Tag Archives: suspense

The Last Wife by Krysta Scott ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Krysta Scott with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  The Last Wife...

Fun Fact:

There is a tiny black cat in this story named ‘Spot’. When I was in college, I had a black cat and couldn’t think about what to name it. My roommate suggested the name ‘Spot’. I protested that was a dog’s name. She acknowledged this was true but enjoyed the irony of calling a cat ‘Spot’. She offered a compromise. Why don’t I name the cat ‘Ink Spot’ and we could call him ‘Spot’ for short. That worked. I liked the irony in his name too. That’s why Spot makes an appearance in this story.

 

Blurb:

Delaney Endicott’s boring job covering social events for the local paper is not enough to feed her lust for a hot story. So when she learns of unsolved murders close to her hometown that seem to be connected, she dives in to investigate. Her involvement intensifies when she receives threats from the killer, and she knows she’s close to breaking the case wide open.

Before she realizes what’s happening, Delaney is caught in a sadistic trap and in a fight for her very survival.

Excerpt:

Maggie,

Well, I met someone at work. This probably doesn’t sound anything like me, but the attraction was instantaneous. One minute he was sitting in the chair next to me, the next we were giving each other soul searching stares. It was like I’d always known him. He gets me and he totally understands how lost I am without my family. It’s impossible to describe how he lifts up my mood. Even when I’m having one of those foreboding feelings, he shows up and all my fears disappear. I don’t worry when he’s around. It’s so strange but also wonderful. Wish you could meet him. I know you’d like him.

Love always,

Delaney

She’d left out the part about how anxious she was when he wasn’t around. How anxious she felt at that very moment. That was the confusing part. It was more than the impression something bad was going to happen. It was a shaky sweaty need that could only be cured by his presence. She’d never experienced anything like this before. In truth she was a little scared.

About the Author…

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. She is excited to be a part of the Friday the 13th series.

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Little Darlings by Alicia Dean ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th #ahagrp

Please help me welcome myself with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  Little Darlings...

Fun Fact:

I got the idea for my story from my cousin during a family reunion. He mentioned the legend of the Black-Eyed Children and it sparked the idea. (While our family members were discussing their children and grandchildren and swapping recipes, he and I were discussing horror and the best ways to creep people out. :)) Supposedly, people have actually encountered these frightening little beasts, though I haven’t actually heard of the Black-Eyed Kids murdering anyone…until my story. 🙂 The below is an interesting article about the legend:

Black-eyed Kids: The Chilling Legend that Began in Abilene

Blurb:

Mollie Burrows and her friends, Caroline and Beth, rent a cabin in Colorado for a therapeutic getaway. Beth is despondent after a recent miscarriage and Mollie hopes the trip will alleviate Beth’s depression. The owner of the general store in town warns them about the Black-Eyed Kids—supernatural entities who pose as children and terrorize anyone who allows them into their homes—but Mollie scoffs at the ridiculous notion.

Not long after they get settled, four children knock on their door—and their eyes are as black as a starless night. Beth is drawn to them and is ready to offer them shelter, but Mollie and Caroline are freaked out and refuse.

When Mollie discovers the bodies of obviously murdered victims, she realizes the store owner was telling the truth. As the evil children begin their homicidal rampage, their determination to gain entry into the cabin becomes terrifying. Help won’t arrive until the following morning and a long, torturous night looms ahead. Can Mollie and Caroline prevent Beth from opening the door to the Little Darlings? If not, they could all end up dead.

Excerpt:

Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she stood again, this time remaining on her feet. Unsteadily, she crossed the room and gripped the curtain in her hand, tugging it back just enough to peer around it. Involuntarily, she yelped. The same four children stood on the other side of the glass. Rain poured down on them, but they seemed oblivious to the fact they were getting soaked.

The tallest girl swiveled her head toward Mollie, black eyes gleaming beneath the patio light. Mollie’s heart leapt into her throat, and she let the curtain fall back.

“Hey, miss. Please let us in. We’re cold and wet. Won’t you please let us in?”

Mollie pressed her back against the wall, willing her heart to stop racing. What was the deal with these kids? What were they doing all alone at night, and why did they creep her out so badly?

“Come on, miss. We can’t hurt you. We’re just little kids. We just want to play.” That sounded like a boy, though his voice was high. He probably hadn’t yet reached puberty.

Maybe she should call the police. The parents needed to be reported for not keeping a closer eye on their kids. But for now…should she let them in?

On the one hand, she couldn’t stand the thought of leaving children outside alone in the dark, but on the other hand… she was quite frankly terrified. Something was not quite right. And she couldn’t dismiss the stories about the Black-Eyed Kids. Most rumors were based on some kind of fact, so there might have been some truth to the legend…

But then…if there really was a killer on the loose, how would she feel if she found out these kids had been murdered?

She blew out a long breath and shoved the drapes back. She reached for the latch to unlock the patio door but stopped. Her gaze fell on the object the smallest boy held in his hand. A large rock. He hefted it, his black eyes staring through the glass at her. “We wanna play rock with you. Just let us in so we can playyyyy…” The last word was drawn out, ending on a keening wail.

About the Author…

It’s me…I’m the author. 😀 

Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley (she almost always works in a mention of him into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite television shows like Ozark, Dexter, Justified, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Vampire Diaries. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Website: http://atomic-temporary-24849064.wpcomstaging.com/

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

Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_

Instagram: AliciaDeanAuthor

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alicia-dean

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

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13 Sessions by Christopher Farris ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Christopher Farris with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  13 Sessions...

Fun Fact:

The story started off as throwback to the character, Renfro, from the novel Dracula. I had initially intended for Patient 13 to be a Renfro-type who brought about the downfall of the doctor. That’s not where it ended up. 😊

Father Dragos Tepesch, asylum administrator, does not fit Dr. David Montaine’s expectations. His new employer is too religious, too old world, too—too, he can’t quite put his finger on it. Frightening, maybe? It doesn’t make sense. The priest is old and frail, his voice kindly. It’s his eyes, David thinks, something in his eyes. Hunger, maybe?

The Wallachian asylum is hopelessly behind the times. His wife, Sally, seems to have left him and, more troubling, his mind is playing tricks on him. Still, this new job is far better than the old. The authorities no longer hound him. The booze is free. He has a whole new practice to build, lunatics desperate for his particular brand of salvation and, right down the hall, Patient Thirteen. She’s silent, young, and oh, so beautiful. Her pain calls to him. And pain, Father Tepesch says, is a meal that must be eaten one bite at time.

Excerpt:

“All considered, Father, I think things are looking—” Movement under Tepesch’s chair caught his eye. A giant rat, black as midnight and scarred from a hundred savage battles, sauntered from under the old man’s soutane, stopped on the oriental rug, and fixed David with a beady, red eye.

He stiffened. A shudder of disgust and fear coursed down his spine. The malevolence in the creature’s eye, the sheer hateful hunger froze him with his hand half-way to his mouth.

Tepesch cocked his head, “David?” He spoke as if he didn’t see the evil thing, though the beast stood not a foot in front of his black boot tips.

The rat rose on its hind legs and sniffed the air, exposing its long, yellowed incisors and its bare belly. The skin, the awful, wattled, bare skin of its underside showing through the wiry hair was too intimate, too… It was too much. And the thing smelled. A reek that settled into his nostrils and clawed its way into his throat. This was no common rodent. His imagination took him to dark places, dank holes and caves, to the morgue deep in the basement, to the trenches of World War I where millions of the damned things had swarmed the dead and dying. When he’d pictured those monsters, they’d look like this in his mind. Two-and-a-half feet tall and savage. No natural rat ever grew so big. He pointed with a quivering hand, “L—look!”

“What David?” Tepesch’s face registered confusion. “What?”

The rat grinned at David and shuffled forward on its hind legs, front paws waving in the air like a dog doing tricks for its dinner.

He shoved the chair back with a shriek. He wanted to cry out. “Don’t you see it? It’s right there? What’s wrong with you? Are you blind!” But all he could manage was a hurk-hurk-hurking sound in the back of his throat.

The animal leapt under the desk. Before he could get his legs up onto the chair, the thing pounced into his lap. Its weight pinned him to the chair, heavy as a bowling ball. The creature’s questing nose nuzzled into the soft flesh of his belly and groin. He screamed and a flush of hot urine spread across his lap as his bladder let go.

About the Author…

Christopher Farris Christopher Farris lives in a very old, very small house in a very old, very small town nestled deep in a valley of the Boston Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. He is not a hillbilly, but he is trying. He has four well-adjusted children and the two best granddaughters available.

His horror novel, The Fountain, was published by The Wild Rose Press in January of 2021. His Christmas novel, Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol, was published in November of 2021. Both are available at Amazon.com.

The Fountain: Amazon.com: The Fountain eBook : Farris, Christopher: Books

Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol: Amazon.com: Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol eBook : Farris, Christopher: Books

Facebook: @ozarkgothic

Facebook: c_farrisauthor

Instagram: c_farrisauthor

 

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Last Train Out by DJ FitzSimons ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome DJ FitzSimons with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  Last Train Out...

Fun Fact:

I am British and grew up riding trains everywhere. I have always loved them, so I thought it would be great to centre this story around a train ride. On the older trains, with their separate compartments, it was always creepy being in one late at night….

 

Cold-blooded killer Terrance Higgs escapes from a mental institution in the English countryside and manages to catch the last train out. The train is strangely empty, except for one passenger who doesn’t want to talk. The night passes slowly, the train never stopping at other stations until Terrance begins to question where they are going.

The comforting rocking motion of the wheels rolling along the tracks lulls Terrance into a dream-filled sleep. The past replays itself while vivid memories dance through his mind.

But as dawn breaks, Terrance realises this is no ordinary train, nor the journey he planned to take. It’s a terrifying destination he never expected. Has the table finally turned? Is the killer now the victim who’ll have to beg for his life?

Excerpt:

I like the sticky feel of blood on my fingers. In biology lab at school, I always enjoyed picking apart frogs and dissecting stuff. Anatomy is a beautiful thing. Sometimes, I’d even cut myself, just to watch how my blood sort of oozed out the thin slit in my skin, coagulate and then stop. Cool right? How did Mother Nature, or God, or whoever the fuck made us, design creatures with the ability to stop themselves bleeding with some agent in our chemistry?

            Except if you hit an artery. Now that’s like watching your blood getting pumped out by a little motor. I killed this old lady when I was sixteen. I knocked her out, then when she hit the floor, I nicked the carotid artery in her neck and then just watched it go. It was like a tiny volcano erupting. Her blood came out faster than I thought it would and made a hell of a mess, but it was fascinating.

            That was many years ago, but I can close my eyes and be right there. Funny how the mind is. Today’s Friday the thirteenth. I’m not superstitious, but I like the fact it’s one of those weird dates on the calendar, and I’m going to do something memorable. I’m lying on the hard bunk in my tiny, sterile room. We’re on lock-down for the night as it’s gone seven. Well, I should clarify that everyone else is on lock-down except for me. Any minute now, my door’s getting opened.

About the Author…

DJ FitzSimons is a misplaced Londoner living in the Midwest. This is her second collaboration for a Friday the 13th collection. DJ is currently working on a contemporary thriller set in Oklahoma, and a ‘chiklit’ story set in England. DJ also writes gothic mysteries and a monthly blog under the pen name of Jude Bayton.

Website https://www.judebayton.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/JudeBayton

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/judebaytonauthor/?ref=bookmarks

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

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/deb-bayton-fitzsimons-b044129/

 

 

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The Hotel California by Callie Hutton ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Callie Hutton with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  The Hotel California...

Fun Fact:

Of course, the book is based on the Eagles song, Hotel California. I just started to imagine what it would be like to be stuck in a place where you can never leave and what would happen while you were there.

 

It had been planned perfectly. Then it all went to hell…

Lauren Adams hadn’t intended to kill her ex-boss. She only wanted his money. Now, with a suitcase full of bills, she’s on the run. But very strange things are happening at the hotel she stopped at along the highway.

 

Excerpt:

She tossed the suitcase on the front seat of the shiny ‘previously owned’ Toyota 4Runner she’d bought that afternoon. The sleazy salesman was so anxious to sell her a car that he let her take it without checking her application or depositing the five thousand dollar check she gave him for the down payment.

On a bank account she closed two days before.

She climbed behind the wheel, her heart pounding. By the time the cops were notified when the men returned Monday morning, she would be far, far away. With a new identity. A quick look in her mirror reflected a woman with glasses, short curly black hair and brown eyes.

So different from Lauren Adams, the long straight blond hair, blue-eyed former clerk at Murphy’s Trucking Company. Plus it had been two weeks since she’d been fired. The truckers probably wouldn’t even remember her, since there was most likely another poor girl fielding their gropes and lewd comments.

But covering all her bases, she carried the driver’s license of Darlene Marshall with Lauren’s new persona on it. Despite having to kill Mr. Murphy, she had no regrets. She’d hated the stupid job, hated her boss, hated the truckers with their constant gross remarks and gestures, and even hated her small, dull, apartment. She was meant for better things. And now she would have them.

Three hours later, her head snapped up when she found herself nodding off as she zipped down the deserted highway. Her headlights reflected the sign coming up. Winslow, 53 miles.

It had been her plan to stop in Winslow for the night before continuing on to California, but she would never make another fifty-three miles. It had taken her longer to kill Murphy and clean out the safe than she’d expected. Who knew the old man would even be there? His threats that the money wasn’t all his confirmed what she’d suspected. He was doing something illegal.

Within minutes a building seemed to rise from the desert on the north side of the highway. Hopefully it would be a hotel or motel so she could spend the night in comfort. The thought of sleeping in her car, no matter how comfortable it was, held no appeal.

She swung her vehicle into the parking lot and parked in front of the building. She grabbed her backpack and suitcase with the money in it, and slid out of the car, grinning as she looked up at the name of the hotel.

About the Author…

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.

callie@calliehutton.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5349775.Callie_Hutton

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/callie-hutton

https://www.amazon.com/Callie-Hutton/e/B006O2IF2I%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

www.calliehutton.com

https://www.facebook.com/calliehuttonsbooks

 

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Thirteen Past Midnight by Stephen B. King ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Stephen B. King with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  Thirteen Past Midnight

 

Can dreams foretell the future? Every night Jonathon returns to the same nightmare…where a cat that seems spawned from hell is always waiting for him. The dreams began at the stroke of midnight, but the following dreams happen one minute later than the night before.

A sense of dread looms over him as the clock ticks ever closer to 13 past midnight. Will he realize they’re nothing more than frightening dreams…or will he die in his sleep?

Fun Fact:

I have always been fascinated by dreams, and in my much younger, impressionable days made a bit of a study of all things occult. It started with watching a movie, called, The Devil Rides Out, which I loved and wanted to learn more. I discovered it was based on a book by Dennis Wheatley, so I read it and while by today’s standards it is tame, to an impressionable youth it beckoned its crooked finger. From there I made a trip to the British Museum and spent a few days studying Witchcraft and black magic. I don’t think, looking back, I was ever drawn to trying to be a participant, it was more a deep-seated fascination and thirst to know more.

It was a natural step, after reading more of Mr. Wheatley’s books, to study dreams and in particular Astral Travel, which is the ability of a practitioner to direct their dreams, and even to meet other people on the plane and have different experiences not possible in ‘the real world.’

Of more recent times I saw the movie Inception, and while I accept this is a remarkable work of fiction, scriptwriting and cinematic spectacle, designed to entertain, here again was a concept about directing dreams to achieve an end. Ever since I saw the movie, I think for the fifth time, I wanted to write a story about dreams.

Who knows where random thoughts of inspiration come from? I certainly have no idea where mine originate from. They seem to just hit me from out of the blue. Once I have an idea, I must explore it, and can only do so by writing it chronologically from that point forward and seeing where it takes me. So, while I wanted to write a story about dreams, I still need a spark to get the fire going and it came from Alicia Dean, asking if I would like to contribute a story to the second volume of Friday the 13th and I literally jumped at the chance. My first foray was a lot of fun to write, a tale featuring my favorite character from the Deadly Glimpses Series I’ve written, a criminal psychologist, Patricia Holmes, turned cop, and having her attend a murder-mystery dinner party with other psychologists, but there is an uninvited guest intent on murdering them all for real.

So, when asked to come back for round 2 by Alicia and agreeing obviously meant I had to come up with a story that would suit the theme. That’s when I recalled wanting to pen something around dreams. I love the symbolism of Alicia’s charter: thirteen authors, thirteen chapters etc, and so – yeah shock horror here’s that inspiration I thought of a clock telling the time of 13 past midnight. And so began my favorite question; what if…..

What if someone has a recurring dream, not just recurring, but a continuing dream staggered exactly one minute apart, starting at midnight? The dream appears to be warning of an impending danger a threat of death not to continue, and each night the horror grows. What would happen at the appointed time, death, or worse?

 Jonathon is a troubled young man. He hates his job, is engaged to a wonderful woman who works with lots of incredibly fit Olympic swimmers as a physiotherapist and deep down, he worries. He fears she doesn’t really love him, that she is so much better than he is, and that the baby she carries isn’t his. Then, a woman, who in some lights reminds Jonathon of an evil looking grey cat, wants to commission him to renovate an old house. This house has a history of black magic ceremonies, murder, and suicide. As each nightmare gets closer to 13 past midnight, Jonathon gets better at controlling his dreams, and tries to fight the evil that is coming relentlessly nearer. 

Many thanks to Alicia for inviting me to write this tale, I had so much fun writing it, and I think, though of course I am terribly biased this could be the most interesting story I’ve ever written. What do you think, dear reader?

Excerpt:
I knew I was dreaming when I peered around the trunk of an ancient Red Gum tree in the park to see if I could spot the cat before he saw me. He, or she, I had not been able to discern the sex, was prancing back and forth across the path. It was waiting for me, and it looked pissed. Suddenly it stopped and jerked its head around, and I ducked back behind the trunk, my heart pounding.
The thing has seen me. How the hell did it know I was here? Now what do I do? My mind raged in overdrive.
Why not just wake up? I replied, then closed my eyes, shook my head, and opened them again.
Nope, not working, I’m still here. Any other bright ideas?
Look, dummy, it’s just a cat, what are you so scared of? Just walk up, kick it out of the way, and get to…to…where the fuck am I going in a hurry?
I took a long, slow, calming breath and stuck my head around the tree again.
HISSSSSSSSSSS. The cat had crept up on my hiding place and launched itself at me, claws out. In a second, it would be on my face biting and scratching.
I woke, sweating, frantic rubbing my face, while the alarm clock glowed and flashed three minutes past midnight.
Bio:
Me – just some bits and pieces about – ME!
(Or as my wife often says: “It’s all just about you Steve isn’t it?”)
I’ve said, more than once, life is about the journey, and not the destination, and what a journey my life has been. We are the sum total of our experiences, and not what we eat, in my humble opinion, and when I start talking about my life to people – just before their eyes glaze over – they often say: “You should write a book.” So I have, several in fact.
Thrillers and crime genres have always fascinated me, and in particular, the dark world of serial killers, and while my beginnings were in the ‘Make love not war’ sentiment, I love a good, unputdownable, thriller. You know, the kind you just want to read one more chapter of, and then another, and then you realise you are late for work. Have I succeeded in creating stories that can take people to that place? Boy I hope so.
Drop me an email, and let me know if I have.
steve@stephen-b-king.com
Happy reading
Steve

 

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The End of the Road Hotel by Peggy McKenzie ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Peggy McKenzie with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  The End of the Road Hotel

Fun Fact

I write western historical romance, but I needed a genre that offered a change of pace so I wanted to try my hand at something new. That’s when creepy came along. Could I do it? I had no idea, but I wanted to try.

Blurb

Sometimes, the end of the road is just the beginning…

Felicity Simon is at a crossroads in her life. She and her on-again, off-again boyfriend have been together for seven years with no progress toward matrimony. Perhaps it’s time to make a change. Suddenly, she receives the unexpected news that she’s inherited her great aunt’s estate, Could this be the change she’s been looking for?

The moment they arrive at the hauntingly beautiful old Victorian, Felicity senses something is off with their host, but she can’t quite put a finger on the problem. He’s amiable, attentive, and accommodating. And, his handsome face and impeccable manners hold an allure she finds very enticing. And yet…her instincts warn her to be wary.

It doesn’t long before she realizes her instincts were right.

Snippet: 

She and Teddy arrived just outside the closed dining room doors. “Prepare yourself for the thrill of a lifetime, my pet,” he announced with all the flourish and excitement of a boxing ring announcer. My pet? She did not like the sound of that, and she was about to say so when he pushed the double doors open wide, revealing a dining room full of people sitting at a long narrow table covered in white tablecloths, crystal stemware and silver place settings all reflecting the flickering lights of a room full of tall pillar candles. Everyone was dressed in black formal attire from the same era as Teddy’s tux and her dress. So, it was a costume party from the roaring twenties after all. And there was a dining room full of people, which surprised her. She’d convinced herself she was here alone with Teddy. Now, she wished Austin was here for two reasons: she wouldn’t have to worry about him, and she could say “I told you so” with a big, wide grin on her face. No one would have been more shocked than Austin to learn there were other people in this place, after all, and she would have enjoyed the hell out of watching him scramble to apologize for doubting her.

Teddy escorted her into the room on his arm with a flourish as if she were a grand lady on display, but the closer she got to the occupants of the table, the more her brain had trouble processing what her eyes were seeing. What exactly was she looking at? It was as if everyone was frozen in time. Literally. No one was moving at all. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet our special guest, Miss Felicity Simon. Felicity, say hello to everyone. They’re dying to meet you.”

She stared hard at the first person she came to—really stared at her—or rather…it. Finally, realization punched its way through her confusion. And then, she screamed until she lost consciousness.

About the Author: 

Where Love Becomes Legendary…

An Amazon best-selling author, Peggy McKenzie was born and raised in Oklahoma, and she’s been in love with stories of happy endings and second chances since her first fairy tales in grade school. It wasn’t until she became enamored by Miss Kitty and Marshal Dillion’s love story that she decided to write her own romance stories where she makes certain the cowboy ride away with his lady love and they live happily-ever-after.

Now living in East Texas, she’s right smack dab in the middle of cowboy country, and she’s more determined than ever to fill her stories with rugged, flawed heroes and courageous, strong heroines. If you like happy endings and second chances with a touch of humor, you’ll like this author.

“Heartwarming sweet romance at its best.”

Sylvia McDaniel-USA Today Best-Selling Author

“You will not just read a story by Peggy McKenzie, you will live it.”

Hildie McQueen-USA Today Best-Selling Author

To learn more about Peggy and her books,

visit her website: PeggyMcKenzie.com.

Follow Peggy on her adventures through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, BookBub, and Goodreads. Gain access to her fan-based webpage where she posts exclusive content by joining her monthly newsletter at https://www.peggymckenzie.com/newslettersignup.

Website: www.peggymckenzie.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pegmckenziebook

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mckenzie2346/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/peggy-mckenzie

Amazon Author Central: amazon.com/author/peggymckenzie

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15276347.Peggy_McKenzie

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Witch Ever Way You Go by Robert Herold ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Robert Herold with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  Witch Ever Way You Go

Fun Fact

Witch Ever Way You Go is set in the Seattle area where I live. There is a bit of rivalry between Seattle proper and the suburban areas. Playing with this idea, I envisioned two rival covens, one in Seattle, the other in the wealthy suburb of Baalberith. (Baalberith is the name for a powerful demon who tempts people to engage in blasphemy and murder. Heck, there is a Diablo Dam and Diablo Lake in Washington State. Diablo means devil, so I didn’t think it was much of a stretch to call a Seattle suburb Baalberith!)

I used many other actual locations for the story: the University of Washington, the 520 Bridge (which was under construction in 2015, when the book is set) and neighborhoods on Capitol Hill. One of my favorite places was a decrepit but awesome Victorian house. Here’s a picture of it:

I have a wonderfully grisly scene in that place! I had planned to do an Instagram reel in front of the house to promote my story. Unfortunately, I just discovered it has turned into something really scary:

Bonus fun fact:

As a boy, Robert Herold wanted nothing more than to grow up to be a werewolf. (Is there any wonder why he writes horror?)

Blurb

When an ill-fated graduate student and his girlfriend are lured into a terrifying world of witchcraft and murder, they become targets for human sacrifice. Is there a chance they can escape a bloodthirsty coven of witches and certain death until the curse is lifted? A spellbinding story of modern horror.

Snippet: 

The crowd in the room became more animated, their voices rising until they were shouting. The man standing over the woman turned one way then the other, presenting the dagger. As the crowd continued the deafening chant, he raised the blade as high as possible, then thrust it down, just below the woman’s left breast. He yanked the knife free, and a fountain of blood sprayed over the man’s robe and white tuxedo. The crowd erupted in ecstasy.

My stomach turned in revulsion. We had been flirting just a few minutes earlier, and now she was dead. “Holy fuck.”

About the Author: 

The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since my mother refused to allow me, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)

As a child, fresh snow provided me with the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with my fingers as far as I could stretch. I would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

I have pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to me. You could say I was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call as an adult, I began writing horror.

Ultimately, I hope my books give you the creeps, and I mean that in the best way possible.

https://www.amazon.com/Witch-Ever-Way-You-Go-ebook/dp/B09V714SSF

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60624641-witch-ever-way-you-go

https://www.bookbub.com/books/witch-ever-way-you-go-a-friday-the-13th-story-by-robert-herold

https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Herold/e/B07YW82TLR/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Contact info and social media links:

email@robertheroldauthor.com

https://www.robertheroldauthor.com

https://www.instagram.com/robertheroldauthor666/

https://www.facebook.com/bob.herold.31/

https://twitter.com/RobertHerold666

https://www.facebook.com/Fri13thShortStories/

 

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April 2022 Featured Books – Find New & Wonderful Authors!!! #AHAgrp #BookWorm #AmReading #Ebooks

Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

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Toxic waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has been poisoning the environment, human beings, and wildlife for more than six decades. When her brother dies a horrible death at Hanford, Casey Long, a kayaker and windsurfer by day and bartender by night in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon/Washington, swears to put an end to the upriver contamination. But, how can she possibly take on the entrenched fortress of a facility?

After she confides in Little Bear, a bitter Native American fisherman, they contrive a dangerous plan. Joined by a peculiar mishmash of collaborators, they risk everything to save the environment and achieve justice for all injured parties, past and present.

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Louisa Burgess had erred when it came to love before. She had no intention of doing so again. And certainly not with a man who arrived at her door with a posse on his heels. Yet it was a vow she considered breaking every evening — AT TWILIGHT.

Reviewers say…

“AT TWILIGHT is a powerful, unforgettable story — a western that’s at once tender and gritty, passionate and exciting, with a climax that will both shock and uplift. It comes alive with historical details and offers readers a journey of the heart.”
Romantic Times

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She should have followed the rules. “Rule 2: Always double-tap.” Now a girl must travel back in time to that never never land of spies and samovars. To the land of bears, bombs, babushkas, and borscht to finish the job. To the land where anything can happen and often does.

On course in the Pacific, an American ship experiences an event unlike anything that any ship has ever undergone.

Faydra “Spider” Green has had a storied career as a Navy lawyer, juggling being the daughter of a former U.S. president. She has successfully navigated complex diplomatic situations, pulse-pounding legal investigations, and dangerous military missions, managing each time to save the day. But now, a man who had nearly cost Fay her life has seemingly returned from the dead. Now, hellbent on revenge, he poses a threat to Fay and national security. Fay will have to go to extraordinary lengths to stop him, even tampering with the bounds of time and space.

“Norm Harris is a brilliant author who knows how to write thrillers. This is my first Norm Harris book, and it won’t be my last. If you’re a fan of pulse-pounding thrillers with a twist, pick up Deception Pass.” N N Light Amazon “Vine™ Voice” reviewer.
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Daven Talvi made a choice a quarter-century ago to serve the Bitterroot Elf Clan, allowing the Circle of Elders to send him into suspended animation until the queen could be rescued. In doing so, he gave up his mate and his newborn son, sacrificing his own life for that of the clan. It had been a mistake. With the clan now in chaos and the new young queen in hiding, Daven must acknowledge his own errors and take responsibility to set things right. He teams up with Lane Donatelli, a human who has too long used food and computer gaming to feed his own insecurities. Together, they use Lane’s beloved technology with Daven’s innate magical abilities to wage battle against the evil elf mages threatening the clan. [Clan Elves of the Bitterroot (Book 3) | Fantasy novel released by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. | Available in Hardback, Paperback, and eBook]

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Enrique Marin wants a quiet life after the death of his wife. Just one problem stands in the way—he’s possessed by the misanthropic English demon, Tzazin. A violent night under demonic influence accidentally leads Enrique to love, and it’s anything but quiet.

Shy, autistic yoga instructor Elle thought allowing herself to be possessed by the very-not-shy sex demon Key would help her find love. She finds Enrique, but she didn’t count on coping with the anti-demon bigotry of society.

Fate—and AA meetings for the possessed—brings them together, but hostile forces, demonic and human, fight to keep them apart. It might cost them everything to keep their love alive.

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Chloe plans to stay only a short time at her brother Joe’s ranch in 1893 Oklahoma Territory. Despite her efforts to avoid Joe’s matchmaking schemes, she is soon entangled in them. At the same time, she catches the interest of a nosy and possibly dangerous ghost called Fire Horse. All Max McKee wants is to buy a few horses. Before he realizes it, he becomes part of Joe’s scheme to marry off the rich and lovely Chloe, who happens to be the owner of those horses. Max is a man with many secrets. Despite the risks, he finds Chloe irresistible. When a series of strange fires spooks the local ranchers, Chloe and Max must work together to discover who is setting those fires and try not to get themselves killed in the process.

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And check out these spooky, Friday the 13th short stories – ONLY 99 cents each while on pre-order…

Find the series here: Amazon Series Page

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KISS OF THE ASSASSIN Political Thriller by Joylene Nowell Butler #Giveaway #WRPBks #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Joylene Nowell Butler…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?  

I am Canadian/Métis, the author of the suspense novels Dead Witness, Maski: Broken But Not Dead, Break Time, and Matowak. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards, and Broken But Not Dead won a silver medal in the 2012 IPPY Awards in New York.

Born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, I am the youngest of three children of Charles (Charlie) Murray Nowell, veteran, farmer and truck driver, and Gabrielle Frances, a member of the wartime singing trio The Desjardins Sisters. When my father was discharged from the Navy, he moved us from Victoria to Haney (Maple Ridge) B.C.

I grew up with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, cats and dogs. A die-hard tomboy, I received a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Philosophy from Douglas College and attended Simon Fraser University.

In 1979, my husband and I moved our five sons to Prince George, BC. In 1992 we built a log/stick home on Cluculz Lake, 36 km east of Vanderhoof. Twenty-five years later, we sold our house and today split our time between Bucerias, Nayarit and Cluculz Lake, B.C.

Where did you get the idea for KISS OF THE ASSASSIN? 

I wrote the first half of Kiss of the Assassin, my second manuscript, in 1991 and finished it in early 1993. I think it began with the question: Can a child survive the most unspeakable tragedy?

This is me guessing that it began with that question because it was 30 years ago and, honestly, I don’t remember. While writing my third novel I noticed that all my novels begin with a question, and they all exhibit the same theme: the parent/child relationship. The nice thing is that despite having written Kiss of the Assassin so long ago, every time I pulled it out and reread it, I was amazed that I’d written such an intense and riveting story so early in my career. 

Q: Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

It’s painful to receive a negative review but better than no review at all. That’s another reason I advise authors not to read their reviews. You’ll never satisfy every reader every time. It’s impossible. Bad reviews create controversy. Controversy stimulates book sales. If you receive 100 bad reviews and 100 good ones, buyers notice. They’re curious about what side of the spectrum they’ll fall on. One hundred readers took the time to read your book and leave a negative review. But one hundred also took time to leave a positive review. Which begs the question: How many enjoyed the book but kept their thoughts to themselves?

Statistics have proven that reviews are essential. It’s about word-of-mouth. More reviews, more visibility. Good or bad. I don’t concern myself about bad reviews because I know I wrote the best novel I could write.

Q: What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 

I once had a beta reader tell me that if she had a hard copy of my book, she would have thrown it across the room. She said my protagonist was a wimp. That was tough to hear, but it made me want to be a better writer. The book in question eventually became a finalist in the Global e-Book Awards.

The best compliment I ever received was when a Vietnam Veteran read a draft of Kiss of the Assassin and asked me when had I been in-country. Meaning: Was I a Vietnam Vet? When I told him I wasn’t, he was stunned.

Q: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  

Thank you, Alicia, for asking that question. I think there are two messages in Kiss of the Assassin.

Firstly, I hope anyone reading this novel comes away believing that no matter how traumatic a childhood, you are a miracle, a miracle that deserves to be happy. Don’t let the past beat you down. And if it has—get back up!

Secondly, even in a harsh and cruel world, lost and broken souls can find each other.

Q: How much of the book is realistic?  

Another good question. I write suspense thrillers, so I hope my novel seems realistic. If it doesn’t, I’ve failed. My job is to pull you into the story and make these events and characters seem real. That’s what I, as a reader, want in a novel.

Q: Your favorite… 

Movie – The Jason Bourne movies and The Polar Express.

Music –  Rock, Jazz, Classical, and Reiki Music. 

Place you’ve visited  – United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Indonesia, U.K., and Bali. I love Canada so much, I’ve driven across it four times, once by myself.

 

Thank you, Joylene…I’ve enjoyed getting to know you! 

Readers, Joylene is offering a Giveaway!!! One winner will receive an ePub version of Kiss of the Assassin. To enter, comment and share the post on Twitter. (You can use the Twitter button under ‘Share This” found at the bottom of the post).

Blurb: 

Marina Antonovna, a Soviet spy, and Mateo Arcusa, an American homicide lieutenant, first meet in Cambodia during the Vietnam War as enemies. Fearful that the most powerful man in the Soviet Union, KGB Chairman Vladimir Kurenkov, has ordered her death, Marina risks everything to defect to the United States. She promises Mateo that her days as an assassin are over. Vladimir is determined to do whatever it takes to bring her back and, by threatening Mateo’s life, forces Marina to break her promise.

Excerpt: 

“Maybe you do value life,” he [Mateo]said as if she hadn’t spoken. “You spared mine. Why?”

For the first time since childhood, Marina could not focus. Memories of Cambodia were clear enough, but her thoughts weren’t. Too many unresolved sentiments. How could she answer? She looked away from his intense mien and pressed the back of her hand to her moist forehead. A chill swept across her arms and she shivered. She had spared him because…?

Whatever the reason, a drunk didn’t deserve an answer.

He waited.

Her head tilted, looking up at the stars. True, he wasn’t just any drunk. But what good would the answer serve? It would bring back no one.

“Your V.C. buddy wanted to kill me,” he said. “You stopped him. Look, I don’t want to know your secrets. I just want to know why me? Why did you risk getting me back over the border? To imply I was a traitor? The CIA had a lot of questions I couldn’t answer. Mostly ’cause I couldn’t remember. Lucky for you, my memory was one gigantic fog until tonight.”

“Are you threatening me, Sergeant?”

“No. I told you I wouldn’t tell anyone and I won’t.”

“Why should I believe you?”

“Because I’d have told the CIA about you when I had the chance. I didn’t.”

“And now? They suspect you of treason. Point the finger at me and problem solved.”

“And have your death on my conscience? No thanks. Look, as I said before, I’m not asking for state secrets; I just want to know why you stopped him from putting a bullet in my brain. Tell me, and I’ll be out of your life forever.”

Again, Marina reiterated in her mind that she owed him nothing. “I have to go. My guardian will be wondering where I’ve gone.” She jumped down and brushed off her backside, moving past him. His fingertips skimmed across her arm and her skin tingled.

“I’m haunted—can’t you see that? My brothers are dead. Please, I need to know why I’m alive. Is there a reason? What reason? Is it my second…third chance or just a fluke?”

Marina kept walking. “I’m sorry, sergeant. I can’t help you.”

Buy links: 

Amazon.com – Kiss of the Assassin

Amazon.ca  – Kiss of the Assassin 

Bio: 

Joylene Butler lives with her husband in the tiny village of Cluculz Lake in central BC, Canada in the summers and Bucerias, Nayarit in the winters. She is the author of three suspense novels and a contributor to one anthology.

Blog: https://joylenebutler.com

Email:  cluculzwriter@yahoo.ca

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