Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hellfire Women with Brantwijn Serrah

If there's one constant throughout my books, it's women with the devil in their blood.

What can I say? I'm a fan of the fiendish. A devotee of the diabolical. Most of all, though, I think the interplay of good and evil inside a woman's soul makes for the very best kind of story.

When we talk about our favorite fictional ladies, folks bandy about the phrase "strong, independent woman" a lot. But what does it mean? Is it a gal in a tight catsuit who kicks ass and takes names? A Lara Croft-type adrenaline junkie? A self-assured, self-made business executive in power heels who doesn't need a man to validate her worth?

A woman's strength doesn't come from her profession, her wardrobe, her weapons, or her daring-do. It doesn't come from the presence or lack of a romantic partner. It's deeper in the soul of the woman herself. For me, the struggle of good vs. evil, in the microcosm of one woman's existence, creates a compelling study for where her true strength lies.

On January 8th, Into Nostra, the second book in my supernatural adventure series of The Pact, was released by Champagne Books. Set against the backdrop of the weird west and a paranormal otherworld, it's a story of journeys. The leading ladies on these paths have each struck deals with the devil, thinking the power of the arcane is what they need to make themselves stronger. They sacrifice a piece of themselves for a promise of something greater, a way to protect themselves against the dangers of a hostile world. The problem, as they come to realize, is that they've made themselves part of the dangers—and maybe they've lost too much of themselves to the will of another.

I think, as a woman, it's an important struggle to consider. Women's role in society so often becomes one of self-sacrifice, for the sake of the others and a perceived promise of security. We've been 'domesticated' for centuries. Our unique power, spiritual and magical, is damped down and subjugated by hungry devils every day.

That's what the women of The Pact and Into Nostra represent to me. I didn't exactly mean for that to happen... All I wanted was to write a story about a witch and a bounty hunter, sharing their minds and bodies with demons they may not be wholly in control of. When I look deeper, though, I see why Serenity Walker's battle is so compelling for me to write about. She faces down villains and monsters in the world around her, but her most important struggle comes from within. It's a fight to first realize how she's been misled, lured into giving up part of herself, and a journey to then reclaim that power. Her counterpart Eliza Rose has fought that battle for centuries; hers is a story about walking the line, finding yourself somewhere between right and wrong, temperance and temptation, patience and desire. When she's pitted against an entity who would rob her of her agency and choice, who will she choose to be? The sacrifice? Or will she be the bad bitch in charge?  

This is what I've learned from writing about Serenity, Eliza, and the women still to come in future books of The Pact. No woman can find her true strength anywhere but in herself. Her power doesn't lie the expectations of the outside world, but in her inner hellfire, her streak of wild magic, wicked tenacity, and defiant darkness. She's a little bit unholy and a whole lot of hero. She must be the kind of woman who will punch the devil in the face and then ask him for a dance. She'll catch bullets in her teeth and spit out nails. What's most important, though, is that she will do what it takes to seize the thing that matters most: her own bold, strongminded, audacious, and sovereign self.

And sometimes it takes a little bit of devil in your own soul, to be a hellfire woman

Into Nostra
The Pact
Book 2
Brantwijn Serrah

Genre: Supernatural Adventure

Publisher: Champagne Books

Date of Publication: January 8th, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-947128-24-8

Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 84,000

Cover Artist: Brantwijn Serrah

Tagline: They have opened the door to the apex predator, and now it is hunting them down.

Book Description:

Deals with the devil always have their price. Problem is, the devil collects with interest.

Serenity Walker thought she had the upper hand when it came to her partnership with a demon. D’aej is dangerous, but he was always on her side. Then an old friend lifts the scales from her eyes, and Serenity sees her contract for what it truly is: imprisonment, bloodshed, evil. All done by her own hands.

Now Serenity must pay for her ignorance and work harder than ever to fight a demon who can use her body, fool her senses, even twist every thought in her head. Only one sorceress has the power to teach Serenity what she really needs to know…a sorceress possessed by a fiend even bigger and badder than any Serenity has seen before.

Champagne Books     Amazon               Kobo     


A woman flickered into existence. As if stepping out of some eternal veil, she appeared without warning and made straight for Serenity in quick, purposeful strides. The wide, swooping brim of a black cowboy hat hid her eyes; long silver hair streamed out behind her like a pale, gossamer banner. The lithe curves of a predator couldn’t be hidden underneath her black corset and boiled leather leggings—sleek animal fur lined the tops of her boots, tribal moccasins dyed with deep ink and painted with runic markings along the seams.

Serenity managed to identify the symbols as the marks of a killer, but she had no time to move. All along this fighter’s arms danced a swirling dark energy, a kind of magic Serenity had never seen before: the shadowy swarm of a hundred darkling faces, crackling and howling like flames. Her mind flashed in panic back to the fehu tapestry in Eclipse, guarding the weaver’s blackest arts, and just as the woman raised both fists over her head to bring them crashing down on Serenity, D’aej seized control and ducked the body out of the way.

Don’t stare at her like a cow on the train tracks, he shouted across their bond, his anger echoing off the walls of her skull. Get moving!

About the Author:

When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and playing with graphic design. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours on end sketching characters and scenes in her secret notebooks.

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