Archive for the 'Thriller' Category
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Join me in welcoming Jean Murray to Highlighted Author.
Author Jean Murray brings a wonderful new spin to the paranormal world with her Egyptian Underworld gods. She broke ground in the paranormal romance genre with Soul Reborn and now continues the Key to the Cursed journey with Soul Awakened.
In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.
I’m thrilled to present both these outstanding books this week as Jean has agreed to a series feature. Enjoy!
Key to the Cursed Series
By Jean Murray
BOOK I: Soul Reborn
“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”
What they’re saying:
“The Carrigan sisters are worthy heroines and the promise of continuing tales is welcome.”—Romantic Times (RT) Book Reviews (Sept2011) - 4/4.5 stars/Scorcher
“The first book in the “Key to the Cursed” series was absolutely phenomenal. Anything that deals with old world deities and is written well always hooks me from the get go. This was definitely an excellent book to begin a new series.”—Night Owl Reviews: Reviewer’s Top PICK/ 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013)
“This is the first book in the series by Jean Murray and I want to start off by saying I was blown away by this book and I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series. This book had elements that would satisfy not only fans of paranormal romance but also urban fantasy fans as it combined Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, the walking dead, betrayal, and the world at peril against the backdrop of a hot and passionate romance.”—Bitten by Paranormal Romance – 5/5 Alpha Howls, Hot
More reviews on Goodreads.
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.
Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.
DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.
Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
Movement flickered in the deep shadows.
Asar stilled. Midnight skin blending into the night, he slipped easily into the gloom of the New York City streets and waited.
The human heat signature he hunted lingered in the air like a fine French perfume. He was not surprised when a trio of pale-skinned, red-eyed revens zoned in on the same body heat. The undead craved the flesh of their once previous form.
It was not the human’s flesh Asar desired.
Saddled by his own hunger that burned like fire in his chest, he raced toward the haunting scent, anxious to claim the prey before the revens. He was not about to give up such a delicious soul to those ravenous cannibals.
Still too far away, he exploded with a shot of preternatural speed on the slippery, uneven pavement. Surefooted, he hurtled a foul dumpster and sprinted around the brick building. Hunger fueled his every step. He fully expected to hear a scream from the human victim before he reached the alley, but the air remained still.
He slid to a stop on the wet asphalt. The three revens he had sensed lay decapitated on the polluted street. Gaping chest wounds indicated the hearts had been destroyed.
Fragments of shimmering light illuminated the gray, decaying flesh, rising into the night air. Normally, he would have absorbed the shifting souls, but revens were tainted and doomed never to reach the afterlife. The undead were truly dead.
Where was the human?
The sound of shattering glass resonated from above, followed by a shower of diamond shards. Asar evaporated into the shadows against the cold brick of the building and narrowly avoided the carcass of a headless reven plummeting from the upper window. The body hit the pavement like a side of meat slammed onto a butcher’s countertop. Dark, putrid shrapnel of blood and bone spattered across the roadway. The reven’s head soon followed, bounced off the cement with a loud crack and rolled slowly down the sidewalk before coming to rest inches from his foot.
He did not give it a second look. Through the shattered second story window, he caught a glimpse of glowing green eyes and the flash of silver.
His body grew taut with anticipation. The humans he typically encountered at night were criminals and opportunists looting stores or transporting illegal goods — the unsavory dredges of humankind. No one else dared to be outdoors for fear of becoming a reven’s next meal.
The criminals were easy enough prey, overconfident with their modern weapons, but this opponent utilized a more ancient form of deliverance. The reven kills were calculated and completed with the precision and stealth of a skilled assassin. This hunter was no doubt getting paid top dollar for this kind of suicide mission.
The revelation made his chest burn hotter with dark need. His prey would not go down easily. The harder the fight, the more living energy he could absorb from the human’s soul.
He looked upward. The night sky was waning to lighter shades of blue. He had only an hour of darkness left before the horizon split open with the sun’s rays. He would like nothing more than to draw out the fight for his own perverse pleasure, but he had to end it soon or face the wrath of his ancient curse.
A pain he would sooner avoid.
A loud crash of metal against stone around the corner interrupted his reverie. He launched forward out of the shadows, unconcerned with revealing his location, and did not waste any time turning onto the dimly lit street.
Only to find it empty.
Asar scanned quickly around the perimeter while turning slowly in a circle. The hunter did not have enough time to scale a building or sprint down the long block. His prey had to be a short distance from here. He walked forward, following the heat trail that vanished in the middle of the street.
“Where did you go?” Asar turned, looking for some exit the hunter could have used. The pavement shifted slightly under his foot. Looking down, he rotated his foot to the right. NY City Water & Sewer.
So, his prey had gone underground to draw him into a more cramped battle. Little did the hunter know, Asar would be the only victor in this game of cat and mouse.
He would leave with the man’s soul.
Into the darkness of the small tunnel, he followed the exaggerated heat trail in the confined space. He heard the faint breathing and pounding of a human heart. Here kitty, kitty. The hunter was foolish enough to make a stand, but not for long. He followed the arresting scent, anxious to fill his hollow emptiness. Only a few more steps and then he’d see his prize—
His gaze shifted over a female with long blonde hair whose curvy hips were loaded with an arsenal of weapons. In her hand, she clasped a long, intricately carved blade—a blade she pointed directly at him.
Asar swallowed against the sudden constriction in his throat.
Not a hunter.
Energy rippled off her skin like streamers of bright sunlight. Her powerful essence of life called to him, the very energy that fed his unquenchable hunger. All he had to do was touch her silky skin or lips to devour the luscious beauty. He had already taken a few steps toward her when he stopped.
Another sensation of hunger distracted his senses. One he had not felt in very long time, nor cared to feel again. His hardened arousal was inconvenient, considering the moment.
An inconvenience he was willing to explore a little before he dined on her soul. Heat radiated off her skin, a sharp contrast to his own cold, dead body. His skin began to burn, even at this distance. A welcome, but deadly flame. Despite this threat, he drew in like a moth to a flame. Warm, soft and most importantly, alive.
Get your copy here:
BOOK II: Soul Awakened
What they’re saying:
“I know other readers are going to love this series as much as I do. Get settled in for a thrilling paranormal tale.”—Night Owl Reviews: Reviewer’s Top PICK/ 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013)
“I don’t know where to begin to describe the absolutely marvelous job that the author does in not only creating a wonderful world with so much depth and detail, but a story line the has the mystery and intrigue that will keep you glued to the pages.”—Bitten by Paranormal Romance, Ollie (Feb2013): 5/5 Alpha Howls, Hot
More reviews on Goodreads.
LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR
Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.
HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST
Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most—his Parvana. His butterfly.
A familiar refuge of horror.
Black and desolate like his soul, the darkness draped the landscape of Bakari’s world. His prison for how long? He could gage only by his hunger, an unbearable pain burning through his chest and eating away what little of his soul remained. The darkness consumed everything, but his insanity.
The onyx obscurity wavered into shades of grey. Bright sunlight danced and flickered in the barren corners of his mind beyond his reach. Bolts of lightning ripped across his skin and mind and tore at the fine fabric of his consciousness. The sheets of darkness fell like ash and scattered into the cold abyss.
His mind retreated—fearful. He had been tricked before only to suffer at the sadistic hands of his captor. The next arc struck harder and deeper. The white inferno fried what tendrils of his coma remained. In the wake of his agony, the soft caress of a human soul and the scent of sweet honeysuckle penetrated his skin. The very element that fed his power—living energy.
Like water for a dying man, the human’s energy trickled but did not satisfy his ravenous hunger. His chest clenched into a ball of fire, ignited by the minuscule energy he absorbed into his soul.
The vitality extinguished as quickly as it came. Left barren and wanting, rage consumed him. The goddess Kepi would pay for this new level of depravity. To have living nourishment so close, but denied to feed his dark hunger, was a torture like no other.
The walls of his wooden crypt pressed in upon him. He struggled to move an arm or leg, but the spell of his paralysis was unyielding. He screamed but not a word past his lips. In his mind he thrashed against the invisible bonds, willing himself to break free.
He had not reacted this way since the fateful day of his confinement to his tomb. During his imprisonment he had withdrawn into himself. Numb to the world. His only safeguard against the goddess and the oppressive confines of his prison. Those thoughts of Kepi worsened his agony and current insanity.
Silently screaming, cold tears slipped out of the corners of his closed eyes and trickled down into his hair. He called out to the merciful gods to save him, but in all this time none were answered. His despair suffocated whatever hope he may have left.
Bakari, a soft melody of a voice broke through the chaos in his mind. Ease your pain. She will come to you again. Hold your will, young god. She will set you free.
Get your copy here:
Want more Jean? Here’s where you can find her:Website: www.jean-murray.com Blog: www.wickedromance.wordpress.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJeanMurray Twitter: http://twitter.com/wickedromance Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5103113.Jean_Murray
Monday, March 25th, 2013
Join me in welcoming John J. Zelenski to Highlighted Author.
John J. Zelenski is an award winning author of the Supernatural Thriller, Walkers Vale. It has been received favorably thus far in print and on radio and television, including ION TV’s Northeast Current – The Christian Author Show – The Paranormal Christian Radio Show, PRT Paranormal Talk Radio Show, and The Artist First World Radio Network. Walker’s Vale has also been featured and highlighted in HM Magazine, The Midwest Book Review, The Sunday Times, and The Weekender. Most recently, he has been selected as one of the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” by The Authors Show.
John resides in beautiful northestern PA with his wife and two children.
Welcome, John, please tell us a little more about yourself and your featured book.
Hello, my name is John J. Zelenski and my debut novel is Walker’s Vale. My book is a Christian-based supernatural, paranormal thriller that was in part inspired by some of my own supernatural events I experienced as a child when my family and I moved into our then new home.
I’ve been writing on and off actually since high school (was that really 1990?) but only began to focus on something more than a hobby within the past five years. I’ve always enjoyed books and found that writing, as for presumably all authors, is an escape to another dimension where the subconscious has room to play in an uninhibited environment.
I’ve always enjoyed “scary” movies, and suspense/ mystery types as well, so it was only natural my first novel would be in this type of genre. Being a Christian and trying to merge faith and horror has had its challenges, however, I believe that faith-based horror/mystery/suspense is a genre which is really in need of someone to bring it to the forefront for readers to not only be entertained, but also to be challenged in their thinking. Could this be me? I sincerely hope so!
Walker’s Vale on the surface is essentially about a man coming to terms with his faith or lack thereof, and the struggles associated with raising a handicapped child. But far deeper, there is a story of hope for all of us who need to ask “why” to the difficult questions which seemingly have no answer. For those who have read Walker’s Vale and believed the story to be over, they should be happy to know that a second book is planned to continue the saga. At the present however, another book tentatively titled The Third Chamber is on paper, uh- I mean glaring electronic screen, which is also in the supernatural genre, but this time delves into a love story…did I just say love story?
Listen in as AuthorsFirst Radio Network interviews John J. Zelenski
What they’re saying:
“”Walker’s Vale” is a riveting read that will keep the pages turning, very much recommended.”—Bethan, Midwest Book Review
“It’s not your everyday paranormal adventure, this one makes you have faith and you truly feel the emotions within the novel. Great Read, highly recommend this to families and lovers of the christian and paranormal genre’s.”—D.J. Kile, Amazon Review
James Cooper moved his family to Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was just the opposite. As this small town’s eerie history is revealed and repeated, it’s clear the devil is in the details—and he’s waiting for the Cooper’s young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family’s safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.
The pungent smell of gasoline burned quickly through my nostrils and settled deep into my throat. Coughing to the point of vomiting, I desperately fought to keep myself above the fluid surrounding me. On all sides as far as I could see, icy golden liquid moved hypnotically in wavelike patterns that crashed fiercely with each roll. The devastating sound of each swell, louder than anything I could ever recall, pierced my ear drums as I felt warm liquid flow from each ear. Now, in utter and eerie silence I found myself alone in this demented sea of chaos.
As I, again, brought my head to the surface, I began to feel the waves calm, and the putrid smell was replaced with an aroma of what can be best described as a sugary mix of sweet bread and warm chocolate. The bitter coldness of the liquid also began to warm to room temperature, allowing me to float almost effortlessly in its midst. Still unable to hear, I watched as two large cylindrical pillars rose from the sea and ascended as far as I could see into the red vapor atmosphere above me. In the center between the columns rose a marble stairway that was shaped much like a cubed maze in pattern.
From the very top there shone a reddish metallic light that beckoned me to approach it. I couldn’t explain the overwhelming desire to reach the light; I only felt that somehow it was drawing me toward it. I lifted myself from the watery pit and began to climb this maze, one block at a time.
Higher and higher I ascended, until the yellow sea below became like a small puddle. As I neared what appeared to be the pinnacle, the light from above began to grow dimmer, and the environment shifted once again. A bitter cold wind blew from all directions at me, as if some force was trying to throw me from the staircase. Just as I was about to lose my grip, a small angelic being lowered its tiny hand toward me; I desperately grabbed on to avoid what would have been undoubtedly my death.
As the being pulled me to the surface where it stood, I could see that it was neither female nor male by appearance and was eight or ten-years-old. It had one of the most beautiful and otherworldly expressions I had ever seen. Its beautifully formed face sparkled with tiny beads of sunlight and its flowing bronze hair seemed to float effortlessly above the shoulders. I stood in its presence, awed by the majestic quality it radiated. As it glided around me, guided by its large powerful wings, the creature carefully examined me from top to bottom. It hovered behind me for what seemed like seconds, and without warning, the being made contact by gently touching my ears. A sudden rush of electricity flowed through me as I began to hear childish laughter from behind. As I turned to face my healer, the angelic entity began to transform before me into a distorted, hideous monstrosity. It laughed at me with an insane ferocity and lunged at me with pincher-like claws, obviously trying to tear me into shreds. Thick black smoke poured through the monster’s mammoth fangs, which reeked of poisonous, decaying elements.
I yelled at the top of my lungs, “Jesus, help me please!” in absolute desperation. At once, the creature lunged backward and began to twist its body into a serpent-like coil. It released a piercingly loud howl as if in extreme torment while it continued to writhe and convulse its body. With nowhere to go, I decided the only way to escape the beast was to jump off of the ledge. With the demon now disoriented, I leaped from the edge back into the red mist and fell swiftly through the haze, turning end over end.
As I began to accelerate rapidly toward the liquid bottom, I again was overcome with the intense smell of gasoline. I tried to reach out to grab either of the pillars, only to see them crumble into the sea below me. What was before a shimmering yellow ocean was now a black moving tide of insects and vermin. I could do nothing to stop myself as I fell directly into the cavernous pit.
Spiders, centipedes, and other forms of bugs crawled on and inside me until I could no longer breathe, and I started to sink further into their abyss. I continued to fall deeper while I gasped for some oxygen—helplessly covered in crawling blackness. Until…
Get your copy of Walker’s Vale at Amazon:
Want to connect with John? Here’s where you can find him:
Monday, March 11th, 2013
Join me in welcoming Michael Hebler to Highlighted Author
Michael Hebler is a native of Orange County, California where he still resides. After receiving his degree in theatre arts, Michael began working in film publicity, which he continues to share with his writing career. To date, Hebler’s previous published credits include, “The Night After Christmas,” a timeless holiday picture book for believers of any age, and the free Chupacabra Series short story, “Hunt for the Chupacabra.”
In addition to authoring his novels and children’s books, Hebler also writes his blog, “My Little Obsessions,” where he likes to muse about what distractions life has to offer.
A Book and a Chat with Michael Hebler
Night of the Chupacabra
What they’re saying:
“The story is so action packed and heartfelt, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this story.”—Diana Ramsey, Offbeat Vagabond Book Blog
“Michael Hebler has definitely stumbled onto a cast of characters and a villain so exceptional that this is a remarkable and fun/horror novel.”—Heather Boustead, Reflections of a Bookworm
“I loved the twists, especially the revelation on the legend of the first chupacabra, that I believe wouldn’t bore readers.”—Jenai Kaori, Bookingly Yours Book Reviews
Night of the Chupacabra
A scarred man – on the inside and out – searches desperately for his missing family while the creature that separated them is never far behind.
There is a creature that lurks in the vast open deserts of the west. It can only survive on blood and, although it prefers to prey on the weak and young, it will slaughter anyone or anything, once provoked. It is unnatural, deceptive, and difficult to kill. Word about the existence of this elusive beast has not spread since anyone who has crossed paths with it did not live long enough to tell of their account.
Get your copy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Chupacabra-The-Series-ebook/dp/B009QMZ8XM/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_2
Want more Michael? Here’s where you can find him:
Monday, January 7th, 2013
Join me in welcoming Patrick C. Greene to Highlighted Author.
An afficionado of all things strange and morbid from a very young age, Greene began committing his bizarre thoughts to paper as a gradeschooler, creating a series of comic books based on an issue of Tales From The Crypt obtained from some source lost to the mists of time, which he owns to this day. Horror, sci-fi and kung fu were staples of his literary and cinematic diet, inspiring Greene to write short stories and screenplays.
His first sold work was a mind-twisting dark fantasy script called Hollywood Black, based partially on his experiences as a film actor.
With two stories appearing in Volume One of The Endlands, Greene began a relationship with Hobbes End which continues with his contribution to Volume 2 of The Endlands, as well as the crypto-novel Progeny.
Patrick is represented by Abby Miller with Hobbes End Publishing.
Owen Sterling is a reclusive author living in a secluded house deep in the woods. When he welcomes his son Chuck for a summer visit, the eleven-year-old suspects something is not right at his father’s home. His worries mount when he witnesses a confrontation between his father and some local hunters. Zane Carver is the local gun-shop owner who confronts the author over Owen’s refusal to let anyone on his land for hunting or camping. He defies the recluse, taking a hunting party onto Owen’s property. Soon, Zane and his buddies discover the writer’s secret . . . a deadly secret; a creature whose infinite rage they have unwittingly ignited . . . that is now hunting them.
Find out more about Patrick here: www.patrickcgreene.com
Monday, October 15th, 2012
Join me in welcoming Susanne Lakin to Highlighted Author.
Susanne Lakin is novelist and writing coach who spends her time divided between developing new book ideas and helping writers polish theirs. She is the author of twelve novels – six contemporary and six in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. Whether she is exploring the depths of the human psyche and pushing her characters to the edge of desperation, or embellishing an imaginary world replete with talking pigs and ancient magical curses, she is doing what she loves best – using her creativity and skills to inspire and affect her readers.
Susan grew up in the “Big Orange,” when there were still orange groves in the Los Angeles basin. Her first novel, A Rip in the Redwood Curtain, was picked up by the first agent who read it, Ben Kamsler – Elmore Leonard’s agent at the time.
Among her publications are A Rip in the Redwood Curtain, Innocent Little Crimes, Thin Film of Lies, The Wolf Of Tebron, The Map Across Time, Someone to Blame, The Land of Darkness, Time Sniffers, Conundrum, The Unravelling of Wentwater, Intended For Harm, and The Crystal Scepter.
She comes from a family of successful writers, and I landed her first fiction contract by winning the Zondervan First Novel contest at Mount Hermon in April 2009.
Welcome, Susanne. Please tell us about your featured book.
Innocent Little Crimes actually came from a screenplay my mother had written back in the sixties. At the time it was about to be filmed as a “movie of the week,” I was about twelve years old. I used to love sitting and reading all my mother’s scripts that lay around her office. I especially loved the TV movies she wrote, and my first job was to collate her copies of scripts she had to send to NY when she wrote for the soap The Doctors. Back then, there were no copy machines or Kinko’s. To make four copies of a script, my mother would have to type with four sheets of paper with four sheets of carbon paper inserted between the white paper. Then when she had everything typed (and if she made a mistake, there was no “cut and paste” feature on those old typewriters! She would have to retype the page), I would pull out all the carbon papers and stack the four copies in neat order. We’ve sure come a long way with computers—and for that I’m grateful as it makes writing novels that much easier!
Years later, when in my thirties, I got the idea to take the screenplay my mother had written and which never did get filmed (it made it to day one, but the director died of a heart attack on the set, so with that inauspicious beginning to the movie, the project was canned). I wrote Innocent Little Crimes (called Wolves! at the time), and it’s gone through a number of revisions over the years. I completely redid the story, though, brought in different characters and created a rich back story that told of Lila’s oppressive childhood. My idea was to make this more a psychological spin-off of Agatha Christie’s most famous mystery: “Ten Little Indians.” In my novels, I don’t usually kill characters off literally. With psychological suspense, it’s more fun to push them to the edge of desperation and “kill them off” figuratively. I am fascinated with human motivation, and love shows like The Closer, in which ordinary people end up committing crimes because they are pushed past the point of being able to hold back.
I’m excited by this new official release in print and eBook with Imajin Books. Innocent Little Crimes has already gotten great reviews, and it made the top 100 finals (out of 5,000 entries) in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, which is held once a year. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “A page-turning thrill ride that will have readers holding their breath the whole way through.” I hope you enjoy it!
Innocent Little Crimes
Six flattered guests. A deadly game of “Wolves.” Revenge served cold. A recipe for disaster . . .
Lila Carmichael may be a rich and famous comedienne, but she’s hidden her greatest talent from her adoring fans—her ability to simmer, spice, and dole out a dish of revenge, a carefully constructed tour de force that she plans to serve death-cold at a cozy reunion on her private island in the Pacific Northwest.
Her six unsuspecting guests have no idea what’s on the menu, having forgotten the nasty trick they played on poor, unsuspecting Lila fifteen years ago in college. Unaware that Lila has been orchestrating their downfall, all are teetering on the brink of ruin, hoping the famous Lila will come to their rescue. And their desperation plays them right into her hand.
Lila forces them to play a vicious parlor game called Wolves, where one by one her guests are figuratively killed off. To their horror, her guests realize she holds their fate in her hands. But deliverance is only a favor away, as she sends them out like a pack of wolves to execute her plan. Yet, revenge turns bittersweet when the weekend is over and one guest is dead.
With the motor at a putter, Mac Dobson steered his trawler through the clammy fog, stretching his neck to spot jutting rocks before they punched holes in his hull. Even though he’d maneuvered through this maze of islands for over thirty years, he knew to keep his confidence in check. Forceful waves slapped the bow, splashing salt water into his beard. Tree branches tumbled and bobbed in the churning water, debris from the weekend storm littering the narrow channel. Sherpa whined, pressing against Mac’s legs.
“We’ll be there soon, ol’ boy. Then a bowl of hot soup for the both of us.” Mac pulled the yellow rain slicker tighter to stave off the wind, then dodged a hefty limb with the jerk of the wheel. He gave Sherpa a brusque pat on the head as the dog sought purchase with his paws on the slick deck. “Folks must be crazy to be vacationing this time of year.”
Through the drifts of gray, he could make out the island a dozen yards to starboard. The soughing of the surf as it pounded the beach rolled toward him, growing in pitch. As in a dream, the pier and moorings materialized, then the flag pole jutting from the sand.
A shiver raced across the back of his neck at the sight.
Someone had raised the signal flag; it flapped in the wind, smacking the pole. The pulley clanged against metal, tolling like a bell in a churchyard. As the boat nosed to shore, Mac made out a small group on the beach standing solemn and still, a curious contrast to their excited manner two days ago when he dropped them off.
But dream turned nightmare when his gaze followed theirs to the ground. A bulky shape lay at their feet, wrapped in a gray canvas tarp. Mac tossed the line over the post at the dock and whistled under his breath as the prow nudged the pilings. He didn’t need to take a mental count to know someone was missing.
Bel Air, California
Lila Carmichael’s massive face, frozen in Living Technicolor, bore down on them from the eight-foot-wide plasma TV mounted on the wall.
“Ugh—I’ve got a voice that grates cheese.”
Lila tossed sandwich crusts into her mouth as she half-heartedly trotted on the treadmill. “I’m not that funny, you know. People think a fat broad with a big mouth is an easy target.”
She narrowed her eyes at the screen. Her short, thick, carrot-red hair flared out around her face—a pretty-enough face, but overpowered by bulging cheeks and a double chin. Her beady brown eyes resembled raisins pushed into a blob of dough.
She turned to Peter, her lithe assistant. “Here’s what I think. They laugh at me because no matter how rotten their life is, they can look in the mirror and say, ‘I may be a loser, but thank God I don’t look like Lila Carmichael.’ She looked again at her image. “Sheesh, what an ugly mug.”
“A face the whole world loves, sweets.” Peter helped her climb off the treadmill. “And pays plenty to watch.”
Lila stepped onto the scale and squinted at numbers that flashed her weight in both pounds and kilos. Neither number flattered her. With a disgusted grunt, she pasted a piece of lettuce over the digital readout.
Her head throbbed from last night’s New Year’s bash, an event she barely remembered attending. She surveyed the room she liked to call her “fat farm.” Garish-green walls with floor-to-ceiling mirrors reflected back her sizable body from the ceilings and domed archways. More like a fun house sideshow than a fancy French chateau sequestered in Beverly Hills. Just who was she fooling with all this exercise equipment and indoor lap pool? She was never going to get in shape unless that shape was round. Her sixteen-million-dollar estate—her little “tear-down”—boasted spacious rose gardens, closed-circuit security cameras, and privet hedges galore. All designed to induce peace of mind. But Lila felt constrained, like a restless lion in a tight cage.
She fell back into an overstuffed chair with a sigh and wiggled a finger at the screen. “Play the DVD again.”
“Darling, it’s great. You’ve watched it a thousand times. Why torture yourself? You got rave reviews. You always do.”
“Shut up, Peter, please, and obey.” She shot him a saccharine-sweet smile.
He was right, though. She did torture herself. She did get rave reviews. This time. This week. You could never be sure when your little kingdom would topple and the crown would be yanked out of your greedy hands. There were plenty of wolves clawing their way to the top, with the bodies of half-chewed has-beens littered along the wayside.
Peter picked up the remote. Garrett came in, three poodles trailing like coifed models on a runway.
“Meeting’s all set. Three tomorrow. Oh, and by the way, they’re sweating over at NBC. They’re afraid you might go to one of the other networks.”
“Make them sweat. Now call them back and cancel the meeting. Tell them something’s come up and change it to Monday.”
“They’ll be furious.”
Lila shrugged. “What do I care? It’s just an act. They know they’ll have to meet my price in the end.”
“Are you really thinking about breaking from Cable?” Peter asked. “The nets will demand you clean up your act.”
“When they clean up theirs, I’ll clean up mine. They should talk. Besides, it’s only money” Lila turned back to Garrett. “Ring my manicurist, and tell the cook to go easy on the garlic. My stomach’s been a mess all day.”
Garrett nodded and left the room, with poodles’ toenails clicking on the pristine marble floor.
Peter pressed the remote and stood off to the side. Lila watched the screen, then sat up abruptly. “Hey now, what about those invitations?”
“Sent them all out this morning.”
She clapped her hands. “Ah, the game’s afoot.”
Peter smirked. “Wait till they open their mail. The look on their faces. Ooh . . . think they’ll all come?”
“They wouldn’t dare turn me down. Not a frigging chance they’d miss a weekend with the rich and famous Lila Carmichael.”
Peter exaggerated a sigh. “I’d give my right kidney to be a fly on the wall that weekend.”
“I’ll do you one better. You can be my ‘escort.’ ”
Peter blushed. “Oh, Lila.”
“Cut the crap, Peter. We have a lot of work to do to get ready. This is not one of your run-of-the-mill, everyone sit around and gleefully reminisce about the good ol’ days—because they weren’t any. They’re going to wish they never came.”
Lila grew pensive, and then a smile inched up her face. “They just don’t know it yet.”
Brooklyn, New York
Snow pelted the window of Della Roman’s tiny room in the brownstone apartment on Montague Street. Della looked out on the neighborhood where snow piled in drifts and wind whipped the clouds in a frenzy. The street lamps cast an eerie glow onto the blanketed sidewalks. She squinted to read the illuminated numbers on her alarm clock. Three fifteen.
Her white cat lay curled in her lap as Della read and re-read the same page over and over. She brushed her cat’s fur with a small comb and lit another menthol cigarette.
It was no use—she couldn’t concentrate.
She threw down the book, Meditating With Purpose, and stumbled into the bathroom, cringing under the glaring light. Why did she persist in reading herself to sleep when it never worked?
She opened the mirrored cabinet to a dozen bottles of prescription medication, most of them empty. She popped open the Valium cap and shook out a tablet, then two. As she washed the pills down, she caught her gaze in the mirror.
Della forced herself to look at her reflection. Her face was deathly pale, with dark circles under her eyes from repeated bouts of insomnia. Her skin was taut and dry, her black hair greasy and unkempt. Mascara smeared her eyelids. Her looks reflected her life—a total mess.
How had she ended up like this? Living with her condescending brother and his annoying wife in the hoity-toity section of Brooklyn. Barbie and Ken, she called them behind their backs. Ever so right, ever so plastic. They lived by “the rules,” they liked to say. Della snorted. Let them drop dead with their rules. What joy did they get out of their absolutely eat-off-the-floor spotless house? They hardly dared sit on a chair for fear of mussing it.
And her niece and nephew. Sweet kids but so spoiled. She was sure they’d grow up exactly like their parents and just as dull. They all treated her like a slave. Della, be a honey, fix the lunches, pick up the kids, vacuum the rug. Her brother Edward encouraged her when she went on auditions, but she knew he pitied her.
Get your own copy of Innocent Little Crimes at Amazon!
Want more Susanne? Here’s where you can find her:
Author site: http://www.cslakin.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cslakin [@cslakin]
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/c.s.lakin.author [C. S. Lakin, Author, Editor]
Her blog for writers: http://www.livewritethrive.com
Monday, June 25th, 2012
Please join me in welcoming Barry S. Willdorf to Highlighted Author.
Barry attended Colby College, the University of Manchester, England, and Columbia Law School. He’s Global E-book award winner and an EPIC finalist in historical fiction for The Flight of the Sorceress (Wild Child Publishing).
Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that he was the first person to surf on Cape Ann. *grin*
Welcome, Barry. Please tell us about yourself.
Hello readers and blog-surfers. My name is Barry Willdorf and I write books. I have a new mystery/thriller, and if it is your genre maybe you’ll want to read further. I’m not a real great self-promoter but A Shot In The Arm is worth a look.
With your legal background and experiences, this book should be fascinating. What were some of your experiences during this time?
While at Columbia I joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and in 1967 was an organizer for “Vietnam Summer.” In 1970 and 1971, I worked full-time for a civil liberties organization defending anti-war Marines. During a forty-plus year career as a trial lawyer, I have successfully defended GIs in more than two dozen courts martial. I have made headline news recovering assets in a South African diamond mine swindle. I’ve gotten the third-highest (at the time) settlement for the wrongful death of a mother on welfare. In 2005, with my long-time colleague Laura Stevens, I was honored as Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel for ground-breaking trial work on behalf of AIDS patients.
Would you tell us about your featured book, A Shot In The Arm ?
When a pretty young addict is found dead in her bed from an overdose, her treatment counselor, a black militant, is charged with providing her with drugs for sex. Nate Lewis is paid to defend him but learns too late that his retainer was stolen from rogue government agents involved in dealing drugs to buy guns for anti-communist guerrillas.
The book is set in the midst of the Bay Area scene at the time. Drugs. Sex. Political ferment. Peruse the menu at the Trident Restaurant on the Sausalito waterfront (owned by recording artists, The Kingston Trio.) Slide seamlessly among the old, waterlogged houseboats that lined the shore. Mingle with Vietnam era soldiers and sailors, black militants and hippies. Score drugs on practically every street corner. Stroll the Fillmore district before it was gentrified. Witness a car chase over the dirt roads that once crisscrossed a section of San Francisco called Bernal Hill. Sneak into the City’s shipyards and foundries when they still bustled with activity. Spend time at the Hamilton Air Force Base officer’s club. Sip Java where longshoremen once prowled. Attend court at Frank Lloyd Wright’s leaky Marin County Civic Center.
A Shot In The Arm is the second part of my 1970s Trilogy. In them I have an overriding timely topic: class, race and family. I try not to be didactic or an iconoclast. But the issues do inform the plot. Plus, as a semi-retired trial lawyer used to speaking to captive audiences, who had more than a hundred trials under his belt, I convey accurate legal narratives in every story. I learned to snoop in funky places as a criminal investigator in NYC. I lay claim to being the first surfer on Cape Ann, MA, and have witnesses to prove it. I’ve baited hooks and swabbed vomit working on a charter fishing boat. I homesteaded in the Mendocino County mountains and sold the house I hand-built for a profit. There’s a whole lot more about me on my website.
What they’re saying:
“A Shot In The Arm delivers a dark murder plot with characters that are right on the money.”— Mark Rudd, author of Underground: My life in SDS and the Weathermen
“The legal details are sharp; the drinking and drugging and low life neighborhoods are Day-Glo vivid.”—Meredith Sue Willis, author of Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel
“A detective story with a sense of geography, a sense of morality, and a sense of humor.”—Frances Lefkowitz, author of To Have Not.
“Gripping. Exciting. Add ‘A Shot in the Arm’ to the classic tales of the City by the Bay.”—Hilton Obenzinger, author of Cannibal Eliot
A Shot in the Arm
Against Christina’s advice, Nate Lewis defends a black militant accused of homicide. But his fat cash retainer was stolen from government agents involved in a drugs-for-guns operation. Soon Nate is the last man standing as the agents attempt to recover the cash. Only Christina can save him. But she’s caught him philandering. Will she?
Would you share an excerpt with us?
A Shot in the Arm
I come from a family of rationalizers. My father manufactured a persona as the embattled husband of a shrew. By the time he slunk out our door for the last time, he had convinced himself he was the victim—an abused spouse. Five minutes later he strolled into the waiting arms of a Raquel Welch look-alike, only a few years older than my sister.
Meanwhile, my mother was doing some Olympic-class rationalizing of her own, to the tune of outright perjury on her divorce declaration of domestic expenses. She wanted to soak the bastard for all the spousal support she could get and so resorted to outlandish fantasies of her personal needs.
But that night, I took the Lewis family rationalizing grand prize. I could hear myself explaining it to the woman I had the nerve to call “the love of my life.” It went sort of like this— Honey, sweetie, I just had to fuck Sheila. How else could I be sure Mo and the DEA would believe we were all washed up? That was the only way I could be sure they’d leave you alone, baby—to keep you safe.
In ’73, the blood alcohol limit for drunk driving was .15. I was somewhere around a .20. Sheila, probably in self- defense, suggested we each take our own car. I took the drive slow and careful, taking the time to convince myself that when I was fucking Sheila I was doing if for Christina’s sake. Between the booze and my inherited rationalization gene, I was completely convinced by the time I got to Gate 5 that getting laid was the only way I could save Christina’s life. I got out of the car and crossed my fingers. If I was super- lucky, I’d never even have to use the explanation.
Get your copy here:
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Both A Shot In The Arm and part one, Burning Questions can also be purchased through Amazon. Part One is a KDP offering this month. You can also get A Shot In The Armat Barnes & Noble. Part three, The Fourth Conspirator, will be available this fall.
FOR WRITERS WHO ARE CREATING A TRIAL SCENE OR DELVING INTO SOME LEGAL ISSUES, I recommend taking a look at my e-book, SEE YOU IN COURT –THINGS LAWYERS KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD TOO. Get it right. Make it sound real. It’s available on Smashwords and Scribd for only a buck. It will be the best buck you ever spent.
Find Barry at his websites:
Monday, August 29th, 2011
Join me in welcoming Deon Sanders to Highlighted Author.
Deon C. Sanders (Pen name: Deno Sandz) was born in the south, raised and resides in Chicago, is a father of six working in the educational field and has been a fiction author for the last ten years. he writes phenomenal articles on every aspect of society, short stories that transcend the heart, soul, and mind of the reader, poetry that convokes emotions, lyrics that embrace the genre of the music industry, and movie screenplays.
Welcome, Deon. Please tell us about yourself.
How did I start out my writing career?
I started my writing “Life style” not career at a early age. Sometimes I think I can remember as far back as the womb. My mother is and was a great writer with aptitude and stories of real life, southern myths, and superstitions. My father was extrememly intelligent…a man of vision, a phenomenon, cultured, a historian, and in my mind an angel as well as my mother who slipped away from heaven’s library of truth and fiction to create me.
What did I hope to accomplish with this book?
Accomplishment is the foundation of hope. Without hope a writer never gets to his/her pinnacle. Like this book and every other book I’ve penned or am about to pen. I hope to inspire the fictional side of readers.
Is the “Writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
A writer takes the good reviews with the bad reviews. This is my life, my dream despite the everyday hustle and bustle trying to take care of a family. So there’s no foreshadowing on the future. But I believe my future rests on my “writing gift.” Yes, it is what I thought it would be. You have to color before you can write, as in crawl before you walk.
If I had to invite five characters over for conversation.
The five characters I would invite over for dinner would be; Socrates, from Plato “The last day of Socrates,” Gulliver, from “Gulliver’s Travels,” Mr. Brown from “Meet the Browns,” Robin Hood from the new moview (2010), and Nelson Mandela from “Invictus.” These are inspiring characters who remind me of myself. Dedicated, adventurous, funny, philosophical, and honorable.
What are three things I wish I’d known before I reached where I am now?
The three things I wish I had known before reaching this point of my writing life is that I would have tried to save more money to promote my books, not to except every offer from publishers who did not understand my vision and how patient you must be to even get a glimmer of what a successful writer is.
To inspiring writers:
Please keep writing despite what some publisher say and please don’t ever stop writing it can open up the minds of the masses. Your one thought on paper can inspire people and your one book can inspire the world.
Understand that “In the world of writing there are NO BOUNDARIES, just a place where the pen and pad meets imagination, visualization, and creativity.
My other books: Also available on my website.
I, AM by Deon C. Sanders (Pen: Deno Sandz)
Pen of Iniquity by Deno Sandz
Miss Mary Weather: A Southern Nightmare by Deon C. Sanders(Pen: Deno Sandz)
I am working on the sequil to my first book Miss Mary Weather: A Southern Nightmare entitled, Abandon You Soul…the return of Miss Weather and anoher book entitled, The Devilz Wzisper.
Deon has chosen to share his book, Blood Plantation, with us today. Here’s what it’s about:
The Novella, Blood Plantation, is a historical fiction set at a Bed and Breakfast owned by the great, great, great, granddaughter of Captain Rollins the 3rd once known as the big house on a plantation in Virginian. The antagonist, the SOTO (The Soul of the Ocean) is a captured slave from the southern tip of Africa, thrown overboard near the shores of Shonway, Virginian where the Shonwaayians now call, “The Shores of the Evil Soul” in 1810 after a mutiny he spearheaded leading to the murder of crew members, slaves, and his wife by the evil hands of Captain Rollins the 3rd who owned the plantation. It’s now 2010 and another fifty years has dawned and the SOTO has awakened again to seek his vengeance against the last of Rollins’ blood line for the death of his wife.
Blood Plantation Book Trailer
What they’re saying:
*It’s the sins of slavery*
*A real horror of the middle passage*
*Southern reality and history never forgotten*
*A nightmare for vacationing lovers*
*Fiction at it’s best*
*A spirit of unforgivable anger*
*A bloodline that can never be erased*
*A Culture of true power*
It was the fifteenth day of July two thousand and ten, which marked fifty years of the, “SOTO” and one hundred years after the first murder of Sandra Smith on the Shores of Shonwaay, Virginian. Captain Stewart Rollins the Third’s small abandoned house had been completely rehabbed into a Bed and Breakfast getaway. The owners were Captain Rollins Great, Great, Great Grand Daughter Carrol Heartsong, a southern bell with high ambitions and her husband Bill who from first introduction seemed a mamma’s boy.
The Bed and Breakfast rested on a ten acre plantation stationed on top of a cliff next to a waterfall looking down upon the golden sands that harbored at the starting point of the Aquarius Ocean. The Sanctus bell sounded across the Shores of Shonwaay, emanating from a small church erected by the Shonwaayians some many years ago.
Around high noon before the last touches to the Bed and Breakfast were made and six hours before the first couple were due to arrive at their front door.
The tide was high and the sea crabs were departing the Shores of Shonwaay heading for their watery homes.
Cars filled the streets and pleasantly beautiful single family homes outlined the cliff. Apple trees that settled themselves across town swayed in the summer wind that blew from the ocean’s mouth and rays from the sun burned the unprotected green grass, as it reflected itself off the streak free windows of the Bed and Breakfast.
Inside the Bed and Breakfast Carrol and Bill prepared themselves for a business venture that unbeknown to them would never succeed. Original pictures, tables, chairs, beds, etc. decorated the entire house. The kitchen had the original stove; however, the kitchen cabinets had been replaced. Carrol had graciously set the dining room table with a white linen table cloth and set places for eight which included themselves. Bill had stepped out front to water the large potted flowers that lined the front porch. Drenching the last flower pot, suddenly, Bill turned to where he thought he heard an eerie voice and noticed the shadow of a person walk by the side of the house.
Immediately, Bill rose and walked around the side of the house calling out Carrol’s name.
“Carrol,” Bill yelled!
After no reply Bill turned and walked back to his flowers by passing the front door at the exact time Carrol walked out of the front door startling him.
“Oh, you startled me Carrol,” Bill stated, exhaling.
“Did you call me honey?” Carrol asked.
“Were you around the side of the house a second ago?” Bill asked.
“No, I was in the dining room setting up for our guest this evening,” Carrol replied.
Standing there looking at each other, sounds of faint footsteps proceeded up the front stairs leading up to the porch. Bill turned to look, as Carrol leaned from around Bill to look also. However, there was no one there. Bill turned to Carrol shrugging his shoulders and said, “It’s probably the old wood baby.” Nodding her head Carrol agreed and they walked into the house. As evil should have it they did not look down at the floor, closing the front door, because they were actually walking on top of foot person prints, which faded away as they walked into the kitchen.
Nearing six o’clock, both were eager to begin their business venture. Carrol had a few things to do in the kitchen, while Bill made his way up the spiral stairs to their bedroom. The same bedroom inhabited many years ago by Captain Rollins.
Carrol began making a few minor touch ups in the kitchen. Then, as toiled she began smelling an awful odor of sea water lingering in the air around her. Suddenly, pots and pans that were stacked neatly under the sink started to clammier startling her.
Slowly, she walked towards the cabinet and opened the door. But, instead of seeing pots and pans, she witnessed numerous black sea crabs in their place. Carrol screamed at the top her lungs slamming the cabinet closed. Hearing the heart wrenching screams Bill ran frantically to her aid.
“What’s wrong honey?” finding her in the far corner of the kitchen, balled up in a fetal position as if she was a newborn fetus. Carrol pointed to the cabinet shaking perfuse without speaking. Bill stood up and walked over to it peering back at her periodically until he reached it. Carrol closed her eyes as Bill opened the cabinet and the cabinet was filled with only pots and pans.
“There’s nothing in here but pots and pans baby,” Bill stated, turning to Carrol. Carrol slowly emerged from the floor and walked over to Bill to take a look. Bill grabbed Carrol pulling her close to him giving her a big hug and said, “It’s all in your mind baby. There has been a lot of pressure on us to get this place up and running.” Carrol agreed, giving Bill a kiss and followed him up the stairs to prepare for their guest.
Inside their room on the wall hung a picture of Captain Rollins dressed in his Southern Colonial attire with his eyes staring downward obviously, belittling everyone under him. Bill turned the shower on and Carrol browsed through the closet looking for her a dinner dress. The Grandfather clock at the bottom of the spiral staircase struck six as Bill exited the shower.
“Bill,” Carrol screamed, running to the bathroom door rushing him to get ready.
“Alright honey, you can get in the shower now. I’ll go meet the guest until you are ready,” Bill stated, dressing quickly as he raced down the stairs fixing his tie while almost tripping.
At the bottom step the door bell rang again. Mr. and Mrs. Williams, a bi-racial couple in their late thirties from South Bend, Indiana stood waiting. Brandon Williams, an African-American male, and his wife Gail, a paler shade Caucasian. Bill opened the door staring for a moment trying not to draw any attention to himself and his wayward ways. Bill wasn’t a prejudice man, but an unknowing man of his times not realizing the world has really changed.
“Good evening, Welcome to Heartsong’s Bed and Breakfast where we dish out southern hospitality. Come right in. Let me get your bags for you,” Bill stated. Through the threshold to death Bill escorted them, closing the door. Then, Bill heard their next guest, pulling up into the driveway coming to a sudden stop.
“Excuse me. I believe more guests have arrived. Make yourselves at home in the parlor. Dinners at eight,” Bill stated. Bill opened the front door and out of the cab erected a six foot three, two legged man tree, with arms like branches, and a little on the thin side with sun tanned skin.
His wife who was a Caucasian stepped from the other side of the cab and walked around the back end of the cab. She was about five ten and a half, with beautiful long legs with a body to match. From a distance it looked like she had a coach bag made of fur. But as they walked closer to Bill, he could see it was actually a cat.
“Mr. T.J Renalds from Baton Rogue, Louisiana, Mr. Renalds stated, extending his hand.
“Glad to meet you sir and Welcome to Heartsong’s Bed and Breakfast,” Bill replied, shaking his hand.
“This is my wife Elexus.”
“Charmed I’m sure,” Elexus replied, in the sweetest voice.
T.J a Wall Street business man kept his bosses high class daughter looking good. He dressed fairly well with a little acne that outlined his cheeks and a glass eye that shimmered in the light. Elexus had a lot of outer attributes, but her mind was feeble, a college yuppie whose only reason for going to college were boys, not to actually learn, because her father owned the college. They proceeded up the steps to the house, and suddenly, Elexus’s cat escaped from her arms and ran towards the driveway out into the darkness out of reach of the porch lights.
“I’ll go get the cat Mrs. Renalds. You and Mr. Renalds go inside into the parlor and join the others,” Bill spoke. The Renalds’ did exactly what Bill suggested and closed the door behind them. Bill walked down the steps after the cat.
“Here cat, here kitty-kitty,” Bill spoke, raising his octave each time.
Then, Bill noticed the cat’s statuette hissing while looking into the darkness.
“There you are cat. What are you looking at?” Bill asked. Bill reached down to pick the cat up; he glanced up quickly thinking he had seen a figure in the darkness. He gathered himself, grabbed the cat, and walked back to the house. The cat never taking its eyes off the darkness while in Bill’s arms hissing more as they made it to the front porch. Out of curiosity, Bill turned towards the driveway and suddenly, a figure ran out of the shadows with lightening speed towards Bill. Not having much time to react. Bill dropped the cat, turned his face, closed his eyes, and yelled. Bracing himself for what was about to happen. However, before the figure reached him it vanished into the air like smoke.
His yelling brought everyone to the doorway, including Carrol who had just made her way down the stairs. Carrol opened the door followed by the guest finding Bill on his knees on the porch petrified.
“What happened?” Carrol asked.
“It’s something out there,” Bill stated, as Carrol and the others helped him up. Carrol released his arm, as the others helped Bill into the house. Then, she took a peak into the darkness to settle her own soul.
“However, she saw nothing in the darkness.”
“Nothing in the darkness.”
“There was nothing in the darkness.”
Want more Deon? Here’s where you can find him: