Swift Six Character Interview- Adelei #Fantasy

Character Name: Adelei aka Iliana Poncett of Alexander

Which book/world do you live in? The Boahim Trilogy, beginning in Book I, Amaskan’s Blood

Tell us about yourself:

I serve Anur, God of Justice, first and foremost, but beyond that, I’m fairly simple. I enjoy weapons-work and hunting, as well as working with my battle steed, Midnight. I’m nineteen but some days my years stretch further in the distance than I’m capable of seeing, which is a polite way of saying I feel old. Perhaps it’s the killing. I know I only kill when Anur requires and only to serve Justice, but the blood never leaves you.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I feel that my strengths lie in my ability to deliver Justice swiftly and without…complications. Where others might worry about taking a life, I understand my role in the grand picture set by the Thirteen (the gods). My greatest weakness is my past. I love my adopted family, especially Master Bredych, my father, but he lied to me about my birth family. Sometimes it’s a challenge to know who to believe.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

The Order of Amaska (including my adopted father, Master Bredych)—they took me in and made me who I am; King Leon Poncett III, my birth father; and Anur, God of Justice, may I find the way.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

It means standing up for what is right and defending those unable to defend themselves. Heroism also means ensuring Justice is served. Always.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

I have thirteen. While my life is Anur’s, I’m not as fond of the others. They aren’t always as fair and just as He.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Family is what you make of it, so choose wisely.

Links to book

Autographed copies can be obtained here: https://booksandchains.square.site/

Otherwise, links to book here: https://books2read.com/ravenoak

Swift Six – Character Interview – Barte #Fantasy

Character Name

My name is Barte son of Moshere. And no, there are no commas. That name, my friend is my title, though I believe my guardians should have included more surnames just to make it difficult for the common people to remember.

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in the books the author titles Sword of Cho Nisi. She really should have called it Sword of Casdamia as my empire is larger, stronger, and much more fitting than that tiny little island in the middle of the Nisi Sea. Did you know the natives walk barefoot on that island? I was there once but I don’t remember much. I was blind at the time—under the curse of that evil wizard Skotádi, the murderer of my parents. I’d rather not talk about it.

*Fiddles with his falcon’s breast feathers and kisses the leather helm over its head.

Too traumatic for me. Too much blood. They know I get sick at the sight of it, yet they made me go there anyway. *shudders.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m the emperor of the greatest nation in the world. Casdamia is my charge and someday I hope to conquer all the lands. Perhaps. Well, maybe not. Seems like such an effort.  I would like to have Tellwater Valley within my borders though. No finer wine in all the land comes from Tellwater and I hate to say it’s ruled by Potamia and that young scallywag son of a king, Barin. He’s not an altogether rotten chap, but the commoners speak way too highly of him.

My father was the emperor Moshere. He was the grandest of all warriors and provoked fear throughout the land. Part of that was Skotádi’s doing. They were in cahoots for most of the battles, but something happened, and the dark wizard changed. He cursed my father and my mother and when I was an innocent young child barely out of my nightcap, he burned them to a crisp. Magic did it. A cruel inhumane bolt of magic.  *He breathes a sigh and fans himself* I will never forget, nor forgive. And I trust no one because of it. Only my Allat. *Kisses the falcon again.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths? *He laughs and takes the falcon’s headdress off. Strengths, the man asks. Yes. Well, my strength is in my army. They’re a cruel lot. I’ve been working on them. You should see their black Armor and green plumage. One look and you’ll be quivering in your boots, my dear fellow. No one messes with the Dark Army!

As for weakness, well, I must admit I retch at the sight of blood, but that shouldn’t make any difference. I don’t really need to be on the battlefield, you know. That’s what soldiers are for.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

Does me, myself and I count? Oh, I know. You’re looking for something beyond Rigelstaff.

I heard a rumour that Barin the king of Potamia, has a lover, the daughter of one of his barons he exiled. Seems that her father was slain in my kingdom. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry about that one.

And his wizard Kairos made a pet of a skura. Had me fooled for months. I’m the one that taught him falconry and to think he took advantage of my blindness and tricked me into thinking he was training a falcon. No wonder the man stunk every time he came around.

King Tobias’ gods died with him. That’s what I’m told. They put a monument for them in the palace garden.

And the fool who married the Tobian Princess, the man who was once king of Cho Nisi? Gossip is spreading that he handed his throne to the village elders. Imagine that! A whole conglomerate of natives sitting on a throne. Barefoot, no doubt.  *Snickers and kisses Allat. The Fool will lose the island.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Heroism is what Allat is to me. *He holds the falcon close to his heart.  My hero. The only friend I have. The only creature I can put my trust in. Allat is my hero. He hears my deepest thoughts and keeps them secret. He does what he’s told. He even found the murderer of my parents for me, and nearly lost his life doing so.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

Hmpf! Poor choice of main characters.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Stay to yourself. There’s not a soul on this planet you can trust, not even the trustworthy ones. Unless of course they have some fashionable Armor to sell you or some delicacy for your kitchen. Still, don’t trust them.

Links to book

https://books2read.com/ap/nBvawn/DL-Gardner

https://gardnersart.com

Swift Six Character Interview – Henry Fitzroy#Vampire #Paranormal #HistoricalFiction

Character Name

Henry Fitzroy – formerly Duke of Richmond, bastard son of Henry VIII

Which book/world do you live in?

Anarchic Destiny – Book 2 of the Naturae Series

Tell us about yourself:

‘Dying’ when I was 17 was a trauma, but I was told if I became a vampire, I would still be able to fulfil my destiny to be King. Annoyingly, after I said yes to being made vampire, my half brother Edward was born, so I had to wait, hidden and captive for another 17 years, until he too died in 1553. But, when I found out about his plans for succession, I realised I’d been forgotten. I was no-one. I have to find my place in this new world, find a way to fulfil my destiny to rule.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I didn’t realise how liberating it would be to give up my soul, and so I would say my greatest strength is that I have no compunction about doing what is necessary to achieve my given purpose. I’m also super-fast, super strong, and, depending on the day or how I feel, super compassionate. Perhaps that is my weakness, but I still feel for the humans, even though most of my kind view them as fodder.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

The institutions in my world are the structures which enable people like me to rule – the Church, although I have wavering affiliation to it, and the monarchy. I’m ambiguous as to which of these institutions should remain once I get into power. On a personal front, I have few friends. Those I can count are Thomas Fairfax, a daemon, and, I suppose, my half sister, Elizabeth. She knows who and what I am, and means a great deal to me, possibly because I cannot influence her as I can mere mortals. She has the potential though, to be great, I have always sensed this about her and I hope that in the future our two realms can grow closer in proximity. Naturae is where I will set my sights though, the home of the fae.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

I have thought a great deal about this, and my opinion of what it means to be a hero, and a leader, was largely influenced by my father, Henry VIII. He had his flaws, to be sure, but he was driven to greatness by passion. A desire to grow his influence, be the best. However, I am of the mind that life should be preserved where possible. I regret losing my mortal life, and mourn the loss of my soul. I am not about revenge, or killing for the sake of it, but rather, people should be allowed to choose how they live, not die because of what someone else thinks. I think that makes me quite heroic, I will always stand up for liberty. That is my passion.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

She tries hard to make me into a sympathetic character, although I know at times I may make some choices which ordinary people could view as morally wrong.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Life is short, for humans. Make the most of it, live how you want to and with honesty and you will have no regrets when it is over. If, like me, you are destined to live a long life, then there is even more reason to be true to yourself, because hiding who you are will cause you untold miseries which you have your whole life to regret.

Links to book

www.books2read.com/anarchicdestiny

Anarchic Destiny - Bk2 - Naturae Series by Jan Foster

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Dorcas #YoungAdult

Swift Six Character Interview

Character Name:  Dorcas

Which book/world do you live in?

“I’s is livings in the lifer world with the Cracklocks.  They’s is my friends, and I has beens with them for a longs time now.”

Tell us about yourself:

“I is a Brownie, or ‘nim’, if’s you is using the olds way of speaking.  We is considered to be ones of the most helpful faeries; we’s help out in the home and looks after the family in returns for a little food. I’s been helping the Cracklock family for many years.  Hundreds of years, if the truths be told.  I’s cooking and cleaning and helping’s to look after the children’s.”

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

“Oh, you’s! I is not boastings about me, you silly! I’s not one for tattle telling stories.  But if you’s is insisting, my weaknesses is cakes.  Big cakes and biscuits.  Looks at my belly!  It is too bigs, but its has saves me’s before.  When the redcaps came, they’s spears couldn’t get through my blubber guts.  So Elsie says.  I’s don’t let it slows me down none, anyhow, beings a bit bigger.  Everyone should’s be happy with how’s they are, I is thinking. And if you’s is big like me’s, then all good’s.  It show’s you is loving life’s.

For my’s strength, it has to be’s my loves for the little ones. The children.  I’s not letting anyones harm thems whilst I is in charge.  You see’s this rolling pin? Granny gaves it to me.  Come’s back when you summons it.  And I is pretty good with it; many a beastie and bumper it has whacked.  I is not havings no bullying of my charges, I can tell’s you. Anyone is trying that, then they is getting a thumping.”

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

“This is difficult’s for me to answer.  There are many importants things to keep an eyes out for.  The Seelie and Unseelie Courts; they is not liking us mixing withs the lifers.  But they makes some exceptions for the Cracklocks, particularly of Bartholomew’s line.  The others are too bads to mention.  I’s is loving my adopted family; Jacksie my sweets boy, Elsie my old friends who’s I lives with before and poor Sammy, who’s can’t see the Fae like the others cans.  And we is trying to find David for a long time now; I is hoping that we can save’s him soon. Also, now’s I has a boyfriend too’s!  Gnorbitts is nice, but he sometimes drinks too much beers.  Especially when he is being with Popple.  Those twos are bad influences on each other.  Such a mess they’s is leaving; last times they burned popcorns on the stoves, and left it for me’s to tidy.  I makes them get up even though they have hurty heads and cleans it all up.  Or they is in much troubles.”

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

“I is no hero, dearies.  I just does what needs to be done.  And if I has to crack noggin’s to do’s it, then I does.  Like that Lisovyk monster, well, there was no ways it was going to eat Jack and Jimmy’s now, was there?  Or that Jailer in the Catacombs.  He was a nasty man; too nasty, treating the Faes like that.  He was gettings what he deserved, and no mistakings.  I is not standing for it; my’s family is what is importants and old Dorcas isn’t having no nonsense where they’s is concerned.”

 What do you think of your ‘creator’?

“Mister Deegans? Oh, he is alrights, I is thinking. Blathers about a bits when he’s is writings us up; we’s is having to give him a poke sometimes in the night to make him write faster; puts some ideas in that mushpot of his.  But he is nice; he is trying his hardest we is knowing, and we’s helps him where we can’s.”

 Give us your favourite piece of advice:

“You’s should stay away from the other Cracklocks.  They is bad Cracklocks; tainted with evil.  They’s is killing Fae just because they’s is not understanding us.  I is having nothings to do withs them, and you’s shouldn’t neither.”

 

Links to book

I is in the Cracklock Saga books.  There is threes of them now and Mister Deegan has finished the fourth and is writings the fifth.  You’s can find them at:

Book 1:  Fae or Foe?        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09G9RNMMS

Book 2:  The Lost and the Departed.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KNDM9YZ

Book 3:  Alice and the Mirror Glass.   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QJ2TV9S

I is in all of them’s.  And I’s is getting in some right scrappy scraps, I’s can tell you!

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Astrid #Fantasy

 

Character Name: Astrid the Raven turned man

Which book/world do you live in? Dark Spell Series, Shambre Fell

Tell us about yourself: I am just over two hundred years old. I am a raven and a man. I’ve seen more darkness and destruction than some of you have sampled fine wines. I live in Shambre Fell with my counterpart Lady Isra of The Dark

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? I am cunning which leads me to be able to keep watch on my enemies. I have sharp beady eyes which is useful also for keeping an eye on things. I have a tendency to fly off the handle and lose my temper but I am definitely able to execute well-done revenge. I could be your best friend or your ultimate enemy. Your choice.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc). Isra, Silas my brother (He’s a raven too) James, to be honest, hated the lil twerp for years but we are on good terms now. Oh boy does he have his work cut out.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you? Oh please save that hero stuff for someone who gives a crap. I’m a rebel. I’ll do it with great justification. Can’t just be shooting things around willy nilly now can we? That wouldn’t be right but I am not the type to do right. I will stand up for someone who isn’t getting justice though.

What do you think of your ‘creator’? Well, Samuel Reynaldi acts like a god but to be truthful, I think of him as a very angry man with severe drinking problems. He’s always necking that Irish whiskey without a care. Poor sod.

Give us your favourite piece of advice: There isn’t going to be anything but forever so you may as well try to be happy else you’ll be miserable for a long ass time. Immortality is a drag. (I know)

 

Links to book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WN2T6BL

 

 

Swift Six Character Interview -Kendra Cassidy #Sci-fi

 

Character Name Kendra Cassidy

Which book/world do you live in? The Cassidy Chronicles (series) – includes The Cassidy Chronicles, The Road to the Stars, The Measure of Humanity, A Quiet Revolution, Triumph’s Ashes. I also appear in a few stories in the upcoming collection, Into the Black, make a cameo appearance in the upcoming Cassidyverse novel, The Ghosts of Tantor. Finally, I have written the first instalment of my memoirs, Memories of Aiyana.

Tell us about yourself: I was born in 2080, an unregistered Enhanced Human, and immediately placed with my foster (later adoptive) parents. I had the great good fortune to live next to Aiyana Cassidy and her family; we were friends from the time we were old enough to know what one was. After school I went to the California Confederacy and got into sensies – you’d call them movies. I was recruited by a company called OutLook and learned how to be a courier and, later, an assassin. Aiyana and I reconnected in 2112, but I never expected to save her life at our own wedding! After that, life got interesting. As of today, Aiyana and I have been married for eleven years. Between us we’re mothers to four children, and I spend most of my time in my role of Admiral in charge of Exploration for the Terran Federation (which Aiyana and I co-founded). Aiyana? She’s captain of the TFS Constitution, my flagship.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? I hate waiting. I have, like, zero patience. None. You can ask Cass – sorry, that’s what I call Aiyana – and she’ll tell you I’ve been like this all my life. On the other hand, this can be useful when negotiating, because I don’t have tolerance for the great diplomatic dance and tend to kick my way through things rather than patiently nibble at them. It might annoy people but it gets things done! As for strengths, well, I’ve learned how to ask, up front, for just about anything. “If I don’t ask, you can’t say yes.” I said that to the President of Titan, but it’s served me well for twenty-odd years.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc). Well, I think you have the idea that Cass is pretty important to me. But let’s say this: the Terran Federation. This is the star nation my wife and I established with the purpose of dragging humanity out of the solar system and into the stars. We never intended to become a star nation, but circumstances forced our hand. The Artemis Colony, the Lunar colony that was – will be, from your perspective – founded in 2025? They didn’t take kindly to the idea that anyone else might challenge their supremacy in space, so they tried to kill us. Didn’t work. We’re still here, they’re gone. Second thing? The idea that all sentient beings have to be equal. See, I think I mentioned I was an unregistered Enhanced Human. This wouldn’t have been a big deal, as there isn’t any way short of genetic testing to distinguish an EH from anyone else. But there were laws on the books which delegated EH to second-class citizen status, at best, and little more than chattel, at worst. Artemis dug up the old records and tried to have my very humanity stripped away, all legal and proper. I fought back, and prevailed, and since then I’ve been passionate about promoting equality for all: humans no matter their genes, AI’s, treecats – if you’re sentient, and join the Terran Federation, you’re equal to anyone. Third thing is Aiyana’s invention. Okay, so she didn’t really “invent” it, but she perfected it. See, the idea of teleportation has fascinated humanity since that old TV show aired (and I love your pop culture! I can’t get enough!). By my time, we know how to do it: it required a quantum scan. The problem is you only have one chance to do a quantum scan, because the act of scanning destroys the object being scanned, and none of the optics were precise enough to give an accurate scan. That’s where Cass came in. She figured out the optics (and please don’t make me explain it, I don’t have the math! She’s the genius in the family.). The problem was she figured it out on company time, and the company she worked for was heavily invested in the transportation industry as it was. Whoops. But without this? None of what we’ve done would have happened.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you? Odd you should ask this. I had reason to consider it, carefully, not too long ago. This is how my biographer wrote it out in Triumph’s Ashes (and he got it pretty close to right, because it was important):

“Oh, Hades no,” Kendra said, turning as far as she could. “No way.”

“We have to save our daughters, Kendra,” said Cass, already tapping at the controls. “And the treecats. We can’t allow the first envoys from another star be killed because of a, a bully!”

Kendra bit back a hot retort.

She didn’t want to die.

She didn’t want Cass to die.

But.

What happened to, “Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor?”

Pretty words, but words meant less than nothing if they weren’t backed by actions.

Would their daughters understand? Certainly not now, no matter how smart they were, how mature they sometimes seemed. Maybe someday, if everything succeeded, if the spark she’d lit continued to grow, maybe they would. Maybe they’d be proud of their mothers and, while regretting their sacrifice, recognize the necessity.

Maybe.

And the thought of her daughters dying? It would kill her just as dead.

At least they’d live.

They’d inherit the Trust, and everything which went with it.

Davie would watch over Starfleet. Tamara, Autumn, and Kyra would guide the Federation. And all of their aunts – Mikki, Alley, Kiri, LJ, and more – would ensure the girls grew up loved.

In the final analysis, it was an easy decision.

“Do it.”

“Already halfway there.” Kendra could hear the tears. Funny. Her tears were silent. Weren’t they?

“Don’t blow us up before we get in position.”

“No problem.”

 

What do you think of your ‘creator’? Mendel Genetic Laboratory? Oh, you mean Adam. He does a pretty good job, all things considered. The issue is I have all these great stories to tell, and he’s perfectly willing to write them all down, but he won’t put in all the details! He goes on about muddying the timeline and spoilers. And then I get flack from Cass, because she doesn’t want me to break the timeline again – and it was really a small break, not even a break, just a little ding! – and I can’t tell you guys this or that thing, and pretty soon the stories come out looking nothing like they actually happened! But he does manage to capture the spirit and flavour of my stories, so I can’t complain too much. And hey, he’s arranged things so I have my own FB account and email and he even lets me write the introductions to chapter posts, so I get to have my say.

Give us your favourite piece of advice: I think I already gave it. “If I don’t ask you, you can’t say yes.” Going into any situation, what’s the worst anyone can say in response? “No.” Which is the same response you’d get by not asking in the first place. So always, always ask!

 

Links to book Let’s start with my book: Memories of Aiyana! You can find it on Amazon, in ebook, paperback, and audiobook: Memories of Aiyana: A Remembrance of Future Past (The Cassidy Chronicles) – Kindle edition by Cassidy, Kendra, Gaffen, Adam, Gaffen, Adam, Cassidy, Aiyana. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ AmazonSmile.

And to find the rest of the books, you can go to the series page here: The Cassidy Chronicles (5 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com)

And finally, to read MY posts on Adam’s website, go to https://www.cassidychronicles.com and I’m there five or six days a week.

Thanks for having me drop in!

 

Kendra

Swift Six Character Interview – Sarah Stone #Vampire #ParanormalFantasy

 

Which book/world do you live in? Shades of Night series

Tell us about yourself: Well, I used to be an agent for The Monster Defence Agency. We hunted vampires, ghouls, demons, ghosts…basically anything that wants to harm humans. My partner is a werewolf, the alpha in his pack, and he was by the book until I was turned into a vampire. The kicker is, I’m some sort of weird hybrid that can withstand sunlight.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

When I was a normal human witch, I could manifest anything I needed when I needed it. If I needed a sword or knife, bam, it appeared at will. Clothing, same thing. But I couldn’t call anything but objects. So that was a strength and a weakness, because it would be really convenient to enact my revenge on the bastard that turned me if I could just call him into existence before me. My biggest weakness is my alpha partner. I’ve been secretly in love with him since we were in the academy together. Come to find out, he felt the same, but any relationship was prohibited by the agency we work for. And they are militant about their rules.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

Robby, my partner and secret lover.  The Monster Defence Agency (TMD for short) where we work.  And the vampire who turned me, although I really want to drag him out into the sun for what he did to me.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Heroism is your partner having your back in the middle of shit storm. It’s a firefighter running into a burning building to save a child. It’s a soldier recovering a fallen comrade through enemy fire. It’s a police officer shielding others from a wacko with a gun. It’s the child who stands up to the bullies picking on a weaker kid.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

My creator meaning the asshole who turned me?

Oh, you mean the author who created me. Well… she has a mean streak a mile wide, but she does give me what I need when I need it. But that does not mean she lets me off easy.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Find someone who doesn’t think of you as their property. Find a partner who views you as an equal partner in life and who adores you for all your faults and endearments. Once you find that special someone, do not let them go.

Links to book  https://books2read.com/u/mgEV5x

Interviews from Hell – Ernst Haeckel/Seth Lindberg

Welcome to the Infernal Interview Service. Today we feature one of the characters and his writer from the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. Ernst Haeckel (and his writer Seth) feature in Mystics in Hell.

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), biologiste allemand. ©MP/leemage AA095104 dbdocumenti 241 317 300 2844 3744 Scala di grigio

 

Character Spotlight

*Who are/were you?

 

EH: Ich heisse Ernest Haeckel, renowned evolutionist, artist, and philosopher. From German descent, of course. You have heard of my contemporary Charles Darwin, no doubt? I coined the term ecology and am famous for my beautiful drawings of lifeforms.

Why do YOU think you’re in Hell?

EH: Well, my Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature) was universally adored. However, my embryological montages unexpectedly drew anger from my fellow scientists. They deemed I embellished too much. Yet, I stand by my depictions of embryos and the notion that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. You look confused, no doubt because  of your retarded ancestry. Just understand my proposition that embryos express shapes of all their lesser, ancestral forms as they develop. So before your embryo matured into a human form, it expressed features of a pig and even a fish. I think I am in Hell to finish my census of life, to gather more evidence to support recapitulation theory.

What is are your greatest fears/desires here?

EH: I have no doubt I will find data to further support recapitulation theory. I fear that I will be stuck in Hell so the Royal Society and greater humanity will not learn about the truth.

What puts you above all the other self-proclaimed ‘mystics’ in Hell?

EH: Some consider me a mystic, but I am more of a scientist who searches for spiritual truths (I am certain you have read my treatise The Riddle of the Universe at the Close of the Nineteenth Century). Lately, I am wrapped up with mystics of the hierophant and alchemical type. See, there is a gold rush in hell! King Midas swallowed the Philosopher’s Stone and transmutes food into gold. He’s minting the promising new gastro-currency: buttcoin. I know, that sounds absurd, but the economy and nature of Hell is cruel. Anyway, the damned Forty-Niners are digging through excrement in attempts to get rich. The imprisoned Thoth, the Egyptian god of mysticism, has charged me to retrieve the Philosopher’s’ Stone. With it he can regain control of the afterlife, rescue me from Hell. So there is hope for me.

Who are your friends/allies here?

EH: I am more interested in acquainting myself with biology than making friends, but if you mean “human allies” then there is my fellow Caucasian Howard Carter. Note, Howard is not a naturalist. He is fascinated with antiquities and material artefacts. That is why he is in hell. So, he wants the Philosopher’s Stone too, but not to escape from Hell….just to profit while he is here. Our partnership is fragile.

Author Spotlight

Name and bio.:

SEL: S.E. Lindberg here. I reside near Cincinnati, Ohio working as a microscopist. Two decades of practicing chemistry, combined with a passion for the Sword & Sorcery genre, motivates me to write adventure fictionalizing the alchemical humors (including my independently published “Dyscrasia Fiction” series). With Perseid Press, I write weird tales infused with history and alchemy (Heroika: Dragon Eaters & SkirmishersPirates in Hell, Lovers in Hell, Mystics in Hell). I’m a Managing Editor at Black Gate and co-moderate the Sword & Sorcery group on Goodreads.

Tell us why you chose this story to tell out of so many possible options?

SEL: Strange muses have had inspired my creativity for decades. I’m fascinated with the intersection of science, art, and spirituality (alchemy essentially) and have turned toward writing as a medium to learn. Since 2014, I’ve also interviewed authors on the topic Beauty in Weird Fiction to explore how others approached such inspirations. By education and trade, I am actually a chemist. For Perseid Press, I’ve contributed five alchemy-inspired tales to date (three for the Heroes in Hell series and two for Heroika).

For Mystics in Hell, my muses motivated me to highlight alchemical mysticism via:

  1. The Egyptian god of mysticism Thoth, also known as Hermes, and perhaps the root of “Hermes Trismegistus”, champion of the alchemy-inspired philosophy Hermeticism.
  2. King Midas, who was purported to turn elements into gold (a side-goal of mystical alchemists infatuated with controlling nature’s elements).

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen?

SEL: I’ve adopted the duo of Howard Carter (renowned archaeologist and looter of King Tutankhamun’s tomb) and Ernst Haeckel (discredited evolutionist and original ‘ecologist’) as tour guides. Their motives contrast: Carter adores material, artificial wealth as much as Haeckel is fascinated with nature’s riches. They roam the Egyptian world of the dead, Duat.

Tell us about your story for this edition.

SEL: “Fool’s Gold” in Mystics in Hell is the third to feature the duo of Howard Carter and Ernst Haeckel. The stories are stand alone, but they all tap into conflict: Carter values human wealth and artifacts above all, and Haeckel values natural life. Their adventures and links to previous Hell Weeks are detailed here:

  • “Curse of the Pharaohs” in Pirates in Hell: In the Egyptian realm of the dead of Duat, many pharaohs wait to be judged by Anubis; yet, he has been in absentia for centuries. As the piratical Sea People threaten to come ashore, the meddling duo of Carter and Haeckel unearth Anubis’s Hall of Two Truths. Eleven anxious Rameses risk leaving the shoreline unprotected to chance judgment (and a chance to exit Duat!). Read this teaser interview to learn more: Ernest Haeckel Interview (Hell Week 2017, Pirates in Hell).
  • “Lovers Sans Phalli” in Lovers in Hell:  Surviving Pirates in Hell’s “Curse of the Pharaohs”, the lovers Hatshepsut and Senenmut depart Duat toward hell proper, Anubis having removed their hearts and broken their toy phallus. They find Osiris, missing the penis he requires to retake the realm from Satan’s influence. Carter and Haeckel quest with the Egyptians, seeking to make everyone whole again by stealing genitalia from the Undertaker’s Mortuary. Read this teaser interrogation of Carter and Haeckel as higher powers seek out the location of a stolen artifact: the phallus of the Egyptian god of rejuvenation, Osiris: Hell Week 2018 – A Day in the Life of Haeckel and Carter.
  • “Fool’s Gold? in Mystics in Hell: The Egyptian god of mysticism, Thoth, seeks conspirators to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone; with it, Thoth could usurp Satan’s control of the realm of Duat. Taking up the charge is Carter and Haeckel. They discover that King Midas’s alchemical ability to transmute flesh into gold relies on the stolen Philosopher’s Stone, and Midas is producing hell’s new gastro-currency: buttcoin. Yes, rejoice, there is a gold-rush in hell! Mine for a price. At your own risk.

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?

Seth E Lindberg (SEL):  

“It is OK to go to Hell at any time.”

There is a lot to say about Hell, more specifically about the Heroes in Hell series. New readers need to be assured that it is always okay to explore any edition. I defer to several authors from the Doctors in Hell anthology in which they formed an informative death-panel. They offered many quotes about the series (key quotes highlighted in the link) and the post serves as welcoming introduction to the Heroes in Hell series. Check it out:  Death Panel Convenes on why it is OK to go to Hell at any time.

What other books/short stories have you written?

SEL: For Perseid Press’s Heroika series, I track the mystical Emerald Tablet (a.k.a., the Philosopher’s Stone) through time.  You’ll see that Thoth and Osiris make appearances here too. Read these and experience the birth of chemical warfare. 

  • “Legacy of the Great Dragon” in Heroika 1:Dragon Eaters: Legacy of the Great Dragon fictionalizes the Hermetic Tradition, presenting the “Divine Pymander–Great Dragon” as being the sun-eating Apep serpent of Egyptian antiquity (a dragon who ate the sun each day from under the horizon, in the underworld). Thoth, physician of the gods (the Father of Alchemy), helps Horus to find power to avenge the death of his father, Osiris, at the hands of Set. This is a wild piece, with a cosmically huge dragon and gods fighting inside of it.  Learn more: Library of Erana Interview.
  • “The Naked Daemon” in Heroika 2:  Skirmishers: “The Naked Daemon” pits the mystic Apollonius of Tyana (deceased ~100 CE) against zealots who destroy what remains of the Alexandria Library. In life, his principles had been aligned with those of the pacifist gymnosophists (a.k.a. naked philosophers); hundreds of years past his death, Apollonius finds himself reborn as a daemon empowered with Hermes’s Emerald Tablet. He observes the Roman oppression over pagan scholars and is challenged with an urgent need to defend knowledge. Will Apollonius rationalize war by unleashing the power of alchemy to do harm? Will he become an angel or demon? How will alchemy transform The Naked Demon? Learn more: Heroika: Skirmishers – Witness the Birth of Alchemical Warfare

Mystic Madness!

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.

https://books2read.com/MysticsInHell

 

 

 

Legacy of the Mask – On Tour

Legacy of the Mask Schedule

Feb 11

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

A Pinch of Bookdust

Feb 12

Kayden McLeod, Author

All Things Dark & Dirty    

Feb 14

SE Lindberg  – GUEST POST

Feb 15

Bedazzled By Books

The Book Dragon

Feb 16

Insane Books

The Bookshelf Fairy

Feb 17

Musings From An Addicted Reader  

Twisted Book Ramblings

Feb 18

@theenchantedshelf

Westveil Publishing   

Feb 19

Scrupulous Dreams

Book Corner News and Reviews

Feb 20

R Tran Books – GUEST POST

A Wonderful World of Words – GUEST POST

Feb 21

Tina Donahue – Heat with Heart  

Feb 22

Sadie’s Spotlight

Literary Gold

Feb 23

Midnight Book Reader

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Feb 24

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Books, Authors, Blogs   

Feb 25

IndiePowerd by No Sweat Graphics

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Feb 26

Lady Hawkeye   

Feb 27

Writing Dreams

Feb 28

Drako’s Den

Mar 1

Books all things paranormal and romance

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read   

Mar 2

Craving Lovely Books   

Why I Can’t Stop Reading  

Mar 3

Girl with Pen

Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST

Mar 4

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’   

The Faerie Review

Mar 5

Sylv.net   

Teatime and Books  

Mar 8

eBook Addicts

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

Mar 9

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST

Chapters through life

Mar 10

Books A-Brewin’ – GUEST POST

❧Defining Ways❧

Mar 11

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ

Meet My Character Week – Madam Giry

CHARACTER’S NAME: Madam Lise Giry

How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure?Life is an adventure, of that I am certain. What led me here? A Ghost. 

Years ago when I was a lonely and neglected bride I saw a travelling fair – of the sort the gipsies manage. There he was – this young man in a cage – like a beast. The fashion was for freaks – bearded women, dwarfs, those unfortunate souls God had touched with something not quite right. This man in a cage wore little more than rags, his face covered by a mask and his eyes had a hateful feral look but when he sang – heaven wept. Neither before nor since have I heard such a sound – it went directly to the soul and bared it before one – raw, weeping, glorious. 

Then his keeper made him remove the mask. Such a face was revealed as the devil himself would turn from. Poor Erik. For that was the wretch’s name.

I did not know it then but an act of kindness would send my life and my heart along paths I never knew I could endure. He wept at kindness. A life of such woe that a simple Christian kindness brought this man to tears.

 The caged devil – The Living Corpse – became a ghost, and an angel and our paths diverged for many years but I never forgot that music, and he never forgot the only kindness he was ever shown.

How many crimes have you committed? I sheltered a murderer, I aided his escape. I have been complicit in blackmail, theft, seduction – and I have sinned before God in thought and deed. I turned away from the Church, I loved a man who was not my husband, although I never committed adultery I thought about it.

How do you think others see you?  A stuffy, prim and proper dance mistress and seamstress. I know what the corps de ballet whisper about me. Some of the girls spend more time on their backs than dancing and I have seen what happens to those left with an unplanned burden. They are Séductrice! I am strict, but I am not stupid – those who leave due to pregnancy will end up at best a short term plaything for the rich patrons. 

Are you resilient? Do you deal with change easily? How do you react? I’ve had to be resilient. My mother died when I was very young, my father died when I was just married, my husband’s family despised me, several of my children died, and I’ve been a widow for twenty years. 

I would like to say God saw me through the hardest times, but I am unsure if that’s the truth. I dare say I deserve it.

If you could live your life again would you make the same choices? If I was married to Jules when I met Erik? Yes, I think so. The rational side of me says what kind of life could I have had with him? Always on the run, probably often afraid and hungry. Could I live with the things he’s done first hand? I do not know. The part of my soul that yearns to live in that music, for the Angel to sing for me, as he sang for her says I should have made the choice to have followed him. 

What is the hardest choice you’ve had to make in the course of your adventures? What was the easiest? I have a daughter, I buried my other children, and then my husband. I had very little for a long time and then Erik arranged for me to come here. That was an easy choice. The hardest? I suppose not having the courage to say I would go with him when he left the barn so many years ago. Not having the courage to say what was in my heart. Turning aside when the bodies started mounting up, and having to stand by whilst he destroyed himself for that ingénue, Christine Daae.

What trait do you abhor most in yourself or others? Spite and shallowness. 

Do you have any dirty secrets? Apart from the crimes, unrequited love, casting my Catholic upbringing aside, knowing who is behind the murders here and not informing the gendarmes? No, I can’t think of anything else.

Have you ever loved/been loved? I loved my husband Jules He was a decent man but he has been gone a long time. I loved my father, and I loved Erik. I believe Jules loved me. Did Erik love me? No, but he was kind to me – helped me when I was desperate and hungry – but he did not love me.  Perhaps the tragedy at the Opera house could have been averted had he loved me, not her. 

Do you believe in a god/s? I was raised a Catholic but in the dark nights when I hear Erik’s music in my dreams and see that awful, terrible visage given to him by God I wonder at such a fickle deity – a god that took my children from me and left us to starve. I have sinned and so perhaps that is my punishment but as each year passed my faith dwindled.

Why should we read about your adventures? My story is a tragedy; a tale of desperate love, death and music. Ours was a strange friendship that spanned the decades and sustained two terribly lonely souls and we had that night in the barn, so many long years ago. 

Madam Giry features in

Tears and Crimson Velvet

Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.

A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.

A Legacy of the Mask Tale.

https://books2read.com/TearsandCrimson

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2CH7c0w

Amazon.com https://amzn.to/2oW2frb

Amazon UK audio https://amzn.to/2S9zpRh

Amazon.com audio https://amzn.to/2R7iwFM

Audible https://adbl.co/2yVVoT1

Audible UK https://adbl.co/2R6Tt5t

Apple https://books.apple.com/gb/book/tears-and-crimson-velvet/id1344489540

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tears-and-crimson-velvet-a-l-butcher/1127921665

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/tears-and-crimson-velvet