Tag Archives: Power Tools in the Sacred Grove

Multiple Happy Endings Do Not Make an HEA

That is what I discovered the difference between an Urban Fantasy with romance/sex and a true Paranormal Romance. The PR has to have a Happily Ever After. In Arcanum Faire, I just make sure that multiple characters get their Happy Endings. Not in enough graphic detail for some, too much for others. The same hit and miss with power tool content, horrific images, and Eleazar’s humor.

I’d like to think I give all my readers a little bit of something besides a frisson of disgust.

As of March 26th, I am giving you “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove” on the cheap. Following the example of the first book of the series, ebook two will be available for 99 cents until March 29th. At that point, it will go up to $1.99 and then go up to full price on April 2.

If you enjoyed the first book, this will give you a chance to continue the series. If you didn’t like the book, I don’t know what to say.

Be safe and sequestered out there.

Weirdmaste.

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A Gift from the Equinox Bunny

Before we get down to business, a little dark comedy:

In July, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. I have never approved of surprise butt stuff.

by early December, the initial course of chemo and radiation apparently did in Tommy the Tumor. In spite of the complete absence of cancer cells, my surgeon still wanted to gut me like a fish and give me a permanent colostomy. We found an option of surveillance and bonus chemotherapy as a follow-up.

Two months into chemo, say the end of February, the world is struck by a pandemic at a level not seen for a century. I’m told I shouldn’t worry because it is only lethal if your are elderly (I am 61), if you have severe allergies and asthma (present) or you have a compromised immune system (remember the bonus chemo?). A man who still sounds like a fifth-grader is steering us through these anxious times.

Near future: I have finished my chemo and white blood cell shots with only moderate side effects. Coronavirus hasn’t killed me. My lovely wife and I hold hands as we look up at the stars. “That bright star up there, does that look like an incoming asteroid?”

#

Since I cannot pass out virtual Easter candy to all the folk sequestered for the duration, I set up a Kindle Discount Countdown for all three of my wonderfully Wiccan Arcanum Faire ebooks. Consider it a gift from the Equinox Bunny.

Camp Arcanum will be available for 99 cents on March 19. On the 22nd, the price creeps up to $1.99. It returns to the normal price of $2.99 on March 26th. The second book, Power Tools in the Sacred Grove, starts its discount cycle that day.  The Ren Faire at the End of the World, the final book, is discounted to 99 cents on April 2. Keep an eye out for future reminders on these.

Why am I doing this? My books need good homes, and lots of people need reading material for the next few weeks. I’m just sorry that ebook can’t double for toilet paper if you don’t like them.

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My First Book Events of the Year

I’m a bit late in announcing this, but I am very please to be included in the Ohioana Book Festival this year. I will have my new horror/comedy “Squirrel Apocalypse” along with the new editions of my three Arcanum Faire books. The event will be Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 10:30a.m.-5:00p.m. at Columbus Metropolitan Public Library’s Main Library at 96 S. Grant Avenue Columbus, OH 43215. Entry is free. Dozens of other Ohio authors will be there to discuss their work on assorted panels and hawk their wares. For more info, consult the link below:

Home

On Sunday, I will be at the Ashville Viking Festival, held at the Ashville Community Park, 200 Walnut St, Ashville, OH 43103. The festival runs from 10 am to roughly 5 or 6 pm. My wife Kit will be filling in for me there on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Navigation and other details can be extracted here.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ashville+Viking+Festival/@39.7179661,-82.9493326,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd1b9dcddac5f5564!8m2!3d39.7179661!4d-82.9493326

This is as close as I can get to be two places at once, especially as I am still be treated for colorectal cancer. I am betting by then I will be on my feet and just as strange as ever. See you there.

Weirdmaste

 

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Happy Imbolc

Happy Imbolc, Candlemas, or St. Brigid’s Day. It’s one of the pagan high holidays that’s been absorbed into folk tradition and religion. A time for light in the darkness and looking to the future. First fire from the hearth or first water from the well gifts a maiden with a vision of their future husband. People in North America obsess on the predictive skills of large rodents. I look forward to the halfway point in my chemotherapy.

Things are looking dark, Warriors of Every Stripe, but the advantage of reaching Things Can’t Get Any Worse (For Goddess’ Sake, don’t say that out loud. The universe takes it as a challenge.) is you also hit Things Can Be Made Better. I won’t blow smoke up you skirts, but things aren’t as dark as we fear.

Speaking of darkness, this is my latest blipvert for Power Tools in the Sacred Grove, where Jeremiah leaves a phone message from the Great Beyond.

Weirdmaste

PowerToolsBlip1

 

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Back to the Ren Faire

It has been a while since the Arcanum Faire books have been available. February of this year, they went out of print.  A few months after that Post Mortem Press, which had published them, went on indefinite hiatus due to the health of the publisher.

I got a local comic artist named Seth Lyons to do new covers and graphic elements. I had the advantage of the five years experience while Camp Arcanum was available to fine-tune things. The original covers were too creepy. Good but creepy. Readers who’d appreciate the humor and lunacy of the stories were frightened off. Those who like chainsaws, pentacles, and spooky old barns felt cheated.

So, the new iteration of Arcanum Faire is exactly what it says on the tin.

Here are the new covers for the first two books. Number three is in the pipeline. If you are intrigued, there are links to the Amazon pages to purchase. If not, we still have Paris.

Weirdmaste

PC_2019_364

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/109066835X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

 

PC_2019_553

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1086890647/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i9

 

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Thanksgiving in Arcanum

Gratitude is not a strictly Christian virtue, and even the vegan Wiccans of Arcanum like to gather their loved ones for a Thanksgiving feast. This is an excerpt from my second novel “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove” that shows Brenwyn’s Thanksgiving while Marc recuperates after being trounced by a invisible tentacle demon.

MARC LOOKED ON WITH ADMIRATION as Brenwyn laid out the complete Thanksgiving dinner across the range and counters. It totaled a dozen courses and appetizers in glittering cut glass serving dishes. He couldn’t remember all of the proposed items, but he recognized the vegetable trays, cream of pumpkin soup and vegan stuffing made with oyster mushrooms. Brenwyn even made a few vegan Mexican dishes he never heard of before, including something made of peppers and prickly pears.

It wasn’t just her prodigious cooking achievements he admired. For the last week and a half, Brenwyn had been wearing incredibly modest clothing: high neck sweaters, loose pants, and flannel PJs at night. Tonight, she was wearing a more characteristic bohemian skirt along with a tight bodice and a low-cut top worthy of a serving wench. The sight was definitely something to make him feel thankful.

Michael and Eleazar upheld their end of Thanksgiving tradition by sitting in the living room and playing cards. Brenwyn didn’t seem to mind. She did a final mop-up around the sink and looked up at Marc.

“Tell me again that you are not horribly disappointed with a vegetarian Thanksgiving?”

She had promised him red meat, but he hadn’t delivered on his end of the bargain. He still walked with a cane, if only for the moments that his strength suddenly gave out.

“As long as it’s home-cooking,” he reassured her, “I’m thrilled.”

Eleazar called out from the living room:

“And some hapless bird is alive because of your humane actions.”

“The corporate farms set their kill quotas on projected demand.” Michael carefully studied his cards, not looking up as he popped Eleazar’s balloon. “No matter what, that turkey’s going to die.”

“At least we will not have their bad karma to bear,” Brenwyn said with a smile and a nod. She carried the first of the serving trays over to the dining room table.

“A little bad karma is good for you,” Eleazar said. “Nothing like a hint of damnation to add spice to life.”

“Then your love life must be like Szechuan cooking.” Michael looked at Eleazar with an expression that was either disgust or exasperation. “If you were shot by an angry husband today, would you go to Heaven? Or would your soul just take the express elevator to Hell?”

“Don’t talk to me about damned for your love life,” Eleazar countered. “According to the Old Testament, decent people should be throwing rocks at you.”

Brenwyn returned to the kitchen for a second trip. She raised her eyebrows in amusement as she passed Marc. He merely shook his head, having heard this argument a dozen times before.

“Good thing for me there are no decent people here,” Michael said.

“Michael,” Marc growled in a low warning tone.

Michael looked first at Marc, then at Brenwyn, and he cringed.

“At the card table,” Michael said. “Sorry, Brenwyn.”

“No need for apologies, Michael.” Brenwyn was being especially gracious today.

“Could you cut out the Judeo-Christian dogma?” Marc asked with a shudder. “Makes my skin crawl.”

“Fear not, milord,” Eleazar declaimed. “Brenwyn’s karma will run over our dogma. It was a just a stray dogma anyway.”

Brenwyn shook her head as she ferried more plates to the dining room.

“Perhaps you could finish your game and wash up?” she said. “I shall be setting out the main course shortly.”

“Excellent!” Michael said. “Oh, I almost forgot.” Michael picked up a card and laid down his hand. “Gin! I’m going to the bathroom, now.”

Michael stood and turned to leave.

“You’ve done me in again, you varlet!” Eleazar slapped down his cards in frustration. “What do I owe you now?”

“A week’s laundry,” Michael said as he turned the corner into the hall. “No reds with lights this time.”

“I told you that was an accident,” Eleazar called after him. “Besides, you look good in pink, milord.”

Brenwyn came over to Marc and gave him a peck on the cheek. “Thank you.”

“What for?” Marc didn’t think he’d done anything worthy of her gratitude, though he would take it.

“Protecting my sensibilities. Defending my honor,” she said. “It is very sweet.”

“Chivalry is not dead—it just feels that way.” Standing for several minutes, even with his cane, had his legs and back complaining. “You’re sure I can’t help with anything?”

“You can go sit down and wait for dinner.”

“I feel so useless.” Though it sounded like a great idea to his legs, he couldn’t just surrender.

“You are not useless,” she said, stroking his cheek. “You are decorative.”

“I love you too, but—”

Brenwyn cut him off short: “But your self-worth and male ego are dependent on what you can do, not who you are. Forget about it, beloved.”

“I can’t just forget.”

“Then suppress and sublimate,” she said, “as you do with your other manly impulses.”

“I’ll try.”

“Good,” she said as she scooped up the vegan antipasto platter. “Now, sit down before I take away your cane.”

#

Brenwyn glided in with the last two trays of vegetables and set them in front of Eleazar. As she returned to the kitchen, he squeezed a black olive from the tray onto his pinkie. He waved that at Michael like a finger puppet and then sucked it off his finger with a pop. Michael looked to the heavens for guidance.

With the two ‘children’ seated to his left, it felt like a real family to Marc, with all its bad and good. Brenwyn had gone all out, decorating the table and the dining room with wheat, corn, pomegranates, and apples. Stars and Brigid’s crosses made of the wheat straw took the place of the construction paper turkeys he grew up with.

“Prepare yourselves for the guest of honor,” Brenwyn called from the kitchen.

She returned with the vegan turkey breast on a garnished tray. Six drumsticks, also synthetic, stuck out of the turkey-like object. Brenwyn set the tray down to polite applause and seated herself at Marc’s right.

“Wow, six legs,” Michael said. “You don’t get that with a farm-raised turkey.”

“Maybe a Chernobyl chicken,” Eleazar quipped.

Brenwyn pointed to the large fork and carving knife set beside Marc’s place at the table.

“Would you care to do the honors?” she asked.

“Certainly.” Marc stood to perform his Thanksgiving duties. “Dark tofu or light?”

The others started passing around serving platters and filling their plates as Marc carved.

“I hope you all like this,” Brenwyn said. “It is my own concoction. The commercial turkey replacements all taste too—artificial.”

“I’m sure it will all be most appetizing,” said Eleazar. “Pass the simulated gravy, please.”

Michael looked awkwardly around the table.

“Excuse me,” he said. “This may sound really uncool, but isn’t somebody going to say grace?”

Eleazar looked as uncomfortable as Marc felt. Brenwyn smiled, looking just the slightest bit amused.

“I don’t think I’m—” Marc started to say.

“Well, I’m not either,” Eleazar blurted.

“Well, it just seems wrong not to give thanks,” Michael said. “At least, for this terrific meal. And I’m agnostic.”

“Thank you,” Brenwyn said with a nod. “I could say a few words. If you could endure a Wiccan blessing over a vegan turkey?”

“Sounds just about right to me,” Marc said.

“Let me think for a moment.” Brenwyn put a finger to her lips in silent thought. “How about this?

We thank you Goddess for your world’s gifts:

the beasts, the plants, the sea.

For all dear friends and all we are

and the strength to be what we must be.’”

“You made that up just now?” Michael was openly impressed.

“Not my best work,” she said with a self-effacing shrug. “But poetry and casting spells, they are the same thing: stringing together words to get the desired effect.”

“Cooking. Poetry,” Michael said. “I never realized you had so many hidden talents.”

Marc started carving the main course rather than attend to another man’s unbridled founts of love for Brenwyn.

“You’d better keep an eye on her, milord,” Eleazar said with a wink and a verbal nudge, “or I might try to steal her away from you.”

Marc’s hand tightened unconsciously on the knife handle. He slipped the blade under a slice of faux turkey and flipped the tofu and sprout amalgam across the table to land on Eleazar’s plate.

“Here, eat up,” Marc grumbled, “so you can compliment her cooking, too.”

Marc lofted another slice farther down the table to land on Michael’s plate. Brenwyn held up her plate to discourage any more aerobatics. Marc placed the six drumsticks on a platter and offered it to her. Brenwyn nodded her approval.

“You’ve got to try the cranberries,” Eleazar said through half a mouth full. “They’re most delectable, milord.”

Eleazar quickly brought a hand up to catch the food falling from his mouth.

“No more sincere compliment than that, I guess,” Marc said.

“Is everything all right, Marc?” Michael asked after a long sideways glance at Marc. “You seem tense.”

“No,” Marc grunted. “No, I’m fine.”

“You were about to splinter that knife handle,” Eleazar pointed out. “That’s either tension, milord, or lockjaw’s setting in.”

“It’s just the holidays,” Marc replied. “Don’t worry about me.”

Brenwyn looked knowingly at Marc.

“Marc comes from a family,” Brenwyn explained, “whose every gathering starts with petty bickering and escalates to a drunken row over the pumpkin pie.”

“We must be related. I have the same family.” Michael visibly twitched, probably thinking about his own last family Thanksgiving dinner.

“Mine, too.” Eleazar seemed paler, too.

“I am surprised that you are not with your family today, Eleazar,” Brenwyn said.

“I didn’t know you could be surprised,” Eleazar said.

“Disappointed, then,” Brenwyn said. “Do you not think that Alice misses you?”

“Not in the least,” Eleazar replied. “As long as a significant portion of my paycheck appears in her accounts, she is satisfied.”

“You see,” Michael said with undisguised glee, “he gets to pay alimony without the messy paperwork of a divorce.”

“You could be free to find happiness with someone else,” Brenwyn told Eleazar. “Are you frightened by that?”

“I’m afraid of Alice,” Eleazar said. “She’s this unpleasant to me now; imagine what a divorce could be like.”

Marc could tell that all three men played out that scenario in their heads. A dreadful silence fell over the room.

“Well, don’t let your food get cold,” Brenwyn said to break the silence. “As my grandmother would say: ‘Eat, you look skinny!’”

The three men laid into the feast without another word.

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Bexley Local Author Festival

Just a reminder: I will be at the Bexley Local Author Festival this afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm today. I will only have my “Camp Arcanum” books with me as Gramercy Books is handling all sales and more than one book for each of the authors would be more complex than necessary for such a short event. However, for those of you that have already ready the first book of my Arcanum Faire trilogy, there is good news. Gramercy books is right across the street from the library and they are in possession of “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove”, and “The Ren Faire at the End of the World”. You can whisk across the street, acquire the not-quite-sacred texts, and be back in the auditorium for me to personalize them for you.

As always, you can still get any of my books online, or from the back of the car if you catch me in the right parking lot. Hope to see you all there!

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Once More into the Breech

Next weekend, I will have the great honor of Attending the Bexley Local Author Fest with 59 other talented local authors. We will be signing & schmoozing at the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43209 between 2 & 4pm Sunday August 26th. I will have all my Arcanum Faire books and fresh pens.

Saturday, September 8, 10 am to 3 pm, I will be in the Author Alley adjacent to Keystone Books & Gifts, 138 W. Main St., Circleville, Ohio 43113. I’ll be the mustachioed man with a hat under the Kermit green tent.

To top off the late fall festivities, I will be at Imaginarium in Louisville KY on the weekend of October 5-7. Further details will be posted on their website. The link is below:

https://www.entertheimaginarium.com/

#BexLocalAuthorFest

https://www.facebook.com/events/166823380611555/

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The Time of Sex, Magick, and Power Tools is Ending

My third book in the Arcanum Faire trilogy, The Ren Faire at the End of the World, is now live as an ebook on Amazon. Other venues to activate shortly. You can see at the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077MG44CZ

It is a little sad to leave the town of Arcanum, OH and its whacko inhabitants after over a decade. but there are new adventures to chronicle. I am nearly done with my tale of the Squirrel Apocalypse. After that, I attack my non-eurocentric steampunk series.

For those of you who are Netgalley accredited reviewers, the second book of Arcanum Faire, Power Tools in the Sacred Grove, is available for request/download. With luck I will be able to upload RFEW to be available December 1.

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/125017

 

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Don’t buy my book. Yet.

All the files for “Ren Faire at the End of the World” are complete and in the hands of the publisher. The release date will be sometime before the end of the year. We have a quick turnaround here at Post Mortem Press. To prepare for the completion of the Arcanum Faire, I’ve already put in applications at Ohioana Book Fair and other events like Confusion for next year.

Though RFEW was written to stand up on its own, you get all the jokes and twisting arcs if you read all three.

The first two books, “Camp Arcanum” & “Power Tools in Sacred Grove”, are also up for review on Net Galley. CA will be available until Oct. 30th. Boo. PTSG starts its 30 day on November 1st.  REFW will be sometime after that, most likely Dec. 1st. If you are a credentialed book reviewer and you haven’t read either, please stop by and request a file for download.

Keep your eyes here as I make arrangements for a cover release and other promotional skullduggery.

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