The Gothic Novel Book Club <Hiatus> discussion

Read for Review > Encore: A Love Story of Hypnotic Abduction

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message 1: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments Hi, there Gothbuddies,

My Gothic novel is due out Oct. 1. If anyone is interested in signing up to review it, digital files are available through this link:

If you prefer print, I could mail an ARC to anyone in the US if you want to give me your address.

Miriam is whisked away to a castle by a man who has hypnotized her to believe she is his wife; her friend Colin tries to save her, though she is told he is a crazed criminal.


A performance troupe in England acts out the history of Moldavite, a gem which features in legends of Shambhalla and Atlantis. The troupe's charismatic hypnotist, Dune, has made them famous, especially his wife Susan who is the star.

After the star's mysterious disappearance before the show, her standby, Miriam, takes Susan's place on stage. Dune always hypnotizes the standbys to believe they actually are the actors they are replacing for the performance. The post-hypnotic suggestion ends when the curtain reaches the floor after the encore, and they return to remembering their true identity. Before the curtain lands, Dune whisks Miriam away to a castle while its owner, an alchemist, is away.

Meanwhile, Miriam's friend, Colin, who just that day kissed her for the first time, seeks to rescue her against all odds.

This contemporary Gothic novel explores the dangerous historical appropriation of cultural legends for the sake of forging military alliances. The book is rich with factual references to occult intelligence agents and the dubious mythology of Shambhala and Atlantis as they have been manipulated by powerful countries.

Standalone, it is Book III in The Agents of the Nevermind series.

message 2: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
Oh, hypnotism. How very interesting.
So are you saying you can read it as a stand-alone book but it is also part of a series ?
I haven’t heard of anything like this at all. I applaud you on your creativity and initiative.

message 3: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments Yes, with the series, the backstory of the previous books isn't important to enjoying the novel, as it's not a serial.

The only thing useful to know when going into reading it -- The world of the Nevermind is the same as ours except for veering off when the Agency was created in 1990 to take on the propaganda role the CIA etc. would normally have, and it networks with the UK.

The Agency worked in conjunction with a president who had the hormonal imbalance of gigantism. He and the Agents made the best of that deformity by keeping New Age ideas in the forefront of the public's mind, particularly the legend about how superior giants lived in Atlantis. It's how that president got elected. And by keeping the public caught up in mystical ideas, that allows intricate propaganda involving reincarnation, elixirs of immortality, rocks with powers, and all that.

message 4: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
Ohhh! I would feel better reading things from the beginning. Cause, yeah. That sounds like a lot to miss. I would, if it was me, want to get a feel for the whole world with its changes.

message 5: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments I'll eventually put out the prequel book, Giant Jack, that goes into that history of the Agency that I described, but so far, it's only mentioned as backstory in each of the books.

message 6: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments The first two books in the series aren't Gothic, so I don't know how much they'd appeal to folks in the group.

message 7: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
Dystopian ? That’s what it reminds me of. And well I’m sure a lot of us also like other areas. :)

message 8: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
I have been reading your thoughts several times and putting the world in my head to imagine it. Thanks for sharing it.

message 9: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments All the books in the series are Psychological Suspense, each with secondary categories, such as Assassination Thriller.

Thank you, Shaina. I appreciate the opportunity.

message 10: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
Oh... that’s even better! That makes sense because of your fields of study, yeah. Fascinating !
I would like to read them at some point. Your ability with words is amazing.

message 11: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments You're very kind, thank you.

I'm giving away ebooks of the first one right now if you're interested in grabbing one.

message 12: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
Oh I love the cover; it’s very alice in wonderland like and to me that’s a good thing. ;)

message 13: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments isn't the cover fun? i bought the art before i finished writing the novel and it greatly influenced the plot.

message 14: by Shainlock (new)

Shainlock  | 686 comments Mod
That’s really copesetic. I like how that worked out! One inspiring the other. I’m a visual artist and illustrator so that speaks directly to me. I like how it relates to the theme of the book too and the type of book. You must like art.

message 15: by Tantra (new)

Tantra Bensko (tantrabensko) | 33 comments Thank you for noticing.

I like all these ways you and I are similar.

I was art director for a couple magazines, had an art gallery, was an international art judge, won awards, had solo shows traveling through the spanish levant for years, and so on.

One of the best parts of being human is the joy of visual imagination, right? Dreams and waking dreams.

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