Horror

12 Days of Christmas: Santa’s Treats by Mari Wells

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in 12 Days of Christmas, Horror, Writing | 4 comments

12 Days of Christmas: Santa’s Treats by Mari Wells

Santa’s Treats By Mari Wells  I cuddled the kids into the reclining chair and read book after book about Christmas and Santa. Once my throat was sore, we got up and hung our stockings. In the kitchen we gathered up Santa’s cookies, and other treats. We quit leaving milk out the year my ex husband got food poisoning; we left a bottle of Coke, those special holiday bottles with the Santa on it. Carrots too, of course we’d leave a snack for Rudolf and the other reindeer. Twelve carrots, a plate of cookies and a bottle of Coke later; I tucked my two little excited babies into their beds. I told them not to get out of bed until the sun shone through their window. I sat in my room arranging a few bags of presents. I’ve found it easier to put all of one child’s presents in one bag when putting it under the tree, and filling stockings. The boys were quite for a while; I snuck from my room down the hall I was sure they’d get up with all the noise I made. They didn’t. Presents tucked under the tree, stockings filled, my only task was putting the carrots and Coke away. I swiped a cookie from the plate as I took the other treats back to the kitchen. After I prepared for bed, sad this year would be spent in my lonely dark room, not like the years past when Christmas lights twinkled across my ex’s bare shoulders and chest. I crawled in to bed and waited for sleep to pull me under. A bright light shines in my face; I’ve tried to hide under my pillow, when I realize what day it was. I stretched and sat up. A small crack in my curtains let sunlight in. The boys still hadn’t come to wake me up. Maybe they were already in front of the tree. I’m gonna be so mad if they’ve ripped open presents already, I thought. I stopped and peaked into their room as I make my way to the living room. Their beds were empty. I expected to see them in the front of the tree. I walked through the living room. A blanket covering up little bumps is sprawled across the couch. “Let me get some coffee guys then will start.” There isn’t an answer, I smiled to myself; little munchkins must still be sleeping. I made my pot of coffee and start my first drink; they still don’t make a sound. The cup, cradled in my hands as I walked to the couch and pulled the blanket off them. Pillows covered the couch, but my children weren’t there. I frantically looked for them, before I called the police.   ***   He entered the house through the window like every other house without a chimney. Scanned the room for any eyes that shouldn’t see the magic he performs. The stockings hung from the far wall were full, not much room for the treats he’d leave. Warm prickles form on his back, piercing into his spine. His lips curve into a smile. Showtime he thought. He bent on one knee and began to untie a large red velvet bag.  One brilliantly green box is placed under the tree. The large pot bellied elf stands and stretches. He picked up a small cookie from the plate and nibbled at it. From the corner of his eye, he could see a pair of dimpled cheeked cherubs. Their golden hair reflected the twinkling Christmas lights adorning the tree. He spat the cookie on the floor....

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Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Horror, Mystery, Reading, Young Adult | 0 comments

Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan

Let me make this clear. Muse Jolene LOVES Andrew Klavan. One day, back when Borders bookstores were still a thing, I was wandering aimlessly through the young adult section when I found a book called The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan. I bought it on a whim and decided to give it a try. Little did I know it would become one of my favorite books and soon I’d find myself shoving down the throat of anyone that I met (they liked it too, I swear!). I liked this book a lot because at the time, it stood out from the masses of romance and instalove. This was a survival story from a boy’s perspective. This one had non-stop action. So I read it. And read it again. And fell in love with the way that Andrew Klavan writes. So then I read The Long Way Home, The Truth of the Matter, and The Final Hour. Shortly after came the book hangover. You know the feeling. It’s the sense of loss after you finish a really great book. It’s also the worry that you might not ever find another one that is equally as awesome. I got through it folks, but it took several read throughs of the entire series to get closure. What would I do without the Homelander series? How could I get through this? Insert the fantastic news that Andrew Klavan had written a new book called Crazy Dangerous. Which was awesome. And now, Nightmare City.   Nightmare City  Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan Release Date: 11/05/13 Thomas Nelson Publishers   About Nightmare City: Tom Harding only wants the truth. But the truth is becoming more dangerous with every passing minute. As a reporter for his high school newspaper, Tom Harding was tracking the best story of his life when, suddenly, his life turned very, very weird. He woke up one morning to find his house empty . . . his street empty . . . his whole town empty . . . empty except for an eerie, creeping fog and whatever creatures were slowly moving toward him through the fog. Now Tom s once-ordinary world has become something out of a horror movie. How did it happen? Is it real? Is he dreaming? Has there been a zombie apocalypse? Has he died and gone to hell? Tom is a good reporter he knows how to look for answers but no one has ever covered a story like this before. With the fog closing in and the hungry creatures of the fog surrounding him, he has only a few hours to find out how he lost the world he knew. In this bizarre universe nothing is what it seems and everything including Tom s life hangs in the balance.   Add to your Goodreads shelf! Buy Nightmare City on Amazon! Buy Nightmare City on Barnes & Noble!   Here is a graphic I made from one of my favorite lines and scenes from the book. Enjoy!   About the Author Andrew Klavan is a best-selling, award-winning thriller novelist whose books have been made into major motion pictures. He broke into the YA scene with the bestselling Homelanders series, starting with The Last Thing I Remember.He is also a screenwriter and scripted the innovative movie-in-an-app Haunting Melissa.   Where to find Andrew Klavan: http://www.andrewklavan.com/ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/271685.Andrew_Klavan https://twitter.com/andrewklavan https://www.facebook.com/aklavan     Giveaway Win 3 print copies of Nightmare City (US only)! a Rafflecopter giveaway Link to blog tour schedule: http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/2013/09/blog-tour-sign-up-nightmare-city-by.html     What do you guys think? Will you be checking it out? Also, stay tuned for tomorrow. Muse...

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The Dark Carnival: Nothing But Net by Brian W. Taylor

Posted by on Nov 2, 2013 in Horror, The Dark Carnival | 0 comments

The Dark Carnival: Nothing But Net by Brian W. Taylor

You’ve dared return to the Dark Carnival. How brave, yet foolish! Today, I can’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #DarkCarnival. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!   Nothing But Net by Brian W. Taylor   For Jolene and Kristen, a muse by any other name would not be as inspiring. Corey Johnson checked his watch for what felt like the thousandth time. Fifteen minutes until the carnival closed. Finally. He wouldn’t have even come if it wasn’t for Will—his brother’s best friend. The guy was a solid wall of muscle who had played power forward before graduating this past summer. It was the same date Corey’s brother, Roderick, should have graduated too. They passed the Tilt-A-Whirl as the last of the patrons exited. One guy stumbled on shaky legs, apparently dizzy. It had been Roddy’s favorite. The realization was like a punch to Corey’s gut. “Man,” Will said, as if feeling the same sensation, “I wish your brother was here.” Corey walked on, his head and heart elsewhere. “He was the best basketball player our state had seen in a long time. Maybe ever,” Will continued. “Yeah,” Corey agreed. “I miss him. Being here on the anniversary of his disappearance was a bad idea.” Will gave him a playful push. “What’s the matter, Mr. Hot Shot, you too good to honor your brother’s memory by having some fun at his favorite carnival? I saw you flirting with that community college chick. Your brother would have been happy.” They walked past the funnel cake stand. The mouthwatering aroma of fried dough hung in the air like a sugary mist. Corey inhaled deeply knowing his brother would have made them stop to get one. Tinkling music sailed on the autumn breeze as an ancient carousel slowed before jerking to a stop a short distance away. A kid from Corey’s school—Dave Neiderman–wrapped his arm around a blonde underclassman. They were sharing a box of popcorn and staring intently into each other’s eyes. If only she knew about Dave’s other girlfriend. “I don’t see how this is honoring Roddy? I mean, we stay here all night pretending he’s still alive…then what?” Corey motioned around the tent lined perimeter of the carnival. “It’s not like we’ll find him here playing games or pigging out on funnel cake.” “Shut up, Corey. Don’t say that. Don’t even think it.” Corey shoved his friend hard enough to knock him back a few steps. Everyone always walked on egg shells around him. A guy could only take so much. “Don’t say what? That Roddy’s probably dead? That some drunken hillbilly probably ran him down after the carnival last year because he couldn’t pick out the shape of a black kid walking down the side of a dimly lit road?” Will opened his mouth but snapped it shut and glared for a long moment. “He’s not dead. You’re his brother for Christ’s sake. How can you say that?” “You saw the way folks treated him—how they treat me now. They only tolerate me because I can ball. Without me our team—this town–would be a joke. The only reason I stayed was for Roddy. He’s gone. It’s time for everyone else to move on too.” Will moved closer and pulled Corey into his meaty arms. “It’s okay, bro. I miss him too.” Corey didn’t want to cry but he did. Right there in front of all...

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The Dark Carnival: A Seat for Every Soul by Amy Trueblood & illustration from Vanessa Henderson

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Horror, Reading, The Dark Carnival, Writing | 1 comment

The Dark Carnival: A Seat for Every Soul by Amy Trueblood & illustration from Vanessa Henderson

  You’ve dared return to the Dark Carnival. How brave, yet foolish! Today, I can’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #DarkCarnival. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!   A Seat for Every Soul Illustration  by Vanessa Henderson   A Seat for Every Soul  by Amy Trueblood   It’s not every day you get asked to hide a pair of bolt cutters in your pants. Bryan looked at me with his pleading baby blues, and I couldn’t say no. That was the problem with Bryan and me. I could never say no. “Hey Tatum, steal that pack of gum for me. I’ll need minty fresh breath when we make out later.” Or even better, “Tatum, honey, it’s okay, your mom won’t notice the twenty missing from her wallet. I’ll pay her back later.” Yeah, right. I wished I could say no to him. I’d tried several times, but when he slid his muscled arms around my full waist, and pulled me tight against his chest, that one tiny word flew right out of my head. I mean what other boy who looked like an Abercrombie model would date me? I wasn’t like the other toothpick girls at school with legs that went on for miles and hair that had perfect “beachy” waves. I’d always been thick like my mom, and no amount of dieting or exercising had changed that. “Psst, Tatum, let’s go,” Bryan called. I took his callused hand in mine and snuck around the outer gate of the fairgrounds. We weren’t supposed to be here. Rumors said a couple was murdered behind one of the exposition tents last month. Police surrounded the place for weeks and found nothing. Murmurs around town said security had to haul away four people who claimed to be possessed after spending time in the funhouse. It was all total crap. The truth was the owners went bankrupt and took off in the middle of the night leaving everything behind: tents, games, even the rides. The site was abandoned, and the city still didn’t know what to do with it. Randy and Marie, Bryan’s friends since childhood scooted along behind us. They would stop every few steps to swallow each other’s faces before realizing we were too far ahead and scrambled to catch up. “Won’t we get in trouble if we get caught?” Marie squeaked. She was so small I swore her jeans were a children’ssize 12,and her voice was one octave higher than Tinkerbell’s. Randy snatched her by the belt loop and dragged her toward him. “Don’t worry, babe. I won’t let the cops take you.” He bent down to snuggle her neck, and I tried not to vomit. We walked along the fence, and I stared into thedark looking for security guards or dogs with sharp teeth. Bryan claimed the guy at the liquor store told him the city was too cheap to pay for security, so they just chained and locked the gates. I didn’t believe him until now. The only things in the shadows were old napkins and cups that rolled around every time the wind blew in our direction. “Down here,” Bryan whispered, motioning to the far end of the fence. He grasped a wide steel padlock and yanked on it several times. “Just what I thought.” An impish grin danced across his face.”Bolt cutters.” His voice was serious like a doctor asking for a scalpel. He even laid out...

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The Dark Carnival: Tilted World by Alicia Audrey

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Horror, Reading, The Dark Carnival, Writing | 2 comments

The Dark Carnival: Tilted World by Alicia Audrey

  You’ve dared return to the Dark Carnival. How brave, yet foolish! Today, I can’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #DarkCarnival. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!   Tilted World  by Alicia Audrey   Katie’s gait wider than his, Jake struggled to keep up. He watched her flick her thick red braid over her shoulder, his eye lingering on her slender fingers. He checked the deep pocket of his coat, making sure it was still there, nestled in the corner. Good. He rolled his neck in an attempt to relax. Jake pointed at the ride with his thumb. “Wanna go on this one?” Her braid slid across her back as she turned to face him. “It’s my favourite,” she said, eyes dancing. “Okay, let’s do it.” Jake took her hand and led her to the snaked line. Katie bounced up and down, feet firmly planted. Cold or excited? He slipped his arm around her shoulders, drawing her closer. Her bouncing stopped. He tried not to grin. They watched as the cars swung from left to right, the platform spinning them around and around. Patrons shrieked and laughed as the music got louder and the revolutions of the platform increased in speed. “Wanna go faster?” The operators voice boomed. “Yeah!” the riders yelled. “Faster,” a teenager squealed, throwing her hands up. “You got it.” The operator smirked, pointing her finger like a gun at the teenager. “This is the best part!” Katie watched, entranced. Jake watched the operator push the lever up with her right hand and turn a knob with her left. “Bang,” she whispered. He glanced at the cars, moving at the speed of every relationship he’d ever had. How safe is that? Should they be going that fast? “Ever since I was a little girl, no one has ever wanted to go on this ride with me. Until you.”   The operator made brief eye contact with him, wiggling her eyebrows. The screams of the patrons transformed. They increased in pitch, laced with desperation. What’s happening? Jake studied the blurred faces as the cars flew by the gate they stood behind. Mouths opened in horror – not elation nor pleasure. Maniacal laughter hung like smoke in the air. Barely audible, beneath the guise of upbeat music, it lingered long after the operator closed her mouth. Jake silently pleaded with her to stop the ride. With a wink, the operator pulled the lever, one hand against her chest. Jake couldn’t decide if it was allegiance to an unknown cause or an outward sign of the painstaking nature of this anticlimax. He didn’t care. Make it stop. Just make it stop. As though she could read his mind, she nodded. With deftness and disinterest, she thrust the lever up to the maximum speed. In a split second, she yanked it down, bringing the platforms to a sudden stop. The cars swung recklessly until they were stilled. When the gate swung open, like a paroxysm, bodies, guttural noises, and cries flung themselves at the waiting crowd, forcing it to dissipate. Katie stared, open-mouthed, as dozens of people fled the Tilt-a-Whirl, wide-eyed and crazed. Jake studied her face. She closed her mouth, looking at him. “You sure you wanna go on this thing?” “Yeah.” She drew her brows together. “I’ve never seen people react that way.” Jake shook his head. “Me neither.” “She ended it so suddenly. I don’t understand…” This isn’t...

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The Dark Carnival: Tilt-A-Whirl illustration by Ryan Bartlett

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Horror, Reading, The Dark Carnival | 2 comments

The Dark Carnival: Tilt-A-Whirl illustration by Ryan Bartlett

  You’ve dared return to the Dark Carnival. How brave, yet foolish! Today, I can’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #DarkCarnival. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!   Tilt-A-Whirl  by Ryan Bartlett Tilt-A-Whirl by Ryan Bartlett. Like him on Facebook! Sign up for the winter writing showcase!   Step right up! Try your luck! Anyone may enter the giveaway. This includes the artist and writers contributing to the Dark Carnival, as well as the readers of the stories. Enjoy! a Rafflecopter...

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