Publishers, writers and readers of gay romance, m/m, slash, menage and lesbian romance. See what Romance for the Rest of Us (TM) is all about.
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.
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 didnt, and then teaching apprentices.