Hi! I’m creating a new blog. I hope you all will follow me over at that blog. I’ll post links to it here for a while before I stop posting altogether on here. The new page is spellboundscribbler.wordpress.com and please feel free to share it. I just posted my first blog at spellboundscribbler. Come on over and take a look!
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying. Isn’t it a little early for that? To give you a quick answer, No! I’ve decided not to buy the little house I’ve been staying in. It’s not so little and a bitch to keep warm and tons of stuff need fixed or freshened up. I’m just not that in love with the house.
That means I’m packing again. But it’s not just packing up all the stuff I have. I’m cleaning out, too. I’m asking myself if I really need all those empty binders and notebooks. Do I really need to keep the two dozen magazines I’ve not looked at in over a year? Do I need two dozen pairs of shoes when I only have about four pairs I wear regularly? How much stuff am I holding on to simply because I remember growing up without a lot of stuff?
Don’t get me wrong. My brother and I had everything we truly needed as kids. But we didn’t get a lot of the stuff we wanted because it wasn’t possible. So I’m cleaning out boxes and drawers and notebooks. I’m packing up the stuff I will use and need. I am not packing the other stuff. The fluff and detritus of 43 years. I’m trimming the fat, so to speak. And once I stop sneezing from all the dust, it’s going to feel really good.
Let me introduce you to the first Zora Banks novel, Bad Mojo.
Bad Mojo is a roller coaster through the Chattanooga underbelly. It’s told from the perspective of Ash Owens, a were-creature who works with hoodoo witch doctor Zora Banks to keep balance and peace in their beloved Nooga. We learn about Zora from Ash, the antihero. Where Zora is ethical, strong of faith, and true to her word, Ash is emotionally ugly, unclean, and amoral in the most delicious ways, answering only to Zora due to her ability to keep his own inner monster in check.
Berryhill brings us two seemingly parallel story lines that end up being one and the same. We get a twisted new vampire, were creatures, hoodoos, politicians, drag queens, trolls, zombies, the Fae, drugs and sex, all both honest and crooked in equal measure. The vampires are called vipers in Berryhill’s Nooga, an interesting twist on the bloodsucker leaning more toward snakes than bats. And we can hear the Southern speech of Ash Owens without the weird spelling that bogs down dialect. This look at Nooga shows humans and spooks with all their associated customs blending into a normal society for those aware of both sides. Almost like being a spook is a form of socially acceptable mental illness.
In the same vein as Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, Berryhill gives us an antihero that tries his best, gets the hell beaten out of him at every opportunity and still gets back into the fight. Owens will do anything to accomplish what needs done; only being penitent to the exotic Zora Banks whom he secretly loves. Bad Mojo is a delicious read, both provocative and repulsive, giving the reader vicarious access to their own inner demons.
I am pleased to introduce today the only practicing dragon private investigator in the United States. Vern, Dragon P.I. is here to discuss forensics in both our mundane world and the Faerie world. Vern works with his partner, Sister Grace in Karina Fabian’s magical universe. Vern’s investigative skills are currently being tested in Greater Treasures, now available for Kindle and on Amazon.
By Vern the Dragon PI
I’m Vern, I’m a dragon, and I work as a private investigator in your world. Yes, a for-real dragon, no animatronics involved, and please don’t ask if I eat virgins or blame me for your missing cat. Becca asked that I discus the difference between investigations in the Faerie Realm and here in the Mundane. (Don’t complain to me about the names for the two dimensions. I didn’t make them up.)
The fact of the matter is, since we don’t really have the kind of psychics that can go to the scene of a crime and “sense” the name, address, and relative flight risk of the criminal, much of the Faerie tactics are similar to the Mundane. We still look for clues, question people, gather evidence, and hope for a confession. I must admit, though: in Faerie, a confession can morph into a Monologue, especially if the criminal in question thinks he has you by the claws. Why any time is a good time to confess your evil wrongdoings to an officer of the law is a mystery to me, but Faerie do love a cliché.
The difference, of course, is you have technology and we have magic. You want to know someone’s background, you do a check of credit records and Facebook posts. We use a discernment spell—and ask the neighbors. A Holy Mage can also tell the state of someone’s soul, which comes in handy. We have a spell that works better than your lie detector, and while we have the same interrogation techniques, we also have pukas, which are notorious for eliciting secrets from people they talk to. (Sometimes, finding someone who is easy to talk to isn’t always a blessing.)
The fun thing about the connection between our two worlds is that I can avail myself of both Mundane and Faerie methods. I love computer technology. It’s a great complement to magic, actually. When Grace can’t find the subject and casing their neighborhood doesn’t work, I can use my Google Fu and get a pretty good profile as long as they aren’t off the grid.
My partner, Sister Grace, is a high-powered Holy Mage with a great imagination. She adapted a spell to make me invisible after watching a documentary on stealth technology in your military. Even better, as a dragon, I can fly far more silently than any of your bombers…unless I’m in the mood to make airplane noises. I did try it once; it was kind of funny until the Air Force Academy caught me at it. I’ve been banned from their airspace. Worth it though! You should have seen the faces of the cadets in their gliders! Where’s that plane? Where’s that plane?
But that’s a different story. The moral of this story is, I’m good, I have the benefits of two dimensions’ worth of investigative techniques, and I am a dragon. Don’t mess with me. Don’t mess with my territory. Don’t put yourself in a situation where someone will hire me to come get you.
And if you do, just turn yourself in. It’ll be easier for both of us.
Thank you, Vern. That was awesome!
You can find Vern, Sister Grace, and Karina Fabian on tour all this month. Next stop is Wednesday, May 8, at Harlie William’s blog page.