A Chapter Preview and more…

Hello again.  It’s just a few days before Christmas and the winds have picked back up here in Southern California.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people that have been affected by the many fires that have been burning the past few weeks.  I also want to send my best wishes to the brave men and women who are battling these fires and pray that they all return safely home.

I read an article recently that Rob Lowe opened up his house to the many brave firefighters to provide them with meals as a way to say thank you. In a time when the only news is bad news, it’s nice to hear a story that restores your faith in humanity.

So, to change topics to something dark, creepy, and a little chilling, I want to share a chapter of my recently released book, Beyond the Darkness.  Yes, this is an attempt to plug my book. At least I admit it up front.  Its difficult being an independent author and you write a book.  Not only do you write a book, first you have to plot it out, write several drafts. Then complete edits. Send it to another pair of eyes to also provide edits. Design the book cover and when everything is said and done, put it out there for the world to see.

But is it good?  That is the key question. If I can write something that can evoke a feeling or an emotion from the reader, that would be a wow moment.  Think about it. Words that were in my head, put down in paragraphs to tell a narrative, and someone reads those same words and feels something from them.  That would be cool.  Words are powerful and they have weight.

So, this weekend the Kindle version for my book, Beyond the Darkness will be absolutely free.  Killer discount.  Huge savings.  Not really.  My book is only $2.99 to start with but hey, free is free.  The discount will begin Saturday December 23rd and run through Christmas.  If anyone reading this likes books that delve into the paranormal, a spooky house with a character driven plot filled with creepy, don’t look behind you moments, then please check out my book.

Here is a chapter from Beyond the Darkness to give you a better idea of what it’s all about.

 

Warren Walton stood on the porch of the house. His brother was still at the hospital with Amelia. Colleen was being cared for by his wife, Teresa. Ted had told him that a group of investigators were coming to check out the house later that afternoon.

      He looked around. The desert heat seemed warmer than what he was accustomed to this part of the year. Using his house key, he entered the home. The house felt empty. As it should be, he thought. He hoped Amelia was okay, but he had his doubts. He told his brother that he thought she might need professional help. But Ted wouldn’t listen.

      He walked to the base of the stairs. Smears of blood remained on the hardwood floor. He looked up and winced at the thought of Amelia taking that fall.

      Amelia was a good woman. She had always been a good wife to Ted and a great mother to Colleen. But something happened in the last few months, he noticed. She wasn’t the same. She was paranoid and fearful.

      She had been hospitalized twice in the last three months with high fever. Now Colleen was having nightmares and claiming to hear voices too. It’s not a coincidence, he thought. Amelia’s behavior was affecting his niece, and he didn’t like it.

      He pulled out his cell phone from a pocket in his Cargo Shorts. The battery was dead. He was sure it had been fully charged before he left. Feeling a little bewildered, he slipped the phone back into his pocket.

      He stood outside the kitchen when he heard a loud thud behind him. He spun around quickly, the sound still echoing in his ears, but nothing was there. The front door was still open. The slanted light from the sun cast shadows around the room.

      Where did that come from? His eyes shot up to the second floor as he heard a slight creaking sound; small, hollow, and faint, but definitely a creak in a floorboard. He was certain. Shaking his head, he was a little surprised that his heart was racing.

      He had been out of the military for almost fifteen years, but he vividly remembered witnessing things most people couldn’t even comprehend. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

      As he waited by the kitchen, something caught his attention on the second floor landing. The light from the sun didn’t reach all the way up, but still he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.

      Trust your instinct, Marine. He moved toward the stairs, his heart now beating at a controlled pace. He climbed the steps two at a time until he reached the top. Forty-eight years old and he could still run ten miles a day and climb stairs almost in a single bound. He smiled.

      As he stood on the second floor, he looked to the left and then the right. All the doors were closed. He moved right, towards his brother’s room, when he heard a slight click behind him. The shadows on the wall to his left quickly faded away as if he had chased them away with a flashlight. But he didn’t have one.

      He noticed the open door at the end of the hall. His nerves of steel began to feel more like aluminum. He was sure the door had been closed, but now light was spilling out of Colleen’s room like a flowing river.

      Just the sun shining through the window, he assured himself. He took a step and stopped. Looking down to the first floor and then back at Colleen’s room, he laughed out loud. He had left the front door open, and the wind must have blown Colleen’s door open.

      Feeling a little foolish, he walked towards his niece’s bedroom with a Clint Eastwood-like swagger. He had just paused outside the doorway when something nipped at the back of his neck that made him shiver. He turned around quickly, but no one was there. He swiped at the back of his neck. That’s when he noticed the cold.

      He took a step back from the room. He felt chills down his spine but he knew it wasn’t fear. Looking towards Colleen’s room, he could feel the freezing air flowing out.

      His brother never told him there was anything wrong with the thermostat. Shaking it off and rubbing his neck, he took a step towards the room. That is when he heard the door at the other end of the hall open slowly. The creaking sound was unmistakable.

I hope you liked it.  If you have read Beyond the Darkness or plan on downloading it this weekend, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Leave a review on Amazon.  Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this.  I hope you all have a safe and joyous Holiday Season.

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Beyond the Darkness now available.

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Just in time for Halloween the new Paranormal Suspense novel. Do you believe in ghosts?

Harry’s Journal – A short story

Here is a short story, well flash fiction, I did for writing class one time. The assignment was to write something in 20 minutes without any edits.  This story is what became of those 20 minutes.

 

To whom it may concern,

Those of you that read this might think I made this up.  Others might just think I was crazy.  But this is not an act of lies or deception, but my honest account of an otherwise amazing yet unbelievable event that I see as my duty to tell you about.

I am not looking for publicity or fame, nor am I looking to scare anyone who may come across this. I guess I should begin another way.  My name is Harry. It is the name I was given and the only name I know. Much of the world as I know, is the same now as it ever was. My friends have always told me I lived a life of fairytales. If they only knew what had happened to me, they would have changed their minds.

My knowledge is not made up out of thin air and at no time did I get inspired by anything I had read. It’s hard to explain this without giving you a little history about me.

I am seventeen years old.  I guess that would be the right way to explain it. I had friends who were like my family, family that were my life and a girlfriend, Rachel, who was the better part of one whole of me.  I didn’t have a bad upbringing and for the most part, I have lived a good, even if I can say, great life.  If only it would have stayed that way, I would not be leaving this for you now and you wouldn’t have any reason to read it.  For that, I am sorry.

The event I speak of came without warning and to my credit, unwarranted. I have never been special or gifted, so there really isn’t any explanation for any of this except, it just is.  After that event, things started happening to me which I couldn’t explain. I first started noticing things were different a few weeks ago, but I dismissed them altogether. I tried to live my life as normal as possible, but things kept happening. I would see things and hear things all the time with growing frequency. No one believed me when I tried to tell them what I was going through. Not even my girlfriend. In fact, they stopped talking to me altogether.

I know what you must be thinking. I am some young kid looking for attention but I assure you that is not the case. I have no cause for attention nor do I want it. I just want to live my life without distraction. I want a normal life. Not one interrupted by events that are beyond my ability to control. I know you may not want to believe me and I don’t blame you. If I were you, I wouldn’t have any reason to believe it either but I must insist you read further and the true nature of what I am writing will become clear.

I lost the ability to communicate with my friends because of everything that had happened. I am not looking for your sympathy.  I have enough of my own but I have learned to accept what has happened to me as I hope you will too. I am a conduit.  I can commune with the dead.  This is the part where you might be inclined to stop reading and walk away but please don’t because you need to finish reading this.  This is not something I want or desire, it just is and it is my duty to explain it to you.

Due to events that I have endured, I have lost the ability to communicate with the living. I didn’t understand it at first until I realized that the event that changed my life was actually my death. I had died but had no idea that it had happened.  As to how I died is not of importance, just the fact that I did.  Please know that I can no longer communicate with the living.  Is this starting to become clear to you?

I finally accepted my death in return to help others who haven’t been able to accept their own. I am a conduit for the dead and if you are able to read this then you must realize that you are like me. I can only communicate with the dead and I am communicating with you now. I know it’s not easy to believe, but in time you will come to accept it as I did. I am sorry to be the one to have to tell you.

Sincerely,

Harry

Newly Departed Relations

Halloween and Writing

It’s that time of year again. Halloween. I have been working on the completion of my next book, Beyond the Darkness. It is in the final editing stage. I am hoping to release it by the early part of next year.

People ask me why I like scary stories. What inspires me to write stores with dark content?  I will say not all my stories are scary but there is definitely a darkness to them. I know a few people who are horrified to be horrified. The thought of watching a scary movie or reading a spooky story sends shivers down their spine. That inspires me. If I can put words to paper that invokes that kind of reaction than I have connected with the reader on some subconscious level.woman

Why do people go to Halloween attractions? Would anyone step in to a haunted house if there was a real chance that harm could befall them? No. There is a certain adrenaline that comes from being taken away from your comfort zone if only for a few minutes. That is what propels me to write the types of stories I do. I am a student of fear as I am still learning what scares people and how I can incorporate that in to my stories.

Halloween is a good teacher for all the lessons to be learned are out in full display. What lurks in the shadows just beyond your field of vision? Did you see something from the corner of your eye just to turn around and find nothing there? Why did a chill run down your spine when you walked into that room? Did you hear a noise from another part of the house when no one else is home?  When you are all alone, are you really all alone?

As you enjoy this Halloween season, be safe. Halloween is a time to embrace our darkside a bit but also to have fun. But just know that fear will be waiting for you from  Beyond the Darkness.

Happy Halloween

Is the Paranormal Real

In keeping with the Halloween tradition here is another subject fitting for an October night.

I have often been asked if I believe in the paranormal.  I always use caution before I answer that question but not because I am uncertain in my own beliefs but sometimes when people ask the question, its usually pointed in a certain direction and I don’t want to find myself in a heated debate on ones opinions.

For my part, I do believe in the paranormal.  I believe that there is something out there, more than we know.  I have had some personal experiences growing up that I simply cannot explain.  Let it be said that I do not believe every door closing by itself is a result of some paranormal event.  No.  The way I look at it, I need to be convinced.

If I encounter an event that on the surface is hard to explain, I like to find a reasonable explanation first.  If a door closed by itself my first thought is that a window must be open.

Some people believe in the paranormal because of religious reasons, that is not me.  I have my own beliefs that I don’t share.  It is personal and not meant to be a topic of conversation.  I believe in the paranormal or should I say the possibility of the paranormal based on personal experiences I have never been able to explain.  Do ghosts exist?  Do spirits linger around this world looking to cross over?  For certain, I have no concrete evidence to say one way or the other.  Again I like facts.

I do believe in the possibility and I believe the more we look in to the subject and apply some common sense to the way we examine it and not let our faith or our imaginations get the best of us, one day we might start to get some real reliable evidence one way or the other.

I find the subject interesting and with anything that interests me I like to learn more.  I am not about to jump off a cliff believing I can fly when everything I know about gravity tells me otherwise.  I don’t know enough about the paranormal to say it doesn’t exist so I am left to educate myself for my own curiosity sake.

Whether you believe or not, the unknown is an interesting subject matter to explore.  Perhaps one day, the more we explore the unknown, we might get to know what was previously described as the unknown.