Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Goetia by Sam Poling

Oldenrai Archives

Genre: Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Date of Publication: 10/31/18

ISBN: 9780463828861

Number of pages: 180
Word Count: ~74,500

Cover Artist: Cora Graphics

Tagline: Integrate your shadow

Book Description:

After imposing a controversial
quarantine, Adelstadt Mayoress Mirabel Fairfax finds herself in the crosshairs
with vengeful highwaymen. When they target her family and the vital shipments
her village desperately needs, she turns to witchcraft to restore order
herself. But something is wrong: her magic becomes unreliable, and monstrous
images torment her mind's eye.

When gruesome murders terrorize
Adelstadt, she suspects the highwaymen have turned to the occult, allying with
a demonic entity. A Goetia. The hallucinations become all-too-real, and Mirabel
must rely on her cunning, wrath, and what few friends she has left if she hopes
to rescue her valley, her beloved, and her mind.

Felix Fairfax does the best he
can as the husband of a controversial mayoress witch, but his life is once
again turned into a fight for survival when he’s kidnapped by the highwaymen.
They force him to help investigate his wife’s hidden lair, where they become
trapped with creatures of unspeakable horror. Whatever Mirabel had locked away
hunts indiscriminately—it hunts him—and if it gets out, plagues and highwaymen
won’t be Adelstadt’s problems any longer.

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Mirabel’s boots
clicked down a stone, spiral stairway, blowing past the half-melted candles
lining the steps. The candles provided the only light, at times leaving her to
fumble for footing on the disrepair of the steps. The descent into darkness
went on longer than she’d ever recalled experiencing before. What a time for
metaphysical nonsense. An echo of raspy, hollow screams chased her,
reverberating within the stairwell, challenging her to keep up speed.
She stumbled off
the final steps, at last on the ground floor, and clawed her wild, deep red
hair from her face. Archaic, religious candle racks illuminated the chamber.
Nothing had changed down here. At least, not yet.
She sped past
rows of dilapidated tables and pews, reached a laboratory-style workbench, and
threw her arms against a stack of journals, scattering the research. Upon
snaring a specific handful of pages, she sprinted for the tower entrance.
A bony tusk
punched through a nearby wall, knocking candles from their altar. They struck
silver offering plates on the floor, crashing like cymbals. Mirabel leaped
back, one hand clutching her research against her body, the other gripping the
handle of her rapier.
Black, viscous
slime poured from the hole around the horn, crept over the altar, and dripped
onto the floor. Small, misshapen hands sprouted from the goop like blooming
black-fingered flowers, grasping at the stone tiles. A reek like sweet, rotting
fruit flooded the air.
She closed her
gaping mouth, turned away, and continued running down the hall. Her
burned-orange cape fluttered and whipped, a nuisance, rescinding its value.
The entire tower
quaked, followed by more disembodied shrieking. A spiny, gray tentacle as thick
as a branch smashed through the wall ahead in a deafening boom, lashing and
twisting like an eel out of water. She drew her rapier and severed the tip with
the sharpened, distal edge of her weapon. The piece of otherworldly flesh fell
away, but several more tentacles punched through imperfections in the
surrounding walls, blocking her path. Each unique arm contorted at varied
rates, some more aggressive than others.
Still holding
her sword, she extended her arm and channeled magic through it with a rush of
heat. Upon releasing her focus, the heat fled her body and flames burst in front
of her, engulfing the tentacles and transforming them into crackling ash.
Vertigo crashed
over her in waves as penalty for her sudden, great expenditure of soul energy.
With inhuman moans drifting on the air, she shook off her fatigue and proceeded
to the iron double doors ahead, ramming her shoulder against them. They opened
a crack, blasting her face with freezing air from outside.
She pushed
against the door, and it ground open, scraping through a layer of fresh snow.
She slipped her thin frame through, dropped her research and rapier, and shoved
the door closed.
She spun and
straightened her posture. “Under no circumstances is anyone to approach the
Two guardsmen
clad in vermillion red, double-breasted uniforms stood at the base of the tower
steps, shoulders dusted with snow. They possessed several weapons: muskets with
bayonets, sabers, and crossbow pistols. All useless.
“Aye,” said the
leading guard. “We thought we heard some rumbling from our post. Another
She knelt, sheathing
her rapier and collecting her papers. And then she saw the ooze. Not much, but
strands of it slithered under the door. She backed away and marched down the
“Excuse me,
She stopped
between the guards and faced the shift lead. “Evacuate. It’s a simple concept.
Do it now.”
“Evacuate what?
“Yes, the entire
hamlet. Get everyone to Adelstadt at once.” She looked past him at dozens of
wood-framed homes at the base of the tower’s hill, billowing smoke from their
chimneys. “No one goes near the tower. Get everyone out now.”
The other guard
spoke. “But why? Minor quakes happen all the time. My family lives here.”
The three
marched down the hill. Mirabel said nothing.
“Miasma. I’ve
discovered the tower is the source of plague-infested miasma. Likely the cause
of other outbreaks around Adelstadt. Deadly strains. None can reside here any
longer. I’m sorry.”
mercy,” said the guard. “I’ll have my family pack right away.”
“Nay. Full
evacuation. Immediately. Have the citizens take only what they can carry on
their way out.”
“It’s that
“I am the
Mayoress and a syndicate-certified disease specialist. You think I give this
order lightly?”
“Of course not,
Mayoress Fairfax,” said the lead guard. “We’ll get everyone out within the
“Faster if you
are able. Much faster.”

the Author:

Sam Poling has been writing fantasy
and science fiction for the thrill of it his entire life, from short stories to
screenplays. His love for each of the subgenres led to dedication to writing
genre-skirting fiction with all the elements that make up the human condition.
He holds a strong enthusiasm for medical studies and currently works as a
medical assistant in a large clinic while taking classing for nursing. He also
serves on a health and safety committee, including disaster preparedness and infection
control. His interest in epidemiology and medical science tends to spill over into
his writing endeavors.

Find Sam Online:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I appreciate you taking the time to give us a great book description and giveaway as well. Thank you so much!

  2. I enjoyed the book description and excerpt. Sounds wonderful.

  3. What writers have inspired you?

  4. An exciting synopsis and excerpt! This sounds like am awesome read!

  5. Terrific excerpt, very cinematic I thought. Thanks for a chance to win these excellent prizes!

  6. I love the cover. How did it come about?

  7. Are you able to read and write when it's noisy or do you need peace and quiet as I do?

  8. Do you proofread/edit all your books or do you have someone do that for you?

  9. I want to thank this blog for the intro to Sam and his work. I am now a fan of his. (

  10. What do you think of trailers for books?

  11. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

  12. Who is the greatest influence in your writing career?

  13. Do you have a favorite series or characters in the book(s) you have written?

  14. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

  15. What advice do you have for writers?

  16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?

  17. Thank you for the giveaway. Crossing my fingers...

  18. What book(s) are you currently reading?

  19. What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

  20. Do you proofread/edit all your books or do you have someone do that for you?

  21. What do you think of "trailers" for books?

  22. Who is the greatest influence in your writing career?

  23. Do you have a favorite series or characters in the books you have written?

  24. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?

  25. What was the best money you spent as a writer?

  26. How many unpublished/half finished books do you have?

  27. How do you select the names of your characters?

  28. Does your family support your career as a writer?

  29. What lessons have you learned as a writer?

  30. What is your favorite movie?

  31. What are your pet peeves?

  32. How did you choose the genre you write in?

  33. How did you come up with the title?

  34. What are four things you can't live without?

  35. What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

  36. What are some books you have enjoyed recently?

  37. Where did your love for writing come from?

  38. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

  39. What are some ways you promote your book?

  40. How important is research to you when writing a book?

  41. What inspires you to write?

  42. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?

  43. Have you ever experienced writers block?

  44. Have you ever designed your own book cover?

  45. Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?

  46. Does a bad review affect your writing?

  47. Which book inspired you to begin writing?

  48. What books have influenced your life the most?

  49. What inspired you to write this book?

  50. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  51. Who are some of your favorite authors?

  52. What is a typical day in your life like?

  53. Good luck on your book. It sounds wonderful.

  54. Besides making deadlines, what makes you happy?