Monday, October 26, 2015

Days of the Dead Blog Tour: Guest Post by Gail Z. Martin

Happy Monday, readers! Today I am very pleased to be hosting the fabulous Gail Z. Martin as part of her Days of the Dead blog tour! Gail has a ton of goodies on offer for the tour, so be sure to read through to the end for links to all of those.

Before I hand things over to Gail, I want to point out, readers, that she has a brand spanking new book due out this season. Vendetta is the second in her Deadly Curiosities series - I reviewed the first title for Bookbitch.com here. Vendetta is due out in December so that gives you plenty of time to track down a copy of Deadly Curiosities in the meantime!

And now, without further ado, here's Gail!

Something Wonderfully Wicked This Way Comes
By Gail Z. Martin

Halloween has always been my second favorite holiday, right after Christmas. A lot of that has to do with decorating and candy, but mostly I’ve loved Halloween’s spooky-as-you-want-to-be vibe for as long as I can remember.

After all, I was the kid who once talked her mother into mocking up her bedroom as a haunted house. We came up with a twisty path through the room, put an old costume on a broom and rigged an arm that would raise and lower with a pull-string, and put a cemetery with cardboard headstones in one corner, with stuffed animal ghosts. It was awesome. (And then I got scared and wouldn’t sleep in that room for a week.)

I was also the kid who not only dressed up like a vampire in elementary school one year, but commandeered a large box for my ‘coffin’ so I could rise like Bela Lugosi. My mom was a teacher who often had to stay after school for meetings or programs. Just up the street was a cemetery that was over one hundred years old. So I used to go wander by myself, making up stories about the dead based on the inscriptions and epitaphs on their headstones. There are so many tantalizing clues about people long-dead from their markers, and no way to solve the mystery, so I spun my own tales. When I was in high school, I once planned a family vacation that took in Salem, Massachusetts (you know, the witch trial Salem), the oldest cemeteries in the area, and lots of caves.

I’ve always loved scary stories (especially ghost stories), urban legends, and folklore with cool monsters. I got in trouble in school for checking out books from the public library about witches. Macbeth was my favorite Shakespeare play because—witches. My favorite ride at Disney World—the Haunted Mansion. I had more fun taking my teenage kids to the haunted theme park Scare-o-winds than they did! When we travel, my family is resigned to the fact that I’ve got us booked for the local ghost tour, or we’ll be stopping off for a look at the biggest, oldest cemetery in the vicinity.

Nowadays, we’ve got the biggest Halloween decorations display on our block, complete with an inflatable six-foot tall dragon who flaps his wings and a ‘hearse’ with a vampire who sits up in his coffin, driven by the headless horseman. I have a couple of Halloween-themed sweaters (that I promise my family I will only wear to hand out candy), and a soundtrack on my iPod of all of Midnight Syndicate’s creepy/scary/atmospheric music, which I play during Trick-or-Treat. I’m consistent!

I guess I bring a little bit of Halloween into all my books. After all, my first epic fantasy series had a necromancer as a good guy (the Chronicles of the Necromancer series)! Necromancers have shown up in some of my other series as well, from Tormod Solveig in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga to Archibald Donnelly in the Deadly Curiosities universe. Even the steampunk series I co-write with my husband, Larry N. Martin, has absinthe magic, supernatural entities, and immortals among all the technological steam-driven marvels.

I draw on Voodoo and Hoodoo plus Native American, European, African, Caribbean, Nordic and Jewish folklore and ghost stories for supernatural elements, magic and monsters as well as good and evil magical practitioners. It’s fun to bring in the magical and supernatural elements of cultures that aren’t as familiar to readers, because it keeps the scare fresh and unpredictable. I chose Charleston, SC as the setting for the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series because Charleston is one of the most haunted cities in the US. It’s got such a rich, varied and bloody history for all its sophistication and urbane charm that you just know the dead don’t rest easy.

I’m really excited for the launch of Vendetta on December 29, the second in my Deadly Curiosities novels. This story has even more magic, monsters, and supernatural threats than the first book, as an immortal enemy with a centuries-old grudge shows up to get revenge and destroy everyone in his path. It won’t be out until December, but it’s available now for pre-order on Amazon.

And if you haven’t already discovered my Deadly Curiosities Adventures short stories and novellas, there are nearly twenty of them available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook. “Spook House” is the new story for October, and it’s got a creepy Halloween storyline. You can also find a free full-length Deadly Curiosities novella, The Final Death, on Wattpad, along with a free, full-length Storm and Fury (steampunk) novella, Grave Voices—both of them are creeptastically spooky, perfect for a dark autumn night!

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here.

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! Grab your envelope of book swag awesomeness from me & 10 authors before 11/1!

Trick or Treat! Excerpt from my new urban fantasy novel Vendetta set in my Deadly Curiosities world here.

More Treats! Enter to win a copy of Deadly Curiosities!

Treats! Enter to win a copy of Iron & Blood!

Steampunk Treats! An excerpt from Iron & Blood here.

Monstrous Treats! Enjoy an excerpt from my Jonmarc Vahanian Adventure Monstrosities.

Bonus Treats! Read an excerpt from FirstLine and an excerpt from No Man’s Land.

About the Author: Gail Z. Martin is the author of the upcoming novel Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books) as well as the epic fantasy novel Shadow and Flame (March, 2016 Orbit Books) which is the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. Shadowed Path, an anthology of Jonmarc Vahanian short stories set in the world of The Summoner, debuts from Solaris books in June, 2016.

Other books include The Jake Desmet Adventures a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin as well as Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) from Orbit Books and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities from Solaris Books.

Gail writes four series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures, The King’s Convicts series, and together with Larry N. Martin, The Storm and Fury Adventures. Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Realms of Imagination, Heroes, With Great Power, and (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) Space, Contact Light, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Huge, huge thanks to Gail for being here today! And be sure to check out all of the links provided above for excerpts, giveaways, and more this Halloween!

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