The Order of the Four Sons: Carcosa was just issued a surprise pre-holiday release in e-book form. If you've already read Book I, this is the event you've been waiting for. If you haven't... now is the perfect time to start.
For those of you who prefer hard copies, never fear: Carcosa will be available in paperback format on December 4th.
As always, the beautiful art of Ms. Erin Kelso brings the characters to life. In this case, Lady Bathory and her deadly little Katarina are in the foreground of the world our heroes have found themselves in.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I though I would give you a small taste of what is to come...
The farmhouse was positively provincial. Still, at least it had a tub.
Elizabeth Bathory sighed contentedly, allowing herself to slip deeper into the soothing warmth. So much had happened after so much waiting. When she had arrived with Katarina, she had been all but spent. Ultimately, it had been Kat who had gone to the door, and made arrangements with the peasants who lived here. Not even a day had gone by, and the Countess found much of her strength already returning.
Lazily, she opened her eyes, enjoying the luxury of it all for the first time in far too many months. She sighed contentedly. “It never ceases to amaze me just how rejuvenating a good bath can be.”
Katarina smiled, flushing prettily. “I knew you would be all right, Mistress. You always are.”
“Yes.” No sound but the steady drip, drip, drip. Liquid lapped at the rim of the tub, just below the point of overflowing. “Have you found anything suitable for me to wear?”
Katarina shook her head. The light of the oil lamp played in the copper glints in her auburn hair, like sparks being struck against red rock. “No, Mistress. I took the liberty of cleaning your dress, so you might wear it again.”
Bathory sighed again. “Probably for the best. I never could abide the frocks these people insist on wearing anyway.”
“Shall I get you your towel, Mistress?”
Bathory nodded and grasped the sides of the bathtub to rise. “Yes. I think so. I do feel much better, but I think this one is just about done. It’s starting to get cold.” As she spoke, she looked up at the source of her bath.
The young girl’s body, bruised and broken, hung by its ankles from the ceiling, her throat parted in a perfect red slit, half-clotted droplets hanging dully from her blood-darkened hair. Her dead eyes were still fastened on the tub below in frozen horror.
Bathory stepped out onto the plank floorboards. They were clean but roughly hewn, with large gaps between them, showing the crawlspace below the house. Something whined down there in the darkness as she passed over it.
Towel in hand, her servant met her, and began to dry her off.