Devil Take Me Blurb:
Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward.
Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s.
Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element….
They’re one hell of a good time.
Wonderland City Blurb
Author: Rhys Ford
When Xander Spade went through the Looking Glass, he wasn’t looking for salvation. He’d been running from the devil who took his soul, only to fall prey to the greatest monster in Wonderland City, the Queen of Hearts. Years later, the Queen is dead and Xander has a chance to go through the Looking Glass and back home where he belongs.
Xander’s devil wants him to find a little girl who escaped into Wonderland City, before her presence brings down an apocalypse of uncontrollable chaos to the already mad world. Along with Jean Michel, the former Knave of Hearts, Xander now is in a race against time to find the missing child before all Hell breaks loose and he loses his chance to go home.
I love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. I found these books when I was younger and devoured them. I can’t even tell you how many times I bought them because they didn’t survive me or were lost in one of my many moves. I currently own four copies, including the Kindle version because why not.
So when we started to talk about doing the Devil Take Me anthology, I knew I wanted to dive into that world but not during the timeline of the books. Especially since I wanted to explore what would happen to Wonderland after the Queen of Hearts fell and how a little girl — a very human little girl — would affect the chaotic carousel of Wonderland’s infrastructure.
Because nothing can mess up chaos more than a little girl.
But I didn’t want to write one.
Instead, I wanted to introduce a new take on the Queen’s deck of cards. A sort of Battle Royale situation where she pitted people against one another to become her favourite and right before she was taken down, that position was held by Xander Spade, a human who’d traded his soul to the devil in order to escape the life he was living on Earth.
This change up allowed me to expand on Wonderland, evolving it from the place Carroll left it to a post-industrial revolution sprawl where magic might be king and any inventions have to be cobbled together by whatever technology is brought through the Looking Glass. So in essence, I had a sort of Victorian-influenced society with bits of modern touches populated by Wonderland’s creatures as well as a couple of humans I tossed in for good measure.
I wanted to keep this in a more noir vein, a bit of that language and tone because I felt that smoky, metal taste in the words would enhance Wonderland’s current state.
And well, there’s always the fun and dabs of violence and horrific to play with.
I had a lot of fun writing this somewhat familiar world with a different twist to it. I loved figuring out the machinery and tech brought into the world, extrapolating how Wonderland City would adapt things like cars and landlines to the reality and also what was the realm’s normal.
Telling the story from the POV of a human who’d been there a while was a great challenge because he was rooted in the familiar of an Earthen perspective yet still be able to function in the Looking Glass world without being overwhelmed by the fantastical.
Because we had a lot of room to play with word wise, I was able to introduce Xander as a character and establish a bit of the world before plunging directly into the main part of the story. Since I always view the environment as its own character in the story, it gave me some time to play with the surroundings and at the same time, embed Xander into the space.
Also, I could have a really great time playing with the Looking Glass characters and explore how Xander would fit into it. And since he really just wants to go home, explore how he could get out of the crazy realm he’d been thrust into after signing his name on that dotted line.
I hope you all have as great of a time reading Wonderland City as I had in writing it. I am beyond honoured to be included in this cast of great writers and the anthology was a fantastic project for us to let loose and stretch our wings, letting us take our imaginations to places for a brief jaunt and delve into storylines we hadn’t yet explored.
Thank you for having me along for the ride and I hope you enjoy your trip through the Looking Glass.
10/10/18 – My Fiction Nook: Jordan L. Hawk
10/11/18 – It’s About the Book: TA Moore
10/12/18 – Love Bytes Reviews: Ginn Hale
10/13/18 – Joyfully Jay Reviews: C.S. Poe
10/15/18 – Two Chicks Obsessed: Rhys Ford
10/16/18 – The Novel Approach Reviews: Jordan Castillo Price
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is also a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, a grey tuxedo with a flower on her face, Badger, a disgruntled alley cat who isn’t sure living inside is a step up the social ladder as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.