Sneak peak for my beloved readers. Here is the cover art for my next book, due out in two weeks, in electronic edition only from Castalia House. The perfect gift for Candlemas!
This book is my submission to the field of “supernatural thriller” after the fashion of Charles Williams, Tim Powers or Gene Wolfe. A supernatural thriller is one where the mystery is not who committed the crime, but what is the nature of reality. This tale suggests a strange new answer to an old question of life, dream, myth, death, or older questions of ghosts, recollections, love and sorrow.
The central the conceit is taken unchanged from A HAUNTED WOMAN by David Lindsay, but my answer to the old question is the opposite of his.
Two young lovers, Henry and Laureline, only recall and know their burning love for each other when standing in the mysterious Rose Crystal Chamber of the High House of Wrongerwood on the island of Sark in the English Channel. Outside that one room, they blithely forget their love and all promises made within the Chamber.
And she is betrothed within the month to marry Manfred, who is the master of the High House and the Seigneur of Sark, Lord of the Island and the last of the feudal governments left anywhere in Europe. The local tenants under his rule whisper fearful rumors of the death of the previous Lady of the Isle, and all her near kin, that elevated the new lord so suddenly to his post.
And so far all attempts by Henry and Laureline to remind or warn their amnesia-cursed out-of-doors selves have failed. The time seems ready for more desperate measures, unlawful and unholy …
You see? The spell is very subtle. It not only sponges out memories, it covers them over with false ones. It explains away little inconsistencies. It made you forget this house entirely this last time. Before, you were able to remember the house and the outside of the chamber. It is getting stronger, not weaker. It is an enemy, and a cunning one…
Oddly enough, the setting for this fantastic novel is real.
Sark is a ‘Dark Sky’ Island, where the showing of outdoor lamps at night is forbidden, and no motor vehicles are permitted on the roads. There are abandoned silver mines beneath the island, and tunnels dug by Nazis when they ruled their during the war. The natives speak a dialect which has never been written down.
Sark is the was the last feudal landhold in Europe. By ancient law, only the Seigneur is permitted to own a hound, or to keep doves.
The High House called La Seigneurie is also real, albeit the author has taken artistic license to assume that its true position, size and shape are never seen by mortal men, nor how deep go its roots.
This book has a special and mysterious place in the author’s heart, because the whole thing from start to finish, all the scenes and much of the dialog, came to me in a dream not long after my conversion, and I spent the whole of the next day writing down before it escaped me. Those notes rested on my desk for decade. Only now did I have the time to compose them into a novel.
This work was not written according to my own thoughts, ideas, or preconceptions. I offer it to the reader as it was given to me.
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