When credulity reigned supreme…

When credulity reigned supreme…

Today is a really proud day for me. “The Seance” has finally launched, published by new outfit Dark Chapter Press. The paperback looks fantastic and the e-book is doing well, thanks to good pre-order interest on Amazon.

The Seance is well suited to its launch on Halloween. It is a creepy tale of horror, betrayal and loss set in Victorian London. We follow Albert Kench as he calls into question all that he believes is true in the world as he investigates the mystery surrounding his sister’s mental and physical collapse. Assisted by an old friend, Albert finds a man who may have the answers; a self-proclaimed black magician who has integrated himself with society’s elite. Delving into the unknown, Albert confronts horrifying truths beyond his reasoning and understanding, sacrificing the morals he clung to, on his quest for vengeance.

The story is born of my fascination with all things Victorian. Where Dr Blessing was born of my interest in Victorian medicine, cure-alls and genuine pharmaceutical practices, The Seance comes from my interest in quack science, mystics and the Spiritualist movement. Mediums employed many shady practices and tricks (some of which occur in the story) and preyed upon the faith of those who mourned for lost loved ones. They happily took money on the pretense that they could tap into the great beyond, to bring back messages from the departed. So many Victorians, even those of good standing and well-educated, fell for it, lining the pockets of these shysters quite willingly.

Magicians emerged, never claiming to make use of spiritual powers, rather insisting that they created an illusion. Their purpose was to entertain and to baffle, not to take money from the emotionally vulnerable. In many cases, these magicians, applying the science they understood from the creation of their illusions, sought to expose the fraudulent mediums, often posing as believers in Seance sittings, striking when the moment was right.

Arthur Conan Doyle was a believer in Spiritualism, which I found surprising, given the application of reason demonstrated by his greatest creation. Conan Doyle’s wife too, was deeply embedded in Spiritualism. Indeed she claimed to possess the ability to ‘spirit write’ or ‘automatic write’, a practice where a spirit supposedly guides a pen or pencil held by the ‘medium’, to scrawl a message to the living. A great friend of Arthur Conan Doyle’s, the illusionist Harry Houdini, voiced his incredulity on this matter and so Conan Doyle invited Houdini to a demonstration.

In the demonstration, Lady Conan Doyle declared that she had a message from Houdini’s dead mother, and commenced to ‘spirit write’ a message from her. Houdini (whose real name was Erich Weiss and who was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary) was astonished and declared it a marvel that his mother, who had never been able to speak a word of English in life, had been granted the ability to write in English, post-mortem.

The Conan Doyle-Houdini friendship ran somewhat cold thereafter.

With this little insight into where the story came from, I hope you’ll check out The Seance. You can request the paperback from your local bookstore, or go to one of these well-known retailers:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/The-Seance-gothic-horror-misfortune-ebook/dp/B00NCD08ZY

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Seance-gothic-horror-misfortune-ebook/dp/B00NCD08ZY

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-seance-jack-rollins/1120362770?ean=9780993062001

Ebook Mall: http://www.ebookmall.com/ebook/the-seance-a-gothic-tale-of-horror-and-misfortune/jack-rollins/9780993062018

Blinkbox Books: https://www.blinkboxbooks.com/#!/book/9780993062018/the-seance-a-gothic-tale-of-horror-and-misfortune

Ebooks by Sainsbury’s: http://www.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/book/The-Seance-A-Gothic-Tale-of-Horror-and-Misfortune-Jack-Rollins/7954327

Waterstones: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/jack+rollins/the+seance/11377449/

 

For those who would like to know more about the Victorian age of credulity, I recommend as a starting point “Medical Meddlers, Mediums and Magicians” by Dr Keith Souter.

Tonight’s game

Tonight’s game

Make your deal with the Devil.

Work through the mazes in this addictive game. It starts really easy, but it gets tougher as you go along. I’ll give you 2 hints: stick it on full screen mode, the larger image is easier to get around, and put your speakers on to about halfway as the sound effects can help.

Before you play, though, here’s the deal: If you quit or lose your nerve, you agree to click here for UK Amazon http://goo.gl/4829nw or here for US Amazon http://goo.gl/dq84QW and pre-order a copy of The Seance.

You have as many tries as you need, though, so what are you waiting for?
http://www.winterrowd.com/maze/

Let the games begin

Let the games begin

If you’re following my blog, by now you know I’m launching my new novella this week, and Friday night is the launch event on Facebook. But, due to timezone differences, i want to do some things during the week to make sure everyone can get involved.

2 games have currently been launched, to build up the number of e-book copies of The Seance I will put into the draw on Friday night (you don’t have to be online at the time of the draws).

Game 1: For every 10 new followers on my Twitter account up until 23:59 Thursday 30th October 2014, I will add another copy of The Seance e-book to the draw. The starting number of followers was 148.  Just follow @jackrollins9280

Game 2: For every 10 new likes on my Facebook page up until 23:59 Thursday 30th October 2014, I will add another copy of The Seance e-book to the draw. The starting count is 261 likes. Just go to: http://www.facebook.com/doctorblessing

To register for the prize draws, please follow this link http://eepurl.com/58PA1, which will sign you up for my very occasional newsletter. I hate spam, so the newsletter will only be used to post details of upcoming releases, features and a little about what I’m reading and working on, that sort of thing (you can always unsubscribe at any time after you get your prizes anyway).

Visit the event page, and whenever the puppet from Saw appears, you know there’s a game coming on which will either unlock more prizes, or which will enter you into a draw. www.facebook.com/events/479596528844139/

Hope to see you there soon, even if it’s just to wish me luck.

“The Seance” in special feature on Scarlet’s Web Horror Fiction Blog

“The Seance” in special feature on Scarlet’s Web Horror Fiction Blog

A fantastic feature for “The Seance” on Scarlet’s web.

Quote: “I really enjoy the writing style of Jack Rollins, the tales he weaves are both original and atmospherically dark and gothic. The way he builds the Victorian age and atmosphere in his stories pulls me effortlessly into another time and place.”

See the full feature here:

http://scarletaingeal.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/release-special-seance-gothic-tale-of.html

In a week where all of my efforts are going into ensuring my novella gets as much attention as possible, Scarlet’s feature is such a welcome boost. As much as I know I am going to enjoy my busy Friday night, launching the book, I can’t wait to let things settle again and I can spend more time working on the next story.

With 350 people on Goodreads having marked The Seance as to-read, it has to be said, my efforts are paying off!

The Seance Virtual Launch Halloween Party on Facebook

The Seance Virtual Launch Halloween Party on Facebook

launch giveaway announcement

Halloween 2014 will see the launch of my new novella, “The Seance” worldwide, in paperback and e-book, through Dark Chapter Press. To celebrate this event, I am hosting my very first Virtual Book Launch. What better night to host this, than Halloween?

From 9PM til 11PM GMT, you can join in the fun here: www.facebook.com/events/479596528844139

There will be some action in the days before the launch, to ensure my friends in America can get involved despite the time difference at the actual launch. There is going to be a prize for the best halloween costume selfie; Q&A with the me, the author; horror trivia, great music videos and horror movie clips galore.

Some of my generous author friends have jumped in to lend a hand and have offered up a shed load of books and e-books as prizes. See the image attached to this entry to see (and there are possibly more titles to be added before the night too).

So, if you get home from trick or treating by 9pm GMT, why not join us at the event page using the link above? There’ll be more treats than tricks, I guarantee it. Unless I’m tricking you now, of course…

Why not check out a sample of The Seance here :http://goo.gl/jx16FK

You can pre-order your copy from Amazon here: http://goo.gl/4829nw

And some of the ARC reviewers have posted here: http://goo.gl/xkiyzg