Haunted Flint

Haunted Flint

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

The Crimson Inkwell by Kenneth A. Baldwin




The Crimson Inkwell
The Luella Winthrop Trilogy
Book One
Kenneth A. Baldwin

Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Eburnean Books
Date of Publication: May 8th, 2019

ISBN: 1095674749
ASIN: B07Q76QYMW
Number of pages: 277
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Vikncharlie

Tagline: A Gaslamp Fantasy Novel

The Crimson Inkwell is a story about journalist Luella Winthrop. In her journey to become Dawnhurst-on-Severn's most acclaimed writer, she discovers that her city houses dark, magical secrets too uncomfortable to believe.

When an enigmatic carnival worker offers her a pen that can turn fiction to fact, she quickly learns that tampering with the unknown can be intoxicating, lucrative, and dangerous.

Book Description:

Magic exists where we cannot see.

It lives in unexplained phenomena, in attraction to strangers, in a pen and crimson inkwell, from a trunk, in a tent, at a fair, in the fog.

I didn't believe in magic.

Before he died, my father taught me the world was solid. Reporting was more like science, anyway. Hard facts. Logical inferences. Of course, I wasn't exactly an award-winning reporter so what did I know about it? But, when Detective Edward Thomas told me he had seen a phantom, something woke up inside of me. I could have tried to dismiss it as a trick of the lamplight, but how else could I explain the body on the cobblestones?

Instead, I simply believed him, and not just because he was arrestingly handsome. I was engaged, after all, to a sensible, though older man--the same man who published my articles, in fact.

No. I believed him because somewhere, deep down, I knew magic was real. What's worse, I knew it was a part of me. The detective's ghost story had just woken me up.

As soon as I accepted this truth, everything changed. My writing career, my family, my domestic prospects, and my freedom.

What woman, pray tell, can fit three men and a writing career in her life and still keep her sanity?

But there I landed.

Byron was my fiancé. He was sensible. He could provide a modest life of means for my sister and me. He could also continue to publish my little articles in his weekly magazine. He adored me.

Edward was my detective, so good and true, straight as an arrow and noble as a knight. He inspired me to be something more. But, I could never live up to such a high standard.

Bram was a mystery. Who could say where his life had taken him before he met me or what adventures he had endured. Everything he did was curious. I was drawn to him in ways I didn't understand.

Could I escape this journey with my engagement intact? Which course would lead me down a road to the woman my father always believed I should be?

And why did I feel so angry all the time?

My fingers still have that enchanted twitch even as I peck these words out on an old typewriter. Before another episode comes, let me tell you what happened that fateful autumn in Dawnhurst-on-Severn. . .


Excerpt:

“Excuse me,” I said, after clearing my throat.
“Who’s missing?” The clerk didn’t look up.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Missing persons will file with Ms. Turner down the hall.”
“I’m not here to report a missing person,” I replied. This was enough to give the clerk at least a moment’s pause. He glanced his terrier of a face up at me and squinted one eye in the lamplight.
“Has your husband beat you?”
“I’m not married. I’m looking for Sergeant George Cooper.”
“Sarge, you’ve got a visitor!” he bellowed down the hallway behind him before turning back to me. “Right down the hallway, Miss. He’ll be happy to have a visitor that isn’t a felon. I guess, assuming you’re not here to turn yourself in… You aren’t uh, you know, soliciting wares and suddenly discovered religion if you catch my meaning?”
This I did not grace with a verbal response. Instead, I leveled my eyes at him the way I used to as governess of an impish child, took off my gloves menacingly, and started down the hall.
“Please have a seat,” said whom I presumed to be the Ms. Turner the clerk had mentioned. She wore a tweed skirt and vest, and her hair was done up into what was once a bun. She too was busy in paperwork, pounding away furiously at a typewriter. I brushed off a filthy chair and waited. I watched Ms. Turner for some time, wondering what pathway may have brought her to this desk. She appeared older than me. It’s difficult to guess the age of women around the middle of their lives, but the gentle lines around her eyes hinted to me that she was now closer to forty than thirty. I noticed no wedding ring.
I felt an almost immediate kinship to Ms. Turner. It wasn’t a large stretch to imagine that I was looking at myself in ten years, pounding away at a typewriter, perhaps trying to publish works of my own in my spare time outside of my professional duties.
I have Byron now. I had to remind myself about my fiancé so often. How silly. Even when I was here on his bidding, for his publication no less.
“I wasn’t drinking on the job, sir!” I heard a man’s raised voice through the sergeant’s door.
Ms. Turner slowly looked up at me. “They all say that.”
The door swung wide open, and I was struck by what I could only assume was the model for a police force figurine. The man had an acutely trim waistline that stretched up into a broad chest and shoulders. His hair was combed impeccably, as if each strand dared not stray from its assigned position. His eyes, alert and lively, were peculiarly warm for being steely grey. His brow furrowed, and his neatly trimmed policeman’s mustache curved downward into a disconcerting frown.
He swept through the office door and stood erect, as though he was at a self-called attention. Behind him, the large Sergeant George Cooper, a man whom I could only describe as a younger, meaner looking Father Christmas, filled the doorway.
“I don’t want outlandish stories, Lieutenant. I want arrests. I want brigands behind bars. I want young do-it-alls like you to stop trying to turn every little case into the next apocalypse,” Sergeant Cooper stammered. He was only mostly red in the face.
The young lieutenant stood and, though he looked thoroughly unamused, took the tongue lashing admirably.
“You’ve got a visitor,” butted in Ms. Turner. Sergeant Cooper looked at me, and his expression instantly melted into a rehearsed sympathy.
“Ma’am, my deepest apologies,” he said, putting his hand on his heart. “Do you have a missing person to report?”
“No,” I stuttered. “I’m here… do you get a lot of missing persons?”
“Most of the women we see in here are reporting a missing husband or, regrettably, a missing child,” he replied.
“I’m sorry to hear that. But, and, well, I’m not sure how to put this exactly. I’m here from Langley’s Miscellany, and I—”
Before I could finish my sentence, the warm expression on Sergeant Cooper’s face melted away.
“You’re a reporter. Thank you, Miss, but the door’s over there.” He turned and retreated back into his office. I stuck my foot in the door, which was more painful than I thought it might be.
“I don’t want to be a bother. I’m just curious about the latest. I don’t mean to fabricate anything or inflate your efforts. I just—”
“You just want to be first to know about the dreadful muck the police force deals with each day.”
“Well, yes,” I replied.
“Like I said, Miss, the door is over there. I have a lot to do.” He put on a pair of spectacles and sat down at his desk. I felt a burn creep up my cheeks. It was one thing to be denied, another to be rejected right in front of a woman I had suddenly come to admire and a deeply handsome police lieutenant. The propriety!
“Please, you knew my father,” I said. He looked up at me over his spectacles. They were comically small for his large face. “Gerald Winthrop.”
“Jerry Winthrop?” the sergeant said with a laugh. “Devils blind me. You were the scrap of a thing always hiding in the corner, thinking we couldn’t see you.”
I nodded. He barked out a triumphant laugh.
“Your father was a hell of a man! Always sticking his nose in places it didn’t belong. Any mate of his in trouble, he’d be here before a spit trying to talk their way out it.” He stared into the air as if he could see my father in the office presently. “How is Jerry doing? I got into more arguments with him. He could take a yelling and deal it out in turn. If only my lieutenants had half the backbone. We exchanged words like lads in a fistfight.”
“Well, I hope you got the last word in then,” I said. His countenance dropped sharply.
“You don’t mean—how’d it happen?”
“Fever. Or something like that. I never did get a straight answer from the doctors.” I hated doctors. A fair majority of them might as well be bunkmates with critics.
“Doctors are thieves,” the sergeant said.
“I’m very sorry for your loss, Miss,” said a clear voice behind me. They were the first words the lieutenant said to me. The purity in his voice took me off guard. After losing my father, I’d heard “I’m sorry for your loss” time and time again. In nearly every case, it was mere etiquette, obligation, and passing fancy, as though someone might check a box of a tidy little list somewhere by saying the appropriate thing. This man, whom I barely knew, sounded arrestingly sincere.
I turned toward him, and he bowed slightly. Behind him, Ms. Turner slid into focus with two very inquisitive eyebrows.
“Yes, well, this is Lieutenant Edward Thomas. He’s our resident… bleeding heart and imaginist,” Sergeant Cooper said. Edward extended a hand.
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” I said. His eyes were smothering. I couldn’t seem to escape them. He had no shyness about looking a stranger squarely in the face, that’s for certain.
“The pleasure is mine,” I managed. “Imaginist?” I inquired of the sergeant.
“No doubt in it. In fact, Lieutenant Thomas may be exactly what you’re looking for,” he said with a coy smile.
“I’m engaged,” I spit out.
Sergeant Cooper erupted into an ungraciously loud belly laugh. I noticed Ms. Turner turn her face down to suppress a giggle as well. Edward flushed.
“I’m sure you are. I meant for the stories you’ve been looking for,” Cooper said. I immediately felt feverish as itchy perspiration appeared on the small of my back. Luella Winthrop. Gift with words, I have.
“He has a story for me then?” I muttered, eager to move on.

“Aye. Lieutenant Thomas here claims to have seen a ghost!”


About the Author:

Kenneth A. Baldwin loves stories you can sink your teeth into.

He lives nestled under the Wasatch Mountain Range with his wife and dog. He writes historical fantasy. When he's not working on his next book, he can be found teaching story mechanics or sketch comedy writing.

Kenny has worked as a staff writer for TV, Radio, web, and comedy scripts for years. The Crimson Inkwell is his first published novel.



https://www.youtube.com/insteadofwriting

Get a free copy of the book through BookFunnel 
when you subscribe to the author’s newsletter https://dl.bookfunnel.com/sxbsfnq409



Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Destiny of the Witch by J. M. Davies




Destiny of the Witch
The Rise of Orion Series
Book Four
J. M. Davies

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: J. M. Davies

Date of Publication: April 10th, 2020.
ISBN: ISBN-9798620706396
ASIN:  B085D8KJGG
Number of pages: 247
Word Count: 77,293

Cover Artist: Gabrielle Prendergast

Tagline: Haunted soul-shifter, Ella Masters’ destiny is to defeat her nemesis, the Morrigan, and save mankind, but since when does destiny ever play fair?

Book Description:

In the thrilling climax of the Rise of Orion series, the stakes are higher than ever before as  Ella Masters risks everything to fulfill her destiny. As the last Welsh witch and soul-shifter, she has battled many enemies, but none as malevolent as the Morrigan. The devious goddess is determined to destroy not only her, but mankind as well.

Betrayed by her lover Marcus Drayton, an agent for the security team Orion, and facing impossible odds Ella must find the strength to fight her deadly adversary—alone.

Marcus is desperate to save Ella. In a daring and calculated move, he surrenders  himself to the Morrigan to prevent his soul mate from clashing swords with the harbinger of death. But has he underestimated what’s at play? When the seductive goddess, manipulates him—her true agenda in this twisted game is revealed. 

With the world a battlefield and the very balance of nature under threat, will Ella and Marcus defeat their foes? Will destiny keep them together or tear them apart?

Excerpt:
Ella spun around, facing a bloody battle scene. Chaos surrounded her and for a moment, she froze, unsure what to do. Marcus was at the edge of the beach, fighting several monsters, and the cats from the island were jumping on the creatures’ backs and clawing at them, only to be tossed aside. Ghostly skeletal and sinewy figures swarmed the wedding party like ants, wielding swords and brandishing axes and slicing down those in their way. The creatures dragged thick swirls of mist from the ocean, making visibility patchy at best. The moans and yells grew louder.
When a one-armed corpse hollered and lunged at her with his silver blade held high above his mottled head, Ella launched into action. Luckily, with her attacker’s reduced eyesight, his aim sucked, and he missed, giving her time to duck out of the way. The sudden movement ripped the delicate seam of her dress, revealing her stash of weapons strapped to her legs. Grabbing her knife from the holster secured around her thigh, she twisted around, ready to fight back, but hesitated for a second, unsure where to stick her weapon into the boney carcass to cause maximum damage. A silver breastplate covered the creature’s chest.
Cries and roars surrounded her. Ella couldn’t believe the chaos and plunged the knife into the monster’s side, where pink muscle and torn flesh hung loose. The creature wailed but managed to grab her throat and squeezed it tight. His sharp skeletal bones tightened, shutting off her air supply, stealing her breath. Blinking to stay awake, she watched as a blurry figure grabbed the decomposing form. In one fluid motion, he snapped the creature’s neck and ripped the head off, dropping it to the ground. Heaving in a lungful of oxygen, she didn’t have time to respond as Roman, the prince of vampires, whisked her off the ground to stand next to Isabella on the wedding dais. The vampire pulled her in close and hugged her tight.
“I should’ve known…” she said, still catching her breath. “I detected a foul scent earlier. It smelled like a dead body,” Ella said. Being a soul-shifter, one of her talents was to detect other creatures by their scents. She crouched low with her small blade out in front, backed against Roman, Isabella, and several vamps as the fog swirled around them.
“That monster would’ve killed you, Ella. How the hell did they get through the wards?” Isabella asked.
“I would like to know the answer to that,” Roman yelled.
“The wards were set up so no one would get inside…” Isabella shrieked.
“Well, the undead are definitely here and they weren’t on my guest list. These creatures don’t abide by normal rules. They are deadly assassins who’ll keep coming until they have achieved their goal. The only way to kill them is to sever the head. Nothing else will work. But for us to do that, we need to be able to see them. Now would be a good time to use your unique gifts to get rid of this infernal mist!” Roman hollered.
“You think I haven’t already tried?” Isabella replied.
The prince switched his gaze between the women and the battlefield, obviously weighing up the odds. Ella tilted her head, calling out for the spirits to help to disperse the fog that blanketed the ground.
“You need to leave. There’s too many of them,” Roman shouted. He nodded at one of his guards. The vampire grabbed hold of Isabella’s arm, but she struggled in protest.
“I’m not leaving. You can’t ask me to, Roman. This is my fight too. This is our wedding.”
Roman kissed her on the lips and without another word, Isabella vanished, along with the guard. The prince flicked his gaze over at Ella. “Don’t look at me like that. After all, she’s hardly dressed for a fight, and the creatures have weapons that destroy our kind. You shouldn’t be here either, not in your condition, but I suspect you would protest as much as Isabella. Fortunately for you, I have no authority where you’re concerned. But tread carefully, my feroce guerriero.”



About the Author:

J. M.Davies, Jen is the author of The Rise of Orion paranormal romance series as well as several contemporary and YA fantasy novels under the name, Jennifer Owen Davies. Jen’s novels are available worldwide in Ebook and print format.  In 2014, she was signed with Secret Cravings to write the Children of Annwn fantasy series and in 2018 signed with Limitless Publishing to write the Bound by Love series. Jen is also an indie author producing and publishing work of her own.

Jen loves to create realistic and flawed characters who deserve a happy ever hopefully providing a satisfying read.  

J. M. Davies, Jen, is originally from Wales in the UK, but now lives with her family in a small town in New England close to the city of Boston, the coast, and the mountains. Both countries are huge sources of inspiration for her writing. Since she could read, Jen has enjoyed an eclectic taste in books, but loves all thing's romance, and from her love of the written word stemmed the desire to create her own satisfying stories. Although, a shortie at only five feet tall, she has a big heart and hopes that is evident in her storytelling.

Jen has been married for twenty-three years to her greatest supporter. She is mom to four boys, an adorable rescue hound called Ella, and a feline called Kitkat. When she isn’t writing paranormal or contemporary romance, Jen manages a local romance only book club called ‘Babes with Books’. She loves discovering old treasures at yard sales and revamping them, watching Grey’s Anatomy, walking on the beach, cooking, biking and when there’s time the gym. She loves to chat to readers and below are some ways to stay in touch with the latest news about her books and competitions. If you haven’t read any of Jen’s book sign-up for her newsletter, and you’ll receive a free book! 






Author J. M. Davies Cheerleaders https://www.facebook.com/groups/2463223277292776

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 04, 2020

New Release: Let’s Talk About Hex Erotic Short Stories from the World of the Vehicle City Vampires by Roxanne Rhoads

Let’s Talk About Hex
Erotic Short Stories from the World of the Vehicle City Vampires
Roxanne Rhoads

Genre: Paranormal Erotica

Publisher: Bewitching Books

Book Description:

After the humans go away, the supernaturals play. 

Welcome to Vehicle City.

Let’s Talk About Hex features sixteen erotic short stories set in the world of the Vehicle City Vampires, including two brand new, never before published stories.


Amazon     BN     Kobo     Apple     Smashwords 







Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Guest Blog and Giveaway - Love Spell in London by Shereen Vedam #Giveaway



Hi, thanks for inviting me to visit Roxanne’s Realm. I’m thrilled to be here and talk about this intriguing yet terrifying subject.

In Greek mythology, the underworld is the place where souls are led to after death. A place ruled by the god Hades.

In some Christian beliefs, the underworld is equivalent to Hell, where evil souls are subjected to punishment, for all eternity. Purgatory is not as permanent as Hell and is often considered as an intermediary spot filled with fire, a place or process, for after-death purification. Or could it be a waiting room, for either the upper or underworld assignments to come through?

Now the “lake of fire,” according to Wikipedia, is found in both Christian (in Revelations) and Egyptian (in the Book of the Dead) religions. In the bible, under Revelations, it’s described as a final place of judgment, and a place of torment.

Revelation 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

Since I’m a fantasy fiction author, I took the liberty of delving a little into many of the above concepts and then built an underworld wholly out of my imagination. I wanted to create a place to examine our life choices – is there redemption in the underworld? Could there be time limits for a place that promises eternal damnation? Or is Hell our very own creation?

In Love Spell in London’s underworld, there is a devil, there are demons, and there is an actual lake of fire where even demons fear to tread. It was both fun and chilling to write those scenes. Then again, that’s the best part of being an author. We get to safely cross the threshold of places where we would never dream of vacationing.

What’s your concept of the underworld?


Love Spell in London
The Cauldron Effect
Book Three
Shereen Vedam

Genre: Regency Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication: March 31, 2020
ISBN:  978-0-9953447-9-2
ASIN: B07ZTBR92H
Number of pages: 265
Word Count:  85,443

Cover Artist: Desiree De’orto

Tagline: By the pricking of my thumbs…

Book Description:

A healing witch hopes her stolen hellhounds’ passionate master will return soon to claim his hounds, and perhaps, notice her. When he does, not only does she catch his eye, but also that of his fiendish dark fae mother.



Excerpt:
“Grace,” her mother said in a curt voice. “This is Mr. Devlin Chase Dewer. Mr. Dewer, my daughter, Miss Grace Elizabeth Adair.”
The stark introduction did not do justice to the young lady in the doorway. She stood with her left knee slightly bent, ankle provocatively tilted. She had raised her chin and head, emphasizing an exquisite neck, while her wide eyes observed him with direct, inquisitive scrutiny.
“He is here to reclaim his . . . beasts,” her mother said.
In Baroness Mandell’s hesitation over the word “beasts,” Dewer heard “demons.”
Her snub of his hellhounds slid off his back like a bead of oil. It wasn’t her first insult since his arrival. He had been here for forty odd minutes – feels like a month – awaiting this enchanting creature’s return home. All that while, Lady Mandell refused to be seated, as if admitting him into her home was an affront she could not take sitting down.
The baroness’s upright stance had meant Dewer must also remain on his feet. Not a terrible inconvenience as he had sat more than stood since leaving Wales yesterday morning. For the last five minutes, however, Lady Mandell had been shifting from foot to foot; suggesting their Napoleonic standoff would end shortly with either his departure or her capitulation by taking a seat and thus allowing him to do so as well.
“I have sent for a fresh pot of tea,” the old witch on the sofa said. Lady Mandell’s mother was apparently oblivious to the baroness’s intention to discourage their guest lingering.
Dewer was glad of the tea idea. He may not need to sit, but he was thirsty, for the raven-haired vision in blue in the doorway left his mouth as parched as a desert.
It was hard to mistake the family resemblance between these three females. All had high cheekbones, tall statures and a natural sensuality that age had not appreciably diminished. All similarities ended on the visual plane.
Miss Adair seemed intrigued by his presence, but wary. Well she should be. Thief.
Her mother, Baroness Mandell, had been itching to toss him out since he first stepped into her home. Harridan.
The eldest witch was the most approachable. Unfortunately, she was currently leaning forward to entice Farfur with a crumpet. Crumbs littered the Persian carpet between his feet and hers, as she made atrocious smacking noises from between pursed lips. Definitely Dotty.
Dewer took hold of Farfur’s scruff again, to ensure Dotty, his only ally in the room, would not lose her fingers if the hellhound decided to accept her insanely ill-thought-out offer of a treat.
 “We must leave for London forthwith, Grace.” A negligent flick of the Harridan’s hand, and the crumbs on the carpet vanished. “I hope your morning visit with your cousin was elucidating and makes Mr. Dewer’s visit timely.”
So, that is why Harridan permitted him to enter her home. She wants the hellhounds gone. Excellent!
Grace’s full mouth firmed, her hands clenched and that tempting ankle straightened, signifying that no matter her mother’s preference, Dewer was not about to depart with his hounds without protest. The young witch’s stormy gaze met his in a battle cry that tightened his chest muscles. He repressed the urge to smile with relish at the looming fight.



About the Author:

Once upon a time, USA Today bestselling author Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure.

Shereen's a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.



Blog – Magic Ahoy! : https://www.shereenvedam.com/blog/



Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/shereenvedam/boards/         





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 23, 2020

Photographs by James Garcia Jr



Photographs
James Garcia Jr

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: James Garcia Jr


Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
ISBN: 9781655811678
ASIN: B083H87YJ6
Number of pages: 390
Word Count: 84,798
Cover Artist: Maria Zannini

Tagline: One night, two exceptional women meet; one black, one white. Both carry broken hearts and one has been dead sixty years.

Book Description:

One night, two exceptional women meet; one black, one white. Both carry broken hearts and one has been dead for sixty years.

In 1956, film actress Allison Belle abandoned the glamour of Hollywood for Fresno, California, and an idyllic new life.

In 1959, she disappeared altogether.

Sixty years later, real estate agent Joanna Johnson steps unsuspectingly into the old Belle house and a story long forgotten.

A devastating personal event opens a hidden door into the actress’s world. The mystery behind what broke Allison’s heart and what ultimately happened to her is revealed slowly by a series of long lost photographs the agent uncovers; the relationship she builds with the actress’s ninety year old husband; and through a series of “dreams” she has where she relives the moments captured by each photograph - herself a participant in them.

The closer Joanna gets to the truth, the closer she gets to suffering the same fate.

Amazon     Smashwords

Excerpt:

“In these daydreams and dreams that I have glimpsed, I have seen the best of a woman who was so pleased to have left her past life.” She held out her hands and motioned around her. “She loved this place and everything about it. I have seen her happier doing yardwork than she appears in any red-carpet premiere photo on the Internet, and I’ve seen many of those. I have heard her laugh and shared sweet moments with her.”
“So, what happened to her?” John asked.
Joanna grew silent. “I wish I knew.” She sighed and thought it over. “I believe her last moments were spent in isolation. Richard appears in fewer and fewer of the memories toward the end. I’m not sure why. He’s in Hollywood now, so perhaps the pull of that life tugged him back. One of the last moments I spent with her, for lack of a better explanation, she was sitting by this window.” Joanna turned and pointed behind her.
“What was she doing?” John asked.
Joanna stared at the spot. “Nothing. Well, drinking. Drinking pretty heavily, actually. In the end, I think it was all she had.” She turned back around, and her gaze settled on the pool. She lifted a hand to her face.
“What is it?” Shelly asked.
“The first night I stayed here, I found an old bottle of Scotch in a cabinet that would not open to me. When it finally did, that’s when I found the first photo. It was her booze. I had entirely too much of it and ended up in the pool.”
“Why?” Shelly asked.
“I think I was trying to kill myself.”
“Oh, my God,” Shelly said. “Because of your engagement?”
Joanna shook her head. “No. I think it was Ally. I saw an outline of somebody standing on the ledge of the pool. When I came up for air, she was gone. But she had been there. I really don’t understand it myself.” Both faces were glued to hers. “I found the previous renter.”
“The zoo guy?” John asked.
“Director Eggars,” Shelly added.
Joanna nodded. She looked into Shelly’s eyes. “He really didn’t want to talk to me once I told him about the house. Know what he said to me?”
Shelly shook her head.
“He said, ‘Please don’t tell me you ended up in that pool.’” Joanna looked from one to the other and back at the pool. “His wife ended up in the pool, too. I get the feeling it had happened more than once. That last time, he got her and their kids out of here and never came back.”
“Is the pool haunted?” John asked, turning around to face it.
“I don’t think it’s the pool,” Joanna answered. “But I wonder if Ally tried to kill herself and every woman who stays here feels the same compulsion. Perhaps that’s what she was staring at when I sat with her. Maybe she was preparing herself…” She grew silent while she contemplated this.
“Maybe she didn’t try,” John said. “I know it sounds creepy, but maybe she succeeded.”
“John!” Shelly recoiled.
“I told you it was creepy,” he defended himself.
“It would explain much,” Joanna said. “Except what happened to the body.”

About the Author:


James Garcia Jr. was born in Hanford, California. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. The family still makes its home in Kingsburg which is typically the setting of his fiction.

He was the 1994 winner of the Writers International Network/Writers Inter-Age Network writing contest in the horror category. He is the author of the Dance on Fire edgy vampire series and the stand-alone paranormal, Seeing Ghosts.

During the day, he is a manager at Sun-Maid Growers of California.






a Rafflecopter giveaway