Gail Z. Martin writes epic and urban fantasy, steampunk and short stories. She is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle series and the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series of epic fantasy books, as well as the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy world and coming in 2015, Iron and Blood, a Steampunk novel, co-written with Larry N. Martin. Gail is a frequently contributor to US and UK anthologies. She also writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures. Find her at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com. She leads monthly conversations on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and posts free excerpts of her work on Wattpad. An original novella set in the Deadly Curiosities universe, “The Final Death”, is available free on Wattpad
Imagine an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina that exists to get dangerous magical items off the market and out of the wrong hands.
Now picture, if you will, a family that has been the proprietors of that shop for over 350 years, along with their undead silent partner, secretly watching over the people of Charleston and averting disaster and supernatural destruction. The latest proprietor is Cassidy Kincaide, whose gift is the ability to read the history of objects by touching them. Add in Teag Logan, Cassidy’s best friend, who has the ability to weave magic into fabric or weave hidden data into information (best hacker ever), and their silent partner, Sorren, a nearly six hundred year-old vampire who has been tracking down and destroying cursed and possessed objects for centuries, and you’ve got the recipe for a lot of adventure.
Deadly Curiosities, the first book in my new urban fantasy series, came out in July of 2014. The second book (we’re still working on a title) comes out in 2015, and it’s already being written. So what’s in the cards for Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren?
Plenty of excitement, that’s for sure! A series that hinges on cursed or magical everyday objects in a setting like Charleston that has more ghosts-per-square-foot than anywhere except New Orleans has enough potential plotlines to keep me busy for a very long time.
Let’s start with the haunted objects. Everyone can picture some old object from their parents’ or grandparents’ home that gave them the willies. Maybe it was a creepy photo of long-ago relatives, or perhaps it was a taxidermied animal trophy head with eyes that seemed to follow you. Was there a clock that had tolled mournfully in the middle of the night, or a figurine that seemed to change places on the shelf when you weren’t looking? Perhaps a garden gnome statue you adopted as your ‘invisible playmate’ as a child when you visited your grandparents, only to find out years later that they didn’t have a garden gnome?
A quick stroll through a flea market, antique shop, or museum provides no end of potentially ‘haunted’ items that might come through Trifles and Folly, the store in Deadly Curiosities. In the world of antiques, an object’s story is its ‘provenance’. In my stories, the story behind an object gives it power, doubly so if the former owner already had some level of supernatural ability.
And then there’s Charleston, South Carolina, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Charleston is a wonderful, under-exposed setting for urban fantasy. Plenty of stories happen in New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, but few in Charleston. Charleston has wonderful ante bellum architecture, walled gardens, wrought iron, live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and cemeteries tailor-made for ghosts. For all its beauty, the city also has a blood-soaked history full of slavery, duels, pirates, con men, wealthy ne’er do wells and wronged women. How could I resist?
The Deadly Curiosities books came about from a short story that I wrote for Solaris’s award-winning anthology, Magic, The Esoteric and Arcane. That story, “Buttons,” prompted a request to do a book, which led to the series. I’ve written a number of Deadly Curiosities short stories, some for anthologies and some that we release direct to Kindle/Kobo/Nook. There’s also a free novella, “The Final Death” available on Wattpad. Some of the short stories happen in the past, tracing Sorren’s exploits in the 1500s, or some of Cassidy’s ancestor’s adventures in the 1700s. Most of the stories focus on Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren in additional adventures that happen before, during, and after the novels. You don’t have to read the short stories to enjoy the books, but if you do read them, you’ll have an even better feel for Cassidy and her city.
I’m so excited to be sharing Cassidy’s world with readers through the Deadly Curiosities novels and short stories. And if you happen to be in Charleston, SC and wander into an antique shop, just be careful what you choose to take home with you. It might have more history than you know!
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 stories and books by author friends of mine. And, a special 50% off discount from Double-Dragon ebooks! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here: www.AscendantKingdoms.com.
Trick or Treat: Enjoy an excerpt from Deadly Curiosities here.
And from my Deadly Curiosities Adventure short story “Buttons” here.