Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways
Today’s Spooky Legends guest is Zoe Archer, author of the upcoming Hellraisers historical paranormal romance series from Kensington books. The first book in the series is DEVIL’S KISS, followed by DEMON’S BRIDE in May of 2012.
Want to know more about the series:
Welcome to the ultimate bad boys. A group of 18th Century rakes who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of pleasure—even if it costs them their souls. Dark, sexy and beguiling, the Hellraisers will seduce you. Sinning never tasted so sweet.
Our story is written in the voice of the hero from DEVIL’S KISS, and features the Doctor Faustus urban legend. Want to win your own copy? Check out the giveaway details below.
It has been brought to my attention that you are desirous to hear tales of the supernatural and uncanny. In this modern Eighteenth Century, such tales are no longer considered accounts of the true and possible, yet well do I understand the value of entertainments. For myself and my fellow Hellraisers—gentlemen of wealth, privilege and leisure—our palates have grown jaded by our usual debauchery. There is no variety of pleasure or iniquity we Hellraisers have not tasted. However, our misdeeds have not delved into the paranormal. Not yet. Thus I find no small amusement in taking pen to parchment and recounting a particular occult legend.
As I have said, we live now in an era of modernity, when the realm of the intellect and empiricism has supplanted superstition. Yet not so very long ago, the whole of Europe was apparently plagued by an epidemic of witchcraft. Well may we scoff at such notions now, but for centuries it had been believed that women and men actually sold their souls to the Devil. In exchange for their immortal souls, these people received powers of darkest magic. A mark was placed upon their skin as proof of this.
Doctor Faustus was just such a man, a German scholar, who, in his pursuit of greater knowledge and power, entered into a pact with the Devil. The Devil agreed to give Faustus nigh unlimited ability and knowledge. The scholar would receive these gifts if he promised to surrender his body and soul to the Devil at the end of twenty four years. The ambitious Faustus readily agreed to the Devil’s terms, and confirmed the pact by signing in his own blood.
Ladies, you can indeed imagine that the good Doctor took full advantage of his newly-received gifts, and spent two decades gratifying his every desire. In my estimation, this is admirable conduct, for, outside of the hazard tables and games of chance, I find the world exceedingly monotonous. Should I and my fellow Hellraisers be given unlimited power, you can be certain we would take full advantage of it, concerns of ethics and virtue be damned.
Yet we are not speaking of me or the Hellraisers. Our subject is the good Doctor. As it grew closer to the conclusion of the agreed twenty four years, Faustus became panicked and determined to find a means of subverting his pact with the Devil. Alas, none of Faustus’s vast knowledge or mystical power could release him from his bargain. On the appointed date and time, the Devil returned, and dragged the poor Doctor to Hell. Some have said that the Devil actually tore Faustus into pieces, blood and bits of his corpse strewn about the tower where he studied. Though the body had been destroyed, Faustus’s soul remained intact, and even now suffers the eternal torments of the Underworld.
Thus concludes my tale. Forgive me if it was indelicate and not fit for the fragile constitutions of women of quality. I must confess that the Hellraisers and I do not keep company with such refined ladies such as yourselves, and my language and manners have perhaps grown coarse as a result.
There are those who swear that the tragic tale of Doctor Faustus is factual. For myself, I believe it to be entirely ludicrous. The Devil does not exist, nor does magic—which is a great pity, as I find the quotidian world altogether tedious. Indeed, this very evening, I and the other Hellraisers are setting off for a stay at a country estate. The pleasures of London have grown colorless, and there promises to be some form of novelty in the countryside. We are told that there is an encampment of Gypsies nearby, which should prove to be diverting. Perhaps some dark-eyed Gypsy lass shall read my palm and tell me my fortune.
What future will she see written in the lines of my hand?
Your servant, &c.
James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney
Zoe Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. Her BLADES OF THE ROSE series—featuring dashing men and fearless women—is available now. Her sci-fi romance, COLLISION COURSE, will be available this April from Carina Pres, and December 2011 marks the launch of a new paranormal historical series, THE HELLRAISERS. Zoe and her husband live in Los Angeles.
Want to read more from Zoe Archer?
This giveaway is provided by Zoe Archer
One winner will receive a copy of DEVIL’S KISS by Zoe Archer
Available on December 1, 2011 from Kensington/Zebra
About the Book:
A HANDSOME DEVIL
1762. James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney, is a gambling man. Not for the money. But for the thrill, the danger—and the company: Whit has become one of the infamous Hellraisers, losing himself in the chase for adventure and pleasure with his four closest friends.
Which was how Whit found himself in a gypsy encampment, betting against a lovely Romani girl. Zora Grey’s smoky voice and sharp tongue entrance Whit nearly as much as her clever hands—watching them handle cards inspires thoughts of another kind…
Zora can’t explain her attraction to the careless blue-eyed Whit. She also can’t stop him and his Hellraisers from a fiendish curse: the power to grant their own hearts’ desires, to chase their pleasures from the merely debauched to the truly diabolical. And if Zora can’t save Whit, she still has to escape him…
Click HERE to read an excerpt
**Don’t forget to visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Erin Kellison and a chance to win a copy of SHADOW series**
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