Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Thriller, Tour, Writer

Loved by a Killer by C.F. Rabbiosi – Spotlight Tour + #Giveaway

08/03/17


Loved By A Killer: A Sexy Paranormal Thriller
Loved By A Killer Series
Book One
C.F. Rabbiosi
Genre: PNR, Thriller, Horror
Release Date: Oct. 26th 2016
ISPN: 978-1539743590
ASIN: B01MCXOZ69
Number of Pages: 274
Word Count: Appr. 86,000
Cover artists: Sam Briggs and Ashen Sorrow
Book Description:
Raina loved performing upon the London stage, but one night she found herself dancing for only HIM. She froze, and looked to the balcony where the gaslights flickered dimly over his shadowy form. If only she had known that this beautiful monster would soon rip her away from everything in the world SHE EVER LOVED, perhaps she wouldn’t have lingered so long.
Marcus loved being a blood thirst predator, but one night his gallivanting brought him to his knees in front of HER. If only he’d known what would happen when she danced, that she would remind him of someone who was everything in the world HE EVER LOVED, Perhaps he would’ve turned away.
As he drags her deeper and deeper into his depraved world of torture and violence, she begins fighting with her own darkness that threatens to consume her everyday. And oh, how it begs to be released. And though she knows it’s wrong, she desires her captor anyway.
Until she begins falling for someone else…
Meanwhile, prostitutes are being butchered in the streets and she begins to wonder: Is her dark lover, the one she is bound to, The Ripper?
With an accurate account of the creepy gaslit times of London and real Jack the Ripper crime scenes, Loved By A Killer is an exciting read from start to finish.
 
 
I RACE UPSTAIRS
AND TURN THE GASLIGHT ON to its brightest setting and listen to every sound in
the house, for anything unusual and for Marcus’ return. My mind spins over this
turn of events. The mutilated girl in the picture. The monster that takes pleasure in her horrific murder. The kind of
monster that stole my mother away in the darkness leaving our lives wrecked.
But now I have power: speed, strength, senses that are out of this world, and
an affinity for the night. And somewhere, this monster lurks in the night- that
I
NOW OWN
.
I’m going to destroy him. Jack
the Ripper, Marcus, whoever he is-
he’s dead. I don’t believe it will cost me what’s left of my humanity, but even
if my soul disintegrates to pieces, he must be stopped.
“Fascinated…captivated… Throw me
to the devil for I am painfully in love with you.” Marcus appears in the
doorway. His face gleams happily and he throws his hat onto the dresser. 
I force a smile. “What have you
been up to?”
“Oh, baby, I have my own vampire things to tend to.” He extends his hand
toward my face and I flinch. “Have you eaten?” My muscles feel weak and my
chest burns a little. “No? Let me fix that. Tom!”
“Please don’t let me hurt him,” I say.
He nods. I drink from the young servant’s wrist as my mind swims with horrid
thoughts. After ten gulps, I force my mouth away and it doesn’t hurt as much,
being far more interested in Marcus’ bloody affairs. I pull up a sleeve to wipe
the blood away and Tom lies back on the bed.
“Guess what happened tonight?”
Marcus flings messy hair out of his face and plops down on the bed beside me.
 “What happened?”
“There was another murder on the
East side.”
My breath catches. “And?” I
flutter my eyelids up at my beaming vampire. “How do you know that?”
“While I was… out, the town was
a-buzz with the sad murmurings of a new victim.”
“You seem so torn up.”
“Of course not. But she was.”  
Tom’s hand lands on my leg. “Can
I be yours? Like, your personal blood boy?”
Marcus scoffs. “She’s likely to
kill you, chap.”    
“Go ahead Marcus, tell me what
happened,” I say, unable to keep my voice steady.
“They say it was a bangtail
called Dark Annie. The doctor had to scoop her intestines and organs out of the
dirt and put them back into her stomach.”
“I see.” My mind unveils all the
mutilated women in the artwork I just discovered in Marcus’ study. What a
painting this new murder would make. “He’s not going to stop, is he?” I stare
pointedly into those dark pools of hypnotizing evil.
“Doubtful.” He cocks his head to
the side and grins.
Well, hell.

 

About the Author:
Charity lives in the University town of Columbia, MO with her husband and three girls. She holds degrees in Science and Registered Nursing, but found her true passion in writing.
Her stories are inspired by Interview with the Vampire, The Last Vampire, Buffy and True Blood and finds herself on most days living and writing in her own fantasy world- when she’s not chasing after her kids.
Member of Writers Digest, Writers Café, and Word Press.

 

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Savage Woods by Mary Sangiovanni – Cover Reveal

16/02/17

SAVAGE WOODS
by Mary SanGiovanni
Genre: Horror
Pub Date: 9/26/2017
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Bram Stoker award-nominated
author Mary SanGiovanni returns with a terrifying tale of madness,
murder, and mind-shattering evil . . .
Nilhollow—six-hundred-plus acres of
haunted woods in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens—is the stuff of urban
legend. Amid tales of tree spirits and all-powerful forest gods are
frightening accounts of hikers who went insane right before taking
their own lives. It is here that Julia Russo flees when her violent
ex-boyfriend runs her off the road . . . here that she vanishes
without a trace.
State Trooper Peter Grainger has
witnessed unspeakable things that have broken other men.
But he has to find Julia and can’t
turn back now. Every step takes him closer to an ugliness that won’t
be appeased—a centuries-old, devouring hatred rising up to
eviscerate humankind. Waiting, feeding, surviving. It’s
unstoppable. And its time has come.
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Mary SanGiovanni is the author of the
Bram Stoker nominated novel The Hollower, its sequels Found You and
The Triumvirate, Thrall, and Chaos, as well as the novellas For Emmy,
Possessing Amy, and The Fading Place, as well as numerous short
stories. She has been writing fiction for over a decade, has a
masters in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University, and is
a member of The Authors Guild, Penn Writers, and International
Thriller Writers.
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Posted in #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, SciFic, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Thriller, Tour, Writer

Never Say Die by Stevie Kopas -Book Tour + #Giveaway

05/01/17

Never Say Die:
Stories of The Zombie Apocalypse
by Stevie Kopas
Genre: Dystopian, SciFi, Fantasy, Thriller, Horror
Family, friends, lovers…
Those are just a few examples of the strong bonds that hold humanity
together. But when the dead begin living, and the living start to
die, who will remain connected, and who will be torn apart?
Never Say Die: Stories of The Zombie Apocalypse, explores how different
relationships are put to the ultimate test when the end of the world
comes crashing down around them.
Some will live, some will die, but one thing is for certain: Some bonds
don’t break.
Jack:
Years after the zombie outbreak decimates the population, Jack’s
sister is mysteriously taken. Will he be able to find his sister, or
better yet, once he finds her, will he be able to accept what she has
become?
Gordon
and Elena:
The morning of an estranged couple’s divorce is
about to get a lot more stressful when a mysterious illness turns out
to be more dangerous than anyone expected. Will the two be able to
set their differences aside before their journey’s end?
Patient63:
After a terrorist attack, civilization crumbles when a
lab-created virus infects over half the world’s population. Dr.
Henrick Kennedy has found the vaccine in his sixty-third patient, a
former infected, but his intentions are anything but good. Graham, a
lonely janitor, has fallen in love with the imprisoned Patient 63.
But is love enough to save the world, or will love be the means to
its end all over again? (Previously released in At Hell’s Gates,
Volume 2: Origins of Evil)
Rosie:
A little girl is given a vaccine to protect her from the impending
zombie apocalypse, but when things don’t go as planned, Rosie and
her mom must find a way to escape their home and make it to the
evacuation zone alive. The human race may depend on it.
Trevor:
A troubled young man makes the decision to end his life, but when the
dead come back to life and his city is overrun, Trevor has suddenly
found the will to live again, only this time he realizes he has a
found a new purpose in life: Revenge.
Stevie Kopas was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She is a gamer,
a writer and an apocalypse enthusiast. Stevie will never turn down a
good cup of coffee and might even be a bit of a caffeine addict.
Stevie is the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy. Books 1 and 2, The
Breadwinner and Haven were originally self-published in 2013 and
2014. The Breadwinner Trilogy was picked up by Permuted Press in May
of 2014 and the second editions of both the first books were released
in March and April of 2015. The third and final installment in The
Breadwinner Trilogy, All Good Things, debuted in May of 2015. In June
of 2015 The Breadwinner was the number one bestselling dystopian
novel on Amazon.
Her fourth book, Never Say Die: Stories of The Zombie Apocalypse, was
released in May 2016.
Kopas also participates in the At Hell’s Gates horror anthologies and all
profits are donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Her short
stories, Nefarious, Patient 63, and Spencer Family Tradition can be
found in the first three volumes of At Hell’s Gates.
She currently resides in Panama City Beach, Florida and tries to spend as
much time as she can soaking up the sun.
Stevie is also the Managing Editor of the website Horror Metal Sounds and a
writer for the site. Offline, Stevie is a telecommunications
professional.
Posted in #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Horror, Paranormal, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Syfi, Tour, urban fantasy, Writer

Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith Book Tour + #Giveaway

28/12/16

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Hell Holes: What Lurks Below
By Donald Firesmith
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, SciFi, Horror

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A geologist, his climatologist wife, two graduate students, a local newspaper reporter, an oil company representative, and a field biologist travel to one of dozens of huge holes that have mysteriously appeared in the tundra of the North Slope of Alaska. Their mission is to research these strange craters that threaten financial and environmental catastrophe should they open up under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or any of the many oil wells and smaller pipelines that feed it. Unfortunately, a far worse danger lurks below, one that threatens to destroy all of humanity when it emerges. Who will live and who will die on Hell Day and as the team flees south towards Fairbanks?

Volume 1 in the Hell Hole series, this book’s genre is primarily paranormal and fantasy with bits of science fiction, action/adventure, and horror thrown into the mix.“Urban Fantasy? Science Fantasy? I’m not sure how to label it. But whatever it is, I really got a kick out of it, and would happily come back for more. Recommended.” MJ Kobernus, author of The Guardian: Blood in the Sand
Full of action and fraught with danger. If you enjoy action/adventure stories but are tired of the same old threats, this is a book you should pick up.” Dave Robertson, Author of Strange Hunting

Goodreads * Amazon

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Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton

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When huge holes mysteriously formed in Alaska’s North Slope, a research team went to discover their cause. But when an army of invading demons erupted out of these hell holes, only two scientists and Aileen, the team’s secretive photographer, survived. Now in this exciting second book in the Hell Holes series, they must flee south along 350 miles of the Dalton Highway, one of the world’s most treacherous roads. Aileen, a member of an ancient order charged with defending humanity from Hell, must save the two scientists, but will her magic be enough?

Goodreads * Amazon

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authorphoto

A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. Named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. Weekends and evenings, his alter ego writes fantasy novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from fine woods and gemstones.

Website * Amazon * Facebook * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * Google+ * Goodreads

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Posted in Authors, blog, Book, Horror, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Supernatural, suspense, Tour, Writers

Midnight’s Edge By David Chappius & Michael Klinger – Book Tour & Giveaway

16/11/16

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midnights-edge-secrets-of-sleepy-meadows

Midnight’s Edge Book 1
The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows
By David Chappius & Michael Klinger

Genre: Horror, Supernatural Suspense

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The title, Midnight’s Edge, comes from the time of night where the veil between the living and the dead disappears and, for a brief moment in time, the dead can return to the mortal world and live again. It is a story of a vile, evil man named Jeremy Wickcliff, whose wife, Lucy, arranged his death years ago to save the town from his wrath of destruction. In present time, he has been plotting from the spirit realm, a place of purgatory, to return to the mortal realm to seek revenge on those who wronged him and reclaim the life ripped away from him.

me-excerpt

Chapter 1

It would soon be Midnight’s Edge or ME as the witches call it, a time of the night when the veil between the living and dead disappears.

My name’s Shelly Hawkins-Wickcliff, and I live in the Wickcliff mansion, which sits on a hill overlooking the small town of Sleepy Meadows where I’ve lived for all of my 24 years.

I didn’t know much about ME, but Jeremy Wickcliff did. He was dead, but that didn’t stop him from reaching across the realms into the mortal world. You see, although he was gone, he found a way to get inside my head, to manipulate my thoughts and actions, to make my will his own. I’ve been hearing his voice cajoling me and taunting me for years and on this night, approaching ME, his plan to return to the mortal realm was about to become a reality. I didn’t fully understand how ME would factor into it, but to him it didn’t matter. To him, I was a pawn in his sick, twisted game.

On this night, I wandered in a daze through the shadowy hallway of the eerie mansion I inhabited. I had heard Jeremy’s voice in my head all day as usual, and as usual, he was just as cruel and heartless as ever. This night had been different; I had grown tired of the game. I was no longer able to fight him, no longer able to block out his voice. He had been with me every moment of every day for as long as I could remember. I was tired of the fight to banish him from my mind. I was losing the last grip on sanity that I had.

I was blinded by tears as I reached the staircase that led to the attic. As Jeremy’s voice commanded me to ascend the staircase, I wondered why he had wanted me to go there.  As I reached the top of the landing to the attic, I heard him call out to me.

“I know you’re in pain, and I know how to make it stop. Just be an obedient girl and do what I tell you.”

“I don’t understand any of this,” I said. “Why are you torturing me? Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

He chuckled. “Oh, it’s almost unbelievable how naïve you are. Do you think it was a coincidence that your perfect fairy tale life turned into a living nightmare? Oh no. I was responsible for it all, princess. I’ve used the powers bestowed upon me from the other side to pick your precious life apart piece by piece, taking away everything you loved until you were so broken that you were no longer able to resist my will.”

“Why me? Why did you target me?”

He ignored my question as he so often had. “Open the door and go inside.”

I grasped the knob of the attic door. Unable to stop myself, I opened it. The air was dusty, thick. I could hardly breathe.

He was right. Once beautiful and full of life, I was now meager and weak. I had lost all control of my body and mind, and it was all thanks to him. He’d made my life miserable. He’d convinced me that I was a burden to all that I loved and that my life was meaningless to the point where I started to believe him.

I put my head down recalling the events of the last five years. I thought about everything I had lost because of Jeremy. My husband, my sanity, my life. Even though I tried not to show it, I couldn’t control the flood of tears that blinded me. Jeremy knew that my losses had become too much to bear, and he knew he’d beaten me.

“You got what you wanted,” I said, scanning the room. “I’m broken. Are you happy now? Why don’t you just leave me alone?”

“Destroying your life was just for fun,” Jeremy said. “Watching you squirm, cry, and beg were just things I used to amuse myself until Midnight’s Edge was upon us, and I was finally able to return to life. That time is upon us, my dear, and soon you’ll understand my true motivation. You should be honored, you’re an essential part of my plan.”

“How? Tell me. Enough with the games. What are you going to do to me?”

“I’m going to help you. I told you I could make your pain stop. The pain of a lonely, empty, meaningless existence.”

I felt the warm tears on my cheeks, and my breath grew heavier. “It’s that way because of you and only you. If you can make it stop, then do it.”

“First there’s something you must do for me.”

I felt as if he were suffocating me; as if he were holding a pillow against my face as I slept.

“I’m not going to do a thing for a sick bastard like you. Not anymore. The influence you had over me is broken. Do you hear me?”

He cackled. “I don’t believe that, and neither do you. I wouldn’t waste my last few precious breaths with a lie if I were you.”

I put my hand on my chest. “Last breaths? What do you mean?”

“I’m going to live again. You’re not.”

“You plan to kill me?”

“Not exactly. Think back to what I said to you earlier. Think back to what you said to your daddy dearest when you were in hysterics on the phone with him a while ago. You can remember.”

I tried desperately to block out his voice. “No. I won’t listen to this anymore.”

“You don’t have a choice. You never did. I’ll never stop tormenting you until I get what I want. You have to know that by now. Try to resist me if you want, but I promise you I won’t give you a moment’s peace. Now let’s get started. Look at what you’re holding in your hands.”

I glanced down at my hands realizing that I had been clutching a rope. His goal was finally clear to me. Jeremy hadn’t planned to kill me. He wanted me to kill myself. “I’m not going to die because of you. You may have taken everything else from me, but I won’t give you the satisfaction. I won’t take my life. I’ll never do it you sick son of a bitch. It doesn’t matter what you do to me.”

“You have two choices. You either do what I tell you to, or I’ll drive you even more insane. You won’t even know your name after I’m through with you. What kind of life is that?”

I realized that he was right. I’d known Jeremy was ruthless, but it was clear that his cruelty had no limits. I tried to be strong, to face him head on, but in the face of my death, I’d become just as scared as a little girl.

“I don’t want to die, Jeremy,” I said, wiping the tears from my face. “Please.”

He ignored me and continued to give commands. “Throw the rope over the beam above you.”

“No!”

“You can pretend that you aren’t afraid, but I know you’re weak. You don’t have the will to resist me. If you did, I wouldn’t be inside your head now. Stop prolonging the inevitable and just do it, damn you.”

I clutched onto the rope tighter. “I have a family, a son. I’m not going to leave them.”

“They’re better off without a pathetic loser like you. You can’t even be a mother to your son, always pawning him off on your parents and the help.”

“That’s not true.”

“He’s not here with you now, is he?”

Freddy Wickcliff was my five-year-old son. I’d asked my parents if he could stay with them for a little while. I couldn’t tell them why. I couldn’t tell them that I couldn’t care for my son because a psychopath that was inside my head was driving me slowly insane. I hadn’t wanted Freddy to see me this way. I thanked God he hadn’t.

“That’s your fault, not mine,” I said. “It’s your fault that I’m like this. That I don’t have a normal life anymore.”

“Is that so? You can’t even take responsibility for your problems.  You’re a sad, pathetic waste. Everyone’s sick of always having to tiptoe around you, always covering for you.”

I wiped the tears from my cheeks. “Shut up!”

“You’d be doing everyone a favor if you put an end to this. If you truly loved them, you’d take the burden off.”

“You can’t control me anymore. I won’t let you.”

“Oh really? Look at what you’ve done.”

I looked around me. Without even realizing it, I’d fashioned a noose from the rope and threw it on the beam above where I stood. I’d also moved a chair underneath and stood on it.

“See?” he said. “You know I’m right. For your sake and for the sake of those you supposedly love, end this now.”

I stood there, finally defeated. Long soaked strands of my dark hair drenched with sweat and tears dangled in my face. I had thought that if my life were over, I’d never have to listen to him again. Maybe he was right; maybe my family was better off without me. Maybe I could find peace if I were dead, and so could they, no longer having to deal with my problems.

With no more will to fight, I slipped my head into the noose and took a deep breath.

“Good girl,” were the final words I heard as I stepped off the chair.

Within a few moments, everything went dark.

The darkness only lasted for an instant. I opened my eyes and couldn’t breathe. The noose around my neck was suffocating me. I clutched at the rope with both hands, frantically trying to break free, fumbling with it fruitlessly.

I realized that I only had a few precious moments before it would be too late, and Jeremy would get what he wanted. I couldn’t let that happen. I thought of my parents, brother, son, and everything I would leave behind if I were to go through with this. I knew I had to keep fighting for them even more than I did for myself.

With one last gasp of air and one last ounce of strength, I undid the knot and slid my head out of the noose.

I fell to the floor without a thump, which I thought odd. I gasped for air and clutched my throat. It took me a moment to get my breath back, but once I did, I felt a sense of relief that I’d never before felt. I was alive and so immensely grateful.

I got up quickly, surprised that I wasn’t hurt in the fall, thankful I hadn’t succeeded. More tears formed in my eyes. They were tears of joy, relief, and frustration for even considering Jeremy’s sick request. I didn’t want to waste time thinking about him. Instead, I wanted to focus on my son, whom I had almost left an orphan. He’d already lost his father, and I knew that I couldn’t allow him to lose me too.

I glanced around the room, chuckling triumphantly. “It didn’t work, Jeremy! Do you hear that? It didn’t work.”

Jeremy. Why hadn’t I heard his voice any longer? He hadn’t given me a moment’s peace before. I stood there wondering why he wasn’t goading me on anymore. Maybe it meant that I’d won. Maybe since my suicide had failed, I’d conquered him.

Maybe it was finally over.

I took in a deep breath, turned around and glanced up at the ceiling. My relief soon turned to horror when I saw that the noose I had fastened wasn’t empty at all.

There, still hanging from the rafters, was my body.

 

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Midnight’s Edge – Book 2
The Possession

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Successful in his plan to return to the mortal realm, Jeremy Wickcliff believes he’s found his son, whose body will allow him to continue to live, and he has brought back his sister, Rachel, as part of his resurgence plan for the Wickcliff family. However, the son that he thinks is his isn’t, and Rachel isn’t exactly his ally. Trapped in the Wickcliff mausoleum in the spirit realm, the Wickcliff ancestors have their own plan to return to life in the mortal realm, with or without Jeremy’s help.
As the witches begin to piece together Jeremy’s plan after a visit from his wife, Lucy, in spirit form, they realize that they must band together in an attempt to stop him from bringing his family back and to banish him back to the ghost realm. With a battle between good and evil takes place on the grounds of the Wickcliff cemetery, the outcome will change the lives of the residents of Sleepy Meadows forever.

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Midnight’s Edge- Book 3
The Spirits of Sleepy Meadows

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In the third book of the Midnight’s Edge series, Kasey Menze has found himself misplaced from his life in the mortal realm. His body has been possessed by the vile spirit of Jeremy Wickcliff; His life has been stolen. He awakes in the spirit realm, a place of purgatory for those who have died, and encounters the spirit of Shelly Wickcliff, whose suicide was the result of Jeremy’s machinations to use her body as a vessel to return his sister Rachel from the grave. Together, with the help of Damon Shields, a mortal man with the shamanic ability to transcend his life force between the two realms and Shelly’s husband Rory, also a spirit, they must formulate a plan to exorcise Jeremy from the mortal realm so that Kasey may reclaim his life, and so that Jeremy can be stopped from fulfilling his prophecy that he’ll return his ancestors from the dead.

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Chapter 1

At first, Kasey Menze saw nothing but darkness. Slowly his eyes adjusted to his surroundings in the Wickcliff mausoleum. A shiver coursed through him from the dampness of the cold, stone floor on which he found himself.

He rubbed the top of his head, feeling dizzy, and confused. He tried to get up, but his legs didn’t hold him. At first, he thought he was dead, yet as his mind cleared, he quickly pushed those thoughts aside and was convinced that Jeremy hadn’t inhabited his body.

He tried to stand up again, this time, more carefully. He felt weak and wasn’t sure he could depend on his legs to support his weight. He stumbled forward a few feet and reached out in front of him, hoping to find something in the darkness to hold on to as he attempted to steady himself.

“Graham, are you there?”

His voice echoed within the room. He expected Graham to answer him, remembering that he’d been in the mausoleum with him and Jeremy before he lost consciousness.

“Careful,” a man’s voice said, coming out of the darkness. “You don’t want to hurt yourself.”

The voice startled Kasey, and he scanned the room. “Who’s there?”

“Guess,” the man said, with a sarcastic laugh.

“I don’t have time for games. Just answer me. Graham, is it you?”

“I’m not Graham, but close.”

He stood in silence for a moment and then gasped. “Reed, is that you?”

“That’s right. Give the man a prize.”

Reed opened the inside shutters of a cracked window and stepped to the side. The face Kasey saw in the moonlight that shone through stunned him. Reed appeared beyond his years. At 30, Kasey was five years his senior. That wasn’t evident now. The usually slender and attractive young man breathed heavily and appeared bloated. His once shiny reddish-brown hair was dull and straw-like; dark circles appeared under his once sparkling eyes, now cloudy, dull and lifeless, like those of an old teddy bear dumped to the bottom of a child’s toy box.

He wasn’t positive because it could’ve been the moonlight’s reflection, but Reed’s skin appeared gray, as though it were decaying and falling off the bone. Kasey hadn’t realized how accurate that was. The smell of death filled the air as Reed got closer, and Kasey covered his nose.

Reed gave him a peculiar stare. “You okay, Kase?”

“I am now… I think.” He ran his hands over his forehead and through his hair. “I’d ask you the same thing, but I think I know what you’re going to say. Forgive me for saying so, but you look like hell, and you smell even worse.”

Reed grinned. “I guess my appearance fits our environment then, doesn’t it?”

He wasn’t sure what that meant, but Reed’s tone gave him cause for concern.

“I can’t believe it’s finally over. For a minute there, I thought Jeremy had succeeded. I guess that since you’re back, it means Jeremy’s gone. He failed to take over my body.” He moved closer to Reed. “Where’s your dad?”

Reed shrugged. “He’s not here now.”

He scanned the room. “Graham was here when I blacked out. He wouldn’t just leave me here unconscious unless he’s gone to get help.” He narrowed his eyes and studied Reed’s emotionless expression. “We need to get out of here, and you need a doctor.”

Reed snickered. “A doctor can’t do anything for me, or for you for that matter.”

“I have to find Ethan. He’s going to be so relieved when he hears it’s all over.” He looked past Reed and focused on the door before starting toward it.

Reed stepped in front of him. “Kase, we need to talk.”

“Later. First, we find Ethan and then we need to find your dad. He’s going to be so relieved that you’re back.”

Reed didn’t move.

“Come on,” he said, waving his arm. “What are we waiting for? Let’s get the hell outta here.”

“Kase, you don’t understand, we—”

“Whatever it is, you can explain it to me on the way. I just want to get to Ethan.”

He tried to pass Reed, but Reed put his hands on his shoulders. His touch was unusually cold.

“You can’t get to him.”

“What do you mean? Why not?” His face went ashen. “Oh, God, Jeremy didn’t…”

Reed shook his head. “No. You’re right. Jeremy’s gone.”

He drew in a deep breath of relief and exhaled. “Reed, you scared the hell outta me. I thought Ethan could be dead.”

“Ethan’s not dead. We are.”

He paused for a long moment and swallowed. “That isn’t funny. I’m not in the mood for one of your jokes right now.”

“It isn’t a joke, Kase. We’re in the spirit realm, a parallel realm to the mortal realm where spirits dwell. We’re spirits now, and we’re trapped here. This may look like home, but it’s not.”

Reed’s appearance wasn’t the only thing that had changed, his whole demeanor had. Kasey was so relieved when he thought everything was back to normal that he hadn’t given credence to Reed’s behavior. Normally, Reed was an anxious person; now his whole manner seemed complacent. He was accepting his position, acting almost nonchalant about it. There was no life in his voice, and, in fact, there was no emotion at all. It had a cold, hollow ring to it.

“Did you hear me, Kase? We’re dead.”

“That’s not possible,” he said, shaking his head defiantly. “I’m breathing, walking, talking. I’m alive.”

“Jeremy inhabited your body just as he did mine. That’s why he’s not here. He’s taken your place in the mortal realm. My mortal body’s dying because he misplaced my spirit when he inhabited my body. Soon the same thing will happen to yours, and it’ll be too late for you to get back.”

“I don’t know why you’re saying these things. They can’t be true.”

“Look at your arm, Kase.”

He glanced down and noticed that the skin on his arm had turned black and blue. Reed was right. The same thing that had happened to Reed’s body was happening to Kasey’s.

Kasey’s face had gone as pale as his arm.

“What’s happening to me?”

A morbid smile appeared on Reed’s face. “It’s starting already.”

“What is?”

“Your mortal body’s dying, and right now you see a reflection of that. That’s what you see when you look at me. You see my body dying in the mortal realm.”

His eyes widened. “How’s that possible?”

“Jeremy doesn’t belong in your body. Your body is rejecting his spirit. Eventually, his presence in your body will cause it to shut down.”

He rubbed his arm frantically as if he were trying to remove the bruises. Reed grabbed his arm and stared into his eyes intensely.

“It’s our destiny, Kase. This was all meant to be.”

He yanked his arm away. “How can you say that? Doesn’t this bother you even a little bit? You almost sound like you wanted to die. That’s not the Reed that I know.”

“I’ve accepted my destiny, just as you will in time.”

The vacant tone in Reed’s voice frightened Kasey. Fear of the unknown engulfed him. He wasn’t about to show that to Reed, though.

“If we’re both dying, what are we doing here? Shouldn’t we be in heaven, hell, somewhere else but here?”

“The afterlife’s much more complicated than any of us realized in life. There are many other realms, ones we don’t know about in our mortal lives. I would’ve never believed that the things that I’ve seen in this realm were possible.”

He cocked his head. “Like what?”

“I met your father recently.”

His expression perked with interest. “My father?”

“His name’s Damon Shields.”

“My mother told me that much. That’s all I know about him. How can he be here if this is the spirit realm? I was under the impression that my father’s alive.”

“He is, for now, but he won’t be for long if he attempts to take on Jeremy. He exists in this realm in spirit form only.”

He scanned the dark room. “I’m not sure if I believe that. It’s too fantastic of a story.”

Reed chuckled. “The longer you’re here, the less you know what to believe. The world we come from melts away, and soon you don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. I should know.”

Exasperated, Kasey threw his hands up and started for the door. “To hell with this! I don’t know what’s wrong with you and at this point, I don’t care. I’m getting out of here.”

Reed grabbed his arm from behind and turned Kasey around.

“You can’t leave. Don’t you get it? We’re stuck here. There’s no escape.”

Reed’s devilish grin made Kasey step back. “You’re so different. I don’t understand what’s happening here. If we’re not in our world, why does it look the same?”

Reed stood there silently, his grin faded.

“I asked you a question, Reed. Answer me.”

“Just as you can see what’s happening to your body in the mortal realm, the same concept applies to our surroundings. This is nothing but a reflection, a mirrored image of what once was. You’re dying, and your spirit is clinging onto the life that it once knew.”

“You may be dying, but I refuse to believe I am.”

“I used to say the same thing. In time, you’ll accept it as I have. You must realize that you don’t have a choice.”

He groaned, exasperated by Reed’s ambiguity. “There’s more to it than that. I don’t feel any different than I did before. I feel like the same person I always was. You, on the other hand, you don’t seem like yourself at all. What’s made you so different?”

Reed narrowed his eyes and sneered. “How do you know what I’m like? You never really got a chance to know me, did you? You were too preoccupied with the memories of your precious Ethan to even give us a chance.”

“There was a time when I tried to get over my love for Ethan by starting up a new relationship with you. The only reason I became involved with you was that I believed Ethan was never coming back to Sleepy Meadows. I wanted to start over for the wrong reasons. It was an attempt to fill a void and combat my loneliness, yet as hard as I tried, I couldn’t reciprocate your feelings. That’s why I ended it with you. I hurt you, and I’m sorry for that. I never meant to. I thought you understood that.”

Reed didn’t show any emotion. “It doesn’t matter. I’m not hurting anymore. I don’t feel anything, ever. I’m as dead inside as I am on the outside.”

He moved towards Reed. “For God’s sake, tell me what’s happened to you. I want to help you if I can.”

“I’m beyond help now. It’s you who needs help. I can give that to you if you let go of your fear and open your mind.”

His eyes narrowed. “Open my mind to what?”

Reed’s voice lowered, and his eyes focused on him more intensely.

“Giving in to your fate, as I have. It’s so much easier.”

“My fate is to get back to my life with Ethan. That’s what I believe.”

Reed clenched his fists. “Enough! I don’t want to hear anything more about Ethan. Your destiny is to remain here with me. We’re alike the two of us. Nobody else could ever understand. We can be together, just you and I. You just have to let go of the fear and embrace your new existence, your new life.”

He let out a sharp laugh. “Life? This isn’t any life being trapped here. We’re completely alone and separated from the people we love. Our bodies are dying in our world as we speak. How can you be okay with that?”

Reed shrugged. “I don’t have a choice. My life is no longer mine.”

“I don’t know what that means or why you’re talking in all these riddles, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not right what’s happened to us, and it’s not fair. I’m going to get my life back.”

Reed gave him a blank stare. “You’re hurting. I felt the same way when I came here, but the pain’s stopped. There’s a way to make all the pain go away.”

Kasey put his hand up and stepped back. “It’ll never stop until I’m able to go back.” He looked around the room. “There has to be some way out of here.”

“There may be one, but it’s going to require you to do something you’re not going to like.”

His face brightened. “I’d do anything to get back to Ethan. Just tell me what I have to do.”

Reed cocked his head to one side. “I’ve made a deal with the Wickcliff ancestors who are bound to this mausoleum and the cemetery surrounding it. They aren’t strong enough to escape the cemetery yet. With your help, they could be. If you assist them, they may be able to get you home.”

Reed fed Kasey the same lie that the ancestors told him to gain possession of his soul. Kasey wasn’t buying that. His intuition told him that the ancestors were the reason for the change in Reed’s demeanor.

“What did you do, Reed?”

“I did what I had to do to survive, to get the everlasting life they promised me.”

“There’s no such thing.”

Reed shook his head. “They promised me that I’d live forever, long after my body dies, and now I will.”

“I don’t know much about the ancestors, but I know what Jeremy’s done to us. If the rest of the Wickcliffs are as ruthless, they can’t be trusted. They’ll do anything to get what they want. You have to know that.”

Reed grinned, revealing that his teeth had now turned black, green, and gray. Several of them were missing.

“You’re wrong. All it took to have immortal life is a soul.”

Kasey’s eyes widened. “What are you saying?”

“What’s a soul, Kase? We can’t see it. We can’t feel it. We don’t even know that it’s there. It’s inconsequential, wouldn’t you agree? I think it was a small price to pay.”

He backed up towards the door. “God, it’s already too late, isn’t it? You’re one of them.”

Reed’s sinister grin grew wider and eyes blazed with intensity.

“It’s bliss, Kasey. You don’t feel anything. No pain, no anger, nothing.”

Kasey’s eyes expressed compassion. “And, you also don’t feel love or happiness. I’m so sorry, Reed.”

His heart sank knowing that his friend was gone, and it devastated him to see what Jeremy’s actions had done to him. Reed had once been a kind, caring, and compassionate young man adored by everyone in Sleepy Meadows. Now he was soulless, devoid of any genuine feeling. Kasey felt the same despair I did when I looked into Reed’s face.

The mausoleum began to shake with such great force that they both lost their footing. The walls cracked, and corpses stirred in their tombs. Kasey fell, stood back up, struggling to regain his footing.

“What’s happening, Reed?”

Reed’s eyes broadened. “They’ve awakened.”

The shutters on the windows closed with a sharp bang and the mausoleum went dark again. Wailing filled the air, and the sounds of the dead surrounded them. The same three skeletons that had surrounded Reed to take his soul stepped out of the darkness. They had been the Wickcliff ancestors, Pierre and Marguerite Wickcliff, Jeremy’s grandparents, and Harold Wickcliff, his father. After their deaths and their entrapment in the cenotaph of the mausoleum, they had shortened their names to Err, Mag, and Har.

“Welcome, Mr. Menze,” Har said. “We’ve been expecting you.”

Kasey pressed his back to the wall. “Let me out of here right now.”

Har raised his bony hand to his chest, which was only a rib cage.

“In due course. First, you give us what we want.”

Kasey shifted his attention to the other two before facing Har again.

“Which is?”

Har’s teeth chattered. “Your soul.”

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michael-klinger

Michael Klinger – Co-Author of Midnight’s Edge, Jenny’s Not Dead

Michael Klinger was born in Niagara Falls, New York. He received an associate’s degree in human services from Niagara County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix. He has made a living as a professional benefits specialist.

He co-writes fan fiction blogs for the defunct daytime serials, Another World and Dark Shadows, and runs Facebook groups for readers to actively participate in the stories.

He is the co-author of “Midnight’s Edge: The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows”, a supernatural book series, that will be published by Melange Books, LLC in September 2015. He also pens his self-published mystery series called “Jenny’s Not Dead” which is currently available in all popular ebook formats.

He currently resides in southern Virginia.

david

David Chappuis was born in Waterloo, Iowa, the fifth child of six, and grew up on a farm outside of Madrid, New York. He received a bachelor’s degree in English/Writing and Art/Studio from Potsdam College and later took professional development courses in Interactive Multimedia at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
He has made a living as a professional web designer, designing Radio Station websites across the U.S. He designs, develops, and hosts his own websites and blogs for his writing endeavors.
As well as web design, he co-writes fan fiction blogs for the defunct daytime serials, Another World and Dark Shadows, and runs Facebook groups for readers to actively participate in the stories. He also interviews the real-life actors from the shows as well as other talented people.
He is the co-author of “Midnight’s Edge: The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows”, a supernatural book series, that will be published by Melange Books, LLC in September 2015. He also pens his self-published mystery series called “Jenny’s Not Dead” which is currently available in all popular ebook formats.
He works from home as a full-time writer and graphic artist in southern Virginia.

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