THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND

THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND: death of a Juggalette in the SFV

Much of the inspiration for the real side of life in the Night Angels Chronicles came from my experiences raising children as a single mother on the mean streets of Los Angeles suburbia. I write essays on the topic and this is the latest one, published in NAILED magazine. It’s a tragic story, about a friend of my son’s.

There’s the fun side of writing Urban Fantasy, the magical world a writer can create where anything is possible. For me, I’m enjoying my vampires and denizens, the angels and demons, the Lizard City beneath Los Angeles , the Key of Mystery and the tablet upon which is written the Secrets to the Origins of Life. It’s been especially fun to build the history of the Night Angels, going back to the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire.

And then there’s a real side of Urban Fantasy. For me, I’ve chosen to peel back the façade of a suburb and see what’s really underneath. As a single mother, raising kids on the mean streets of Los Angeles suburbia, I’ve had first-hand experience of this. As the co-founder of a creative writing program for incarcerated youth, I’ve heard so many horrible stories of injustice. I’ve made friends with my students, now going back over twenty years, encouraging them through their struggles. And I always did my best as my kids were growing up to be there for the young people of my neighborhood who were struggling with addiction and gangs.

NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES is a blend of these two worlds–the fantastical and the often more horrific reality. This essay shows what really happens, and how, sadly, parents and community leaders most often don’t want to acknowledge the truth of what our children face every day when they walk out the door and into the world. I hope to do my part to change that blind mentality.

CAVE OF SECRETS release January 27th

Get ready for Cave of Secrets, the third volume in the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES.

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A demon force is taking over Oak Haven and people are dying in horrific ways. Somewhere beneath the city of Los Angeles lies the hidden chamber and the Secrets to the Origins of Life. If only Sera can find it, maybe she can stop the violence. She needs her dad to help her and she’s certain he’s still alive. But in order to find him, Sera must make a pact with her nemesis, Fabian Gore.

Peter, the Night Angels, has vowed to love and protect Sera, but even he can’t help her in this task. Nor can Jimmy, the human whom she knows she can trust. Only the “girl with the crazy eyes” can lead Sera to her father. Without her dad and the secrets he holds, Sera doesn’t think she can go any further.

Sneak Peek from Cave of Secrets:

Where was Gus? Once I entered the thick bushes I paused and listened. How silent it was. How heavy and still. Stifling. Oppressive.

“Gus?”

Why didn’t he answer?

And then I heard it. A scream. A horrible, agonizing scream, cutting through the stillness and ending as suddenly as it had begun.

I ran, allowing my denizen senses to guide me. I could feel it stronger than ever. The oppression, the evil. Now I saw a trail of blood before me. A body had been dragged here, plowing a path through the underbrush.

It looked like Gus had almost made it to the place where the foliage had ended. Only a few feet further and he would have jumped the wall and been back in civilization, walking on the sidewalk near the road to the market.

But Gus wasn’t ever going to the market again. Or anywhere. Perhaps whatever had attacked him had first chased him down this pathway. Perhaps while we had called to him, Gus had been running for his life, all his energy intent on getting away, none left over to cry for help.

And then that final scream of pain and terror.

I followed the path of blood through the broken underbrush, up the hill, knowing what I would find at the end.

In a little open area, beneath an old oak tree, its roots spreading like writhing snakes along the ground, I found a scene of carnage. A broken, twisted body, arms and legs at impossible angles. Face in the dirt, a lake of blood seeping into the thirsty soil.

Salem was kneeling by the body, reaching a hand toward it.

“Don’t touch it,” I said, kneeling beside him.

I was aware of Jimmy coming up from behind, breathing hard.

Salem turned the body over anyway.

“No,” he said, pulling away.

Gus’s throat had been torn out, his chest, his stomach, a gaping, glistening hole, his insides gutted. He lay there, eyes staring sightlessly up at the burning sky, mouth stretched wide across his teeth in a frozen grimace of excruciating pain.

“God help us,” breathed Jimmy.

All my nightmares came alive in that moment. The image of the monster Gore on the plateau, teeth and claws dripping blood. He had done this to a coyote–gutted it. And then there was our family lawyer, Mr. Meriwether. I had almost forgotten about the poor man. The same thing had happened to him.

Gore–it must be Gore! I turned away from the body and stared at Salem. He was looking down at Gus with hated and contempt. No pity, no remorse.

An icy river flowed down my spine. Could it have been my own brother? Salem’s gaze shifted to me and he read my questioning expression. His eyes went wide with disbelief. He shook his head and mouthed, No!

Others were crashing through the bushes. Soon the entire group, including Stanton, was gathered around the body. And then pandemonium broke out as the reality of what lay before them sank in. Students who had, only moments before, thought they tough threw up. They screamed, losing complete control of themselves.

Tray, Jimmy, Inez and Scooter were upset like the others but in a different way. They were silent. Horror struck. And they were stronger. They had seen more and suspected what types of creatures might have done this.

Alex was a blubbering, broken mess. This wasn’t what he had signed on for when he joined Gus’s gang. He screeched like a frightened mouse when Salem happened to glance at him and then clapped a hand over his mouth to stop the sound. He would never accuse Salem to his face, never have the nerve. But Salem and I both knew what he and everyone else was thinking–that Salem had done this.

 

 

 

 

The Key of Solomon’s Secrets Revealed in NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES

I saw Dr. Strange and I loved it. It’s making a lot of money around the world so I guess a lot of other people loved it and I’m not surprised. It takes us back to the spiritual, reminds us how little we know about the universe and how unwilling or unable most of us are to try and find out. Not through science and traditional learning, but through spiritual practice. Through the denial of the physical and the training of the spirit and the mind.

I loved the library in the movie, and Dr. Strange ‘s insatiable appetite for learning. One of the books he took out of the library was The Key of Solomon, a book of deep magic. I sat forward in my seat in amazement because what is inside of that book is important to the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES.

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Remember that as Sera’s father, Theo, tells her, coordinates lead to destinations and keys open doors. But what kind of doors?

And at what point does one decide, “Here and now, I start following the coordinates?”
How does one know where to begin counting down?

From what world have the demons come? The universe is made up of 70% dark energy and we don’t know what that is. But Sera has caught a glimpse of it through the mysterious boxes.

How can an infinite number of beings be trapped inside the Life Box? How can an infinite numbers of object be trapped inside the Object Holder? Who is channeling power to the Queen and what horrors await if she breaks free?

Solomon imprisoned the 72 demons in the Life Box. But then, what happened?  You can find out in Book of Angels.

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In Book of Angels, Sera battles one of those demons, but I can’t say more here.

There are 6 angels. This Sera finds out when she steals the Book of Angels and brings it to…oh, I better not say who.

Yes, there are 6 angels.

But now, there is destined to be a 7th.

And this, more than anything, fills Sera with fear.

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Book of Angels on Amazon

 

 

NIGHT OWL REVIEWS Author Interview

Author Interview Night Owl Reviews

Check out this sort and sweet interview in Night Owl Reviews.

MY WORLD PROJECT Comes to COSTA RICA

Karen Alaine Hunt

My World Project on Facebook

“Conservemas la Naturaleza y aseguremos la Vida al Mundo.”

~ Eugenia Alvarez Elizondo, teacher in the Maleku school.

14237638_10157464348890360_7403659005528721348_n[2]Maleku school children, their teacher, Eugenia Alvarez Elizondo, and Daniel Spreen Wilson

On July 6, 2016 I landed in Liberia, intent on staying near Lake Arenal for three months, maybe longer. It’s now September and the time has flown by. I am returning to Los Angeles in a couple of weeks and then, I will probably come back. I haven’t quite had enough of this beautiful place yet.

14095919_10157448308330360_1737911583123345433_n[1]Arenal Volcano

During my time here, I’ve had the joy of conducting the My World Project with Maleku youth on the Reserva Indigena Maleku. There are only about six hundred Maleku left in Costa Rica. They have been rounded up and given land on which to live. Meanwhile, much of the land they used to call home has been cleared in order…

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BOOK OF ANGELS is Inspired by Illuminated Manuscripts

WHO IS PETER HERGOVICH?

Check out this guest post on “A Young Adult Dreamer” blog. There is also a giveaway!

In Book of Angels, Sera has her first encounter with the Queen, who is imprisoned in the Life Box in Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Desert. Sera must travel to the monastery with Peter and Blanca to check on the Queen.

The excerpt in this blog post tells about Sera’s encounter with the Queen.

BOOK OF ANGELS Review

Review With Love for Books

Here is the first review of Book of Angels, by Suze Lavender:

Ever since Sera found her father’s mysterious key her life has been turbulent. It’s the only thing he left her and she’s guarding it with her life. The Night Angels manage to save her when nobody else could, but there is a price. Sera is no longer a regular teenage girl with friend and boyfriend problems. Now, she has responsibilities, she has to learn how to control her impulses and she’s only just started her mission to find out what the key can do.

Sera’s nemesis is in control of her brother Salem. Sera finds out they’re now on opposite sides of the same battle, but there are also issues they have to work on together. An ancient Queen wants to escape and someone’s helping her. She should remain confined, because if she’s being freed, there will be chaos and destruction. Sera is no longer powerless but she doesn’t know the extent of what she can do. There’s so much she has no knowledge of and she needs to acquire it quickly, because there’s a lot at stake and she can’t afford to lose.

Book of Angels is a gripping book about a girl who has to grow up fast to be able to keep track of everything that is going on around her. Sera is somehow at the center of it. Both friends and allies are after her key. It’s a powerful instrument that should never be in the wrong hands. Sera is its keeper and she’s taking this task seriously. I loved her protective attitude. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, she’s resourceful and she’s determined. She’s a fantastic tough heroine and I loved how interesting K. H. Mezek makes the situations she finds herself in.

K. H. Mezek’s writing flows easily. Her story is based on ancient history and I loved the way she writes about it. I really liked the direction she’s chosen for Sera in this second book. The world building is amazing too and I loved that the story is set in different countries. Sera slowly gathers wisdom and I enjoyed witnessing that process. There’s still plenty of action in this book, but there are more subtle battles that are being fought as well. I loved that combination. I think this series is fabulous and can’t wait to read the next book.

Book of Angels (Night Angels Chronicles, 2) by K.H. Mezek

Book of Angels featured on author Michelle Zeigler’s blog. And gift card. Enter to win.

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Who Are the Night Angels? Marianne Tells her Story

In Book of Angels, readers get more insight into who the Night Angels are, from learning about their past lives. After Sera’s Turning, in Strejan’s castle overlooking Lake Roza, Marianne sits with Sera in her room, at the top of a tower in the castle, and recounts her past….

“I was twenty-six years old when I was turned into a vampire. On the edge of old age for those times. Before my Turning, I lived in a village by the sea, in the wild lands of Northern Ireland. My family were Druids. I was married to the gods and no man had ever touched me. We worshiped many gods and practiced human sacrifice. For you, in these days, it’s hard to understand. But for us, it was our life, we didn’t know any different. Everyone had a purpose, to toil or to…

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WHO ARE THE NIGHT ANGELS? The Story of Blanca

Karen Alaine Hunt

Book of Angels on Amazon.com

Book of Angels, volume two in the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, opens with Sera’s Turning. In order for her to survive, she is given the blood of the five Night Angels and she becomes one with them and sees their terrible pasts. This gives Sera her first real understanding of who they are.

Blanca is the NIGHT ANGEL who Sera feels hates her and wants her dead. In Key of Mystery, Sera thought that Blanca must be Peter’s girlfriend, but she finds out this isn’t so. Their relationship goes back hundreds of years. Sera still doesn’t find out what happened all those years ago, that will have to wait for another book. But this is what she does now know:

  1. As a human, Blanca was a gypsy, or a “traveler” would be a better term. She was thought to be a witch and was a victim of…

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