Monday, June 19, 2017

Diving South for Horror

I'm baaaaaack!

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting at my desk in my St. Louis apartment, jotting down notes about people I wanted to interview, places I wanted to visit before I left, and preparations for a new book.

It's strange to say a little over two months ago, I was picking up keys to a new apartment - this one in Dallas. Just like that, my lovelies, life changes. My only regret to date is that my desk is still unpacked, shoved into a corner, and I'm writing this particular entry on top of a bright yellow end table. The show must go on, right? And after a month of definitely not working on edits, here I am: Guiltily still plying through online articles about haunted dolls, and spending too much time watching paranormal evidence videos. #slacker

But marching on into summer, I've got but two writing projects: Red Mother Dead (which I'm hoping will be out late this year), and another series in the works.



Red Mother Dead, if I haven't mentioned it, is the first standalone after the Diary Trilogy ended. And while the very utterance of vampires conjures up images of Rob Pattinson sparkling like he'd been clubbing all night, this story is straight up horror with a large romantic element.

RMD picks up the story of Brit: a single and somewhat lonely housekeeper with major anal retentive tendencies. She's had some bumps in her young life, but keeps a firm hold on the appearance (and cleanliness) of the estate.

Enter Jack, her former high school crush, who is widowed with a young son, and suddenly the daily stability and predictability is squashed...because Jack has brought something with him that casts a darkness over the household. And it's not the sexy Twilight kind.



The influence:

I saw a documentary years ago about allegedly real-life vampires. One tale, in particular, really, really bothered me. It was about a young girl who "died," only she allegedly visited her father afterwards - terrifying him with a decaying face and trying to bite and feed off him. It brought me back to what vampires really are: our worst fears. The end of the story - which brought a village together to essentially destroy the girl's body - folded up neatly with the father mentioning how his deep love for his child had been tainted by what she had become. He swore he would try the rest of his life to find that love again, but the memory of something insidious speaking in the same voice and wearing the same face as his child would always haunt him.



A few pages of character plot-lines later, and RMD was well on its way. But with its own twist.

Stay tuned for excerpts! Thanks for following! You can check out a brief book trailer here (though the book cover is no longer the same). 




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter Special: A Heartland Haunting

(For the sake of anonymity, the names of those in this interview have been changed. And the graphics provided do not represent the family's true property. I do not own rights to graphics.)




About 100 miles northeast of St. Louis is a massive piece of land that stretches over 30 acres. It's hilly on one end, while the other is flatter, with a large fishing lake, lots of trees, and 3 vegetable gardens. It's the kind of setting that landowners fantasize about. It's quiet, it's secluded, and the family that lives on the land has roots that date back to the Civil War.

I met Joy through her daughter-in-law, Lacy, who I went to college with for a short time. At the age of 20, Lacy married Joy's son, Will. And after Lacy earned her degree, they moved back to the family homestead.

But unlike many modern living arrangements - where the adult children move back to their parents' house - Lacy and Will actually moved into their own home on the family property.

"There were two original homes on the property." Joy explained. "The original main house burned in a fire around 1902. The gate house was used as the main house for my family until 1960, when another home was constructed."

Of course, Joy's story is anything but simple. A woman of around 65, she and Lacy greeted me one afternoon while visiting St. Louis. Joy dazzled me with her long salt and pepper hair swept back in a low ponytail, her glistening hazel eyes,and a natural tan that was absolutely infuriating. Joy looks better at her age than I do in my 30s - a statement that the blue-eyed, strawberry-blonde, curly-haired Lacy has echoed. But after hearing Lacy's stories about living on that land, I was dying to talk to Joy.

"My parents had me when they were both 16." She began. "They never married, which was highly controversial in those days, but my father's parents were opposed to a marriage. My mother was from Mexico, so after she had me, she returned there and we lived with my grandmother. But growing up, my father would send us letters at least every month, which is how I learned to read in English."

Joy explained that when she was 13, her mother died suddenly. Within a year, her father traveled to Mexico to bring her and her maternal grandmother back with him to Missouri. "It was a strange thing, and when I was a kid, I felt like I had lived two lives - one with my mother, another here." But her face lights up when she talks about her father and first living on the family estate.

"I love the change of seasons. I love snow. I love having a fire in the fireplace. And the hard work never bothered me."

Her grandparents - the ones who opposed her parents' marriage - had also passed away the same year her mother did, which Joy explained was likely why her father was able to collect her. "I'm sure it was bittersweet for him. I'm sure he thought it would be him, me, and my mother that would all be reunited. He was a good man, my father. He loved my mother a lot."

The main house, which was completed in 1961, is the house Joy's father brought her home to. The house she finished out her childhood in, and the house she has lived in with her husband since their marriage in 1976.

"My father passed away in '71, and my grandmother a few years prior. My aunt and uncle lived with us in the main house, and they've been like second parents to me." In fact, Joy's aunt and uncle still live with Joy and her husband. "It's a large house, and my uncle often told me there's always been family living here. Always. I know when I got married, my in-laws thought it was strange that we didn't find our own place, or that my aunt and uncle didn't move out. But it's a lot of land. It's a lot of responsibility. And my heart was invested in this place. I couldn't leave, and my husband liked having a quiet life outside of a busy city."

The main house, in pictures, certainly doesn't look like anything from Gone with the Wind, or any other sweeping epic. It's a beautiful two-story (part ranch/part Victorian influence) with a porch that wraps around from the front to the back. Five bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 2 living rooms, but the main attraction (per Lacy) is the kitchen.



"The kitchen is as large as a classroom. The dining table can seat a dozen. And the oven is the original from the 60s. I'm too intimidated to even touch it."

"It's just an oven." Joy countered.

"I wish you'd get a newer one."

"If it ain't broke..."

I liked observing the banter between Joy and Lacy. Stereo-typically, there's usually a flavor of tension between a daughter and mother-in-law, but Joy and Lacy genuinely interact like a typical mother/daughter would. Which is maybe why Lacy won't leave the property. Even after what she's experienced.

"The gate house was originally like a guest house, right?"

Joy nodded. "The property served as a gathering point for my father's massive extended family. He said that the rumor he always heard was his great-grandmother was so terrified of contracting foreign illnesses that she would insist that anyone traveling from outside of Missouri had to stay in the gate house for several days before coming into the main house, just in case they were carrying something."

"How old is it?" I asked.

"The gate house even predates the original home. I'm not 100% how old it is, but we think it was built between 1860 and 1870."



The picture Joy hands me looks like a farmhouse to me - I liken it to the Ulysses Grant cabin (walking distance from my apartment) that has been preserved. But the gate house looks charming. It's one story with a large roof. It has a front door that resembles an English cottage - angular with stained glass at the top. There's a pebbled pathway from the front door to the driveway, and a flower garden sets off the front of the home.

Joy's time in the main house has been idyllic - she has lived most of her life there, raised her only child there, and now continues living peacefully in the house her father took her home to after her mother died. It's her home; it's a piece of her. Every happy memory lives there.

But for Lacy, her time at the gate house has been less idyllic and more of a challenge of wits and nerves. Lacy married Will in 2005. They have a 3-year-old son. Lacy is a 2nd grade teacher while Will helps his great-uncle and father with the land, and also sells insurance.

Moving into the gate house was a perfect memory for Lacy and Will. "The idea of having our own house, and having our own yard...while everyone else we knew was living in a tiny apartment or in their parents' basement...we were incredibly blessed."

It wasn't a palace though. "Joy warned us that we'd have to do a lot of work on it. When we moved in, there was one bathroom, and basically one bedroom. I wanted children, and so did Will, so we worked and saved money so that we could add another bathroom and put up drywall for a second bedroom."

Four years ago, Lacy and Will started heavy remodeling. And for good reason: Lacy was pregnant.

"I went from agreeing to Will that we'd do a little at a time to 'let's get it done NOW.'" Lacy explained. "I wanted a bedroom to put my baby in. I wanted a second bathroom since the bathroom we had only had a shower stall and no tub. And I wanted everything done before the baby came."

With help from Joy and her husband, they were able to add another bathroom off of the kitchen, and also build an addition off the den at the back of the house.

"I had unbelievable anxiety while the add-ons were happening. I can't explain it - everything made me jumpy. I think I convinced myself it was just being pregnant and wanting everything to be perfect."

But halfway through the pregnancy, the feeling got worse. "I was painting the baby's bedroom. We had just found out we were having a boy. We told Will's parents, and they were just over the moon. Joy was baking a chocolate cake in the main house, which is all I wanted to eat. I was home alone, waiting for her to come by so we could eat it." She says with a laugh. "I had the radio on, and it suddenly turned off. The radio was just outside the door to the baby's room. So I went to check it out. It was plugged in. I just thought that the radio was old and flipped it back on. I went back to painting and didn't think much of it."

Lacy stated that Joy came by with the cake, and the weather was nice enough that they ate it outside.

"I didn't even mention the radio to Joy because, again, I thought it was just old. After we ate, I brought the dishes inside. I noticed the music wasn't on anymore. Something caught my eye in the hall, and straight down the hall was the new bedroom for the baby." Lacy smiled nervously, as most people do when they are about to tell you something that they think it utterly crazy. "In the doorway, just lying there on the floor, was the electrical plug for the radio." She rubbed her eyes for a moment and continued. "I know it was plugged in and playing when Joy came over with the cake initially. I know I didn't unplug it. But you can bet I never plugged it in again."

"I knew something was wrong." Joy added. "Lacy's naturally very bubbly, and it had been a good day. And suddenly she just got very quiet. I didn't want to pry. And I remembered being pregnant with Will and having days where I was just petrified. I think I kind of wrote it off as that."

Lacy confessed it was two months before she even said anything to Will. "Little things, I could ignore. Like occasional missing keys. Or the TV suddenly turning on. Because when you're pregnant, I swear, your brain is just not functioning."



But one night, everything changed. And Lacy knew that it wasn't the pregnancy that was messing with her.

"The house is like a little square. When you walk in, directly to the right is our bedroom. Directly in front of you is the hallway that leads to the den, which leads to the baby's room. To the left, the living room, and behind it, the kitchen. It's a very basic layout." Lacy says quietly. "I was about 2 months away from giving birth and was in that really intense nesting period where everything had to be perfect. Joy had given me a quilt for the baby's crib, along with some extra blankets and onesies. I was folding everything and putting things away. And suddenly, I felt like someone was standing right behind me. Like, the hair on my neck was on end, and I had that kind of nauseating feeling that if I turned around, I'd see something that I just didn't want to see."

Lacy takes a swig of tea before continuing, and I can see Joy's face growing uncomfortable. "I called out to Will. I knew he was in bed and heard him getting out from under the covers and walking toward me. I didn't turn around until I heard his footsteps coming down the hall asking if I needed something. As soon as I turned around, there was a shadow figure behind him that just darted from the front door toward our bedroom. All I could do was scream and point, and Will took off down the hall, probably not even knowing what I was yelling about."

"And that's when you told him about what you were experiencing?"

She laughed, nervously. "Oh, I didn't mention the radio. But that night, I know I saw something dart across the hall. I know it. So I did tell him that I thought something was wrong in the house."

"How did he react?"

"He was concerned and worried," Joy chimed in. "Lacy's a very logical person. When Will came up to the house to talk to me about it initially, I could tell he wanted to write it off as Lacy just being extra emotional and tired. But we all know Lacy. She's a very patient woman. Very reasonable. Not someone who scares easily. And my gut told me that if she felt like something was off...maybe something was off."

Lacy described the following weeks, and how Joy would come by in the evenings on days Will worked late (since that's when Lacy felt the most uncomfortable). But it wasn't long before Joy got her own taste of the gate house.

"My son was out of town for his work, and Lacy's due date was coming up. Nothing strange had happened, but it's an eight-minute walk between my house and theirs, and I thought it best to just sit with Lacy. Just in case she went into labor and needed help."

One particular evening - the day before her grandson was born - still haunts Joy. "Lacy was asleep, and I was watching TV in the living room. It was early fall, and the weather was cool enough that we had the windows open. I got up to refill my iced tea, and when I stepped inside the kitchen, there was a strange chill that rolled right over my feet.

"I didn't have many lights on because Lacy was asleep. Just the hall light and a lamp in the living room. But when I felt that chill, I stepped out of that kitchen quickly. In the hall, toward the baby's room, I swear I could hear what sounded like humming. Very low, very soft humming. I thought it had to be Lacy, but she was in her bedroom. So I stepped down the hall toward it. As soon as my hand reached for the light-switch in that baby's room, it stopped. It just totally stopped."

"I can't believe you didn't wake me up!" Lacy playfully nudged her. But I could see the look on Joy's face - the look of uncertainty.

"It was a moment that only lasted seconds. We had all those windows open. I think at the time I just wanted to get you through the pregnancy, so I just tried to believe that the humming was just wind or something."



Lacy gave birth to her son, Foster, the next day. And for a time, it seemed as though any activity that might have happened in the house was over.

"It was really peaceful. When I was in the hospital, Will had a minister bless the house, which just made everyone feel better. Getting home, everything was just perfect. There was nothing strange. Nothing scary. Will and I had the baby in our room for the first couple months, then we moved him into the back bedroom. And truly, I had gotten to the point where I really did just think it had all been in my head."

"Having this baby around was just wonderful." Joy added. "Lacy seemed like her old self again. Will looked happy. You know, I always wanted this huge family, and at the same time, nothing is sweeter than having this one little guy around to love."

But the activity in the house started up again upon Foster's 1st birthday.

"Will was out on the lake with his dad fishing. The baby had fallen asleep on my bed while I was folding clothes, so I put a bunch of pillows around him and went into the living room to finish folding clothes. It was such a normal day. And it was in the middle of the day." I watched Lacy fidget her hands before continuing. "It wasn't midnight. It was as bright and sunshiny as an afternoon can get in October. I went into the kitchen to get something to eat, and I heard Foster. He wasn't fussing or anything. He was just baby babbling. So I thought I'd grab some crackers real quick and grab him before he got out of his pillow fortress.

"But then I heard something that sounded like singing coming from my bedroom. And it was almost like Foster was engaged with whatever - whoever - was singing to him. Like he was cooing. So I dropped my crackers and ran in there. The room was ice cold, but I didn't see anyone. I grabbed my baby and walked up to Joy's."

"At this point, what did your husband and your father-in-law think?" I asked.

"Nobody had lived in the gate house since my grandparents had died." Joy said. "And my husband thought it was a good solution for Will and Lacy. To keep them nearby. And so they wouldn't start out with a massive amount of debt. I think he figured it would be a lot of hard work. But I doubt ghosts or spirits ever entered his mind. It didn't enter mine. I've lived here most of my life, and never did I encounter anything odd until Will and Lacy moved into the gate house."

"Will has had a few things happen to him that shakes him up a little. Nothing directed at him or us, just little things. Like, we have a key rack that hangs on the wall next to the front door. One morning, his keys were gone. We looked for half an hour. Then he opened the door and found them dangling from one of the low branches of a tree. Just dangling there, in plain sight. That was pretty creepy for him."

Joy nodded. "He mentioned that, and the bed incident."

"I'll never forget that as long as I live."

Lacy went on to describe, to date, the most terrifying experience she has endured. "About 6 months ago, Will had the stomach flu. It was pretty bad. So I had walked Foster up to Joy's that night because I didn't want him catching it. It was around 8 o'clock, and by the time I got Foster settled and walked home, it was probably close to 10 or so.

"Even though it's just a few minutes of a walk, I always text Joy so she knows I'm home, and vice-versa. And I planned to grab a blanket out of the bedroom and just sleep in the den, outside of Foster's room. It was August, and it was hot. When I opened that front door, though, there was just a rush of really, really cold air. Not air from the a/c was on, but really chilly air, like the front door was opening to the refrigerator. I closed the door behind me and immediately I had goosebumps. Something drew my attention to the bedroom, so I stepped closer and took a look. There was a woman standing at the side of the bed, leaning over my husband. She had long, dark hair and wore a sort of prairie dress. I couldn't move. I couldn't even breathe. And then, it was like something snapped me out of it. Because my husband was lying there sick, and something was hovering over him - and I had no idea what its intention was.

"So I ran into the bedroom, jumped on top of my husband, and flipped the light-switch on by the bed. The woman was gone...she was just gone, and Will was looking at me like I had lost my mind, and why did I scare him like that. I told him what I saw, and he was absolutely horrified."



"Meanwhile, I've got the baby thinking everything is quiet over there." Joy said, shaking her head.

"Will didn't know I had taken Foster up to the main house. He didn't even know I wasn't home." Joy nodded at Lacy, and for a moment I wasn't sure what twist was coming. "Will swore that I was laying in bed next him, then he said at some point I got up to check if he still had a fever. He said it was so realistic that he could feel my hair on his face when I leaned over to touch his forehead."

"That terrified me." Joy said. The very idea that a spirit had gotten that close to her son...it repulsed her. "I still hope part of what he thinks he experienced was just a dream...because he was so sick."

That was 6 months ago. And in that time, nothing much has happened. "I went online and read an article where if you think you have a ghost, you have to confront it firmly and tell it to leave. Only sometimes they don't. So the article suggested confronting the ghost and stating where it is and is not welcome. And I did that. I went into every room- from Foster's to the bedroom to the bathrooms - and I told her not to go near my son or husband. That she was not welcome."

"And do you think whatever was causing the activity is gone now?"

I watched Joy and Lacy exchange a look before Lacy answered. "I think it knows not to come near Foster. But I don't think it's gone. I still get occasional blasts of chilly air, almost as if someone is just walking down the hall or something. I haven't seen her since that night. And I haven't heard any singing. But it's just a feeling. Yeah, I think she's still in the house."

As for Joy, she's doing her own research. "There's so much we just don't know about our own ancestors. There's so much history to the land. But no one, not even my father, could really give any details other than names. But events. Maybe bad things that have happened here - that's what I want to find out. Maybe finding all that out will help identify what Lacy saw in the gate house. And why it's there."

But life, despite the activity, goes on. Lacy still enjoys teaching. Every morning she takes Foster up to Joy's, where he spends the day until Lacy returns home. It's special time that Joy cherishes. And it's more great memories for the main house.

The gate house, however, and if Lacy and Will continue living there, is still debatable.

"We're not leaving, but we've definitely talked about building a new house." Lacy says. "I'm envious of Joy's memories, and being in the main house, you can feel the love. You can feel the happiness. I want that for my son. I want a home that doesn't have a ghost lurking around." She giggles. "So we'll see. But we won't leave the land, no. We'll stay."

To date, Joy is working with a historian to map out the history of her family's land, including who owned it before them, and what events or tragedies may have brought any paranormal activity into her family's life today. Lacy and Will no longer sleep in their bedroom, but have turned the den into their master bedroom. Lacy says they keep the door to the old bedroom closed and locked. She wonders if the spirit has claimed that empty space, and maybe that is why nothing wild has happened lately. Regardless, she says they will not open the door again.







**Heard of any good ghost stories? Give me a shout: scarygoodblog@gmail.com.**

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year; New Horrors

Yeah, yeah, yeah. My social media is all a-gag with the "New Year, New Me" crap. And I have to say, do what you gotta do to reset that CHARGE button. You know, the button that enables you to shrug off the stress that's been building and building, and in it's place a hopeful attitude for positive changes. Or at least a better haircut.

Be it body, be it diet, be it humanitarian work, just do it. Just do you. And be happy! Meanwhile, I'll just be sitting behind a somewhat different desk (cause there's a new tablecloth now) and typing away my little ghost stories. Because that's how I roll.

On to New Horrors!



There are loads of new horrors burning in my back pocket, like a constant jab in the ass...because the stories have just been sitting there. Not moving. And not finding a new home on a new page. What can I say? I'm a busy broad. 

Luckily, RED MOTHER DEAD is still on my brain. And that will probably be my big 2017 release. And don't worry - it's gonna be a good one. Or, it's gonna be one that (hopefully) gives you nightmares for a few nights. Cause that's ALWAYS my Christmas wish...write something so ferocious that it gives people (and children who shouldn't be reading it) nightmares. FOREVER.  

Oh, and if you forgot all about RED MOTHER DEAD, here's the damn book trailer. Oh, and the cover may get another uplift before it's big, bad release too. 



Oh, and for a full(er) synopsis of this vampire tale (YES, yes, it's an eerie vampire tale...but I do manage to keep the glitter down to a shout), Check out the post from last Febs. (I know, I know, recycling an old post...how tacky - I'll do better next time). And as always, thanks for following the shenanigans! 

+++++

#horror #2017 #paranormal #suspense #romance #vampires #books

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Endeth/Horror Cometh

My first series was the Diary Trilogy (ahem, available on Amazon now for 99 cents each). I love this series, as awful as that sounds coming from a writer. But when you write something that actually gives you the chills, well, it's usually something that translates to the page (or at least, you hope).

The final installment, Purgatory, just got a face-lift, and I absolutely love it!!! Here's a sneak peek!

If you haven't read any of the Diary Trilogy Series, why? :-D

Here's an excerpt from Purgatory to nibble on...because Halloween is just around the corner. And if you're like me, there needs to be oodles upon oodles of scary movies and books.

Because there must be!


Ex-­cop Gregory Bowers has just stepped into the murky and secretive world of Merrick Hills. He has one duty: finding the survivors who fled the horrific St. Martin school in 1995. But in delving into the school’s last days, he finds himself slowly losing grip on reality...and welcoming the dreams of a woman he’s never met.

Investigator Vivian Sparrow has visited dark places before, but even she feels the intensity of the case. Aiding Bowers with his terrifying crusade isn’t easy—neither is ignoring the growing attraction between them.

All bets are off when the duo inadvertently awakens a devil. The clock is ticking to find the lost survivors before a force from the past claims more victims.

Can Bowers stay rooted in reality with Sparrow...or will he fall into the clutches of a young nun’s diary? And can Vivian find a way to defeat the devil before he claims both of them?

Excerpt:

7pm—Holding Unit, Merrick Hills Police Department

I had to wait an hour while a doctor and nurse looked over the man’s leg. The bullet didn’t hit any arteries, and entered and exited cleanly. He declined to be taken to a hospital for observation, I was relieved to hear that since I knew Vivian was there with Danny.

After administering a shot of antibiotics, the doctor and nurse left.

“Okay, Bowers, you’re up. The man wouldn’t give his name to anyone. We took his fingerprints and I’m having Walker run them.”

“Thanks, Chief.”

I walked into the holding unit. The man sat calmly on the cot. His injured leg was resting on top, while the other dangled. He was rubbing his temples with his hands. I don’t know what happened to the clothes he was wearing. He donned an orange jumpsuit now. And his beard and hair had been trimmed back.

“How’s the leg?” I asked, sitting down on the bench outside of the holding cell. He didn’t bother looking my way.

“Hurts like hell.”

“I can get you some pain medication.”

“No pills. I’d rather feel what’s really happening than dull the experience.”

He didn’t sound like a demon-possessed ex-priest. He did sound gruff and tired, though.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“What’s yours?” He asked sharply.

“Gregory Bowers. I’m a special investigator.”

“Ha. A special investigator?”

“Yes.”

“And what exactly are you investigating, Special Investigator Gregory Bowers?”

“Presently, that would be you.”

“Alright, go ahead.”

“I already did—I asked for your name.”

“I don’t have one anymore.”

“You must have at one time.”

“That bastard took my fingerprints. If that’s so, I’m sure you’ll find something.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier just to tell me?”

He turned his head slowly toward me and grinned sheepishly. “Maybe the better question is who do you think I am?”

“I haven’t come to that conclusion yet.”

“Oh, come on. They didn’t pin me down in the woods because I was just passing through. They think I’m someone of interest. So, the question is, who is it that I’m supposed to be?”

I hesitated, then I decided it was best to be truthful. “Do you know the name Jess Jaco?”

~~~

Happy early Halloween! Stay tuned for more news! 

...And don't be shy about stocking up on some good, scary reads!




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Allure of Romantic Horror



Whether you're a vampire literary snob,  or you just love any dark piece of romantic horror, you're no stranger to sultry scenes mixed with heart-pounding and nightmare wielding storylines.

Personally, I love romantic horror -- and even horror erotica -- but it's a genre that gets an unfair label by writers and readers who don't understand it. I've heard everything from 'cheap smut' to 'evil perversion,' and some of these works were written by the likes of Bram Stoker.

Perversion -- or beauty-- is truly in the eye of the beholder.



I wrote Rapture because I think the scariest stories make us question our deepest roots of faith. And if you're religious, there is nothing more frightening than facing evil that doesn't care what you believe in...and that doesn't respond to any religious conviction. So often we use religion as an order of protection, and as a safeguard against the unpredictability of life. So when it's turned so wickedly in seemingly innocent places (like a school), it exposes a very real vulnerability.

Romantic horror, by proxy, highlights our greatest fears and greatest desires. A school possessed by a demon, a lover turned into another being, or a child abducted by something unholy -- whatever the extreme horror, it unleashes our own sense of doom. Our own sense of self and self-worth is suddenly doubted. And inhibitions that were always kept caged are released. Fear and seduction are mixed. There's an amazing rush of adrenaline that hits the reader during those storylines.

Again, it's all in the eye of the beholder. If you're intrigued at all, though, there's some great news. The rebirth of the novella is in full swing, and everything from the classics to more modern works are up for grabs (and they're great for those who are time restricted).



One of my favorites is Carmilla. This may actually be the very first vampire thriller, and it's just so smooth and beautiful. It's not blatantly sexual like most modern books, but deeply sensual and romantic...with a dark twist. You can grab a copy here.

Before the end of the year, I'll have a couple more projects out. In the meantime, feel free to check out Rapture here (as well as an excerpt). It has much more blatant sexual themes (reader beware).

And maybe keep your lights on...

Happy HORROR reading!

+++++

*I do not own rights to graphic covers.*

#romantic #horror #erotica #haunted #vampire #wicked #classics #modern #horrorreading

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

COVER REVEAL + BOOK TRAILER #REDMOTHERDEAD

Spring is upon us, which naturally means I've got horror in store for everyone...

The plot:
Housekeeper Brit McKay is used to a life of tidiness and order. When widower Jack Brennan and his young son arrive at the estate, they bring with them a terrifying secret. As strange events immediately begin to plague the household, Brit begins to suspect that Jack and his son are being stalked by something evil. 

The dreadful secret, once exposed, threatens everything Brit knows to be true. Because death should be final and absolute. 

...Except when the dead refuse to go in peace.  

RED MOTHER DEAD will be out late spring/early summer, and I can't wait! Check out the Official Book Trailer AND check out the cover!



STAY TUNED FOR RELEASE DETAILS!



#HORROR #SUSPENSE #VAMPIRE #ROMANCE #AMAZON



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

RED MOTHER DEAD -- coming soon!!!

Long ago, I toyed and teased about releasing a vampire story. That was NOT a lie. 

It's finally getting polished up, and I can't wait to see what everyone thinks! The biggest question has been, no doubt, what the title is all about. I'm not quite one to romanticize vampire stories, though I can appreciate the #Twilight fan-base. 

But this is a dark, somber, and suspenseful story (and maybe there's some romance thrown in there). 

Red Mother Dead is told through the eyes of young housekeeper Brit McKay.  



When her childhood crush Jack Brennan returns to Des Moines, a series of strange events begin to unfold. Jack's return is prompted by the peculiar murder of his wife -- details that not even Brit is immediately aware of. 

But Jack wants his son Liam to have a fresh start, and moving into his Aunt Melanie's home seems like the new beginning they so desperately need. As Jack settles in, he confides in Brit that he doesn't quite feel like his wife is truly gone. Nightmares plague him, and young Liam insists that his mother visits him nightly.



Strange scratches appear on Liam's window, and Jack wakes up with mysterious wounds on his neck and chest. While Melanie insists that Jack and Liam are just trying to cope with the trauma of losing a loved one, Brit can't help but wonder if the small family truly isn't being terrorized by someone who was pronounced dead 3 years ago.



Fans of #RAPTURE will love the flow of the story, as well as the quick building suspense. RED MOTHER DEAD is a standalone book. 

Stay tuned for details on its release!!!   

#horror #vampire #romance #suspense #shortella #2016 #RedMotherDead