Archive for The Parker Brothers

Landon Connors — Occult Detective: Volume One

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing with tags , , , , on August 12, 2022 by Occult Detective

Landon Connors: Occult Detective Volume One is now available on Amazon. 22 stories. 500+ pages.

Collected together for the first time are the complete stories of Occult Detective Landon Connors and those supernatural investigators who exist within his cosmology.

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wickedest Man in the World” to the preternatural exploits of hard-boiled gumshoe Sam Hill and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe, this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings. This is the place Landon Connors calls home.

If you like the genre, you’ll love Landon Connors and the entourage of standing characters in Bob Freeman’s imaginarium. The tales in this volume range from the classic noir detective yarn with Connors at the center, to horror stories set in rural places like those of the author’s youth.” — Freeman Presson, Wizard

…like the bastard lovechild of The X-Files, H.P. Lovecraft, and Doctor Strange; and I mean that in the most loving way possible.” — The Monster Librarian

The tales here breathe, and oft times, there’s a hint of brimstone, perhaps some of that old black magick lurks in the exhale.” — Steven Shrewsbury, co-author of Bad Magick

“The connections stand out so vividly when put in order.” — Greg Mitchell, author of The Coming Evil trilogy

“…the depth of occult knowledge that has been intertwined into these stories is vast.” — Ginger Nuts of Horror

“Between ancient bloodlines, unholy alliances and magical orders of great power, Freeman’s knowledge of dark magic and its history shows throughout every page.” — The Sci Fi Guys Book Review

A Feast of (Fictional) Friends

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing with tags , , , on April 26, 2017 by Occult Detective

“Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.” — Jim Morrison

Apologies for being rather scarce this month. I’ve been insanely occupied by several projects. Expect me to continue being scarce until Là Bealltainn, then we’ll see to getting back to some semblance of a routine.

Here’s a little sneak peek into some of what I’ve been working on, related to both the Occult Detective RPG that is still in development and a collection of occult detective tales, the first installment of the Liber Monstrorum Chronicles, set to be released in a short number of weeks.

lmc jam

Up front, that’s Landon Connors in the leather armchair, of course, with Martin Crowe kneeling nearby. In back, from left to right, we have Cassidy Martin, Dale Parker, Allen Parker, Sarah Jones, Brooks Autry, Father Francis Rainey, Thea Hill, Selina Wolfe, Tracy Larson, and Greg Mitchell.

I suppose if it’s a group photo, then Michelle Hawkes is taking the picture ;)

All are characters to be found in First Born, debuting in July from Seventh Star Press.

Father Knows Best (Part 5): Hell Hath No Fury

Posted in Archive with tags , , , on March 8, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART FIVE

“HELL HATH NO FURY”

“I can’t believe you walked right into this mess. What were you thinking?”

Allen Parker strained his eyes against the darkness, making out the crude shape of his brother Dale roughly ten feet away. He was sandwiched in between their father, Stephen Parker, and their frequent tag-along, Sarah Jones. All were chained to the walls of an old cistern with rusty irons, the only light filtering down from a dozen feet overhead. The light danced, flickering as if from a fire. A candle perhaps, or a fireplace? It mattered little. The Parkers were well and duly screwed.

Me?” Allen replied with obvious indignation. “In case you didn’t notice, brother, you and pops got dumped down here first.”

Boys,” their dad barked, “that’s more than enough from both of you. There’s more than enough blame to go around. What we need to be focusing on is our escape, not the folly which landed us here.”

Father knows best,” Allen quipped. He was sore, and not just in the physical sense. Dale was right, of course, he and Sarah had walked right into the proverbial lion’s den and now they were completely hosed. Sure, he’d called and left a message with Dr. Connors, but who knew if he’d get it in time. Had he been thinking clearly he never would have allowed Sarah to get mixed up in this, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have let Cheryl Larson get the drop on them.

Cheryl Larson. He still couldn’t believe it. Sarah’s best friend’s older sister? He knew she was mixed up in Tracy’s disappearance, that the whole family were some kind of demonic offspring and knee deep in the school killings from two years back, but he knew those girls. Hell, he’d had one major crush on Cheryl back when he was in the seventh grade and she was a senior cheerleader for the Converse Bordermen. And she’s a freaking half-breed devil woman? Hm, when you think about it, it does kind of make sense.

“You know, Allen, there’s no need for your being a complete ass,” Dale jabbed. “Dad will figure out a way to get us out of this and then we’ll deal with the Larson girl.”

“Bite me, Dale, if our father were going to get us out of this he would have by now.”

“I am right here, you know.” Stephen Parker was doing his best not to lose his cool. Allen wasn’t making this any easier, and neither was his older brother. He expected better of his boys, but given their situation…

“How about all three of you knock it off,” Sarah growled. Allen heard the clank of metal on stone then saw her dark form moving across the small room.

sarah

“What the —?” Allen perked up. “How’d you get loose?”

“I’ve got big wrists and small hands.” Sarah knelt down beside him and gave him a peck on the cheek. “Now, the big question is, now that I’m free, how do I get you out of these shackles?”

“You don’t,” Stephen Parker said. “Not yet anyway.” He stood up, the chains giving him just enough slack to reach his full six feet. “You’re going to climb up me and get out of this hole and run for your life. Once you’re safe, you’ll call for help. Once you’re safe, do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good girl,” he replied.

“I’m scared.”

“Of course you are, Sarah, but you will make it. We all have faith in you. Now, let’s get you up and out of here before Cheryl Larson looks in on us. What do you say? Are you ready?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good, now get yourself up this wall and you run like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t look back, you hear me? Just run.”

The elder Parker braced himself as the young girl scaled his frame. Standing on his shoulders she was just shy of the top rim of the rock-hewn well. A slight hop and she’d be able to grab the ledge. She steadied herself, visualizing what she had to do.

“Sarah,” Allen called from below. “Just in case, you know, I wanted to tell you… I… I love you.”

“I know.”

Sarah leaped, her fingers grasping the fragile ledge. Kicking with her legs and scrambling with all her strength, Sarah Jones rolled onto the basement floor, then she was up and running as fast as she could. And she didn’t look back. Not even once.

***

NEXT WEEK:
PART SIX
“A KNIFE IN THE  DARK”

Father Knows Best (Part 4) — Waking the Dead

Posted in Archive with tags , , on February 22, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART FOUR

“WAKING THE DEAD”

There was a wind-chime hanging above the carnage, spiraling in the slight breeze that invaded through the broken basement window. The soft, ethereal music it made was like a preternatural dirge played by unseen spirits, lamenting the death of the fragile creature who’d met her end at the hands of primordial violence. Blood painted the gray masonry carmine, filling the small space with the overwhelming stench of death  and decay. In the midst of the abattoir, the occult detective knelt, examining the crude sigils drawn on the cellar floor mere inches from the young girl’s ravaged body.

“Damn it, Parker,” Connors said, rising from the body, “what have you got yourself into?”

Landon Connors was no stranger to the scene before him. He was born into a world where magic was a part of his everyday existence and his mentor, Private Detective Sam Hill, specialized in occult mysteries and ritualistic murders. No, he’d stood in far too many places just like this one, marked by the cruel hand of unmistakeable and unfathomable evil. It weighed heavily on him, leading him down dark paths few could escape from, but when people he cared about were caught in the cross-hairs of the kind of black magic he found here in this dank basement, then the pressure was nigh unbearable.

connorsspectre

The detective reached into his jacket pocket and drew out a silver flask, taking a slow and methodical draw of soothing bourbon. He circuited the room, looking for clues, pausing to light a cigarette as he examined blood splatter near a broken down workbench. The young girl, in her late teens or early twenties, had been struck here by a blunt instrument, then drug into the center of the room and ritually disfigured. The sigils circling the body were a common enough magical language, a variant on the Transitus Fluvii alphabet. A quick translation and it wasn’t hard to surmise the ritual’s purpose. The sacrifice, however, was extreme for what the black magician was attempting, which could only mean that the entity called up was a major player.

He thought about the frantic phone call he’d received from Allen Parker slightly more than an hour before. Allen had hurriedly explained how he and that fiery little redhead, Sarah, had got themselves into a bit of trouble while trying find Allen’s father and brother. Connors and Stephen Parker had been friends and colleagues for more years than either would care to admit. The occult detective was quite fond of the Parker brothers, and had even become attached to their red-tressed tag along and her cousin, Cassidy. They were all like one big dysfunctional family… and now that family was in danger.

Connors snuffed out the near spent cowboy killer on the basement floor and took a deep breath. Reaching into his metaphysical bag of tricks, he began reciting ancient words of power, drawing forth the tortured spirit of the slain girl. He needed answers, and fast. Waking the dead seemed the quickest route to his most pressing question, what the help was he up against?

Slowly, a shadowy form began to manifest above the dead girl’s body, like a mist rising from a lake. It twisted about, writhing with an eldritch energy that sent shivers through Connors’ bones. Something wasn’t right. This girl, she wasn’t a victim. She was a willing participant. Suddenly, it dawned on the detective — this was no mere black magic ritual to conjure up some infernal spirit for gods knew what, this was a trap… and it was set for him.

***

NEXT WEEK:
PART FIVE
“HELL HATH NO FURY”

Father Knows Best (Part 3) — The Whispering Wind

Posted in Archive with tags , , on February 1, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART THREE

“THE WHISPERING WIND”

“Well, it’s been fun, but I really think it’s time we should be going.”

Allen was either ignoring her, or was so engrossed by the bloody scrawl on the wall that he just didn’t hear. He’d already snapped several pictures with his digital camera. Now he leaned in close and sniffed, then, taking a handkerchief from his pocket, dabbed it onto the smear and placed it into a plastic baggy.

“What are you —?”

“Evidence,” Allen said, cutting her off. “Might be useful.”

Sarah was growing impatient. “Useful? To who?” She grabbed him by the arm and spun him around. “Allen, I’m scared. And not just a little bit. That… sigil… is written in blood. Blood, Allen. This is happening. I’ve seen too many horror movies to not know how this is going to end.”

“I know, Sarah, but my dad and brother were here. If anything’s happened to them…”

“I get it,” Sarah replied. “But you’re not going to be doing them any favors if we get ourselves killed out here.” She touched his cheek, tenderly. “we need to come back in the morning with the DNR. We’ll find them.” She stepped away from him and motioned toward the door. “I promise.”

“You’re right,” Allen said. “We’re not going to —” His eyes widened as the front door slowly began to open. He looked to Sarah who was already backing away. He grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed toward and up the stairs leading to the attic. The scurried up and through the attic door. Allen kept it slightly ajar, eyes intent on the living room. The front door moaned and creaked as he and Sarah listened to footfalls echoing up from below.

“Who is it?” Sarah asked from behind him.

“Shhh.”

Allen watched, his heart and mind racing. He heard the footsteps clearly, and sensed that whoever it was should have been in the center of the room, but there was no one there. The wind whistled through the open door, cold and mournful. For a moment he thought he saw… but no, surely it was a trick of the ill-lit room, soft moonlight the only source filtering in through the tress and the broken windows. But still, his eyes had focused on a smokey mass of pale effluvium, drifting on the wind before dissipating near the kitchen entryway.

“Damn it, Allen, what do you see?” Sarah harshly whispered.

He turned to face her. “Nothing,” he said. “No one.” He rose from his crouched position and turned on his flashlight. Sarah followed suit and the two cast their beams about the dusty old attic, piled high with antiques, boxes, and various and sundry novelties and bric-a-brac.

“Wow, it really is like these people just up and vanished.” Sarah walked slowly through the room, taking it all in.

“I told you.” Allen followed her. Though he’d been here a couple of times before, he’d never really had a chance to really look the place over.

“Who would just up and leave everything behind?”

whisperingwind

“That was certainly my dad’s thoughts.” Allen paused to look through a stack of record albums, all from the late fifties and early sixties. “Surely no one would, unless they were running from something, or they were…”

Sarah finished it for him. “…dead.” She took an album from Allen’s hands, Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. “Hot pink,” she said, a slight smile on her lips. She was trying to be brave, but it was all too much. Not long ago her best friend had gone missing and a handful of her classmates ended up dead. And now, here she was, in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. She couldn’t help but wonder if her fate might be the same.

“Come on,” Allen said, “Let’s get out of here. The coast is clear. We’ll head back to my bike, hightail it back to Casa Parker and call the authorities. Or better yet…”

“… call Dr. Connors?”

“You really need to stop doing that. I thought your cousin was the psychic in the family.” He smiled and thankfully she returned it. “Let’s go,” he said, and the two made their way down the stairs and back into the frigid night.

The two teens were on edge, but Sarah was relieved to be heading back home. But that all ended with a sound on the wind, whispering through the trees. It was just a murmur at first, incomprehensible, but slowly snatches of words were carried to her ears, whispers that sent shivers up her spine.

“… Sarah… please… I’m here… Sarah…”

“Allen?” Her companion had stopped dead in his tracks. “Do you hear —?”

“My brother? I sure as hell do.”

“No,” Sarah responded, “It’s Tracy.”

“What? Tracy Larson?” Allen took her hand. “Sarah, it’s my brother. He’s saying my name, over and over.” He was looking deeper into the woods, toward the voice being whispered on the wind.

“That’s not what I’m hearing at all,” Sarah replied. “It’s my name. Tracy’s calling for me. She needs my help.” She pulled away from him and walked toward the voice.

“Dammit, I don’t like this.” Allen walked after her. “Not one bit.”

“What’s out there?” Sarah asked.

“There’s another abandoned house, about a hundred yards back that way.”

Sarah gave him a stern look. “Fine. Let’s go.”

“What? Are you crazy? You really want to traipse through the woods, toward some  incorporeal voice that’s obviously trying to lure us into god knows what kind of a trap? After you practically begged me to get your ass out of here and back home?”

“Yes, Allen Parker,” she said, turning on her heel and marching off into the woods toward the sound of Tracy’s voice. “That’s precisely what I want.”

***

NEXT WEEK:
PART FOUR
“WAKING THE DEAD”

Father Knows Best (Part Two) – Sigils in the Dark

Posted in Archive with tags , on January 25, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART TWO

“SIGILS IN THE DARK”

Two figures made their way through the thick woods, a stone’s throw from “The Cliffs” overlooking the Mississinewa River. The beams of their flashlights pierced the chthonic darkness, but an evening fog made visibility sketchy at best. Several yards back they had parked Allen Parker’s motorcycle beside his father’s custom 1962 Holden EJ Panel Van. It was locked up tight and, peering through the windows, his gear bag was gone from the rear and Allen could make out his brother’s leather jacket tossed onto the backseat. Stealing themselves, he and Sarah had set off for the abandoned house deep in the Frances Slocum woods. Now, as they neared their destination, unnerved by the complete and utter silence surrounding them, he began to question his judgement. Not in finding himself here before one of the most haunted locations in Northern Indiana, but the wisdom of bringing Sarah along. Smart and capable, she was still just a teenage girl. As they closed in on the derelict hovel, this weighed as heavily on his mind as his missing family did.

sigilsinthedark

“Well,” Allen whispered, “here we are.”

“Be it ever so humble…” Sarah replied. “How long’s this place been abandoned?”

“Since the late sixties,” Allen said. “When the Army Corps of Engineers built the Mississinewa Dam everyone out this way got bought up and shipped out, but this house is different than most. When dad first investigated this place back in the eighties, it was pretty much like you see it now, but inside, it was like the family just vanished into thin air. All their clothes were left in the closets, food in the cupboards, an attic full of stuff. All the furniture, everything, just left behind. Dad even said there was a newspaper on the coffee table, from March of ’63, I think, and there were plates set at the kitchen table with decomposed food on them.”

“That’s freaking weird,” Sarah said. “Did he track them down or anything?”

“He tried for years, but, like I said, it was like they just up and went poof in a puff of smoke.”

“And this place is haunted?” Sarah paused. They were just outside the house now. Its paint faded and peeled, trees growing in and out of windows, vines all but consuming large portions of it — the forest was reclaiming it, devouring it, but in a weird sense, making it a part of the surroundings. “I mean, how could it not be?”

“You got that right.” Allen stepped up on the ruined porch and reached for the front door. Before he could touch it, the door swung inward of its own accord. He stepped back. “Sheesh.”

“I don’t like this,” Sarah said.

“I told you to stay home,” Allen chided. “Stay close. There’s nothing that can hurt us here.”

“Tell that to your dad and brother.”

“Not funny,” Allen said, leading the way into the decrepit house.

It was much as he’d described. A ruined couch, obviously home now to various and sundry wildlife; a coffee table, complete with yellowed and water stained newspaper; an old black and white television; pictures hung crookedly on the walls, a floral print here, a landscape there, and a family photo. Allen walked past these things, eyes scanning the refuse on the floor, looking for signs of his family passing through here. But not Sarah. She was drawn to that picture, with the happy little family of four. There was father, dressed in a brown leisure suit, sitting beside mother,with her beehive hairdo and a sleeveless mini-dress. In the back stood a son and daughter, both with long brown hair and hard won smiles. But it was the eyes that drew her in. Or, to be more accurate, their lack of them. Even though the picture was framed under glass, all of their eyes had been scratched out.

She turned slowly, a lump in her throat. She was about to bring this to Allen’s attention when she saw her friend frozen, the beam of his flashlight focused on the rear wall at the base of the stairs. She walked toward him nervously and slid her arm in his, desperately wanting to disappear into him, where maybe, just maybe, it might be safe.

On the wall was scrawled a series of symbols the like of which she’d never seen.

“Wh-what is that?” she asked, pressing even closer into her friend’s side.

“Sigils,” Allen replied. “And they’re written in blood.”

***

NEXT WEEK:
PART THREE
“THE WHISPERING WIND”

Father Knows Best (Part One)

Posted in Archive with tags , on January 18, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART ONE

“COMING UP SHORT”

Allen Parker drove his shoulder hard into the advancing lineman before spinning away toward the sideline, cleats digging into the frozen tundra of Bordermen Field. With a stutter step, he juked the linebacker that had come up to cover him, and with a burst of speed he was racing toward the endzone. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the ball sailing through the crisp autumn air, the sound of approaching footsteps thundering in his ears. Don’t look, he thought, eyes on the ball. The Converse Bordermen were trailing by five with mere seconds on the clock. This was do or die time.

The football arrived, grazing Allen’s fingertips, just as an energized free safety delivered a devastating blow into the young Parker’s right side. The ball tumbled from his grasp, but he managed to bat it once, twice into the air. Safety and tight end crashed onto the hard ground, the ball flipping end over end. With a last ditch effort, Parker reached for it, straining against the pain and then it was in his hands. He’d done it. He caught the damn ball. Somewhere a starter gun signaled the end of the game and an eruption of joy exploded from the bleachers.

parkerp1

Allen rolled over, football held close, and he looked toward the endzone. He was mere inches shy of the promised land. Mighty Casey had struck out. Gathering himself, he walked off the field with his comrades, their despondence and weariness made all the more so by the resonant cheers of the visiting Argylls. While Allen’s teammates fell into the comfort of their girlfriends and parents, young Parker’s eyes focused on the emptying bleachers. There was no father there waiting to say “nice try, son”, no brother to say “you’ll get ‘em next time, kid”. No, his father and brother were elsewhere  this Friday night. They were tending to the family business… the business of hunting ghosts.

“Good game.”

Allen looked over his shoulder to see Sarah Jones leaning against the chain link fence separating the field from the stands. Buried inside an oversized hooded sweatshirt, she looked cold,  her normally pale cheeks  were a rosy red to match her hair. Allen crossed over to her and slipped off his stadium jacket and slid it over her shoulders. It nearly swallowed her whole.

“Are you kidding me?” he replied. “You did notice the scoreboard, right? We lost.”

“Winning? Losing? None of that matters. It’s how you play you play the game, Allen Parker. And you left it all on the field tonight.” Sarah leaned across the field and gave him a peck on the cheek. “You should be proud.”

“Well, I’m not feeling it.” Allen kicked at the loose gravel on the track surrounding the football field. “That one hurt, Sarah. I was so close.”

“That’s not it. You’re not bummed because you didn’t score the winning touchdown. You’re bummed because your pops wasn’t here to punch you in the arm and say you did good.” Sarah slugged him, hard. “But I am,” she added with a smile.

Allen smiled back and took her hand, the two of them walking off together. “Thanks, I needed that.”

“My pleasure,” she said with a wink. “Now, why don’t you hit the showers, then we can make a run into town and grab some hot cocoa at Cain’s.”

“Sounds good. Who knows, maybe after we could…”

“Yo, Parker!” Coach Tuttle cut him short, waving from the team office. “Phone!”

“Thanks, Coach.” Allen trotted through the gate and over to the office entrance where Tuttle thrust the receiver into his hands. ”Allen Parker here.”

Someone was on the line, but heavy static kept cutting in and out making it hard to hear.

“Hello?”

“… get over… need… nors… Allen… hurt…”

“Dale? Is that you?”

“…nasty… apparition… dad’s in… g trouble… g… here fast…”

“Dale, are you there?”

“… … … …”

“Dale!”

“Allen, what is it?” Sarah asked, running up beside him.

“It’s dad and my brother,” Allen replied, a worried look on his face. “They’re in trouble.”

***

NEXT WEEK:
PART TWO
“SIGILS IN THE DARK”
as FATHER KNOWS BEST continues

Father Knows Best (A Parker Brothers Mystery) continues

Posted in Archive with tags , on January 11, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART ONE (continued)

“Good game.”

Allen looked over his shoulder to see Sarah Jones leaning against the chain link fence separating the field from the stands. Buried inside an oversized hooded sweatshirt, she looked cold,  her normally pale cheeks  were a rosy red to match her hair. Allen crossed over to her and slipped off his stadium jacket and slid it over her shoulders. It nearly swallowed her whole.

“Are you kidding me?” he replied. “You did notice the scoreboard, right? We lost.”

“Winning? Losing? None of that matters. It’s how you play you play the game, Allen Parker. And you left it all on the field tonight.” Sarah leaned across the field and gave him a peck on the cheek. “You should be proud.”

“Well, I’m not feeling it.” Allen kicked at the loose gravel on the track surrounding the football field. “That one hurt, Sarah. I was so close.”

“That’s not it. You’re not bummed because you didn’t score the winning touchdown. You’re bummed because your pops wasn’t here to punch you in the arm and say you did good.” Sarah slugged him, hard. “But I am,” she added with a smile.

Allen smiled back and took her hand, the two of them walking off together. “Thanks, I needed that.”

“My pleasure,” she said with a wink. “Now, why don’t you hit the showers, then we can make a run into town and grab some hot cocoa at Cain’s.”

“Sounds good. Who knows, maybe after we could…”

“Yo, Parker!” Coach Tuttle cut him short, waving from the team office. “Phone!”

“Thanks, Coach.” Allen trotted through the gate and over to the office entrance where Tuttle thrust the receiver into his hands. “Allen Parker here.”

Someone was on the line, but heavy static kept cutting in and out making it hard to hear.

“Hello?”

“… get over… need… nors… Allen… hurt…”

“Dale? Is that you?”

“…nasty… apparition… dad’s in… g trouble… g… here fast…”

“Dale, are you there?”

“… … … …”

“Dale!”

“Allen, what is it?” Sarah asked, running up beside him.

“It’s dad and my brother,” Allen replied, a worried look on his face. “They’re in trouble.”

***

Continued next week

New Parker Brothers Mystery starts today!

Posted in Archive with tags , , on January 4, 2013 by Occult Detective

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FATHER KNOWS BEST

PART ONE

Allen Parker drove his shoulder hard into the advancing lineman before spinning away toward the sideline, cleats digging into the frozen tundra of Bordermen Field. With a stutter step, he juked the linebacker that had come up to cover him, and with a burst of speed he was racing toward the endzone. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the ball sailing through the crisp autumn air, the sound of approaching footsteps thundering in his ears. Don’t look, he thought, eyes on the ball. The Converse Bordermen were trailing by five with mere seconds on the clock. This was do or die time.

The football arrived, grazing Allen’s fingertips, just as an energized free safety delivered a devastating blow into the young Parker’s right side. The ball tumbled from his grasp, but he managed to bat it once, twice into the air. Safety and tight end crashed onto the hard ground, the ball flipping end over end. With a last ditch effort, Parker reached for it, straining against the pain and then it was in his hands. He’d done it. He caught the damn ball. Somewhere a starter gun signaled the end of the game and an eruption of joy exploded from the bleachers.

Allen rolled over, football held close, and he looked toward the endzone. He was mere inches shy of the promised land. Mighty Casey had struck out. Gathering himself, he walked off the field with his comrades, their despondence and weariness made all the more so by the resonant cheers of the visiting Argylls. While Allen’s teammates fell into the comfort of their girlfriends and parents, young Parker’s eyes focused on the emptying bleachers. There was no father there waiting to say “nice try, son”, no brother to say “you’ll get ’em next time, kid”. No, his father and brother were elsewhere  this Friday night. They were tending to the family business… the business of hunting ghosts.

To be continued…

The Next Big Thing: BORN AGAIN

Posted in Archive with tags , , , , on November 23, 2012 by Occult Detective

The Next Big Thing meme has come round to me, via three outrageously awesome talents — Stephen Mark Rainey, William Meikle, and Greg Mitchell. I am obliged to answer the following 10 questions and shall endeavor to do so while absentmindedly twisting my mustache and softly cackling in a sinister manner.

 

So, let’s light this candle —

 

♦WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR NEXT BOOK?

 

BORN AGAIN

 

♦WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THE BOOK COME FROM?

 

As an answer to my novel DESCENDANT, and via Black Sabbath’s song and album of the same name.

 

♦WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?

 

Horror / Occult Detective Fiction

 

♦WHAT ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY THE PART OF YOUR CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE RENDITION?

 

Okay, off the top of my head:

 

Odette Annable as Selina Wolfe / Brian Austin Green as Martin Crowe / Cloe Moretz as Tracy Larson / Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Landon Connors / Olivia Wilde as Michelle Hawkes / Olivia Munn as Alethea Kiriakis / Josh Holloway as Brooks Autry / Viggo Mortensson as Ashton Connors / Josh Hutcherson as Dale Parker / Hunter Parrish as Allen Parker / Mollie C. Quinn as Sara Jones / Shelley Hennig as Cassidy Martin

 

♦WHAT IS THE ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?

 

Black Magicians, hellbent on awakening an ancient deity, need teenaged Tracy Larson’s unborn child to seal the deal.

 

♦WILL YOUR BOOK BE SELF-PUBLISHED, OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY?

 

Come back to occultdetective.com on 12-12-12 for the answer.

 

♦HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE MANUSCRIPT?

 

Three and a half months.

 

♦WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU COMPARE THIS STORY TO WITHIN YOUR GENRE?

 

If this were a stew the meat would come from The Adept series, the vegetables from American Gods, and it would be spiced with a pinch of Hellblazer, a smidgen of The Dresden Files, and a dash of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.

 

♦WHO, OR WHAT, INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?

 

My Holy Guardian Angel? Or was it the Devil who made me do it?

 

♦WHAT ELSE ABOUT THE BOOK MIGHT PIQUE A READER’S INTEREST?

 

Well, there’s black magick. That’s always a good time. There’s a mystery. Hard-boiled action. A sort-of-loopy, almost time travel bit. A little romance. Detectives running about detecting things. Lots of gunplay and explosions. And did I mention black magick?

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