Archive for the All Hallows Read Category

All Hallow’s Read 2017

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 31, 2017 by Occult Detective

allhallowsread2017

It started on October 23, 2010 with a blog post by Neil Gaiman titled “A Modest Proposal“.

I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.

I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…

Give a scary book.

If you don’t know what kinds of books there are, or what would be appropriate for the person you’re giving a book to, talk to a bookseller. They love to help, most of them. (The ones that don’t tend not to be booksellers for long.) Talk to librarians. (Do not plan to give away their books though, unless they are having a library sale.)

That’s it. That’s my idea.

Scary book. Hallowe’en.

Who’s with me?

I, and thousands of others, were and are. To be honest, any excuse to give books as gifts is one worth taking, but I quite like the giving of scary books, as that is, arguably, my raison d’être. The scary part, not necessarily the giving, but I do that too, quite happily and even more so than the receiving end of the exchange for a whole host of messed up reasons that delve back into the annals of time and childhood neuroses.

Anyway. I’m squarely in league with the scary book giving as a Hallowe’en tradition. You should be too. And this year, I believe my family is adopting Jolabokaflod for the Yule season, because, well, BOOKS.

Not familiar? Jolabokaflod or Yule Book Flood is the tradition of gifting books to one another on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. The only thing I can think of lovelier than that is All Hallow’s Read, but just because it’s got bats, and ghouls, and spooky things attached.

So, books. Give ’em. For Hallowe’en and Christmas Eve. Hell, I’m thinking of starting a book giving Thanksgiving tradition too… Thanksreading? Booksgiving?

But beyond all that, let me wish you all, my friends and readers, a Happy Hallowe’en and a Blessed Samhain. May all your nightmares come true.

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One day till Hallowe’en means it must be Devil’s Night

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Liber et Audax, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 30, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Devil’s Night is upon us, a night of pranks and mischief. Unfortunately, good-natured fun (corning or soaping windows, smashing pumpkins, toilet papering trees) can sometimes give way to out-and-out vandalism.

Please, if you’re up to some devilishness this evening, do not include arson or property damage into your repertoire. Have fun, but remember — these are your neighbors.

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— On another note: I drew attention to the latest issue of Occult Detective Quarterly and my short story “Birds of a Feather”. There was a problem with the issue and the last 800 words or so of my tale were inadvertently absent from the edition. This problem is being rectified and I trust no print copies will make it into the wild sans the story’s conclusion.

If so, please contact me and I’ll email you the rest of the third act and epilogue. Same holds true if you are one of the few who was sent a pdf of the issue.

It’s a story I’m quite fond of and would like to make sure you get to read it in toto.

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— Now normally on a Monday night, Connor and I would join some of my oldest and dearest friends in a rousing Roll20 session of D&D, but this week that will not be the case and we’re looking toward spending the night with Kim for a change.

I wonder what sort of infernal tomfoolery will get up to? Only the devil knows for sure, and he’s not telling.

giphyluci

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— In closing, a reminder to embrace All Hallow’s Read. Please, give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en.

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3 days till Hallowe’en & it’s time to flock together #OccultDetectiveQuarterly

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 28, 2017 by Occult Detective

testDavies stepped back out into the Scottish mist and once more set off across the moor trail, refreshed in body if not in spirit.

He doubled his efforts, cutting a course through the high grass and past the ruins of the old Bradshaw house, of which he scarcely managed to take in the scenic beauty.

The sun was all but gone now and he ached to ascend Cauldron Hill with his wits about him, but by the time he reached the hillside, and the formidable climb ahead, his hip assured him that there would be no fanfare at journey’s end… and the confidence he’d had when he embarked on this fool’s errand had all but fled.

Through gritted teeth he attacked the rise, his hip screaming in protest, his mind full of doubt. He was no warrior, at least, not in the sense that his mentor was. He had killed, and would do so again, not just men, but monsters… so many monsters. But Davies was, at heart, a scholar. Not a man-of-action. Yet, here he was, about to ascend to the summit of Cauldron Hill.

He stopped and took a deep breath, drawing the blade from the cane sheath and, with a silent prayer to the Gods of Ancient Alba, walked forth onto a scene of unfathomable carnage.

Cauldron Hill was awash in the blood of a thousand black birds, of the variety most commonly thought of as vermin by those who make their living by the sweat of their brow, working the soil.

But these crows were not slaughtered by the salt of the earth. No, Davies was sure, this was black magic; as black as it gets.

The preceding text is an excerpt from my short story “Birds of a Feather”, my humble contribution to the Occult Legion collaborative effort that is being serialized in Electric Pentacle Press’ Occult Detective Quarterly.

The latest issue, that includes my tale, is currently available via Amazon, just in time for the witching season’s close.

Freeman_BloodsingsIf memory serves, you’ll also discover some artwork from my pen as well, and a spot here or there of some header and logo work.

The crew at Occult Detective Quarterly are all good chaps, dedicated to the genre, and have put together a fine assemblage of talent, including the always brilliant William Meikle, Brian M Sammons, Alice Loweecy, and Ed Erdelac, to name but a few.

My spot of prose in this issue, I hope, will appeal to all fans of the occult detective school of fiction, but will certainly be of note to fans of my Cairnwood Manor novels, as characters, both good and bad, found within their pages are spotlighted here in “Birds of a Feather”.

What a terrific All Hallow’s Read gift it would make.

 

Today’s your last chance to enter to win a copy of the Weiser Book of Occult Detectives!

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives on October 24, 2017 by Occult Detective

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At the stroke of Midnight, EST, all submissions to win a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited by the erudite and spooktacular Judika Illes should be in my inbox.

Why do you want to enter this contest? Read my review. Trust me, this is the book you’ll want to be reading Halloween night.

So, what’s the trick to getting this treat? It’s Show and Tell time. Share with me your favorite fictional occult detective, either with prose or picture, but I want to know the why of it.

You will be judged based on the content of your submission. This is open to writers and illustrators. Length is not a factor, but the overall piece will be viewed as a whole. Be creative. Dazzle me with your words or pictures, but most of all I want to feel your passion for the character.

I am happy to accept multiple submissions.

Unfortunately, I have to limit this to folks in the continental US.

Submission deadline is Midnight (EST), OCTOBER 24th.

The winner will receive The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, a signed copy of my novel Shadows Over Somerset, and a signed copy of the now rarer-than-rare, short-lived Occult Detective Illustrated and have their winning entry splattered across this internet.

Send all submissions to: contest (at) occultdetective (dot) com

WIN a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives edited by Judika Illes

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives on October 11, 2017 by Occult Detective

In keeping with the All Hallow’s Read tradition, I have a treat for you. I’m looking to give someone a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing, edited and introduced by Judika Illes.

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Illes has done a masterful job of poring over decades of brilliant occult detective tales and selecting some of the very best to share with you.

Check out my review.

Trust me, you want need this book.

So, what do you have to do to get it?

Well, there’s the trick.

First of all, I have to limit this to folks in the continental US. Sorry about that, but I’m operating on an author’s budget.

For those of you who qualify, all you need do is tell or show me who your favorite fictional occult detective is and why.

Simple enough.

You will be judged based on the content of your submission. This is open to writers and illustrators. Length is not a factor, but the overall piece will be viewed as a whole. Be creative. Dazzle me with your words or pictures, but most of all I want to feel your passion for the character.

Yes, I am willing to accept multiple submissions.

Submission deadline is OCTOBER 24th.

Send all submissions to: contest (at) occultdetective (dot) com

The winner will receive The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, a signed copy of my novel Shadows Over Somerset, and a signed copy of my now rarer-than-rare Landon Connors, Occult Detective comic.

The winning entry will be posted on this website and spread across social media accordingly.

Now Available —The Weiser Book of #OccultDetectives, edited by @JudikaIlles

Posted in All Hallows Read, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on September 24, 2017 by Occult Detective

Judika Illes has put together a terrific occult detective collection. I reviewed it some time back when it was up for pre-order. Well, it’s now available via Amazon and other online outlets, just in time for Hallowe’en.

Here’s the review I wrote then. Allow me to preface it by adding that it’s even better now that I’ve read it a second time. It more than deserves a place on your shelf.

wbodI proudly parade my near lifelong obsession for the occult detective genre in all its forms and guises on this blog. That obsession led me to not only pursue a writing career entrenched in the conceits of the genre, but to explore the preternatural outside the realm of fiction as a paranormal investigator.

It is also no secret that October is my favorite month, that I have an unnatural attraction to Hallowe’en, Samhain, and all the trappings the Witching Season has to offer.

Well, when the Season of the Witch rolls around this year, readers are in for a real treat as my two favorite preoccupations collide with the October 1st release of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing, edited and introduced by none other than one of the premiere occult authors and scholars of the modern age — Judika Illes.

Judika Illes has compiled an amazing collection of occult detective stories, mining some of the best paranormal mysteries the early twentieth century had to offer, written by such legendary authors as Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, Sax Rohmer, Dion Fortune, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

As one devoted to the genre, both as a fan and an author, I understand the awesome task Illes has undertaken. To pore over the sheer volume of early occult detective tales and select the very best and defining tales for a collection such as this would be a maddening endeavor for any scholar, but Judika Illes has done an admirable job of putting together a brilliant and impressive table of contents here.

As well read in the genre as I am, Judika Illes has managed to unearth no less than four spectacular tales that had escaped my attention: The Dead Hand by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, The Vampire by Alice and Claude Askew, The Witness in the Wood by Rose Champion de Crespigny, and The Eyes of Doom by Ella M. Scrymsour.

Whether you are new to the genre or a lifelong fan, The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing is a collection you absolutely cannot do without. Why, I am already pining for the coming of October when I can once more crack the spine of this assemblage of paranormal thrillers and read them when the moon is high and unseen spirits roam unfettered.

The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited and introduced by Judika Illes is available now from amazon.com.

Occultoberfest 2017

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on September 20, 2017 by Occult Detective

occultoberfest2017

The dark moon drifts across the naked sky this night and whispers for the witching season to begin anew.

Yes, my friends, it’s that time again, when the world is awakened to the arcane mysteries, when the veil grows thin and spirits, both dark and grey, move among us…

There is no time more magical. As the night becomes chill and the trees are painted from autumn’s burnt palette, I feel at home, at peace. Summer finally gives up its ghost and winter takes the stage, the sorcerous touch of icing death on its fingertips.

Oh, I have such treats in store for you, my fellow esoteric sleuths. We shall begin, however, with a gentle reminder, but one of great import: Give a Scary Book this Hallowe’en.

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All Hallow’s Read has become a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simple to take part: during the month of Hallowe’en, or better yet, on the night itself, you give someone a scary book. Young or old. It doesn’t matter. It can be a novel or a collection or even a comic book. But give words, the scarier the better.

All this stems from the mind of Neil Gaiman who wrote, some seven odd years back —

I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.

I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…

Give a scary book.

If you don’t know what kinds of books there are, or what would be appropriate for the person you’re giving a book to, talk to a bookseller. They love to help, most of them. (The ones that don’t tend not to be booksellers for long.) Talk to librarians. (Do not plan to give away their books though, unless they are having a library sale.)

That’s it. That’s my idea.

Scary book. Hallowe’en.

Who’s with me?

Well, I am Neil. I can think of no better way to celebrate the season.

 

 

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