Showing posts with label series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label series. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"The Nightmare Room" by Chris Sorensen


GUEST POST and EXCERPT
The Nightmare Room
(The Messy Man Series Book 1)
by Chris Sorensen

The Nightmare Room (The Messy Man Series Book 1) by Chris Sorensen

The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and an excerpt. Don’t miss out on downloading your FREE copy to 23 February. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
A boy in a basement, a man in a booth and a darkness that threatens to swallow them both ...
New York audiobook narrator Peter Larson and his wife Hannah head to his hometown of Maple City to help Peter's ailing father and to put a recent tragedy behind them. Though the small, Midwestern town seems the idyllic place to start afresh, Peter and Hannah will soon learn that evil currents flow beneath its surface.
They move into an old farmhouse on the outskirts of town—a house purchased by Peter's father at auction and kept secret until now—and start to settle into their new life.
But as Peter sets up his recording studio in a small basement room, disturbing things begin to occur - mysterious voices haunt audio tracks, malevolent shadows creep about the house. And when an insidious presence emerges from the woodwork, Peter must face old demons in order to save his family and himself.

Book Video


Excerpt
The man threw open the basement door. A rush of mildewed air rose up from the darkness, like the hideous breath of some subterranean thing. He flicked on the light, and the cascade of descending stairs came into view. Among their number was the treacherous one midway down, the one that bent like a bow at the slightest weight.
“Are you going down on your own or do I have to make you?”
The boy looked up at his father. The anger that had fueled him thus far was fading, seemingly sapped by the trip from the boy’s bedroom. Instead, his father looked pained. If he didn’t know better, he might think the Old Man was about to cry. But his father had said he was tired. Dead tired. And perhaps it was as simple as that.
"I'll go," the boy whispered, and he took the first tentative step down.
The change in temperature was immediate; it was like diving into a cold pool. He took another step down, and another.
He paused on the third step and looked back at his father. The bare bulb above paled the man’s countenance. The grey circles under his eyes made him look like he’d been bludgeoned.
“Git!” the Old Man snarled. The boy went. When he reached the sagging step, he stopped, took a breath and leaped over it. His heel hit the lip of the next step, but the wood was damp, and the boy came down hard on his butt.
“Get some sleep. And no more dreams.”
As if he could help it.
His father closed the door, and the lock clicked. It would not open again until morning.
The boy descended the final few stairs and stepped onto the floor. Ice-cold cement sucked heat from his soles. He squinted, trying to adjust to the dark.
The usefulness of the light bulb ended a few feet into the basement. And there was no more source of light until he reached the…
The gears in his head ground to a halt, stopping short of allowing the dreaded name to be uttered.
He started picking out objects around him. The solemn metal face of the furnace, a stack of water softener salt bags, the frame of an old bicycle.
Straight ahead lay a distance of twenty or so feet before he'd come to a door. Three-quarters of that stretch was in pitch black. To get to the door, to get to the room, he had to dash through the darkness until his hand found the doorknob. Then, he would throw the door open, reach to his right, flip the wall switch and presto. An island of light in an ocean of black.
He girded himself for the sprint.
“One…two…”
He hesitated…but why? He’d already made this run two times this week. Both Monday and Thursday, he’d awakened screaming, bringing down the Old Man’s wrath, and sending him here. To the penalty box. To time out. To the Night—
“Three!”
The boy startled at the sound of his own voice, and he lurched into motion. He hurtled into the darkness, his feet slapping the floor, echoing off the walls in hollow applause.
He bumped into something and spun, temporarily throwing himself and his inner compass off balance. He skidded across the floor and came to a stop.
Heart pounding in his chest, he quickly located the lit stairs off to his left. He made a rapid calculation and turned to face the invisible pathway to the room. He bolted, coming to a halt only when he slammed head-on into the door.
His hand floundered before finding the knob. He launched into his practiced routine. Open door, flip switch, step inside.
In seconds, the boy slipped into the room and slammed the door shut. A pink light overhead bathed him in imaginary warmth—he had made it.
He stepped back and sank into the waiting beanbag chair, facing the door. The small room with its mint green walls and rollaway bed felt almost welcoming, an odd feeling for a place that was meant as a punishment.
The boy pulled a quilt from the bed and wrapped it around him tight. For the first time in his life, he felt safe here in this room—in the Nightmare Room.
Because he hadn’t bumped into something out there in the dark. He had bumped into someone.
He was almost certain of it.
He kept one eye on the door as the minutes hummed past on the illuminated clock on the nightstand. He busied himself with crayon and paper, doodling to keep his mind quiet. Soon, his vision began to flutter; the room began to strobe. And, in the space between two breaths, the boy sank into his beanbag chair and fell into a fitful sleep.
The doorknob twitched.
The boy bolted upright. He pressed back into the chair. His whole body started shivering, and he feared he would wet himself for the second time that night.
A thought…no, a voice crept into his head.
Coming in.
The door quivered as if someone was leaning against it, trying to stifle a laugh. Nails scratched against the wood.
“Dad?” the boy whispered.
The door shuddered.
“Is that you?” Knowing it was not.
Coming…
“Please don’t.”
Coming…
“No.”
Coming…
“No!”
In.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
"The Nightmare Room is one creepy little gem! I highly recommend this fantastic 5 star read!" ~ Horror Maiden's Book Reviews
"This is one haunted house that had me running for the door! Blood frozen. Spine chilled. A must read." ~ Hunter Shea, author of We Are Always Watching and The Jersey Devil
"Chilling one moment, terrifying the next, The Nightmare Room will have you shopping for a nightlight." ~ Nick Sullivan, author of Zombie Bigfoot
"The Nightmare Room pulled me in right from the start with believable characters and a central mystery that forced me to keep reading to learn more. Prepare for all night reading once it enters its second act and then prepare to stay up all night hearing the sounds in your own house! A real delight for horror fans!" ~ Kendal Sinn, screenwriter of Nailbiter, Shadow Falls Memorial
"The Nightmare Room pulled me in right from the start with believable characters and a central mystery that forced me to keep reading to learn more...A real delight for horror fans!" ~ Kendal Sinn, screenwriter of Nailbiter, Shadow Falls Memorial


Guest Post by the Author
My Inspiration for Writing this Book
The Nightmare Room was born out of loss. My wife and I were the caretakers of her elderly aunt for a number of years. We divided our time between NYC and the NJ lake house where I now sit. During this same period, my father was undergoing cancer treatment in Colorado, so I was also traveling back and forth to Fort Collins.
When they passed, I became a haunted man.
I’d never experienced death in such a personal way. I’d never seen a person’s final breath. You think you’re ready for such things, but you’re not. You assume that your head and heart know how to process death, but they don’t - not really. Your insides are tipped upside-down, and as you struggle to right things again, the ghosts slip in.
That was the moment that The Nightmare Room was born.
The story has taken a number of different roads as I working to pin it down. Was it about the cold spot in the hallway where I always want to break into a dash? Was it about the voice I heard coming through the headphones as I narrated a book in the basement? Yes … and no.
I finally lit upon the answer to many of my questions when I realized that the story was not about fear but about love.
Love makes us vulnerable - to pain, to sorrow, to loss. But it also makes us strong. When my father was ill, a doctor told us that the pain we feel is equal to the love we give. I had been concentrating on the pain in my story; I’d forgotten about the love.
Maybe I was just ready to finally tell this story. Who am I kidding? I know that’s the case.
The Nightmare Room is about the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love. And if that means stepping into the darkness, so be it.

About the Author
Chris Sorensen
Chris Sorensen spends many days and nights locked away inside his own nightmare room. He is the narrator of over 200 audiobooks (including the award-winning The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix) and the recipient of three AudioFile Earphone Awards. Over the past fifteen years, the Butte Theater and Thin Air Theatre Company in Cripple Creek, Colorado have produced dozens of his plays including Dr. Jekyll’s Medicine Show, Werewolves of Poverty Gulch, and The Vampire of Cripple Creek. He is the author of the middle grade book The Mad Scientists of New Jersey and has written numerous screenplay including Suckerville, Bee Tornado, and The Roswell Project.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

"The Fourth Gunman" by John Lansing


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Fourth Gunman
(Jack Bertolino Book 4)
by John Lansing

The Fourth Gunman (Jack Bertolino Book 4) by John Lansing

The Fourth Gunman, the fourth book in The Jack Bertolino Series by John Lansing, is due for release 5 March but is currently available for pre-order. Also available: The Devil's Necktie (read my blog post), Blond Cargo, and Dead Is Dead (read my blog post).


The Fourth Gunman is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
From the bestselling author of The Devil's Necktie, Blond Cargo, and Dead Is Dead comes the latest title in the Jack Bertolino series.
Retired inspector Jack Bertolino straddles two perilous worlds. Known for his impeccable police work, Jack has also done a priceless favor for an infamous Mafia Don: he saved the gangster’s kidnapped daughter from being sold into the sex trade and brought her safely home.
In Jack’s line of work, he can’t help but have friends - and enemies - on both sides of the law.
So, when FBI agent Luke Hunter goes missing after a deep undercover assignment with that same mob boss, the FBI calls Jack in, looking for a favor. With his connections and skills, Jack’s the only man for the job: find Luke Hunter, dead or alive.
The Mobster operates an illegal gambling yacht in international waters off of Southern California, and when Luke went missing, so did half a million dollars of the mob’s money. As Jack dives into the case, he’ll learn the true mystery isn’t the agent’s disappearance, but something far more ominous …
The Fourth Gunman is a sizzling action-packed thriller that will keep you turning pages until the explosive finale.

Excerpt
Luke Hunter sat hunched over a tight built-in desk in the cabin of a weathered thirty-six-foot catamaran docked in Marina del Rey. His fingers flew over the keyboard of a MacBook Pro. There had been one amber sconce illuminating the cabin before he broke in to the vessel, but now the laptop computer was throwing more light than he was comfortable with. At two a.m., all was quiet on the dock, but Luke was running late and still had another stop to make before he could call it a night.
Luke’s hair was short, brown, and unruly, his Italian eyes smoky, his beard dark and in need of a shave. His angular face was set with determination as he slipped a flash drive into the computer, tapped a few keys, and hit Copy, hoping to make short work of his theft.
The cabin was teak, and brass, and well worn. Rolled navigational charts littered the cramped workspace but didn’t intrude on the comfortable living quarters and the bunk that occupied the bow of the catamaran.
Luke spun in the chair, unraveled specific charts on the bed, snapped photos with his iPhone, and stowed the maps back where he’d found them. He had a theory as to why so many of the charts were focused on the waters in and around the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, and hoped the computer files would corroborate his suspicions.
He took pictures of the scuba tanks, masks, flippers, speargun, and weight belts that were stowed aft. The galley was diminutive but efficient. A few potted succulents and fresh herbs on a shelf above the sink lent a feminine touch to the nautical surroundings. Nothing of interest there.
Luke heard the screech of the rusted security gate that led from the parking lot to the yachts and immediately shut down the computer, pocketed the flash drive, and closed the lid, tamping out the light.
He hoped it was just another liveaboard moored at the same dock, returning home after a night on the town. But he spun in place, laced his hands behind his head, and stretched out his legs, facing the teak steps that led from the stern into the cabin, ready to talk his way out of a dicey spot if necessary. It would be uncomfortable but doable. He set his face into a gotcha grin, ready to go on the offensive. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
The boat rocked slightly, the slippered footfalls nearly silent as a woman made her descent into the body of the vessel. Silk drawstring pants hugged her willowy frame as she stepped off the wooden stairway and seemed to suck all the air out of the cabin.
Roxy Donnelly had straight red hair that kissed her collarbone and parted in the middle, and a light feathering of freckles on her cheeks and chest. Her hazel eyes bore in to Luke’s, assessing the situation. She came to a conclusion and—without speaking—told him everything a man wanted to hear from a woman.
Roxy was backlit, her figure silhouetted in a diaphanous white blouse. Luke could see she was braless, and his heart quickened. Her nipples rippled the fabric, and sparks spread to Luke’s chest and down to his groin. As he became aroused, he found himself at a loss for words. No mafioso cracking wise, only deep breathing trying to hide his visceral reaction to the danger of her unexpected arrival. The cabin seemed to become tighter still, if that was possible, until Roxy broke the silence.
“I knew you were smarter than you looked.” If she was aware that Luke had raided her computer, she gave no indication or surprise at his presence. “You saw the schedule, Trent’s on call.”
She stepped closer and Luke found himself on his feet. “I made the schedule,” he said.
Roxy stepped so close their noses touched. He could feel her breath. The light scent of perfume was intoxicating. She reached down and touched his erection, stoking the fire. “I know what you drink, but I don’t know how you like it.”
“Any way you serve it,” Luke said, his voice deep, throaty, and bedroom. He knew he should hit the road but stood transfixed.
Roxy took his hand, squeezed it, and led him to the queen-size bunk in the rear of the cabin. “Get comfortable.”
She stepped into the galley, poured two glasses of Scotch, neat, kicked off her slipper shoes, and glided barefoot to the bed, handing Luke his drink. They clinked and each took a deep sip, never breaking eye contact.
Roxy set her glass down, slowly unbuttoned her blouse, and shrugged out of it, revealing sheer perfection. A dancer’s body. Compact upright breasts, a narrow sculpted waist, and a sapphire-pierced belly button. She tossed the blouse onto the chair Luke had been sitting in, leaned over him, and unbuckled his belt more roughly than he would have expected.
Luke might have received a reality check, but by the time his cell phone buzzed in his pants pocket, they were hanging over the chair.
“You’re not upset?” he said, a statement of fact.
“You should’ve called first, but it was inevitable. It was perfect the first time. We work too hard for no pleasure. Roll over, I’m good with my hands.”
No argument from Luke, who pulled off his gray crewneck and tossed it on the chair. He eased onto his stomach carefully because he was sporting a blazing hard-on.
Roxy was fully engaged. She lit a candle, then raked his back with her fingernails, the brief contact from her nipples as she leaned over him burning a trail from his neck down to his waist. As she straddled Luke, he felt her heat and let out a husky groan.
Roxy started on his lower back and slowly worked her way up his spine, compressing with thumbs and forefingers every third vertebrae until she reached his neck.
“You are good,” he murmured.
By the time Luke realized cold steel was pressed against the back of his head and not her thumbs, he was dead.
The explosion of the hammer striking the .22 round in her derringer created a blinding electric flash behind Luke’s eyes. The bullet rattled around his skull, tearing up brain matter, until his world turned pitch-black.
Roxy jumped off the bed, grabbed a plastic garbage bag out of the galley, pulled it over Luke’s head, and cinched it around his neck to catch any blood evidence. She picked up her cell and hit Speed Dial.
“Trent. We’ve got a situation,” and Roxy gave him the rapid-fire shorthand version while she rifled through Luke’s pants and billfold, her voice devoid of emotion. Her body vibrated uncontrollably as adrenaline coursed through her nervous system. She dropped Luke’s keys and willed her hands to stop shaking as she placed his cell phone and the flash drive next to her laptop. “I’ll clean things up on the home front, you keep your ears open and get a feel for the play at your end. Stay on shift—Shut the fuck up and let me talk!” And then in a tight whisper, “I killed a man, okay? I’ve had better nights. Okay, okay, but only text if you sense movement in our direction.” Roxy was unraveling. “You won’t hear from me again until, until, shit, Trent, until I call you.”
Roxy snapped out the light and walked over to the door and tried to still her breathing as she sucked in the thick sea air and listened for any movement on the dock. Water lapping against hulls and nylon lines clanking on aluminum masts were the only early-morning sounds. If not for the dead body lying on her bunk, it would almost be peaceful.
Roxy got down on her hands and knees and scrabbled around until she came up with the keys she’d dropped. She sat on the edge of the bed and made a mental list of what she had to accomplish. Sucked in a breath, nodded, and went into action.
Roxy pulled the duvet cover over Luke’s body and changed into jeans and black T-shirt and black running shoes. She grabbed a pair of thin cotton gloves and shrugged into Trent’s oversize black hoodie.
She rifled through the junk drawer and pulled out a roll of blue painter’s tape, took a credit card and the cash out of Luke’s wallet and added it to her own, and ran out of the catamaran, locking the door behind her.

About the Author
John Lansing
Bestselling author John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of Grease, before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
John closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas's More American Graffiti and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced Walker Texas Ranger, co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series Scoundrels.
John's first book was Good Cop, Bad Money, a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
The Devil's Necktie, his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a bestseller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre. Jack Bertolino returns in John’s latest novel, The Fourth Gunman, the fourth book in his detective series.
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Links