The Jed Horn series usually hasn’t involved a great deal of research (certainly nowhere near as much as either the Praetorian series or Kill Yuan). A little bit of looking around for cool big-bore rifles for the Witch Hunters to carry, perhaps, but for the most part, the series has been a somewhat more serious version of telling spook stories around the campfire at Scout Camp (and depriving young Scouts of many hours of sleep). But with Older and Fouler Things, I ran into the need to do some research. Since the story is a cross between The Exorcist, Dracula, and an old-fashioned dungeon crawl (with holy gunslingers and a biker priest/exorcist), there is a substantial part that happens underground, in an old, abandoned silver mine. Now, I’ve been in a hard-rock mine before, but it was many, many moons ago, so memory is hazy, at best. I had to do some digging. The best resource I found was a YouTube channel entitled “Exploring Abandoned Mines and Unusual Places.” I got a good idea of general layouts of old hard-rock mines, whether silver, copper, or even tin. I also found some stuff that kind of fit in with the Jed
Edit 2 is finished, and the preorder for the Kindle version of Older and Fouler Things is up! It will release on September 22. In the meantime, here’s a look at Chapter 4. Oh, and there’s a cover, too. Paul didn’t show up to breakfast, even though it was pretty late in the morning, and the sounds and smells of frying bacon and eggs were permeating the entire house. After the events of the previous night, that was a matter of some concern. I was about to go check on him, but Eryn put a hand on my arm. “Let me get him,” she said quietly. “If he’s as traumatized as I think he might be, a gentle voice will probably help him a little more. No offense, hon, but you’re better at the ‘shooting monsters’ part, and I’m better at the ‘comforting victims afterward’ part.” I just nodded, and stepped back. I was still hovering in the hallway, though, and I still had my .45 on my hip. The combination of Magnus’ reaction to him, the eerie activity at the witching hour that morning, and his silence and absence at breakfast were not serving to make me particularly comfortable.
Chapter 3 It was a long drive back to Ray’s place, and we were tired. Fighting a demonic manifestation in a Bed and Breakfast can really take it out of you. We stopped several times to rest along the way. Eryn and I could switch off driving, but Kolya and Father Ignacio didn’t have that luxury. At least Father Ignacio could go a lot farther on a single tank of gas, riding that Harley of his. Paul wasn’t helping much; according to Kolya, he was spending most of the drive sleeping, when he wasn’t staring blankly out the window. None of us necessarily blamed him; the first brush with the powers of the Abyss can be pretty traumatic. He’d need time. It was well after dark by the time we pulled in. Ray’s house, a long, one-story, hewn-log building that he’d built himself, was dark, at least at first. As the gravel crunched under our wheels, a light flickered to life in the window. Either Magnus had heard us coming and woken Ray up, or he’d somehow known we’d be pulling in right at that moment.
The woman was in the lead, two steps ahead of the man. She was also half a head taller than he was, with a narrow, severe sort of face, blond hair pulled back into a tight ponytail behind her head. She looked around at us rather imperiously, her mouth pressed into a thin line. “Who are you people?” she asked. Her voice was clipped and slightly nasal. And her tone immediately set my teeth on edge. “Who wants to know?” I replied, shifting my Winchester to the crook of my arm as I folded my arms in front of me. I could see the badge on her belt and the big yellow letters “FBI” on her blue windbreaker. But her attitude put my back up, especially coming after what we’d just done. “I’m Special Agent Trudeau, and this is Special Agent Miller,” she replied, in the same clipped, arrogant tone of voice. “Now, tell me who you are.” “Lady, unless you’ve got a warrant, which the good police chief over there might object to, given what just happened, I suggest you get a lot more polite in the next five seconds, or you can pound sand,” I told her.
Had something else in mind for this post, but got too busy. So here’s a bit of a look at the work in progress. Chapter 1 Crossing the police line was like stepping into a sauna. It had been warm enough out on the street; it was the middle of August, after all. But Spokane was relatively dry and arid. This felt like we’d just walked into a swamp in the middle of Mississippi. In August. There was also a heavy scent in the air. It wasn’t quite incense, and it wasn’t quite burned blood, though there was a hint of that; something metallic. It was something I’d smelled before, and didn’t care to smell again. Cloying, sickening, and absolutely wrong. I had felt like we were being watched before we even set foot across the police line and onto the yard in front of the spruced-up old neo-Victorian house. And not necessarily by the swarms of cops, firefighters, EMS personnel, reporters, cameramen, and curious neighbors who were gathered on the street. There was someone, or something, up in that house, and it didn’t want us there. That was abundantly clear as soon as Eryn, Kolya, and I stepped
The Canyon of the Lost is out today! Check it out for a short adventure with Jed Horn and Dan Weatherby, about a year after Nightmares and some time before A Silver Cross and a Winchester.
At long last, The Walker on the Hills is live, for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. Paperback can be ordered, but is taking longer than anticipated; Createspace is being slow, probably due to the proximity of Christmas. I’m kind of proud of this one; I think it’s the strongest of the series to date. It’s certainly the longest. There’s a lot going on, and a few hints of things to come for those who are paying attention. The Kindle can be found here, with the Nook version here.
With the first draft finished, and the pre-order out, here’s the final sample chapter: Chapter 5 I almost bowled Tall Bear over as I slammed out the door, my .45 already in my hand. I didn’t see any of the crowd carrying guns, but I was almost certain that somebody in there would be packing heat. There were certainly enough pipes, chains, and baseball bats in evidence. I didn’t stop at the door, either. I kept moving toward the truck; my rifle was in there. Sure, I had the 1911, but a pistol is what you use to fight your way to the long gun that you should have had the whole time. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Tall Bear and Craig, Craig’s quarrel with us apparently momentarily forgotten, rushing to the cruiser, where they must have had shotguns or patrol rifles.