The Skull Ring: In Memory of Evil
By Scott Nicholson
By Scott Nicholson
What would you do if you thought your father might have sold your soul to the devil?
That’s a question Julia Stone struggles with in The Skull Ring, except the devil doesn’t exist.
Probably. It depends on whether she believes her shrink or not.
Julia can’t trust her own memories as sinister forces from the past close in around her. The book was inspired by my research into False Recovered Memory Syndrome that was a diagnosis du jour in the 1980s. It usually went hand in hand with Satanic Ritual Abuse, in which thousands and thousands of women in therapy seemed to recall being the sacrificial victims of Satan-worshipping cults.
In researching the novel, I dug into the psychological case books and the diagnostic manuals, researching details of actual cases and the mumbo jumbo of the modern voodoo called “Psychology.” really, a counselor with a wicked streak can do a lot of damage, and when you combine that with a belief that one serves a higher, darker purpose, then how can a mere mortal stand a chance?
Before the diagnosis eventually became ridiculed, a number of psychologists built reputations by ‘uncovering” so many childhood victims of ritual abuse that it seemed like there must be a coven on every street corner. The problem with all these claims was that not one shred of evidence and not one skeleton of a sacrificed baby was ever discovered, though law-enforcement agencies regularly receive “education” on the insidious cult influences in our schools and neighborhoods. Of course, that’s exactly what Satan would want us to believe, right?
My research naturally went to the Internet, where I found the organized Church of Satan is as scrubbed-up and orderly as any Christian denomination, more intent on selling you marked-up regalia and ceremonial talismans than encouraging evil intent. The core principle is selfishness, not so different from many other organized belief systems. And Julia Stone is a victim of this selfishness, rebuilding her life and her past after her father disappeared and she was injured during a long-ago night of chants, fire, and people in hoods.
Now the past has followed her to the peaceful town of Elkwood, where a mutilated body turns up in a local river. Someone knows about her past and is leaving taunting and cruel clues around her house. Her lawyer boyfriend is turning violent and the local handyman seems all too eager to share his religious views. Then Julia discovers children’s bones under her house, the ring closes in, and the chase is on through the Appalachian wilderness, where even nature seems to be on Satan’s side.
Julia Stone will remember, even if it kills her.
Scott Nicholson is giving away 15 percent of his ebook revenues in September! Details are at http://hauntedcomputer.blogspot.com. Nicholson is author of The Skull Ring, Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, and nine other novels, seven story collections, and six screenplays.
Crystal here: I'm Scott's agent for the month for The Skull Ring, which means I make a little money on each sale of The Skull Ring, so hurry out, buy a copy, it's a great book. I mean after this article aren't you intrigued and have to know more? Scott's a master at the supernatural thriller and The Skull Ring is an excellent read. Trust me and it's not just because I'm the agent - I reviewed it long before I was the agent and loved the book, you can see the review here, check the date if you want ;-) Then go buy a copy :)
Here's the link to the Kindle version for $0.99
Here's the paperback for $11.95
Here's the link to the Nook version for $2.99
Giveaway#1: If you tweet or like this post on Facebook, you get an entry for a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card. (Open International - if you can use a Amazon or B&N card). Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below - you get more entries for liking the post on Facebook and for tweeting the post as well.
Giveaway#2 can be found in the previous post. You can't have two rafflecopter giveaways in one post so I have a separate post for the second giveaway.