Trifles and Folly
A Deadly Curiosities Collection
by Gail Z. Martin Genre: Urban Fantasy
A collection of nine adventures: Buttons, The Restless Dead, Retribution, Coffin Box, Wicked Dreams, Collector, Bad Memories, Shadow Garden, and Spook House.
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic and Sorren, a 600 year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats. An extension of the Deadly Curiosities book series.
Revised Edition 2, 2018. Includes an updated cover, minor edits and the BONUS section with three stories chronicling Sorren’s early days: Vanities, The Wild Hunt, and Dark Legacy.
“Why is your garden gnome in a cage?” I frowned as a plump middle-aged woman deposited a stone statue locked in what looked like a large “live trap” steel mesh box.
“Because this thing ate my cat,” the woman declared. “And I want rid of it before it goes after the dog, too.”
We see all kinds of things at Trifles and Folly, but even for us, this was a first.
“Are you sure about the cat?” I asked, warily eyeing the gnome. It looked much older than the brightly-painted resin figures on sale at the big national-chain garden supply stores. The statue was weathered, with some bits of lichen stuck to its body, and I wondered if it had been custom-made. Now that she mentioned it, the gnome did look a little creepy. The features looked sly instead of welcoming, and the set of the mouth seemed to hide sharp teeth behind the carved stone lips.
“I’m sure,” the woman said, slapping her palm against the wooden counter. “Fuddles never did like the statue. Always hissed at it when he walked by it. I should have taken that as a sign.”
“Where did it come from?” I asked, looking away from the creepy gnome and returning my attention to the lady who had brought in the caged decoration.
“My mother said she bought it from one of those architectural salvage places,” the woman replied.
“Have you had other problems with it, before the… um… cat incident?” I’m sure she was embarrassed and believed I was secretly laughing at her, but I had seen much stranger things.
I’m Cassidy Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, SC that is a lot more than it seems. The store has been in my family for over three hundred years, and we’ve got a secret. While we’re a great place to find beautiful old heirlooms and estate jewelry, our real job is getting dangerous magical and supernatural items off the market and keeping them out of the wrong hands. That means we see more than our share of cursed, unlucky, or possessed objects, so I was taking my hapless customer’s tale seriously. Her murderous gnome sounded exactly like the kind of problem we deal with every day.
Trifles and Folly 2
A Deadly Curiosities Collection
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and together with Teag (a hacker and weaver witch) and Sorren, a 600 year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
An extension of the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy novel series, this collection contains three full novellas and four short stories: The Final Death, Predator, Fair Game, Fatal Invitation, Redcap, Bloodlines, plus three bonus stories: Among the Shoals Forever, The Low Road, and Steer a Pale Course.
I ran through White Point Gardens as fast as I could. Behind me, teeth snapped, and feet crunched on gravel. The redcap was gaining on me. I turned and caught a glimpse of the creature that was hunting me, and let loose with a blast of cold white force from the athame in my right hand.
The energy bolt sizzled through the air, but the redcap was gone. They’re devilishly hard to hit.
Mocking laughter came from the shadows. The redcap was enjoying his game. He was toying with me, letting me get ahead of him, saving his speed for the kill. Legend says it’s impossible to outrun a redcap. I had hoped to draw him off, away from the homes that bordered on the garden, where there were fewer prying eyes and a lesser chance of collateral damage. I’d offered myself as bait to draw the redcap toward the waterfront. Now, I dodged around the statues and war memorial cannons, trying to out outwit a bloodthirsty pixie with a taste for human flesh.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the strangest way I had ever spent a Friday night.
The redcap was chattering in excitement, stoked about getting a good feast—me. I was predictably less enthusiastic about the possibility and determined to make sure he stayed hungry. The back corner of the park was coming up, where it was a darker thanks to a burned-out street lamp. Just a few more feet.
The redcap gave a feral cry and sprang at me, snapping his sharp teeth on my jeans and barely missing my skin. I wheeled and gave him a good kick in the face, knocking him a few feet away. The redcap howled in anger and jumped to his feet; eyes fixed on me as he sized up his prey.
A larger shape moved fast enough to blur, and in the next instant, Sorren tackled the redcap. Sorren hung on, using his own immortal strength to restrain the redcap, who despite being two feet tall and built like a stringy old man was as tough as a tiger.
“Now!” Sorren cried out.
Teag darted from behind a monument. I heard the redcap scream as Teag pulled the creature’s head back and swung his blade, neatly severing the vicious pixie’s head.
Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wroteat age fivewas about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married and has three children, a Himalayan cat, a Maltese and a golden retriever.
My Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series is set in Charleston, South Carolina, and my goal is to make the setting so much of the story that it couldn’t take place in the same way anywhere else. Charleston is one of the oldest US cities, and its history includes pirates, duelists, plantation owners, enslaved individuals, merchants and murderers. History like that makes for restless ghosts, family secrets, cursed objects and haunted places. That’s a perfect mix for danger!
Hoodoo is folk magic and a belief system rooted in African spiritual traditions. It’s an integral part of the South Carolina Lowcountry culture, and something people in the know take very seriously. In the Trifles and Folly/Trifles and Folly 2 collections of short stories and novellas set in the Deadly Curiosities universe, you’ll meet Hoodoo practitioner Mrs. Teller, who weaves magic into her sweetgrass baskets and uses her abilities to help main characters Cassidy Kincaide and Teag Logan go up against all kinds of supernatural threats.
You’ll find plenty of history, Hoodoo and magic in the Trifles and Folly/Trifles and Folly 2 collections, as well as the Deadly Curiosities novels. The collections can stand alone, so you don’t have to read the books first, but if you have read the novels you’ll get some new insights into the characters and the magic.
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