A Dozen Dreadfuls…..

18 Mar

Today on the GSP Fireflies Promo we welcome Charlotte Holley.

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Charlotte Holley has an inborn love of all mysteries and the supernatural, and has been reading and writing about the paranormal for more than forty years. A mass communications major, she has written and published newsletters, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as poems and short stories since receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1980. As a beaded jewelry designer, she has also self-published twenty-two pattern collections on CD and in eBook form and has produced almost 400 individual original patterns. 

Having spent several years as a professional psychic, she has had extensive experience with the spirit world and has observed supernatural dramas that defy all rational explanation. Charlotte uses her expertise and story-telling ability to weave a powerful tale of mystery and horror, of love and deceit and of the overpowering desire of the human nature to make things right. 

Check out Charlotte’s website at: http://charlotteholley.com/

Congratulations to Charlotte for her cover design of Born in Sarajevo by Snjezana Marinkovic, which finished in the top ten of the 2011 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll for Cover Art.

Her book that we are highlighting today is A Dozen Dreadfuls.

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It’s been said if two or more people strongly agree on any one thing, no matter how unlikely, that thing will come to pass. When art lovers and critics alike unanimously acclaim Sam Forbes’ monsters in his Dozen Dreadfuls series as real enough to step right off the canvas and into the world, they unwittingly unleash a rash of gory killings and a plague of terror as well.
   As the only living human who knows what is happening, Sam sets out to make up for the damage his work has caused at the risk of losing his first and best claim to fame. Can he save the world from the horror in time, and what will he have left if he does?

Excerpt:

  He was alone; the streets, deserted. The city lay sleeping in the sultry hush of the summer’s night. He trudged along, kicking the debris at the edge of the pavement, stopping now and then to rifle through the trash for anything that might be worthwhile. Here, he found a dime; there, a perfect silver chain someone had lost when the clasp came unfastened, freeing it to slide unnoticed into the piles of refuse. He smiled as he held the gleaming silver treasure up in the luminance of the streetlight before he stuffed it greedily into the crumpled paper sack he carried. The pickings were slim tonight, but he was grateful for what he did find.

     Rounding the next corner, he stopped cold. Two men were arguing in the alley. The heavier of the two grabbed the other by the collar, nearly jerking the man off his feet. “I said, give me the rest of it, punk!”

     “Quinn, I already told ya. This is all I got, man,” the smaller man squeaked.

     Quinn let go and shoved his companion to the pavement. “Sure you did, Amos. Sure you did. Okay . . . fine. So give me the rest of the goods then, and we’ll be square.”

     Amos squirmed at Quinn’s feet, looking like he’d puke when Quinn asked for the drugs. “Uh—no can do. See, my mark—well, he done stole the rest of it from me.”

     “Is that so?” Quinn demanded, kicking Amos in the gut.

     The tramp ducked farther into the shadows, fearing the two men would spot him. This whole affair was no concern of his, and to tell the truth, he knew he should go on his way. He should be making tracks as far from here as he could, as fast as he could, but something made him stay glued to the spot, fascinated by the real-life drama unfolding before him.

     Amos was doubled over in pain from Quinn’s assault.

     Quinn grabbed the writhing man by the hair of the head and jerked him to his feet. Amos screamed, but Quinn just laughed. “How many times do I have to tell you? You’re supposed to take your mark for all he’s worth; not the other way around, stupid. This is—what? The third time your mark has made off with the payload, leaving you with only crumbs? Does that seem right to you?”

     “No,” Amos managed to say between gritted teeth.

     “And does it seem right to you for me to let you live when you are such a screw-up?”

     Amos’ breaths were coming in short gasps now. He tried to escape from Quinn’s steel grip, and the tramp thought he actually heard the sound of the punk’s hair ripping from his scalp as Amos staggered free, leaving a handful of his hair in Quinn’s hand. “Aw now, come on, man. Surely you don’t mean that.”

     “Of course, I mean it. You didn’t lose the goods to your mark, did you? Did you?

     “I—”

     Quinn threw Amos’ hair to the pavement in disgust and reached inside his jacket, bringing out a .45 and aiming it at the other man in one fluid movement. He brought the gun to bear on Amos so fast the tramp could hardly believe his eyes.

     “No!” Amos wailed. “Please, man. I got a wife and two kids. Don’t kill me. Please!”

     “I’d be doing them a favor, punk,” Quinn spat. “You’re a loser. Why don’t you admit the truth? You sold a little of it for more than you should have and took the rest of it yourself. I know your kind. You’re not just a loser; you’re a junkie to boot. Probably beat on your wife and kids, you filthy—”

     Amos stared down the barrel of the .45, his hands shaking, his gasps a mixture of hysterical sob and wheeze. The front of his pants turned dark with the stain of urine that traveled down his leg and pooled at his feet. He didn’t say another word, unable to pull enough air into his lungs to expel the utterance. He swallowed hard, and then closed his eyes, perhaps hoping if he couldn’t see when Quinn pulled the trigger, it wouldn’t be true.

     Quinn cocked the revolver.

     Amos winced and steeled himself for the shot that never came.

     At that exact instant, the tramp saw movement in the alley behind Quinn. He was still trying to decide what it was when a ten-foot tall monster took two giant steps from the shadows and knocked the gun from Quinn’s hand. Another second was all it took, and pieces of Quinn flew all over the alley before Quinn even had the chance to react.  

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Charlotte.html#DreadfulsExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/A-Dozen-Dreadfuls-ebook/dp/B0043EV9EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363584588&sr=8-1&keywords=A+dozen+dreadfuls

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3 Responses to “A Dozen Dreadfuls…..”

  1. chalaedra March 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Reblogged this on Chalaedra's Weblog and commented:
    Sam Forbes is such a realistic artists his paintings seem to come to life . . . and terrorize the city. Can he save the world in time? What about his art career if he does? A Dozen Dreadfuls, a short story by Charlotte Holley. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Charlotte.html#Dreadfuls

  2. Sheila Deeth March 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Such a neat, intriguing story.

  3. Dawn Colclasure March 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Loved reading the excerpt! Held on to every word until I got to the end. 🙂

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