Tag Archives: Halloween

The Dragon Within and another free give away….

19 Oct

Welcome to Jeanne Guzman to the GSP Halloween Promo.

Born and raised in Maryland, Jeanne Guzman got to Texas as fast as she could. Mother of 4, Mimi to 8, and Keeper of the Zoo, Jeanne and her husband/best friend enjoy life to its fullest. When they’re not traveling around Texas in their motor coach, you can find Jeanne sitting in her home office typing away at her computer.

Jeanne is the author of our this week’s give away in our weekend competition. Book in question is The Dragon Within.

Angelica Crossley is trapped in a never-ending nightmare where she’s forced to relive two very important moments in her life: her parents’ deaths and her own kidnapping. Angelica’s only hope to rejoin the real world is Preston of the Anshar Dragons.

Stepping through the Flames of Prophesy, Preston enters Angelica’s nightmare to rescue her from her torment. In the process, he discovers the true reason for her forced slumber. He was meant to bear witness to the evil responsible for her captivity: a dragon from his past . . . a dragon he thought long dead . . . his father.

As Angelica recovers, Preston leaves her side, thinking the only way to give her peace of mind is to hunt down his father and send him into the flames.

To win a free copy of this e-book please read the excerpt bellow to find the answer to this question: Which dragons are Preston part of? Please email your answer to annehpetzer@gmail.com before Sunday evening and winners will be notified by email Monday evening Central European time. Through doubts and mistrust, Angelica and Preston must mend the breach between them, solidify their bond, and learn to embrace the Dragon Within.

Excerpt.

Chapter 1

Preston of the Anshar Dragons leaned against the doorjamb to his office, his complexion pale in the dim light of the moon. They were preparing for battle, that meant no lights. It was just as well. Angelica was exhausted from the six hour drive from her childhood home in Whispering Hills, just south of the Red River, to Austin and the home she and her sister made for themselves.

“We should be safe enough here. The Hunters have been called in and your grandfather’s sent a group of Guards to help just in case Goron shows up.” Preston pushed away and reached for the doorknob. “Try and get some sleep. I’ll be right outside if you need me.”

“You need the rest too, Preston.” Angelica didn’t want him to leave. She’d nearly lost him a week before, and now that she’d learned that they were destined to be mated, she didn’t want to be separated from him again.

“I’ll get some sleep when Johnny comes to relieve me. Tuck the kid in and close your eyes for a while. There’s no telling how long this peace will last. Take advantage of the quiet.” He closed the door between them. The barrier more than the two inches of pressboard. Preston was closing himself off as well.

After everything they’d shared—everything she’d learned of her past—and he still didn’t want her, preferring to stand outside the door rather than lay beside her. Angelica turned her back on the obvious rejection and stared blindly out of the row of windows that took up one wall of the office. The night sky formed a backdrop to the lights of downtown Austin; the laughter coming from the street a discordant soundtrack to the drama unfolding with every passing minute. Angelica closed her eyes and tried to see the dragon separated from her by a single wall. She needed to be near him, to feel the safety of his arms wrapped around her, but the distance he’d placed between them was too great.

Frustrated, Angelica collapsed on the couch in Preston’s office, wishing it was him lying beside her instead of the Waarheid child.

No, that wasn’t fair. Genevieve wasn’t responsible for the issues between Angelica and her mate. That lay on her own head. Why had she been so hard on him when he’d first revealed his true form?

“Do you think they’ll find him?” Genevieve climbed into Angelica’s lap and laid her head over Angelica’s heart.
The him was Genevieve’s brother, Baltizar. He’d gone missing and Angelica’s sister Kimball and her husband had gone to search for him. “Don’t worry about your brother, Vievie. Kimball will find him.” Angelica had to believe that. Baltizar was basically the only family Genevieve had left. Her father was dead, her mother lay in the hospital in the Mawlan underground, and her grandfather was out to kill everyone.

Baltizar better be alive. He’d gone off in search of his grandfather, Goron, two days ago and hadn’t reported in. The elder dragon was the very same who’d murdered Angelica’s parents over eighteen years before and she wouldn’t put it past the dragon to kill his own grandson.

“Let’s try and get some sleep. I’m sure that by the time we wake up, your brother will back and all this worrying will have been for nothing.” Angelica stretched out on the couch, her arms tightening protectively around the child left in her care. She wouldn’t have thought it possible, but her eyes closed and she was quickly running through her dreams.

As it had been with all her nightmares, the beginning appeared as a beautiful day beside the pond behind her family home. The sun reflected off the water that gently lapped along the shoreline. The sound soothing, calling her to step away from her cares and lie down in the tall, soft grass.

Angelica watched as a raven took flight, its wings lifting it higher as it neared the tree line separating the pond from the playground. It was a sign to follow, but Angelica was reluctant, knowing what she would find on the other side. Still, she moved forward, her body floating easily across the well traveled path leading to the schoolhouse she and her sister attended so long ago.

Like a scene out of Little House On The Prairie, the single room building stood alone with its wooden doors wide open. The one room structure housed the twenty-plus children comfortably, each with their own miniature desk and chair. It was a happy place, filled with laughter and learning, but there were some lessons Angelica wished she’d never learned.

A copper bell perched to one side of the door, ready to ring in the start of another day. Little did Angelica know at the time, that this particular day would be her last time to hear the metallic clanging.

The Skua-Sparrow who called the town of Whispering Hills home, had done their best to give the façade a cheery appearance, planting flowers, trees, and bushes along its sides. Brilliant sunlight kissed the petals of the roses climbing the front of the schoolhouse, their warm perfume exploded in the air, sickening in their sweetness.

Angelica followed the movement of a lone honey bee as it skipped from one bud to the other, collecting pollen, then buzzed along on its never-ending journey through life. A child squealed, terrified by the miniature winged creature that happened to pass by, then laughter filled the air as other children teased.

The setting was too beautiful to be a nightmare, and yet that’s exactly what it was.

She watched, absorbed, and waited. Angelica was dreaming; knew the images surrounding her were memories. Dragons, not the creatures from legend, but human in form save for the wings on their backs, the ridged spines on their backs, their cat-like eyes, and their ability to breathe fire. Skua-Sparrows, not the carefree birds that could adapt to any situation, but a cross-breed of human and dragon cultivated eons ago, stronger than humans, yet not as strong as the dragons. It was the Skua-Sparrow’s job to tend the land and livestock above ground while the dragons lived safely below. It was also their job to mask the existence of the Mawlan, the collective of dragon races that lived underground in cities all over the world.

Her memory had been erased eighteen years before, but with the re-introduction of the Mawlan world into her life, Angelica could now remember her teachings from so long ago. Teachings of what her purpose in life would be and those whom she was meant to protect. The Mawlan collective.

Angelica was neither dragon nor Skua-Sparrow, and yet she was both. Her mother was a dragon. The blood of the Anshar ran through Angelica’s veins, as did the blood of her father, a Skua-Sparrow.

She remembered her mother telling the story of how she’d met and fallen in love with the head of the Langhier Skua-Sparrows. When her father, Valwood, had traveled from their homeland in Southern Chile, Ivelise had begged to go with him. Their plan was to stay only a few months while her father, the leader of the Anshar clan, conversed with the council of elders. Ivelise had insisted that she collaborate with the head of the Skua-Sparrow, to learn his technique for raising superior cattle. Their personalities clashed at first. They fought from their very first meeting. Not because Ivelise didn’t agree with Thomas’ way of managing the land, but because he’d stolen her heart. Thomas had fought as well, to prove to Ivelise they belonged together. It was a union doomed from the beginning, but neither cared once they gave into their love for each other.

It was that love that created Angelica and her sister. They were known as Transcendents. Born from the union of two worlds. Her parents love had broken the rules set forth by the Waarheid. They believed in keeping the dragon blood pure, and that any offspring produced by such a union were considered abominations. It was a rule the Mawlan collective had abolished when petitioned by the Anshar, who claimed the mixing of blood only made for a stronger union. The Waarheid, however, refused to abide by the ruling, and it was for that reason Angelica’s parents were killed.

Actually, they’d been killed because Angelica’s mother believed in protecting the innocent. And in protecting the innocent, Ivelise had ended the life of a Voltura. The Voltura had been the wife of the Waarheid chieftain. Goron had avenged his wife, a life for a life, but hadn’t been satisfied. For years Angelica and Kimball were hidden, kept safe from Goron and those who served him. He’d wanted their lives as well and wouldn’t stop until they too were ash.

With a tear for what was lost, Angelica stepped to the edge of her nightmare, knowing where the day would end, but like the automatic response one has when driving past a car wreck, she couldn’t turn away.

She saw herself as a child pacing the outer perimeter of the playground. Her child-self paid attention not to her sister Kimball who’d been gearing up for the fight of her life, but the Langhier Hunters and Anshar Guards who milled around the schoolyard. Something was off. Angelica felt the tension in the air, knew her child-self had felt it as well. Even at the age of eight and three quarters, she’d recognized something was seriously wrong.

She remembered seeing the Hunters before, walking through the Whispering Hill compound, but never all thirteen at once. The Anshar Guards patrolled the area, but never side by side with the Hunters. Her uncle Magnus had been the leader of the Langhier Hunters, had in fact spent many nights visiting in her home. But no, Magnus wasn’t her uncle after all, only a demented dragon who’d turned on her family in the end.

Knowing what was about to happen, Angelica moved closer to her child-self, as if she could protect who she’d been from seeing the past unfold. Her two entities meshed, and Angelica was once again the little girl.

Her chest constricted with the presence of so many dragons. She wasn’t afraid of the Guards and Hunters themselves, only what their increased numbers represented. Danger was near, and Angelica tried to ignore the flutter of fear in her stomach. She concentrated on her sister—on the competition about to occur. On Kimball’s ascension taking place later that evening.

Today was Kimball’s birthday, she was no longer a child. Up until the age of ten, male or female, dragon or Skua-Sparrow, children were known as hatchlings. On the night of their tenth birthday, they ascended to what those in the dragon community called a fledgling. The dragons developed the ability to produce flames, the Skua-Sparrows developed their strength, both began training for their futures. Kimball was ready to begin her life as a protector. Following in their father’s footsteps had been Kimball’s dream for as long as she could remember, a dream shared by Angelica.

The ceremony where a child becomes a young adult had always been a joyous occasion, something everyone looked forward to. The entire compound would attend. There would be laughter, games of skill, music, and then Kimball’s hair would be cut to her shoulders, and she’d be presented with the cuirass of the trainee—a child no longer.

Angelica had helped her mother hand-embroider the turquoise Skua-Sparrow emblem on the front of Kimball’s cuirass. The wings stretched from the body of the sparrow to rest on each shoulder, continued on the straps that criss-crossed down the back, then wrapped around the waist to connect with the tail of the bird. Angelica couldn’t wait to see her sister’s face when she tried it on, and couldn’t wait for the day she too would receive her first cuirass.

Still, she couldn’t rid herself of the feeling of being watched.

She scanned the perimeter of the playground, past the single room schoolhouse, and into the trees separating Whispering Hills from the outside world. It was there. Evil. Lurking in the surrounding woods. The elders watched, not the playground, nor the schoolhouse, but the sky and the surrounding woods. Each held identical expressions of alertness on their faces.

Dmitri of the Langhier had positioned himself close to the schoolhouse door. His light blue eyes glowed as he seemed to focus completely on Kimball. He was tall for only being sixteen, an inch or two more than the Anshar Guard by his side.

Preston of the Anshar. Now there was a dragon that made Angelica’s heart pound in fear. He was always watching her, his golden eyes burned a warning every time she looked his way. Yes, she feared him, but she also felt safe whenever he was near.

Even as he stood shoulder to shoulder with the Langhier, watching with identical smirks on their faces, she still felt safe—a little annoyed they looked down their noses at Kimball’s display of skill—but safe.

Preston and Dmitri thought only in terms of war, but it took real skill to do what Kimball was about to do. Angelica glared once more at the bored look on Preston’s face, stepped from the shadows, head held high, and ignored the dragon while she approached her sister.

“Concentrate, Kimball. Concentrate.” Angelica reached up and began massaging the muscles in her sister’s shoulders. “The elders are watching. Win this one, and you’ll prove your worth to the clan.”

“I’m well aware they watch. They’re always watching, Angel. I’m not afraid of them,” Kimball announced without taking her eyes off her opponent. “Step back, Angelica. It’s time to show these people who owns this playground.”

Angelica glanced over her shoulder to see the smirk still resting on Preston’s face. She didn’t like the way Dmitri looked at Kimball, as if she were beneath him. She didn’t like the way his eyes stayed on her sister as if he were waiting for her to fail. She didn’t like the way he elbowed Preston, drawing his attention from the test of skill to focus on Angelica once again.
The Dragon Within is available at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dragon-Within-Jeanne-Guzman/dp/1619501147/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1350668599&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+dragon+within+jeanne+guzman

Freedom………..

17 Oct

Today we welcome Julian Adorney to the GSP Halloween Promo. What Julian says about himself.

 I’ve been a writer since third grade, when my teacher made my class write a fantasy story apiece. I was hooked. Since then, most of my life has revolved around my writing: I’ve written short stories, taken writing workshops, and I’m an English major from University of Colorado at Boulder. When not writing, I enjoy hiking and getting together with friends.

My other fiction can be read at Untreed Reads Publishing (‘Deals’) Shadowcast Audio Anthology (‘Souls & Snowboarding’), and Cynic Online Mag (‘Murder’).

Featuring today his title Freedom.

When Brian fell in love with the sorceress Gloria, he thought she was the perfect girl. But when she risks his life without a second thought, he realizes that she’s something else entirely. Her violent possessiveness and Machiavellian control of his life make him wonder who–or what–he’s in love with. All Brian wants is freedom. Is he strong enough to break free before Gloria steals that possibility forever?

Excerpt:
  Blood pumped from his chest, seeping over the spearshaft still pinning him to the ground.
     Brian groaned. Pain lanced through his body. His broken ribs turned every breath into an ordeal, spasming as his expanding lungs pushed them against his chainmail.
     His lifeblood drained away, bringing numbness. The pain dulled.
     He still couldn’t believe it all ended here, bleeding his life away on some nameless field. He had never considered the possibility of his death before.
     He thought of all the things his twenty-five years hadn’t let him accomplish. The books he yearned to write—his imagination overflowed with ideas. The adventures across Qa’mar—climbs up her icy mountains, descents in her deep tunnels—he had hoped for.
     Those thoughts flashed past and were gone. The only thought that stayed was of her.
     Corpses littered the rocky battlefield. Black blood oozed from green-skinned orcs like tar. Drakes lay on their sides, scaly bodies rent. His hand still grasped his sword, and he smiled at the memory of the battle. Monsters swarming him while he used his blade to fight for his life.
     The outcome hadn’t been what he had hoped for, but damn it had been a good fight!
     If he hadn’t rushed into the midst of that clutch of drakes, he might not be dying right now. He shrugged ruefully.
     His thoughts returned to her. To Gloria, the girl who so obsessed him that even in battle he had to wrench his thoughts away. Part sweet maiden, part sorceress who used the Power to blast their enemies into cinder. He sighed, imagining her beautiful face, her green eyes.
     The familiar feelings flooded him, sweeping aside his pain like a waterfall sweeps aside a matchstick. The desire for her. The desperation to be with her, as though he was dying and her presence alone could save him.
     He groaned as blackness seeped into his vision. Unconsciousness loomed and his eyes closed. When they opened again, she was there.
     She stared down at him, pretty features anxious. Her emerald dress brought out the green of her eyes. Curly red hair framed her pale face.
     “Oh, Brian! You’re hurt!” She fell to the grass and touched his chest, tears glistened in her eyes.
     His body tingled at her touch, but he barely noticed. Blackness seeped into the velvet twilight sky as he felt himself slipping into unconsciousness.
     He knew if he let it take him, he would never wake up.
     “Oh, Brian!” He heard her words from a long way away. “Don’t die, my love! You can’t leave me!”
     An image formed in his mind of her face. If he died, then he would never see her again—never again hold her or kiss her or feel her whisper in his ear.
     No, he thought. His desire for her pulled him back from the brink. Gloria’s image sharpened. The feel of the grass beneath him, the stickiness of the blood drying on his ribs, returned.
     Thoughts came faster and he opened his eyes.
     “Oh thank the gods!” she sighed. “You came back.”
     He grinned. “You know me. I could never die and leave behind such a beautiful girl.”
     It was more truth than boast, he realized. His brow furrowed at the ease of his return. He had heard that it was a struggle to come back from near-death, but this . . . it was effortless. He couldn’t leave her; even death had no claim on him where she was concerned.
     He could feel her using the Power to heal his body. His mangled nerve-endings repaired themselves. His wounds healed and blood evaporated from his tanned skin. He lifted his head and caught her gaze.
     She bent over him, hair falling over his face.
     “By the way,” she whispered in his ear, “I’ll kill the bastards who did this.”
     She pulled him to his feet and he kissed her. He drank in her scent, relishing the feel of her lips against his.
     Then she pulled away, jerking her head toward a trail through the trees surrounding the battle-ground. He nodded, and they started walking.
     “I found the people who planned this,” she said, a few minutes later. A breeze swished through the trees, ruffling Brian’s blond hair.
     He looked at her. “Is that where you were today?”
     She nodded. “They’re the same force we’ve been hunting for the past year. I tracked them to the Caves of Rasha, fifty miles north of here.” She smiled. “You killed most of them today, my brave knight. Now all that’s left is to hunt the rest down and slaughter them.” There was a dark gleam in her eyes.
     He shook his head, worried. “Gloria, what’s this about?”
     “They killed him, Brian! I will have my vengeance.”
     His eyes widened. “Gods, love, I know what they did. But you’re talking about an entire clan! Women, children . . .”
     She shook her head. “They deserve it.” Her voice was low and eager. “I saw their leader today, Ra’jaa. I recognized him. He’s the brute who killed my brother.”
     His brow furrowed. “Wait. An old man’s not going to be on the front lines of his camp. How did you see him?”
     “I told you, most of their army was gone. It was an easy matter to slip in and—”
     “And you knew going in that their army would be gone?” His voice came out rougher than he intended. A branch slapped his face, but he kept his eyes on her.
     “Yes, of course I did.”
     “You knew they were hunting me?”
     Her eyes widened. “I’m sorry! I didn’t know there would be so many!”
     “Gods Gloria, I almost died today! That damn force almost ripped me to pieces! And you knew!” He stopped and glared at her. “You couldn’t have stood by me?”
     He spun away as she reminded him that she had left three days ago to hunt Raj’aa. He listened past her veiled statements to the truth: she had known Raj’aa was watching them. She had known he would never send his army out to hunt them both; he would have stayed holed up in the caves, too entrenched for even them to defeat.
     She had abandoned him in order to lure Raj’aa’s force out of their defenses. He had almost died.
     Resentment boiled within him, and he forced himself not to look at her. He knew if he saw her face, her wide eyes, her freckled nose, his anger would melt away. He didn’t want it to.
     Resolutely, he stared at a misshapen tree to their left. It soared into the forest canopy, its thick trunk dappled with sunlight and shade. Bulbous knots protruded like warts.
     He knew she loved him. But still . . . sometimes it felt like she was just using him. Like he was her favorite trinket, to be loved while it lasted but sacrificed if need be.
     Why she would sacrifice him when he knew she was in love with him, he had no idea. He shrugged. Sometimes love didn’t make sense.
     “If you’re having misgivings, love, tell me.”
     He shook his head, forcing his feelings down. Arguing wouldn’t do him any good.
     “Good.” She leaned in, brushing her lips against his ear. “Just help me kill Raj’aa. I promise, I’ll make it worth your while.

Julian’s book is available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-ebook/dp/B004UGNDWM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350490843&sr=8-1&keywords=freedom+julian+adorney

Philip and The Monsters

11 Oct


Thank you John for being part of the GSP Halloween Promo.
    John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gypsy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.
Congratulations, John, for Winning first place in the 2010 (Philip and the Superstition Kid) and top Ten in the 2011 (Philip and the Angel) Preditors and Editors Readers Poll for Children’s Novel!

For this post we are featuring, Philip and The Monsters.

Could the Frankenstein monster, Dracula and the Wolfman actually move into someone’s respectable neighborhood? Philip and his best friend Emery are convinced it has happened when a suspicious new family moves in down the block. The boys have seen the vampire bat; they’ve heard the werewolf’s growl; they’ve witnessed the coffin delivery to the house. When Emery’s mother invites the new family to dinner, Philip and Emery have no choice but to prepare for the worst.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Boo!” shouted Emery. Philip’s heart shot up, and his stomach tumbled. He spun to face his friend.

“Are you crazy? Are you really crazy? Why did you do that? I walk into your house and you jump out like a maniac? You almost gave me a heart attack.”

Emery laughed and waved a hand at Philip. “Get out. We’re too young to have heart attacks. Unless,” said Emery in a spooky voice, “your arteries are clogged with the cholesterol of fear.”

Philip stared at Emery.

“What?” Emery asked.

Philip continued to stare.

Emery smiled nervously and shrugged.

Philip didn’t move a muscle.

Emery blinked and blinked again.

Philip continued to stare and refused to blink.

“Say something, please,” said Emery in a small voice. He waited. Philip said nothing. “Come on, you’re scaring me.”

Philip kept on staring and counted to himself. When he reached three, he threw his arms in the air and shouted, “BOOOO!”

“Ahhh!” Emery burst out. “Why did you do that? Are you crazy, too? You were scaring me and then you scared me. Why’d you scare me?”

“Can we go back to the beginning?” Philip asked slowly, still giving Emery his coldest stare.

“The beginning?”

“Did you ask me to come over so we could do our homework together?”

“Yes, I did,” said Emery, paying very close attention to Philip’s questions. He didn’t want Philip to start staring and BOO-ing him again.

“Did you tell me you would leave the front door open, and I should just walk in?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”

“So I could jump out and scare you.”

“Then you admit it!” Philip cried. He tried to stay calm. “Why did you want to scare me?”

“Uh, because you said I could.”

Philip stared at Emery again.

“Are you going to do the staring Boo! thing again, because . . . ?” Emery stepped back, arms out, hands waving slowly.

“No, stand still,” Philip said softly. “When did I say you could jump out at me and try to give me a heart attack? When? When did I say it?”

“You said we would do our homework together, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, so? Is giving me a heart attack doing our homework together?” Philip shouted.

“No, but scaring you is. I’m doing my report on how people act when they get scared. You have to do a report too, you know. The class report we have to do about a feeling. Remember?”

“What was the stuff you said before?”

“Before? When?”

“Before. About the arteries and the clogging.”

Emery laughed. “Did you like it? I made it up. I read this newspaper article about good heart health, and I read a different article about how peoples’ hearts beat faster when they get scared.”

“You didn’t have to read about it. I could have told you.”

“Yeah well, I put the two things together and I said . . .”

“I know what you said. What does cholesterol have to do with your report?”

“Nothing. I made a joke, for Pete’s sake.”

“Some dumb joke. Next time, save it for Pete.”

“Never mind the joke. Tell me what you felt when you got scared.” Emery scrambled to the floor and lay on his stomach, pencil in hand and notebook open. “Go on.”

Philip tried the best he could to remember everything he felt when Emery jumped out at him. As Philip talked, Emery wrote fast.

“Good,” said Emery, his pencil zipping across the paper. “Good. Now let me write what I felt when you scared me.”

When Emery finished writing, Philip said, “Lemme see.” Emery handed him the notebook.

Philip read, “When Philip first scared me by staring, I got scared because I didn’t know what he was doing. I felt scared because I didn’t know what would happen next. When Philip jumped at me, I felt really scared, heart-beating scared.”

Philip looked at Emery, impressed. “Pretty neat. You got scared a different way each time.”

“Yeah, it’s great for my report. Now I need you to add things to my list.”

“What list?”

“My list of things people get scared by. Tell me what things scare you. You know, to see or think about. Know what my mother said? She said hairy people scare her. You know with hairy hands and arms and eyebrows and nose hairs and hair where it shouldn’t be, like on warts and stuff.”

“Disgusting!”

“Yeah, but scary. Go on, what scares you?”

“What did you put for yourself?”

Emery flipped back a few pages. “I put waking up in the dark in a strange place.” Philip agreed. No argument there. It happened to him. “Watching scary movies in the dark when my parents are out.” Philip agreed again. Still no argument. “Being alone in the house. Sometimes. Like at night. That’s all.”

“They’re all good ones.”

“Your turn.”

“You took all the good ones.”

“You have to give me something different. Come on.”

“The haunted house scared us. Going inside it, remember?”

Emery wrote it down.

“Somebody finally moved in there, you know,” Emery said, when he finished writing.

“I heard. My dad told me. At least we won’t have to mow their lawn anymore. The new people can mow their own lawn.” He and Emery had beautified the deserted house by mowing its lawn as part of a community service project.

“Give me one more. A good one. How about monsters? Are you afraid of monsters?”

“What kind of monsters?”

“Regular monsters. You know. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman.”

“Everybody’s supposed to be afraid of them, but they’re not real.”

“I’ll put it anyway.”

“Under my name?”

“Sure.”

“No, no,” Philip scoffed. “I don’t want everybody in the class to think I’m afraid of Dracula. Put your cousin Leon’s name instead of mine. He’s afraid of everything.”

“All right. All right. So there. Only one more person to interview and I’m done making a list. I’ll ask Mrs. Moriarty later what she’s scared of.” Mrs. Moriarty was their favorite neighbor. “Fourth grade projects aren’t so bad. You pick yours yet?” Emery closed his notebook and tossed it on the sofa.

“No,” said Philip.

“You better hurry up. Want to go see what the new haunted house family looks like?”

Philip looked out the window. It was early December and darkness arrived early. Philip checked his watch, hoping Emery got the message and would suggest a time with more daylight available.
Book available at http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Monsters-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B006JG0N2E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349974756&sr=8-1&keywords=philip+and+the+monsters+john+paulits

The Eyes Have It….

9 Oct

Today we are featuring, with pleasure, Denise Bartlett. Welcome Denise.

Denise Bartlett began writing short stories when she was nine. Pen and paper gave way to word processors and typing, printing, reading and perfecting. A dreamer, she has always searched for deeper meaning and more vivid experiences in her everyday life. From hypnosis, training with mystics and spiritual people of many walks to tax preparation and gardening, her interests vary widely. The thread that runs through her life is imagination. Denise has written a variety of poetry, short stories and novelettes, as well as columns and articles on gardening and income taxes.

Her GSP Halloween Promo book entry is The Eyes Have it.

Liza Casey called in to report a double homicide today. Sheriff Bobby Knowles had a high-school crush on Liza’s mother, Elizabeth, who disappeared without a trace, years ago when Liza was young. Liza’s life has been a maelstrom of tragedies, and this seems to be yet another one. But what is behind the latest report? Liza says it’s the green-eyed monster.
Excerpt:
Peace officer. Hah. Sheriff Bobby Knowles poured single malt whiskey neat into the same small Support Your Local Sheriff tumbler his father had always used. His father, Robert Knowles, Sr., had been the sheriff of Lane County, Texas, for years before retiring and backing his oldest son’s election to the spot. Easing into his recliner, Bobby pulled the remote out of the western-design saddlebags his wife had made for the old stuffed chair several years before. When he clicked the button, the pre-programmed CD player dutifully started through a stack of 20 George Strait and instrumental country music disks.
His back hurt, the worn out muscles sent spasms up his spine and he knew exactly where the pain originated. The desk chair at work was hurting his back these days, but that was his own fault. During his trip to the U. S. Law Expo in Washington, D. C. last month, paid for by the fair politicos of Lane County, he’d opted for the latest in technology-three new laptop computers equipped with satellite uplink and GPS-with absolutely no money left for new office chairs. Maybe he’d just have to set aside the money from the meager supply funds and get one. Yeah, right.
Sometimes he wondered why he had gone into law enforcement. As he mused, he smiled to himself. His mother had always said he had gone into peace-keeping. “It’s a worthy field, Bobby. Your father has kept the peace here for years.” He’d thought-there is no peace, Mom-but had kept that thought to himself. He knew it was the only way she could justify allowing another of her loved ones to wear a badge and carry a gun. But he had not been able to keep the peace.
Being a peace officer had not been enough to keep cancer from ravaging Jill’s body, either. They’d been married only five years when she died. They had no children; he alone remained. He still lived in his parents’ rambling old two-story, built somewhere around the turn of the century.
Shortly after his dad’s retirement, a car accident way off in Minnesota had taken both his parents from him. Peace. He could not believe how much he ached from the times peace had been replaced by tumult in his life.
Jill. He’d met her his freshman year over spring break in Galveston. She’d been a fresh, vibrant sociable fireball of a girl. Her blond hair was straight and her blue eyes bright-and he’d loved that little birthmark at the base of her throat that seemed to tremble when she was excited. She’d often been excited-at football games, at parties, out late at night at beach parties and alone with him in his car. Those were the days. . . .
Fun and youth and laughter. Going to Padre Island to look for shells, feed the sea gulls and watch the sun set on the dunes. Why did he feel so old and alone today? What was with him?
How he missed her. Jill. He sat staring at the brown liquid in his glass, moving it slightly to watch the waves swirl against the insides. He sipped again, letting the fiery liquid burn his throat as he slid deeper into reverie.
Before Jill, there had only been one other love interest, a local girl, Elizabeth Casey. He had a huge crush on her, but he never knew if it was reciprocated. Sitting there in his lonely house, forty years heavy on his frame, he recalled those high school days. He remembered very well the long afternoons spent daydreaming that someday she would be his wife. Unfortunately, there was a significant block of his unexpressed ardor from the beginning.
Liz Casey, one of the most beautiful young women in the county, had the most domineering father Bobby had ever met-maybe the most domineering man Bobby had ever known. How many times had the teenage Bobby driven to the end of the driveway leading to the lonely cliff-top home of the Caseys and turned back after sitting, staring, wishing for an hour or more? Bobby knew the number was not low. The young Bobby Knowles had never ventured anywhere close to the old mansion.
To make things worse, the man Liz had married as the result of an arranged betrothal was not any kinder than her father to the way of thinking of the citizens of this fair town, Bobby among them. Straight out of high school, she was swept off to someplace off in the Eastern USA to be courted and married. The town had been abuzz with the news that Elizabeth had married one of her father’s old friends. Scandalous talk-rumors really, gossip shared quietly over the side fence for fear of repercussions-sizzled through the town’s grapevine. Elizabeth’s father was not young when his daughter was born. Her mother had died in childbirth when her daughter was only ten years old. A housekeeper, Abigail Carlson, cared for the girl and her father, as old Naomi Carlson, her mother, had tended the Caseys before her.
Many believed hers was an unhappy marriage, for Elizabeth rarely came into town in the months after she and her husband returned to her childhood home. However, they had seen her blossom with the birth of her own daughter. For a short time, she had come out of her shell and spent time in town, showing off her child and adorning her in lovely dresses made by the local seamstresses.
Then, fifteen years ago, when her daughter was only six years old, tragedy had struck. Much to Bobby’s horror, at midmorning of a windy, overcast fall day he was summoned to the cliff-side mansion. The girl’s nanny was crying, almost incoherent in her worry. She haltingly reported that Elizabeth had disappeared. As they arrived, his men had spread across the land, working in a grid from the spot where they found her horse. An avid horsewoman, she always went for a morning run to exercise the restive Arabian mare, Katie.
Her beloved bay mare grazed on a long line. The animal was still saddled, its bridle hanging from the pommel of the saddle, a rope attached to her halter, keeping her close for the rider who never returned.
According to Mrs. Carlson, Liz sometimes came here, to the highest point of land overlooking the sea, to sketch scenes of nature-she’d always had a natural ability. They found a sketch pad with a riding jacket folded beside it, but not Liz. Teams of Search and Rescue dogs and their owners, familiar with the rocky coastline, were called in at noon. The afternoon wore on. When darkness approached, a sense of desperation settled in until one of the men shouted. Then it was a deep sadness which intensified in the hearts of the searchers when they saw him pointing down toward the turbulent, rocky waters.
Throughout the long day, Little Liza had refused to stay at the house, following the movement of the sheriff, as the others circled around him, watching from her seat on a big flat-topped rock. She was wrapped in a blanket the police had given her, but she would not give in to the exhaustion Bobby knew she felt.
It appeared the rocks on the side of the cliff bore some blood, but the rain and the waves washed it away before anyone could crawl down to gather it for testing. What had caught the eye of the man was a flash of color-one of the bonnets Elizabeth always wore clung below them, against the stark gray cliff side. Its bright red ribbons fluttered sadly from a crevice. Perhaps it had flown there on a breeze as she fell-or jumped-to her death. A storm raged through the night and the evidence, what there was of it, had washed away.
They spent a week searching for her, hoping against hope that the young mother would be found alive. After no additional evidence surfaced, Elizabeth Casey Skews was declared dead from accidental drowning. The conclusion the police and townspeople had drawn was that Elizabeth had slipped and fallen to her death. Wilton Skews and his daughter Liza continued living in the big manor house with only old Mrs. Carlson helping out as housekeeper. The nanny had been dismissed.
Wilton remarried three years later. And only three months after the wedding, the now nine year old Liza had come home from school to discover Wilton’s wife and two stepdaughters brutally murdered where they had picnicked atop the cliff overlooking the ocean. Although Lisa discovered the grisly triple homicide, she didn’t witness it. The murders were still unresolved. Bobby still wondered about it-had it been a random event? The women’s jewelry had been taken, but the house had not been broken into.
For more about Denise and where to get her books please follow the links.
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Denise.html#EyesExc
http://www.silvervalkyre.com
Denise@silvervalkyre.com/.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Eyes-Have-It-ebook/dp/B00433TAPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349754518&sr=8-1&keywords=the+eyes+have+it+denise+bartlett

The Witch and the Squirrels

8 Oct

Today’s post goes to author G. E. Stills. Welcome to the GSP Halloween Promo Gary.

I live in the southwest with my wife, dog and a cat. I have grown children with children of their own. In the past I was a mechanic and then a business owner, retired. I have always loved to read and enjoyed writing stories from an early age. Most of my time now is spent in front of my keyboard writing or sitting back and thinking about a current WIP or a new story to write. When not engaged in my favorite pastime of writing, I enjoy boating and camping.

My stories primarily deal with paranormal, fantasy or science fiction and all of them, thus far, involve romance. The heat levels vary from non-erotic to sizzling. Most of my characters are strong and assertive; many are outspoken. Many of my characters have magical abilities or are normal people in abnormal situations with a strong sense of justice. My villains are, well . . . villains, doing villainous things.
The book we promoting for this promo is The Witch and the Squirrels.

As a fireman in a small town, Chad’s life is laid back, easy going. The worst problem he has is tolerating Jerry, his so-called friend. Jerry sees himself as a gift to women. He’s a player and Chad has a difficult time dealing with that. Chad’s life is destined to become much less peaceful and serene when Heather appears in town. From the very first time they meet, he is strongly attracted to her. To his consternation, Jerry imposes himself between them and tells lies about Chad in order to win Heather’s favor.

Jerry vanishes, as does Heather. Then one day on the way home from work, Chad encounters her again. Having discovered Jerry’s lies, she invites Chad to join her for dinner. Cheerfully, Chad accepts. With Jerry out of the picture it’ll be just the two of them . . . but things are about to get very interesting for Chad. 

Excerpt.

Chad resisted the urge to break into a run when he passed the run-down house. If not for the fact it was along the route he used when he walked to work . . . You’re a grown man, not some scared little boy. Still—something about the place gives me the willies.

Cold and dreary-looking, the dilapidated two-story structure sat on a lot that encompassed the entire block. An unkempt yard, overgrown with vines and shrubs, surrounded it. Nobody had lived in the place for years.

Not since old lady Jameson vanished a number of years ago.

That was long before he’d moved here.

His steps carried him away, putting the house behind him. The somber feeling of foreboding lifted from his shoulders as the distance increased. Two blocks farther, he entered a two-story eight-plex. Taking the steps two at a time, he then paced down the hallway to his apartment door located on the left near the rear of the complex. Soon he forgot the eerie feeling. Changing out of his uniform, he put on faded blue jeans and buttoned up his sport shirt.
Locking the door behind him, he left for the small bar a short distance away. When he opened the door, the smell of whiskey and stale cigarettes assailed his nose.

Why do I come here?

He answered his own thought immediately.

Because this may be a hole in the wall, but they have an excellent burger. He usually treated himself to one at the end of his shift. The bartender poured a glass of ice water and set it in front of him on the counter.

“The usual, Chad?” the bartender asked.

“Yes, thanks.”

The bartender walked away to place his order.

“What’s up, Chad my man?” a familiar voice said. He stifled a groan when Jerry sat down next to him.

Why me?

“Not much. Just got off work.” For some reason, Jerry had glommed onto him from the start.

Maybe because I was new in town. Maybe because I didn’t know him any better. That, and the fact he has an apartment in the same building as me. And he and I are both single.

“Wanna come to the club with me tonight? There might be some fresh meat there. Ya never can tell, with that new catalog ordering center opening up. I hear they’ve hired a number of women. About damn time this shitty little town got some new businesses.”

Translated, new women who don’t know you and what a player you are, Jerry.

“If you hate this place so much, why do you stay? Why don’t you move to a larger town?”

“Maybe I will someday, but in the meantime I haven’t bedded all the eligible ladies in this one.” He winked.

And some that are not eligible, Jerry.

Chad shook his head and smothered his sigh of disgust. Even after all these months of knowing Jerry, he found it hard to believe his attitude toward women. He found it even more difficult to accept.

“So what time should I pick you up?” Jerry asked.

“I’m kind of tired. Just got off my three-day shift.”

He should have known that Jerry would not be discouraged that easily.

“Aw, come on. You don’t do anything but lay around over there unless there’s a fire.”

“We do other things besides fight fire in this town, you know.”

“What, rescue cats from trees?” Jerry scoffed.

He rolled his eyes and bristled at hearing his job belittled. “It’s not worth arguing about. I just don’t feel like going out tonight.”
More information about Gary’s books and where to get them:
http://www.gestills.com
http://www.facebook.com/gary.stillman
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorGEStills?ref=hl
authorgestills.blogspot.com
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007FRP90M
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/GEStills.html#top
http://www.wickedinkpress.com/product_info.php?products_id=50

The Anvil Ghosts winner is Anne Sutton.

The Anvil Ghosts and ……a chance to win a free copy.

6 Oct

Today I have yet another Gypsy Shadow author. I would like to introduce you to Violetta Antcliff.
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Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.
Congratulations to Violetta for being in the 2011 Preditors and Editors top ten Short Story Category for Magic and Mayhem.

Violetta has very kindly offered a free e-copy of her book, The Anvil Ghosts, to the winner of a promo competition this weekend. This is how it works. Below is a question about the book. The answer lies in excerpt. All you as the reader has to do, is read the excerpt to find the answer and then email it off to annehpetzer@gmail.com. On Monday evening the winner will be announced. 🙂

What are the names of Anne Scrimshaw’s children?

The Anvil Ghosts.

When Anne Scrimshaw makes the decision to move her dysfunctional family from the city to a rundown cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, she has no idea what she is taking on. With two broken relationships behind her, a troubled teenage daughter and a six-year-old son who craves affection, the last thing she needs is a cottage with a history. Although Anne doesn’t believe in ghosts, her daughter does and forms a friendship with a ghost called Tom and Silver Blick, a phantom horse she runs away on in the middle of the night.

Excerpt:
The cottage was run-down, drafty and in need of repair; guttering needed replacing, doors rehung, as they didn’t fit properly, and there was no central heating.

Regardless of all the faults, the Estate Agent could tell the woman was interested, and he was desperate to get rid of the property, for it had been on his books for far too long.

“The cottage is worth twice what it’s going for; the owners want a quick sale,” he said, smiling down at the woman benignly. “If you want my advice, snap it up while you’ve got the chance. Look on it as an investment.”

Anne wasn’t looking for an investment, she was looking for something in her price range as far away from Nottingham as she could get. “Would the owners consider dropping another thousand off the price, as it needs so much done to it?” she asked.

The man rubbed his chin as if considering the idea, then shook his head. “Can’t see them agreeing to another thousand—five hundred maybe. I’ll tell you what: you take another look round and I’ll phone and see what they have to say.”

Mobile in hand, he walked round to the far side of his car out of earshot.

Anne didn’t want to take another look around; she’d seen all she wanted to. Anvil Cottage was just what she’d been looking for, but she couldn’t let the man know this; it was the reason she’d been finding fault with every little thing since they’d arrived. She’d pointed out it was a long walk to the village, grumbled about the lack of entertainment in the area, questioned the frequency of the bus service. Gone out of her way to nit-pick, making believe she wasn’t really interested in the property

“Susan! Martin! Come on, we’ve got a bus to catch.” Anne’s tone was sharp, impatient. She hadn’t seen either of her children since they’d arrived and she wondered what mischief they’d been getting up to.

“Susan, Martin, I’m warning you—if we miss the bus you’ll both be in for it.”

A boy no more than six years of age appeared from inside the cottage. Hands thrust in pockets, he ambled over to where his mother was standing and stared up at her. “Don’t like this place, there’s nowt to do ‘ere,” he growled.

Anne ignored him; she had too much on her mind, enough problems of her own to contend with. What her son liked or disliked didn’t come into the equation.

Patience wearing thin, she looked at her watch and yelled again, this time angrily, “Susan, where the bloody hell are you?”

A head belonging to a teenage girl poked over the bottom half of a stable door. “What you yelling for?” she returned hotly. “You knew where I was.”

Anne bit her tongue, determined to keep her temper. Her daughter was the reason she wanted to get away from Nottingham; the reason she’d split from her partner, Martin’s dad.

“Now you’ve seen it, what do you think?” she said, waving her arm around taking in the cottage and out buildings.

“Hate it,” the girl said, “and if you think I’m going to come and live in a dump like this you can just think again. I’ll go and live with my dad and Marlene, if they’ll have me,” she added under her breath.

“Just been on to the owners.” The man sauntered over to where Anne was standing, all smiles.

“And?” she said.

“They have agreed to five hundred off the asking price.”

Anne hesitated. five hundred off the price was less than she’d hoped.”I’ll think about it,” she said, brow furrowed.

Anvil Cottage was the type of property she’d been searching for and she’d considered herself lucky to have found it, but she still wondered if she was doing the right thing dragging the children away from a bustling city to live in the quiet of the countryside.

She was a woman on her own with two broken relationships behind her and two children to look after. Martin, with his dark hair and brown eyes, took after his father. He was a serious child, doing well at school. The girl spent more time playing truant than attending classes; fair skinned, blue eyed and blonde, she was the exact opposite of her brother.

“If you’re worried about missing the bus.” The man tousled the boy’s hair and got his hand pushed away for his trouble. “I’ll be only too pleased to give you a lift into Darlington. You can catch a later train, or a bus from there.”

“I said I’d consider it, I’ll be in touch when I’ve had more time to think about it.” Anne could see the man was weakening. She was no fool; she’d guessed he wanted rid of the property. “If the owners had been prepared to drop it a thousand, well . . . who knows?” she shrugged her shoulders.

“A thousand less it is, then.” the estate agent came back without a moment’s hesitation, and stuck his hand out to shake on it. “You strike a hard bargain, Mrs. Scrimshaw,” he said, ushering her toward the car. “Hop in and I’ll take you back to the office, and we’ll sort out the details.”

The only ones not happy with this turn of events were the children. Sullen-faced, they clambered in the car and sat tight-lipped, arms folded, on the back seats.

To learn about Violetta’s books please visit her page:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#AnvilExc

A Dozen of Dreadfuls…

4 Oct

Next up for our GSP Halloween promo, I have the privledge of sharing Charlotte Holley’s entry, A Dozen Dreadfuls.

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.

About A Dozen Dreadfuls:
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. 
Where the book is avaible:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Charlotte.html#DreadfulsExc
http://www.amazon.com/A-Dozen-Dreadfuls-ebook/dp/B0043EV9EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349370168&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Dozen+Dreadfuls

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

Thank you Charlotte for being part of my promo.

Phillip and the Haunted House…

3 Oct

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Philip and Emery are scared out of their wits when they learn their community service assignment involves dealing with a haunted house, but it gets worse! Circumstances force the boys to sneak inside the haunted house, and when they do, they receive the shock of their lives!

Excerpt:

Philip and the Haunted House

The rumble of a heavy truck caused Philip to turn in his bed and open his eyes. He felt his heart pounding. He had been trapped in some dark, awful house. He immediately recognized his own bedroom and sighed in relief. Only a dream! The sound of the truck stopped briefly and started up again. Turning a corner, thought Philip. As he listened, the truck noise ended suddenly, instead of fading little by little. Philip guessed the truck had stopped somewhere in his neighborhood.

He sat up in bed, turned, put his feet on the floor, and stretched. A long Saturday loomed ahead of him. No school. What a great feeling! Philip thought of his dream again. Yesterday, his teacher Mr. Ware read the class the part of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom and Huck look for treasure in the haunted house. While they’re looking, they hear someone coming and run upstairs to hide. One of the two men who enter the haunted house turns out to be Injun Joe, who wants to kill Tom for identifying him as Doc Robinson’s murderer at Muff Potter’s trial. Injun Joe gets suspicious, takes out his knife, and starts to climb the stairs. Tom and Huck lie frozen in fear on the floor, peeking through a chink in the wood as Injun Joe, step by step, gets nearer and nearer. Then, CRASH! The old, rotten stairway collapses and tumbles Injun Joe to the floor.

When Mr. Ware read it, he’d shouted the word “crash” as loud as he could. Everyone, including Philip, jumped out of their chairs. For once he’d been paying close attention, and the teacher rewarded him by almost giving him a heart attack. Philip blamed Mr. Ware for his frightful dream.

How could Tom and Huck even want to go inside a haunted house, Philip wondered, even if they thought they’d find some buried treasure? Buried treasure. Philip thought he might go into a haunted house to get rich, but not for fun. No way. He decided he’d go back to daydreaming in school next week and stop listening to the teacher’s heart-attack reading lessons.

Philip dressed and went downstairs. His father lay on the sofa reading the newspaper.

“Well, look who’s awake,” his father said, sitting up. “Your mother went to the supermarket. Becky’s still sleeping.” Becky was Philip’s baby sister. “Emery called twice already.”

“What time is it, Dad?”

“A little after ten.”

He had slept a long time. Maybe if he’d gotten up earlier he wouldn’t have had the dream about the haunted house. Stupid reading lesson.

“Give Emery a call, and I’ll get your cereal.”

Philip called Emery, who said he’d be right over.

As Philip dropped his cereal bowl into the sink, Emery walked into the kitchen.

“Are you sick?” said Emery.

“No, I’m not sick. Why?”

“You slept so long. I only sleep long if I’m sick. My two baby sisters cry so much I can’t sleep late anyway.”

“No, I’m not sick. I had this weird dream, though.” Philip led Emery into the living room.

“You, too, eh?”

“Me, too? You had a dream?” Philip asked in alarm. Maybe something’s going around, he thought.

“No, I mean putting the dishes in the sink.”

“Oh. Yeah, something new.”

“My mother, too. She must have talked to your mother. They do these things together sometimes. What did you dream about?”

“The haunted house Mr. Ware read about yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. When the stairs crashed, and he made everybody jump. Cool!”

“I didn’t jump,” Philip lied.

“Well, everybody else did. Haunted houses are spooky.”

“Only around Halloween,” Philip said boldly.

“All the time,” Emery replied with a sharp nod.

Philip felt he’d established his bravery, so he dropped the topic.

“Weird, though,” said Emery.

“What’s weird?”

“A big truck pulled up around the corner, and they’re taking everything out of the junky, empty house.”

“The one with all the grass growing around it?”

“Yeah. It’s still got a “Sale” sign on it so I guess nobody bought it yet. That’ll be an empty house now and look even more haunted.”

Philip pictured the house—dark, empty, and surrounded by tall weeds. It could be haunted for all he and Emery knew; and there it sat—right around the corner from where they lived.

“Want to go watch them take stuff out?” Emery asked.

“They’re still there?”

“Yeah. They only got there a little while ago.”

Philip thought of the truck that woke him up.

“Okay,” Philip said. He’d go now, but once they’d emptied the house and left it empty and lonely and scary looking, he planned to stay away from it. Far away.

John’s book is available at: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#HHouseExc

Songs of the Dead

2 Oct

Dawn Colclasure is the author of five books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents and 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity. Her articles, essays, poems, book reviews and short stories have been published in regional and national newspapers and magazines, as well as online. She lives and writes in Oregon with her husband and children.
Perfectly in keeping with our Halloween theme Dawn Colclasure’s dark poetry collection, Songs of the Dead (formerly named Topiary Dreams), is not only dark, but passionate. Anger, fear, hurt and betrayal run under the skin of this work and shine through especially bright in poems such as No Turning Back, Deep Within and I am Madness. Colclasure examines the dark side of human nature; murder, drug use, violence, insanity and isolation. But, beyond the tales of death and darkness there’s also a message of empowerment; the voice of someone who has taken too much, for too long and has finally had enough.

Songs of the Dead is a re-release of the chapbook originally published in 2003 and with more than twenty-seven new poems; it has more than earned the title “expanded”. Colclasure has a flair for prose, with lines such as “walk on the moon and hear the stars breathe,” (from Death Shows my Pain) and different poetry forms stop the reader from falling into a sing song rhythm of sameness and help to keep the collection fresh and interesting, page after page.

Excerpt:

Songs of the Dead
I’m the Only One Who Can Take You There

Push me now into your veins.
Push me softly, deep inside.
Let me take you far away
Where you won’t have to run and hide.

Forget your tears, forget your pain.
Escape from this world of despair.
Come to me, I will save you
I’m the only one who can take you there.

You don’t need to be afraid.
I will shield you in my arms.
No more sadness, no more pain.
I’ll protect you from life’s harms.

Never fail you, always true.
And you enjoy the things I do.
You won’t find better relief anywhere
Because I’m the only one who can take you there.

Where to find Dawn’s book: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/DawnColclasure.html#SongsExc

More information about this amazing author:

Her Web site is: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/ 
Blog: http://dawncolclasureblog.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dawncolclasure
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Dawn-Colclasure
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawncolclasure
Other: http://greenwolf103.deviantart.com/
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Thank you Dawn for participating.