Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Our House" a suburban mystery, FREE on Amazon Kindle February 1st!




A dream house with a deadly secret....

A twenty-year-old murder mystery...

A young couple in trouble...

Amazon.com book description:

Some dream homes are deadly…Appearances can be deceiving. 

On the surface, 34-year-old Jennifer Huber seems to have it all: a handsome, loving husband, a six-year-old son whom they both adore. A respectable job. 

Jennifer and her husband have just purchased their first house: The neo-Tudor house at 1120 Dunham drive appears to be their “dream home”. 

But everything is not what it seems: The previous owner of the house has an unusual—and ultimately violent—attachment to the house. After the Hubers move in, sinister things begin to happen: Dead animals appear in closets, strange figures disturb the Hubers’ sleep in the middle of the night. 

There is more to the house at 1120 Dunham Drive than meets the eye: As Jennifer uncovers the secrets behind the home’s history, she finds herself drawn into a web of lies, violence, and sexual betrayal. 

All the while, Jennifer struggles to contain a secret of her own—and to combat an act of blackmail that could destroy her marriage. 

From the author of the crime novel ‘Blood Flats’, and the horror novel ‘Eleven Miles of Night’, ‘Our House’ is a riveting thrill ride through the dark undercurrents that might lie beneath the placid surface of a suburb near you.

Monday, January 30, 2017

'Eleven Miles of Night': FREE on Amazon Kindle, January 31st





Amazon book description:



“Jason Kelley is a young, struggling filmmaker looking for his first big break. When the semi-famous cable television ghost hunter Simon Rose approaches him about a freelance project, Jason is understandably thrilled. 
He isn’t fazed by the fact that his assignment is a walk down the Shaman’s Highway, an eleven-mile stretch of rural Ohio roadway that is reputed to be haunted by malevolent spirits, hellhounds, and demonic forces. Jason is an agnostic in regard to the supernatural. 
He isn’t prepared for the reality that awaits him on his walk through eleven miles of night—nor the more human violence and heartbreak that he will face along the way.”

Sample reader reviews:


"Scary and Good!!!! I really enjoyed reading this book - it actually had a very good plot and I'm leaving it on my Kindle so I can reread it later on. I do that with books I really like.
 
The book uses the concept of ghost hunting and a haunted road to put a new spin on the horror novel. Trimnell does a good job of exploring the psychological motivation of his characters and brings in threats both supernatural and human. I found some of the scenarios truly creepy. Overall, a fun horror read." 


"This was a well written supernatural horror novel. It pulled me in quickly and kept me riveted the whole time. Believable characters, excellent pacing, nice writing. I am not familiar with Edward Trimnell, but if he is another one of these indie/newbie authors, he is a hundred times better than what is typical for those, and they should all look to him as an example for how to do it."


 "It kept me on the edge of my seat and I had to finish! Excellent writing."


 "This was one of the most gripping horror books I have ever read, and it will be one I keep on hand to re-read again and again. I was literally hooked after the first chapter. The story line was original, the characters believable, and the ending unexpected. For anyone who is looking for a fast-paced story for a dark and rainy night, THIS is the one!" 

 "I really enjoyed this book! A young film student gets a great opportunity to work for a well-know "ghost buster". He's promised $2,000 if he will walk down the Shaman Road alone at night, a road reputed to have excessive paranormal activity, and film what he sees. Jason takes the job and begins his eleven mile walk. Spoiler alert: an encounter on the bridge literally made my scalp crawl! Does Jason make it to the end? You'll have to read the book to find out. If you enjoy horror stories that give you the chills and makes you turn on that extra light at night, you'll like this one!"


FREE on Kindle: January 31st only!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

FREE on Amazon Kindle, Jan. 30th: "Thanatos Postponed: a short tale of terror"




Amazon description:

Mark Bonner is a young college graduate from Ohio with an exciting new job. He has been hired as a private English tutor at the estate of Raul Garcia, a wealthy businessman of Zacatecas, Mexico. 

But there is more to the Garcia family than meets the eye. The Garcias' oldest daughter, Ana, is inexplicably missing. And there is something about one of the guesthouses, which the rest of the family avoids. The maid, Marisol, crosses herself when she passes near the guesthouse, and whispers, "¡Brujas!"--the Spanish word for "witches".

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher", "Thanatos Postponed" is a tale of a family with more than one secret, and a story of death "postponed".

Saturday, January 28, 2017

FREE on Kindle January 29th: Hay Moon & Other Stories!

Hay Moon and Other Stories: Sixteen Modern Tales of Horror and Suspense

Amazon description:

- During the Great Depression, a young boy confronts zombies

- In the present day, a software salesperson discovers that he can commune with the dead at airports.

- A business trip is cut short when three corporate colleagues stray into a den of vampires near a major interstate.

- A Russian gangster makes a killing in America---murdering romantic rivals for hire.

These are just a few of the bizarre scenarios that you will find in the pages of Hay Moon and Other Stories…



Sixteen modern tales of horror and suspense:

***Hay Moon*** 

In the summer of 1932, the undead invaded a corner of rural Ohio. Nearly eight decades later, one man still lives with the nightmares, and a horrible promise left unfulfilled.

***Giants in the Trees***

Jim knew that his older coworker, Paul Taulbee, had a checkered past. But he was unprepared for the horror he discovered on the night he gave Paul a ride home from the office.

***The Vampires of Wallachia***

Three corporate employees on a business trip stop at the wrong place for a late-night dinner: a restaurant in central Ohio that hides a terrifying secret.

***Bitter Hearts***

Have you been wronged in love? An Internet company promises to make things right for you---for a price.

***Gate Time*** 

Traveling software salesman Josh Gardner had never been afraid of airports---until he discovered that some of his fellow travelers were not what they appeared to be.

***By the River***

The old man who lived on the houseboat warned people about the shadows lurking beneath the waters of the Ohio River. But some failed to heed his warnings.

***The Girl She Used to Be***

Thirty years ago Allison disappeared on the night that her college boyfriend was planning to give her an engagement ring. Now Allison is back--- but she’s not the girl she used to be.

***The Caliphate***

When a terrorist organization stages a bloody takeover of a Canadian city, two friends are forced to confront their innermost demons---and each other.

***The Wasp***

Leo had always been afraid of wasps---especially wasps that learn to assume human form.

***The Red Devil***

A security guard at a car dealership learns that death lurks in the nocturnal hours in a city torn by gang warfare.


***The Robots of Jericho***

Pete Greer suspected that the industrial robots purchased by his company were more than mere machines. Alone in a West Virginia factory with them over an extended summer weekend, the robots threaten his sanity---and his life. 

***Last Dance with Emma***

University of Minnesota graduate students Eric and Randy travel back in time for hedonistic purposes. But when they visit New Year’s Eve 1978, Randy unexpectedly falls in love. Determined to secure an impossible future with a doomed young woman named Emma, Randy battles his friend, and the cruelty of a random universe.  

***Gaia Cried Out***

When Kara Teller met Nicholas Naretti in the student union of her university, she believed that she had found the ideal man. But there is something horribly wrong with Nicholas’s friends…And Kara reluctantly discovers that Nicholas harbors sinister intentions of his own.  

***Citizens***

Robert and Susan Craig discover that the politics of the twenty-second century in America can be deadly. A leisurely time travel voyage lands them in a cell in the bloodiest days of the French Revolution. Condemned to the guillotine by the Jacobins’ Committee of Public Safety, they suspect the hand of the rising American demagogue, Senator Barry Olsen.

***Whatever****

Corporate middle manager Greg Hensley simultaneously desires and loathes his new subordinate, Jessica Tanner. A bit of research into Jessica’s past reveals that Jessica may be dangerous. But Jessica may not be the only one who is hiding evil secrets.

***The Dreams of Lord Satu***

A dark tale of sci-fi horror: Rapid GeoWorks salesperson Marc Jonas is ordered to visit the remote planet of Kelphi, where his customer is a spiderlike alien that preys on human flesh.

Friday, January 27, 2017

'Blood Flats' FREE on Amazon Kindle, Saturday, January 28th only




Selected reader reviews:


“This is one of those stories that really rewards the reader for making it to the very end. Overall, it's an action packed, thrill ride that takes you from the hills and hollers of the backwoods into the sprawling cities and back.”

“A combination of Stephen Hunter, Lee Child, and No Country for Old Men!

“Action-packed thrill ride!”


Amazon.com description:


“Meth, murder, and the mafia---a vast tapestry of a southern gothic crime novel with a Dickensian cast of characters.” 

***Lee McCabe is home from Iraq, but home has changed.*** 

Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and recently discharged U.S. marine Lee McCabe never imagined the dangers awaiting him in Hawkins County, Kentucky. While Lee has been in the Middle East, a network of violent methamphetamine traffickers have established a foothold in the county, corrupting, intimidating, or murdering anyone who stands in their way. 

***Charged with murder and marked for death*** 

Lee quickly discovers that his neighbor, Tim Fitzsimmons is a meth dealer. When Fitzsimmons and his girlfriend are killed in a drug-related hit, Lee attempts to intervene. The law and the community blame Lee for the murder. The meth traffickers target Lee for death, knowing him to be a witness to the crime. 

***Enemies motivated by passion, greed, and desperation *** 

Sheriff Steven Phelps has his own personal reasons for hating Lee: Twenty-five years ago, Lee’s now deceased mother had a youthful affair with the sheriff. The sheriff planned to marry her--until she jilted him to be with the man who became Lee’s father. Phelps is torn by his duty to justice, and his obsession with the doomed love of his adolescence. 

Lester Finn is a classics-quoting, self-aggrandizing local hoodlum and meth dealer. He is caught between the law and the Chicago-based mafia, which wants a greater share of the southern methamphetamine trade. From his bar, the Boar’s Head, Lester controls a sordid regional enterprise that consists of gambling, drug trafficking, and prostitution. Lester is torn by his grudging respect for Lee---and his need to see the ex-marine dead. 

Paulie Sarzo is a Chicago mobster, a rising star in the Coscollino crime family. He despises Kentucky, Lee McCabe, and most of all, Lester Finn. But Paulie has an important mission to accomplish in Hawkins County: If he fails to eliminate Lee, he risks the ultimate punishment for failure in la cosa nostra. 


***A journey toward death or redemption*** 

Dawn Hardin is a former golden girl, honor student, and premed whose life has fallen into a downward spiral of meth addiction and prostitution. Dawn had a tumultuous relationship with Lee before he went to Iraq. Now she tries to help him wage war against the mafia, even as she struggles with her own inner demons, and a family that wants to deny her existence. 


The Hunter is a mysterious figure who compels Lee to go on the offensive against the forces pursuing him. But will the Hunter offer any concrete assistance, or only advice? 


Brett St. Croix is a journalist who offers to tell Lee’s version of events. But Lee suspects that St. Croix has a contrary, private agenda of his own. 


Ben Chamberlain lost his wife to a meth-related murder. Will he assist Lee; or will Ben’s desire for revenge destroy them both? 


***A battle in Blood Flats*** 

Pursued from all directions, Lee embarks on a cross-country journey toward the town of Blood Flats. There he faces a showdown---in which he must pit his wits and determination against the ruthlessness and superior resources of his enemies on both sides of the law.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

'12 Hours of Halloween' FREE on Amazon Kindle January 27th!






A coming-of-age, Halloween horror tale of the 1980s!


Amazon book description:

The year is 1980. Jeff Schaeffer, Leah Carter, and Bobby Nagel decide to go out for "one last Halloween" before adolescence takes away their childhood forever. 

But this Halloween is different, they soon discover; and an outing that was supposed to be light-hearted and fun becomes a battle for sanity--and perhaps even survival.

From the author of the reader-acclaimed “Eleven Miles of Night”, “12 Hours of Halloween” is a coming-of-age tale unlike any you have ever read. 

A sinister teenager known as “the ghost boy” declares that Jeff Schaeffer and his friends will endure “twelve hours of trial” on Halloween. The three young people subsequently find their once familiar suburban surroundings transformed into a bizarre and terrifying landscape. 

They discover that just beneath the surface of their middle-American neighborhood lies a secret realm of haunted houses, demonically possessed trees, and spirits with unfinished business. One entity, called the “head collector”, lurks the darkened streets in search of grisly trophies.

At the same time, Jeff is forced to confront new feelings for both of his old friends. 

He believes that he is in love with Leah, but does Leah feel the same way? 

Meanwhile, his friend Bobby, who had always protected him from local bullies, now seems to harbor a dark agenda that threatens to divide and possibly destroy them all.




Get it for FREE on Amazon Kindle, Friday, January 27th only!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"The Van: a short story crime thriller": FREE on Amazon Kindle January 26th

FREE one day only


Amazon.com description:

Troy is a single father, traveling with his 13-year-old daughter, Ellie, through Tennessee. 

When they stop in a restaurant, Troy becomes alarmed as two rough-looking men begin paying his daughter unwelcome attention. 

Troy is soon to discover that the two men harbor a horrible secret…a secret with implications for himself, Ellie, and other lives as well. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Maze FREE on Amazon Kindle: January 24th, 25th










Book description:

THREE ORDINARY PEOPLE STEP INTO THE WORLD OF THE MAZE, WHERE DEATH WAITS BEHIND EVERY DOORWAY… 

Amanda Kearns is a hard-driving executive with a broken heart. Her male subordinates think she is a “machine”; they have no idea of the real, hidden Amanda. 

Hugh Jackson is a software salesman with a defective heart—a condition that will kill him in a matter of months or years. 

Evan Daley is a young college graduate adrift in a career for which he is ill-suited; he struggles with the scars of a barren, loveless childhood. 

Amanda, Hugh, and Evan were expecting another routine day on the job at the Lakeview Towers office complex just outside Columbus, Ohio. But this massive structure hides a secret—a hidden passageway that plunges the unwary into a labyrinthine network of endless, twisting hallways: the Maze. 

Trapped inside the Maze, Amanda, Hugh, and Evan must battle their way through perilous corridors filled with half-man, half-wolf beasts called “manwolves”, killer robots, and demonic wraiths known as “watchers”. 

But they face their greatest challenge in the snowy, earth-like wilderness on the other side of the Maze. Here a group of ragtag rebels and settlers struggle against a tyrannical demigod known as the Director. The Director is determined to enslave or annihilate everyone within his reach, using a combination of worldly and unworldly weapons. 

Amanda, Hugh, and Evan each find love and momentary comfort on the other side of the Maze. But they cannot escape the ultimate battle with the Director. The three Ohioans find themselves forced to choose—between the draw of love and loyalty, and the instinct for self-preservation. 

A riveting emotional tale wrapped within a fantasy adventure, THE MAZE is sure to appeal to adult readers who fondly recall childhood “parallel universe” stories like “Through the Looking Glass” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”.


Friday, January 20, 2017

'Luk Thep: a horror novella' FREE on Amazon Kindle January 21st, 22nd



Amazon.com description:

The ‘luk thep’ are the ‘angel dolls’ or ‘spirit dolls’ of Thailand. Ultra-realistic in appearance, some Thais believe that each doll is infused with the spirit of a prematurely departed child. But are all child spirits benevolent?

Jane Hughes is an American executive who is visiting Thailand for a routine business trip. When she sees her Thai colleague’s ‘luk thep' doll, she has dark premonitions about what is actually inside it. When Jane later receives the same doll as a gift, she begins a ghostly nightmare that will lead to terrifying supernatural encounters on two continents



From the Author

Early in 2016 I read an article in The Economist about a new craze in Thailand among affluent, single, childless women: the luk thep, otherwise known as 'angel dolls', or 'spirit dolls'. According to the article, many luk thep owners believe that each ultra-realistic-looking luk thep doll contains the spirit of a child who died prematurely.

I knew there had to be a story in there somewhere.

My first thought was, "What if the spirit that inhabited a particular luk thep wasn't especially nice?"

The result of that line of thought is, Luk Thep: a horror novella.

This is a tale of what happens when a 34-year-old American executive, a woman named Jane Hughes, travels to Thailand and encounters a nasty luk thep named Lawan.

This is more than just another "haunted object" story: In addition to harrowing supernatural events on two continents, herein you'll find corporate politics, the travails of thirty-something dating, and much more. This is also, at its heart, a story about culture shock, which I well recall from my own days in the global automotive industry.

From the Inside Flap

(Excerpt from Chapter 5: "This is Lawan.")

Jane looked closer, and now she saw that the small figure seated in the chair was only a doll, albeit a very realistic-looking one.

"She gave you quite a scare," Khajee said with good humor. Jane noted Khajee's use of the personal pronoun. Jane also noted that yes, indeed, the doll had given her quite a scare.

The corporate realm was not a world without fear. The cutthroat competitiveness of the global economy produced a macro-level fear of being downsized, "right-sized" out, or otherwise falling into obsolescence. Jane had not a protectionist bone in her body, but she couldn't help feeling the occasional twinge of admiration-mixed-with-resentment toward her Asian colleagues: They worked so tirelessly, so efficiently. All of the jobs at TRX Automotive Thailand represented jobs that no longer existed in the United States. How long before her job, too, was outsourced to a more efficient Asian or Latin American rival?

Beneath the macro-level fears was the constant uneasiness about where you stood within the company hierarchy--not just the formal organization chart, but within the ever-shifting hierarchy of senior management favor. This was not simply a matter of doing your job well, but of maintaining the outward perception that you were doing your job well.

Although Jane was single and had no dependents, she had much invested in her career. She knew that despite her undeniable hard work, she was fortunate to be where she was at her age. Jane did not want to lose what she had gained. She wanted to continue moving forward.

Anxiety about such matters occasionally kept Jane up at night. But the fear of the genuinely unknown was mostly alien to her existence. No one ever discussed haunted houses or vampires at a corporate meeting, even during the informal pre-meeting banter. To express an interest in the macabre would be (yet another) way to sideline your career prospects. People would think you were unhinged.

Perhaps that was why Jane was momentarily uncomfortable over her reaction to the doll. She now knew, rationally, that the doll was just a doll. But it made her uneasy, nonetheless.

"It looks very realistic," Jane said. "Like a real little girl."

Khajee nodded. "Each one of them is unique. They aren't cheap."

Khajee then mentioned the price she had paid in baht, the Thai currency. It was an amount that corresponded to about $800 American dollars.

"A lot to pay for a doll," Jane blurted out. Then she realized the potential rudeness of her observation. "I--I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by that remark."

But it was a lot to pay for a doll, realistic-looking or not.

"That's okay," Khajee said. "But this is a special kind of doll, you see. And I'm not only talking about the way it looks. The doll is called a luk thep. That means 'angel doll' or 'spirit doll'. They perform a ceremony for each doll at the plant where the dolls are made. And then each doll is supposed to be inhabited by the spirit of a deceased child."

"You mean the doll is--possessed?" Jane asked. Khajee gave a puzzled look in response. "I mean--haunted," Jane clarified.

"Well, yes," Khajee replied, after giving the matter some thought. "I suppose that's one way to look at it, though a Buddhist would see the matter differently than someone from the West, you understand."

Jane nodded noncommittally. A lapsed Roman Catholic, there were many holes in her knowledge of her own spiritual and religious traditions. She had only the vaguest grasp of Buddhist beliefs.

Didn't the Buddhists believe in reincarnation? Jane was almost certain that the Buddhists did. Perhaps that would make them more comfortable with the notion of a 'haunted doll.'

But still, even a Buddhist would have to ask certain inevitable questions. For starters: What kind of a spirit would want to inhabit a doll, and to what purpose?

"It certainly looks realistic," Jane said, repeating her prior observation, not knowing what else to say.

"Her name is Lawan," Khajee said, as if correcting Jane. Khajee smiled self-consciously. "Yes. I named her. Most luk thep mothers do. I suppose you're wondering why an adult woman would want to buy a doll and name it."

Jane couldn't avoid an involuntary flinch at Khajee's description of herself as the doll's 'mother'.

"I suppose I would wonder," Jane admitted.

FREE on Amazon Kindle January 21st, 22nd only

A few words about '12 Hours of Halloween'

From my YouTube channel: A brief video about why I wrote 12 Hours of Halloween:


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lovecraft's storytelling technique

From my YouTube channel: an example of Lovecraft's storytelling technique.

The example tale is At the Mountains of Madness. The story features a typical Lovecraftian setup: A lone, bookish male protagonist relates an experience that nearly drove him mad. But will anyone believe him?


Friday, January 13, 2017

What level of realism does that story have? Which level do you want?

I’ve been thinking a lot of late about levels of realism and storytelling. 

Now, there are of course certain genres (fantasy, science fiction, horror) in which a certain level of unreality is a given. But even in the comparatively mundane realm of crime fiction, there is a sliding scale of realism.

Rather than jumping right into books for this one, I’m going to begin by comparing three crime drama series I’ve been watching since last year: Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, and MacGyver

All three of these shows are solid, based on both my estimation and the ratings they’ve been receiving. All three are popular, in other words. But each show embraces a very different level of realism. 

Let’s break them down, from most realistic to least realistic:

Blue Bloods: This is the most realistic of the three. Blue Bloods depicts events that “could happen in real life”, and people who could actually exist. There are heroic characters in Blue Bloods, but there are no superheroes. Accordingly, where there is action, there are no over-the-top, contrived fight scenes like you might see in a Jason Statham movie. 

The actors in Blue Bloods are photogenic per the Hollywood standard; but in keeping with show’s level of realism, this isn't a parade of supermodels. The male actors who play cops look like regular guys. There are some moderately attractive women in the show, but neither Amy Carlson nor Bridget Moynahan would stand out that much at a PTA meeting anywhere in suburbia, USA. 

Moreover, the female acting talent isn't used as visual bait for the male viewership (more on this shortly). 

Blue Bloods also deals with complex issues like police use-of-force, racism—and race hustling. (Blue Bloods, to the credit of the show and its producers, does not always opt for the politically correct, default story lines. This is not one of those shows in which all the black characters are pure souls, all the white characters are frothing racists, and every cop is a feckless brute.) 



Hawaii Five-O: This show is a bit less realistic. The characters are fallible human beings, but some of the action scenes strain credibility. 

Hawaii Five-O isn't above a bit of sensationalism. About every fourth episode, the show’s writers will employ the cheesecake factor, placing Grace Park in a bikini or a slinky dress. 

An hour of Hawaii Five-O often involves light gore. In an episode that I recently saw as a rerun, one of the bad guys was carrying a severed head around in his car. 

While there are personal storylines about relationships and family ties, Hawaii Five-O mostly avoids topical social issues. Current events and controversies are seldom referenced. 



MacGyver: I enjoy MacGyver, but it is the least realistic and most sensational of the three. The premise of the show is three somewhat unlikely operatives who are employed by a shadowy, secret arm of the U.S. government. They chase international bad guys around. The eponymous MacGyver is a twentysomething technical whiz who can fashion deadly weapons out of light bulbs, batteries, and other common items on a moment’s notice. 

While the main characters are likable and have a certain depth, the villains are usually one-dimensional. The villains are more or less props that move and shoot. MacGyver’s action scenes are reminiscent of the A-Team in the 1980s. Every episode has a gun battle, but you know that none of the main characters is going to get hurt, let alone killed. 

There is lots and lots of cheesecake in the form of Tristin Mays, whose character is supposed to be a world-class computer hacker, but who is always dressed in ways that draw attention to her curves and cleavage. I’m not complaining, mind you—and nor are the millions of other men who watch MacGyver. (I would wager that there is not a heterosexual man on the planet who wouldn't find Tristin Mays distractingly attractive.)

MacGyver doesn't tackle larger social issues at all, because controversy would be completely incongruent here. MacGyver simply isn't that kind of a show.

*        *       *


The above examples are from television, but it isn't too hard to find similar levels of realism among crime and thriller novels. Blue Bloods is a Michael Connelly novel; Hawaii Five-O is a James Patterson crime thriller; and MacGyver is pure Clive Cussler. 

Each level of realism can be rewarding for the reader/viewer. We turn to different kinds of film/fiction for different purposes. People don’t consume swashbuckling entertainment like MacGyver—or the latest Clive Cussler novel—for an exploration of Serious Issues. Likewise, realistic fiction and television will lose its following in a heartbeat if the rules of reality as we know it are violated. 

The level of realism in a particular work must be consciously chosen at the outset. Once those viewer/reader expectations are set, that level of realism should remain consistent. Both the fantastical and the lifelike can work; but blending different levels of realism in the same work is a practice that usually doesn’t. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A few words about '12 Hours of Halloween'




(Note: This is the new "From the Author" text on the book's description page at Amazon.com.)


What was it like to be a 12-year-old suburban American kid in 1980, on the one night of the year when the whole world is haunted?

That was the question that I asked myself as I sat down to write 12 Hours of Halloween. 

This is a story about three adolescent friends who must endure a curse (“12 hours of Halloween”) on the night of October 31st, 1980. 

That means plenty of supernatural beings and occurrences in a normally quiet suburban American neighborhood.

There is a neighbor lady who might be a vampire. There are gravestones that mysteriously appear on manicured front lawns. 

A car full of long-dead teenage hoodlums. A local house filled with ghostly urban legends. And, of course, the beast known as “the head collector”, carrying his sack full of severed heads. 

But I wanted 12 Hours of Halloween to be more than just a scarefest. This is also a story about “the last Halloween” of childhood. Assuming that Jeff, Bobby, and Leah survive the night, they will no longer be children on November 1st. They will be adolescents—almost teenagers. They will never look at themselves—or each other—in the same light. 

The story is filled with the backdrops of a bygone, simpler era. It was a time when there was no Internet, no cell phones, and kids still walked to school. There were American hostages in Tehran, and two men named Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were running for president. 

12 Hours of Halloween is a coming-of-age horror tale for every child of the 1980s, and anyone who might be nostalgic for that time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New horror novella, 'Luk Thep'

Early last year, I read this article in The Economist, about Thailand's "luk thep" subculture.  

You can read the whole article, but here is the creepiest line in the piece:
Payau’s doll is not a toy but a luk thep, or “child angel” —a factory-moulded moppet which some believe can be imbued, through a blessing, with the spirit of a child. 
Whoa! Mass-produced haunted dolls, in present-day Thailand? I couldn't let that one go...

I knew there was a story in there somewhere, and this is the tale I eventually came up with:



Amazon description:

The ‘luk thep’ are the ‘angel dolls’ or ‘spirit dolls’ of Thailand. Ultra-realistic in appearance, some Thais believe that each doll is infused with the spirit of a prematurely departed child. But are all child spirits benevolent?

Jane Hughes is an American executive who is visiting Thailand for a routine business trip. When she sees her Thai colleague’s ‘luk thep' doll, she has dark premonitions about what is actually inside it. When Jane later receives the same doll as a gift, she begins a ghostly nightmare that will lead to terrifying supernatural encounters on two continents.


*      *      *

Luk Thep is a long novella/short novel of about 44,000 words. You can view a sample online at Amazon, or download a sample to your Kindle.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Suburban mystery/thriller: "Our House": FREE on Kindle January 10th, 11th, & 12th




A dream house with a deadly secret....

A twenty-year-old murder mystery...

A young couple in trouble...

Amazon.com book description:

Some dream homes are deadly…Appearances can be deceiving. 

On the surface, 34-year-old Jennifer Huber seems to have it all: a handsome, loving husband, a six-year-old son whom they both adore. A respectable job. 

Jennifer and her husband have just purchased their first house: The neo-Tudor house at 1120 Dunham drive appears to be their “dream home”. 

But everything is not what it seems: The previous owner of the house has an unusual—and ultimately violent—attachment to the house. After the Hubers move in, sinister things begin to happen: Dead animals appear in closets, strange figures disturb the Hubers’ sleep in the middle of the night. 

There is more to the house at 1120 Dunham Drive than meets the eye: As Jennifer uncovers the secrets behind the home’s history, she finds herself drawn into a web of lies, violence, and sexual betrayal. 

All the while, Jennifer struggles to contain a secret of her own—and to combat an act of blackmail that could destroy her marriage. 

From the author of the crime novel ‘Blood Flats’, and the horror novel ‘Eleven Miles of Night’, ‘Our House’ is a riveting thrill ride through the dark undercurrents that might lie beneath the placid surface of a suburb near you.