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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Decking the Haunted Halls with Gail Z. Martin

Decking the Haunted Halls
with Gail Z. Martin 

I love Halloween. Always have, since I was a kid. Even without the candy, I loved the costumes and all the spooky decorations. Once, I rigged up my bedroom with my old Halloween costumes like a haunted house and then was afraid to sleep in it! (My mother was not amused.)

Still, our decorations are more fun than terrifying, because I remember how scared my kids used to get when they were little and some of our neighbors went all-out with sound effects, fog and people jumping out from the bushes. We once had a neighbor who dressed as a witch and rose out of a coffin. My kids took one look, screamed and ran all the way home. So we keep it tame.

Well, as tame as a life-size inflatable hearse driven by the headless horseman with a vampire rising out of his coffin in the back can be. Or an eight-foot dragon that flaps its wings. Yeah, we’re those neighbors.
And just when I think we’re a little over the top, I look through the decoration catalogues and walk into places like Spirit and wonder—who actually decorates with the life-size animated mummies and witches and bodies hanging in cocoons? And how do I get invited to their parties? Seriously, some of these catalogues have stuff that look way better than theme park attractions I’ve been through!

Inside, some of my favorite decorations are hand-painted. Back when I had free time, I enjoyed painting ceramics (although I’m better with words than with paint). Still, I’m fond of the pieces I painted and enjoy seeing them each year. Many of the other decorations have been collected here and there over the years. One of my daughters has a birthday near Halloween, so all the time she was growing up, we did Halloween-themed birthday parties with spooky cakes!
I’ve also got all of Midnight Syndicate’s terrifyingly wonderful spooky music CDs, which are fun to play either when I’m writing a scary scene or to scare the liver out of trick-or-treaters!

Of course, Halloween wouldn’t be the same without ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’, ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘Halloweentown’. You’re never too old to enjoy those with a big bowl of popcorn!

But really, if you want to see over the top, talk to me about Christmas decorations!

The New Templars novella series is a new series of short novels, similar to BookShots. Spells, Salt, & Steel is the first in the series by popular steampunk, epic, and urban fantasy duo Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin.
They are the first line of defense against the things that go bump in the night. 
They are the keepers of a centuries-old legacy of The Church defending the world against the forces of darkness. 
They are a bunch of highly armed rednecks, internet video celebrities, soccer moms, and assorted broken nutjobs.
They are the new Templars, and things are about to get weird.
by Gail Z. Martin,‎ Larry N. Martin
October 3, 2017
116 pages
When all else fails, the ass end of a carp makes a damn fine weapon.

No, that didn't come from the lips of Bubba the Monster Hunter, but it sure could have! That sentence right there kinda encapsulates the life of Mark Wojcik, Monster Hunter. A blue-collar mechanic from the wilds of PA, Mark likes his beer cold, his poker games private, and his monsters…well, he doesn’t like them at all. So when he finds himself dueling a Japanese mythical monster in the Linesville Spillway in the wee hours of the night, he has to use every available weapon to survive and vanquish the ningen. 

Even if it means beating the damn thing to death with a carp. 

If interloping Japanese fish-monsters weren’t bad enough, there’s a Nazi ghost terrorizing the community. Somebody needs to gank the ghostie, and Mark is the man for the job. 

He hopes. 
An excerpt from Spells, Salt, and Steel: A New Templars Novel here 

Let me give a shout-out for #HoldOnToTheLight 2017, back for more with new authors and fantastic new posts! 130+ 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

And an excerpt from my friend Jean Marie Ward’s Lord Bai and the Magic Pirate here
About the Author:
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books and Orbit Books. Vengeance: A Darkhurst novel, is the second in a new epic fantasy series for Solaris (coming April, 2018). Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Vendetta, and a new collection, Trifles and Folly. Spells, Salt, and Steel is the first in another new urban fantasy series set in upstate Pennsylvania. 

Other work includes the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms series, the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, and Iron & Blood (co-authored with Larry N. Martin)

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