Ooh, I like that word: psychopompery. I think I just made it up. Maybe?
Anyway, I’m pretty darn excited about this newest anthology, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE 2. Whew! That title is a mouthful. It’s an anthology of 24 short stories. I’ve been a fan of the Mammoth Books for a while, and longingly desired to be a part of one, so when the editor, Trisha Telep emailed me about being in one of them, I jumped.
I used to think I’d never write short stories, and then I started doing some Nocturne Bites, which clock in around 10K words, and found it was kinda fun, and a little freeing, to work in that short format. Now in the Mammoth Book, I think I ended with about 8K words in my story. Normally, that would be a single scene for me in my single title books. Heh. But I admit, I love the short format.
My story in this book is “The Sin Eater’s Promise”, and I’ve had the sin eater character (Desdenova Fleetwood) in my brain for years, and just hadn’t found the right story for her until now. Sin eaters fascinate me. They are sort of religious magicians. Through the process of consuming food or drink, they can ‘eat’ the sins of the deceased or dying. The process I find most interesting is where the sin eater places a piece of white bread upon the chest of the deceased (we can hope, on a plate), sprinkles a little salt on it, then eats the bread. Voila! Sins are gone through some magical process we can only believe in fiction and fairy-tales. Yet, sin eaters actually exist. They were actually excommunicated by the Catholic Church. I won’t go into a lengthy description, but you can click over to Wikipedia to learn more. One of the questions I explore in the story is: If you had the power to take away sin, would you have a right to take away that sin?
It sounds like a heavy story, but it’s actually a sweet romance, pairing my sin eater heroine with a soul bringer (aka psychopomp; the dude who carries souls either to Heaven or Hell). And heck, there’s 24 authors in all in this anthology, so I can’t wait to read it myself!
Here’s a blurb: Sin eater, Desdenova Fleetwood dreamed of falling in love—but knew it could never happen to her. When the mysterious soul bringer, Blackthorn Regis, demands she give up her livelihood, the two question their very reason for living—and loving.
To celebrate the release of this anthology, I’ll give away a copy of ANGEL SLAYER (where the soul bringer hero, Blackthorn Regis, first appeared), to one commenter!