Today I’m happy to turn my blog over to Catherine Cavendish. Her new novella, Dark Avenging Angel debuts tomorrow from Samhain Publishing, and I, for one, am looking forward to reading it. After all… demons are involved! But… I’ll let her tell you about it:
My latest novella – Dark Avenging Angel – is, as its title suggests, concerned with revenge. In this case, revenge of the most demonic kind. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for…” Jane learns the truth of this in graphic ways.
Avenging angels and demons abound in the traditions and folklore of people all over the world. One such character is La Sayona.
Her story comes to us from Venezuela where, it is said, a beautiful woman called Melissa was happily married to her loving husband, with whom she had a baby son. One day, she was bathing naked in the river when a man from the village saw her. From that day onwards, he always followed her when she went to the river. One day, Melissa caught him watching her, challenged him and told him to stop stalking her. The man protested his innocence and said he had only come to warn her that her husband had betrayed her. Her faithless spouse was, he said, sleeping with another woman. Not just any woman either. According to the stranger, Melissa’s husband was sleeping with her own mother.
Enraged, Melissa returned home to find her husband sleeping peacefully with their baby in his arms. But Melissa’s rage burned hot and rendered her blind to any thought that her husband might be innocent. She burned down the house, killing both her husband and her son. Villagers could hear their screams but could do nothing to save them as the fire had taken too firm a hold.
Melissa then marched over to her mother’s house and found her sitting on the patio. Melissa charged at her, wielding a machete. She stabbed her mother in the stomach and, as the woman lay bleeding, she cursed her daughter. She told Melissa she would be forced to walk the earth forever, killing any cheating husbands.
It is said that today La Sayona (which translates as ‘the executioner’) can be seen as a beautiful young woman in a long white gown who strolls up and down the highway, luring men. To trick them, she often dons the disguise of one of their loved ones. Only when she has them in her grasp does she reveal her true self, with her rotting skull, horrible teeth and decayed flesh. She then mangles their bodies, or even eats them. In another version, she will entice them to have sex with her before revealing her true, disgusting self and eating their body parts – with special attention being given to the genital area.
Some of the men survive the encounter with La Sayona, with all their parts intact – but infected. The ghost carries a range of nasty diseases, all of which result in a clear signal to the wives of these men that their husbands have had an encounter with La Sayona and have, therefore, been unfaithful.
Now, to give you a taste of Dark Avenging Angel, here’s the blurb:
Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.
Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.
When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.
And here’s a brief extract:
Something had woken me from a deep sleep troubled by my recurring nightmare in which I was in a wood, being chased by some unimaginable horror. I never saw its face, assuming it even had one. But I knew if I didn’t find sanctuary, it would kill me. I had just made it into the strange little house that always appeared in the clearing, when my eyes opened and I gasped at the white, smiling face looking down at me.
That night, my angel seemed different somehow.
Oh, she looked the same. Same black cloak, but this time it shimmered and I wanted to touch it. I was sure it would feel soft as velvet under my fingers.
She put her finger to her lips and stroked my hair. Her touch was like a gentle breeze in summertime. My eyes wanted to close, but I forced them to stay open.
I knew I mustn’t speak out loud, but I could still whisper. “I wish I knew your name. Who are you? Please will you tell me?”
She continued to smile. Her lips moved, but the answering voice I heard was again in my head.
Do not be afraid, child. It is not yet time, but soon you will have the power to avenge yourself on those who have done you harm. Look for me in the shadows and I will be there, taking account.
I understood nothing of what she said. But, from somewhere, a calm I had never felt before emerged and wrapped itself around me.
I blinked in the darkness as she faded from sight.
Then I closed my eyes and slept. I never had that nightmare again after that night. But what if I’d known what was ahead for me?
Some things are better off left in the dark.
You can find Dark Avenging Angel here:
About the Author:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Cat is now the full time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the 2013 joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor, which features in the anthology What Waits in the Shadows. Her novels, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine are also published by Samhain. Her latest novella – Dark Avenging Angel – will be followed by her next novel – The Devil’s Serenade – in April 2016
You can connect with Cat here:
MY EIGHTH NOVEL, The Family Tree, was released late in the fall last year, but it’s totally a “summer” book. All the events take place in a backwoods locale in the midst of summer… So this week, it’s like a re-launch — my publisher, Samhain Publishing, has put the novel on sale at 99 cents on all outlets — Amazon, B&N, Books A Million, Kobo, etc.. I’m hoping to make this a super successful sale so that it gets read and discovered by lots of new readers and I want to make it worth your while to help with that, so….
Enter the Big Contest:
This week, from Sunday, August 2nd – Sunday August 9th, I’m holding a contest.
Cool, you say… what can you win?
Grand prize: Be a character in my next novel (you’ll probably be killed in an awesome, gruesome way!)
First prize: An autographed copy of The Family Tree — or one of my other books, if you prefer.
Second prize: an e-book edition of: Cage of Bones & Other Deadly Obsessions, Vigilantes of Love, Failure or Candy in the Dumpster – your choice!
How do you enter? There are three ways… and if you do each one, you’re entered in the contest three times! My goals for the contest are to
a) make people aware of the sale,
b) get people to review the book — so more readers will check it out, and
c) sell more copies (duh!).
So… I’d love it if everyone entered the contest three times! Here’s what you need to do to enter (any or all of these three):
METHOD 1: Send me some proof after you download the e-book of The Family Tree while it is on sale for 99 cents this week!
METHOD 2: If you’ve already read it, post a review of The Family Tree on its Amazon page so other readers will check it out. This would be really helpful to me this week in particular! Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Family-Tree-John-Everson-ebook/dp/B00N3TTVT6/
METHOD 3: Post the link to the Amazon page above on your Facebook wall and let your friends know that the book is on sale this week only for 99 cents.
Please email me and let me know what you’ve done to enter. Send all entries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will hold a drawing next Sunday night, August 9, after 9 p.m. Eastern once I’m home from Flashback Weekend (see below), to choose the winners.
Again – I encourage you to enter the contest this week via all three methods! 🙂
Seriously – if you haven’t read The Family Tree, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to download an e-book copy cheaply. And if you have read it… please help me turn others on to the book. This week is an important one for this novel!
About the Book:
Curious what The Family Tree is about? Here’s the back cover description:
Its roots are old…and twisted!
The blood of the tree is its sap. It has sustained Scott Belvedere’s family for generations. It’s the secret ingredient behind the family’s intoxicating ale and bourbon, among other elixirs. But only when Scott inherits The Family Tree Inn, deep in the hills of Virginia, does he learn anything about his family, its symbiotic history, or the mammoth, ancient tree around which the inn is literally built. And after he stumbles upon the bony secrets hidden in its roots, while in the welcoming arms of the innkeeper’s daughter, he realizes that not only is blood thicker than water—it’s the only thing that might save him from the hideous fate of his ancestors…
“A sure-fire hit for anyone who loves 70s/80s-styled pulp horror.” (The Horror Fiction Review)
“A family that preys together, stays together… Can Scott break away from the hold of the Family Tree and its devoted disciples? Is the blood of the few worth more than the many? You’ll have to read this fast paced thriller to find out.” (The Long And Short Reviews)
“Everson has published yet another horror masterpiece that is in my top five for this year. A haunting and original book, The Family Tree is a creepy tale of family heritage and devotion that you won’t soon forget.” (Shattered Ravings)
“Everson is one of the best writers of modern horror today. He seamlessly stitches dread and suspense into well-worn horror tropes, giving the tried and true a sense of fresh and new.” (TheExaminer.com)
“[Everson]’s as crisp as he’s ever been, and despite a somewhat deceptive concept, he’s still true to his X-rated roots, which longtime followers are going to find quite pleasing. Read the book. It’s awesome!.” (Horror Novel Reviews)
“John Everson is known for his use of eroticism with his horror and in The Family Tree, he proves once again that he is the master of dark and sexy. If you’re not turned on during one of the many hot scenes then maybe you should check to see if you’re breathing…If you like your horror a little scandalous, then The Family Tree is for you.” (Living Dead Magazine)
NEXT WEEKEND, I will be hanging out with a table full of books in the Dealer’s Room at Flashback Weekend in Rosemont, IL from Friday – Sunday. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, come on out for a super fun con full of horror movie stars! This year, the media guests include Jeffrey Combs & Stuart Gordon. I’ve met Jeff Combs a couple times, but I’m really looking forward to meeting Stuart Gordon — he’s done some of my favorite indie horror films, from Re-Animator to Castle Freak to Dolls to From Beyond.
Also at this con will be American Horror Story‘s John Carroll Lynch & Naomi Grossman and The Girls of Rob Zombie’s Halloween: Danielle Harris, Scout Taylor-Compton & Kristina Klebe among many others.
If you’re in Chicago, I hope you’ll stop by my table and say hi! In the meantime… ENTER THE FAMILY TREE CONTEST!
Dark Dreams of Delicious Ale,