I am excited to welcome back Justin Gustainis, author of the fabulous Quincey Morris Supernatural Investigation. The third novel, Sympathy for the Devil has just been released. Justin is also beginning a brand new series, the Occult Crime Unit, with the release of Hard Spell.
Sympathy for the Devil
Senator Howard Stark wants to be President of the United States. So does the demon inside him. With the competing candidates dropping out due to scandal, blackmail, and ‘accidental’ death, Stark looks like a good bet to go all the way to the White House. And if he gets there, Hell on Earth will follow.
Occult investigator Quincey Morris and white witch Libby Chastain are determined to stop this evil conspiracy. But between them and Stark stand the dedicated agents of the US Secret Service – as well as the very forces of Hell itself. Quincey and Libby will risk everything to exorcise the demon possessing Stark. If they fail, ‘Hail to the Chief’ will become a funeral march – for all of us.
Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD’s Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.
Like the rest of America, Scranton’s got an uneasy ‘live and let unlive’ relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that’s when they call Markowski. He carries a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.
File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Dial V For Vampire | Forbidden Spells | Bite Club | Scranton By Night ]
Are Quincey and Libby Ever Gonna “Do It?”
Short answer: probably not.
I probably should expand on that, or this will be the shortest guest blog that Literary Escapism has ever hosted.
“Quincey and Libby” refers to a couple of my fictional characters. Quincey Morris is an occult investigator. If the name seems familiar, it’s because a Texan of the same name was part of the small, brave band who destroyed Dracula in Stoker’s novel. Quincey is the one [Spoiler alert!] who dies at the end. My conceit is that Quincey has a son back in Texas (conceived with his wife, who died giving birth). Ever since, the Morrises have carried on the family tradition of fighting evil.
Elizabeth “Libby” Chastain is a white witch (that is, a practitioner of white, as opposed to black witchcraft). She and Quincey are partners in the fight against supernatural evil – but that’s as far as the partnership extends. In three novels, Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways and Sympathy for the Devil, Libby and Quincey have worked closely together, saved each other’s lives – and remained good friends — but just friends.
For them to get romantically involved would change the whole dynamic of the series. Instead of urban fantasy, I’d be writing paranormal romance. No disrespect intended to those who read or write paranormal romance – it just isn’t my thing. Over the years, several reviewers have commented on the platonic nature of the Quincey/Libby relationship, and have called it a refreshing change from much of what is being written these days.
That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been moments of sexual tension between them. In Black Magic Woman, an incubus/succubus (a sex demon) is sent to take the duo’s attention off their present investigation. The creature starts off in male form, putting some enchantment-fueled moves on Libby that very nearly succeed. At the last second, Libby is able to yell for Quincey, who kicks a door open to interrupt the scene. The demon says to Quincey, “I was going to see you later, anyway, but as long as you’re here….” Then the hot-looking naked man who was in bed with Libby transforms into a hot-looking naked woman, saying, “I know you find me attractive, Quincey – and Libby, I know you like girls. So come on, kids, let’s have some fun.” For just a second there we are on the verge of a threeway between Quincey, Libby, and the demon. But then Libby comes up with a quick incantation that banishes the creature. The danger past, Quincey realizes for the first time that Libby is naked. He turns his back, then leaves the room. Later, Libby acknowledges that she is bisexual, noting (quite rightly), “That doesn’t make me some kind of a skank.” Libby has been for years a practitioner of serial monogamy – sometimes her partner was male, sometimes female. But always in committed relationships.
This aspect of Libby’s sexuality comes up again briefly in Evil Ways. Quincey and Libby are sitting in a bar with Hannah Widmark, a tough-as-nails supernatural bounty hunter they have known for years. As Hannah prepares to leave, Libby remarks on a new-looking tattoo on Hannah’s arm, which Hannah explains is a sigil against demons. “I have several of them, all over my body,” she says to Libby. “Ask Quincey – he’s seen them all.” Hannah stands up to leave. “Oh, that’s right, Libby, I was forgetting – so have you.” Some exit line – leaving behind at the table a period of awkward silence.
There’s a scene in Sympathy for the Devil where Quincey and Libby are staying in a hotel (separate rooms). One evening, they pass a few hours in Quincey’s room, lying on separate beds, watching a movie. Later, walking back to her room, Libby considers what would have happened if Quincey had invited her to join him. She wonders what she would have done, and what might have followed. Then she banishes the thought as stupid and inappropriate. Libby doesn’t want to change the dynamic between herself and Quincey. And neither do I.
After earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.
Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York, with his wife, Patricia Grogan. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State University.
Want to purchase Justin’s novel?
Quincey Morris Supernatural Investigation
- Black Magic Woman at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Evil Ways at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Sympathy for the Devil at Amazon or the Book Depository
Occult Crimes Unit