Shivery Playlist for a Creepy Halloween
by Jeri Westerson
I must confess, my playlist isn’t the typical fare of “Monster Mash” and “Love Potion Number Nine.” It’s about the soundtrack I like to listen to when I’m writing my paranormal tales. These are for my series Booke of the Hidden that takes place during all of the month of October and culminates on Halloween. The series wraps up with the fourth book, THE DARKEST GATEWAY. Tea proprietor Kylie Strange finds and opens the mysterious Booke of the Hidden, and must capture deadly creatures she's unwittingly unleashed, while juggling the advances of an alluring and dangerous demon and a very human and handsome sheriff. So I need different tunes to get me in the mood.
So let’s start with “Devils” from Say Hi. Because my urban fantasy deals with a supernatural Booke and a demon guardian who gets intimately close to Kylie, the song deals with the devil getting hold of everything in the singer’s life, even “he make it to my heart”—just like Kylie.
The next one is Valerie Broussand’s “A Little Wicked”, because Kylie and Erasmas Dark, the demon, do get a little wicked. Especially when she can’t decide between the handsome sheriff or the demon. Who would YOU chose?
And then there’s “In the Shadows” by Amy Stroup. This mysterious and evocative tune really takes you there. There may be humor in these books, but there is still something not quite right, not…quite…human going on. It’s a song that gives me the shivers.
And just to lighten things up—and because the First Werewolf comes out of the Booke and bites one of Kylie’s friends—there’s the incomparable Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”. Who doesn’t like a werewolf with a pina colada in his hand “…and his hair is perfect.”
And finally, a haunting song that will spirit you away, right to the dark shadows of Samhain, Halloween, with all the dangers and powers that shimmer and awaken this night. Loreena McKennitt’s “The Mummer’s Dance” recalls strange and secret Celtic festivals in a darkened wood lit only by moonlight.
Booke of the Hidden
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: JABberwocky Literary
Date of Publication: October 2, 2019
Number of pages: 301
Word Count: 90,181
Cover Artist: Mayhem Cover Creations
Tagline: “Whoever said country life was dull didn’t know Moody Bog.”
About the Book:
With the arrival of Samhain, the supernatural Booke of the Hidden is set to release a barrage of deadly creatures onto the hapless village of Moody Bog, Maine.
Tea proprietor Kylie Strange knows the showdown is coming and wants to end the Booke for good. But the only way to accomplish this is a journey to the Netherworld and get the help of the only being powerful enough to destroy the Booke: Satan himself. And, though the brooding and elusive demon Erasmus Dark has captured Kylie’s heart against her better judgment, she ignores his repeated warnings that the mission guarantees her doom.
Series Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/vI5d1tFsBYM
Read an Except:
I moved to the very edge of the road and waited.
The sound grew louder. It couldn’t be anything except hoofbeats. They clopped, not in a gallop but in a leisurely canter. And soon, there was the Dullahan coming around the curve. His head looked even greener and slimier under his arm than it had before, if that were possible.
His weirdly roving eyes spotted me easily. He kicked his red-eyed horse’s sides and hurried toward us. All the while, he swung that spine whip. With each revolution around his headless neck, the weapon grew longer and longer.
I kept the spear close to my side. I didn’t want that whip to catch it the way it had gotten the crossbow the last time.
He was almost upon me when he shrieked, “Kylie Strange!”
“That doesn’t work on me, you idiot!” I yelled.
The face frowned under his arm. It cast its googly eyes toward Erasmus and opened his mouth to yell his name.
“He’s a demon, remember? We’ve been through this before. Boy, you sure have a short memory. Must be because your brain is decaying faster than the rest of you. Looks like a bad case of melting Roquefort you got there.”
His dead face either grimaced or it really was melting. “Then I don’t need to say your name,” he said in a high screechy voice.
He spun the whip. Before I could get out of the way, it came at me and wrapped around my body, trapping my arms at my sides. I barely got out a yell before I was yanked off my feet.
The horse started galloping and I was flung out behind it almost parallel to the road. I couldn’t bring the spear up. I was whipping around in the air and getting a little seasick, but it was better than being dragged behind on the asphalt. There wouldn’t have been much left of me after that.
The bones of the spine whip were digging sharply into my skin. I tried wriggling free. If Headless decided to fling me off a cliff, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I knew Erasmus must be around somewhere, but this was up to me to figure out…if I could.
The Dullahan galloped around a sharp curve and I was thrown and dragged through the limbs of pine trees shouldering the road.
“Dammit!” I yelled, spitting out pine needles. “I am so going to kill you!”
He lifted his head up with his other arm. It swiveled and glared at me. “Not if I kill you first, Mistress Strange.”
“No need to be so formal,” I grunted, struggling. I slammed into some holly bushes and OW!
The face cackled and turned away, tucked back under his arm again. Then I looked up and saw what he was cackling about. The next curve of the road didn’t have any nice prickly holly bushes or spikey pine boughs. It was just granite all the way up the rock face. “Shit!”
About the Author:
Los Angeles native JERI WESTERSON is the author of twelve Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Mystery novels, a series nominated for thirteen national awards from the “Agatha” to the “Shamus”. Her fifth novel BLOOD LANCE was named one of the Ten Hot Crime Novels for Colder Days by Kirkus Reviews, and her sixth, SHADOW OF THE ALCHEMIST, was named Best of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. For BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN, her urban fantasy series, Publishers Weekly said, “Readers sad about the ending of Charlaine Harris’s MIDNIGHT, TEXAS trilogy will find some consolation in Moody Bog.” The fourth and final in the series, THE DARKEST GATEWAY, releases October 2, 2019. Jeri also writes the humorous SKYLER FOXE LGBT MYSTERIES under the pen name Haley Walsh. Jeri’s short stories were included in several mystery anthologies, including Shaken: Stories for Japan (for the 2011 Earthquake Relief Fund). Jeri was also featured on two local NPR shows, “My Awesome Empire” and KVCR-Arts. She has served two terms as president of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, twice president of the Orange County Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and as vice president and California Crime Writers Conference co-chair for the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime. See more about Jeri at JeriWesterson.com, BOOKEoftheHIDDEN.com, and SkylerFoxeMysteries.wixsite.com/novels.
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