Lying in the exposed roots of the tree was a leather pouch bound with vine, a silver locket lying atop it.

“Harug,” Samael said. “That is the word that comes to mind when I look upon this place. It is not my word, but the word of he whom I wear.”

“Holy grove,” Connors said. “It’s Old High German.”

“Ah, I see,” Samael relied. He looked toward the two women who were hanging back at the edge of the treeline. “The skirts are skittish,” he said. “Not that I blame them.”

Connors pulled the shovel from the earth. Blood seeped up from the wound there.

“I don’t suppose you want to tell me what I’m going to find when I dig up whatever you laid to rest here.”

“What Guy Starbiter laid to rest, you mean.”

“Right.”

“No,” Samael said. “You’d best see for yourself.”

Connors tossed his cane to Michelle who had approached, cautiously. Tracy followed, striking a match to the lantern she’d pulled from her pack. It only added to the tension, casting long shadows in the ethereal night.

Landon went to work, humming the nursery rhyme as fresh waves of pain hammered through him as each shovel full of dirt echoed with a liturgy of exquisite pain. The grave was shallow, but heavy, flat rocks, each painted with a different kenning rune, made the progress slow. Then, peeking up from the black soil, a tuft of cloth, lace fringed, soiled white with a floral pattern.

Connors took a deep breath and looked to his companions. He knelt then, painfully, and began to brush the loose dirt away, slowly revealing what lie within this silent well of sorrow.

Ashen blue-grey flesh in a pretty gown. Black, patent leather shoes and frilly bobby socks. Blonde hair in pig-tails. A thin silver chain and encircled triangle pendant around her neck, resting softly on her chest.

Connors back away.

“What?” he asked. “Who?” But no answer came, only a child’s eyes opening, revealing black pools of unforgiving and infinite space. As she rose up, slowly, Tracy gasped, backing away from the child’s awakening. She instinctively reached fro Michelle’s hand, but the former federal agent pushed her aside, stepping in front of the girl and drawing her Sig Sauer P365.

“Landon Connors,” a deep guttural growl spoke from the diminutive girl’s blue lips, “the Dark One would have words with you.”

The ground beneath her opened up and she hovered up above them, levitating out of the shallow grave even as Landon Connors tumbled into the breach. Michelle opened fire, but the bullets fell ineffectively to the ground with but a flick of the demon child’s fingers.

The earth around the grave was sucked in after the occult detective and in mere seconds the grave was refilled, the stones all returned to their place. The girl laughed and slowly dissolved as a wind rose up and carried her away.

“What did you do?” Michelle screamed at Samael.

“I-I… Michelle?” he replied. “Mein Gott, ich verstehe nicht.”

“Guy?” Shoving the gun back into the holster in the small of her back, she crossed the ground and grabbed Starbiter by the shoulders. “Where’s Samael? Where’s Landon?”

“I-Ich weiß nicht, he said, staring at the reconstituted grave. “Ich weiß es wirklich nicht.”

to be continued in
A Thousand Oceans
beginning November 28

This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part 4 of 5)

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 25, 2018 by Occult Detective

tswos

Part Four of Five

SPIRIT

“Do you remember my name?”

Landon Connors took a long, slow drag from his cigarette. Back turned toward the man speaking. His eyes were on Michelle whom he could see through the open flap of the ceremonial tent. He had meant to leave her out of this, but she was as stubborn as she was beautiful. When the Fed’s Paranormal Ops began eating itself, she had walked away from her career and was aimless. Connors offered her direction, but their relationship had… evolved. It was…complicated, at best.

And now, behind him, two dear friends were one and the implications were like the proverbial albatross.

“Which one?” Connors replied. He withdrew another cigarette from the pack in his inner pocket, lighting it off the dying embers of the last. He dropped the spent butt to the ground and crushed it beneath the sole of his Berluti Gaspards. “Are you Sam, Samael, or Guy?”

“I can’t be all three?”

“No,” Connors said. He turned, stealing one last glance of Michelle before doing so. She was tossing a log on the fire while Tracy paced back and forth. He needed her, needed them both. “And the three men I admire most, the father, son, and the holy ghost, they caught the last train for the coast… the day… the music…died,” he sang, slightly off key, but then, he was under a lot of strain.

“He was dying,” Starbiter said. It was Guy’s voice, Guy’s face, somewhat — the eye patch and disheveled hair not withstanding, but the intonation, the accent, all wrong. No, it was clearly Sam Hill wearing Starbiter like a ragged suit, ill-fitting and threadbear. “I climbed inside to keep him alive, like I did the other, but the difference is, I’ll give him back, once he’s healed.”

spirit

“You know what this will do to him,” Connors said. “He’ll feel empty, his spirit will never be the same.”

“I know, I know,” Samael said. He reached out and took Connors cigarette away from him. and filled Starbiter’s lungs with smoke. He coughed, but smiled.

“Guy doesn’t smoke,” Connors said, lighting another.

“Yeah, well, Sam did.”

A tear slid down Connors’ cheek as he approached his old friend. He hugged him then and Samael returned the gesture. They clung to one another, Connors sobbing, as they were locked in a fierce embrace they neither wanted to end.

“Damn it,” Connors said, finally pulling away. “I’ve missed you. Thea misses you.”

“I realize we shouldn’t be here, now, but if I didn’t intervene, Guy would be dead, discarded in a shallow grave, and we wouldn’t be able to stop what’s coming.” Samael rolled his neck, exposing the deep bruising.

“What the hell did Guy stumble into?”

“To answer that,” Samael answered, “will require us visiting the place of interment.”

“Guy’s grave?”

“Not his,” Samael said solemnly, “but the one he dug, that which led to all this.”

Samael dropped the spent cigarette to the ground and stamped it with the end of his willow staff. Allowing the repurposed branch to support his weight, he moved stiffly, but with purpose, out of the tent to stand beneath the night canopy. A star, perhaps startled by the former celestial’s emergence, fell from the heavens, its wake like a blazing wound  slashed across the black canvas overhead.

A pale imitation of my own fall, Samael thought. As spectacular as that had been, his rise and subsequent rebirth had too been but a unceremonious reflection of the conflagration that had wrested him from his former glory. As Connors rejoined the others, he swallowed the pain in the body that he was so diligently working to reknit. So fragile, he thought, but so delightfully —free.

“I know what you are.”

Samael turned to see Tracy’s approach. She was a pretty girl, would soon be a beautiful woman. He reached out toward her, but she recoiled from his touch. Behind the steely exterior was a wounded bird. She too has fallen, he thought, perhaps even further than I.

“And I know what you are as well,” he said.

“Don’t,” Michelle barked. She stormed across the field to stand between them.

“Ah, a tale of two mothers,” Samael said. “No offense meant, my dear.”

He heard Connors’ approach and pushed forward, walking toward the observation platform. The climb was painful, but it felt good to feel anything again. When Sam Hill had given up his flesh and Samael became a spirit trapped in a hole in the ground, the loss of a tactile perception of the world around him was true torment, far worse than any physical pain one could endure.

“You understand their reaction,” Connors said as he joined his friend, looking out across the Oppenheim environs. “They both have suffered inconceivable loss and your…kind has been instrumental in both.”

“I was reborn, not far from here,” Samael said, as if Connors had not spoken. “And born yet again, so near the same place.” He took a lit cigarette from Connors’ hand and inhaled deeply. “The fabric between worlds in very thin here.”

“What are you not telling me?” Connors asked. He laid his hand on Samael’s shoulder.

“Everything,” he replied, “everything…”

to be concluded, Thursday, November 1

A Passage in Black

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror with tags , , , , on October 19, 2018 by Occult Detective

Sketch

I had the opportunity to illustrate a 12 page story in Cullen Bunn’s homage to classic horror anthology comics, A Passage in Black, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out. My friend Anton Kromoff delivered a terrific script that captured the essence of Cullen’s short story, putting his own spin on it. I added my 2¢ and I think we ended up with something pretty cool.

The kickstarter is live now, with about 20 days left as of this writing.

So, you can back us on kickstarter and bring a trade paperback home for $25 (excluding shipping of course), but for those of you wanting something special, for $150 you get the trade AND a one-of-a-kind original sketch from my drawing board to your door.

Best of all, YOU pick the subject.

Here’s a small sample of the kind of work I do:

sketches

You can check out all the amazing rewards for Cullen Bunn Presents: A Passage in Black on kickstarter. The campaign ends on Thursday, November 8.

Raise a Horn for the Nativity of the Beast

Posted in All Hallows Read, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on October 12, 2018 by Occult Detective

Today marks the Lesser Feast of Aleister Crowley, whose nativity occurred 143 years ago on the 12th of October, 1875.

crowley

Crowley had his shortcomings, to be sure, but his libertine spirit and genius for establishing connections and correspondences between various religious, mystical, and scientific principles, as well as an innovative approach to esoterica as a whole, cements his place as the premier occultist of the twentieth century.

His influence is undeniable.

Something that I find criminal is the lack of respect Crowley gets as an author, particularly in the occult detective genre. His novel, Moonchild, is a brilliant example of the form, and his short stories, exploring further the adventures of Simon Iff, while sometimes uneven, are just as often as good as any such prose written in the era.

One could argue that The Testament of Magdalen Blair alone warrants his place among the great authors of horror fiction.

Matter in itself may think, in a sense, but its monotony of woe is less awful than its abomination, the building up of high and holy things only to drag them through infamy and terror to the old abyss.

I leave you now with a video of Gary Lachman’s Aleister Crowley presentation at Treadwell’s. Remember to raise a horn to the memory of the Old Crow this evening. Occultober would be nothing without him in it.

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