Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Author Extra: Heaven's Heretics by Kathryn Scannell

Heaven's Heretics by Kathryn Scannell

Ian thought he was going to spend summer keeping a rich, bored patron happy,
but Frank was more interested in using him for Satanic rituals than in
partying and sex. He fled, but Frank isn't willing to let him go. Will the
bikers who've picked him up help him, or be a different kind of danger? Dee,
their magus, has to rescue Ian from Frank's magic, while resisting the
temptation to get involved with a much younger man who can't possibly want
him except maybe out of duty or gratitude.

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Author Extra:

A short history of Heaven's Heretics

Heavens Heretics is one of the old, established clubs, dating to just after
the end of World War II. At that time motorcycling experienced a surge of
popularity among returning veterans who had trouble forgetting the horrors
they'd seen and fitting back into post-war society. Most of them were purely
social, but Heaven's Heretics was more. 

World War II had hidden occult elements. It's well documented that there
were occultists on both sides working against each other, in addition to the
mundane military forces. Modern historians don't assume this had any effect
on the outcome of the war except possibly in the arena of propaganda, but in
the world of Heaven's Heretics the effects and dangers were very real. The
occult forces in Britain, both military and civilian, were as hard pressed
as the mundane forces when America entered the war, and they quickly tapped
members of the American forces who turned out to have appropriate talents. 

The British occultists, some of whom styled themselves as descendents of the
Knights Templar, were almost universally aristocrats, or at least wealthy
and educated. The Americans, on the other hand, were frequently high school
graduates with no esoteric background, from blue-collar or immigrant
families. Desperation makes for strange bedfellows, and the British held
their aristocratic noses and worked with them. 

The relationship was too strained to survive the end of the war, but the
Americans who went home had seen horrors they couldn't talk about, even to
most of their fellow veterans. That resulted in a close bond, and Heaven's
Heretics was formed. At first it was purely social, but now they realized
there was magic at home too, and some of it was not nice. They embraced the
Templar ideal of protecting innocent travelers from magical things which the
ordinary authorities couldn't help with. Now the club had a purpose. 

In the ensuing sixty years there have been some changes. The first
generation learned techniques and history from their British counterparts.
The education was spotty, but it convinced them that study was important,
and some of them took advantage of the GI bill to get more classical
education. But they never forgot their blue-collar and farm boy roots. They
pulled themselves up by their bootstraps educationally, reading old books,
trying things to see what worked and what didn’t, and then teaching
apprentices. 

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