Friday, 28 October 2016

The Halloween Weekend

It's that time of year again. And what better time than Hallowe'en to have a sale on the Witch-Hunter series, and to have a little party?
So whether you're here for the cheap books, quizzes, or nonsense, welcome lovely readers!

Book Sale

The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1) is always free to download, but get the rest of Witch-Hunter trilogy for a ridiculously low price - available from today until the 1st November.

The series follows Hunter Astley, a modern witch-hunter who works for the British Malleus Maleficarum Council. With his friends and colleagues, he has to hunt down and stop the most powerful witch in centuries - the Shadow Witch.

Buy now from:                          

And for the first time, Kristen Davies is getting in on the act.

Her short story has previously been available in the Awethors and Indievisible anthologies, but now she gets her own shiny book to herself.
Kristen: Witch-Hunter is available at Amazon UK / Amazon US

Kristen Davies has plans; graduating high school, and making the most of being the school’s star athlete. Her plans don’t involve witches, but what’s a girl to do when evil strikes.
Kristen is awakened to the very real threat of witches, and has to dredge up her forgotten roots, to take her rightful place.

((please note: this is the exact same edition featured in the above anthologies))

Don't miss out on the Goodreads giveaway. Get your hands on paperback copies of the Witch-Hunter trilogy. This closes on 31st October, so hurry over.
You can check out my Goodreads page: K.S. Marsden
Or find direct links to the giveaways on the blog post from last week: Countdown to... Halloween

Did you know how much of the Witch-Hunter trilogy is based on real, historical events?

Malleus Maleficarum (dare you to try and pronounce it!)
This was a real book that acted as a guide for hunting witches.
The name translates roughly into "Hammer of Witches", and although witches could be male or female - for anyone that is familiar with Latin (I know, me too) will notice that Maleficarum is the the feminine plural of Maleficus (masculine would be Maleficorum). So this is already aimed at persecuting mainly women.
The men that were behind it decided that women were more susceptible to temptation by the devil, and more likely to be witches.
You can already guess how this plays out - any woman that showed an inch of rebellion, independence, free-thought - WITCH!

The Malleus Maleficarum was published in Germany in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer. (Jacob Sprenger was later added as a co-author, but there is some contention over whether he contributed or not)
It is an important piece of history, as it was one of the first examples of printed books, and the widest distributed.

NOT TRUE: The secret Malleus Maleficarum Council that carries on the fight against witches is entirely made up. Or is it...?

Translating roughly into "Good Walkers", the Benandanti were a cult that lived in Friuli, Italy, and were believed to have powers to walk within dreams and visions. They claimed to protect the crops and locals from witches and their demons.
They only spoke the Friulian dialect, and as such had trouble communicating with external authorities. Which didn't help their case when they were persecuted as witches during the 16th and 17th century.

In The Shadow Falls, there is a brief mention of the abbazia (abbey) being destroyed by lightning. This actually happened to the Marienberg Abbey in 1131, in the nearby South Tyrol region. I thought that it was a fun little nugget to include.

NOT TRUE: The Donili monks are a complete fabrication, I'm afraid. Sorry to disappoint, but you can't visit them in the hills of Friuli.

I couldn't resist including a familiar in The Shadow Falls. They are so synonymous with witches, most of you know what they are. For those that don't, a familiar is an animal servant that helps their witch (most commonly seen in media as a witch and their black cat).
Historically, familiars were any sort of small mammal, amphibian, insect or arachnid. They were thought to be manifestations of demons, and had some powers of their own; but they were completely subservient to their witch.
Each familiar served one witch, and in return the witch fed them. From their own body. Yup, it was believed that familiars used to feed from a spot on the witch's body that did not bleed. This witches' spot was one of the give-away signs that witch-hunters (or witch-prickers) would use to confirm a person was a witch. The suspect would have to strip, and would be "pricked" with sharp tools until they found the spot.
It's crazy to think that this was considered science, and standard practice world-wide.

Fancy playing the Witch-Hunter quizzes? Follow the links to check them out:
(Please note that this will take you to OLD blog posts. Any contests mentioned in these pages are most likely already closed, and links have no bearing to this Halloween)

Hallowe'en costumes - Witch-Hunter style *NEW*
Which Witch-Hunter Character are you?
The Shadow Rises (easy quiz)
The Witch-Hunter Trilogy (hard quiz)

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