Inquiring Minds I (Spiders): Mark of the Spider


The mark of a spider? Big red bump obviously.

Or not. (Look at the cover of my Mark of the Spider.)

But which spider left its mark? I mean, what kind of arachnid?

This question arose (over and over and over again) as I wrote The Mark of the Spider.

A black widow (Latrodectus mactans)? Everybody knows this is the deadliest spider ever. (Except it’s probably not. It’s in the top ten, but likely not the most dangerous.)

A tarantula (spider family Theraphosidae)? Every horror movie uses these nasty looking creatures, but they rarely rank among the ten most dangerous. (See here, here, here and here.)

A Digression

In general, among the 43,000 species of spider throughout the world, the ones to avoid have funnel, recluse, widow or wolf in their names. So the black (and other) widow spiders are nasty brutes, as you would expect with a name like widow.

Depending on your source, these are the most dangerous, venomous spiders in the world.

For my money, the nastiest looking is the Goliath Birdeater Tarantula (Theraphosa blondi), which is about the size of a dinner plate. This is it:

blondilocust1 copychidsweb_thumb

Goliath Birdeater, which is about the size of a dinner plate. Photo: Wonders World.

Imagine what it would look like in person, if it were black — and 10 feet tall.

But I digress.

BOT (Back on Topic)

My spider is black with hairy legs. It has no eyes, that I can see, and it is tiny enough to crawl unnoticed into a human ear and large enough to imprison a tall man inside its telephone pole-sized legs. And angry. Very angry. And vindictive.

That’s my spider.

I couldn’t find that in nature. So, the spider in The Mark of the Spider exists in my mind, and yours. That should make you shudder.

The Mark of the Spider, Book 1 of the Black Orchid Chronicles, is available on Amazon in digital and trade paperback (5.5 x 8.5″, 334 pp.) formats.

Enjoy it today; review it tomorrow.


The Mark of the Spider – Launched


Sebastian Arnett thinks of himself as a simple man with simple needs: His cameras, his patron and plenty of booze to wash away the painful memories of dead wife every night.

The Mark of the Spider - 3D-smallHe is a practical man as well, devoid of philosophies and superstitions. So when an old woman gives him a priceless black orchid, he is skeptical. Dark orchids exist, but black orchids do not. (Go ahead, look it up. No such thing as a black orchid.)

Except for the one in Sebastian’s hand and dozens more where the old woman comes from. Sebastian bites.

Will you take me there? he asks.

She nods her assent, and he lives to regret it – just barely.

Sebastian’s story is The Mark of the Spider: A Black Orchid Chronicle. The book goes on sale today in print and ebook editions, available only on Amazon.

Buy the print book and get the ebook free.*

But order the book today. Sebastian won’t live forever.

* Also available free to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.