I was thrilled this morning to receive my copy of Exotic Gothic 3.

What was even more delightful was when I unwrapped the brown paper to discover that it’s in hardback. I do love hardbacks, they do stand the test of time and will make a library so much more impressive.

Exotic Gothic 3: Strange Visitations

Here’s what the website says about the book:

Every Gothic story changes a no into a yes. . . . Spirit yourself into the deserted mansions of these twenty-three original tales of sinister beauty; then commune with the spirits lying just beneath the surface.

Here Gothic dreams of desire and agony come true.

“Among the micro-bookeries, Ash Tree Press [based in Canada] has produced Gothic volumes in each of the last three years …” says Danel Olson, editor of the collection. “Perhaps all things Gothic beckon now because we need distraction from our woes. We need that which will touch our hearts with awe and a pleasurable agony … [so] take a fast ride along the Devil’s backbone over six continents to find it now.”

Yes, the stories are from all over the world including 6 from Asia, and it includes my latest story “Keramat”.

So, here’s my opening:

“Those British planters found it. Discovered the grave maybe a hundred years ago – when they were clearing the jungle.”

Yvonne had silky short hair, bright questioning eyes beneath pale blue eye shadow and a gold stud through her nose. A necklace with a silver frog locket with emerald eyes sparkled from her smooth pale neck. She was a journalist at The Star and, like me, in her early thirties.

“What about the gravestone?” I asked. “Must be at least a hundred years old.”

“More than that, Malik. Maybe four or five centuries old. Because of its age the locals turned it into a shire. They thought this was a grave of some holy man or even a shaman … oh, here’s the turn off.”

“I didn’t see a sign.”

“That’s ‘cause there isn’t one …”