Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.
Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Fountain Dead is a carefully crafted story that takes place in two time periods, in two POV’s.
Emma, born in the 1800’s, didn’t have a lifetime of love and happiness. There was a brief period of time she thought she’d achieve her HEA but her life took a grisly turn. Family turned against her and she learned the hard way not to trust anyone.
Mark’s story took place in 1988 when his family moved to Winona and into the Durley house, Emma’s family home. From the start, Mark knew something was off about the house. It was messing with his mind, his sister’s and eventually it turned its attention to others. The house was cursed. Anyone who entered it was prey.
Mark didn’t want to live in the house but a child must live where their parents tell them. His parents were oblivious to the danger lurking in the house but Mark wasn’t. He saw the spirits, humanoid creature, and saw the effects of possession firsthand.
As we watch Emma’s life progress, we see every monumental point in her life was somehow tied to what Mark and his family was living through in present time. At first, the time period/POV’s flip-flopping did mildly annoy me. It was occurring way too rapidly. I actually started taking meticulous notes because I wondered how each moment in the past would have an impact on Mark in his time period. It wasn’t until I was about mid checkpoint that I didn’t mind the flip-flopping speed as much because NOW the puzzle pieces were clicking together and the grand picture was almost revealed.
The link between past and present was mapped out very well and the ending was spectacular.
Cliffhanger? Yes, Theresa’s final moments in Fountain Dead let readers know there was more evil to battle.
Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre.
I didn’t know where the others were, but Tristian, Rauel and I were taken to a pen. It wasn’t large or particularly comfortable but a small cave with bars that appeared to have been salvaged from some-long forgotten ship. I imagined lots of things from long-forgotten ships were hoarded in these caves.
Tristian and Rauel belonged to my vanguard. Deadly fighters and trustworthy men. That was, if you considered men who plunder to be trustworthy. I knew enough about them to anticipate what was coming. Tristian was claustrophobic. He hesitated at the cave’s entrance and turned on the siren.
I drew my sword and turned on him. “We all must die sooner or later. Your choice.”
Rauel went into the cave without a backward glance. He had called me unpredictable on more than one occasion.
“Baldassare, I can’t go in there,” Tristian said.
“You can, and you will.” I nudged him with my sword tip.
It was low, almost inaudible. I felt it before I heard it, snaking its way around my heart. My sword arm went limp. Tristian didn’t notice. He, too, was captured by the siren’s magic. Rauel came forward, enchanted, called by this temptress. The bitch. I didn’t understand what she was doing, but I didn’t want her to stop.
All too soon, she did stop. I was sure we looked as stupid as we felt.
“Get in the pen.” Her words were cold, but her eyes were black magic. My member stiffened, not for the first time since I’d seen her.
“There are seven deadly sins,” she said. “I can sing and make you guilty of all of them.” She locked the cage behind us.
“Wait,” Rauel called before she moved away. He didn’t have anything to say. He just didn’t want her to leave.
“Who built this?” He touched the bars.
While he talked, I committed her to memory. I wanted a detailed image when I pampered my erection.
“You are not the first men to make landfall.” She spoke as if he was impertinent for asking.
Tristian knelt, pressing his face against the bars, taking deep breaths. “There are other men here?”
“Not any longer.” She thought a minute, then said to me, “Perhaps, you’ll be next.”
“Then I best get busy.” I nodded my head once in the direction of my crotch.
Her exquisite bottom lip dropped open. It quivered like she had something naughty to say. She came very close to me, reached out to touch me…only she didn’t. Damn. I wanted her to touch me. Her fingers were a wisp away from cupping my groin. Oh, please…
“I can sing all seven sins.” This time, she did not look back.
(review request of “Death’s Desire” submitted by the author, Tracy A. Ball, for an honest critique)
“Death’s Desire” conveyed beautifully the enticing power of a siren’s call, the magnitude of their power, and the lure of their body.
As we know from mythology, sirens are irresistible and bloodthirsty beings. Tracy capitalized nicely on illustrating their seductiveness and their insatiable hunger to feed on victims that cross their path. She also allowed readers to witness their capacity for the emotion – love.
Twist and turns, love and death, “Death’s Desire” could’ve went on to a full-length novel. As “Death’s Desire” came to a close, I came to realize I didn’t want Baldassare and the sirens’ story to end.
Novelist, Reviewer, Content Editor, Blogger, T-shirt Wearer, and Professional Snacker; Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and a veteran West Virginian whose family is blended from three cultures. She has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She knows people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope.
Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love…and takes naps.
Alena’s story -$0.99 in ebook, Free on Kindle Unlimited)
He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena
As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?
“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?
Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.
Kingdom of the Damned is a stand-alone prelude to the Kingdom Journals Series.
“…he that believeth not shall be DAMNED” – Mark 16:16
In 1557, witches burn her home and family. She escapes with the help of a family friend and they hide among humans. At seventeen, another atrocity ignites Anne’s passion for justice. Circumventing the globe, she seeks to unite the vampires and build peace. Powerful enemies amass against them, but her friends number many, including a surprising and mysterious hero. In a war for survival, love feels extravagant, and heroes don’t always prevail. Can she best her enemy and find happiness at last?
The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all cattle,
and above all wild animals;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.”
— Genesis 3:14
The Edict of Châteaubriant, signed 27 June 1551 by King Henry II of France, censored Protestant rhetoric and enabled seizure of funds for punishment. The Edict of Compiègne, of 24 July 1557, allowed the death penalty for crimes of heresy. The witch community, garbed in the Catholic faith, hunted and killed vampires under the guise of bringing the pagans to justice.
Mabon – The Fall Equinox – 21 September 1557, France, during the reign of King Henry II
A vampire has memories from the time they are born. I recall my mother’s face and her warm skin, the sound of her voice. I’ll see you tonight in your beautiful red dress. I love you. She kisses my forehead.
In the evening, I slide the garment over my head, and Elizabeth curls my hair with a hot iron rod. She fits the sash around my waist and into a large bow on my back. I sit in a chair, waiting for the sun to set as she dresses her children for the party. Her daughter Elle twirls in a circle, making her skirt fan out. Even though Elle is older, I am as tall as her, because she and her brother, Hank, are halflings.
Hank is two like me, but not as big or smart. He fiddles with his collar buttoned tight around his neck. As the sky grows dark, I climb atop the chair near the window, impatient to be united with my family and to begin the festivities. An orange glow rises over the hill where my house lies in the next valley. The color looks different than any sunset I remember.
I run to Elizabeth. “Elizabeth, the sky.”
“Come see.” I grab her hand and pull her to the window.
As I push up on my toes to look out the glass, I see flames shooting above the ridge. Men carrying torches summit the hill and race towards us. At one’s signal, they circle the house, making a ring around Elizabeth’s cottage.
“Finn!” Elizabeth yells.
“There’s no way out.” Finn’s eyes dart around the room. I can smell the fear rolling off his skin.
Elizabeth points out the window to a tall tree. “When we open the door, run.”
Wide-eyed, I nod. Elizabeth scoops up Elle, and Finn grabs Hank. Opening the door, they sprint towards the forest. I dart off in the opposite direction. A large dog barks on my heels, but I am fast and reach the tree before the animal overtakes me. Low branches form stairs, and I jump to the first. I feel a tug at my skirt and hear it rip as I reach for the second limb. I catch it and swing to a higher branch. The beast jumps and yelps, but I focus on the limbs above. The branches become thinner, and the space between them shorter as I climb, hand over foot, until I feel the trunk sway with my weight.
Looking down, I see the men with the torches have surrounded Elizabeth and her family. Flames close in on them, engulfing the group in smoke. A bitter smell assaults my nose. The men douse the flames, and when the air clears, I see forms lying on the charred ground. I watch as the men retreat, leaving Elizabeth and her family lying atop the charred grass.
Tricia lives in Colorado with her family and four-legged friends. She writes young and new adult fiction including fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, and romance titles. If not out on the trail, you can find Tricia on your favorite social media!
Find Tricia and her books at www.triciacopeland.com or on your favorite social media.
Zoraida Grey needs help. With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic.
Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.
Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?
A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?
Excerpt: From Chapter 7: Azili’s Little Shop of Hypnotism
Her dry, cool hand on my arm guides me through the store, steadies me when I trip on uneven boards, pulls me through the blue-curtained doorway. Red lips blow sparkling powder from long, elegant fingers. The particles hang in the air, spinning and swirling. I inhale instinctively.
My knees give way and down I sink. Down onto the red velvet chair. Past the weathered floorboards, down into the silt and mud of the Delta. Down to the center of the earth. Satin folds of mesmerizing ensorcellment coil around my shoulders, pulling me deeper still into the space between time. Reality wastes to silence.
“Don’ fight, my girl. You can’t do it. Let it take you,” she whispers. We face each other, sitting in matching red velvet chairs. Our knees touch. She holds my hands, massaging my palms with her broad thumbs.
Fresh sweat pops out on my forehead. The powdered drug slows my heart, my breathing, my mind. Each second stretches into infinity. Colors spiral around a green face. My eyelids weigh fifty pounds each. I yield to the irresistible need to let them slam shut. Cigarette smoke on her breath. A cold hand on my forehead. I’m helpless, bound, and sedated.
This won’t do.
My toes dig deep into the rich Mississippi silt and curl around the bones of the earth. Ancient, patient life grounds me, reminds me who I am. A molecule at a time, I transmute the drug to saline, a trick I did not learn in high school chemistry. A trick I didn’t know I could do. The effort leaves me gasping but my mind is once again my own. I open my eyes.
“You got de juju in you, bébé.” Azili laughs, red lips wide, teeth white. Her coils tighten. “But I got de juju in me, too.”
This time, I can’t keep her out. Like rising floodwaters, she seeps into every corner. A scream gurgles in my throat and dies.
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland—in a haunted castle—guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches.
Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything. Not by a long shot.
Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband.
A proud member of the Scottish Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.
Bones brings together four chilling stories by the award-winning writer-director Andrew Cull.
“He had written to me a month or so before he died. I’d ignored the letter the same way I’d ignored all the others.”
When Cam Miller returns to the town he grew up in he’s heading to clear his estranged Father’s farmhouse. He’s also returning to the house he fled 23 years before. There, among the nicotine stained keepsakes and remnants of a broken life, he’ll come face to face with a horror that has waited all those years for his return.
“It’s you he wants.”
“We were both 10. But he was dead. And I sat drawing him.”
Em Walker is just like any other 10-year-old girl growing up in the small, outback town of Hope. That is, except for the fact that her Dad runs one of the town’s two funeral parlours, and the dead have just started speaking to her…
When Hope is rocked by a terrible crime, Em, stubborn, scared of spiders, and with a temper that’s likely to get her into trouble, will find herself thrust into the middle of a dangerous hunt for the truth.
“Being scared’s good,” Grandpa Walker had told me once. “Stops us from doing stupid things.”
It hadn’t stopped me.
That summer should have been filled with laughter, with slip n’ slides in the yard, lazy afternoons lying watching ice cream clouds swirling through the blue sky, melting in slow motion. I watched a plane rising high above our house. From the ground it looked completely still, as if it hung suspended in the air, a model on a string. I wished I was on it, I wished I could escape. I was seven and that was the summer death stalked our home.
It began with the offerings…
“We buried Dad in the winter. It wasn’t until the spring that we heard from him again.”
Knock and You Will See Me is a new ghost story by award winning writer-director Andrew Cull.
When grieving Ellie Ray finds a crumpled, handwritten note from her recently deceased father, hidden behind the couch, she assumes that her middle boy, Max, left it there. It has a single word written on it: WHY. But, as more and more letters begin to appear throughout the house, Ellie and her three boys will find themselves dragged into a deeply sinister mystery surrounding her father’s death.
“Dad? I looked down at the scribbled note in my hand, at the words torn into the paper. What had started as a whisper had grown louder, more desperate. The words had been screamed onto the page. Dad? Please. What’s going on?”
Andrew’s first screenplay attracted the attention of BAFTA award-winner, Philip Saville. He went on to develop film projects with Hammer Films, Paul W.S Anderson’s Impact Pictures and wrote for cult TV hit, ‘Urban Gothic’. Alongside this, Andy ran a video rental store in London with the largest horror collection in the UK.
In 2007 he created the YouTube sensation, ‘In the Dark’. Regarded as the first YouTube horror series it is considered to have been the inspiration for such renowned projects as Marble Hornets. This was followed by his first feature, ‘The Possession Of David O’Reilly’. It quickly garnered much praise and enjoyed a UK theatrical and DVD release with Momentum Pictures. In the US, it was picked up by IFC Films for VOD and DVD release.
Andy recently completed his first novel, ‘Remains’ and is in pre-production for his next horror feature.
Andy loves Horror and Hitchcock and, like you, he’s not easily scared.