The Top Five Wild Things in the Weird West – by Laura Bickle

The west is weird in DARK ALCHEMY. Long-buried alchemical experiments surface to meet the local undead, warring with drug lords and cattle barons in the tiny town of Temperance, Wyoming. It’s an odd place…as the new stranger in town, geologist Petra Dee, is discovering. These are the top five things this scientist can’t rationally explain away:

5. Calcinated bodies. A series of corpses are found, twisted like driftwood and calcinated in shallow graves in and around the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. There are no witnesses, and the manner of death defies all logical explanation.

4. The Venificus Locus. Back in the Gold Rush days, Temperance was founded by an alchemist. Remnants of his experiments are buried throughout the countryside. Petra finds a golden compass on the property she’s renting, and it’s more than a pretty artifact. It has the ability to detect magic, and it runs on fresh blood.

3. Coyote familiars. The only creature Petra can trust is a coyote who turns up at the doorstep of her trailer. It seems that the coyote is more interested in lunch meat than companionship, but the coyote has his own agenda. He’s meant to be Petra’s spirit guide, whether she believes in spirit guides or not.

2. Living mercury. Stroud, the local drug lord, does more than cook meth in his basement. He’s obsessed with the secret of eternal life, and he’s conjured several horrors to solidify his power. One of these is living mercury, bonded with his own blood. The mercury is armor, a weapon, and so much more.

1. The Hanged Men. The local undead, the Hanged Men masquerade as ranch hands. Forever in the company of ravens, they must return to the alchemical Tree of Life every night to decompose and be reborn. The magic of the tree isn’t perfect – many of the Hanged Men are little more than broken automatons. But they will defend the tree against any incursion – whether from Stroud or Petra. Are they responsible for the murders? Or is something even more fearsome at work? Petra will have to puzzle it out…or risk becoming the latest victim in this string of weird horrors rooted in Temperance.

Satisfy your weird west cravings now. Dark Alchemy is available to download for just $.99 everywhere ebooks are sold. 

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.




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