Summer’s Hollow on the Bayou

When I joined Broomsticks on the Bayou, I knew just what to make for the event: a gris-gris bag. I had selected black and red fabric for the wrapping, thistle, pine and dandelion leaf for the filling, and a hemp cord to secure the pouch. Like I said in a recent post, we could all “use a little mojo” these days. 

Then my eyes fell on the cover of my copy of Samantha Curtin’s Summer’s Hollow… The gris-gris was forgotten, and my muse began to sing of Bloody Fridays, dusty bones and flooded graveyards.

In case you are wondering, Summer’s Hollow is not set in New Orleans. But the mood of the story, the cursed objects, the lively graveyards, the haunted house where most of the bloodiness takes place and its mistress (particularly the latter) made me think of The Big Easy, perilous magic and of Marie Laveau. I won’t spoil the novel for you (spoilers are the scum of the universe), but I will say that one of the most popular legends about Marie Laveau assures believers that the Voodoo Queen never died…

Below are some bits out of my favorite passage of the novel. For some reason, I find myself (way too often) singing those words aloud. Sam probably put a spell on me. I’m almost convinced:

“…salt, dirt…
                animal bones…
                                a large black object…
                                                         rotting paper…
                                                                        a witch after all.”
“What no broomstick, no human hearts?”
                                                                   
Giveaway
a Signed copy of Summer's Hollow
by Samantha Curtin
 
To enter, answer the following: What is the scariest novel you’ve ever read? Here is my answer: Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite. I shiver just thinking about it. So, of course, I shall reread it soon…  

For Extra Entries – Worth one entry each
2. Ask Samantha a specific question about her writing process. Or if you’ve read Summer’s Hollow (the prologue is available at Amazon), ask her a question about setting, characters, motifs… 
3. Be a Wicked Darling. Follow Pagan Culture (this blog).
* Open worldwide, unless prohibited by law.
* Enter by Oct 24th at 5:13 pm EDT. Visit the Giveaway Rules page for eligibility and details. 
* Samantha Curtin is an author, blogger and technical writer. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and at her blog, Chronicles of an Anthropology Nerd.



So Good, So Dark Partiers: Please leave the links to your All Hallow’s Grim 2013 entries as comments on the original announcement post. Links left on other posts will be deleted. Gracias!

There is more… Grab your traveling pointy hat and fly over to Broomsticks on the Bayou.

63 comments:

  1. Swan Song by Robert McCammon... its the only one to come to mind and has stuck with me for years. There are some short stories from Ray Bradury that scared me too....

    Question: Is the town based upon a real town? And did you go there for research?

    I need this book. Now I don't know if I can hold out until Oct 25th, but I will try.

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    1. The town is actual a hybrid of a couple towns from both fiction and reality. My best friend growing up was originally from Linden, Washington which is a small farm town. I wanted to embody that with the charm of a Puritan town in the Northeast.

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  2. When I was 16 I read Steven King's "the Shining" didn't even think it was scary... Until page 300 & something LOL, and the boy Danny goes into a hotel room and pulls back a shower curtain...

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    1. Love The Shining! It is definitely a big inspiration in Summer's Hollow! I wanted to get into my main character's head as much as King gets into Danny's :)

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  3. It's not really a horror novel, but I have to say that the book that has made me feel the mostfear and anxiety for the characters and what was going to happen next was "Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss.

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    1. Sometimes suspense and anxiety is worse than fear! I find that I get the most anxious when reading crime dramas. They tend to unnerve me more than horror! lol

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  4. yes I stalk, but only in a passive way, truly :)

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  5. I recoil away from scary, so I have to admit "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill was the most unnerving thing I've ever read. The film is pretty dull by comparison, but the stage play is genuinely frightening; whole packed theatres scream aloud in terror. Great stuff.

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    1. Loved "The Woman in Black" though I haven't seen the the play or the movie yet.

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    2. Skip the film. They try and give it a happy ending...

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  6. Thanks for joining our party magaly!
    Hope you come visit.
    I think ...right now, I'd have to say Pet Sematary by my man Stephen King:)
    I read it years ago, about fifteen or so...and i'm still afraid to bring home death.lol
    have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Yes "Pet Sematary" has perhaps my favorite horror line: "Sometimes dead is better." This line holds up in Summer's Hollow as well.

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  7. Mine would have to be Steven King's The Shining and as creepy cool as Jack Nicholson was, he really disappointed me in that role! Because to me the scary part wasn't so much the ghosts and monsters, but the psychological portion of the story of a basically good man, trying to hold it together and slowly going mad and dragging those he loved with him to hell.

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    1. I have to agree with you; where I did enjoy the movie the book is tons better. The book encapsulates the psychological terror more so than the movie.

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    2. The movie skips too many of the yummy parts. Now, I can't wait to read Doctor Sleep!

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  8. I don't generally find myself attracted to 'horror' novels, as usually defined. Those I have read I find to be more along the lines of psychological studies of character, & more interesting than scary. However, for me, Kala Trobe's novel 'Spiritus' left an unsettling feeling behind. It reminded me of Milgram's experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment). Which, in turn, is a reminder than humans, in a group, are easily manipulated & inherently dangerous.

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    1. I think you and I, Petoskystone, think of horror in very different ways. The chunks of rotten flesh dropping off a zombie's face don't scare me. Things like Lords of the Flies, The Stanford Prison Experiments, Jesus Camps... terrify me. People can be so scary...

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  9. I follow merrily along with your blog.

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  10. Pet Sematary by Stephen King is one of the few books to ever wake me up in the middle of the night. I love scary, creepy and horrific and this book pretty much had it all! Of course it didn't help that I had a creepy cat that liked to sit on a shelf by my bed and just stare at me. *sigh* I miss that cat!

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    1. I would miss that cat, too ;-)

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  11. Luscious prologue. What is the approximate time difference between poor Mary's predicament & where Rylie's story starts. (See? See! Young humans in groups acting suspicious.)

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    1. Love that you used the word luscious to describe the prologue! There's about 200 years difference between May and Rylie's existence.

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    2. A sweet length of time. Just fine for a myth to come to life :)

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  12. It has been a while since I have read anything tryly horrifying but in my younger years I was a Peter Straub fan. Perhaps because he was born not far from here? Ghost Story is the title that comes to mind the fastest.

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  13. I continue to be a follower.

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  14. My question to Samantha is, did you become a reader at an early age? Were you drawn to certain genres or did you read everything you could? Do you find yourself meeting new people and filing them away to become future characters?

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    1. I did! I started reading when I was young and mostly loved fantasy/sci-fi growing up. Once I got to an age I could read at a higher level I started reading the classic novels. I also found I have a love for Shakespeare as well. Of course my love always lies with Horror. Essentially you hit the nail on the head: I read whatever I could get my hands on - except for romance though; never was a big fan. Yes! I love talking to people from different cultures/walks of life and using them as inspiration for stories.

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  15. Nice entry, Magaly. The first post I am reading after my forced week off, as I fell ill. But today I started my blogging straight from Broomsticks on the Bayou and your post :)
    I'd like to read Summer's Hollow. Now I am still hanging on the House of the Seven Gables.
    The scariest novel I've read... well, let me recollect my childhood and when my Mum introduced me to the S. Kings short stories, one of them The Boogeyman was scary them and now for me.. I shall reread it too :) Have a happy Sunday!

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    1. Love King's short stories! I own The Night Shift which is my favorite collection. It has The Boogeyman in it.

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  16. Every time I seeee the name 'Poppy Z Brite' I kick myself for still not having picked up one of her books. Granted, they are hard to come by here, but still. And I LOVE scary stories. I should be ashamed of myself.

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  17. Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" scared the crap out of me.
    Theresa N
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  18. Hmmm....that's a tough one. I'm going to have to go with Rosemary's Baby. I read it when I was 12 and was terrified of satanists for years....ok, decades.

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  19. I am following via email and GFC.

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  20. Question: How do your characters come into existence....do you choose them or do they choose you?

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    1. I hope Sam answers this one. It's always wonderful to know how character and writer meet!

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    2. This kind of goes in line with the last question. I definitely find qualities in people to use for my characters but ultimate it’s as I write that my characters become who they are. They do in fact most of the time choose me. This is especially true about their names. For example in my second published work: “Deal with the Devil” I was going to name my main character Kris (before she turned into the vampire Aer) but she decided that she was going to be named Jordan. I found myself writing a scene between her and a customer and they called her Jordan. I had to stop and realize that it meant that was her name now. Though in that case the point was really her name didn’t matter before she became a vampire.

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  21. Oooo...great questions! My fav stone/crystal is amber or garnet...or bloodstone, my birthstone! My fav scary book/story has got to be The TellTale Heart by EA Poe...anything by him has stuck with me but that one in particular is the scariest. Thanks so much for stopping by my Bayou post...LOL, so glad you like HellBaby...he really is very sweet....I promise...;)

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    1. I LOVE "The Tell Tale Heart." The tone is fantastic. Every time I read it aloud, I kind of scream the words LOL

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  22. Does the story that is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" count? For sheer anticipatory terror, it get's my vote every time.

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    1. That's one of my favorite tales!

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  23. It was a book called "Rockinghorse" by William W. Johnstone. I read it in high school. It was printed in 1986 and is out of print now. I shouldn't spoil it, but since it's out of print, it's probably okay. It was about a house that was alive. It would breath and make sounds and when it burns it smells like roasting flesh.

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    1. I . Must . Read . This!

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    2. I'm with Mags; I have to read this!

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  24. I can't really say any of the books I have read I have found scary, I have yet to find a story that really gets me, but I'm still looking! I love a good horror story! Edgar Allan Poe is definitely a favorite to read.

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    1. I get it, Laura. I rarely get scared by horror, but certain human behavior makes me shake!

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  25. The scariest book I ever read wasn't necessarily scarey but spooky. It was a collection of stories called "Grimm's Grimmest". Gave me vivid, really surreal and spooky dreams! I still get a chill that runs up my spine when I think about it.

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    1. "Murder, kidnapping, cruel punishment, and violent revenge," oh my! I'm so getting this!

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  26. I feel like a jerk not getting to your blog party when it started. I forced myself on another hiatus that will be ending shortly... I'm taking tonight to catch up on the awesomeness that ensued ;-)

    The only books that have ever rattled me enough to put down for any extended period of time were Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse and Lost Souls.. Just the ferocious and grisly details were.. wow. I always recommend her stuff. She has a way of really hitting certain nerves in a person and she is amazing.

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    1. You should feel terrible, so awful... how can you abandon me like this, after I was in labor for 3 decades with you... oh, um, that wasn't me. Just kidding... we all need to do what we must ;-)

      I'm glad I'm not the only one. Those two books got to me, too.

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  27. The book Abandoned Prayers creeped me out!
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo dot com

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  28. I enter holy ghost the day before not much on the dark, and I love the cold I've been called the Ice Goddess or Queen but i do love the French Quarter, Bayou and all its magical phenomenon, although I'm a light kind of person there is still beauty in the dark, i have had the darkness nightmare imaginable and wrote them down....scarier then anything i've ever read I've been told my guardian is the Wolf, and I love to sketch and I once painted hell with red tears to send to the one who nearly destroyed me, but \i didn't something interfered...i had too get the poison out, I have lived in the bottom of the dark, a pain unlike anything \i've ever know and to this \i wonder what was I in a previous life to have felt such dark pain and this is true, i was in hell for a better part of my life, and \i don't know, then i drew the poison out \i should have sent it...

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  29. Scariest novel ever still torments me.....end of the world book, what happens to humans who survive, monsters of the worse kind...and always the spectral of death laughing his gurgling heart out, it is dark...and yet woth every page of fthis 1,000 plus pages novel, got the last two novels of Frankenstein but haven't found the firs t 3 and then of course there is Hannibal.....for shows, Supernatural first time I saw saw scares the living daylight out of me, so of course I had to look at it a second tiem....Goodness came first, the dark second

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    1. Frankenstein makes me sad, but doesn't scare me. Hannibal... well, mean and butchery makes me giggle a bit. I know, terribly wicked Magaly ;-)

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  30. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I WON YOUR SUMMER'S HOLLOW, I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER, I GOT THAT LITTLE TASTE & LUSTED FOR MORE :) I CAN'T STOP SHOUTING!!!!!! THANK YOU WILL EMAIL SOON YEEHAAAAA :) HUGS & THANKS!!!!!!!

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    1. You've made me grin in such a way. I can't wait until Sam sees this ;-D

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  31. WHOOPS, so excited THANKS SAM & MAGALY :) WOOHOOOOO!!!!

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    1. Thank you! And the ball boys, of course ;-D

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