Ash: Return of the Beast

FACT: Soon after the 1947 death and cremation of Aleister “The Beast” Crowley, history’s most notorious occultist, the urn containing his ashes mysteriously vanished.

Now, more than 60 years later, the urn has resurfaced and all hell is about to break lose in a detective novel unlike any you have read before. Drenched in occult lore and inspired by an actual event.

Readers have drawn comparisons to the likes of Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Dennis Lehane.


THE FACT: Soon after the 1947 death of Aleister “The Beast” Crowley (history’s most notorious occultist), the urn containing his ashes mysteriously vanished.

THE NOVEL: Now, more than 60 years later, the urn has resurfaced and Seattle’s clergymen are dying… one at a time… exactly nine days apart.

This is the most bizarre case that has ever landed on the desk of hard-boiled Seattle Police Detective, Brian Kane. FBI Special Agent Rowena Ravenwood knows Kane will never solve it without her expert assistance. Her expertise is in realms of reality that Detective Kane thinks only exists in B-grade movies. He’s in for a very rude awakening. And what about his own dark and deeply personal connection to the case? How long can he keep it a secret?

What is the meaning of the strange symbols branded onto the bodies of the hapless victims? Why has a black plastic Batman medallion been stuffed into the mouth of each victim? Were they all part of some bizarre cult? How many more will die? No eyewitnesses. No fingerprints. Is it really murder? Where’s the evidence? How does an enigmatic young rock star figure into the events? And what is the disturbing secret that Detective Kane is holding so close to his chest?

The investigation catapults Kane and Ravenwood headlong into life-threatening situations as they grope their way through the strange dark labyrinth of the occult world and soon find themselves battling for their lives against the powerful forces of ritual magick.

A bloody carnage of unimaginable horror is about to be unleashed upon the world as the offspring of the fabled “Old Ones” are awakened from their ancient slumber.

The survival of the human race hangs in the balance and the clues to help solve the case are in desperately short supply. Worse yet, so is the amount of time left to stop the mysterious killer’s reign of terror before all Hell breaks loose. And – according to Special Agent Ravenwood – that’s not just a figure of speech.

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“Rivals the best I’ve ever read by Stephen King, Peter Straub, or Dean Koontz. Hell, Clive Barker would be proud of this one. Yes, it’s that good.” – Jeff Whelan

“It threw me for a literary loop, and I could NOT put this baby down!. The characters are very realistic… the plot is amazing. The twists in this story were terrific.” – J. Wall, photographer

“Brilliantly conceived and executed. I couldn’t put it down.” – Rai Aren, author of Secret Of The Sands

“The writing was flawless, and the plot was so clever and enticing, that I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys occult mysteries. A riveting story.” – Sandra Carrington-Smith

“A page turner… dragging you into a world where few authors have successfully gone… to the Gates of Hell and back! The thrill ride alone is worth the purchase.” – Valerie Bowen, author of the Mind of a Madman series

“Wow…Dan Brown fans watch out! It’s gripping, tantalizing… I was hooked by the end of the first chapter and literally unwilling to put it down!” – Nikki, book blogger at Close Encounters With The Night Kind

“I wasn’t so much reading the book as being sucked into the story with very little effort and seeing the story unfold in my mind through spectacular imagery…” – Michelle Parkins, South Africa

“The character creation is fabulous.” – Christina M. Condy, reviewer

“A good break after all the boy-meets-girl plots. Good writing… interesting concepts… a riddle and some clues to solve… I was reminded of Dennis Lehane. Very different from other horror fiction stories… even gave the whole Necronomicon tale a new spin.” – Cyma R. Kahn, reviewer

“A close-the-drapes-and-hang-onto-your-seat-read. Highly recommend it.” – Meredith Wright Hutchins, attorney, Olympia, WA

“An ending you will never see coming! Highly recommended!” – Lila L. Pinord, author of In Time, Min’s Monster, and Skye Dancer

“Filled with magick… at times drawing one into the evil.” – Ellen In Atlanta, reviewer

“Plenty of atmosphere and a compelling narrative. A worthwhile roller-coaster ride.” – Bob Freeman, author of The Descendant

“What a great story – fast paced and exciting, right to the end.” – Roxanne Bland, Of Werewolves And Other Strangers

“Excellent read! Exciting, really moves right along & a wee touch of romance. You wont be sorry!” – Sue McRae, Stanwood, WA

“If you are a fan of Stephen King, you would like this occult thriller. It’s not quite explainable and you can’t tear yourself away.” – John C. Stipa, Virginia

“A tingly, spine-chilling little entry that belongs in any true horror aficionado’s collection.” – Wendy Potocki, author of The White Lady Murders

“The narrative takes a different approach to the run-of-the-mill Satanist storyline.The action builds nicely and we are drawn into the web of evil and dark revelations as the story progresses.The narrative is rich with details on magic, mystical cycles, and ancient gods and goddesses.” – Drake Morgan at Horror Novel Reviews

“Although this is fiction it makes you wonder whether there is some truth behind the whole story. Who knows? Suggest that you read it with an open mind. Anything can happen since the ashes of Crowley have not been found. A real page turner.” – Anthony Cessar, Gudja, Malta


Reader discretion is advised: This book is intended for adult readers due to strong language and some implied sexual content of a deviant nature. Note: the sexual content is implied as opposed to graphic. It is not included as a gratuitous element. Rather, it is critical to the background of one of the primary characters, his personal development and the motivation driving his future behavior.

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Author and book cover designer, Gary Val Tenuta
Author and book cover designer, Gary Val Tenuta

Having had a life long interest in paranormal phenomena, esoteric lore, the supernatural, occult and ancient mysteries (and basically anything that could be squeezed into those categories) it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that these same elements would become the fodder for my novels and short stories. I grew up devouring Poe, Lovecraft and Roald Dahl and those writers definitely had a huge influence on me. I wonder if they realize what they’ve done? Maybe I should dig out my old 1890s-era Ouija board and let them know. Nah. Probably not a good idea.

I’m a book cover designer ( as well as an author with a degree in Social Psychology. My professional writing career began as a contributing writer for Fate Magazine in the 1990s. One of my feature articles about the mystery of the alleged secret military group known as Majestic-12 resulted in requests to appear on radio programs across the U.S. and Canada. My most recent novel, a supernatural crime chiller entitled Ash: Return Of The Beast (Kindle & paperback) is receiving excellent reviews and has been compared to the likes of Straub, Koontz, Stephen King, Dan Brown and Dennis Lehane.

The first four novellas and novelettes in my series of  “Twisted Tales From The Files Of The Second Chance Limousine Service” are available individually on Kindle (99¢) or in a single volume entitled “Wanna Take a Ride?” also on Kindle ($2.99). The titles of those stories are “A Bite Out Of Time“, “1st Avenue Annie“, “Atonement” and “The Good Librarian“. They can also be purchased separately for 99¢ each on Kindle. A fifth in the series (“The Prank“) was released in June, 2014 on Kindle (99¢) and a 6th is in the works.

I live with my big black cat, Bear, in a cozy condo in the Pacific Northwest where, when I’m not writing, or designing book covers for other authors, I may very well be watching America’s Got Talent or The Voice or reruns of Seinfeld or I might just be relaxing out on the patio, grooving to the mellow sax-jazz stylings of Stanley Turrentine. Then again, you never know. I could be listening to Dwight Yoakum singing about “Guitars and Cadillacs and Loud, Loud Music”. Either way, it’s all good.