Hunter Caine: The Tomb of Souls
Hunter Caine, Soldier of Fortune Book 3
by JP Vile
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
You need something dangerous done? Call Hunter . . . If you have the cash, she has the flash!
“I’m Hunter Caine.
Treasure Hunter. Soldier of Fortune. Smuggler.
I’m kind of a bad bitch, you might say.
I do what the chicken-shit Corporation, or the Holier-than-thou Collective are afraid to do.
What they don’t want to do.
And I do it anywhere.
When stuff gets ugly, and things need doin’, I get it done.
I don’t play favorites. Strictly Freelance.
But, I do it all.
You want something done? Something dirty? Something dangerous? Something distasteful?
Call Hunter. You got the cash. I got the flash.”
What is something unique/quirky about you?
One unique aspect about me is my deep-rooted obsession with cryptozoology and ghost hunting. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to discover how to track and locate Bigfoot and its goat-sucking cousin, the Chupacabra. I also have a pretty extensive ghost-hunting kit and all the tools I need to locate the hidden spirits among us.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I've always been immersed in a world of stories and legends, from pulp fiction's golden age to the haunting depths of Victorian gothic literature. My passion for the fantastical, combined with a reverence for classic poets like Tennyson and Coleridge, eventually led me to earn an MFA in Creative Writing. The worlds I'd been consuming for years begged to spill out of me, and thus, my journey as an author began. The 70s and 80s speculative fiction scene heavily influences my long-form novels, and you'll often find threads of heroism, human frailties, and triumphant redemption woven into my works.
Who is your hero and why?
While I find inspiration in many figures, if pressed, I would say my father is my hero. He embodies the spirit of resilience and perseverance that I so deeply admire in literature and life. His actions, self-sacrifice, challenges, failures, and triumphs have taught me the essence of what it truly means to be heroic.
Which of your stories can you imagine being made into a show?
I can easily imagine my Hunter Caine stories being a series of monster-of-the-week-type pulp stories. I think Hunter is a compelling, fun character who would appeal to a lot of adventure and hero-loving audiences.
Who designed your book covers?
I've had the privilege of collaborating with various artists over the years, each bringing their unique touch to my work. But for "Tomb of Souls," the fantastic cover was designed by Roy Mauritsen, a talented artist whose vision perfectly encapsulated the novel's essence.
Embrace the madness of the world around you. Every quirk, every weird thing you see, every failure, every heroic act, no matter how small, holds the seed of a story. Never shy away from your obsessions, no matter how peculiar they might seem. Dive deep into what fascinates you and let it spill onto the page. Above all, write with authenticity and passion, and remember that the journey itself, with all its ups and downs, is as rewarding as any destination.
I’m Hunter Caine. I’m a soldier of fortune—some might call me a mercenary—who does her level best not to get herself killed. I take all kinds of jobs: treasure hunting, protectin’ folks, savin’ folks, even some stone-cold killing if the target makes some sense. On this occasion, I was doing a little bodyguarding for a group going about a treasure hunt. They were museum types, looking to loot some native cave on Planet #4 to show it off to rich folks back in Corporate Space.
We were looking for some damn thing called the Soul Crystal. It was nothin’ but a planet #4 legend, some said. But my employers were damn sure it wasn’t no such thing. Truth was, that others had gone huntin’ for it, and lots of folks disappeared doing such. I was beginning to reckon we were in for a similar fate. We’d been on the trail for days, weaving in and out of mountain passes, and the stunted forests that covered the planet, following some map they’d brought from their Archives back in Chi-town on Earth.
It was late. I was bone tired and pissed off at the never-ending trek we seemed to be on when I rolled up my blue-dreads on the back of my head, crawled into my fart sack, and lay my noggin’ down on my pistol rig. At that point, it was easy to divine why previous hunters had disappeared without a trace.
The fact is . . . it should have been obvious when I signed up for the gig with that bunch o’ well-meanin’ museum folks weeks ago, back in Perdition. Ignoring the fact that the Soul Crystal was probably nothing more than myth, a sort of intergalactic fountain of youth that attracted every treasure hunter in the Frontier, the imbecilic plan our particular mission had undertaken was on display for anyone who wanted to see, probably like every ill-conceived mission before it. It goes something like this: when do-gooders, like these fools from the Chicago Museum of Intergalactic Cultures decide to go skipping around the cluster on some damn treasure hunting scheme, they invariably run afoul of the two cardinal rules of grave robbing, those being, number one: be fast, and number two: don’t get seen.
I suppose I shouldn’t be so ornery about the whole thing. At least the idiots were predictable, and I, truth-be-told, shoulda known better. This team of wannabe tomb defilers was determined to make me crazy.
They made ineptitude their calling card.
For weeks, we’d spent our time making sure we flushed those two rules so far down the damned shitter, we’d forgotten all about them: the long-ass trip here, stocking up on supplies for days and days, hiring porters and guides, the never-ending trek across the waste, the interminable, mealy-mouthed bullshit dealt out by the irascible, if absolutely steaming hot Curator, Doctor Polly fucking Evans.
I was fit to be tied.
By the time we left Rehvik’s Peak, the only somewhat viable settlement on the backside of Planet #4, everyone on the surface knew what we were doing and where we were going.
All that to say that when our perimeter siren squealed a damned banshee’s warning into the silent desert night, I was on edge and ready for a fight. That is if I hadn’t just fallen asleep and started a rather appealing dream about redheads, strawberries, and just a smidgen-little dose of White Scog.
Startled from my zees, I threw off my sleeping cover, strapped my pistol rig on my hip, and grabbed my Sharps Particle Carbine. I considered grabbing my protective vest, but there was no time. I rushed outside the portable shelter into the darkness.
Well and good, finally—a little excitement!
I was quite prepared to cause some trouble.
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About the Author
JP Vile is a devious introvert that scribes works of fiction for people that like action. Pulp fiction that is – the kind of fiction that gets your blood boiling and keeps you flipping pages like tomorrow may never come.
JP has been a soldier, a wrangler, a financial advisor, a professor and a professional eater of oatmeal cookies, all of which contribute to a well-rounded attachment to chaos. Most importantly, JP’s family is an eccentric group of lovable maniacs who all harbor an unhealthy commitment to raising their small dog, Shadow (who may or may not be a Martian infiltrator).
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