Seven Questions with Author Dina Rae

Halo of the Damned was released in the springtime of 2012. It is a pleasure to have this seasoned author write a little bit about her craft for us. Here is Seven Questions with Dina Rae, explorer of the paranormal, with cunning stories of both urban and historical conspiracies.

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1) Hi Dina, welcome to my little corner of virtual space. Where in the world are you? Tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks so much for having me!  I used to be a teacher but got laid-off.  During my lay-off I wrote three novels and almost finished a fourth.  I currently work as a substitute teacher and chess instructor.  Although I live outside of Chicago, I take advantage of the city and enjoy all it has to offer.  Besides author, I am a wife, mother, Christian, and professional tennis player (in my mind, but I love to play)!

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2) I just downloaded your story, The Last Degree, what can I expect inside. Tell us a little about your other books.

 It’s a work of fiction, but a great deal of research about Freemasonry, Apocalypse, New World Order and other conspiracy theories, secret societies, and the prepper movement went into the story. The Last Degree is one of those books that you will either love or hate.  In fact, I haven’t received a three star review yet.  I have a 4.0 avg./23 reviews.  Some people were offended by it and others have no prior knowledge on any conspiracy theories.  If you like Alex Jones, Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, History Channel, etc., you’ll love it!

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3) I stole this question from another author, now I ask it to everybody. The zombie apocalypse arrives: who do you want on your response team?

The cast from Doomsday Preppers, the Boy and Girl Scouts, FEMA, and whoever holds the keys to the Denver Airport’s underground maze of bunkers!

4) Who are your favorite authors and/or books?

I love Dan Brown, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George RR Martin, Tom Wolfe, Preston and Childs, LaHaye and Jenkins, Joel Rosenberg, too many to count.

I know this sounds bad, but I prefer male authors to female ones.  Generally speaking, men add a lot of researched details and don’t get wordy with descriptions whereas women generally sound like they are bullshitting––E.L. James comes to mind.  I’m of course the exception to this rule––LOL––and James is bullshitting her way to the bank!

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5) I know what scares me; what scares you?

The scariest thing in the world is losing someone you love.  Nothing can ever compare.  Heights terrify me.  Whenever a movie uses them for suspense my heart picks up several beats.

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6) I’ve heard really good things about Halo of The Damned, would there be any other fallen angel books on your horizon?

Thanks so much for asking. It’s a paranormal lover’s type of horror story.  Again, lots of research went into it. It’s about fallen angels, Enoch, a real religion that worships angels (Yezidism), nephilim, and the advertising world. It received some great reviews-4.3 avg/42 ratings on Goodreads and was chosen as the Paranormal Horror Group’s September Read-very proud of that.  It is currently being given away on Goodreads.  And yes, I am almost finished with the sequel.

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7) A friend of mine says these two movies defined our generation. He, my smart friend, suspects these two movies have great cultural significance. Do you like Star Wars, or Grease? Which is better?

Great question!  I’m 43 years old so am very much a product of the Star Wars vs. Grease segment of society.  I just took my daughter to see Grease the play and it sucked compared to the movie, but loved it as a little girl.  Played the record too many times to count and have all of the songs memorized.  Didn’t get Star Wars back then.  Watched it many years later as an adult-the lightbulb flashed on.  So many hidden symbols, made me think of the Bible, God vs. Satan.  Really brilliant series.  George Lucas was one of the smartest business men, really knew how to market his product.

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Here is an excerpt from The Last Degree by Dina Rae

Prologue

“I am sending you a master craftsman named Hiram-abi, who is extremely talented.  His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre.  He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood.

2 Chronicles 2:13-14

The mystery of Hiram Abif originates from the Biblical passage above.  Secret societies have given him credit for constructing Solomon’s temple.  According to legend, Hiram used talented craftsman and secrecy, such as passwords for orchestrating its construction.

Solomon didn’t like Hiram’s growing power, along with the attraction the Queen of Sheba had for him.  Some scholars imply he may have had something to do with his death.  Hiram remains the primary protagonist and martyr in modern day Masonic circles.

 

Chapter 1

Chicago, 2000

It was a rainy, dark fall day in Wrigleyville, an upscale north-side neighborhood.  The rain violently splattered onto the concrete of Waveland Avenue.  Although a big city, in this neighborhood crime generally amounted to alcohol related offenses such as DUIs, bar room brawls, and public intoxication which was usually festive Cub fans oblivious to the limits of celebrating. This day was different.

“911?  There’s a body in my alleyway, behind a dumpster.  I’m behind Waveland Avenue, 1269 West.  I think he’s dead!  He looks like my neighbor…don’t know his name.  I’m checking for his pulse right now, but nothing,” reported an elderly resident who was walking her dog.

At 10:02 a.m. an ambulance appeared on the scene, minutes after the initial phone call.  The paramedics confirmed no pulse, and then called the coroner for an official ruling of death.  The scene was then turned over to Lead Detectives Ann Wilson and Rich Stephanski.  By 11:00 a.m., the 1200 block of Waveland was declared a crime scene.  The detectives yellow-taped the area while uniformed officers coned off the street.

Due to the relentless rain, both detectives wore raincoats and carried traditional black umbrellas. They hurriedly moved in to investigate, fearing the rain might wash away the evidence.  The victim appeared to be a young white male without identification, dressed in a gray wool cable-knit sweater and blue jeans.  He was clean shaven with dirty blonde hair.

Ann took several pictures of the surrounding area and body with her Olympus digital camera.  Her partner lifted the shoulders of the body to have a better look at the victim’s face.  Rigamortis began to set.

“Ann, check this out.  His throat has been slit.  This sweater is soaked with blood.  The wool acts like a sponge.  Maybe we’ll find some blood in there that isn’t his,” Rich said.

“Let’s move the body into the meat wagon,” insisted Ann as she motioned for assistance from two uniformed cops.

“Looky what I’ve found,” yelled Detective Dan O’Leary from across the alleyway.  “Is this a human tongue?”

The detectives surrounded him for a closer look.

“Good work, Dan,” praised Ann.  “It’s definitely a tongue.  The tendons are hanging off of the thicker end, like it was ripped out of the vic’s mouth.  Look at the tip.  It was intentionally split.”

Detective Wilson crawled into the back of the ‘meat wagon’ and unzipped the body bag.  She took her pen and pried the victim’s mouth open.  “What do you know…We have what looks like a tongue and a victim that’s missing a tongue.”  Ann glanced back.  “Coincidence?”  She had a hard time seeing through her soaked grayish brown hair that was pressed against her small face.  She had to keep putting her umbrella down in order to take more photographs of the scene.

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Dina has me over at her site, here is the link — http://www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com/2012/10/author-jake-elliot-stops-by.html

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A Naughty Little Tease

This is the first excerpt from Crossing Mother’s Grave. This is taken from the Prologue and it takes place just before Popalia and her group are arrested in The Wrong Way Down. It is a tightly written scene that wraps up a small loose end within the first book. This excerpt reacquaints us with antagonist Katia, and offers a fair bit of foreshadowing.  (The Wrong Way Down was always intended as a set up for this book and the next one. Although book one had dark highlights, this book shows my love for the art of writing horror.) Please, enjoy the sample.

The release date is set for September 1st, 2012.

Katia rubbed the top of her head, disliking the feel of her coarse hair. Like the slaver’s tattoo scarring her face, her hair was another part of Athania that would never go away. Beyond the window’s reflection, more motion caught her eye. Adjusting her focus though the glass and into the general store, she saw Gregor’s partner, Ucilius, paying for baths as well as the food for the next leg of their journey.

Outside the wagon and to her left, she heard a muffled voice calling, “Kat, are you here? Kat?”

To her surprise, she recognized the caller and quietly called back, “I’m only purring if you’re petting, my dear.”

The rugged-looking caller came into view. He wore a black vest over a long-sleeved white shirt that was stained with three days’ worth of dust. His shoulders were thick, and the dirty white shirt seemed creased by the muscles concealed beneath. Blandly, his black hair shined oily with long sideburns joining his mustache. Dark eyes preluded a deep meanness.

Awaiting his approach, she calmly asked, “Stileur, what are you doing here?”

“Know that Darren is watching out for you,” he said quickly. “I didn’t expect to catch up with you here, but Darren said that if I found you to tell you we’ve got you covered. Just complete your assignment.”

“What is going on?”

Still staggered by the death of his friends in Capitol City, Stileur blurted out, “Trevex is dead. It is too long and weird to tell you the whole story right now. That priestess you ditched in the woods? She hired a couple of heavies, and they’re looking for you. I passed them somewhere on the road, but don’t worry, Darren’s gotta good plan to stop ‘em right here.”

The door behind Stileur opened, and Ucilius stepped outside. Katia tilted her head in the merchant’s direction, giving Stileur a fair warning as her tone changed, “Well, it looks like we are leaving now; it was nice talking to you.”

Turning, Stileur peered at the richly dressed, thirty-something merchant. He was wearing a brocade jerkin of olive green with gold threading, and there were elegant, lace ruffles wrapping his wrists. As Stileur saw it, such a show of wealth was a promise of easy prey. Stileur looked down at the merchant’s scrawny little legs—like string beans in skin-tight, avocado pantaloons. By drastic contrast, it appeared as if the little guy had tucked a small melon under his shirt.

Stileur gave the shorter merchant a menacing stare before slinking away from the wagon. Katia stifled a grin, watching Ucilius jump from the unexpected display of hostility. Katia read the startled expression crossing his face as he advanced.

“Friend of yours?” he stated nervously. His hair had been cut near the scalp from the tops of his ears down. Up top, brown bangs remained long and had been greased back and parted on the right. A shallow nose accompanied by closely set eyes gave an impression the young man had been punched hard, and his face had never depressed.

What a pussycat, she thought mockingly before replying with an ice-coated tongue, “He looks at you dirty, and you think he’s my friend? What does that say about us, Ucilius? I’m deeply hurt. I thought you and I were nearly in bed together?”

Stammering, Ucilius replied, “Errr, ummm. I’m married. Ummm, my wife and love…”

“Easy, easy. No worries,” she interrupted. “Look, that soldier…he was off-duty and lookin’ for love. I shot him down like you just shot me.” She pursed her expression to make a dejected and wanton face.

Offering a nervous chuckle, “Well, then—I guess that explains it.”

Observing the merchant’s tight lips, Katia knew that Gregor must want something. The Third could never ask for himself. Ucilius looked deep inside himself, and not finding the courage or tact to tell her, he finally blurted out, “Gregor is concerned that if we have problems on the road, you won’t do your part.”

She thought, I should slap the stupid right off your face. Instead, she replied by saying calmly, “I don’t understand what you are implying. I’ve paid a very generous amount to ride in the back of this wagon all the way to the Portown. Has there been some problem with spending the gold I paid for my ride?”

“No, no, no. Not that.” Verbally, he scampered backward. “Gregor is concerned that if bandits attack, you won’t help fight.”

She snorted. “Is your wife going to fight? How about the bookkeeper? Will she fight?” Ucilius held his hands up in surrender, reminding her that he is only the messenger.

Katia nodded slowly while easing into the cushioned rocker, “Well, you tell Gregor I’ll do what I got to do. Nothing more, nothing less. I paid for this ride; do I look like a slave?” She paused before adding, “I dare you to answer that.”

Ucilius stammered, and Katia stated resolutely, “I owe him nothing. He can give my money back and pay me some on top if he thinks I’m here to protect His Highness. You hear me, Ucilius?”

“It’s okay. Don’t get so upset.” He kept his hands up while saying, “I’ll tell him what you said. I’ll tell him you’ll do what you have to do. He’ll just have to accept that as a yes.”