By Gail Z. Martin
My Deadly Curiosities dark urban fantasy series of books, novellas and short stories is set in Charleston, SC. Charleston is a beautiful city with a bloody past, one of the oldest cities in the United Sates, and one of the most haunted.
I draw on a broad range of magic in Deadly Curiosities—everything from Cherokee shamans to Voodoo (some practitioners prefer Voudon) mambos and houngans, and root workers along with a secret society of kick-ass Episcopalian priests, witches, a necromancer, supernatural hit men, a paranormal special ops guy, clairvoyants, a psychic medium, and more.
Many of the characters associated with magic are recurring cast members for the series, showing up in both books and throughout the short stories and novellas. Lucinda is a Voudon mambo and Caliel is a houngan, both descendants of Mama Nadedge, a mambo who lived in the 1700s and whose ghost still haunts Charleston’s alleys. Father Anne is an unorthodox Episcopalian priest, a member of the secret St. Expeditious Society, and a friend to the Alliance, always happy to help come kick some demon ass. Ernestine Teller is a root worker and a weaver of sweetgrass baskets. She and her daughter, Niella, use their abilities with Hoodoo to help Cassidy and the team take out the bad guys. These are just a few of the magic-wielding allies that Cassidy, Sorren and Teag call on through the Alliance. You’ll meet more, but I don’t want to give anything away!
In addition to the inherent hauntedness of Charleston, I’ve added a lot of magic and supernatural traditions. Most people connect Voodoo (or Voudon as some practitioners prefer) with New Orleans, but forget that slaveholding families would have moved back and forth between Charleston and New Orleans to visit relatives, or slaves would have been sold between plantations. That makes it reasonable to me that Voodoo practitioners could have been in Charleston, and that their descendants might be there today. Voudon plays a big role in the Deadly Curiosities novels and in a lot of the short stories, and the Loa—powerful spirits—are very active.
Hoodoo (sometimes called ‘conjure’) is another folk tradition with strong African and Caribbean roots that came with enslaved individuals. Hoodoo is particularly well-known in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and is often referred to as ‘putting a root’ on someone. Practitioners are known as ‘root women’ or ‘root workers’. Spells, powders, rituals and potions abound for blessing, cursing, bringing good fortune or warding off evil. Conjure workers often deal with attracting love, happiness and wealth, or causing misfortune to someone who did somebody wrong. Even today in the South Carolina Lowcountry, it is no idle threat to ‘put a root’ on someone! You’ll see more of Hoodoo and Voodoo in both Deadly Curiosities and Vendetta and in the ‘extended episode’ short stories and novellas.
Let me give a shout-out for #HoldOnToTheLight–100+ Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors blogging about their personal struggles with depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicide and self-harm, candid posts by some of your favorite authors on how mental health issues have impacted their lives and books. Read the stories, share the stories, change a life. Find out more at www.HoldOnToTheLight.com
Excerpt from my book Ice Forged https://bit.ly/1oCHuNP
Try this excerpt from Collector, a Deadly Curiosities story https://bit.ly/1t8XMy7
Use your free Audible trial to get my books! DeadlyCuriosities https://amzn.com/B01IITFPZE
Enjoy this excerpt from Bad Blood, a Jonmarc Vahanian Adventure https://bit.ly/1uQXtVd
Sweet! An excerpt from Stuart Jaffe’s Southern Bound Max Porter Paranormal Mystery: https://www.stuartjaffe.com/mp-sample/
Double Dragon Sampler #3 https://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/sample/DDPSAMPLE003.mobi
Spooky! An excerpt from John Hartness’s Bubba The Monster Hunter story Hall & Goats https://bit.ly/1Lok7PC
Have you seen the Vendetta video? https://youtu.be/u72GIQlBAoU
Read free excerpts from all of Falstaff Books’ new releases! https://bit.ly/2eoLwJu