Trifles and Folly
A Deadly Curiosities Collection
by Gail Z. Martin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
A collection of nine adventures: Buttons, The Restless Dead, Retribution, Coffin Box, Wicked Dreams, Collector, Bad Memories, Shadow Garden, and Spook House.
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic and Sorren, a 600 year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats. An extension of the Deadly Curiosities book series.
Revised Edition 2, 2018. Includes an updated cover, minor edits and the BONUS section with three stories chronicling Sorren’s early days: Vanities, The Wild Hunt, and Dark Legacy.
“Why is your garden gnome in a cage?” I frowned as a plump middle-aged woman deposited a stone statue locked in what looked like a large “live trap” steel mesh box.
“Because this thing ate my cat,” the woman declared. “And I want rid of it before it goes after the dog, too.”
We see all kinds of things at Trifles and Folly, but even for us, this was a first.
“Are you sure about the cat?” I asked, warily eyeing the gnome. It looked much older than the brightly-painted resin figures on sale at the big national-chain garden supply stores. The statue was weathered, with some bits of lichen stuck to its body, and I wondered if it had been custom-made. Now that she mentioned it, the gnome did look a little creepy. The features looked sly instead of welcoming, and the set of the mouth seemed to hide sharp teeth behind the carved stone lips.
“I’m sure,” the woman said, slapping her palm against the wooden counter. “Fuddles never did like the statue. Always hissed at it when he walked by it. I should have taken that as a sign.”
“Where did it come from?” I asked, looking away from the creepy gnome and returning my attention to the lady who had brought in the caged decoration.
“My mother said she bought it from one of those architectural salvage places,” the woman replied.
“Have you had other problems with it, before the… um… cat incident?” I’m sure she was embarrassed and believed I was secretly laughing at her, but I had seen much stranger things.
I’m Cassidy Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, SC that is a lot more than it seems. The store has been in my family for over three hundred years, and we’ve got a secret. While we’re a great place to find beautiful old heirlooms and estate jewelry, our real job is getting dangerous magical and supernatural items off the market and keeping them out of the wrong hands. That means we see more than our share of cursed, unlucky, or possessed objects, so I was taking my hapless customer’s tale seriously. Her murderous gnome sounded exactly like the kind of problem we deal with every day.
Trifles and Folly 2
A Deadly Curiosities Collection
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and together with Teag (a hacker and weaver witch) and Sorren, a 600 year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
An extension of the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy novel series, this collection contains three full novellas and four short stories: The Final Death, Predator, Fair Game, Fatal Invitation, Redcap, Bloodlines, plus three bonus stories: Among the Shoals Forever, The Low Road, and Steer a Pale Course.
I reached into the shipping crate. My hand closed around a newspaper-wrapped piece from a china dish set, probably a gravy boat from its contours. The warning tingle from my psychic gift was too little, too late. By the time I realized the danger, I was already immersed in a vision of tragedy and terror.
Images strobed in my mind, searingly clear for an instant and then suddenly dark. A dining room table set with holiday finery for a Thanksgiving feast. Eight people—no, nine—but the one person’s face was hidden. Dinner began with high spirits. The person whose memories I was experiencing was a man, the father of the family gathered for the feast, happy that he was surrounded by loved ones—and a guest.
Despite the high spirits, a warning tingled at the edge of my host’s senses. It had been a mistake to invite the stranger, he was thinking. They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
The stranger didn’t say much as the meal began. Everyone else laughed and talked as silverware rattled and food was passed around the table. His son, the youngest at the table, was the first one affected. He complained about his stomach, folded his arms across his midsection, and fell forward onto his plate. I saw the man’s hand set the gravy boat down on the table as he stood.
Everyone rose in alarm—everyone except the stranger. I couldn’t get a clear look at the guest’s face. The others were in sharp focus, but the one I knew was the stranger had blurred features, and the baggy clothing made it impossible to tell gender. The stranger stepped back as everyone rushed to the boy, who fell back, eyes staring blankly, unresponsive, into his mother’s arms as she screamed.
The others began to stagger, hands going to their heads or abdomens, faces frightened and worried. The boy’s mother collapsed across his body. Others crumpled to the floor or sagged from their chairs.
The person whose memories I shared tried to go to them, but his legs failed him. His heart raced but it was hard to breathe, and his mouth had gone dry. Vision blurred, and despite his panic, he was so utterly tired. Still, he dragged himself toward his family, but halfway across the room, his body no longer responded to his mind’s commands. He reached out to the stranger, one hand raised in a plea for help. The stranger only smiled.
Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wrote at age fivewas about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married and has three children, a Himalayan cat, a Maltese and a golden retriever.
Curses and Haunts in the Holy City
By Gail Z. Martin
Charleston, South Carolina is a glittering city built on rivers of blood. Gorgeous architecture, genteel manners and a beautiful harbor make the city a tourist favorite. Yet its prosperity and history is rooted in slavery and piracy, and was the starting place of the bloodiest conflict in American history. That paradox, for me, makes Charleston the perfect setting for an urban fantasy series.
In my Deadly Curiosities series, Cassidy Kincaide uses her skills as a psychometric who can read the history and magic of objects by touching them to get cursed and haunted objects out of the wrong hands. Her best friend, Teag Logan, is a Weaver witch, and her boss is a nearly 600 year-old vampire. They and their magically talented allies protect the world from supernatural threats.
In addition to the novels, the short stories and novellas collected in Trifles and Folly/Trifles and Folly 2 are essentially extra ‘episodes’ that take on new dangers, monsters and magic in more bite-sized lengths. They happen before and between the books, and can be read without having to read the novels first. In fact, they’re a great way to get to know the world of the Deadly Curiosities books and meet the characters before you dive into the books!
$25 Amazon – 2 winners and 4 swag bags of goodies (US only)