GENRE: Paranormal Fantasy
Not long after their move into Blackstone, married couple Mitch and Buck begin to witness strange sightings of shadowy figures, physical manifestations and inexplicable events taking place in the former Sheppard family estate nestled in the Northern Poconos of Pennsylvania. Through séances, they learn from the spirit of Jedidiah Sheppard that he has not been able to cross over into the afterlife because the truth behind his sudden disappearance in 1965 has never been solved. During this journey, Mitch and Buck and an eccentric psychic, Gladys Munch aka Madame Fortunesta, encounter interference from the spirit of a Lenape medicine man, Mesingwe Medeu, who protects Jedidiah’s spirit. Mitch and Buck eventually realize that they must find Jedidiah’s remains and let the authorities discover through modern detective work the evidence needed to try and convict the murderer. But is it too late for Jedidiah’s spirit to find eternal peace?
My curiosity finally getting the better of me, I ask, “What’s in your ‘concoction’?”
“Snaps and snails and puppy dog tails,” she chortles, a devilish smile beaming across her face as she continues uninterrupted. “I’m teasing. It’s your typical combination of magical plants…Mug wort, Wormwood, Mandrake, Sage oil, and a little Belladonna. Don’t want too much of that—we don’t need a hallucinogenic tonight. I have a feeling we’re going to see quite a show.”
“We’re not gonna eat that, are we?” I exclaim, after hearing the list of ingredients.
“No, silly, we’re going to wear it, on our faces. To trick anything nasty we might find down there that we’re not part of the living,” Gladys explains.
Instantly, Buck and I look at each other, our faces reflecting the same thought: “What the hell did we get ourselves into?”
“All right, that should do it,” Gladys states as she finishes molding her paste. She then opens the three velvet-covered boxes and pulls out three identical necklaces made of fine silver chains, with a round globe-like cage at the end that’s about three inches in diameter. Picking up one of the necklaces, she springs a catch on the cage, and it opens via delicate, simple hinges. Opening another box, she extracts what looks like a light brown carrot. The root looks like the body of a miniature person. “This is Mandrake root, a very powerful plant we will wear around our necks in these necklaces to protect us,” Gladys explains.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After twenty-five years in higher education, Patrick Field traded in teaching and textbooks to pursue his passion of writing spine-chilling fiction. Holding a Ph.D. in Anatomical Sciences and Neuroscience, his experience informs his writing, a unique blend of scientific knowledge with supernatural storytelling.
His non-scientific writing career began with Prince Patrick, a memoir of his precocious childhood that he wrote for his mother as she battled pancreatic cancer. This process was not only healing but helpful in stirring his creativity and marked the moment he was bitten by the writing bug.
An avid fan of Anne Rice, Edgar Allen Poe, and Joe Hill, Patrick’s subsequent novels were inspired by his favorite authors. His first fiction novel, The Malevolent, and his two latest novels, The Bedfordshire Warlock (release date in early 2024) and Servant were written throughout the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His latest novel Servant was inspired by the supernatural events that happened to the author, his husband, and friends that have stayed in their home in northeastern Pennsylvania. Taking a page from his teaching philosophy that those who teach must never cease to learn, Patrick found himself hungry to discover all he could about the area’s diverse cultures, including the Anthracite coal mining community and the indigenous tribe of the Lenape.
Patrick’s writing process is a mix between walking meditation and meticulous research. His novels form while he walks alone with his dogs, imagining plot lines and characters. Once he’s home, he quickly types notes on his computer before fleshing them out later. Research is a considerable part of his process- the scientist in him abhors “alternative facts.” When he encounters an idea or a historical thread unfamiliar to him, he researches all he can about it. While he writes about a world where the supernatural realm is prominent, the real world is always based on facts.
When developing characters, he usually has an idea of the destination he wants for each character but the journey to get there is often written by the character and the environment. Of all the characters he’s written, Gladys Munch in Servant is his favorite, as she’s an amalgam of delightful, humorous “mature” ladies in his life and physically inspired by British actresses Margaret Rutherford and Angela Lansbury.
In addition to writing, Patrick appears on the stage of his community theater and sings in the chorus of a local opera company each summer. He enjoys spending time with his husband, Matthew, and their dogs and exploring new destinations around the world, especially those that have a supernatural history. Haunted buildings and structures associated with the occult fascinate Patrick. His idea of a perfect day: drinking pints of Guinness draught with friends and family over scintillating and humorous conversation.
Links for purchasing Servant
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/servant-patrick-r-field/1143071600
Patrick R. Field will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway