Middleport Harbor is a strange city, a place where the supernatural exists. Dark fairies, elementals, undead … and werewolves—the lupo mannaro—have arrived in Middleport Harbor, on a ship where bloodshed and death occurred in a darkened hull because a black curse followed it over the sea. The wolf women begin to die when their childbearing years have finished, and Ellery Bento is dying. Her daughter, Geneva, wants to make a heinous deal with a deadly shadow queen to save her. She’s warned not to go any further, but a street urchin named Rina has already set evil in motion.
Will Geneva save her mother? Or will the paranormal beings of Middleport Harbor intervene?
Excerpt: Ellery licked blood that had trickled onto her palm, and then lowered herself onto the bed. Every bone and muscle ached; body fluid trickled from her cavities, soiling the bed sheets. She pursed her lips and spoke softly to herself, “Happens to all the Bento women once the change of life sets in…when the wolf energy doesn’t come anymore. Why does death hurt so much?”
She strained her eyes as mistiness wavered around her bed, and she heard creatures beyond the glass panes, in trees and on the hills, singing, wailing—mourning. They were elementals, banshees, demons and beings of light.
She whispered, “A banshee is crying for me.”
She wept because her time would end soon and because Geneva would be alone in the world. The pain was unbearable, so she allowed her mind to drift away, and she permitted memories to seduce her once again.
She thought back to 1974, to a time when she’d experienced tragedy—when she’d lost Jerry. He’d been working long hours, driving home on the FDR. Cops said he’d probably dozed off at the wheel, and his car had veered off the road, flipping over and then crashing into an oncoming truck.
She had vague memories of police knocking at her door in the still of night, gently telling her the news, and days spent feeling broken and more alone than she’d ever been, hardly eating or sleeping. The ache in her heart and soul was often too much to bare. It was difficult to cope with the grief and a new baby. Some days all she wanted was to sleep … and to mourn.
And she asked herself over and over, “Did Maraba cause my love’s car to crash … did she take him from me?”
Answers did not come … and they never would.
She moved back to Middleport Harbor … to her mother, and the old woman was able to help for a short time until her own health began to fail. Then she passed away, leaving Ellery the bed and breakfast … and ultimately more heartache
Maraba settled into a small apartment nearby, claiming she’d had it with the big city, and that she’d gladly help Ellery with her newborn, and the business. But strange dreams plagued Ellery during Maraba’s stay.
That morning she’d dreamed of a girl, suffering, bloody, begging to die. The woman was familiar, lost within fragments of nightmare images, a specter from another place and time. She dreamed of her mother, too. She gathered flowers on the hill below the bed and breakfast; violets, daisies, and carnations dappled with morning dew. She laid them in a basket, singing soft incantations to dawn. Like a flash, as though time rearranged the landscape, the house vanished and an occult shop stood in its place; and there were other stores, with crystals and strange amulets, hanging in windows. The ocean gleamed when the sun rose over the small city. Flowerboxes edged storefront windows. Ellery was there now, walking with her mother. They plucked petals of purple, yellow and white from moist green steams, threw them to the wind, and the petals scattered like confetti. Rain began to fall, drenching them, and they laughed, even when rain turned to blood.
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Biography: As an author Sandy is known for dark and surreal prose; often visceral and shocking. She is best known for her work in the horror genre. However, she has written noir fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and mainstream fiction as well. She also penned several chants published in Silver Ravenwolf’s book To Stir a Magyck Caldron (pen name Autumn Raindancer). She has owned several publishing companies, including Goddess of the Bay, December Girl Press, and Midnight Town Media.
She has been a painter for over thirty years and has exhibited her work widely. In addition, her art is often seen as covers and interior illustrations in books and magazines. In 2011 she left her day job and now writes and paints full-time. You can learn more about her by visiting: http://www.sandydeluca.com/
Sandra DeLuca’s Publishing History:
Settling in Nazareth, a novel, 2003/December Girl Press
Descent, a novel, 2005/Delirium Books
Manhattan Grimoire, a novel, 2007/Delirium Books
From Ashes, a novel, 2008, Delirium Books
Darkness Conjured, a novella, 2009, Delirium Books
Reign of Blood, a novella, 2011, Delirium Books
Into the Red, a novella, 2011, Damnation Books
Messages from the Dead, a novella, 2013, DarkFuse
Hell’s Door, a novella, 2013, Darkfuse
Various collections, poetry, short stories, and art produced by her own company, Midnight Town Media.