Monday, October 31, 2011

Death Seeker - Conclusion #coffinhop

The car is dead. Damn it. I know I'm not far from where we camped, but far enough. And heels on gravel doesn't work.
But what other choice do I have? It's not like there's cell signal out here and I have the jeep anyway. Dumb jeep. What is that sound? A woman screaming? Great. Just terrific. I'm out here in the middle of nowhere with a dead jeep and a serial killer or something on the loose. What was it that mouthy goblin said? "Something more wicked than me? Yeah right...well, it could be more wicked, but that's not saying much because I am NOT wicked.
Footsteps. Ba-ba-ba-doomp. Close. A shadow. Big...YEOWLLLLLL. Claws and teeth. I scream. It swipes at me. "My face! Do you know how hard it'll be to cover up a scratch like that?"
Never let it see your fear. Daddy. Battle as an equal.
I crouch low and back away. It watches me, eyes glowing silver in the moonlight. "Nice kitty. Just let me get back to my jeep. I won't bother you."
It crouches lower and lets out a low growl. I back away a little faster.
It springs and pins me to the ground. Its eyes glimmer. It bares diamond fangs and flexes its claws into my shoulders.
I grab a fistful of fur and pull as hard as I can.
The thing yowls.
I yowl back. "You think I don't know how to cat fight? I went to Catholic school."
Its diamond fangs lurch toward my neck.
*Thud* One furry creature becomes two --  on top of me -- wrestling. Gnashing teeth, flying fur, yowls and growls. I cover my face and try to roll away, but every way I roll they seem to follow.  Their claws dig into me. One of them shrieks – a horrid keening. And then everything stops moving. There is weight. I open my eyes.
A brown wolf stares down at me with golden eyes...ferocious, shadowed, but joyful. The wolf runs away into the darkness before I can say "I know you."
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If you haven't visited my friend K.F. Kirwin's blog, you should. She has some very personable ghosts.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Death Seeker - Part 6 #coffinhop

Regan Worth

And now we lay here side by side, our legs entwined, our souls intermingled. He is sleeping and I wonder if he seeks Death in his dreams. I hope not because after what we had together, I'm sure he'll be disappointed. The sky is dark now. A tiny silver crescent hangs on the horizon. A big bug buzzes at my ear. I swat it away, but then it's back again.

"Go away," I whisper.

"Go back," it buzzes in my ear. "Hanover is frantic and Toledo's worried."

I hold up my hand and snatch its wings. I bring it forward and see its orange and yellow patterns. A moth fairy. I let it go and rub my fingers together to get rid of the dust. "Go away. I'm fine."

"Toledo said to tell you there are things out here even more wicked than you. She said you should come back now before they come find you."

"I'm not wicked. I would they come find me? I have the jeep."

"How do you think?" The moth melted into a floating mouth. It opened wide. I peer through jagged teeth into a deep velvety cavern.

"Oh no. There is no way I'm traveling through your realm."

"Then drive the jeep. She says you have until dawn." Orange and yellow wings sprout from the corners of the mouth. It twists back into a fuzzy-headed moth and flies away.

I stare at the sleeping man – a boy really, but who's counting? I don't want to leave without waking him...without knowing his name or where to find him. I kiss his forehead. He doesn't stir. Damn. I would fall for a deep sleeper.

I find a scrap of paper...a receipt from some dress I bought or something. I scribble my name and phone number on it, along with a note that I had fun. What else can I do?

I leave him lying there, his head cradled by dirt. I long to hold it until morning, but I have other longer bonds. I get in the car and turn the key. The engine roars alive. I drive away.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Death Seeker - Part 5 #coffinhop

Regan Worth

I see shadows I don't understand in his yellow eyes. "Death? Why would you want to find death?"

"Because of what I am. Unwhole. Misshapen."

I reach forward and touch his stubbly cheek. "You are not misshapen. You are .... handsome ... no, that's not the word ... compelling."

"I am a mutt." The man moves my hand away. "Undeserving of even death."

I try to catch the giggle between my teeth, but it escapes. "I'm a mutt too. My daddy was Irish and my mother Chinese."

He grasps my hand. "That's how you know death. It took your mother."

Stupid tears fill my eyes. One starts to trickle down my cheek. I thought I was done with this. It's been a hundred years since I saw her lying there with a bullet through her heart.

He wipes a tear away...a gentle finger this time, instead of a claw. "I lost mine too. A hunter shot her."

He gathers me close to him and sits me down. We lean together against the rough wall. We smoke the pipe and he tells me stories of extinction. A planned extermination. I remember Hitler from the times I worried about age and wonder if he might be as old as me.

"When you say True Bloods, what do you mean?" I ask.

He strokes my face. "Never mind. It's just old stories."

"Then let's make new ones."

He pulls away. "No new ones. Nothing to pass on my sadness."

I giggle. "Stories, not children. I am far too old to have a child."

He strokes my face. "How old are you, Death?"

I grin. "Much older than I look."

"Good." He takes my face in his hands and kisses me hard. "Then you're experienced." be continued tomorrow.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Death Seeker - Part 4 #coffinhop

The pale hairs on my arms are standing straight up. I should be afraid, but instead I want to draw him closer, feel his snarling teeth against mine, throw my head back and howl. All these things I want to do, and more.

He leans his face toward my head and sniffs. "You smell like death." His breath is hot next to my ear.

"We've been camping. I haven't had a bath in like a week."

He backs away. I feel relief and regret. Damn it. I repulse him.

His eyes dart back and forth. His own hair stands on end. "Why do you smell like death?"

"I don't know what you mean. I told you I haven't showered. Look, does it matter? I mean, I barely know you. I should be going. Thanks for the smoke." I start to walk to the car.

"Stay." A command more than a request.

" Why should I? No one talks to me like that." And yet I want to.

"Because I need to understand your scent so I can find it."

"Find what?"

"Death." be continued later today

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Death Seeker - Part 3 #coffinhop

Regan Worth

"Seriously? You're a frog hunter?" Just my stupid luck to run into someone as obsessed as Hanover.

The snarl bursts into a roar, deep and constricted by a throat unaccustomed to laughter. "Why would I hunt a dull thing like frogs?"

"Because they're extinct...well, almost. But then the scientists found some and Hanover thought they might other than frogs."

"Two puffs and you're already high? Have you even smoked before?"
"Of course I have. And I'm not high." So I'm lying a little. At least I'm not seeing spirits yet.

Except for me, Princess. Be wary.

I cover my ears. "blablablablablabla."

Cold fingers pry my hands away. This is not an ordinary man. He's.....

I turn my head toward Daddy's breath and stare him down, hoping my anger shows in my eyes. "I told you to go." He disappears, but I figure he's not far off.

"Who are you talking to?"

I turn back to the man and notice he is standing. "Give me another hit."

"Are you sure you're up to it?" He uncloaks his eyes to meet mine. They are golden and ferocious. Not bloodshot like I had expected.

"I'm up for anything." 

He touches my throat with his index finger. His fingernail is longer than mine, filed in the dragon-lady style my mother wore. "Anything?"

to be continued...

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Death Seeker - Part 2 #coffinhop

Regan Worth

Definitely a man. Maybe even good-looking under all that grime. Hell, what've I got to lose? Besides, his accent's cute. British? "My name's not Ridinghood, it's Regan. It might be Halloween, but I'm not exactly wearing a costume."

He turns around. "I call you all Ridinghood." His eyes are cloaked by heavy lids. His voice is rough.

"Whatever. Can I have a drag or not?"

He offers the pipe and shrugs. "No fur off my back."

I inhale the smoke deep down into my lungs, savoring its reminiscent burn. "Nice flavor. Where I come from, we say No skin off my teeth."

"And do your kind have skin on their teeth? No wonder you can't stop flapping your gums."

I look him over. Yes, definitely good looking, even if a little rude. "So why'd you come the middle of nothing, I mean."

"To be away from your kind."

"Bad relationship, huh?" Just my luck. I find a good-looking man in the middle of nowhere and he's soured on women.

"Can I have my pipe back?"

"Oh, sure." I take another quick hit and hand him the pipe. "What's your name?"

"Why do you care?"

"I don't. I'm just curious...making smalltalk."

"Don't." He takes another drag.

"Well, what do you want to talk about then?"

His lips roll up like a dog snarling. "Extinction." be continued tomorrow

Comment to win a free ebook of Mind of a Mad Man. This is not a game of chance. Everyone who comments wins an ebook. Make sure to include your email address.  

And while you're out trick-or-treating, be sure to visit the other authors on the coffin hop.

Make sure to visit my friend K.F. Kirwin to learn about haunted spots in Tuscon, AZ.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Death Seeker - Part 1 #coffinhop

Regan Worth

Stupid frogs. Stupid hot, wet India. Not that New Orleans is cool or dry, but at least there's something to do there, especially on Halloween. What I wouldn't give for a glass of...well...anything. I'd even settle for one of those skunky beers they serve at that pub in that last town we passed.

Sure Hanover'll be pissed that I took the jeep, but what else could I do? I can't exactly walk to town, can I? Besides, he's almost out of smokes too and probably won't even notice until his hand comes out of his pocket empty. Silly Hanover and then he'd be bumming one off me and griping about the menthol.

*sniff sniff* Can that be what I think it is? No way, no how, not here in the desolate frogland. Probably some nasty native plant that impersonates the glorious scent of dragon smoke. No, wait. I see smoke. A small and delicate tendril over near that hovel. I'll just stop the car and go investigate.

Poppy smoke, my nose is sure. I mean, it's been a long time, but there are some things you don't forget. The taste...the sweet burn at the back of my throat....the shimmer in the yummy. I'll just follow the scent. Heh heh...Hanover says I can't track. If something's worth tracking, I can track it.

Stupid rocks. Damn heels. Sure, Mary would say "I told you so." She always says, "I told you so." But I look short without heels...and short legs are NOT attractive. Besides, you never know when some suave guy with an opium pipe will pop up in the netherlands. not attractive, even derelict. I'm not even sure that shape is a guy. It could be an old woman huddled there under furs in the dead moist heat. I should walk away. 

Yes you should, princess.
"Quiet, Daddy. I'm old enough to make my own choice. Been old enough for longer than you walked this realm. Besides, it's not like anything has killed me."


"Whatever, Daddy."

I turn away from Daddy's ghost and approach the shape crouched against the wall. It's back is to me. "Um, excuse me Ma'am ...or Sir. Would you mind sharing a bit of the poppy?" It doesn't turn around. I can't believe it's ignoring me. I mean...acting like I was invisible. Maybe it can't hear. I don't want to touch its grimy....ewww what color is that anyway?... But the dragon calls....mmmmmmm the dragon smells so good. I touch its shoulder softly. "A little poppy? I can pay for it, of course. I'm no freeloader."

"What'll you pay with, Ridinghood?" a deep voice roared. "What could you possibly have that I would want?" be continued tomorrow

Don't forget to leave a comment to win a Mind of a Mad Man ebook. Make sure to include your email address in the comment.

And while you're out trick-or-treating, be sure to visit the other authors on the coffin hop.

If you haven't visited K.F. Kirwin's blog, you should. She writes ghost stories..I think she and Regan can both speak to ghosts.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Note from a Ghost

Mary O'Malley
There is so much history here in India. Did you know that the Indians burn their dead along the Ganges river and then bathe in the waters the next day? I didn't know that either.

I know you can't all be here hunting frogs with us, but you can experience India on a virtual tour with my friend Pepi. Follow Pepi Smart Dog on his Virtual Tour of India.

What's this? A note? Hmmm. That looks like my Daddy's writing. Strange...he's been gone for years. The note says Regan has gone off on her own in the jeep. Wouldn't you know it. She has no common sense at all...traipsing around India by herself. I'd better go tell Hanover.

Did you hear that yowl? It sounded like a big cat. Just terrific. I hope it's not tangling with Regan.


"Ahhhhh.  Dag Gummit, Mary. Don't walk up on a man like that when he's tracking, I could have shot you."

"Regan's missing."

"What? What do you mean Regan's missing?"

"Daddy left me a note on my transcription pad."
"If O'Malley's worried, she must really be in trouble. We'd better take the jeep and go find her before that big cat does."

"We can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Regan took the jeep herself."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Are you enjoying the IBC Blog Tour de Force? I hope so because we love having you drop by and read about the realms. We love it so much that my daughter Mary decided that everyone who comments on the review of Soul Search will also receive a free ebook copy of The Reunion the latest book in the Dime Store Novel series.

Duncan O'Malley

We have more tricks and treats in store for you next week. We'll be participating in the Coffin Hop along with a lot of other horror writers. But Dime Store Novel isn't really horror, you say?

Isn't it? Have you been to the Nightmare Realm yet? I didn't think so. But, you see, I have and someday I'll tell you all about it.

However, next week, we're going to let you in on another kind of horror. Each day there will be a new episode of a story involving Mary's best friend from childhood, Regan Worth. I think she's safe in India hunting frogs. But believe me. I've known Regan a long time -- I was best friends with her father -- and I can tell you, Regan can find trouble anywhere.

Plus, every person who comments on an episode will receive a free ebook copy of Mind of a Mad Man. There are plenty of ghosts in that book -- and Regan isn't the only one who sees them.

See you here....on the Coffin Hop.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Soul Search

Rachelle Reese
I'm back with news. Not news of Hanover, Regan, Toledo, and Mary, unfortunately. They seem to have lost contact with the world. No, my news is about a book I read and enjoyed: Soul Search, by Amber Scott.

Soul Search is about a werewolf you can't help falling for, a missing boy, his mother, and a woman who is best friends with a ghost. I genuinely cared about the characters the moment I met them. Amber Scott  surrounds her protagonists in mystery and draws you step by step into their complicated hearts.

Although set in Victorian times, Soul Search is far from Victorian. Several scenes made me blush. And one (no spoilers here) made me want to put down the book and get the idea. This book is one werewolf tale that is not for children.

The plot is inventive and the ending was shocking. Although this story was resolved, Ms.Scott did leave the door open for a sequel. Will we see any of these characters again? I hope so because I'd like to know how they solve their new dilemma.

I'm glad I took the time to join Grant and Leigh on their Soul Search and that I found another author who can carry me away to a different time, a different place, a different story.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hanover Fist
 Keep your eyes open, your ears tuned, and your nose to the wind. That's the advice Swampy gave me when he taught me how to track. I wonder if he knew I'd be sitting in the mountains of India, watching for frogs in the middle of the night.

The researchers we talked to said we don't stand much of a chance now that the monsoons have passed, but that's even more reason to try. The frogs show up during monsoon season. Hmmmm. Could it be because the monsoons are caused by Khrou-ach? How many brain cells does it take to make the connection between the God of Storms and monsoon season?

So we missed monsoon season. There's always next year....if I'm unlucky enough to still be around. And if not, the girls can take care of it. Maybe not Regan, she's not much for the tropics, but Toledo and Mary are definitely troopers.

Toledo actually seems to be enjoying the trip, nibbling on herbs she's never seen before, digging up roots, and chatting with the local fairies, of course. We don't seem to be able to go anywhere without them showing up.

For that matter, Mary doesn't seem all that bored. She's not much for sitting out with us at night, but she talks to the local folk in their own language and writes a lot of notes. She's jabbering on about another book. I suppose she'll expect me to read it. Maybe when I retire. I only wish.

What's that noise? A cat yowling? luck it'll be a mountain lion.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Regan Worth
Gone, baby gone. Love is gone...
Actually it's us that's gone. To India. To track down frogs. Whatever. All I know is it's hot here. My hair is a disaster and the air stinks like vomit. But Hanover's on a quest and so here we are, tracking down frogs to see if they're minions of Khrou-ach. Geeesh!  It's hard to even find a decent cocktail.

If I make it sound dismal, it's because it IS dismal. And guess what....a week here and we haven't even come across a single ribbiting being. Not one. So I said, "Come on, Hanover. Let's give up this mess and go to Afganistan, partake of a little poppyseed."

Can you believe he said NO!? He's becoming an old fuddy-duddy. Back in the day....well, no, even then he didn't smoke the poppy. But I did...oh yes, I did. And I inhaled...deeply.