The Big Giveaway Contest

Merkabah Rider 4 coverSaludos amigos!

With the Christmas holiday approaching and me having completed the last of my convention appearances for the year, I thought it’d be fun to clear out a little book stock and give you all an end of the year contest.

Normally I just do the usual first five postings thing, but I decided to do something interesting this time out. Below is an excerpt from the final book in my Judeocentric/Lovecraftian weird western series, Merkabah Rider: Once Upon A Time In the Weird West. I like to include little easter eggs in my books, references to things that have inspired me, links to other worlds and characters in the grand fictional multiverse of the collective consciousness, and Merkabah Rider is full of them. Besides the historical characters who pop up from time to time, in the various books I’ve tied the world of the Rider to among other things, Solomon Kane, King Arthur, Quantum Leap, and Doctor Who.

The following passage contains seven references to various books and movies (a hint: three of the names mentioned are part of one reference). Send a list of what they are and where they come from to emerdelacATgmail.com. It’s an open internet test so it probably won’t be too hard. The person with the most correct answers gets the whole enchilada – a signed set of the complete Merkabah Rider series….so if it’s something you’ve been curious to try and haven’t yet, here’s your chance to get the whole series free of charge.

If multiple people get all seven, I’ll choose four winners at random. First place gets the set, second place gets a signed copy of my latest release, Coyote’s Trail. Third place gets a signed copy of Terovolas. Fourth gets a signed copy of Buff Tea. Take a look at the links on the right, click on the book covers to see what each title is about and read a sample from each, if you like.

In the excerpt below there is also an eighth, bonus reference not to a book or a movie. Name it with your picks and I’ll include something random.

And here’s another thing. Even if you don’t feel like looking all this up/don’t know it/don’t care….from now until 11:59PM Pacific December 19th, just drop me an email and you can have one e-copy of anything I’ve written (that I have e-copies of) abso-smurfly free. Limit one per response/email.

I’ll leave the contest open from now until midnight December 20th when I’ll pick and announce the winners and get ‘em in the mail for you by the 21st.

Here’s the excerpt….

In the Todos Mis Amigos cantina, the jeers and passions rose to a fevered pitch around the starkly lit fighting sand, as the black rooster Zorro rose fluttering and sunk its spur into the red shoulder of Gallo del Cielo. Blood flecked out on the sand and fortunes quivered and changed hands.

Among the shadowed patrons sweating tequila over fistfuls of hard earned money, swirling in the dreamy clouds of cigarro smoke, dozens of dramas unfolded that had no bearing upon the mortal battle of the roosters, and yet were reflected in their combat. Red Headed Slim Reezer pondered the betrayal of his partner Jesse McLaughlin. Young Oscar Diggs swore if the black won he would never set foot in Kansas again. A miner named Richard Wilkins III sipped mescal, guessing if the world were still here after tomorrow, maybe he would see what California was like. Lin McAdams waited for High Spade to return with the beer, and thought about the woman sleeping in his hotel room, wondered whether she could love a man that killed his own brother. Freddie Sykes propped a fresh corpse in the corner, pulling the dead man’s hat over his staring face and wiping his knife on his knee, trying to decide if this would affect the bank job he and Dog Kelly had planned for tomorrow, wondering for the twentieth time why he didn’t just find a señorita somewhere and retire. John Russell watched the barbaric exultations of the Indah stoically, inwardly aghast that he was one of them. A giggling woman passed a little white card back to the bespectacled gringo on whose knee she was perched and asked;

“What means ‘Electricisto y Aventurero?”
—–
Hasta pronto! Good luck, and Merry Christmas.

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An Excerpt From Terovolas

Following the events of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and his killing of the nefarious count’s vampiric wives, Professor Abraham Van Helsing commits himself to Dr. John Seward’s Purfleet Asylum, suffering from violent recurring fantasies, where he is diagnosed with melancholic lycanthropia.

Upon his discharge, seeking a relaxing holiday, Van Helsing volunteers to transport the remains and earthly effects of Quincey P. Morris back to the Morris family ranch in Sorefoot, Texas. But when he arrives, he finds Quincey’s brother Cole embroiled in escalating tensions with a neighboring outfit of Norwegian cattle ranchers led by the enigmatic Sig Skoll.

Men and animals start turning up dead and dismembered. Van Helsing suspects a preternatural culprit, but is a shapechanger really loose on the Texas plains, a murderous cult, or are the delusions of his previously disordered mind returning? He must decide soon, for the life of a woman may hang in the balance…

Here’s an excerpt –

From The Journal Of Professor Abraham Van Helsing(translated from the original Dutch)

5 July.

Thank God I am sane.

            Those were the last words I wrote concerning my previous expedition to the Carpathian Mountains. How much has happened since I wrote those words, and in such a short time! Eight whole months have passed. Where to begin?

I will tell of how I came to be diagnosed with lycanthropy.

Following the series of events which took me away from my teaching at the University in Amsterdam to London, and at last to the mountainous region of Wallachia, I deemed it necessary that I should submit myself to the observation and care of my old friend Dr. John Seward in his asylum in Purfleet. The particulars of my stay I will not here recount. If John has learned anything from his old mentor it is the value of copious notation, and thus it would be mundane to relate here what has probably been more thoroughly documented on his phonographic records.

I know now that the specific reasons behind my decision were conceived in certain deeds which I was forced to commit in my pursuit of Count Dracula. In particular, I believe that the seed of my instability was planted by his wives – those three beauteous ladies with whom I dealt so harshly whilst they lay in their ghastly repose. I do not know how much of my current mental state is the product of whatever preternatural bewitchment almost stayed my hand in their execution, and how much is the perfectly logical after-effect of prolonged mental stress and fatigue.

Whichever, not long after the funeral for our heroic Mr. Quincey Morris, I privately confided in John that I had begun to harbor some very unsettling, violent phantasies centering around our beloved Mrs.Mina Harker.

I was possessed of an unusually keen paranoia concerning her safety. I could not sleep for wont of assurance that she was at all times secure. I was at the Harkers’ nearly every day, and I am sorry to say I made quite a nuisance of myself. When at last Jonathan spoke frankly to me about my peculiar habit, I took to visiting the Harker home unannounced by night, watching from the silent shadows of the courtyard until the last lamps in the house were extinguished.

      I would find myself passing cemeteries, which were not on my usual route. A ghoulish compulsion began to grow within me, that I should inter the graves within and subject the innocent corpses to the same maschalimos treatments I had prescribed for the vampires. I took to carrying my implements with me—my mallet and stakes, vials of blessed water, and garlic cloves. I knew the bodies in those plots were not the creatures that my imagination was telling me they were, and yet I was overwhelmed with a desire to do them violence.

I also had terrible nightmares in which I would pry open the tomb of Miss Lucy Westenra-Holmwood, thinking to find Dracula’s favored bride there—the very lovely, dark haired one whose coffin had commanded such a special place in his ossuary. When I flung aside the sarcophagus however, it was always Miss Mina who would leap from the casket, slavering and hungry for my blood. Sometimes these terrors ended with my death. Quite a peculiar thing, for is it not speculated that those who die in dreams die in life? Other times, they ended with her’s—and if it was her’s, it was always a prolonged, bloody end, and my phantasmic alter ego would perform acts of lustful malice upon her too vile even to recount here.

In a moment of clarity I saw that it would not be long before I was apprehended in the midst of some atrocity that would bring myself and my loved ones much shame. It was with no small relief that I surrendered the care of my body and mind to my friend John.

I have been on extended leave from my teaching for far too long, but I am grateful to the understanding of my colleagues, who have written me with assurances that I can return whenever I am able. It is good to feel needed.

I also take comfort now that I am once again the man that I was, and am pursuing an active role in my emotional convalescence. I feel that my return to these notes, which are evolving into a kind of journal, is somehow a part of it. John tells me that there was a time when I would place this book within a circle of holy water and bury it in sprigs of fresh cut roses, and cower in the corner of my room, not daring to look at it, fearing the entries scrawled within. I have no memory of this, and it seems humorous to me now that I should have been so foolish. I hope that John will share his documentation of my case with his grateful patient one day, if only to amuse an old man.

Image courtesy of JssXIII….find more of his art here – https://www.facebook.com/JSSXIIIART

It was John who diagnosed me with melancholic lycanthropia. I was of course already familiar with the condition. It has been in the physician’s lexicon since the fifth century, though with the advent of modern medicine and the eradication of humoral theory, the melancholic has been mostly done away with, leaving the lycanthropy (the Greek lykos –‘wolf’ and anthropos–‘man’) alone intact.

In folklore of course, it is the name given to the werewolf—the man or woman who assumes the shape of a wolf, usually by night. The means by which this is achieved are numerous, and include everything from wolf-hide belts and imaginatively composed unguents, to the ubiquitous pact with Satan.

In psychiatric terms, lycanthropy refers to the belief of the patient that he or she assumes the form and characteristics of a wolf or other beast. This belief often translates itself into violent and in the extreme, even cannibalistic acts. While it was never in my mind (I do not think) that I should become a beast and eat the flesh of the living (or the dead), I do believe that the acts which I was contemplating were of a potentially bestial nature.

When John first brought his theory to me, I was reminded of the case of the soldier Bertrand, who in 1849 in France began his horrific career by strolling through cemeteries at night just as I had. Bertrand took to digging up and mutilating the bodies of young women and girls. It took a spring gun trap set into a freshly buried coffin to end his diabolical career at last. I did not want my ailment to progress so far as had Bertrand’s.

But these things are behind me now. The nightmares have ceased, and the barely controlled instincts have abated.

It is most ironic however, to have written this and now to have to tell that I am on a passenger steamer with only the remains of poor Quincey Morris for company.

But I must explain.

Having born the body of our dear Mr. Morris back to London after the end of our travails, it was mutually agreed that as our American friend had made no preparations for his sudden and regrettable departure from this earth, we should let Arthur Holmwood Lord Godalming, who was his eldest and closest friend, decide what should be done with him.

“He was a man at home in so many places, and yet…it seems to me that he should want to rest at home, in Texas. He spoke very fondly of his family’s ranch there. Yes. Texas, I should think.”

This was the proclamation I heard Lord Godalming give prior to my illness, and so far as I knew, it was carried out when I entered John’s care.

Yet when I emerged again, Mr. Morris was still in London, reposing in an urn on Lord Godalming’s mantle.

During my recuperation much had occurred in the life of Arthur Holmwood that did not allow sufficient time for a voyage to America. There were many decisions to be made regarding his late father’s estate. Not only were there a good deal of unforseen settlements to be arranged with his father’s creditors, but there was also the managing of the will and the mediation of rival inheritors who were not at all disposed in their shameful avarice to allot to the executor and chief heir time enough to mourn for both a fiancé and a best friend.  A miser’s patience is truly as short as his compassion.

With John’s encouragement (he seemed to see in the hiatus some therapeutic value), I offered and was then granted the task of bearing the remains and worldly remembrances of Quincey P. Morris home to his native land, which lay in the Callahan County of Texas, United States American.

Pick up Terovolas here –

http://www.amazon.com/Terovolas-Edward-M-Erdelac/dp/1936564548/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432321186&sr=8-1&keywords=terovolas

And here’s the unexpurgated cover art from the very talented Wayne Miller, which I think deserves a look…

Merkabah Rider 2: The Mensch With No Name Yom Kippur Giveaway

Hey all, so for those of you on Goodreads, keep an eye on the giveaway feature as I’ll be putting up signed hard copies of my books throughout the month of October, including copies of Tales of a High Planes Drifter and The Mensch With No Name.  I’m also going to do the rounds of some friends’ blogs and pass out .pdf copies for those of you with e-readers.

For those stopping by this space though, I’ve got one copy of Merkabah Rider 2: The Mensch With No Name, specifically for fans of the series. Drop an email to EMErdelac(TAKE OUT THIS NO SPAM MESSAGE IN PARENTHESES)@gmail.com and tell me the Rider’s true name in the subject field.

On October 7th well before sundown on the Day of Atonement (big day in the Rider universe) I’ll toss the respondents’ names in the old kippah and send one lucky dog a signed copy of book two.  

Read a bit about the book here – https://emerdelac.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/merkabah-rider-2-the-mensch-with-no-name/

Hey, and let me just say for a minute….authors depend on readers and the buzz they generate among each other, whether they’re working under a big house name or duking it out in the indie press field. So please, not just with this giveaway, but in any book you read….if you like something, tell people! Tell ’em on Goodreads, tell ’em on Amazon, or whatever forum you frequent – tell your friends and family or your book club or the guys at the comic shop or LGS. Spread the word! It’s the best thanks an author can get.

Ah glick ahf dir!