Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

things are about to get bloody...- The Devil's Disease (Shades Below #2) by L.J.K. Oliva

In the city by the Bay, things are about to get bloody...
This time, there are more than just ghosts walking the streets of San Francisco.
There are monsters, too.


Published: March 31st, 2016
Cover Artist: Amy Mateyka

In the city by the Bay, things are about to get bloody...

Psychic medium Lena Alan always sticks to what she knows, and what she knows are dead people. When her brother Cyrus agrees to look into a troubling incident for local vampire Seneca Lynch, Lena finds herself in unfamiliar territory. 

One thing is clear: she needs a detective, and there's only one she trusts.

Private investigator Jesper MacMillian is ready to get back to business. Between his duties as leader of the city's Romani community and the stack of unfinished paperwork on his desk, he doesn't have time to think about ghosts, witches, or Lena Alan. After nearly a month of no contact, he's starting to think she's forgotten about him...until she waltzes through his office door and hands him a new case.

Still reeling from his last encounter with the subversive world, MacMillian is tempted to turn it down. But this is Lena, and he can't bring himself to tell her no. He soon finds himself drawn even deeper into the shadows, into a part of the demimonde where folklore is real and nightmares are born.

This time, there are more than just ghosts walking the streets of San Francisco.

There are monsters, too.
Coexistence In Shades Below

"Say what you will about us, Mr. MacMillian, but every human you saw tonight was here of their own free will." Lynch watched the people still trickling past. "They seek us out. They flock to us in droves. Do you know why?"

MacMillian didn't speak.

"Because we give them something." Lynch turned back to him. "They give us their blood, and in return, we give them a place to belong. We give them an identity. You'd be surprised how many humans have never had either of those before."

MacMillian shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I don't see people with an identity. I see people playing dress-up, so desperate to belong they'll believe anything you tell them." He tightened his jaw. "They have no clue what's really going on."

"And now you do." Lynch shifted. "You may be right. It is in our best interests to facilitate certain...fantasies. But really, isn't that what identity is? The stories we tell others, the names we call ourselves?"

MacMillian didn't have an answer to that. He gripped his cane a little tighter. "And what about you? What do you call yourself, Lynch?"

Lynch smiled into the darkness. "Why, my dear detective. I am a monster."

First off, thanks so much for having me back on your blog! I'm thrilled to be here, and excited to add my two cents to the fascinating topic of paranormal coexistence: humans and monsters living side-by-side.

While I first started writing my Shades Below urban fantasy series, I was fascinated with the thought of a magical world existing right alongside our human one; the idea that at any given moment, fantastical things might be going on right under our noses, just outside our field of vision.

That led rather naturally to the question: how would humans react to such things?

I chose the above excerpt because it illustrates how I've chosen to tackle that question. In Shades Below, the majority of humans are in the dark about the paranormal. Part of this is deliberate on the part of my subversive community- they simply don't want people to know about them.

Part of this, though, I attribute to people's intrinsic fear of anything that is different; anything they don't understand and can't readily explain. In the above excerpt, the vampire Seneca Lynch hints at this. The humans in The Devil's Disease treat San Francisco's vampire community as just another subculture. They go to the clubs, dress up for the parties, even offer up their blood on occasion.

But they're not part of the community. Even when they're staring it in the face, they choose not to see it.

For them, it's more of an exotic adventure. It's a way to cut loose and rebel on Saturday night, with the knowledge that when the sun comes up Sunday morning, their world won't have changed.

The idea of coexistence is only one of several somewhat existential topics I enjoyed exploring in The Devil's Disease. If you want to explore it with me, I hope you'll pick up the book! But be forewarned...

The world you see is just the beginning.

About the author:
L.J.K Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva. She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody. L.J.K. likes monsters... and knows the darkest ones don't live in closets. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey guys! Thanks so much for having me back on your blog- it's always a pleasure and an honor to contribute. Have a great week! :-)