So what is that you see on the right? A poser figure in skimpy
red briefs? Why, yes indeed! Meet Zacula.
Changeling Press issued this little novella (can you tell?) It's the only Halloween-themed story I've ever written and also the most chock-full-of-sex story I've ever written. The original title was You Can Leave Your Bat On, which perfectly suits the somewhat comedic plot, but I was told it was too long for the cover.
Without further ado, or excuses, following are the blurb for and an excerpt from BOOLICIOUS.
* * * * *
Often, breaking up with a boyfriend is a blessing in disguise. Sometimes, being stuck with crazy relatives is the same thing.
Hannah Blue didn’t think so after she made an ill-advised bet with her Aunt Kate, a bawdy old hippie and self-styled witch. A little too much wine had made Hannah cocky enough to think she could get laid by November 1 and, in so doing, become a hundred dollars richer. But it isn’t happening that way. Hannah’s picky about men.
As the bet’s deadline draws near, Aunt Kate decides to give her niece a little behind-the-scenes help. She wants Hannah to have a restorative roll in the hay and win that C-note.
But even a weird and wild Halloween swingers’ party doesn’t bring a man Hannah’s way. Horny and glum, she decides to boost her spirits by strolling down the streets of her neighborhood and enjoying Trick-or-Treat night. She eventually tags along with a trio of unescorted kids. It’s a pleasant, innocent diversion that helps Hannah resign herself to being a loser.
Until, at one house, a man in a vampire cape comes flying out the door . . . and proves the most delectable piece of candy, and the best way to win a bet, Hannah could ever have imagined.
* * * * *
Kate remained ensconced in her overstuffed easy chair and gave this dilemma some thought. So, even a hundred dollars wasn’t enough inducement to get her niece back on the man track. Or even on a woman track. Any joy in sex was preferable to no joy in sex. Damn.
First the poor girl had to endure the deceitfulness of that shit-spitter Mark. Now she couldn’t seem to pull herself out of the cesspool he’d created. Kate had a sudden image of Hannah standing at the bottom of an outhouse pit, staring helplessly at the light coming through the hole but unable to climb toward it.
Pathetic. Just pathetic.
Hannah hadn’t even hit thirty yet. She was smart and pretty and talented. And she had a perfectly healthy libido. Or at least she did have one, until Mr. Lie-my-ass-off started cheating on her at every turn.
Kate glanced at her makeshift altar, then at the skewed piles of erotic romance novels teetering on her end table, then at the altar again. She’d steadfastly refused, up to now, to work any sympathetic magic on Hannah’s behalf. She wanted her niece to take off and soar under her own power. But maybe a little boost wouldn’t hurt…
Getting up from the chair, her jewelry tinkling like wind chimes, Kate nudged her cat Blackthorn off the stacks of books. One volume tumbled to her feet. Hm. Maybe she wouldn’t have to rifle through the whole mess of them. Maybe this was the one she was meant to use.
Kate bent down to lift it off the floor. A paranormal. She glimpsed a bat in the background of the cover art. Some other strange stuff, too.
Uh-oh. This could be dicey. Sometimes her magic went slightly awry. Kate didn’t want her beloved niece to end up with some wacko. Or, worse yet, a genuine creature of the night. But holy hot damn, that cover model was one nice piece!
Still weighing the risks, Kate carried the paperback to her altar. If she really concentrated, and she used the proper combination of candles and incense, words and mental energy, everything should be all right.
Now, what music to put on? Dr. John? No, that might not be a good idea. Kate thought if she could extract the gris-gris from his music and leave all that other voodoo spook mojo behind, she wouldn’t have to worry about the song lyrics combining too powerfully with that paranormal romance. But she wasn’t adept enough at witchcraft to do such a thing. A lot could go wrong. Hannah didn’t need to get balled by a zombie. Shit, she wasn’t Anita Blake.
Kate squinted at her cat. After she’d rousted Blackthorn from the books, he’d leapt to the back of the sofa and stretched out there. He met her stare with a lazy blink. Jefferson Airplane, the cat suggested. Grace Slick singing "Don’t You Want Somebody to Love?" and "White Rabbit."
"What does ‘White Rabbit’ have to do with Hannah’s situation?" Kate asked, confused.
That one’s for you. The other song is for Hannah.He gave her another blink. Or maybe a wink.
Feed your head.
Kate swished over to a group of hand-crafted Ojibwa baskets tucked beneath the bottom shelf of a bookcase. They held her stashes of candles, incense, oils, and potentially useful trinkets. Her record collection—and oh, how she loved that vinyl—was on the shelf just above. Carrying what she needed back to the altar, she detoured to her turntable and carefully placed the correct album over the spindle. The tone arm and stylus seemed to find the LP’s first groove like…well, like magic. So far, so good.
Gleefully rubbing her hands, Kate scurried back to the altar. She didn’t have to cast a Circle. She already had one laid down on the worn oriental carpet. Made up of various thrift-shop necklaces and bracelets, it frequently got jagged out of line. Sometimes the vacuum cleaner sucked up a segment or two. Sometimes Blackthorn took a fancy to one of the pieces. But what the hell. The original shape, Kate figured, still lay invisibly beneath the broken and squiggly physical outline.
One more thing. She needed a picture of Hannah. After a final trip to the bookcase, where her photo albums also lay, Kate was ready to begin some serious witchery.
She lit the candles she’d chosen, one red and one white. She set three cones of incense—jasmine, vanilla and cherry—in a shallow brass dish engraved with a Greek key design, and lit the cones. On a piece of fine stationery, she scribbled down an appropriate summary of the spell’s most desirable outcome. She clipped this handwritten statement over Hannah’s photograph, then clipped those two pieces over the image of that drop-dead gorgeous model.
On a whim, Kate dripped some melting wax from the red candle onto her altar top—actually, an old library table she’d gotten at an auction. She rolled the soft wax into a cylinder about one inch long and an eighth of an inch thick. Grinning at her ingenuity, she stuck one end of the little tube on the book cover, right at the model’s crotch. Whoa. Dude was hung now. Some of the wax had smeared across his pelvis, but that shouldn’t make any difference.
Kate carefully set the book with its clipped-on additions into a small, cast iron cauldron. She snuck a glance at her wall clock. Gotta pick up the pace. Riley was coming over in an hour and she had to prepare for his arrival. The man was fourteen years her junior—threw a mean fuck, too—so she wanted to look her best.
Feeling rushed, Kate murmured an improvised incantation and touched a match to the paperback. Grace Slick warbled in the background. Blackthorn dozed.
Flames began to curl over the whole book just as Kate realized she should have removed its cover. God only knew what weird-ass characters and situations were contained in that novel ... not to mention others by the same author. She focused with all her might on the model alone and tried to will away any unwanted influences. But, hey, Riley was coming over. Who could blame her for being a little distracted?