Thursday, October 30, 2014

Guest Blog with Ica Iova

Hi, everyone, welcome to Lisa's Place. I'm very pleased to welcome my friend and talented Author, Ica Iova to guest blog for me today. Welcome, Ica!



 


I’m a Canadian freelance writer and published author. I write what I enjoy reading, in both, my articles and my books. Besides my writing, I’m a proud wife, mother and grandmother. I love spending time with my family, shopping for shoes, or just lazing around with a good book. I value the simple things money can’t necessarily buy. I never compare myself with anyone else. I don’t expect others to agree with me, and I do not follow the crowd.
http://icaiova.webs.com







The Ouija Board


Savana, a thirteen-year-old with brown hair and a spray of freckles across her nose and cheeks, and her ten-year-old equally freckled sister, Angelina, were quite miserable when their mother announced that they were packing and moving to the other side of town, where she was offered a job.
“You’ll make new friends,” their mother told them.
But like most ten and thirteen-year-old girls, they hated their mother for making them move.
“That’s not fair,” the girls said in unison.
“Look, we need to do this. You know we need the money,” their mother said, turning to the accusing looks of her girls, and their sour moods.
They knew that, but they continued to grumble the whole time their mother packed the few things they possessed.
***
The following morning, the still sour-faced girls, helped their mother to load everything in her pickup truck, and an hour later they arrived at their new home.
At the end of a curved driveway stood a one storey house with small windows and a front door made of solid wood and no window. The morning dew on the rooftop gleamed in the sunlight.
Savana’s mother parked the car and asked the girls to help her unload.
Savana could feel the coldness of the house as they slowly advanced across the front lawn.
A shadow, cast from the house seemed to envelope the front of it in darkness.
Though the house had three bedrooms, it seemed much smaller than Savana had imagined it would be.
A shiver ran up her spine, the minute they stepped foot in the house. Savana knew that something was not right.
To her, paranormal had always been a mix of curiosity and fear. She had experienced some paranormal activities but had no concrete proof.
She expressed her concern to her mother. But since she was not asked—or expected—to have an opinion, at the edge of her patience with Savana’s defiance, her mother stood, hands on her hips, and dismissed it. “Look, I know this is hard for you, but please stop with this nonsense. Okay?” she said.
Though somehow Savana knew the moment she stepped in the house that their lives would change, her mother’s assertiveness left no room for further discussion. And the reproachful look in her mother’s eyes never preceded anything pleasant.   
Savana blew a gust of breath and joined her mother and her sister at unloading the truck.
After bringing in the last of their stuff, each one of them retreated to their rooms and started unpacking their own boxes.
Savana noticed that her favorite doll collection package had been damaged. She took the doll out of the package and placed her on the shelf. The doll’s eyes turned blood red, but Savana dismissed it as being her imagination, and trying to avoid upsetting her mother further, she continued with her unpacking.
She finished putting her things away and as she got ready for bed, she heard a loud thud coming from above.
She looked up and her eyes rested on the attic door which was in her closet, and was open. Looking back at her, was a pair of red eyes.
Feeling brave, thinking it was an owl, she said, “Hi.”
No answer came from the eyes other than a bloodcurdling scream. Scared out of her wits, Savana ran out of her closet and slammed the door shut. She plugged her ears and went under her covers, but her camouflage did nothing to impede the noises banging up in the attic.
Frozen with fear, she was too afraid to leave her room and she didn’t tell her mother, afraid her mother would not believe her.
But strange things began to happen every night after the lights went off. In addition to the wintry temperatures which gnawed and bit at their exposed skin like a writhing mass of bats, Savana and her sister were introduced to more ominous peculiarities of the house.
The unbroken silence was not a relaxing kind of quiet, but the tense and clammy quiet of graveyards. It was a disconcerting quiet where the slightest noises were magnified almost beyond comprehension.
Irregular drops from the sink were sometimes heard throughout the night, resounding loudly. Murmurs, sobs and hushed voices coming from within the walls, were just a few of the strange things happening.
***
Savana was awakened by dogs barking and the sound of muffled voices sounding much like two tape recorders played backwards.
When she opened her eyes she was greeted by a floating head—vivid, yet transparent. She rubbed her eyes in disbelief trying to wake herself up. No, she was not sleeping. The floating head was still there. Only a head—no body, nothing else. Just a head—a sad, almost unanimated face in mid-air.
Once the head disappeared, Savana’s bed began to shake violently.
“There, do you hear that? From the other room, listen! Listen!” a voice said.
Soft whimpers like a child’s, that’s what she heard next.
“You didn’t? Never mind. Maybe next time,” the voice said.
Scared out of her mind, Savana ran to Angelina’s room and tried to rationalise the whole thing. At first they said it was a bad dream. And the bed shook because of a ground tremor.
In Western Romania? No way. If it was a ground tremor, Angelina, who was wide awake at that time, should’ve felt it as well. But she did not.
The girls were still deliberating the possibilities when some outdoor sounds of murmuring voices and scuffling footsteps grabbed their complete attention. They mentally followed the whispers and footsteps as they rounded the corner of the house and continued right up to the entrance. Soft scrapes began to pry against the lock on the front door, then it was complete silence.
They looked through the window. Nothing but darkness.
Savana got the courage to check her room—especially areas near her bed, but without finding anything that could explain the incident with the bed, she did not sleep in her room that night.
***
“This house is haunted,” said Savana.
“I’m scared. What should we do?” asked Angelina.
“The one thing we can’t do, is tell Mom. She won’t believe us. I read that when spirits don’t cross over, it’s because of some unfinished business here on Earth, and they try to communicate with us, usually asking for help.”
“What do you think our spirits want?”
“I don’t know. But we can find out.”
“How?”
Their mother had called and told the girls that she had to work late. Savana saw that as an opportunity to find out what the spirits wanted, and perhaps help them move on.
After dinner, the girls found the Ouija Board in their mother’s room. Their mother had cautioned them to never touch it, but Savana decided to ignore her mother’s warning and started preparing for the event.
They turned off the lights, lit three candles, and set little bells around them.
At first Savana played silly games and moved the planchette—the movable indicator—to scare her little sister.
“Is anyone living in my attic?” Savana asked.
“Y-E-S,” spelled the board.
“Oh, my God,” Savana sighed.
“Okay. Let’s be serious,” said Angelina.
“It wasn’t me, moving it.”
“Right. You are such a liar,” said Angelina, standing up, ready to leave.
“I swear. Common, let’s try again.”
Angelina sat down and pointing her index finger at Savana, said, “Okay. But I am warning you. You are not scaring me.”
“Okay.”
“Do you have a name?” Angelina took the lead of asking the questions.
“S-I-X, S-I-X, S-I-X,” the board answered.
“Is your name Six, or 666? What kind of name is that?” Savana teased.
The planchette spelled out multiple names—most of which, the girls had never heard of. The candles began to flicker, and the bells chimed violently.
“Let go,” Savana squealed in fright at her sister.
The planchette began to spin in circles when the girls took their hands off of it. A heavy and uncomfortable atmosphere hovered in the room like a dark presence.
The front door slammed open, and the planchette was still moving. It spelled out W-E-L-C-O-M-E T-O H-E-L-L.
Angelina screamed. In the midst of all that frenzy Savana managed to flip the board upside down and everything stopped at once.
Still shaking, the girls put everything away and didn’t say a word about it to their mother, or anyone else.
At least not until their cousin—Irina—came and stayed the night.
***
By nature Irina was a non-believer of anything to do with paranormal. She always found a logical explanation for everything.
When she came to Savana’s house to stay the night, it was a chilly October night and Savana and Angelina had just finished decorating for Halloween.
In the evening they were getting ready for bed, chuckling about girls’ stuff.
While Irina inflated her mattress, Savana told her about their experience with the Ouija Board.
“You were probably trying to scare Angelina,” said Irina, pausing from what she was doing.
“I wasn’t. I swear. Our house is haunted.”
“Shut up. I know you,” Irina dismissed Savana’s assurance with an airy wave.
“She is not lying. It was for real,” Angelina intervened with a convincing tone.
“Okay… prove it,” Irina demanded from behind her half-inflated mattress.
“No way. I’m not touching that thing ever again,” Angelina replied, quickly taking a step back as if something ran over her feet.
“Fine. I’ll do it,” said Savana, who’d never passed a challenge.
Savana took the board up to her room. She set it on an end table in the middle of the room between her bed and the inflated mattress, and placed three folding chairs around it. She set up the candles and bells around the chairs, just as she had done the previous time.
Angelina agreed to get involved but not before her sister promised her that she won’t let anything bad happen to any of them.
At first, the girls were all asking questions at the same time. Nothing happened.
“See I knew you were lying,” said Irina, taking her hands off the planchette.
“Come on, don’t be a chicken.” Savana teased. “Put your hand back over mine.”
As soon as Irina placed her hand over Savana’s hand, the chair she sat in, moved slightly.
The group sensed a blast of cold air. They couldn’t identify the source even though they could feel the breeze moving around them at the table. Both—the door and the window—were closed.
A small end table began to move effortlessly around the room. Even though no one had asked a question the planchette spelled out H-E-L-L-O. Instantly, the candles went out and the closet door opened.
Savana’s instinct was to let go of the planchette just as she had done last time. This time, she couldn’t. It was as if she had lost control of her body functions.
A sinister growl came from the closet and the bells began to move and chime.
“Oh my God,” Savana cried.
“N-O G-O-D,” the planchette spelled.
“Stop it. This isn’t funny!” Irina shouted at her cousin.
“I can’t!” Savana shrieked.
Irina realised that it was not one of her cousin’s distasteful jokes when she saw the panic on Savana’s face. She tried to pull her hand off the planchette but she couldn’t.
Suddenly, something yanked Irina by her hair and drugged her under Savana’s bed.
Savana’s doll fell from the top shelf and began to walk towards the girls, as a horrifying banging came from somewhere above.
Irina screamed from beneath the bed.
Angelina looked at the doll in a trance.
The doll stopped beside Savana and began to talk.
“This is not a game. Leave. NOW! It will kill you all,” said the doll.
Without thinking, Savana picked up the doll and threw it across the room. When it hit the wall everything stopped—the closet door shut, the bells came to a rest, and Irina emerged from under the bed full of cuts and scratches. She tried to say something, but her mouth opened and closed unable to speak.
Savana threw her doll in the trash and some scraping sounds were heard from the window. Retrieving her baseball bat from its new resting place against the nightstand, she viciously tore the curtains from the wall. The view of an empty night sky confounded her, until the sound of rapid footsteps spurred her into immediate action and she bolted towards the front door.
“Where are you going?” Angelina screamed.
But Savana either didn’t hear her, or else she ignored her. Several precious seconds were lost as she unlocked the door, but the instant it swung open, she dashed outside barefooted across the scraggly grass between two houses, her impatient strides carrying her over the dark path. It wasn’t until she reached the first intersection that she brought herself to a screeching halt.
Panting from the exertion, she shot hawk-like glances towards all areas of the darkly cloaked street. For a handful of long, frustrating minutes, she simply stood there, until the nagging coldness of the night air swept past the rush of adrenalin and into her skin. Slowly, angrily, she turned back and started walking towards the house, when her mother arrived from work.
Knowing that she had encountered something that was unmistakably powerful and evil but not knowing what to do, she told her mother what had been happening to them.
To her surprise, her mother confirmed that strange things were happening at night to her too. She put her arms around the girls, and said, “I am so sorry about all this. I should’ve listened to Savana, when she first told me that she doesn’t have a good feeling about this place.”
“We were afraid you won’t believe us,” said Savana.
“I will give our landlord notice, and we’ll be moving out of here as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we’re renting a motel because I don’t want to spend another night in this house.”
 Savana took the Ouija Board in the backyard and burned it before they left.

Thanks for the guest post, Ica. I am sure everyone enjoyed it. I hope all my readers have a safe and pleasant Halloween this weekend! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Interview with Clay from Hellfire's Judgment by Linda L. Barton


Hello, and welcome to Lisa's Place. Today I am interviewing Clay, the character from Hellfire's Judgment, a novel written by the talented author, Linda L. Barton. So without further delay, let's begin.




Hello, Linda.  I'm glad you and Clay came to visit me today.  Here is my first question for Clay.



Where are you from?



I come from a small town in southeast Texas, right in the center of God’s country.



I love Texas.  What were your parent's names, and what were they like?



My parents were Harold and Annebelle Jefferies, and were two of the most honest and upstanding people I ever knew. Dad worked in the oil fields and mom stayed home taking care of me, and my sister.





It sounds like you had a hard working father and good mother. Tell me about your sister.



Clarise was older than me, but she passed away during the birth of her son. She was so excited to be a mother, and had prepared everything for the blessed event. Oh well, they are together in heaven because her son died three days later; very sad.



Oh, that is very sad, I'm sorry. What did you do as a youngster for entertainment?



What every young boy did in my neck of the woods. My friends and me hunted, swam in the creek, fished, rode our bicycles down every dusty, dirt road in the county, and stole goodies from Widow Carson’s garden. Years later, I apologized for stealing from her garden, but she said that she never minded. She said that she loved watching us grab what we could hold in our hands and run away, laughing and cheering as though we had a great treasure.



Awe, Widow Carson sounded like a delightful woman who apprently loved children. This story makes me laugh. Where did you go to school?



I went to our hometown school. It was a small school, with kindergarten through High School all in the same building. My graduating class only had 14 students.



14? Whoa, that is a small class. I bet you were all close. How were you disciplined?



My father was a stern, but fair man. I can only remember a couple of times that he whooped me. Most of the time, he would give me that I’m disappointed in you look. To be honest, I would have rather had the whooping.



It sounds as though you had a lot of respect for your father. I think respect is what is missing from a lot of families today, a lack of respect from children toward their parents, and elders. And, sadly from some parents toward their children. What do you think is wrong with society today that causes more crime, kids going bad?



I’ll tell you what’s wrong. Parents who don’t want to be parents. Too often, people want to be their child’s friend. You are not their friend; you are their parent. No one likes to have their child angry with them, but that’s just part of being a parent. For some strange reason, parent’s today don’t want their kid to feel bad, or go without. Hell, there are only a few things that a child truly needs. Food, clothes, a roof over their head, and love. Parents now days seem to think that a child needs to have everything. Every new toy, expensive shoes, and clothes; anything their little heart desires. Kids don’t NEED all that crap. They may want it, but they don’t need it. Another mistake parents make is covering for their child’s bad behavior. If your child acts out, don’t cover for them. Make them take responsibility for their actions. You are only cheating your child, and teaching them that they can do whatever they want. Sometimes as parents we need to dispense a little tough love, no matter how angry our children get.



I agree with you wholeheartedly. How did you feel when you heard of your granddaughter’s attack?



My heart broke into. She was an innocent child, full of life. To see the emptiness in her eyes caused a deep, agonizing pain inside of me that no one should ever have to endure. (wipes a tear from the corner of his eye)



I cannot even imagine the pain you and your family went through in this horrid situation. However, you were all very strong people, for which I admired the most about all of you. Do you have regrets in this situation?



The only regret is that Sherry had to endure the pain forced on her by that bastard. I do not regret my actions. I would do it again.”



I would have wanted to do the very same thing if it were to occur in my family. How are you coping now?



I am doing great. The family is happy and healthy. The sparkle has returned to Sherry’s eyes, and Amy is walking now and getting into everything. Life is good.



I am so glad to hear life is going well for you, Sherry, and your entire family. Is there anything you want to add?



I know there may be people out there who think I overstepped my bounds, but until you see someone you love brutalized in such a manner, NEVER SAY NEVER. Sometimes, a man is forced to protect his family in the most extreme way.



I personally applaud you for what you did, sir. Thank you once again for agreeing to this interview.



I hope you all enjoyed my interview with Clay. Now, I have a few questions for the Author, Linda.
Hi, Linda, thank you for joining me today. 

  What inspired you to write this story?


This is a difficult question to answer.  Having personal knowledge of the pain and sorrow from the brutal act of rape, I felt that I needed to tell a story of how it affects the victim and their family.  Too often in the media, we hear of the attacker and their life story, but what the victim faces on a daily basis, is ignored and forgotten.  The Jefferies could be any one of us.  They are a normal family forced to face an evil that no one ever should.



What projects are you working on? 


I am currently working on a book title, Surrender of Freedom/ A People Betrayed.  It’s another difficult subject that I’m sure will be both upsetting and inspiring to the reader.  I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but let’s just say the inspiration for this book is ripped from the daily news we are all seeing today.



Do you have new projects you want to share with us?



I recently published my first Children’s Book titled, Sheriff Bunny and the Lucky Horseshoe under the pen name Nana Barton. 

 After I finished writing Hellfire’s Judgment, I found myself drained emotionally.  I needed something light to recharge me, so I decided to write a book that my grandchildren could read after several requests.  I really enjoyed doing this little book.  I not only wrote the story, but I did all the illustrations, as well.  It’s a fun little story of how Sheriff Bunny helps Lightening, the horse find his lucky shoe with the help of the barnyard animals.  It’s a book that teaches about friendship and helping each other.  This is the first installment in the Happy Farm Series. You can find it on Amazon in ebook or paperback.




It was my pleasure, Lisa.  Thank you for having me.





RebelMouse


Next Monday, join me back here for a wonderful guest post from Author Shaun Allan, Author of Sin.




Saturday, October 4, 2014

Halloween~Shaun Allan

Hello, everyone and thanks for joining me. Today I have asked the talented Author Shaun Allan to guest post for me today. So without further day, welcome Shaun!



Links:
Singularity Books (coming soon): http://www.singularity-books.co.uk
Twitter: @singularityspnt @SinNotSinful @singularitybks

Works in progress...  Well, it’s a tossup, really.  I am working on multiple projects at once.  I’m very close to completing Puddlebrain, my latest children’s book – the first draft at least.  I know exactly what’s going to happen, but I also know it needs a good edit and parts rewriting, so perhaps that’s scaring me off.  I’m wanting to work on Mortal Sin, the sequel to Sin, too.  Sin, as you know, can be very vocal.  Mainly, though, I’m working on Darker Place, the follow up to my Dark Places collection.  I’m writing the final story and have about 4 poems left to pen.  The cover is being worked on too.  Hopefully, that’ll be finished soon so I can get on with the others!

To be honest, since writing Mr. Wattpad for NBC Universal, to coincide with the release of The Purge: Anarchy movie, I’ve not written as much, preferring to have a reading stretch, which I think all authors should do at some point.  Plus, time isn’t my friend!

Also, my books are going to be rebranded under my own Singularity Books ‘imprint’.  Hopefully that will give them their own identity.


Shaun Allan
Read Mr. Composure, commissioned by NBC Universal for the
release of The Purge: Anarchy here!

Author of the "dark, disturbing and amazing" paranormal thriller Sin and
"brilliant" supernatural collection Dark Places.
 

 Halloween

Today is the first day of the end of my life.

That's not how that line is meant to go, is it? Shouldn't it be 'Today is the first day of the rest of my life'?

Oh well. I'm not entirely traditional. Being normal was always boring.

Well, I thought so, anyway.

I had a life. A normal life. A job I actually enjoyed, which probably was weird in itself. How many people wake up in the morning and don't mind going to work? How many, instead, want to throw the alarm across the room? To turn over and go back to sleep rather than face the same drones doing the same drudge? Not me. I liked my job. My colleagues were my friends.

It was... normal.

I watched TV. Listened to music. Lots of music. All sorts of music. I ate food. Usual things. Curry. Chilli. Roast beef or chicken with roast potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire puddings. I liked chocolate. Probably a little too much.

It wasn't the mundane life it sounds, honestly. It just wasn't spectacular. I wasn't a secret agent or a high flyer. I was me. I liked me.

Like. I like me. Eat. Watch. Listen.

Present tense, not past. At least for now.

I said I wasn't traditional. Not entirely, anyway. I like quirky. Dark. Unusual. My sense of humour dances on the edge of a blade and can be cutting at times, but, because I'm generally a laid back, easy going, decent enough person, I tend to get away with it. I mean no malice in my jokes and I stay tip-toeing on the sliver of steel, never quite slicing all the way down to leave streaks of bloody offence on the surface.

If you knew when you were going to die, what would you do? If the exact time and date were marked on a calendar or programmed into your phone's alarm, set to play The Macarena or some similarly annoying tune when the clock ticks to the ultimate moment?

Well, why would you set a song you like as your alarm? You'd lay there and listen to it. If it's something you dislike, you're more likely to move and turn it off. Unless, of course, you like The Macarena and are one to be singing alone and crossing and uncrossing your arms whilst twisting your hips, snuggled down under the duvet...

Anywho. Death. What if you knew, when the doorbell dinged it's dong, that the Grim Reaper had come to call and you had forgotten to pack your toothbrush?

What would you do?

Cry? Spend the days leading up to that moment in a mire of misery that sucked at your spirit, dragging you down until only your tear stained face could be seen above the despair?

Celebrate? Ensure your final moments were spent with a smile and a dance and a two fingered salute to the Collector of Souls? Would you eat, drink and be Mary, though your name was actually Martin?

Would you, perhaps, do something illegal? Steal a car, something flash and shiny and fast. Rob a bank, then throw the money off a tall building. It's not as if you'll be needing it.

Kill someone? Maybe to try and swap their life for yours?

It doesn't work like that. It's your time. You're not the one to pick and choose who goes and who stays. I reckon the Reaper would see it as an act of arrogance for those who try.

So many questions. I sound like one of those kids who question everything. But why is the sky blue? But why does the sun go to sleep? But why can't I 'Go Large'? I'm not. Never have been.

Really, I was just wondering. What would you do? And how would you feel when you saw the clock ticking towards zero hour?

I think I'd just remove every clock in the house. That'd be difficult. The oven has a clock. My phone. The TV guide onscreen. Still, I wouldn't want to know. I'd want it to just happen.

Luckily, we don't know. We don't have the specific time marked anywhere. There's no countdown or big red 'X' or pop-up notification. It happens when it's meant to. When it is your time. Even if you seen that car approaching, taking the corner too fast. Even if you put the gun to your own head. It's not predefined. Or, at least, we don't know that it is.

The sand slips through the hourglass in the hand of Death, and he isn't one to advertise his agenda. He keeps it private. Secret. Hidden.

So how do I know? Yes, another question. How do I know that this is the first day of the end of my life?

I suppose we could say that the day we're born is actually the first day of the end of our lives. From our first breath, we're on a rollercoaster ride to our last. It's inevitable but we just don't think about it. We live whilst we're alive.

I do too. Perhaps that's the problem.

What would I do if I knew I was going to die? What am I doing, knowing I am going to die?

I'm sitting on my sofa. It's one of those sofas that divides opinion. You like it or you don't. It's a colourful patchwork of colours and prints, looking more like a swatch for the other sofa designs than one of itself. Comfy though. I thought it'd be too firm. I thought I'd be sitting as if I had a pole up my backside. I'm not. It moulds. It sinks. I like.

I have a beer. It's one of those 'stumpies' that you can get for less than a fiver from the supermarket in packs of 10. Cheap and cheerful. Nowt wrong with that.

The television was on, but I couldn't concentrate. I turned it off. I don't normally like silence, but tonight, the lack of sound is louder than anything I could possibly use to drown it out. The air feels as if it's shouting out - not to me, just to the room. Maybe it's calling the Reaper to me. A landing strip of noise so my location couldn't be missed.

I'm writing this. Don't ask me why as that's one question I can't answer. It's not a memoir, and I don't think the words herein would be believed anyway.

But what's to believe, or not? It's just been a discussion regarding death and Death. A monologue on mortality. Perhaps I'm afraid to get to it. Perhaps that means admitting it's happening.

It was a good idea. A good idea to cancel out a bad one. A bit of pain for a lot of gain.

On my upper right arm, I had a tattoo. Some think tattoos are a form of art. They're a way to express yourself and use your body as a canvas for the parts of you usually kept hidden or those that you want to be loud'n'proud about. Or, tattoos are a desecration of the work of art that is the human body. Graffiti on the wall of your soul.

Or just ugly and something you'll regret when you're old and wrinkly and that dove looks more like a squashed tomato.

The tattoo wasn't great. The person who did it, though supposedly professional and with his own shop full of posters that you could pick outlines from, wasn't great either. He was less an artist and more a copier with a needle. And it wasn't central. It was off to the side, hanging a little to the left.

First, was the Kanji, the Japanese motif that was meant to read 'Freedom' and apparently means 'Love'. Then a fox. Well, it's meant to be a fox. It's meant to signify the same as the Kanji was intended to, but it looks more like a dog. A dog drawn by a four year old that’s only just learning to stay within the lines.

It had been there, clinging to my arm, laughing at me, for around ten years or so. I decided I wanted it gone. Covered up. I didn't mind having a tattoo, so having laser treatment to remove it or some such wasn't important. I wanted another design. One that meant something.

So I looked around. I had no idea what I was after, but anything would be better than this. Well, almost. The first place I actually went into wanted to cover my arm in flowers, saying how masculine they'd look and how meaningful they'd be.

No thank you.

I'm sure many of the other, smaller shops that sit between off-licenses and on back streets would have been perfect, the proprietors being skilled and imaginative and not confined to a stencil from a book that they'd drawn countless times before. But I needed to be sure.

Eventually, I found him. He was on Facebook. A friend of a friend of an acquaintance had commented on one of his photos. He designed everything himself, working freehand. He was partial to odd, unusual, dark. He was, almost, the Tim Burton of the tattoo world.

He would work his magic on my arm. He would turn trash in to triumph. We would talk, he would see who I was and what I liked and he would reveal a masterpiece.

He worked from home. He didn't need a shop. Word of mouth of his talent meant he was busy enough without the need for a sign proclaiming his wares. He had no need for books of imps and dolphins and stars. His needle was an extension of his warped mind and the ink his blood.

The room would, I think, have been a simple dining room in any other house, but here it was more. It was a cave, a lair and a gallery all in one. A row of short candles were lit along the skirting of one wall. The curtains were drawn. Antique furniture was favoured in place of IKEA best-sellers. A pull-down chandelier, all crystals and shattered light, hung over a reclining chair and a stool.

We spoke. His name was Drew. Appropriate, I thought. I wanted it to look as if it was alive, I told him. As if it moved of its own accord, not simply from the flexing of my arm.

I'm not one for pain. I wasn't looking forward to it. Well, I was, but I wasn't. The first tattoo I had needed to be paused half way through because the blood had drained from my face and my vision began to fog. It wasn't the pain, it was the anticipation and the nerves and the adrenalin. I'd taken, this time, painkillers before I went. Had a beer. Told myself it was just a scratch.

He was, to be fair, gentle. As gentle as someone jabbing your arm hundreds of times a minute can be, anyway. Hardly a word was uttered as he worked. His brow was furrowed, his hand steady. It didn't hurt. Not at all. I felt the pressure, heard the rattle, anticipated the sharpness, but there was no pain.

I asked him about it. He just smiled.

It took two hours. I was dozing by the end. The near silence and the hypnotic sway of light shards across the walls carried me away to a feeling of floating above myself. I jolted when he told me he'd finished, almost as if I was actually falling back into the chair.

I looked at my arm in the mirror. For a moment, it seemed out of focus, but I put that down to being a little sleepy. Once I could see properly, I knew I'd come to the right man. A steampunk clock, gears and cogs, outline and shadow, told the time of my birth, and indistinct figures stepped from behind, walking down towards a graveyard in which a single headstone bore my name. The figures were ghostly without being ghosts. Shades rather than comical Caspers. Blurred as they were, they held... not menace, but intent. As if they were waiting. There to lead when the time was come.

Of the mutilated dog there was no sign. Maybe they'd taken it away and sacrificed it on an alter at the back of the cemetery.

I thanked Drew and told him I'd probably be back for more. I might have meant it too.

He said he was sorry, but that was the last tattoo he'd be doing. He was laying down his tools. He'd done enough. I asked him why. I asked what he meant by 'enough'. He wouldn't say. He just repeated that he was sorry.

Regrets, I've had a few. Not many, though. Life makes you who you are. What you choose to do and what is done to you shapes the person inside and out. Deal with it or don't, but that's the way it is. As such, I can't really say that I regret this. It's done, so there's no point.

I can feel the darkness closing. The air has lost its voice. I'm sitting in a gathering vacuum of nothing.

I feel a tingle in my arm. It's not the first time. I try not to look, but I know I must.

The shades have moved. They no longer hide behind the clock. The clock no longer shows the time of my birth. The headstone is no longer inscribed with just my name. It now has a date. Today's date. The clock, a timepiece from another era that should never have ticked with hands which should never have moved, now tells a different hour.

I look up. On my windowsill is a clock, a battery powered, supposedly silent one that I can still hear whirring in the still of the night. Any other night, at least.

In thirty seconds, the real clock will be telling the same time as the one on my arm. Thirty seconds.

I wonder if there'll be a knock at the door?



 Please join me next week for a special post from Ica Iova.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Look Inside The Mist

I have just released my latest novel, Mystic Mist, Book One in the New Breed Series in print at Amazon. It will come out in e-Book version on September 30. However you can pre-order for $1.00 on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble.It is quite different from my other works. Josie's Thorn and Where She Belongs, Books one and two, are romance novels which received some decent reviews. This one is of the Fantasy Paranormal genre. The early reviews I'm receiving are from satisfied readers, so this tells me this novel is well on its way. I guess I can breathe now. Smiling.
Oftentimes, as writers, we worry about our content. Is it good enough? Is it exciting enough? Is there enough action, suspense, mystery, drama, romance, or will my readers be bored to tears with the story? I believe it is a common fear, and one I endure with each novel I release.
With this latest novel, as my anxiety rises, I am reminded by friends who know me well, that it is time to breathe.
 The story is written, the muses have spoke, and I need to trust their voices. With that said, I wanted to take you once more behind the mist, and introduce you to Erich Keenton.
Erich is seventeen years old, soon to be eighteen. He hails from Scotland, but will be attending his freshman year in the United States, at a New England college, near the town of Tonospon, Massachusetts.
 As the son of a prominent world renown scientist and a successful medical doctor, Erich inherited near perfect genes. He is 6'2, muscular, with dark locks and medium completion. Try as he might, Erich cannot walk into a crowded room unnoticed. Throughout school, Erich was popular with the girls, and recognized with numerous honors.
Erich is a typical teenager in that he likes girls, fast cars, sports, and hanging out with friends, but he is definitely wise beyond his young age, and chooses to say no to alcohol, drugs, and sex. Yes, he's a rare teenager.

Steaphan and Lorne taught Erich skills throughout his childhood that would benefit him physically, mentally, and emotionally. The entire family exercised daily, and Erich was actively engaged in the sports of Football, Baseball, and Fencing.
  Erich grew toward adulthood with the idea that he would be successful so long as he always did his best. As a result of the well rounded upbringing, Erich has become a strong, yet sensitive, and intelligent young man, making his parents proud.
The fondest memory Erich took with him was the special moments he enjoyed with his parents in their family settings, with the reading of 
Legends being his most fondest of all. However, there is one worry constant on Steaphan and Lorne's minds. Fighting the demons of their past.
Erich's future looks bright, and he's excited about what it has in store for him. He already knows what field of work he wants to enter, and he's planning to do what it takes to accomplish the goals that will get him there. Erich is prepared for college and any challenge it brings.
The only thing is, Erich is about to face a whole lot more than college. He's about to face those that are coming through the Mystic Mist.
You can learn more about Erich in The Mystic Mist.

An excerpt from Mystic Mist

As a special bonus to this post, I'd like to present you with a glance at all the unique, special characters in Mystic Mist.
So, without further delay, here it is. 

Cast of Characters

Erich Keenton- College student who finds himself caught up in a battle with Alien creatures

Iseabail Craighe- Princess of the planet of Carasylia in the kingdom of Eloweena

Steaphan-Erich's father

Lorne-Erich's mother

Clair Kdeoralin- Iseabail's best friend

Uilleam Scrymgeour- Royal knight protecting Iseabail

Edward Callahan-College Fencing coach

Molly Callahan- College Professor, Edward's wife

Detective Alex Mosley- The Detective who helps with the search

Detective James Fowler- Detective Mosley's partner

Brad Conrad- Police Chief

Detective Bridgette Talley- Overseeing the search party

Rachel-Angel

David-Enchantant

Oshkrah-Fairy who battles the hellavey

Ethelred Kdeoralin -Clair's father

Melina Kdeoralin-Clair's mother

Hellavey- Alien creatures

Keilwen - A prince on the planet of Carasylia in the kingdom of Aspella

Malchiack - Castle Steward, Keilwen's teacher

Zeke Miller- local Police Officer

Andrew Jerrolds - Officer Miller's partner

Stan Johnson - Erich's roommate

Terry Appleton - Erich's friend

Shane Williams - Erich's friend

Thaddeus Austin - teammate

Keith Johnson(Red) - teammate

George Franklin-teammate

Phillip Monroe(Curley) - teammate

Chadwick Anderson - RA from Magnolia House

Jared Hindrix-Scientist

Mark Yarbrough-Scientist

Joseph Cummings-Scientist

Castle Healer Klatin - Physician who examines Clair

Dr. Keith Moore - Physician who treats Keilwen

Tilila-King's youngest daughter

Kinsia-King's eldest daughter


Acknowledgments