Tag Archives: Friday the 13th

#CrimeTime ~ Fear Thy Neighbor ~ “Daddy’s Got a Gun”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

I love watching true crime shows…as long as they are about murder…, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 Each week, I blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.

One of my short stories, Blood and Breakfast, is about a crime junkie who gets a little closer to murder than she anticipated. You can buy the Kindle version here for only $2.00 Blood and Breakfast – It’s also part of a print book with 6 other scary stories: A Collection of Friday the 13th Stories

Fear Thy Neighbor,  Season 3, Episode 7, Daddy’s Got a Gun

Seaside New Jersey, April 2002

The idyllic neighborhood in Seaside Heights was a place where neighbors treated one another like family and gathered regularly for barbecues and other events. One neighbor, police officer Ed Lutes, was a single father raising his daughter, Sarah. The others living on the block felt safe having a police officer in their midst. Little did they know their safety would soon be shattered.

Dominick and Gail Galliano watched Sarah during the week before school, since her father had to report to work early in the morning. It was a perfect arrangement. The Gallianos adored having Sarah there and Ed trusted them implicitly.

When Ed started dating Cindy Mansuy and moved her and her three children into the home, it was a huge adjustment for the children, especially Sarah, who was used to having her daddy all to herself. One day, Sarah’s stepsister found her crying. When she asked what was wrong, Sarah admitted that their neighbor, Dominick Galliano, had exposed himself to her. The stepsister insisted that she tell her dad. When she did, Ed went nuts. He stormed across the street and threatened Dominick and told him to stay away from his daughter. Sexual assault charges were filed against Dominick. The neighbors initially all sided with Ed. But neighbors Gary and Tina Williams noticed that Sarah seemed totally unaffected. And, they knew Dom and couldn’t see him doing something like that. Cindy, Ed’s girlfriend, confessed to the Williams that she didn’t believe Dom was guilty. She thought Sarah had made the accusation to get her dad’s attention after the changes in the household. The Williams went to Dom and apologized and said they believed him. They also testified as character witnesses. Ed was furious, claiming that they were ‘all against him’. At the trial, Dominick was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Ed asked Cindy to marry him, and she agreed, now taking his side, although it was believed she secretly still felt Sarah had lied. One day, when Cindy was picking up her wedding dress, she was involved in a car accident and killed instantly. This seemed to push Ed over the edge. He drank and gambled and became more threatening and violent. The neighborhood became tension-filled. The Williams and Gallianos were the victims of various acts of vandalism. They were certain Ed was behind them but the police claimed there was no proof, so nothing was done about it. Ed posted flyers all over the neighborhood with a photo of Dom and the words: ‘Pedophile’ above and ‘Every Dad has his Day’ below. One night, the neighbors noticed a bright light coming from Ed’s house and saw that he was projecting the words onto his house: Every Dad has his Day. It was obvious Ed was spiraling completely out of control.

On April 9, 2002, Ed Lutes took his police issued MP5 machine gun and burst into the Williams’ front door. Tina was sitting on the sofa. Ed opened fire, then stalked into the dining room where he shot Gary. Their daughter was away for a quick fifteen-minute trip but their son was in the bedroom and heard the shots. He came out and saw Ed, then ran back into the room and managed to escape out the window. His sister was arriving home. He flagged her down and told her what had happened. Police arrived and the Williams’ daughter noticed the Gallianos’ door was wide open. She told the officers to check the house, that they would find more victims. Inside the Galliano home, police found the bodies of Dominick, his wife Gail and their twenty-five-year-old son, Christopher, all riddled with bullets.

Police found the below voicemail messages on Ed’s machine. They began a manhunt that ended twelve hours later, when they found Ed in his vehicle, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. Ed had also driven to the police chief’s home—angry at being overlooked for a promotion—and shot him as well. The chief managed to escape with only minor injuries.

Voicemails from Ed Lutes:

It’s an emergency hu[sic]. Well guess what, I finally got pushed over the edge. Had to do what I had to do. And you know what, I’m continuing on and I’m doing it more. You don’t know where I’m at, but I’m doing it more. There’s gonna be a lot of dead *** bodies all over the *** place. Everybody had it coming to em, no they’re gonna *** get it. Good-bye. You know what Ruth Ann. I always loved you. Tell my daughter I’m very sorry, but I did this  to protect her. Cause something had to be done. I snapped. I couldn’t do it anymore. But it had to be done. I couldn’t deal with my daughter being violated and this *** scumbag, criminal justice system did not work in the way it’s supposed to work and my daughter got the bad end of the stick. Do you know what, I did this for my daughter. So [S.], I love you honey. I did it for you baby. Please don’t ever think bad of daddy. Daddy done it for you. Daddy took away these bad *** people for you. I love you baby. Please grow up to be a good girl. You’re not gonna see daddy again cause daddy can’t go to jail. Cops don’t go to jail. You’re not gonna see daddy again, so please grow up to be a good girl. And listen to your mommy and please. Please be with Ruth Ann and, you know, do what she tells you. And try to do the best you can baby. I love you so much but I had to do this honey. I had to do it. I’m gonna miss you so much. Daddy will see you up, up in heaven and you’ll know why I did it for you. I love you, bye baby.  

* * *

Yeah it’s an emergency. You can answer the phone right now. (inaudible). (inaudible) go out and killed already, but you know what, it’s not gonna stop yet. Until I’m not done. It’s gonna be “suicide by cop”. I’m gonna be killed by a *** cop, one of my own, you believe it. I’m gonna be killed by a cop, one of my own. But you know what, all this boils down to what happened to [S.] I *** snapped, you made me snap, you took my *** final snapping point, and you made me snap. And guess what, I snapped on the right people and I killed the right people. Everybody that needed to be dead (inaudible) is dead right now. And guess what, I don’t give two ***. Okay so at least you could do is pick up the phone. Tell [S.] my love, [S.] baby, my love daddy done it for you. You know, daddy would never let anybody hurt you. Somebody hurt you, guess what, daddy had to pay back. He had to pay back in a bad way. He had to pay back in a way that you’ll probably never see me again. But he had to pay back. He had to pay it back. Cause it couldn’t go untouched. It couldn’t go untouched. It had to be done baby. It had to be done baby girl. You know that as well as I do. People can’t just touch you and get away with it. They’re all gonna know or they’re not gonna know because they’re dead. But you know what, you live a nice life with your mom and Ruth Ann, please. You’re not gonna see daddy again. But I want you to grow up to be a big girl. I want you to grow up to be  (inaudible) little girl and I want you to stay with Ruth Ann and mommy. You know, they’ll teach you the right thing. Daddy had to do this honey. I can’t let anybody hurt you. There were people hurt you and the justice system failed us, it failed us. And I finally just had enough and I had to do what I had to do. And there gotta be paybacks. You know that daddy pays back everything. And there gotta be paybacks. You know that daddy pays back everything.  

A lawsuit was filed against the Borough of Seaside Heights where the three surviving children of the Williams family received $2.3 million and relatives of the Gallianos received $3.4 million.

This story is shocking, tragic and heartbreaking. It’s unfathomable that anyone, especially an officer of the law, could go to such lengths and commit such heinous crimes. I don’t know if Sarah was lying or if she was telling the truth about the molestation. Either way, that’s a huge burden to bear, knowing that a story you told—especially if it is untrue—resulted in the murder of five people and your own father’s suicide. The contents of his voicemail would only make her feel that much more guilt, I would think. He literally told her he murdered for her. How awful would it be to have to live with something like that?

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#CrimeTime ~ Evil Lives Here ~ “Evil Undercover”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

I love watching true crime shows…as long as they are about murder…, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 Each week, I blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.

One of my short stories, Blood and Breakfast, is about a crime junkie who gets a little closer to murder than she anticipated. You can buy the Kindle version here for only $2.00 Blood and Breakfast – It’s also part of a print book with 6 other scary stories: A Collection of Friday the 13th Stories

Evil Lives Here, Season 5, Episode 3, Evil Undercover

Westminster, Colorado, August 2003

Lori McLeod and her first husband divorced when their daughter, Kaysi, was four years old. Lori was not looking for a relationship when she met Scott Kimball at casino in Blackhawk, Colorado. His mom was in a wheelchair, and he moved furniture so she could sit and play and Lori was impressed, thinking that it showed what a kind, caring person he was. They struck up a conversation. Scott had two young sons, but he only had them part time. He told her he worked for the FBI. She thought, if the FBI trusts him, why couldn’t she?

She was reluctant to allow someone in, but they got close quickly and she trusted him, even though she found him a bit secretive. They would stay at her house, and he would leave in the middle of the night. He told her he was working undercover and went on to say, even though it was breaking the rules, he would tell her details. He said he was working a case where a girl named Jennifer was killed by drug dealers. He said that, for her own safety, he couldn’t tell her exactly where he was going and what he was doing.

 

Lori McLeod

The first time Lori went to Scott’s house, she was a bit taken aback. Based on the feminine décor, she could tell it had been decorated by a woman.  She asked if he’d decorated it or if he had a wife. He explained that the house belonged to his friend, Jennifer, and he was leasing it while she was away. She asked if it was the missing girl in the case he was working. He said no, they just have the same name. There were no female personal items to make her think someone was living there, so she wasn’t all that suspicious.

Their relationship became more serious, and he found a farmhouse for them to live in. Their kids met one another and got along well. One day, Scott asked Lori to deposit a check for him. In the memo line was the name ‘Jennifer’ and she thought it must be related to the case he was working on.

One night, they’d been to casino and they were walking to the car when several police cars converged on them and arrested Scott. He was home the next day and explained that it was just part of what he was doing for the FBI.

After they moved in together, Lori started to see a more hateful side of him. He seemed to enjoy killing prairie dogs that roamed around the area. As he focused on one, he’d say ‘this is my mom,’ then he would kill it with a pellet gun, then say ‘this is my brother,’ and ‘your turn, Dad.’ One day, she said, “Please tell me one of those prairie dogs doesn’t have my face on it,” and he said, “I wouldn’t shoot you. No, I’d do something really special for you.” She wasn’t sure if he was kidding

He appeared to be a great father but, as she got to know him, she saw that he could be cruel. He was out with his boys one day and the younger one ran into the house yelling for her to call 911. He said his brother was hurt. Scott came running toward them with his son in his arms. He explained that a storm grate had fallen on him. While she was on the phone with 911, she saw Scott’s truck heading out and knew that he was taking his son to the hospital. When she arrived at the hospital, the child was covered in blood. She was confused, because the doctor said the injuries were from a fall. She said “No, a storm grate fell on him.” Scott explained that, on the way to the hospital, the boy was getting sick and he tried to open the window but accidentally opened the door and fell out. The little boy almost died and was in a medically induced coma. When he was able to speak, the first thing he said was, “Why did Dad do this to me? I don’t know why he pushed me.” Lori was stunned and horrified The neuro surgeon said the child had a brain injury and didn’t know what he was saying. Lori was worried but believed the doctor. Why would Scott be taking him to the hospital if he wanted to hurt him?

One day, Scott’s Uncle Terry came to live with them. Lori didn’t like it. The man gave her the creeps, but she tolerated his presence. She arrived home one night to find that the furniture had been moved around and their white sofa was outside by pool. She asked what happened and Scott told her that Terry’s dog got sick on the sofa. He explained that Terry had hit won a lottery and took off with his stripper girlfriend. Lori found the story hard to believe, but she didn’t question it because she was glad he was out of her house.

After Lori’s daughter, Kaysi, graduated from high school, she moved out of the home. Her new roommate introduced her to crystal meth. She struggled with her addiction for a while but finally got clean, found a job, and moved back home. Things seemed to be going well until the day Scott showed Lori a vial of drugs and said he’d found it in the house. Lori knew that neither she nor Scott did drugs, so they had to belong to Kaysi. Brokenhearted, not wanting to see her child die from drug use, Lori confronted her. Kaysi swore they weren’t hers and pleaded with her mother to believe her. Lori was certain she was lying. Lori planned to take Kaysi to the police station and asked Scott to watch her while she grabbed some things.  When she got downstairs, Scott said, “She’s waiting it the car.” But, they got outside and Kaysi was nowhere to be found.  Days went by and Lori didn’t hear from her daughter—nor had anyone else. Lori searched but couldn’t find her. She tried to file a missing persons report but the police wouldn’t file it since Kaysi was over 18 and it was ‘her right to be missing.’ Scott reassured Lori, telling her to calm down, just let her do her thing, she’ll come back.

Lori married Scott the same month Kaysi disappeared.

Not long after Kaysi went missing, her boyfriend, CB, called and told Lori that he and Kaysi had been staying at a motel and Scott had been paying for it and taking Kaysi to work. Lori didn’t believe it at first, but CB said that the day she disappeared from Lori’s house, Scott gave her money and put her on her bike, and she took off. The last day Kaysi was seen, Scott had taken her to work, and she never came back. Lori confronted Scott and he denied it and said CB was a liar and a drug addict. He said, “If I pass a polygraph, can we just never talk about it again?” She agreed and Scott seemed surprised. She believes he expected her to think that, if he was willing to take the test, he must be telling the truth. He took the polygraph and passed every question except “Do you know where Kaysi is?” He explained that it was probably because he was the last one to see her (at their house that day Lori was going to take her to the police) and knew where she’d disappeared from. Lori believed him.

Kaysi McLeod

One day, Scott told Lori that he went into Kaysi’s room and found that her make up case gone and her necklace that CB had given her was hanging on her doorknob. Scott suggested she’d left it there as a clear message that she wanted it given back to CB because she was done with him. He said, “She doesn’t want you to call the police on her. She’ll come around when she’s ready.” Lori was relieved. It meant her daughter was okay. She left money on the bed in case she came back to the house. But Kaysi never took the money.

A year after Kaysi went missing, Scott didn’t come home one night. A detective knocked on Lori’s door and asked where he was. Lori said, “He’s on a case working for you. I’m sure your office can track him down.” He said, “Scott doesn’t work for us, he’s an informant. He’s a convicted felon for writing bad checks. But now he’s on the run.” The detective went on to explain that he was linked to a missing person and was the last one to have seen her. He showed her a photo of a girl, Jennifer Marcum and said he was trying to solve her murder. He also showed Lori a photo of Leann Emery, who was also missing and linked to Scott. The detective asked if she knew of any other missing people surrounding Scott. She mentioned Kaysi.

When Lori confronted Scott, he claimed the police were setting him up. It was easier for Lori to believe that, because it meant her daughter could still be okay. She wanted him to convince her that he was telling the truth.

One day in 2007, the FBI called Lori and said she and her ex-husband, Kaysi’s father, needed to come talk to them. The FBI told the parents that hunters had found human remains and they needed DNA to identify them. Lori gave them Kaysi’s baby teeth. They used them to confirm that the victim was Kaysi.

The police searched Scott and Lori’s house. They found blood under carpet that was matched to Scott’s uncle. Lori learned that the townhouse Scott was living in—the one he said he was leasing from a friend–belonged to Jennifer Markham. He’d moved into her home after killing her.

One thing that Scott had told Lori was true. He was an FBI informant. He’d been released from jail in 2002 when he told the FBI his cellmate Steve Ennis, had asked him to kill a witness in a drug case. Once released, Scott himself killed Ennis’s girlfriend, Jennifer Marcum. Scott was given a 70 year sentence for the murders of Kaysi McLeod, Jennifer Marcum, Leann Emory and Terry Kimball.

Lori had to live with the guilt of her daughter’s death. “There are days I think I’ve forgiven myself but when I take time to think about it, I am the one who brought him into our lives. I’m the one responsible for her being gone.”

Many people agree that she was naïve and stupid and should have seen what the psycho was capable of. I have mixed feelings. She did seem very naïve, but I am sure she never dreamed Scott would murder her child.

In 2015, Lori was diagnosed with breast cancer and given 6 months to 2 years to live. After the shock wore off, she was excited. “I get to leave sooner and be with my kiddo. When I pass, my plan is to be cremated and they will open Kaysi’s casket and my cremains will be placed there. We’ll be together in heaven.”

In December, 2019, several months after the episode aired, Lori passed away.

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Blood and Breakast by me…Alicia Dean. :) A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Happy Friday the 13th!! Welcome to the thirteenth and final post about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share my Friday the 13th Short Story, “Blood and Breakfast” – Now available for sale for $1.99 or #FREE on #KindleSelect

AND…be sure to check out our contest:

Enter to win 13 FREE books brought to you by our 13 Friday the 13th authors. See contest link HERE for details.

Fun Fact:

I was plotting my story and trying to figure out why a normal family man would suddenly snap and murder his family. I realized that hallucinations could cause people to do crazy things, so I researched what could make people hallucinate. I discovered that the plant, jimson weed, can cause serious hallucinations. I also wanted to incorporate some kind of an authentic local legend in my story, so I researched legends in various states and came across the Devil’s Footrock in Rhode Island.  I was able to mesh the two–jimson weed and the Devil’s Footrock–to come up with how the husband/father in my story lost his mind and killed his family. It’s so much fun when ideas click and make a story come together. Here’s a photo of Devil’s Foot Rock:

Cool, right? You can learn about the legend surrounding the footprint by reading my story. Or, you can just google it 🙂

Now, more about Blood and Breakfast…

Blurb:

Determined to boost the sagging ratings of her internet radio show, “A Dark Place,” murder junkie Sasha Gillette checks into the Talley House Bed and Breakfast in North Kingston, Rhode Island. She and her co-host plan to broadcast an episode about the murders that took place there thirteen years earlier on a Friday the 13th, when a man butchered his entire family.

Not long after Sasha arrives, the other guests begin to disappear. Has a killer from the past resurfaced or is there a copycat on the loose?

One of the lone survivors, Sasha finds herself trapped with a sadistic killer and, suddenly, murder isn’t as much fun as she thought.

Excerpt:

The bedside lamp glowed, but the room was cast in shadows. The door to the balcony stood open, and the sheer drapes fluttered in the cool breeze. Juliana wrapped her arms around her body and strode over to close the sliding glass doors.

She paced the wooden floor, clenching and unclenching her fists. “The bitch. The little whore.” A knot formed in her throat, and she swiped at the tears streaking her cheeks. “And, the sorry son of a bitch. How could he? On our honeymoon?”

She continued to pace and curse, then took her phone from the nightstand and fired off a text to Bradley.

Sleep on the fucking couch tonight, you sorry piece of shit. I don’t want to see your face.

For a brief moment, she regretted sending it and wished she could take it back. But that lasted only a moment. His return text shattered her heart.

Fine by me. Fuck off.

The sobs that had been building broke free. She dropped to the bed and covered her face in her hands. Her soul felt like it was ripping in two. How did things go so wrong so fast? She thought he loved her. That he would fight for her. Instead, the first slut he encountered, he became a cheating asshole.

A sound penetrated her consciousness, and she sniffled back her tears. The door swung inward. In spite of her fury, her heart lifted. She stood and faced the door as she waited for Bradley to enter. Should she play it cool and make him beg? Or should she forgive him and put this behind them. Start anew?

She took a step toward the door as he entered, then froze. The man standing inside the room was not Bradley. She knew this because he was taller than Bradley, bigger. Besides, why would Bradley be wearing a ski mask?

“Who—who are you?” Her voice quivered. “What do you want?”

He stalked across the room and clapped a gloved hand over her mouth. With his other hand, he gripped her neck and squeezed. She tried to speak but could only make a gurgling sound. Her skin tightened with fear, and her stomach quivered. Terror seized her insides. She grabbed his wrists, clawing at his flesh, trying to loosen his grip. Her hands, slippery with sweat, couldn’t get a good hold.

In the murky semi-darkness, something metallic flashed in her vision. Oh God…a knife.

His hot breath wafted over her neck as he whispered into her ear, “We’re going for a walk. Make one sound, and I’ll slice you open from neck to navel.”

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Fatal Legacy by Krysta Scott… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Happy Friday the 13th!! Welcome to the twelfth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Krysta Scott’s “Fatal Legacy” – Now available for sale for $1.99 or #FREE on #KindleSelect

AND…be sure to check out our contest:

Enter to win 13 FREE books brought to you by our 13 Friday the 13th authors. See contest link HERE for details.

 

Fun Fact:

When I was a child I used to visit an arboretum. I loved the forests, gardens, and grasslands. The only thing it didn’t have was a hedge maze. It should have had one. So I gave the arboretum in Fatal Legacy a hedge maze and let my characters run wild in them.

Blurb:

Veronica Wiseman wants nothing more than a quiet life as an appellate attorney But. a serial killer is on the loose in her small town, destroying everything she holds dear. The people she cares about are in danger, and her childhood memories have turned dark. She soon learns that her sister’s death was not an accident and that her husband cannot be trusted.

As she tries to make sense of the tangled mess her life has become, a murderer draws closer. And it appears she is next on his kill list.

Excerpt:

Skeletal fingers of lightning crossed the sky, illuminating her path. For a moment, she feared she was running in the wrong direction. Then she saw it. The small indentation in the farthest hedge. Encouraged, she sped up. Her feet slipped on the gravel, and she stumbled into the bushes. She grabbed onto the slender branches, attempting to gain traction, but her knees buckled, and she swayed into the bush. Steadying herself, she leaned into the fullest part of the bush and pushed off. She stumbled to the center of the path—just as a large blade shoved through.

“Oh my, that was close, wasn’t it?” The eerie voice mocked her.

Gasping, she ran, the frightening laughter following her down the pathway.

Too close.

Adrenaline fueled her with renewed purpose. She flew across the gravel. The narrow passage loomed ahead. A place where the bushes didn’t quite grow together at the corner. Not usually noticeable to an adult but obvious to a twelve-year-old child, crawling on her belly in an attempt to hide from her sisters. Still there. Her breath whooshed from her in relief. It was just as she remembered.

“What are you doing there, Lorelei?” That chuckle again.

It sent icy shards over her skin.

“Had enough? Stymied?”

Her hand flew to her mouth, and she froze. It was like he was right behind her instead of on the other side of a line of thick shrubs.

She fell on her hands and knees. Answering him would be a futile effort. He already knew where she was, and it would be worse to let him know what she was doing. Grabbing the nearest branch, she dragged herself into the small gap between the bushes. Her hips hit a higher branch, wedging her body between the ground and shrub. Stuck! She couldn’t go any farther. The last time she’d attempted this she wasn’t even in a training bra. She’d been so thin she could slide through a leaky sieve. Now, puberty had endowed her with full hips. Her heart thudded.

She had to make it through the opening. Her life depended on it. She tugged harder. With a sickening scrape along the gravel, she moved a little farther. Biting her lip, she slipped along the mud in slow motion—trapped in one of those nightmares where you can’t run. She needed more time.

 

Bio:

Krysta Scott has always been a daydreamer, imagining worlds far away with happy endings. When she was in fifth grade, she was so caught up in fantasy she earned the dubious distinction of being named the girl who daydreams the most. The award for this questionable honor was a colorful transparent plastic poster made to look like stained glass. It was very cool. Given her flights of fancy, it came as no surprise to her family when she announced she was going to be an actress. Unfortunately, her pursuit into theater didn’t last long, because she was too withdrawn and shy to exhibit any talent in this area. Left with no other choice but to pursue a more practical avocation, she decided to major in psychology and then go to law school. Not able to let go of the worlds she created in her head, she returned to writing and was very excited when the Wild Rose Press contacted her first book.

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Shattered Reflections by Tamrie Foxtail… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the eleventh of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Tamrie Foxtail’s “Shattered Reflections” – Now available for pre-order…releasing tomorrow, Nov 13.

Fun Fact:

The idea for the ruins of the family home came from a place we used to hang out as teens. It was an old, abandoned house in a small wooded area. The windows and doors were long gone. There was a big hole where a septic tank had been. We had a friend from another neighborhood visiting. We took her there one night. There was a full moon. I told her the place was haunted. The house had been abandoned after an entire family was murdered and the hole in the ground was where they had been buried. My friend, Carol, was nodding her head, confirming everything I said and adding details here and there. We frightened her so much, she took off down the path and refused to come back. No matter how much we tried, we never could convince her that I made the whole thing up.

Blurb:

Cassidy Dupree’s calm, predictable life is turned upside down when she walks into her sister’s home to find an empty house and a shattered mirror.

Cassidy thought her sister and brother-in-law had a good marriage, the kind she hoped to have one day, right up until her brother-in-law walked out on Kathryn. She thought she knew everything about Kathryn, until the moment she vanished and the secrets exploded.

Now her sister’s killer has turned his attention to Cassidy.

Excerpt:

            She’d always loved nighttime storms, tucked in her bed, warm and safe while the thunder rolled closer, making the air itself vibrate. The cadence of the rain, pounding against the roof was both a lullaby and a parade drummer. She would open the curtains and wait for the lightning to race across the dark sky, opening it up with a brilliant flash, leaving in its wake a negative image that hovered in the night for a second or two.

            But a storm when she lay curled up safe in her bed and a storm approaching when she was outside in the darkness with a killer on the loose were two very different things.

            Cassidy shivered as the storm rolled closer. She parked her car near the bridge, hesitated a moment, then got out, beeping the lock closed and walking along the park’s jogging path for the short distance until she came to the bridge. She reached into her pocket, felt her phone, familiar and reassuring.

            In the middle of the bridge a man stood silhouetted.

            “Hello, Cassidy,” he called. She recognized the voice from the phone call.

Cassidy started up the old wooden foot bridge. The boards sank a little every time she stepped on one, old wood turned soft through the years.

            Thunder rumbled off to the east.

            “Don’t worry,” he said. “The storm’s still several miles away.”

            She came a few steps closer. “I’m here. In the park in the middle of the night with a storm approaching. You can at least tell me your name.”

            “Jeff White.”

            The name zinged through her memory. “Kathryn had a friend named Jeff. They used to meet for lunch.”

            “Yes. I told you, we’d meet at The Oasis.”

            She walked a little farther up the bridge, hearing the slats creak. She rested one palm lightly on the rough wooden handrail, took another step.

            Cassidy’s heart flew to her throat as her right foot sank into nothing. She twisted, grabbing at the old rail with both hands. Splinters dug into her palms and the rail shook. Her left knee slammed against the spongy slats.

 

Bio:

Tamrie grew up in the sunshine state and came to Oklahoma when her Okie husband decided to move back home. As soon as she recovered from a rather serious case of culture shock, she fell in love with Oklahoma and the people. A former small town librarian, she now works at a local high school. She loves carousels, Shelties, soap making, scrapbooking and reading. She currently shares her home with the world’s most stuck up (and lovable) cat.

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Links to Evil by Rolynn Anderson… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the tenth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Rolynn Anderson’s “Links to Evil” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

Fun Fact:

I asked the brilliant and talented women in my golf club to help me write this short story since it is about a passel of golfers who help my heroine solve a murder. They provided names, settings, conflicts, and events I could fold into my mystery. They answered questions for 13 days and I wrote the draft in an additional 13 days. I even chose women at my golf course to be BETA readers. In the dark days of COVID, building a short story together was a welcome distraction!

 

Blurb:

A golf vacation meant to heal her injured brain turns into a career-buster, when FBI agent Sable Chisholm is accused of murdering her swing coach. Sable and her fearless foursome begin a perilous journey to expose the evil underbelly of a California links community.

Excerpt:

Sable faced her golfer friends and parsed her disclosure boldly. “I’m not afraid of sex.”

All three women laughed until their eyes watered.

Sable gave them a jaundiced look. “Thanks a lot.”

“You’re full of surprises, girl,” Rena said wiping her eyes. “Want to clarify that statement? I mean there isn’t a one of us who doesn’t love sex.”

Tightening her hands on the club, Sable said, “Being poisoned during a stakeout changed me from an introvert to a raging advocate of every out-there recreation I could find in The City. Climbing, surfing, bungee-jumping, triathlons, sky-diving. You name it. All in the month after carbon monoxide toasted my amygdala.” She cleared her throat. “I sought out sexual adventures as well.”

Rena hooted. In the next moment, she winced. “Protected, I hope.”

Looking at the grass, Sable said, “With married men.”

“Oh,” Bree said.

“Who worked in my office.”

“Ugh.” Sylvia grimaced.

“Two of them.”

“Bridges burned,” Rena opined.

“Mike?” Bree asked.

Sable shook her head. “Close. Too close.”

“Bottom line, Sable.” Rena tapped her finger in her palm. “Your police record details how you beat up two guys in a bar. Any pending suits from revengeful wives?”

“None. I promise. I made a deal with my therapist. No hopping in bed until after the fifth date. I have not slept with any man in Arroyo Grande in the two weeks I’ve been here. Period.”

She pinched her forehead. “My second admission isn’t earthshaking, but for some reason, my boss says I must tell you.” Sable paused. “I own a donkey and a pig.”

Bio:

Scandinavian, Army Brat, Wife, English Teacher, High School Principal, Golfer, Boater, World Traveler, Author.  Now add a competitive nature and a love for ‘makeovers.’  As a principal, Rolynn Anderson and the staff she hired, opened a cutting-edge high school; as co-captain with her husband on INTREPID, she cruised from Washington State to Alaska and back.  As a writer, she delights in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges.  Her hope: You’ll devour her ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because her stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart.

Find Rolynn here:

Website

Facebook

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Glimpse, the Dinner Guest by Stephen B King… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the ninth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Stephen B King’s “Glimpse, the Dinner Guest” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

Fun Fact:

The Glimpse series in part, focuses on different aspects of mental illness causing victims to cross the border into becoming criminally insane, or to put it another way, to murder people. For this story, I chose paranoid schizophrenia and the effect of the antagonist receiving electroconvulsive therapy. I was fascinated with the research results for both the illness, and the wonderful results the treatment has brought sufferers. As always, my inspiration comes from two words: what if? In this case, it was: What if the treatment only fed the paranoia? And so, the tragic story of Mervyn Biscain and the horror her wreaks on unsuspecting psychiatrists at a murder mystery dinner party where he seeks revenge, came to life

 

Blurb:

Detective Sargent and clinical psychologist, Patricia Holmes, has been invited to a murder mystery dinner party at a small luxury hotel located in Western Australia. The dinner is a reunion party for the psychologists and psychiatrists who work at Perth’s largest mental hospital, which treats the criminally insane.

But there is an uninvited guest–a former patient who is hungry for revenge. In fact, he is ravenous. He will stop at nothing until he murders the doctor who gave him painful, electroconvulsive therapy.

Detective Sargent Holmes must stop a frenzied killer on a vicious spree—but can she save the other guests, or will she be the last one left alive?

Excerpt:

Pat knocked on the door of number ten and hoped she had caught Ruth before she went downstairs to the bar. From inside, she heard a muffled woman’s voice. “Can you get that, Tony,” The next moment, the door was yanked open, and a tall distinguished looking man wearing a tuxedo performed a double take when he saw her.

“Jesus Christ, are you all right?” he said with concern in his voice, and Pat realized the effect her slashed and bloody top had on him.

Pat gave a small laugh, which, when she glanced again at his face, grew louder, and threatened to become hysterical. “I’m fine, thank you. Dress scary, the invite said, so I did. I’ve got to say; your tuxedo isn’t scary at all. I’m Patricia Holmes and would like to have a few words with Ruth, if I can, before festivities get underway.”

He grinned and stepped back, beckoning with his head for her to enter. “Yeah, we don’t do fancy dress-ups, sorry. We’re far too dull in our old age. Come in. Ruth is applying her make up with a trowel. I’m Tony. I don’t think we’ve met?”

“Thanks, Tony, please call me Pat, everyone does. I left Graylands quite a while ago now, and even when I was there, I was only part-time. I consulted to the criminally insane, the lifers, worst of the worst. By all means, call me morbid. These days, I’m with the police.”

He pointed to the chair by the desk for her to sit then turned his head to the bathroom. “Hon, it’s Patricia Holmes. She wants a word with you before we go downstairs. Do you want me to hang around, or can I go down and mingle?”

Ruth Hawthorne stuck her head around the doorway with a lipstick clutched in her right hand. “Hello, Pat, bloody long time no see, how are you doing?” She turned her glance to her husband, “You can leave us girls. We can go down together. Is that all right, Pat? My God, I love your outfit.”

“Thanks, Ruth. I thought I’d have a bit of fun. Going down together works for me. I need a private chat anyway…”

“Sounds ominous. You get off, Tony. Pat joined the dark side and is with the police now, but I don’t think she is here to arrest me.”

Bio:

I share a name with another, far more famous writer (shh, you know who) and I am often asked why don’t I write under a pseudonym? Well, I am Australian, living in Perth, Western Australia, Stephen King is my real name, and I have an ego. I like people to know I am an author, but I do NOT want to be confused with the other guy. I have read every book the original SK has ever written, and I often think that if I could write one tenth as well as he does, I could die a happy man. We are about the same age, give or take a year or two, and I used to think I don’t write horror or supernatural. That is, until Alicia asked me to contribute a dark thriller for the Friday the 13th series of stories, and I jumped at the chance. After all, Glimpse, The Dinner Guest is my thirteenth book………

Amazon buy link: https://amzn.to/3m1RaA8

Stephen B King
www.stephen-b-king.com
twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

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In the Still of the Night by Callie Hutton… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the eighth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Callie Hutton’s “In the Still of the Night” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

Fun Fact:

My daughter works Security at our local zoo and provided a great deal of information and facts for the story.

Blurb:

It was supposed to be just another overnight shift at the zoo where Holly McCabe worked…until she discovered something more dangerous than lions and tigers lurked in the darkness.

Holly McCabe works the overnight shift at the local zoo. She likes the peace and quiet but never forgets that the only thing separating her from the dangerous animals surrounding her is a fence, a moat, or a sheet of unbreakable glass.

What Holly doesn’t know is that on this night, a greater threat lurks in the darkness at the zoo. Someone who has revenge in mind. Someone who wants to kill her. But first, like the great cats on display at the zoo, he will play with her.

Excerpt:

Her last stop was the stingray touch pool where she checked the water temperature then headed back to the office.

It was nice and quiet without Rebecca offering her worries about her health and her boyfriend, usually in that order. Holly pulled out the lunch she’d stored in the refrigerator the night before. She often made extra food when she and Brad actually had dinners together and boxed the leftovers up in meal-sized containers for lunch.

She’d finished her report, eaten her meal, and played four hands of solitaire on her computer and, still, Rebecca had not returned from her rounds.

Holly picked up her radio. “Rebecca, what’s your twenty?”

No response to her request for the woman’s location. Holly tried again. Nothing. She shrugged and returned to a new solitaire game. Rebecca had probably forgotten to turn her radio on. It would not be the first time.

Another twenty minutes went by and still no Rebecca. Holly glanced at the clock on the wall. One-fifteen. Holly had paged her on the radio several times. Unless her radio was not working, or her cart’s battery was dead, she should have called her or been back by now. There was also a possibility that she’d run into trouble.

With a combination of annoyance and unease, Holly left the office and grabbed the cart she’d parked over an hour before. She rode to the back area of the zoo, following the path Rebecca would have taken.

Halfway through the rounds, at the very back of the zoo, she spotted something lying on the ground, in the middle of the roadway. From her approach, it was difficult to see what it was. It could have been an animal, but any escape from the confines of the zoo would have set off an alarm. There were wild animals, of course, who regularly found their way into the zoo.

The closer she got, the larger the object on the ground appeared. With her heart in her throat, Holly stopped the cart, climbed out and, with sweaty hands, held her flashlight up.

 

Bio:

USA Today bestselling author, Callie Hutton, is the author of more than forty-five historical romance books and historical cozy mysteries. She writes humorous and spicy Regency and Victorian with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). With a million novels sold and translated into several languages, she continues to entrance readers with her heartfelt stories.

Find Callie Here: WEBSITE

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Retribution by DJ FitzSimons … A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the seventh of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share DJ Fitzsimon’s “Retribution” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

FUN FACT

This story is set in the town where I went to high school – Surbiton, in the county of Surrey, England. It was fun to write about Guy Fawkes night, a traditional night of fireworks, where children eat jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) and watch the big bonfires burn. I haven’t celebrated it for so long!

 

BLURB

Robbie enjoys killing beautiful women, loving nothing more than the excitement of the chase. He’s found his next victim in Petra, a deliciously enticing travel agent. Meticulously setting a trap to lure Petra towards a terrifying destiny, his plans go smoothly as he sends yet another woman to an early grave.

But has he?

Robbie is blindsided when out of nowhere, he sees Petra staring at him from a bridge—a living, breathing woman! How is it possible when he left her lying in her own blood? Returning to the scene of the crime, the psychopathic killer is in for the surprise of his life when he finds her body is missing.

As night descends on Hallow House, Robbie learns that sometimes the hunter can also be the quarry……

EXCERPT

I spot her immediately. Hard not to because she’s really good-looking. But not in the brassy ‘come and get me’ way. She’s slender, great figure, and when she walks, her long blonde hair swings across her back like a curtain falling. Our eyes meet several times as we both pick up books and look at them. Then she walks past me again, and, this time, catches me staring. But she doesn’t go all snooty and look away. No—she meets my gaze head on, holds it, and smiles shyly. Wow.

            When she leaves the bookshop, I follow her. Of course, I keep a far enough distance behind her so if she turns, she won’t see me. I just want to know where she’s going. Turns out it isn’t far. There’s a small travel agency on the corner, just down from the post office, and when she goes inside the building, I wait, out of sight, but close enough to see through the large window. She might be a customer. But no, she takes off her pretty blue coat, hangs it on a peg on the back wall and sits down at a desk. Okay. First phase completed. Now I know where to find her.

            I’m late. Harvey, my scumbag manager, gives me the ‘you’re in trouble’ glare as I enter the office. I give him a ‘go fuck yourself’ scowl right back. He’s a sorry excuse for management. But then, most of them are. He hasn’t got the balls to say anything though. Thing is, I’m no beefy tough guy – I’m five ten in my socks, and I don’t pump iron at the gym – I’m a runner. Harvey crossed me once before, and all it took was one look to freeze him. What had he seen in my eyes? That I’m a predator?

Probably—because I am.

BIO

DJ FitzSimons is new author to the thriller genre. But now she’s found it, there’s no stopping her! A misplaced Brit living in the Mid-West, she’s a Londoner, always in pursuit of authentic fish and chips. DJ is currently working on a contemporary thriller set in Oklahoma, and also writes gothic mysteries and a monthly blog under the pen name of Jude Bayton.

Contact DJ – author@judebayton.com

Or read about her antics here:

Website: https://www.judebayton.com

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20313628.Jude_Bayton

Twitter: https://twitter.com/judebayton

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/judebayton

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Till Death by Maureen Bonatch… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the sixth of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Maureen Bonatch’s “Till Death” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

 

Fun Fact:

  • My character Gina was inspired by the character Annie Wilkes from Misery and Castle Rock.
  • Are you superstitious? I had fun researching superstitions and taking Gina’s superstitions to the extreme.

Honor, obey…or slay  

 Blurb:

Gina believes that mirrors hold bits of the soul, a rabbit’s foot brings good luck, and that marriage vows are until death. But most of all, she’s blindly followed her husband Rick’s philosophy. Nasty men get one chance to convert from their abusive ways —or suffer the consequences they bring upon themselves.  

But when she meets George, Gina begins to question everything Rick has led her to believe about men. Now Rick has George lined up to be the next man to be redeemed. Will black widow Gina honor and obey and weave her web around George, or will she become the next victim?  

Excerpt:

Honor and obey.  This was the life I knew. The one I’d created as Rick’s wife. I had to see it through. I lowered my gaze to the ground. “I meant, don’t give the neighborhood more to talk about than it already has.”

“Neighborhood? Do you mean that old man who’s been sniffing around here?” Rick smoothed his face back into the mask he shared with the world and glanced toward George’s house.

“No.” I didn’t dare look to see if George was lingering. It was a mistake to remind Rick that I might’ve made a friend. A male friend who didn’t fit into the mold Rick insisted most men did. But Rick made a lot of ruckus that could’ve attracted other attention, so when two ladies walked down the street, not giving us a second glance, I inclined my head their way.

Rick’s gaze followed mine and then returned to me. “I thought you didn’t worry about those things? About what people might think? Most people don’t see what’s justified in the world, they don’t understand the road to redemption and how we are paving it with the blood of those who don’t appreciate a woman.”

“I don’t care what they think, but this time it’s different.” I was different. But I couldn’t tell Rick that I’d begun to question the truths of performing this justice with him. All it had taken was one old man who’d experienced a loving marriage. A man who saw me as more than a cook, cleaner, and punching bag.

“It’s not really different when the end result is the same.” Rick pushed past me. He entered my house as if he owned the place, and as my husband, technically he did.

 

Bio:

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBub, Amazon and/or signing up for her newsletter

Social Media Info:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Maureen-L.-Bonatch/e/B00KHY1KK8/

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Contact:    maureen@maureenbonatch.com

 

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