My guest today is fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Jana Denardo, here to celebrate her new release, “The Darkest Midnight in December,” an urban fantasy about demon hunters in the 1930’s. So without further ado, I leave you with some thoughts from Jana, as well as the blurb and an excerpt from her novella! Happy release day, Jana! -Shira
Caleb, Temple, Agni and Li are demon hunters working for the Soldiers of the Sun. In this urban fantasy, the world knows about the demons but only a small handful of people can see them if they’re in human form. The ‘demon-eyes’ hunt them down and destroy them. These groups of hunters are spread throughout the world in various organizations, like the Knights Templar (which did not get dissolved in this UF), and the Soldiers of the Sun, which isn’t church-bound.
These four young men were culled from across the globe, eventually getting assigned to the Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania area in the 1930’s. Just before Christmas, they are called out to a surrounding community that’s facing two attacks: couples are going missing and infants are being taken. They have to figure if this is a demon and if so, stop it and pray they’ll all make it back home for the holidays.
I’ve long since been a fan of demon hunters in books, TV shows and anime, and wanted to try my hand at it. It owes a lot to things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Dresden Files, D. Gray-man and The X-Files. Heck, we could probably go back even further to my childhood with shows like Kolchak: the Night Stalker or Scooby-Doo. There are so many current-day urban fantasies that I decided I wanted to do something different. Between my love of mysteries and steampunk, I was a little burned out on the Victorian age, so I looked for something different. I was going to set it in the Roaring Twenties, but Temple insisted he was a great fan of radio dramas and those really didn’t get rolling in any meaningful way until the 1930’s.
There were a lot of challenges to that. I didn’t know that much about the time period, so research was essential. Also having an ethnically and religious diverse group was a little more problematic but only touched on in the novella. Even though I was born and raised around Pittsburgh, I didn’t know that much about it in the 1930’s. I was surprised to find it wasn’t as easy to find stuff on this time period online or even in books when I hit the local bookstores. It was still fun and fascinating and I’m still researching as I’m hopefully not done with these characters. I do have at least one more story in the works for them. – Jana
Blurb: The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA.When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers from the Sun.
Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, they’re on their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late.
“How many babies have gone missing?” Li asked.
Caleb tapped the briefcase holding a stack of files given to him by General Taglioferro before they left their headquarters in Pittsburgh. “Three and several couples. The local priests and police think it’s all the work of demons.”
“I was too busy packing.”Temple patted the box that held his Tommy gun and ammunition. “I didn’t get a chance to check out what the Order already knows about what’s going on here.”
“Once again, Li, your partner was napping.” Agni leveled a look at Temple who wrinkled his nose.
“We’ll bring him up to date once we get there.” Li pulled his coat tighter as the truck taking them from train station to hotel lurched down the road. “I just want to know why we have to ride in the bed with the luggage.”
“We all wouldn’t have fit.” Caleb shrugged. “And the driver they sent didn’t want any demon hunters in the cab with him, like we’ll infect him with our ability to see the demons or something.”
“Idiot. Who does he think is going to save this dumb town?” Temple grumbled.
“I also think he wasn’t too keen on our partners.” Caleb glanced over at Agni, the Hindu’s dark skin peeking out of the scarf wound around his hooded head.
Temple snorted. “Big surprise. One of Father’s biggest complaints about me joining the Soldiers of the Sun and not the Knights Templar was that we welcomed all faiths, all cultures. I thought he’d go apoplectic when he found out I have a Chinese partner,” he said. The wind nearly whipped away his whispered, “Too bad he didn’t just die from it.”
The four demon hunters hunkered down, trying to keep out of the wind as the truck wound its way through Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The store fronts winked by with promises of Christmas treasures on offer. The holiday was only a few days away. None of them,Temple in particular, had wanted to leave home before Christmas. There was no guarantee they wouldn’t be spending the holiday holed up in their hotel, nursing demon-inflicted wounds.
Now available in ebook at Dreamspinner Press.
Bio: Jana Denardo’s career choices and wanderlust take her all over the United States and beyond. Much of her travels make their way into her stories. Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Mystery have been her favorite genres since she started reading, and they often flavor her erotic works. In her secret identity, she works with the science of life and calls on her medical degree often in her stories. When she’s not chained to her computer writing, she functions as stray cat magnet. She’s also learning that the road to enlightenment is filled with boulders she keeps falling over and that the words gardening and Zen don’t go together no matter what anyone says.