Friday, October 21, 2011

Guest Blog and Halloween Giveaway with Lucy Felthouse

5 Things That Scare Me by Lucy Felthouse

It's that time of year again. The days are growing shorter (well, in the Northern Hemisphere, they are!), the leaves are falling from the trees and it's growing colder. That can only mean one thing... Halloween is approaching! As part of Roxanne's fab Halloween event, I'd like to dish the dirt on a few things that scare me, as well as sharing a chilling excerpt from my Halloween themed f/f release, Weekend at Wilderhope Manor, which just released from Summerhouse Publishing. So without further ado and in no particular order...

1. Spiders – but at least I know I'm not alone in this one!

2. Butterflies – no, I have no idea why, either.

3. Freddy Kreuger – I blame it on the fact I watched a film with him in at a very young, impressionable age and have never been able to shake the fact he creeps me the f**k out!

4. The episode of Supernatural in season one called Asylum. Much as I love the boys, every time I re-watch the show, I always skip that episode. For some reason I found it truly terrifying.

5. Dying – pretty self-explanatory, huh?

*****
Excerpt from Weekend at Wilderhope Manor

The hedge which lined the right-hand side of their path had come to an end now, and off to that side was another lawn. Beyond that, a much higher hedge with a purpose designed gap to admit entry. It had to be the maze. The girls walked across the lawn in the direction of the maze's entrance. Once they reached it, they looked at each other in awe. The maze's walls were even higher than they'd first thought.

Jenny said, "I think I'd rather we went in together. Wouldn't you? It's all a bit Alice in Wonderland, and I don't want to come a cropper with the Queen of Hearts while you're drinking tea with the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit."

Stephanie laughed out loud, jabbing Jenny playfully with an elbow. "Where do you come up with these ideas?! It's just a maze, sweetheart. But if it'll make you feel better, we'll go through together. I guess it could get a little creepy as we get inside."

That decided, the girls walked in. Stephanie, the more logical of the two, led the way through the narrow corridors in search of the elusive centre. She felt confident at first, but as the twists and turns continued, she felt less so. That and the fact that she'd been right about the creep factor. It was a clear but not particularly bright day, resulting in very little natural light penetrating the hedges that made up the maze. It was navigable but incredibly gloomy, and Stephanie sensed that Jenny was staying as close behind her as possible without treading on the backs of her shoes. Honestly, she didn't blame her. Even Stephanie was starting to feel a little spooked. The silence wasn't helping. From their sheltered position, they could see glimpses of the sky, but they couldn’t hear anything other than the sound of their own footsteps and breathing.

Stephanie picked up the pace, albeit subtly. She didn't want to worry Jenny, but she wasn't quite sure where they were and she was feeling really quite nervous. Despite the silence and the fact they hadn't seen another soul since they'd left the house, Stephanie suddenly had the oddest feeling that they weren't alone. It was a silly notion, because the walls of the maze were so thick that you couldn't see through them, so it wasn't like anyone could be secretly spying on them. But Stephanie simply could not shake her apprehension. She desperately wanted to get out of the maze, but saw no way of doing it quickly. Even turning back wouldn't guarantee a swift exit because they wouldn't remember each twist and turn they'd taken. They could just end up stuck in here even longer.

Suddenly, Jenny's Alice in Wonderland comment didn't seem so stupid after all. Refusing to let Jenny sense her fear, she looked steadfastly in front of her and carried on walking. Then she heard the crack of a twig which sounded like it came from up ahead. Unfortunately, Jenny heard it too.

"Wh – what was that?!" Jenny said, clutching onto the back of Stephanie's coat.

In spite of all her layers, Stephanie felt a shiver run down her spine but forced herself to continue putting one foot in front of the other. Trying – and failing – to inject some normalcy into her voice, she replied, "Pr – probably just someone else from the house. You can enter from either side of the maze, remember. They could have come in the opposite end. I expect we'll bump into them shortly."

They didn't bump into anyone, but the path started to broaden and they soon emerged into the centre of the maze, much to Stephanie's relief. She knew they were far from home and dry, but at least she wasn't feeling like the walls were closing in on her anymore. They took a few minutes to stop and Stephanie looked into each of the paths leading off the centre to see if she could see anyone lurking there. She was reminded of the incident in the corridor outside the library the previous evening, and wondered if the same person was trying to scare them here, too. She decided not to say anything to the other girl. There was no point; with Jenny's imagination she'd be conjuring up ghosts and ghouls left, right and centre and getting her out of the maze would be even more of a chore than it was already.

"Come on," Stephanie said loudly, as if trying to prove how perfectly fine she was feeling, "let's get going."

Stephanie walked towards the potential exit paths and chose one, hoping against hope that it was the right one. She didn't know how much longer her nerve would hold out. Jenny followed close behind, seemingly calmer now as the single broken twig hadn't been followed up by anything else. Walking steadily onwards, Stephanie made quick decisions on their turns, thinking that even if she got it wrong, keeping this pace would mean she could correct quickly and get them the hell out of the maze.

Neither girl spoke. After a while, Stephanie wasn't sure how close they were to the exit, but she sensed they were almost there. They hadn't hit a dead end in a while. Then she heard a noise from behind Jenny. Spinning, she grabbed Jenny and pushed in front of her, ready to face their foe head on. She was terrified, but she sure wasn't going to show it.

"Who's there?"

Nothing. Stephanie waited, her upper arms starting to hurt where Jenny was gripping them tightly.

"Hello? Are you lost?"

Still no response. If there was a genuine patron in the maze, they'd have replied.

"Oh for fuck's sake!" Stephanie yelled. "What are you, some kind of creepy pervert that likes scaring women? Well it's not working!"

She was lying through her teeth, of course, but she wasn't going to let their stalker know that.

"We're going now, anyway. So you'll have to find someone else to try and scare, all right?"

This time, the response was the sudden approach of heavy footsteps. As one, both girls spun round and ran in the direction they'd been heading as fast as they could. The noise they were now making masked out any their assailant might have been producing, but Stephanie didn't care. She wanted out – now. She ran close behind Jenny, thanking their lucky stars when she finally saw an opening in the hedge which would lead them back out of this godforsaken hole.
Jenny had obviously spotted it too, as she had a sudden burst of speed which took her right to the exit. She was almost on the grass when she suddenly tripped – over nothing. Stephanie had no time to react and she ended up tripping over Jenny and they both sprawled on the grass in a heap. They hurriedly disentangled, aware they were being followed and about to come face-to-face with their attacker.

Only, they weren't. Whoever had been pursuing them in the maze didn't emerge.

*****
Blurb:

When Stephanie and Jenny go to a Murder Mystery Halloween weekend at Wilderhope Manor, they’re expecting fun and games. But following creaky floorboards, spooky noises and an alarming encounter in the Manor’s grounds, the girls begin to wonder if there’s more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye. As they find frequent comfort in one another’s arms – and their bed – will the girls discover what’s causing the bumps in the night, or will they run scared?

*****
About the Author:

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

*****
COMMENT TO WIN!

Want to win yourself a PDF copy of Weekend at Wilderhope Manor? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us something that scares you. Make sure you include your email address in the body of the comment too. The winner will be drawn on the 28th October. Good luck!

6 comments:

Marilyn Jaye Lewis said...

really nice job, Lucy! perfect for Halloween! -- Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Kay Dee Royal said...

Just stopping in to support two friends here - Lucy and Roxanne *waves*

Have a great day ladies - congratulations again Lucy! I have this book and look forward to reading it soon.

JoAnne Kenrick said...

lol love it! And darn those movies we watch when we're obviously too young for them! I now have a fear of clowns because of watching Poltergeist far too young!

And maybe that's why scary zombie flicks make my skin crawl, too?

No need to enter me in the contest, I have my copy from ARe waiting for me to enjoy..and I'm really looking forward to it. Ghost stories are a favorite..mix it with mystery and romance and that sounds like heaven in a book to me :) hehe

Grats on all the success Weekend at Wilderhope Manor has garnered so far...and may it continue to sell like hot cakes.
xx

Lisa said...

G'morning! Just found Lucy via G+ and had to come check it out...great excerpt!

What scares me? Some clowns (I love Pierrot, but anything else and I get fleeting impressions of It). Heights.

elaing8 said...

Thanks for sharing that excerpt.Weekend at Wilderhope Manor sounds really good.

I'm scared of heights and certain bugs. Other than that I can't think of anything else.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Mindy said...

Great excerpt Lucy :)
The thing I'm most afraid of is the dark (I HATE it!)

Mindy :)
Birdsooong@aol.com