Monday, November 7, 2016

The Pact

The Pact
Brantwijn Serrah

Author Bio:
When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills  her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours on end sketching characters and scenes in her secret notebooks.

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Fleshlings and darklings… Rune-weavers and demons… When you walk in the land of the Reaper, who will survive?
Serenity Walker has cast runes for as long as she can remember. Her teachers call her a prodigy, and her secret studies hold the key to unlimited potential. Once an orphan left on an old woman’s doorstep, Serenity finally belongs. But when her mentor is murdered right in front of her, her hopes of a home die with him.
Her quest for vengeance leads her into a dangerous deal with a demon. Armed with its dark power and her own talent with the runes, she blazes a trail across the lands where ranchers and railroad men are kings, where the prevailing law is the law of the gun. To find the man who reshaped her past, Serenity offers up her future. She’ll face a world where weavers are hunted down to be hanged, whipped, or burned alive...but she won’t face it alone.
As Serenity’s mission takes her farther than most weavers are willing to go, she’ll have to decide who her true enemy is: the wicked men of the world, or the powerful demon inside her.
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Suggested Tags: Weird West, wastelands, witches and possession, Norse mythology, cowboys, country western, supernatural
The monk stood in wait for her, halfway up the aisle. He'd appeared out of nowhere again, quick and quiet as a scavenging rat, and glared at her with eyes full of mean shock and disgust.

“Witch,” he spat. “I knew it as soon as I saw you. Devil! Bride of—”
Serenity threw the sigh of fehu at him, the sign of the cattle’s horns, and it caught him high in the chest to send him stumbling backward. The power issued forth a bit weaker than usual. Her demon felt suffocated in the holy place, sapped by the wards against their kind and hollowed out by the ravaging spells she’d twisted back in the tavern. But it cast the insufferable priest to the stone, striking him down with a callous resentment, and she stalked across the aisle at him.
“How dare you come into this place of worship!” he sputtered, crawling backward on his behind as she came closer. “How dare you—”
“How dare I?” she snarled.
“All I wanted was a place to rest for the night,” she muttered. “A room and a bed, and to be left alone. I didn’t come here to harm anyone. But somehow I get you, chastising me in the street, thinking to tell me what I can and can’t wear even while you sit there ogling, and I get your servants breaking into my room and burning years and years’ worth of study, and then I get a mob of your people screaming for my blood, planning on hanging me in the middle of the night. And you, padre, you have the gall to call me a murderer?”
“The Lord will repay you in kind!” the priest shrieked. “When you come here, doing the devil’s work! Wearing his symbol upon your breast! Whore! Devil’s whore!”
She leaned down and grabbed him by the front of his robes, pulling him up to meet her eyes.
“You’re right,” she hissed. “I do the devil’s work. I wear his mark. I traffic with demons and I command their power. So it might have been wise of you and your people not to piss me off.”

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Author Interview Questions
1. How did you start writing The Pact?
The Pact was my first-ever attempt at National Novel Writing Month, in 2006. I'd just joined my first role-playing group as well, and we were playing a game themed in supernatural horror, set in the American "old west". The story isn't exactly a retelling of that game, but the experience sparked to life a scene in my mind: an apprentice in the arcane arts, a night of studying magical tomes, a beloved mentor killed in a gunslinger's duel. That's how I first discovered Serenity Walker, and her story -- her long walk -- started there.
2. Plotter or pantster?
A little of both. I don't exactly plot and what I do plan out its really just snippets and scenes that play in my mind long before their time in the story...but beyond that, I write as it comes to me. Since the entire series of The Pact was written in conjunction with National Novel Writing Months over the last ten years, it became natural to work with very little structural outline our preparation.
3. What are three things you have on your writing desk?
These days I write mostly by hand during the day, filling in down time between projects at my day job. So I'm surrounded mostly by file folders and desk supplies, but the three most important things are my Kindle (which I'm working on right now, as a matter of fact), my fleet of mechanical pencils and one heroic barrel eraser, and my alien Happy-Face stress ball.
4. Favorite food?
Oh, always changing with the seasons, you know. My classic fave is macaroni and cheese, but I do love me some rolled tacos with beans and rice and also eggs benedict, which for my family is a holiday breakfast tradition. I always look forward to my mom's homemade eggs benedict on Christmas morning.
5. Tell us a little about your new release. What character in the book really spoke to you?
There are three characters over the course of the whole series who really, really call to me. Ladies whose stories I just fall into, whose personalities speak to me...characters I love, quite honestly. But in the first book, it's all about Serenity. She's so blessedly imperfect, and so blind to it. She's convinced she's got it all figured out, and watching her get knocked on her ass is almost a kind of self-reflection for me. I feel connected to her, and when she's forced to pick herself up, dust herself off, count up the new scars and keeps on going in spite of it all, I feel a little like I could actually be heroic inside, too.
6. I write because hey, these stories ain't gonna tell themselves!
7. What is your favorite type of character to write about?
The imperfect ones. The ones who start out on top of the world, with so much promise at their fingertips...until they royally fuck it up and watch it fall apart. Then they have to find a way to put it all back together again. Our, maybe, put together something altogether more meaningful than what they started out with.
8. What is the sexiest scene you ever wrote? Since I normally write romance and erotica, I've explored some very interesting bedroom scenarios. If you're a romantic, I think my sexiest is the final love scene in Goblin Fires. I really feel the passion and devotion came through in that scene well. If you're kinky, my short story Holston Street Halloween Party is probably my sexiest. Lots of bondage and sensual slavery. But if you're into taboo, My tentacle hentai story Bad Dreams takes the cake.
9. What advice would you give new authors in the erotica/romance field? Don't be afraid to push the boundaries. But research your subjects well, and proved with gusto.

10. What is next on your writerly horizon? I've just submitted Elfin Nights, the second book in the Four Courts series, and I'm moving on to Winter Hearts, the next story in my Blood and Fire series. After that, I'll be on to the next book in The Pact.

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