#BadMoonRising Staci Troilo #IndieAuthor #paranormal #suspense #romance

Happy Friday 13th!  Maybe you’re superstitious about the date, but I’m not.  My youngest son was born on a Friday 13th, so I consider them very lucky.  And we’re fortunate today to have Staci Troilo here to share a chilling paranormal experience, along with her paranormal novel, Love Set in Stone.  Welcome, Staci!

Gargoyles have always fascinated me. Actually, I didn’t realize it wasn’t necessarily gargoyles, but grotesques, that captured my fancy. Those gothic sculptures atop cathedrals with demonic faces and frightening forms are so compelling to me.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered they weren’t intended to be frightening at all.

Gargoyles are misunderstood. I think they, as well as other myths and legends, are often portrayed based on assumptions and biases rather than how they were actually created. We see it in the Bible (Nimrod isn’t a moron, but rather a well-respected, mighty man). We see it in cryptozoology (Mothman—was he the cause of the bridge collapse, or was he there to warn people of impending danger?). And we see it in legend (Gargoyles aren’t demons sent to terrorize, but rather are protectors of the people).

Before I wrote Love Set in Stone, I had a lot of ideas swirling in my mind. It wasn’t until I read “God Bless the Gargoyles” by Dav Pilkey that the concepts finally coalesced into the grotesque, Damien; his overseeing angel, Anael (or Al); and the fallen who’s sent to keep balance, Penemuel (or Pino).

Playing with the legend was one of the most entertaining parts of writing Love Set in Stone. I enjoyed taking the myths and making them mine. Here is an excerpt where you can see the interaction among the three of characters of legend. (Explicit language follows.)

  • • ◊ ♦ ◊ •·

Damien transformed again and flew back to his roof. He didn’t know where else to go.

Once he got there, he regretted his decision.

Anael and Pino stood there. Apparently waiting for him.

“I have a few hours before sunrise. I’d rather spend them alone, if you don’t mind.”

“You let this… abomination dictate his wishes to you?” Pino asked Anael. “No wonder I’ve been sent to set things right.”

Rage roiled through Damien. He might not be able to take an angel—fallen or otherwise—but he wouldn’t stand to be insulted by one. He bared his claws and rounded on Pino, but Anael stepped between them and pushed him back.

“Damien, please turn back into your human form. My brother might find you easier to talk to that way.”

Damien didn’t care what Pino found easy. It hurt like hell to morph. And he didn’t see why he needed to endure the pain just to make things easier for the fallen.

“Can’t stand a little twinge?” Pino taunted. “Weak.”

Damien ground his teeth and assumed human form. Tried not to let his expression register the pain.

Pino laughed. “Pathetic.”

Damn mind-readers. “Stay the fuck out of my head.”

“Nothing interesting in there, anyway.”

Again Damien went to charge at him, and again Anael intervened.

“Damien, this is my brother, Penemuel. He’s been dispatched to counteract the rules I’ve broken.”

“You want to tell me how seducing Rina settles the score?”

Penemuel shrugged, buffed his nails on what was undoubtedly a designer shirt. “You slept with her.”

“I’m supposed to. You’re not. You’re not even human!”

The fallen raised a brow. “Seriously? That argument, coming from you?”

Damien huffed, gritted his teeth. Struggled for a sense of calm he could only imagine. Finally, he spoke in a soft, controlled voice. “She’s my destiny, not yours.”

The fallen pierced him with a dark stare. “But you weren’t supposed to deceive her, were you?”

“What was I supposed to do? Show her that gargoyles are real?”

“Not my problem.”

“Stay away from her.” His tone rose, sharpened.

“Or what?”

Anael stepped between them. “Okay. Let’s everybody cool down. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all made a mistake or two. What matters now is how we proceed from here.”

“I’ve made no mistakes. I’m doing what I was sent here to do. And I’ll proceed however I damn well see fit.” And Penemuel vanished.

• ◊ ♦ ◊ •·

So, actually, I got to play with more than one myth. In Love Set in Stone, I explored the definitions of what grotesques, angels, and fallen angels are. It was the exploration I enjoyed the most when I wrote the novel, and I think it’s something I’d like to explore in further detail down the road. (I already have a series in mind that brings back Al and Pino, something several of my readers have requested.)

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at the gothic creature and the excerpt of Love Set in Stone. Thanks, Teri, for having me here today. Oh, before I forget, the answers to your BAD MOON RISING questions:

  • What’s the best horror/thriller movie you’ve seen this year so far?
    Have to give it up for the classics. I’ve watched some of the recent horror movies, but I still preferred re-watching The Exorcist a few weeks ago to the new films.
  • Any paranormal experiences you’d like to share?
  • When I first got married, my husband and I rented an apartment from his aunt and uncle which was attached to an old family home. We frequently found faucets running when no one was near the room, saw lights turn on or off in other rooms, and more than once someone touched my shoulder while I was cooking dinner despite my husband not being anywhere near me. We’re convinced it was my husband’s aunt’s father. We never felt frightened, but something was definitely going on outside the range of “normal” life.
  • Favorite Halloween candy?
    Candy corn. I definitely prefer chocolate to that, but I can get chocolate anytime. I can only get candy corn in October. (I never actually buy it, but I have been known to snack on it from the kids’ candy haul or if a friend happens to have some.)
  • What are you working on now?
    Book 4 of the Medici Protectorate series. It’s the last book of the series, so it’s kind of bittersweet. But I have an idea for a crossover, so maybe I don’t have to say goodbye at the end of this one.
  • When you finish a book, do you take time off or jump into another project?
    Jump right in to the next one. I have too much on my schedule to take time off.
  • If you could change one thing about your writing career, what would it be?
    I’d have started earlier. I have so many things I’d like to accomplish; I’m starting to wonder if I can get to it all. Starting twenty years ago would have given me a HUGE head start on my goals.

Author Bio

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Website | Blog | Love Set in Stone Info Page |Universal Buy Link

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85 thoughts on “#BadMoonRising Staci Troilo #IndieAuthor #paranormal #suspense #romance

  1. I find gargoyles fascinating creatures. As a kid I remember an old movie when they came out at night. That’s how I got hooked on them.

    I’ve read LOVE SET IN STONE and it’s an awesome book. Highly recommended!

    Staci, I have to say you’re far braver than I am. I have never watched The Exorcist and never will *shudder* That’s one movie that’s far too dark for me.

    I did find your paranormal experience fascinating. It sounds like you were just being watched over, or maybe your ghost was simply curious about his new residents 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Admittedly, I know very little about gargoyles, so reading this has made me curious about them. Also have to admit The Exorcist if my fav horror movie – just watched it again in the spring, but one of the better newer ones is The Conjuring.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Teri,

        I’ve watched The Conjuring 1 & 2 and Annabelle with my daughter. (I didn’t think she’d get through them, but even in her fright, she seems to love the movies. She’s seen the new It twice now, although she tells me she won’t go again. I need to check that one out. The made-for-tv version wasn’t really scary, although Tim Curry was. I freaking hate clowns.)

        Anyway, the Conjuring franchise movies are really good. The perfect ratio of creepy and suspenseful. Knowing they are based on real-life events just adds to the thrill for me.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. There are people like that. Corey’s mom, when he was young, tossed all his Kiss albums in the trash because her friend told her they were demonic and their songs played backward summoned the devil.

              We kind of laugh about that (although I think he’s still a bit peeved about losing the albums), but on the other hand, it’s not TOO funny. Why tempt fate, I guess, if you really believe that? There’s a legend called the Tulpa. If many people believe in something, it comes true. Although that’s superstition, which is against my religion, so would tossing the albums then be a sin? See, it’s these questions that keep me from sleeping at night…

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Can’t respond to your other comment down where it is, so I popped back up here. Throwing those albums away sounds like something Sheldon’s mom would do on Big Bang Theory. Worth chocking up for character issues some day.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Mae, that’s so cute that you think the SyFy network has scary stuff! LOL

          Actually, I like those movies, too. I gravitate toward the creepy, however I can get it. There’s a network I recently found called El Rey. They play a lot of scary stuff. That will probably be my go-to channel this October. (And beyond. They’re currently playing two Stargate SG-1 episodes and two Stargate Atlantis episodes every Monday through Friday. NICE!)

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Nope. Not on Directv, anyway (channel 341). They do have a Spanish wrestling show or two (Lucha Underground and something else; I can’t remember.) But I’ve been recording the two Stargates every day and watching at night when I can’t sleep. And, if you remember me droning on and on about the Planet of the Apes movies and old TV series… that was El Rey, too. Now they’re set for Halloween. They’ve been airing a lot of horror movies. I’m LOVING it.

              Liked by 1 person

    2. I LOVE The Exorcist. The first Omen movie, too. (I seem to like horror that is grounded in religion more than a regular slasher movie, but I like those, too. I kind of relish in the deaths of the too-stupid-to-live characters.) Now I sound psychotic. Ignore that last bit.

      The “ghost” in our apartment was friendly. Or, at least he wasn’t malicious. Perhaps a bit of a prankster. It’s my understanding that Aunt Norma’s father was an actor, so I’m sure he was given to theatrical displays. That’s probably why his pranks were dramatic (water, lights, etc.). I do think he was curious, and I don’t think he minded us being there. We fixed the place up (it was over 100 years old, and we did some renovations in exchange for dirt-cheap rent), so I’m sure he appreciated the love and care that went into his property. It also didn’t hurt that Aunt Norma loved me and Corey, so how could he object to us being there?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is such a cool story, Staci. I like the theatrical displays too 🙂

        I watched the first two Omen movies (I have a weird story about the first one. I think I posted it to my blog a long time ago. I might have to dig it up again). I don’t like slasher movies, but I do like monster movies, LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The first Omen was great. The second not quite as good. I kind of thought they were lousy after that. Lifetime (I think) had a series called Damien last year. I thought it was kind of cool. Poor ratings got it canceled, though.

          I’d love to hear your Omen story.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: I’m Baa-aack! (Catching Up After Medical Leave) | Staci Troilo

  3. Hi Teri. What a great post with Staci. Back in the 70s I saw a low budget movie set in the desert with gargoyles. I was mesmerized. It left a deeply buried seed of fascination that sprouts up every now and then. This book sounds terrific. Hugs to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Teagan. I hope you take a second to click on the Dav Pilkey “God Bless the Gargoyles” link. If gargoyles fascinate you, I think you’ll love that story. And it’s a quick read.

      I always think of gothic architecture and urban settings when I think of gargoyles. I never considered a desert setting. That intrigues me…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t remember the movie name, Staci… I don’t think any of the actors were particularly famous. But the gargoyles were the bad guys in it… and yet forbiddenly sexy. 😉 OMG… I think I may have just found it on Youtube. Just remember I was very young! LOL.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. A perfect choice for Friday 13th. I also am intrigued by gargoyles. We had a cute little dog who was born on Friday 13th, wore a size 13 collar and lived to be 13 years old. It was a lucky day for us when we got him.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Loved this excerpt, Staci. Downloaded the book, and am looking forward to reading it soon(ish). 🙂 One of these days, my time is going to be my own again. Or at least, a lot more so than it is right now. Great article, too. I do love gargoyles, and now I find out I love grotesques, too. Who knew? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The first step for me is to survive the demolition and repairs of Hurricane Irma damage, and the constant interruptions resulting from same. 😀 Then I’ll only be busy most of the time, instead of ALL of the time. 😀 And I will sneak reading in every chance I get. Sounds like a Plan to me! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It seemed friendly enough. Now, though, in a home that isn’t connected to family? I’d probably be a lot less calm. Especially since we found a large femur in our yard when we first moved here (when we were digging the garden). We called the cops; the guy said if we found any more bones, to call and report it but not tell anyone he’d been there first. Helpful, right? Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Believe it or not, I’ve never tried candy corn. Maybe I’ll try it this Halloween. Fun interview. Your ghost experience gave me chills. I don’t know what I’d do if a ghost touched me!

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve always been a chocolate candy bar person. I would eat all those and then give everything else (including lollipops to my cousins). Now for health reasons, I can’t have chocolate. I’ve been trying new things. Candy corn seems scary though, like it’d taste candle waxish lol.

        Keep smiling,
        Yawatta

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I’ve always been allergic to chocolate. Of course, I’m allergic to most things. Nothing that’s life-threatening, though, so (with the exception of strawberries that cause a horrible rash) I pretty much eat whatever I want. Chocolate is definitely on the list. My current favorite is a 90% dark bar by Lindt.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It tastes like sugar. You really aren’t missing much. But there’s something about Halloween and those orange little triangles… You know, it occurs to me it might be the color that appeals to me more than the taste. Orange is my favorite color, so that could explain the appeal.

      Liked by 1 person

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