Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts

Monday, October 12, 2015

Spotlight: Special Levels of Earthly Hell


Special Levels of Earthly Hell
An Atheist's Experience with Demonic Possession
Merry Freer                           

Genre: Paranormal, Occult,
Horror, True crime
         
Date of Publication: July 3, 2015

ASIN: B010YBFKH2

Number of pages: 244
Word Count: 82,000

Cover Artist: Kalen O’Donnell

Book Description:

Drew Collins is an atheist who experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an energy he calls "The Beast" takes possession of his wife.

What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.

Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has permeated his wife's family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his beliefs and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.


Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

The most difficult battle is with an enemy you can’t identify.
“This is what I’ve learned about The Beast,” Laura said. “It doesn’t exist in our plane of existence. It has no physical form. Use that fact to your advantage. It gains power from negative energy. Remove your negative energy and replace it with positive energy. Be its opposite. It’s the only way to fight evil.”
Spending his lunch hours receiving an intense and personalized lesson on the finer points of demonic shielding, as well as an education on the various cultural ideologies of good and evil, was the last place Drew Collins expected to find himself in his five-year plan. His plan was loose and flexible, but he was certain it included love. He even had a vision about it before he left on his dream adventure, traveling through Mexico after he graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Bio-Psychology. He dreamed he was destined to go to Mexico to bring something back. What he returned with was better than his wildest dream and worse than his most horrific nightmare.
Yet here he was, spending his lunch breaks with his boss, Laura, on the grass at the Self-Realization Temple. Today he was learning to control his personal energy. Laura studied with two shaman from different indigenous tribes. One was the Hopi, a small tribe within the Navajo nation. The other was from the Yaqui Indians, who lived in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, south of Arizona, the same tribe associated with the mentor of Carlos Castaneda, a trained shaman and American author who held a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Castaneda claimed to have learned his craft from a Yaqui named Don Juan Matus, whom he claimed was personally trained by a Diablero, or devil, though some say his mentor never existed. Under ordinary circumstances, Drew would have considered the teachings of shamans to be fascinating fodder for an excellent conversation. Today, he considered them to be a necessary component in the lessons he agreed to pursue – the lessons he hoped would help him save his wife. Drew was a self-proclaimed atheist, a man whose beliefs were based in science, a godless man, to put it bluntly, who was in the peculiar position of being married to a woman who appeared to be possessed by a demonic presence.
A reasonable person might ask themselves how this could be so. How could a godless man, an atheist, believe his wife was possessed? Aren’t demons, the kind that possess humans, take over their bodies and voices to spread a vile message, associated with religious belief? Certainly the Catholic religion makes this connection. His wife was Catholic and he’d seen The Exorcist. For Drew though, The Beast was secular. It existed as an evil energy, separate and independent from the confines of religion. It had to. He didn’t believe in God, so he couldn’t accept The Beast as His antithesis, as a religious man might do. Religious belief as an explanation for his experience was discarded. He believed in science. But The Beast was an entity unidentified by scientific study. The Beast. Science.

Drew recognized with an awareness that shook the foundation of his being that they could not be reconciled. In the science he had studied there was no place for demons. And yet he knew they existed. He had seen The Beast for himself. In his own home.


About the Author:

Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. She is a native of San Diego, where she lives surrounded by a large, eclectic family and a treasured handful of truly close friends. While "Doctor, Doctor" is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.

Her controversial memoir, "Doctor, Doctor," topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a "Best Books of 2014" award from "Suspense Magazine."


Twitter:   @MFreerWriter

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Second Nature


Title: Second Nature (Crimson Cover Mysteries, Book Two)
Author: A.E. Watson           
Genre: YA romance, horror, mystery, and thriller
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours
Blurb:

Flirting, first love, fighting for your life.

All the things that represent a spectacular fall in Crimson Cove, named after the sight one sees when the trees all turn red in the crisp autumn air.

When school starts and the events of the summer no one is likely to forget haven't been solved, the five girls decide to take matters into their own hands.

But the problem with lifting stones to find the secrets hidden under them is that you never can tell just what lies beneath.

For the five unlikely friends, what lies beneath involves each and every one of them.

And as the story twists and turns, they start to see they are each connected to the murder and the disappearance still rocking the small sea side community.

Don't miss the exciting second book in The Crimson Cove Mysteries.





I am the mother of two beautiful girls who are growing up so fast, the wife of a cute guy in a uniform (my own personal hero), and a writer.

My family will tell you it doesn't exactly fall into that order. Especially around dinner time when I "Cook" from a takeout menu with my face plastered to my computer. I also have two cats who I adore more than I should, like more than people I know, and a dog. He is a beagle who is naughty but just so darned cute. He gives you that little beagle face and then steals your slice of pizza.

I have a busy mind and even busier fingers. I can write fast and keep track of a large cast, but I can't remember why I'm at the grocery store. I try to write lists but they always end up being notes for books or indie bands. I LOVE INDIE MUSIC! I talk to myself in the car and sing too loud for my skill level. The invention of Bluetooth has made talking in the car less awkward but if you hear me singing, run. I love writing. I love my characters like they are my friends and I am telling their version of the truth.

My worst flaw is the horrid English accent which I read everything with. If I read aloud it comes too. I'm not English, so I can't even do the accent which makes it awkward for anyone who is nearby.

My favourite authors are Robert Jordan and Jane Austen and Robert Mccammon and Jim Crace. I think Stephen King and Dean Koontz have the most unique imaginations. I have the hardest time not LOVING Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger. I know all the serial killers have a copy but I adored that novel. It made me feel a thousand different things and one of them was more alive. (And not in the least bit serial killer-ish) When I grow up I want to be James Patterson or Nora Roberts. I aspire to be like them, always trying to hone my skills and work harder. My genres are all over the map. I have Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, Science Fiction, Erotica (under Sophie Starr my porn name so my mom doesn't know), Thrillers, and even some Romantic Comedies. If you would like to reach me for whatever reason, please visit me at my facebook page -facebook.com/TaraBrownAuthor. You can also email me at tarabrownauthor@hotmail.com 
Thanks for checking me out and I hope you got lost in something I wrote or it made you so HAPPY/SAD/BLISSFUL/TURNED ON/ANGRY/EXCITED/FRIGHTENED/HORRIFIED/MAD that you couldn't believe it. The list of what is coming out this year is not completed. I will keep my Facebook page as up to date as I can. Here is a short breakdown of my genres and pen names. TARA BROWN- My main page and essentially my brand. Books published under Tara Brown will be adult and mostly suspense and romance. The Lonely and Single Lady Spy Series are among those. Not intended for young readers, at all. 18 and over. AE WATSON - My pen name for Young Adult books. Born, HERE, The Seventh Day, White Girl Problems, etc. This is my page that is safe for YA readers of a mature reading level. ERIN LEIGH - Adult Romance and Chick Lit. 18 and over recommended reading level. TL BROWN - Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. NOT FOR YOUNG READERS AT ALL!! SOPHIE STARR - Adult Only Erotica. NOT FOR YOUNG READERS AT ALL!!!!!!!! Hope you have a great day and of course, happy reading! Remember to read at your comfort level. Not all books published by me, Tara Brown, are suited for everyone.

Author Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aewatson22

Halloween Scream
October 31, 2015
Sierra
The noise of the creaking stairs, the ones I had just crept up, sounded like it echoed in my ears. Someone had followed us here. “Jake,” I whispered, hoping he was messing around. If he was, I would be angry. I lifted one leg after the other and slipped my high heels off, holding them both so I could tiptoe through the half-constructed mansion without making noise. Jake didn't answer, but the footsteps had stopped from the moment I whispered. The scary movie marathon we’d had before Rachel died flashed through my head, bringing ideas and memories with it. I tiptoed around the corner, brushing my Frankenstein’s bride dress on the rough edge where the unfinished walls met. The drywall scraped against me, making me wince as I hurried along the corridor to the back deck. Whoever was in the house with me was either moving silently too or they were standing still, listening. Either way, I had a terrible feeling this wasn't a game. That meant one thing: Jake was injured or hiding. And I was alone. My heart raced, my eyes burned from not blinking—fearful I would miss something—and my mouth was as dry as a mouthful of popcorn. The floor creaked. I froze. “Sierra,” someone whispered into the dark. My skin crawled when I realized it wasn't Jake. It wasn't his whisper. I’d heard that enough times, always in the dark, to know it wasn't him. “Sierra, don't be scared.” It sounded like something it couldn't be, but I didn't believe. I stayed perfectly still, waiting for the moment I needed to run to the back deck and jump down onto the sandy beach. What had the girls in the horror movies done wrong? What could I avoid? My mind raced, remembering the runners always got caught. They always got stabbed. Usually in the back. The thought of it made my skin burn where I imagined the knife would slice. The hiders always got caught. They were the ones breathing too loudly or hiding in stupid places. “Sierra, I won’t hurt you if you come to me.” I squeezed my eyes shut for half a second and waited for the answer, the right choice, to pop into my head. A dog barked, making me jump and open my eyes. The sound was joined by the creaking of the floorboards again. With gentle breaths and controlled movements I crept along the hallway, entering the spot where the kitchen or master bedroom would likely go. The house was freshly sealed with windows and doors, but it was still in the drywall stage with plywood floors. The massive back deck was through the white French doors, facing the beach and open ocean. The moon offered light, enough to make shadows move with me. I hurried to an alcove I assumed would one day be a nook for a breakfast bar or maybe the ensuite soaker tub. I pressed my back against the wall and stared at the bright white French doors. If I could make it to them, I was free. If only I had my cell phone, I could call the police or Jake or Vincent. Someone would come and help me. Even Ashton might answer. But that wasn't an option. I scolded myself for my weakness in me and forced my focus to be on the doors. They were my answer. They were my hope. As I exhaled and plotted my moment to run and everything I would do from that point on, the floor creaked in the hallway behind me. It was now or never. Live or die. I took one more breath and pushed off from the wall…


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Author & Character Interview: Zed


Jason McIntyre banner    
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Zed by Jason McIntyre!

Zed, The Next Dovetail Novel
It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she's the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera.
But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

Author Interview

What has inspired you to become a writer?
Inspiration to tell stories came early. I was the kid in the fourth and fifth grade sneakily reading Stephen King novels at 800 pages apiece behind my propped-up math text book. At eight, I was the editor of a short-lived school paper and we didn’t have enough content to fill the back page. I went home and hauled out my Mom’s old IBM typewriter to begin an epic serial about two young girls who are abducted by aliens in their backyard. I knew I had something when the other kids begged to know what would happen in part two. Alas, the teacher who managed the newspaper project got a transfer and part two of the saga never made it out. I guess, in a way, I’ve been writing towards the end of that tale ever since. 

How do you come up with your characters and how do you make them so interesting? 
I start in a very visual way. Without even closing my eyes, I can clearly see what’s happening and, as I noodle around on the ‘what’ of a story, I eventually start to form a visceral view of the ‘who’ in the tale. The people inside that vision have to become real to me, even before I start the first sentence. If they don’t then I don’t care about them. I have to care, or else I never haul them out of trouble. And, really, isn’t that what makes fiction great? Dumping someone you care about into a heap of worry and then methodically traipsing them out of said trouble in a believable and satisfying way. My biggest conundrum is when a dazzling or lovely person gets in a trap and they aren’t pulled out in time. It’s the biggest challenge for me — I can’t save everyone and, sometimes, a character I adore needs to die so that things keep chugging for the whole story. Forgive me, readers. I will kill again. 

What makes your stories and books different than other books you have read? Everyone has their own style, what is yours? 
I mix and match genres, influences and types of stories. One major thrust of my writing life is to never repeat the same kind of book twice. I want to push myself to unearth new and different pieces of myself as I tell stories. So while a book like ZED has companion books that have a flow between them, there are nearly a dozen different genres represented among them. One might be a coming-of-age paranormal while the next might be a murder mystery and then I may discover that the next works best as a straight-ahead horror. There’s noir and crime books and even a western. Now, do they all look exactly like their home genres suggest? Not at a glance. They use the tropes from each genre but usually in a new mix. They meld into something that, I guess, looks and reads like a Jason McIntyre novel. Hopefully, readers enjoy the journey through all the different places I like to play. Oh, and I hope they get scared and a little upset along the way. 

Do you plan on writing any other genres? 
Future genres include something that no one who’s read my work will believe. I want to write a romance novel and a deeply historical fiction that is true to an extremely ancient time period. As always, I want to have fun with what I write, and produce something unique that interests readers, but pushes me into new territory. 

Anything else you would like to discuss about you as a writer? 
ZED is part of a mosaic novel. The only other writer I know who’s written this kind of a work is George RR Martin. His mosaic comprised of books written by a dozen different writers all working within one world and telling stories about the same characters. DOVETAIL COVE works in a similar way. The characters flow in an out of the background of several books and the island setting is the same place, spanning a decade in the history of one place that has a succulent past and a lurid present. The difference between Martin’s mosaic and this one is that I’m writing all the pieces myself. Each DOVETAIL book stands on its own, with a distinct beginning, middle and end. But if you read more of them, the pieces of a much larger puzzle begin to fall into place. At present, ZED marks the fourth of ten books to be released. Others available now are BLED, SHED and DREAD. Look for new ones in 2015 and 2016. Getting to Know the Author as a Person What do you like to do when you are not writing? I travel as much as I can and spend time with my crazy kiddos. Readers and friends from social media will likely remember all the posts about the nutty things my kids say. I won’t even mention my wife here. She has her own cult following among my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I have built a lovely studio in my home and use it to write music, paint when I’m able and, yes, nap profusely when the spirit is not moving me otherwise. What relaxes you when you need to unwind? Creation of every sort is about the most relaxing thing I can imagine doing. I adore many forms of music and art and, when I’m in the middle of drafting a new book, it’s the greatest escape from life’s stresses. I peel back the page and transport to an entirely new place as I write. The process of uncovering a story is food for my soul. 

What are your favorite foods? 
I have always loved to travel and try new experiences and dishes wherever I go. Lately, I’ve been on a jag for Eggs Benedict and have been trying that in as many countries and cities as I can. Now, of course, lots of places don’t have that so I’ve broadened it to ordering eggs prepared in whatever style is most prevalent in the place I’m visiting. It’s really interesting to discover the different cooking methods — not to mention the different kinds of birds’ and lizards’ eggs that have been brought to my table! 

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences? 
I’ve had what I call ‘inconclusive’ paranormal experiences. Things have happened that, even after intense scrutiny, a rational person might not be able to form a judgment as to whether it was explicable by science or by para-science. Rest assured, all strangeness in my world (paranormal or just odd and intriguing) eventually finds its way into a story or two. Writing, I’ve discovered, has really become my own form of torture, er, I mean self-therapy. I write to understand the events of the world, of people and of my own life. Tell us anything you would like your readers to know about Jason McIntyre. I once shared a bottle of expensive red wine with a homeless man. The throat infection I developed the following week nearly put me in the hospital and my health insurance had lapsed so I couldn't get a scrip for antibiotics. I went through six tubes of topical Polysporin. Yep, I gargled the stuff five times a day until I could see straight again.

Character Interview

Record: 1974-03452 Subject: Zeke <Last Name Redacted> Date: August 31, 1974 Type: psychological assessment Method: audio cassette recording Interviewer’s notes: Zeke seems to be of below average intelligence. My understanding is that he’ll be given comprehensive intelligence and psychological tests upon admittance to a local group home care facility. - CF

Zeke, can you tell me how you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult? 
I got me no memory of my Mama. My Daddy, he and I didn’t get along so good. Now we have some good times. He lets me work with him. Least he used to. Now that Chief Birkhead come and get me and start doing his talks with me, I don’t know. I might never do the work with my Daddy again. That might be sad. What do you want from life? To keep my truck, wash it, and have it nice fer always. I only got a me few scratches and I buffed them out. I’d like to find a purty lady who maybe doesn’t care that my thinker bottle is cracked and don’t work so good no more. 

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for? Like a genie in a bottle? 
I saw that on a tv show once. I Dream a Genie. Let’s see. A shiny bufferin’ machine. For my truck you know. A new poker stick so’s I can reach way down deep into the sewers. For when I’m on duty and the trash pick up on Main street. And maybe, I dunno, maybe I’d like to take a train trip one day. I member going on the little loco-mota when I’s a boy. We got one on the island, you know. Lotsa people don’t know that but we do. It was fun. That big smoke stack going way up and making that big smoke in the air. It was fun and I’d like to get me on a train like that again. 

What three things would you take to a Desert Island? 
I dunno, I already live on an island. Dovetail Cove and a bit north of town is the only place I ever been. Hard question. Can I skip it? In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why? I ain’t never different with nobody. Same Zeke alla time. I hate when people give those fake smiles, you know? Or when they lie to you and you know they lyin but you can’t figure out what to say so that the lie is seen. Fakeness is hard. Same Zeke always. Scout’s honour. 

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?
<inaudible> <muffled response> 

Zeke, can you answer? How do you fall in love? Does it take a long time or happen all at once? 
I bin in love a couple times you know. I like it when purty girls laugh. They sound so nice and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that. 

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard
Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get— <inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said. and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that. 

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust? 
Trust? I don’t know. What do you mean, trust? Oh, I don’t know Zeke, I guess I mean, how do you know someone isn’t lying to you? I never really think about it. Don’t all Mommies and Daddies teach their little ones to tell the truth? Mine did. I always do. Everyone should. When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second? I was real good at re-doin floors. All kinds of floors. Tile and wood, polish and rug. I like to see how good a floor is and then I think about how I could do it better. 

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you? 
Nobody should look at Zeke. My Daddy told me I ain’t supposed to look at nobody so maybe they shouldna look at me. 

Describe yourself to me. 
Me? I’m strong for my size. I can lift two of me, and I’m real good at looking after Main Street. Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted? When I was a kid I got hurt real bad. My thinker took to leaking and I don’t imagine anyone knew I was gonna be like I am. But I can still get by. I do okay. 
 \
What really moves you, or touches you to the soul? 
Daddy says we ain’t got no souls. But if I had to say, I’d tell you. Purty girls. When they laugh. That’s what touches Zeke’s soul. 

What's the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn't/couldn't/wouldn't? What would happen if you did do it? 
My Dad says I’m not supposed to say. 

What do you consider are your strengths? 
My arms. My back is pretty strong too. 

What do you consider are your weaknesses? 
Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet. 

What is one physical attribute you are proud of? 
Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right? 

What one physical attribute would you change? What do you consider are your weaknesses? 
Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet. 

What one physical attribute would you change? 
I put two new tires on the back when I saved up enough. I’d change out the front ones if I could afford to. 

What do you consider your special talent? 
I always do what I say I’m gonna. No one has to guess. Zeke always comes through. 

What do you wish your special talent was? 
Maybe if I could patch up my thinker. I can see the words. I know what I’m supposed to do and say, but it pours out before the words come to my mouth. Maybe like sand. Or water. If I could patch up m’ thinker, tha’d be good. 

What are you most proud of about your life? 
You keep asking me that same questions! I told you about my truck, din’t I? 

Is there anything you've always wanted to do but haven't done? What would happen if you did it? This question again. Where’s my Dad? Did he make you ask this one? Trine ta trick me, maybe. 

What's the worst thing you've ever done? 
Why? I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town. 

Describe your ideal mate. 
Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…? maybe. 

What's the worst thing you've ever done? 
Why? I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town. 

Describe your ideal mate. 
Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…? 

What are you most afraid of? 
 <inaudible> <muffled> Okay. I can’t talk to you anymore. Kay? 

Zeke, what's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most? 
<sobbing> Come on, Mister, please, you have to let me go back. I’m gonna get in trouble. I can’t do no more of your questions right now. 

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change? 
Pleeaaase! Let me go! <inaudible> *End of Recording   

About Jason:

JASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers BLED and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense, THALO BLUE. His first novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM, earned a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.McIntyre's debut novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM was VOTED as one of the TOP 20 DEBUT AUTHORS — Goodreads Choice Awards
Learn more and connect with the author at www.theFarthestReaches.com

Giveaway:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Blitz: The Forlorned


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Title:  The Forlorned
Author:   Angela J. Townsend
Published: July 21st, 2015
Publisher:  Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre:  Horror
Content Warning:  Violence
Recommended Age:  13+

Synopsis: 


When Tom Doherty first laid eyes on the lighthouse he knew it was damned.

An advertisement lured him to the island, offering a job renovating the old lighthouse and ramshackle buildings. What he didn’t know was that he was the only applicant. None of the locals wanted the job – no one dared.

Isolated and alone, Tom soon discovers why. Messages from disembodied voices; ghostly visitations and escalating horrors draw Tom deeper into the island’s evil past—a darkness that forces Tom to unbury the truth and bring demons of his own into the light.
The Forlorned upcoming movie release information can be found on IMDb at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4294968/?



Excerpt from The Forlorned by Angela J. Townsend:

The trap stood in the entryway of the kitchen, smeared with a thick glob of Peanut Butter. Tom sat in the living room and waited for it to spring. He’d take the rat to the opposite side of the island and release it. At midnight, he gave up and climbed into the chair by the fire. The tightness in his body relaxed and sleep overtook him.
Tom was awakened by his shivering only an hour after dozing off. He peered outside his frosted window. There must be a cold front moving in.
He added more wood to the fire and shivered under the quilt. The temperature continued to drop. He could see his own breath come in puffs of steam with every exhale. Exhausted and still shivering, Tom finally dozed again.
Deep asleep in the middle of the night Tom struggled, fought to move, but couldn’t. His eyes refused to open.
A sinister presence loomed over him, trapping him under like a heavy fish net, constricting his every movement, only inches from his face. Icy breath pelted his forehead.
Tom’s eyes snapped open. His chest seized with panic. He was no longer in the chair. He struggled to hold himself upright. Cold, fog-laden night burned his lungs with each gasping breath. His bare feet froze onto cold, wet wood. The crash of thunder and flash of lightning took turns adding to the torment of the night.
As if waking up from a bad dream, Tom stood on the deck of a strange ship. The massive vessel leaned forward and back, driving hard through the waves. Wailing winds and icy sleet tore at her ravaged sails, creating an eerie flapping noise. Tom’s heart pounded. Muffled voices of men shouted over the storm.
A shot rang past his head.
He struggled to wake himself from the nightmare but couldn’t.
Somewhere in the dark a man yelled, “Hold tight!” The sea rose and a wave washed over the ship.
Wrenched off his feet, he landed hard on the deck. He slid to the opposite side of the ship and grasped the edge of a rail just in time to avoid being washed overboard. A hot flash of pain seared in his back.
Tom rolled over and saw the men loading grape and canister shot into cannons lined up along the deck. Scrambling to his feet, he bolted to a man busy loading another round into one of the large guns.
“Who are you?” Tom shouted.
The man looked directly at him but didn’t seem to hear. Angry at being ignored, Tom shouted again, “What’s going on?”
The man looked past him.
Tom ran to the other side of the ship to avoid the salt-stiff rigging as it crashed to the deck. He realized the crew couldn’t see him.
A flash of lightning struck near the rear of the ship and he saw the pursuer, a massive frigate. Her great prow sliced through boiling black waters. An English flag boldly whipped back and forth atop her mast. Daggers of ice hung from her gun ports.
Someone grabbed his arm. He tried to wrench it away, but the hand held fast. He looked into the eyes of a young mast-hand.
“What ship is this? Where am I?” Tom yelled.
Lightning struck again, and the young man turned into a bloated corpse. The flesh fell away from his raw bones. A grape shot wound appeared in his forehead.
“It was hell, Tom. Don’t forget us. Come find us, Tom. Come find us.” 


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About the Author:


Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.

Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.

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Crimson Tree Publishing Links:
(An adult division of Clean Teen)
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack and winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook.

Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cover Reveal: Spinner


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About the Author:
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Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner. His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition. He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies. He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook. He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office. He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner. His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.
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Title:  Spinner
Author:  Michael J Bowler
To Be Published:  August 5th, 2015
Genre:  YA Paranormal Horror
Content Warning:  Mild profanity and language of a sexual nature
Recommended Age:  14+

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.

If he survives…
Pre-order on Amazon 


Excerpt from Spinner by Michael J Bowler:

They were in. 

Now to find the grave.

They had a map, of sorts. With the graveyard paperwork Alex’s mother had sent was a map that had numbers on it. Roy knew from his own mother’s funeral that those numbers meant the different graves. One area was circled on the map, and Roy had told them that must be where Alex’s folks were buried. All they had to do was follow the map.

Yeah, he thought, as they stood in a darkened graveyard looking at a paper map with a tiny flashlight beam, trying to figure out just where in the hell on that map they were, sounded easy at the time. Since he was the only one who drove, the others let him plot their way. But shit, he hadn’t been here since last year on his mom’s anniversary to put flowers and, well, that had been during the day!

Israel stood quietly keening with fear, his eyes darting everywhere at once, while Java and Alex waited patiently for Roy to figure things out. Their best landmark was a lake near to where Alex’s parents were buried. They’d have to wander around till they found it.

“They’re near some lake, and there’s a fountain, I think, so we should, like hear water splashing, right?”

Java shrugged, but Alex nodded excitedly. “Yeah, we will. Let’s look around till we hear it.”

They moved out into the tree scattered, grave-filled cemetery with nervous anticipation. Java carried the shovels because he didn’t trust Israel not to drop them if a gopher ran past in the dark. 

The grass slowed Alex’s wheels so he let Roy push the chair from behind to conserve his arm strength. 

Most of the graves were the small ones like his mom had, just a flat metal plate with names and dates on them. The wind gusted and blew leaves from the fading trees onto the grass, swirling them around their feet as they walked. No one spoke. The silence crushed them. Dark, ominous clouds only added to the horror-film atmosphere, and Roy wished he hadn’t watched so many of those movies at Izzy’s house.

The grass rose up into hills and mounds, all scattered with graves that they passed nervously between. Roy felt weird, walking on top of dead people like this, and he could hear Israel panting with fear. He was about to approach and calm the boy when Java stepped up and flanked Izzy, offering his own muscular body as protection. The gesture surprised Roy, just like the one atop his truck, given Java’s daily frustration with Izzy’s ADHD. But the move clearly helped Izzy, who looked at Java and smiled with gratitude.

The flat graves gave way to the kind with tall headstones by the time the splashing of water came from ahead in the darkness. Roy increased his speed. The tall headstones looked really old, and for some reason they creeped him out more than the newer ones, like somehow older dead bodies would be more likely to haunt them or something.

The splashing grew louder, and the wind stronger. It also got colder, and Roy shivered. Must be the lake water making him cold, he told himself, hoping that was the only reason. The image of that huge, evil cat crept ceaselessly into his mind as he pushed Alex toward his parents’ graves. To find out what? That Alex was a bigger freak than he thought? That he might destroy the world some day? Roy knew these things could never happen, not from Alex. But Alex feared himself even more than he feared the cat. And that broke Roy’s heart every time he thought about it.

The lake loomed ahead, not too big, but bigger than Roy could calculate using his body-height method. A jet of water shot into the air at its center and fell back, hitting the surface with the kind of splashing sounds he used to make in the bathtub as a child. 

Java and Israel stopped by the shore of the lake and turned to face him. Roy let go of Alex’s chair and slipped out the map. He squatted down so Alex could see and turned on the tiny penlight. Together, they squinted at the circled spot and tried to figure out which direction it was from the fountain of water.

After a few moments of bobbing his head up and down from the map to their surroundings, Roy thought he’d figured it out. He pointed to their right, to an older part of the graveyard that was a mix of flat plates and stone markers. “Over there.”

The others nodded and they set off. They passed nervously through the rows of graves. Even though Alex hadn’t said anything, Roy felt eyes on them. 

Lots of eyes. 

But every time he looked around there was nothing but the wind and rustling leaves and their own cushioned footfalls against the grass. 

I’m crazy, he thought, imagining dead people watching.

Or maybe it was those creepy-ass stone angels bending toward a grave, hands clasped before them in prayer. Maybe they were watching. Whatever it was, Roy’s skin crawled.

This was the section. He stopped pushing Alex, and the others stopped, too. Now was the part they all hated – reading. They had to look at each grave and try to figure out which one belonged to Alex’s parents. Alex looked at him and Roy whispered, “The last name starts with “O,” right?”

Alex nodded. Roy squinted at the paper and found the name. He could tell because there were two names in front of it and that meant the “O” word was the last name. He pointed to it for Java and Israel. “That’s the name we gotta find.”

“Are dead people, like, you know, laid out by ABCs?” Israel asked.

Java looked at him in annoyance. “Fool, do you even know your ABCs?”

Israel shrugged. “Some of ’em. I always get stuck around, like, ‘G’ or ‘P’ or something like that. I never could–”

Before Israel could start rambling, Roy whispered, “Just look for a last name starting with ‘O.’ Then we’ll check it with the paper.”

Java nodded, but Israel’s mouth fell open. “You mean we gotta split up?”

“Just around here, fool,” Java snapped, keeping his deep voice low and controlled.

“But there’s dead people here!” Israel hissed, his eyes wide with fear.

“That’s why it be called a graveyard,” Java spat, his temper obviously rising.

“Look guys,” Alex said, “you two stick together and me and Roy’ll stick together. ’Kay?”

Java grunted, but Israel nodded rapidly. “Yeah, that’s better.”

The two groups wandered off in opposite directions, each with a penlight.

Roy aimed his light while Alex slowly pushed himself between the graves. The beam struck each headstone or metal plaque long enough for both of them to squint at the last name, and then Roy moved it along to the next. He still felt that sensation of being watched, and it sent chills up and down his spine. The cold, biting wind didn’t help, and he kept his hood up and over his head to keep his hair from blowing into his eyes.

He spotted the other flashlight beam a short distance away, but there seemed to be no one else anywhere around. So who was watching them? Finally, he stepped closer to Alex and leaned down to his face. “Someone’s watching us.”

Alex peered out from his hood, brushed hair from in front of his eyes, and looked at him soberly. “Not someone. Some thing.”

Roy froze. “What thing?”

Alex shrugged.

Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • ARC PDF copy of Spinner (INT)
  • A mug with the book cover image on front (US only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Spotlight and Guest Post: Suicide Forest

Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates
Published December 14, 2014 by Ghillinnein Books
Horror


Suicide Forest:

Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan…and also the most infamous spot to commit suicide in the world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming, haunting deep in the ancient woods.

When bad weather prevents a group of friends from climbing neighboring Mt. Fuji, they decide to spend the night camping in Aokigahara. But they get more than they bargained for when one of them is found hanged in the morning—and they realize there might be some truth to the legends after all.

Book Trailer:






Jeremy Bates Bio:

Jeremy Bates is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller White Lies, which was nominated for the 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Award. He has spent the last ten years traveling the world, visiting more than thirty countries. He has lived in Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Bates is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a degree in English literature and philosophy. He is an active member of Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and Crime Writers of Canada.





Links







Guest Post by Jeremy Bates
Top 5 Man vs. Environment Movies.

In Suicide Forest, a group of friends get lost in Suicide Forest—where they have to contend with the elements, among other things. Given the plot, I figured a post listing my top five man vs. environment movies would be appropriate. So here it goes:

1)      The Blair Witch Project
Yeah, I know. Some people are probably groaning at this choice. But this is one of the few movies that have genuinely freaked me out. This is due to the fact I watched it in the theater while I was teen working at some secluded resort. I hadn’t heard any hype about it, and I believed it was real found footage (as the found-footage genre was a novelty then). Later that night I had to cut across a dark golf course bordered by forests to return to my cottage—a truly freaky experience.

2)      Open Water
A couple go scuba diving. When they surface they discover their boat is gone, along with all the other scuba divers. Add to this scenario a lack of drinkable water, a lightning storm, and circling sharks, and you have yourself one hell of a nightmare.

3)      Wolf Creek
The Outback is big. Really big. I live there right now. You can drive for hours without seeing much of anything. Imagine being lost out there, chased by a crazy bloke with a knife that makes Crocodile Dundee’s look small. Scary, scary, scary.

4)      Frozen
No, not the Disney flick. This one’s about three friends who pay off a ski lift instructor to let them do one last ski run after closing hours. Unfortunately fort them, the ski lift shuts down while they’re halfway up the mountain. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say the freezing weather eventually drives them to make the decision to jump or not. A classic, What would you do in that situation?

5)      All Is Lost
Robert Redford’s a retired old guy plying the ocean on his small sailboat. Sounds nice, right? Well, when a storm knocks out his radio, and his boat springs a leak, it soon becomes a life or death battle against the elements. There are maybe five words of dialogue spoken throughout the entire film, so it might not be for everyone. But to tell you the truth, the story and acting was so engrossing I barely noticed.


Honorable mention: The Gray. The Reef. The Ruins. Wrecked

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