Archive for the Horror Category

Dreams of Winter: A Tale of the Liber Monstrorum

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on December 23, 2019 by Occult Detective

Yuletide is full upon us and though we’ve no snow here in the haunted Hoosier heartland, our spirits are still awash in the seasonal glow of Winter.

Being in a giving mood, I offer you, my friends, a short story of mine that you may have missed — Dreams of Winter — featuring some familiar faces, such as Dr. Landon Connors, Sarah Jones, and Detective Ellis DeTripp.

Originally published in the anthology Vampires Don’t Sparkle, edited by Michael West, Dreams of Winter is a favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy.

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Click on the link below to download the pdf

Dreams of Winter

Occult Detective Landon Connors reading Descendant?

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on November 1, 2019 by Occult Detective

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Well, how about that? Dr. Connors seems to be enjoying his copy of Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum. I happen to think you would too. It’s available now in trade paperback and kindle on Amazon and Amazon UK.

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I’m doing a blog tour in November and would love to stop by your place for a chat. There’s still time to get me lined up for a visit. Sign up HERE if you’re interested.

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.

Hallowe’en is going to be extra spooky this year

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 25, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challengeODCOMAD3

How do you plan to spend All Hallow’s Eve?

Well, it looks like Indiana Bones has the right idea. Nothing quite like curling up with a horror novel when everyone’s favorite Witching Season descends.

Speaking of which —

Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum is less than a week from publication, but you can pre-order the kindle ebook at Amazon right now and have it uploaded to your favorite reading device in time for Hallowe’en.

You might also be interested in First Born, a collection of novellas and short stories that all take place prior to Descendant — several of which being direct prequels and connected to the novel quite intimately.

The audio-book version, performed by the amazing 𝙲𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚢 𝙹. 𝙶𝚘𝚕𝚍𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚐, should be available just before Samhain’s festivities commence.

And let’s not forget, this all started with the Tales of Cairnwood ManorShadows Over Somerset and Keepers of the Dead, my first published works. If you’re interested in Gothic Horror, these are for you.

Regardless, Seventh Star Press and I have you covered.

All Work & No Play (Part Two)

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 24, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

Actually, work is play for me.

Today I’m going over the Descendant galley before next week’s release and I’m putting the finishing touches of the Occult Detective RPG Playtest Manual as we begin what I believe is our final round of playtesting.

playtestIf you have passed along an interest in taking part in playtesting in the past, you will probably be getting a message from me in the early part of November.

We’re just a week away from Hallowe’en 2019. Fall has been spectacular so far. This next week is going to be even better.

There’s always a bit of sadness when Hallowe’en passes, but I think this year will be different.

We’re racing toward 2020 and I can’t help but feel all the progress we’ve made this past year is going to blossom into something truly spectacular in the year to come.

So, with all that being said, I’m diving back into work. DescendantCover

Watch for Descendant one week from today, or, if you’re partial to ebooks, the kindle is available for pre-order at Amazon.

If you’re not caught up on my fiction, First Born, prequel stories to the novel that is dropping next week, is available in trade and ebook, and soon to be an audiobook as well.

Plus there’s the Cairnwood Manor tales, Shadows Over Somerset and Keepers of the Dead.

 

Spreading the word

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 23, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

ODCOMAD

Here’s a quick little ‘billboard’ design I’ve worked up for advertising purposes to be spread across the internet over the next few weeks. With Descendant’s imminent book/ebook release, a big sale coming up on First Born and its audio debut, plus a series of blog tours and other promotional events, I thought it wise to get ahead of the curve, as they say.

Feel free to share it if you’ve a mind to.

And, lest we forget, Shadows Over Somerset and Keepers of the Dead are really spectacular Hallowe’en reads… and First Born leads you right into Descendant.

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My next book, Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum, will be available in trade paperback and ebook in just 8 days, debuting on Hallowe’en, October 31, but you can preorder the kindle version right now via amazon.com.

An excerpt from Descendant, available October 31

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 16, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

How about another excerpt from Descendant, my latest novel set to drop on Hallowe’en?

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W4 Water PageThe final bell resounded, and the crush of students raced out of Converse High School and toward their buses for their journey home. Sarah Jones met up with her best friend Tracy Larson, and they climbed onboard Bus 14 for the ride across town. Sarah was chomping at the proverbial bit.

“Alright, what’d you find out? I heard that Dylan and Shaun and the others were out at the reservoir worshiping the devil on Halloween night. They sold their souls in exchange for unearthly power, but something went horribly wrong, and now they’re being killed off for trying to double cross the Prince of Darkness.”

“Whoa, slow down, and keep it to a whisper,” Tracy said, hushing her. “Really Sarah, you don’t believe any of that nonsense, do you?”

“I don’t know what to believe,” she said, her eyes darting toward the back of the bus to ensure no one was eavesdropping. “Maybe we should talk to Allen Parker. His dad writes about this sort of stuff.”

Earth 9Sarah pulled a book out of her backpack. The title was Strange Happenings in Beacon Lodge and Other True Tales of the Supernatural. Tracy took it from her, examining the lurid cover depicting an ominous building with a skeleton staring down from a third story window. The author was listed as Steven Parker, Paranormal Investigator and Occult Expert.

“We are most certainly not calling on Allen Parker or his dad,” Tracy said, handing the book back to her best friend. “Not yet anyway,” she added, reassuringly. “I’m not ready to believe our classmates are in league with Lucifer.” She laughed at the very idea of it, but something unsettling was gnawing at her gut.

“Fine, then what really happened?”

“I don’t have the foggiest, but I’m putting together the pieces. I’ve learned some things that raise more than a few red flags.  For instance, and this goes no further than us, I overheard Principal Stoner talking to Mrs. Thomas, and it seems that Jill Thompson and Chris Hunter were found dead in the pool this morning. And I’m pretty sure that creepy Gary Shirley was found in the parking lot. It’s all very hush-hush.”

“Oh my god,” Sarah said, looking about again to make sure no one was listening.

“There’s more, but I want to cross some T’s and dot some I’s before I say anything else,” Tracy said, even more hushed than before. “Tonight I’m going to get my sister to run me out to the Mississinewa, so I can have a look around Goose Creek.”

“Goose Creek? Why in the world…”

“It’s where Dylan and his friends had their little Halloween soiree,” Tracy said. “And if I’m right, I’ll get to the bottom of this mystery before night’s end.”

“If you’re not careful, it’ll be you that gets ended.”

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

 

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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