Check it out: Wrapped in White is a new anthology from Sekhmet Press, LLC, containing 13 fantastic ghost stories, available in a variety of formats: paperback, Kindle and Nook. Here’s a teaser of mine, titled “His Shrine to Santa Muerte”:
Lorraine nudged the torsion wrench with her right thumb while her left hand worked the pick. The lock was a simple one but the Book People had never been to this library before so Lorraine took her time testing it. The building was constructed of old cinder blocks drowning under decades of green paint and there was no sign of anything fancy in the way of security. Still, she wanted to play it safe. She also wanted to show a little respect to all the organized history a space like this contained.
They had driven way out into the country for this ritual. Not every little crossroads community, squatting as this one did on a forgotten byroad littered with the corpses of a prior century’s Esso stations, also sported its own crumbling branch public library. It was run down, perhaps a little forlorn looking, and ancient pines crowded in behind it. There were two signs out front. One read in tasteful but faded permanence:
Hinson Memorial Public Library
Garrison Township, North Carolina
The other was of the lighted red arrow kind, with an incomplete set of letters attempting to communicate to anyone driving by:
ANNUAL FUNDRA SING SAL3
RARE * COLL CTIBLE * USED BO0KS
The Book People did this at least once a season, breaking into library sales all across the Piedmont. They were a singular cabal of an obscure flavor of a niche religion and sad little buildings such as these were their temples; their standing stones; and their sacred glades. The Book People were bibliomancers: ritual magicians whose supernatural medium was that corpus of words both atavistic and contemporary one could find scattered across the pages of a sufficiently overwhelming number of books. For them, magic was found in the mysterious intersection of words pulled at random from a book and their own focused, meditative minds visualizing some desire. It was an old practice but one out of favor in recent decades for all sorts of reasons. It didn’t have the sex appeal of sky-clad Beltane rites or the accessorized glitz of amulets and talismans. Bibliomancy eschewed all that stagecraft to slice deep into the body of human communication. It sought the skeleton of intention bearing up the flesh and organs of genre and style.
Yes, it’s true, this is not the first time my readers have met the Book People: these are the Book People from my most recent novel, Deal with the Devil.
This also isn’t the last time you’re going to hear from them. Heh.