Monday, October 15, 2012

The Fear of Death & Demons - "Devil's Night" Anthology

by K. Piet

When I learned that October was going to be "Fear Month" here on Chicks & Dicks, I instantly knew I wanted to write a guest post! Fear is a very powerful motivator. In fact, fear is one of the few emotions that I often see in the undercurrent of characterization and plot in the romance and erotica genres. Fear can play a particularly large role when you shift into the paranormal or supernatural sects of the genres as well, the potential simply growing the more fear can interact with arousal. Fear taps into our most visceral instincts, and the fight or flight response is not unlike sexual arousal. The rush of adrenaline from fear can often overlap with the territory we would normally assign to sexual arousal.

It's the mingling of fear and arousal that is showcased in Devil's Night, a new anthology from Storm Moon Press that releases this Friday (October 19th). The theme for the anthology is demons, and the authors have done an amazing job at taking the theme and interpreting it broadly to give readers a unique group of stories to sample from! Let me tell you a little about each story in the anthology and the fears that each story explores.

"When The Hounds Come Out to Play" – Azalea Moone

In this story, Azalea Moone explores the demonic Hellhounds. One night a year, the hellhounds are allowed to wander free of their assigned graveyards to seek out lost souls and drag them down to Hell. When they're allowed free this time, however, hellhound Ryu would rather enjoy his newfound freedom and party instead of working. When he takes human form, the body he shifts into is recognized, and thus begins his night of fun. With this story, the fear that is explored is more on the side of the lost souls. No one wants a hellhound coming after them, but the fear of Hell, the fear of punishment for one's mistakes, is so overpowering that these souls are willing to go on the run to avoid it.

"Hell Bound" – Alina Ray

Alina Ray has created a story where everyone's worst fears come to life. Imagine waking up after death and finding yourself not only in Hell, but at the receiving end of a demon's torture for your crimes. The catch is that you don't remember your crimes, even as you undergo your punishment. That is what happens to Craig, and the story follows him through his hellish torments at the hands of Karawan, his assigned demon. What Karawan gets in Craig isn't your typical tortured spirit, though. Karawan is shocked when Craig actually enjoys some of the torments he devises. How do you torture a spirit when that spirit enjoys what you'd normally do to cause anyone else unending pain?

"The Devil's Midway" – S.L. Armstrong & K. Piet

In Le Carnaval du Diable, Thaddeus is a man who sold his soul to the demon Belial. Belial's pet project as a demon, however, is a demonic carnival out to gather and enslave others souls. When the carnival is threatened, Thaddeus has to defend the others who work for Belial. The alternative of serving their time in Hell itself makes the carnival a certain sanctuary. The fear of Hell keeps the souls from misbehaving too much at the carnival, but for Thaddeus, what he fears most is giving in to his own attraction to Belial. Since he sold his soul in a selfless sacrifice to save his family, he isn't underneath Belial's thumb like the others. That safety is something he fears compromising, no matter how appealing Belial makes himself, and it shows that not all of our fears are of external forces, but sometimes manifest focused on our own weaknesses. Of course, there's also the fear of what happens if he does give in.

"The Seventh Sacrifice" – Tali Spencer

Beltran is a man who takes honor very seriously, and in this story, we see him in the aftermath of his cousin being brutalized. With the rich culture of the Incas just footsteps away, Beltran carries out her wishes to seek a vengeance charm from the local shaman. What he doesn't realize is that the shaman is an amaru demon named Kitara with his own vengeful agenda, making the price of that charm very steep indeed. Beltran is caught in a plot that goes all the way back to the introduction of European culture to Peru through the conquistadors, and he certainly has reason to fear for his life. Beyond the fear of death, however, dwells the fear of what might come after that death. With demons like Kitara in play, what comes afterward might be the worst torment Beltran can imagine.

Devil's Night is now available for pre-orders through Storm Moon Press. Not only does that mean it's up for 20% off the normal price, but when you pre-order titles from Storm Moon Press, you get double the reader rewards points, which you can earn and redeem for free books. If you're intrigued by the stories in this anthology, I can only point you to Storm Moon Press and tell you to get your copy now while it's discounted! :D The pre-order sale ends on release day, October 19th (this Friday), so I hope everyone will take advantage and pre-order their copy now!

Thank you to Chicks & Dicks for having me today! I hope everyone has a fantastic Halloween or Samhain, and that the holiday season treats you well. As for me? I'm off to GRL this coming week, so the holidays already seem to be picking up. XD You can find me at the Storm Moon Press Publisher Spotlight Friday morning, if you're attending! I hope to see some of you readers and authors there!

K. Piet is the marketing director for Storm Moon Press and the co-author of Catalyst and Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley. Her upcoming illustrated novel, Making Ends Meet releases October 26th, 2012. She can be found on her blog or on Twitter.

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