An ancient curse.
A forgotten love.
A painting with secrets only one woman can reveal.
In this fast-paced second installment of The Creatives Series, Creative (mystic artist) Coco Rhodes is surprised by a horrific vision beneath her most recent painting: the violent attack upon a fragile young girl. When a link is discovered between an education-finance fraud and several girls disappearing from Washington, D.C. schools, Coco’s lover and leader of the Allegiance, the vampire-warlock Gabriel, vows to rescue the girls, and topple a corrupt congressman. Concurrently, the dark and twisted past of Kenan, the Allegiance's sworn enemy, is revealed. With Kenan’s whereabouts unknown, members of the Allegiance begin to unravel his sadistic plan.
From New York and D.C., to Tuscany and the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy, the supernatural guardians of the Allegiance are guided by both the lessons of history and the shocks of present-day life. Through magical twists and otherworldly subplots, this supernatural thriller weaves a web of intrigue, love, and conflict. In The Devil and the Muse, Coco’s sense of duty to the Allegiance is tested. But will protecting her loved ones cause her to sacrifice her humanity?
About the Author
In 1982, Mandy moved to London, where she discovered the importance of the creative collective: The 1980s fashion scene. A year later, in Los Angeles, she found her own creative freedom among the thriving, no-holds-barred visionaries of the music video world. As a costume designer and stylist Mandy worked for photographer Herb Ritts, and directors Joel and Ethan Coen, David Fincher, and Julien Temple, and music icons David Bowie, Madonna, and Tina Turner, to name a few.
Mandy has taught Advanced Placement Art, written and directed high school theater productions, is a contributor to The Huffington Post and a book reviewer for The New York Journal of Books. She resides in Ojai, California, with her husband, Brian Beverly, a crossed-eyed cat, Luna, a dog named Cash and, sometimes, her sons, Angus and Jack.
A native of Los Angeles, Joshua Sindell began his career as a music journalist at Rip magazine, continued on to the alternative weekly New Times Los Angeles, and later to the U.K. metal bible Kerrang!, where he wrote many of that publication's first-ever articles and reviews of such artists as Kyuss, System of a Down, Linkin Park, Static-X, Queens of the Stone Age, Disturbed, and others. He has also worked as a proofreader/copy editor at New Times and Los Angeles CityBeat. As an editor, he in 2017 assisted author Mandy Jackson-Beverly on her novel, The Devil and the Muse. He lives in Beverly Hills, California ... which will soon have a subway transit system, he is pleased to proclaim.
Table of Contents
The motto of The Allegiance
SINE VIRTVTE OMNIA SVNT PERDITA
(Without courage, all is lost.)
The Allegiance: An ancient organization that protects art and Creatives, and gives sanctuary to those threatened by religious zealots.
Creatives: Artists who paint truths within paintings, secrets only visible to a few; their images share the gift of prophecy. All Creatives have amethyst-colored eyes.
~ ~ ~
Hidden in the midst of the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy, stands Casa della Pietra, the stronghold of the Allegiance. The rise of her tall towers burst through clouds of darkened gray, she is a titan of a fortress, a protector of all who enter her walls.
If you listen, you might hear the ancient seer, Prudence, speaking words of reassurance to those new to this place. For Arianna, Jeremy, and Isabel have entered a world where immortals live with unparalleled purpose, and great love.
There has been no whisper of Kenan’s whereabouts, but evil creeps with silent steps, and lurks behind its prey, waiting for a shimmer of weakness to appear in one’s humanity.
As the Creative, Coco awakens, and she is drawn to a painting. Pigments of paint pull at her fingertips, and a hidden image appears. She glimpses the nuance of darkness lingering in the decrepit minds of the wicked.
Enter into this world,
but cast aside old ideas.
but step with deliberation,
For there is no room for indecision when the devil lies waiting...