Thank you, Danielle, for having me back on Romance Book Junkies with my paranormal-occult romance novel, The Kure, for your Halloween Spooktacular.
Creature Features, Fright Night, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Tales From Beyond—they were all spooky shows I used to watch as a kid. Back then, the storylines explored horror, the occult, the supernatural, and science fiction, often instilling a healthy dose of fear and anxiety into the audience. Their prolific use of ghostly images, séances, dark shadowy rooms, squeaky doors, and the occasional flying axe helped raise the intensity of a scene until it had to end with a scream. Occasionally, one of the networks would run a Halloween marathon, and there was no better way to spend the night than making a couple of bowls of popcorn and gathering a group of brave friends in a dimly lit room to watch these classics.
Looking back, I’m sure one of the reasons I was so drawn to these tales was because I wanted to believe that the premise of the story could be true, that there were unexplained mysteries lurking in the universe that could affect time and space—and reality. The possibility that aliens, witchcraft, and unnatural forces co-existed within a world populated with the predictable and the mundane piqued my imagination and curiosity.
That influence—the idea that the line between illusion and reality, between fact and fiction was blurry at best—has had a major influence on my writing, and never more so than when I began to develop the storyline for The Kure. So for those of you who like your horror books laced with the bizarre truth derived from some of our not-so-shining moments in history, I hope you’ll give The Kure a read. Fair warning: Because of the nature and theme, The Kure is best suited for an adult reader. And if you’d like to learn more about the background and dark historical practices which became the inspiration for the story, I’ve provided some details on my website at the link below:
In the following excerpt, the main character, John Tyler, is forced to face his demons after pursuing a sinister spell contained in a forbidden text of healing, the Kure. Cast into a dark and ominous void, John is held captive by an unseen keeper. When he finally comes face-to-face with his tormentors, he is horrified by their grisly appearance and obvious sinister intent. As they advance, John realizes the wretched beasts are alarmingly familiar, and he fears not only for the few remaining threads of his sanity, but for his very soul.
Here’s an excerpt:
The eerie quiet was only seconds old when it was broken by a peculiar rustling. John recognized the sound—hide rubbing against hide, a close shuffling, not unlike the thumping scrape of bloated cattle.
“Who’s there?” His cry entered the void as an empty rattle, the words never leaving his throat. Yet the dismal expanse answered, and John struggled to make sense of its reply as the air became choked with hissed whispers resounding as endless echoes in the dark.
Without warning, the ebony shroud was ripped away as needle-thin arcs of white fire raced across an absent sky, the spits of illumination scoring the firmament with revealing clarity.
Forcing his eyes to remain open, John absorbed the blinding flash, and with the light came a revelation more damning than a fate of eternal exile in this cyclopean wasteland.
They were everywhere!
Hovering above and below, they had surrounded him.
Half the size of a normal man, their plague-consumed copper skins mushroomed with ulcerated blisters, and their hideous faces bulged with lesions that obscured deep festering sockets where eyes might have once resided. Spawned from the seed of every wretched curse and pestilence, they were a creation from the devil’s own cauldron, inhabiting this place because no other world would have them.
He cringed as the next wave of lightning exposed their open mouths bared in the perpetual snarl of a rabid dog, their rancid juices spilling over gnashing teeth.
With their purpose as clear as the fear driving his pounding heart, John strained against muscles that were numb and useless. He prayed for a firestorm, with strikes close enough to scatter his fiendish captors. But the next brilliant arc followed the spectral curve of the canopy, its flood of light falling upon a swarming sea of silver talons—razor claws protruding from ragged stumps of bloody, rotting tissue.
It struck him with absolute certainty, the same way the blade of a tumbling knife finds its target—he had seen them before. Not in a half-forgotten nightmare or some tale of imagined horror, but in the carved border of the doctor’s unholy book. These creatures were the embodiment of the images that framed his hand as he willingly placed his palm on the blood-red leather. They were the monsters foretold by ancient warlocks, their sinister forms seared into the book’s cover to warn against the reading of the pages inside. And now he had found their world, a place of anguish and torment, a realm where savage beasts extracted payment from those foolish enough to call upon the power of the Kure.
John Tyler, a young man in his early twenties, awakens to find a ghastly affliction taking over his body. When the village doctor offers the conventional, and potentially disfiguring, treatment as the only cure, John tenaciously convinces the doctor to reveal an alternative remedy—a forbidden ritual contained within an ancient manuscript called the Kure.
Although initially rejecting the vile and sinister rite, John realizes, too late, that the ritual is more than a faded promise scrawled on a page of crumbling paper. And as cure quickly becomes curse, the demonic text unleashes a dark power that drives him to consider the unthinkable—a depraved and wicked act requiring the corruption of an innocent soul.
Ultimately, John must choose between his desperate need to arrest the plague that is destroying his body, and the virtue of the woman he loves, knowing the wrong decision could cost him his life.
* * * * *
The Kure is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle eBook
Amazon Author Page:
My Facebook Page:
Jaye Frances is the author of The Kure, a paranormal-occult romance novel, The Possibilities of Amy, a coming-of-age romance novella, The Cruise-All That Glitters, an edgy, adult satire about love on the high seas, and The Beach, a sci-fi fantasy about a man who is given the opportunity to receive his ultimate wish and lives to regret it. Her next book, scheduled for a November 2012 release, is titled Love Travels Forever, a collection of poignant short stories and essays. She is also a featured columnist for the NUSA SUN magazine. Born in the Midwest, Jaye readily admits that her life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Jaye enjoys cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which find their way to her website. Jaye lives on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing her home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes. For more information, visit Jaye’s website at www.jayefrances.com, or Jaye’s Blog at http://blog.jayefrances.com
Jaye is going to be giving away a Kindle ebook of "The Kure". Just leave a comment to enter. This giveaway is international as long as you have a way to read Kindle ebooks.