Rachel Coles, author of Pazuzu’s Girl, Into the Ruins, and Beyond The Veil, lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. She works in public health disaster preparedness. She enjoys researching mythology to incorporate into story-telling. Her family and friends share her enthusiasm for fantasy and science fiction, she is the proud mom of one of the youngest Trekkies in the state.
Coles was already on board with the YA Indie Carnival when I joined. She has been a steady source of “geek mom” fun. Let’s get to know her a little better…
What is your all-time favorite book, and why?
I’m not sure I could pick a single one. One of my favorite series is Dan Simmons’ Hyperion series: Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, Rise of Endymion. I loved those books because they were complex, and when I put the last one down, it felt like my brain had changed after reading them. Mind-blowing. The series explored human evolution, not just physical, but religious and cultural, in the kind of time-span covered by Dune. It also explored artificial intelligence, in a different way than anything I’d read before. I also loved reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I always enjoy reading that because Discworld really Continue reading “YA Indie Spotlight: RACHEL COLES”→
YA Indie Carnival fans, you’re in for a special treat this week. It’s Best Indie Scares…BOO!
I’ve got two for you, a recommendation and an excerpt.
1) The Recommendation
For a chilling Halloween read, check out Beyond the Veil: A Ghost Story Anthology by fellow indie carnival author Rachel Coles. I highly recommend it. I remember reading the story Kisses on my iPad in bed one night and had to turn it off because I was getting the heeby-jeebies from every shadow in the room. It’s great.
2) The Excerpt
Thought I would also include a scary short that I’ve written. This is one of my favorite scenes from the Midnight Guardian series. Keira shares this guardian bedtime story with Colby in Of Sun & Moon. Enjoy!
Once upon a time…
A band of explorers were returning home after a long journey. Their expedition had taken more than two decades to complete. They now were making their way through Greece. Once they reached Athens, it would only be a few days more by ship to reach their homeland. When they, at last, reached the city, the weary travelers sought supplies and a night’s refuge before embarking on the final leg of their journey.
They found the city of Athens to be glorious and progressive. The citizens welcomed the strangers with open arms, even though they were creatures, like none they had ever seen before. Mogdoc was the name they grunted. The guttural name bubbled up from the primordial mud out of which they crawled. Of course, that’s not how they made their first impression.
They looked like monsters, but they were not judged on appearance. The kind-hearted people embraced their differences and took them in. They gave them warm food, cold drink, and soft beds. The mogdocs, no longer thinking of home, found excuses to stay first one night, then another, and another.
On the third night, the mogdocs were the special guests of a general in the Athenian army. The youngest female mogdoc, equivalent to a human of 6-years-old, had become fast friends with the general’s daughter. They spent every waking moment together. They skipped arm-in-arm, shared toys, and even played tea party with sweet drink and cake. On that night, the third night, the young mogdoc snuck out of bed for a midnight snack. She crept down the stairs, stole an apple from the kitchen, and slipped into the rose garden. To her astonishment, her friend, the general’s daughter was already there. The young girl was seated on a concrete bench at the garden’s edge. As the mogdoc got closer, she could see that the girl was crying. A rose thorn had pierced her finger. The tiny mogdoc took her finger, pulled out the thorn, and sniffed the blood.
In those days, mogdocs carried pouches of healing herbs. The elder mogdocs still carry them today as a reminder of this story. This young mogdoc had one and immediately delved into it. She pulled out some sweet smelling herbs and wrapped them around her friend’s finger. This made the young girl feel better. She hugged her mogdoc friend before returning to bed.
The next morning, the girl told her father of how the curious stranger had nursed her finger. The general was delighted and in gratitude invited the mogdoc clan to extend their stay. So, over the next few days, the mogdocs continued to stay at the general’s home. The children’s midnight meeting in the garden became a nightly occurrence. On the sixth night, the mogdoc was the first to arrive in the garden. The human girl skipped to the bench. The young mogdoc smiled at her friend and offered her a bite of her midnight snack. The general’s daughter screamed in horror. There was no apple. That night’s midnight snack was a human infant, blue and drained of blood. The young mogdoc took delight in the girl’s fear. She slashed the girl’s neck and fed from her friend until she was no more.
This story has been handed down from generation to generation as a testament to the manipulative nature of the mogdocs and the evil found in even the youngest of their kind. The mogdoc child had befriended the human girl to gain access. She had played tea party to sweeten the blood. She had healed her a few nights before out of greed, in order to save every drop of blood until the time was right.
If you dare for more scares, check out these other YA Indie Carnival blogs: