Now Available: Hallowe’en House by Bob Freeman & Greg Mitchell

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , on October 8, 2018 by Occult Detective

I am thrilled to announce Hallowe’en House by Bob Freeman & Greg Mitchell is now available in Trade Paperback and on Kindle.

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Demonologist Greg Mitchell has discovered a secret from his father’s past, a secret that not only sheds light on their strained relationship but on the path he has found himself upon, caught between Heaven, Hell, and all points between.

Turning to his former mentor, Dr. Landon Connors, Mitchell and the infamous occult detective seek out Hallowe’en House, a legendary transdimensional nexus that bristles with unfathomable eldritch energies.

But they’re not the only ones who have come seeking out Hallowe’en House.

My co-author has written a great entry on the genesis of the book. Check it out at The Coming Evil.

This was a fun project for me personally. Greg and I have been friends for a number of years and I am a big fan of his work. It was an honor to craft this story with him. And, I’m happy to say, this is just the beginning…

 

My thoughts on More Ghost Chronicles by Wood & Kolek

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on October 5, 2018 by Occult Detective

ghostchronicles2Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek are back with More Ghost Chronicles: Stories from the realm of the unknown, the unexplained, and the unbelievable.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t catch their first outing, but, having been sent this title by the publisher to review, I may have to rectify that and soon.

I like the way this book was set up. Each investigation has a casefile with the all the pertinent logistics upfront, followed by a play-by-play of the investigation itself, and a closing commentary by both authors.

This book is written for laymen and the author’s do a fair job of explaining phenomena and the equipment and techniques they use in their investigations. While my personal opinions on most modern equipment is well documented, Wood, Kolek, and their research team do not seem to overly relay on the trendy toys that most paranormal investigators swear by these days.

I trust my eyes and ears, first and foremost, and I was glad to see that there was not an over-reliance on pop gadgetry. Oh, they’re in play, but they are just a tool in the arsenal. The focus is on the investigators themselves.

Wood and Kolek make a great team. While mediums can be hit or miss, I found Maureen to come across as very personable. You want to believe her. As for Kolek, he’s billed as a skeptical ghost hunter but he’s a believer, through and through. He is thorough though and he is interested in hard, quantifiable evidence. I gave up chasing that dragon years ago.

Books like these can fall one of two ways. I’m happy to report that More Ghost Chronicles is a thrilling and enjoyable ride-along. If you’re looking for some “true ghost stories” to curl up with this Hallowe’en season, this is a good one.

You can order a copy from Amazon and have it long before the chains of All Hallow’s Eve are rattling.

This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part 1 of 5)

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 4, 2018 by Occult Detective

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Part One of Five

EARTH

The magician’s shovel bit deep into the rich, black soil, the sound of overturned earth swallowed by the vast expanse of old-growth forest that surrounded him. He was not alone. There were many eyes upon him for he was an intruder here.

Starbiter wiped sweat from his brow, pulling his weathered hand down across his face to stroke the hoary beard that he had hid behind for so long. It was a mask of sorts, a deceit. It projected an aura of wisdom and learnedness, and while the years behind him measured him so, the road ahead begged hard to differ.

No, one would be hard pressed to see wisdom in his present course.

A crow cawed from overhead, one of the watchful denizens of the ancient wood. The old scholar recalled a rhyme from his childhood. “One for sorrow, Two for mirth,” he muttered. “Three for a funeral and four for birth.” The crow flapped its wings and swooped down off its perch, soaring over Starbiter’s head. “One it is,” the magician spat. He returned to the soil and finished the grim task he had set himself to.

How many graves had he dug in this silent corner of the world? Each was marked by a single stone, never larger than his fist. He made sure it had a flat side to it, and he scratched an appropriate sigil to denote the departed in a significant way.

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He lowered the figure into the ground and covered them, slowly and methodically, reciting that old nursery rhyme over and over, again and again, as he worked. “One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral, Four for birth,” he sang.

“Five for heaven.”

He brought the flat of his shovel down hard, patting the earth solid.

“Six for hell.” He stabbed the shovel into the ground and took up the flat rock he’d uncovered earlier, and with another stone, he etched the sacred symbol onto it, then lowered it atop the mound of black dirt.

A crow cawed, and then another. Starbiter looked up to the trees over head. A murder of crows had arrived. A procession of mourners perhaps, he mused. He counted them, one by one, then acknowledged the truth of it.

“Seven for the devil, his own self.”

Guy Starbiter brushed off his hands and smiled grimly before beginning the long trek out through the forest to his awaiting Opel Kapitän. Within an hour, he was back to civilization, pulling his saloon sedan into the rundown roadhouse at Bishop’s Cross.

He took a deep breath and took out his cell phone. No bars. He cursed, then steeled himself and made for the door beneath the flickering neon sign that read “Beherit Club“.

He approached the bar, eyes intent on the patrons scattered throughout. He ordered a whisky neat, top shelf, and lit a cigarette nervously.

“Pay phone?” he asked.

“Sure,” the bartender replied, pointing toward the bathrooms. There it stood, mounted between the doors to the men’s and women’s lavatories, like some sort of ancient relic from a long lost era.

Starbiter dialed the number by heart and put his back to the wall. All eyes were on him. As he waited for someone to answer he began to count them. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Sev—

Caliburn House.

“Thea?” he muttered, shaken.

“Yes, this is she, who…” Alethea Hill paused for a moment. “Guy, is that you?” she said. “You sound horrible.”

“Tell Landon,” Starbiter said, lowering his voice to a whisper, “Es tut mir leid.”

“What?”

“Just tell him, bitte.” Starbiter returned the handset to its cradle and slouched toward the bar. The magician downed his whisky and leaned there, eyes closed, that damnable nursery rhyme coursing through his brain.

“Another, Herr Starbiter?”

The magician looked up from his empty glass, startled. The bartender smiled as the patrons all rose from their seats.

“I am number eight,” the bartender said.

Dann bin ich neun, scheint es,” Starbiter replied.

Nein, der Hexer” the bartender said. “Du bist die Nummer eins.”

to be continued…

Artistically Speaking

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on October 2, 2018 by Occult Detective

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Occultober is in full swing. Today we honor the births of two legendary figures in the occult world — Jack Parsons — Thelemite, author, and co-founder of Jet Propulsion Laboratory — and Arthur Edward Waite, author and occultist best known for the Rider-Waite Tarot.

I had several important projects to work on this morning.

First off, I tackled the writing of the backcover copy for a forthcoming Landon Connors novella I co-wrote with Greg Mitchell, then followed that up with finalizing the cover and back cover art and producing the fifth (above right) of five illustrations that will grace the interior. Greg is hard at work formatting the text and getting it ready for release. Stay tuned for more details on that front.

Next, I worked for a bit on my new review column that will begin appearing at Paint Monk Library. Here in the coming weeks I’ll be taking over Wally’s Saturday Night Shivers, reviewing horror comics for what is fast becoming the premiere review site on the internet.

I have been reviewing issues of Conan the Barbarian as a fill-in for Paint Monk’s “Countdown to Conan” for the past couple of months and it’s been a blast. I’m thrilled that Wally thought enough of my work to offer me a weekly column.

Finally, I had a chance to work on the cover art (above left) for my son Connor’s next release, Word Hollow. We have spent the last couple of months editing the book. Now all that’s left is formatting the text and getting it uploaded and printed. We hope to have it all wrapped up and ready for purchase by Hallowe’en.

I was really proud of his first work, Jonny Spencer and the Black Lich of Ashrock Earth, but Word Hollow is a much more mature effort. He was a born storyteller and it has been a thrill to watch him hone his craft. He’s already something special. I can hardly wait to see where his incredible talents take him and he continues to grow as an artist.

 

Occultober begins.

Posted in All Hallows Read, Magick by Trial & Error on October 1, 2018 by Occult Detective

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October is here at last. I’ve noticed the first kisses of color on the trees out back. The nights are getting cooler. And autumn’s ghost has settled in. Now is the time for campfires and woodland strolls, of folk tales and forgotten lore, of things that go bump in the night… October is a time for dark magic.

imaginarium

A reminder, I will be appearing at Imaginarium on Saturday, October 6th. This will be my first convention appearance in a number of years and I’m looking forward to moderating two incredible panels (Paranormal Literature and The Occult in Literature), signing books, and reading from First Born.

Also, keep your ears to the ground. I should have a couple of exciting announcements coming up very soon… Rejoice, my friends! It’s the Hallowe’en Season at last! Let’s make this one special…one for the ages.

Imaginarium Convention Returns to Louisville for 5th Anniversary October 5-7!

Posted in Writing in Theory & Practice on September 27, 2018 by Occult Detective

For Immediate Release

September 25, 2018

Imaginarium Convention Returns to Louisville for 5th Anniversary October 5-7!

The 5th anniversary of the Imaginarium Convention arrives in Louisville, Kentucky October 5-7 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.  A convention that brings together storytellers and creatives with readers and those intopop culture fandom, Imaginarium 2018 celebrates all areas of the creative writing world.

The lineup of programming, activities, and guests is stronger than ever.  Over 160 professional guests will take part in over 130 panels and workshops pertaining to all genres of creative writing, the craft of writing, publishing, filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, game design, marketing, social media, and other areas relating to creative skills and career development.

The Guest of Honor for 2018 is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Robyn Peterman. Those receiving special Imaginator recognition as guests this year include SYFY favorite, author, artist, musician, and filmmaker Christopher St. Booth, New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author J.M. Madden, bestselling author and paranormal investigator Deborah LeBlanc, and bestselling, award-winning mystery/thriller author Carolyn Arnold, whose work has been recognized for its accuracy in police procedurals by those in law enforcement across the nation.

In addition to the extensive programming, Imaginarium 2018 features an international independent film festival with juried awards.  Feature films, short films and documentaries chosen as official selections screen on the Friday and Saturday of the Imaginarium weekend with winners announced at the Imaginarium Awards Banquet.  Additional screenings that are not part of the juried awards will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Also announced at the Awards Banquet are the Imadjinn Literary Awards, a juried series of awards given out in a full array of writing genres!

Imaginarium 2018 includes the Imadjinn Book Fair and Expo, which is open to the general public and showcases a wide variety of exhibitors.  From authors with their books, to game companies, to arts and crafts, jewelry, natural body products, hand-crafted candles, collectibles, memorabilia, and more, the Imaginarium Book Fair and Expo has something for everyone to enjoy.

Gaming is also a big part of Imaginarium 2018.  Hosted by Bloat Games, a Louisville-based gaming company, the gaming room features a variety of table-top board games and role-playing games, in addition to demos hosted by the game designers themselves!  Retro Rewind of Lexington, Kentucky will be setting up several retro gaming stations for attendees to enjoy gaming systems of the past.

The gaming room will also feature activities for kids, as the highly-acclaimed convention group Motley Kids makes a special appearance on Saturday, October 6 from 10-6 to host all kinds of games and activities for children.

Those who are into Cosplay will find a lot to enjoy at Imaginarium 2018, including a costume contest and masquerade on October 6thwith cash prizes awarded by a panel of judges!

Live entertainment can be found throughout the weekend at Imaginarium, including spotlighted performances in magic by John Pyka (aka Big Daddy Cool), oral storytelling (Robert Turk), clowns (the Kalashnikov Clowns of Louisville, Kentucky), River City Belly Dance, and a Steampunk Fusion Funk Dance performance by Lady Safiya Seraphine Lovelace!

Imaginarium Convention is an established, unique convention where attendees can explore learning, networking, professional opportunities, and have fun within an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere! A strict no-harassment policy is maintained to ensure a positive experience for all attendees.

Weekend and single day passes are available that access everything the Imaginarium Convention has to offer, with full weekend passes at just $70.

For further information on the Imaginarium Convention, please visit: www.entertheimaginarium.com or email info@entertheimaginarium.com

Occultober 2018

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error on September 25, 2018 by Occult Detective

Occultober2018

OCCULTOBER CALENDAR

Oct 01

  • Occultober Begins.
  • Cullen Bunn’s A Passage in Black Kickstarter
    featuring Dance, Dance Upon the Night of the Ball by Kromoff & Freeman
  • Isaac Bonewits’ Birthday.
  • Dave Arneson’s Birthday.

Oct 02

  • Jack Parson’s Lesser Feast
  • Arthur Edward Waite’s Birthday

Oct 04

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part I of V)

Oct 06

  • Imaginarium Convention
    I moderate the Paranormal Literature Panel @ 11:30 (Farmington Room)
    I moderate the Occult in Literature Panel @ 3:15 (Derby Room)

Oct 09

  • Connor’s Fifteenth Birthday.

Oct 11

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part II of V)

Oct 12

  • Aleister Crowley’s Lesser Feast.

Oct 13

  • Mississinewa 1812 Living History

Oct 16

  • HorrorBoards Kickstarter

Oct 18

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part III of V)
  • Katherine Kurtz’ Birthday

Oct 20

  • Converse Historical Society’s Haunted History
    I’ll be hosting Ghost Tours on the hour from 6-10
  • In Memoriam: John Hall

Oct 22

  • Timothy Leary’s Lesser Feast
  • John Hall’s Birthday

Oct 25

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part IV of V)

Oct 31

  • Hallowe’en Night

Nov 01

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part V of V)
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