Today I have a guest post from Paul DeBlassie III. He's the author of the psychological and supernatural thriller, The Unholy.
As part of his virtual book tour, Paul will award one randomly drawn commenter the choice of a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too!
5-10 musts psychological thrillers and dark fantasy stories should have
Scary, mean, dark, compelling, transformational potential, and hope, but not too much, for the future. If there is too much hope then we run the risk of selling our soul out to an angel. Selling out to an angel is a terrible possibility because that trivializes the human condition, takes what is complex, and looks only at the surface and ready-made answers that seem to provide immediate relief from suffering.
Scary and mean and dark and compelling set the stage for dark forces infringing on human hope and potential with no guarantees. We have to remain on the edge of our seat, waiting to see what’s going to happen.
Claire, in The Unholy, is a young woman haunted and intimated by a life-threatening figure – a man robed in black. He haunts her dreams; comes in nightmares as terrifying remembrances of things past. This deep fear from childhood trauma so laces The Unholy with compelling imagery and emotion that the reader is flung forward into the narrative desperate to find out not only what will happen, but how it will happen, how a young woman could possible handle the power of a misogynistic religious male patriarchy.
Archbishop William Anarch hates women and Claire Sanchez, curandera, is a young and vulnerable woman. When a man carries the sanction of society, particularly of a huge religious organization, and mixes it with his own sordid inclinations so as to empower himself, then we’ve got one of the building blocks of good set against evil.
Innocence is another building block, represented by Claire Sanchez, and when she confronts face to face the worst thing in her life…we’ve got action and thrills.
Scary, mean, dark, compelling with the potential for hope and transformation are the building blocks for good psychological thrillers and dark fantasy!
Blurb from The Unholy:
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
Excerpt from The Unholy:
Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.
Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.
The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.