Mystics in Hell
Join the doomed on their vision quests in eleven stories by the damnedest writers in Perdition: Janet Morris; A.L. Butcher; Joe Bonadonna; Andrew P. Weston; Gustavo Bondoni; Seth Lindberg; Tom Barczak; Michael H. Hanson; Louis Antonelli; Christopher Crosby Morris.
Janet Morris & Chris Morris: A Frame of Mind
The devil’s casting couch becomes a chopping block. On a blasted heath, Marlowe find’s his mystic powers and loses his head over the Weyward Sisters. At the Globe, unwitting Orpheus and Solomon set the stage for Satanic mayhem as real witches cast themselves in Macbeth.
Andrew P. Weston: The Come Right Inn
In the Come Right Inn, we meet one of Satan’s most secretive agents. A charming woman with a finger – and most other body parts – in every pie. She’s bewitching, beguiling, and bedeviled to be sure, but won’t think twice about skinning you alive if you cross her.
A.L. Butcher: Abode of Woe
When the self-proclaimed anti-messiah builds a temple on their doorstep and ruins business, Calchas and Cassandra look to some devious means to bring down the walls.
Duelling mystics and misinformation bring mayhem to the underworld.
S E. Lindberg: Fool’s Gold
Rejoice Forty-niners, there is a gold rush in hell! King Midas still transmutes flesh into gold. He’s minting the promising new gastro-currency: buttcoin. Mine for a price. At your own risk.
Most-infamous archeologist Howard Carter discovers that exploiting mysticism can turn a profit, even in hell. If only he could only seize the Philosopher’s Stone from higher powers…
Thoth, Egyptian god of mysticism, seeks conspirators to regain control over his realm of afterlife, Duat. He just needs someone to retrieve his alchemical powers. You in?
Lou Antonelli: The True Believer
The man who invented Apartheid refuses to acknowledge his hellish fate and gets a special visit to set him straight.
Gustavo Bondoni: By Any Means Necessary
Umberto Eco knows he’s in Hell; the suffering and multiple deaths that never kill him permanently are more than enough of a clue for a man of his learning. But when he gets forcibly recruited by Nazi Commando Otto Skorzeny to prove the theories of one of history’s greatest charlatans, he thinks things can’t get any worse. He’s wrong. Hell can always get worse.
Tom Barczak: Excalibur
Hell can be hard. But Rasputin has something even harder, and Lafayette Ronald Hubbard desperately needs it if he is going to pull off the greatest magic trick hell has ever known.
Michael H. Hanson: On the Run
Sufi mystic Rumi, Zen Buddhist Dōgen, and Charlatan Spiritualist Mina Crandon use their new found magics on the grandest of all quests, to find powerful talismans that will allow them to escape Hell itself.
Andrew P. Weston: The Sorcerous Apprentice
In The Sorcerous Apprentice, Daemon Grim learns new tricks from an old dog. And just as well. There’s a fallen saint to bring to heel, and she’s not known for playing ball . . . crystal or otherwise.
Joe Bonadonna: Colossus of Hell
Victor Frankenstein and Alan Turing want to build a cyborg. Quasimodo wants to win the hand of a fortune teller. Rasputin and Cagliostro want to open a private club. And the Orange Ogre, he wants revenge.
Strange Arts: Janet and Chris Morris
Deep in the bowels of the Tower, Kit Marlowe is recruited by Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham, for a perilous mission. Witches, wraiths, Fates? Who are the Weyward Sisters? And what do they want in hell?
CHARACTER NAME: Clyde
- Tell us a little about yourself:
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. I’m a vampire. Not the kind you’re thinking of, but a species called a Dawn Fang. In fact, I’m the first one due to this thing called the Great Cataclysm. It washed over the world and turned my execution into a rebirth type of thing. Now, I’m faster, stronger, and immune to the sun. A few accidents later and I realized I could make more of my kind, which resulted in me creating a kingdom called Nytefall. I’ve been leading the Dawn Fangs for a few decades now and it doesn’t get any easier. Running a gang of vampiric thieves is one thing. Now, I have to run a kingdom in the face of a civil war, sun-worshipping priests, hunters, usurpers, and all manner of enemies. The worst part is that I can’t kill all of them if I want to prove to mortals that Dawn Fangs aren’t monsters. Not that I haven’t considered it.
- How did you end up in the situation you’re currently in?
The mess I’m in is rather complicated. As far as I know, I haven’t done anything to anger this vampire hunter. He calls himself Alastyre and keeps ripping the heads off vampires. Swears he’s the one who’s going to kill. Scary part is that he might not be wrong since he’s the strongest enemy I’ve ever faced. Nobody else has managed to match my power and primal brutality like this guy. So, I’m going to have to do something I haven’t done in over one hundred years. I have to train and get stronger in order to stop this maniac from killing my people and destroying my kingdom.
- Do you believe in monsters?
Of course. I am one. Don’t go thinking all monsters are heartless beasts that can only destroy. Sure, that’s basically the definition, but that way of thinking is why Dawn Fangs are having trouble. We are vampires, which makes us monsters. Yet, we’re able to live like mortals, so we’re in the middle. Personally, I think any species can be seen as a monster in certain situations.
- Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be?
I guess you could say that I do. Hard to tell since I use illusions to trick people, especially in battle or when I’m stealing. Guess you could say that my moral code depends on who I’m dealing with. If I’m facing an honourable person then I’ll act the same. Pit me against a jerk and I’ll do whatever it takes to either kill them or knock them down a few thousand pegs. One constant rule I have is that you don’t draw children into your fights. They can join when they grow up, but let them be kids before that time.
- Would you kill for those you love?
I’ve proven that I would on several occasions. Not only for the woman I love, but my friends too. They’re my family and I’m going to protect them with this great power I’ve been given. In return, they watch my back and make sure I don’t surrender to the monster in my soul. Guess that desire to retain my humanity makes the whole killing for loved ones rather strange. It makes sense if you’re a vampire.
- Would you die for those you love?
Tough one here because you can only do this once. It would have to be a very specific situation. My sacrifice would need to result in my family being safe for the rest of their existence. Otherwise, I’d get myself killed and they’d still be in danger, which means I made a mistake.
- How do you define ‘heroism?’
Heroism is the ability to stand by your convictions and defend others. It’s very easy to change your mind or abandon people to save your own skin. In fact, I’d say most people do this once they’re challenged. Those with heroism ignore their own survival instinct to make the world a better place. Although, to be honest, I don’t have that much use for the mortal version of heroism. For a vampire, it’s closer to having the ability to control your destructive tendencies for the good of your people.
- What is your greatest skill/asset?
I would have to go with my illusions, which work off my cunning. Sure, I can shatter mountains with my fists. My Lord’s Rage allows me to get even stronger at the cost of my self-control. Those work for slaughtering enemies and physical obstacles, but they can be undermined. My illusions are much more difficult to get around and they create opportunities for my strength to be used. I can create decoys, false attacks, or mask my true form to confuse my enemies. That and it’s simply fun to mess with people.
- What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell)?
This is the big question. In fact, it’s the reason I’m on this ridiculous training quest while my friends are trapped with Alastyre. I need to figure out my greatest weakness in order to overcome it. After decades of never feeling threatened, I can’t imagine what it would be. Could be overconfidence, but I’m trying really hard to stay humble while I rule a kingdom. I really wonder why people can’t just show up and tell me the answer here.
- Do you believe in god(s)?
Definitely. I come from Windemere, which has active gods. There’s a whole pantheon that lives on an island and watches the rest of us. They have this rule against physically interfering in events because of past mistakes. Actually, I recently had my first god encounter. The guy was a jerk and I’d have punched his face in if I didn’t think he’d smite me.
- Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?
Yes to both quests. I believe I will find a way to become stronger and defeat Alastyre. There’s no reason it wouldn’t happen since I always find a way to win. I need to be patient and think hard about the problem. That or beat up whatever’s in my path until they give me what I need.
My other quest is the big one. I want to prove that Dawn Fangs can live amongst mortals without posing a danger. This is possible since we can eat regular food and drink blood without killing. The biggest hurdle is that we’re still vampires, so people see us as monsters. Doesn’t help that we have a civil war going on between Nytefall and those who wish to stay in the shadows. Once I get that cleared up, the big quest will be nothing more than a simple test of patience.
- What do you think of your author/creator?
He’s got a pretty good imagination, but I have a major grievance. It took the moron about 15 years to get to my series. He pretended to be me in this imagination game for about a year, but then shelved me for nearly half of his life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that he’s given me the spotlight, but I waited so long and I can see that my time isn’t going to be as long as that of his previous heroes. We’re definitely going to have to chat once he goes to bed.
For the author:
Books in which this character appears:
War of Nytefall Series– https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KBFS2LK
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.
Title: War of Nytefall: Savagery
Author: Charles E. Yallowitz
Genre: Fantasy, Vampires, Action Adventure
Main character description (short):
In the magical world of Windemere, Clyde was your average vampire thief who ran a gang of criminals. Then, the Great Cataclysm struck in the middle of his execution and transformed him into a new breed of monster. Able to retain his strength in the sun and possessing a heartbeat, Clyde realized he could pass as mortal. He also learned that he could turn old-world vampires into what would come to be known as Dawn Fangs. For years, he has defended the hidden kingdom of Nytefall as he waits for the day vampires and mortals can coexist. It doesn’t help that he really enjoys fighting and keeps looking for trouble.
After years of defending Nytefall and the Dawn Fangs from all enemies, Clyde may have met his ultimate challenge. Matching the destructive vampire in power and ferocity, Alastyre the hunter is the first to make him feel fear. Before he knows what is happening, Clyde has been driven from his home while his friends remain trapped with this new threat. His only hope is to find a way to become stronger and return to reclaim his kingdom. Yet, how can a monster who splits mountains with a single blow become more powerful?
The instant the longbow clatters on the floor, Clyde and Alastyre vanish for a moment and reappear on opposite sides of the courtyard. The force from their failed strikes create matching blasts of air and they whirl around in unison to face each other once more. Another charge results in the combatants crashing together, the shockwave sending a circular wall of sand billowing away from them. Palms pressing against each other, they appear to be evenly matched until Clyde is struck by a swift headbutt. Having been caught by surprise, his back-leg bends and he loses the leverage that was preventing him from being forced away. With his knee on the ground, he is bent backwards and left open for another shot to the face. It is only by increasing his Lord’s Rage that he avoids falling and musters the strength to shove Alastyre to the side. He dislocates his wrists to free his hands from the hunter’s grip and creates four illusions of himself to gain time to heal. With his own body masked to blend into the nearest boulder, the Dawn Fang crouches in order to pounce on the first opportunity. Instead, he has to leap away when his enemy ignores the decoys and punches exactly where he is lurking.
“I’ve studied your tactics, so your tricks are pointless,” Alastyre says as he throws the cracked boulder over his shoulder.
“Guess I’ll have to take you seriously then,” the Dawn Fang retorts with a grin.
Why should readers buy this book?
The only reason to buy this book is because it’s a fun adventure. I write to entertain with humour, exciting action scenes, and colourful characters. Like my other books, War of Nytefall: Savagery is pure, relaxing escapism.
Author name: Danielle Williams
*Please tell us about your publications, specifically the story in this bundle:
I write wonder (sci-fi/fantasy), horror, and humor. The Witching License came out of a self-imposed challenge I did back in February 2019—I wanted to write one short story a week for a month, using a different prompt each week. From that challenge, I got The Witching License, plus an upbeat goat-intensive fantasy adventure called The Capramancer Next Door, and the sole short story to actually come out of the exercise: the dark fantasy Hello, Wizard.
The prompt that produced The Witching License was “regret.” But even though it’s a bittersweet story, I don’t think it’s too dark–I was playing Just Dance for exercise around this time, so the song Land of 1,000 Dances worked its way into the story, along with my (admittedly faded) memories of Venice.
What first prompted you to publish your work?
It was November 2016. I’d finally finished my ginormous science fantasy epic Steel City, Veiled Kingdom.
So I’m sitting there with this manuscript that’s just as long as The Lord of the Rings or The Name of the Wind, and realizing I now have to try and sell it to an agent, who will probably make me chop it up into little pieces and rewrite it to be more “marketable”, even though I’m happy with it as-is, and know it’s meant to be one big book.
And all this would probably take years.
I didn’t want to do that, but I didn’t know what else to do with it! I went a little ways into the traditional publishing process—I even wrote a chapter-by-chapter synopsis and a query letter, intending to submit them to agents.
Then I discovered the posts on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing and Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing. They completely changed my life!
Reading those, I realized I didn’t need a publisher to get Steel City out to readers. I came to the table with years of experience in HTML, CSS, illustration, and graphic design–a perfectly solid talent stack for going into indie publishing with a $0 budget.
Fast-forward to 2021: the Steel City, Veiled Kingdom ebook has been out for over a year now. The print volumes are being released this year. And while it was in production, I’ve had a whale of a time writing and publishing three other novels, plus other shorter stories!
If writing is a thing you want to do, don’t let anyone stop you!!
How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it?
I discovered the practice of book bundling through Chuck Heintzelman’s ebook The Author’s Guide to Ebook Bundling. I think bundles are a huge win-win for both authors and readers!
Bundling is like…anthologizing for the digital age: a bundle curator gathers stories from various authors and sells the collection online. Readers who buy the bundle get to sample a variety of authors who are already writing stories about things they like—and at a discount, to boot.
Meanwhile, authors split the profits from the bundle and gain exposure to new readers. And since bundling is relatively easy for authors on the back end, they can spend more time writing new stuff for their readers! Like I said, win-win.
What other bundles are you involved with?
I have stories in Cat Tales Issue #2, Cat Tales Issue #3, Cat Tales Issue #4, Thirteen Stakes, (all curated by Steve Vernon) and now Here Be More Magic. Hooray!
If you had to pick 5 books to take to a desert island which 5 would it be?
Harry Potter (all 7 books count as one unit don’t @ me)
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
…and a blank book to write and draw in.
If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat.
This is not very literary at all…but I think it’d be fascinating to have dinner with Artemis Fowl’s bodyguard, Butler (from the Artemis Fowl series). Being a military man, I’m sure he’d have a ton of entertaining stories on tap (even just training stories, man!), PLUS all the Butlers are trained chefs so whatever he fixed, you can bet it’d be delicious!
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?
I tend to randomly come across interesting things, and then those interesting things make it into my work…If I don’t know a fact, I Ducky it (use Duck Duck Go search engine).
The wildest subject I’ve researched so far was on body decomposition times for my noir love story Out Where the Sun Always Shines. But one of the most interesting things I’ve researched into is the effect of lightning strikes on living creatures for a scene in Steel City, Veiled Kingdom.
How influential is storytelling to our culture?
Sometimes storytelling reflects culture, but storytelling also shapes culture, there’s no doubt in my mind! It’s been the primary way to transmit information, social mores, histories, etc. throughout time. And storytelling can be so deep!
Look at “The Good Samaritan”–on the one hand, there’s the surface level of the parable, about helping a man on a road, but there’s also deeper meanings and emotions and instructions there that can reach differing people based on their own knowledge and life experiences.
I also subscribe to acting teacher Ed Hooks’ notion that artists are shamans; at our highest level, we tell stories our tribe needs to hear. Or, as he puts it:
“To the artist: Your genealogical roots are in shamanism. It is your job to talk to the tribe, to help them get to survive a tough winter and to celebrate victories. Animation is not only a fun thing to do — It is an honorable way to spend your life.” (From https://magazine.artstation.com/2020/01/acting-for-animators-with-ed-hooks/ )
If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?
Dragon, hands-down. Flying + flaming + I could be tall. It would be epic.
Tell us about your latest piece?
The last novel I published was The Capramancer Next Door. In it, a down-to-earth mage and her magical goats protect their new neighbor when he crosses an angry fairy. The lead goat’s name is Elvis, which should give you an idea of the book’s tone.
Also, GoatsLive.com called it “a wonderful read!”, and if that endorsement doesn’t convince you that I have written the Great American Fantasy Goat Novel, nothing ever will.
What’s your next writing adventure?
I’m currently finishing The Guests of Crooked Neck, a direct follow-up to Steel City, Veiled Kingdom…but they’re almost reversals of each other. Where Steel City had a single hero’s viewpoint and spanned four worlds of adventure, Crooked Neck’s events are seen through the eyes of multiple characters in a single small town.
What is the last book you’ve read?
The last book I completed was A Horse and His Boy, by CS Lewis. I would’ve reread the rest of the Narnia series, except I want to read them in paperback and I only own two or three. Sometimes reading on a screen is the last thing I want to do!
I’m currently reading The Heist, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, because a friend lent the hardcover to me. I’m enjoying it, even if I hear everything Nick says in the voice of Lupin the Third!
Danielle Williams is the author of (so far) four novels and nearly a dozen other tales of wonder, horror and humor, including science-fantasy epic Steel City, Veiled Kingdom, creepy apartment caper The Girlfriend Who Wasn’t from Delaware, and the beloved children’s Christmas novel A Gingersnap Cat Christmas.
Situado em um mundo de fantasia onde nada é exatamente o que parece, um livro antigo e uma estranha máscara dourada trazem poder e prazer.
Aventuras sensuais e sensuais para aquecer suas noites frias de inverno ou vaporizar seus longos dias de verão. Situado em um mundo de fantasia onde nada é exatamente o que parece, um livro antigo e uma estranha máscara dourada trazem poder e prazer.
A primeira parcela dos Contos da Máscara Dourada
Classificação 18 para erotismo