It’s the story I wanted to write

I published The Genealogist’s Guests! Currently at Amazon’s Best Sellers in Psychic Suspense top 100. It feels wonderful to be in Amazon’s top 100 anything! I must say, I am anxious to hear what readers think. The Genealogist’s Guests, is a paranormal, a mystery, an intense story about incest, rape, and a curse that keeps one family silent for decades. That is until Elizabeth Ward hand paints a family tree and opens a portal to the afterlife. One of the pros of self publishing is that I wrote the story I wanted to write. Maybe, just maybe t will get into the hands of many and people will break their silence.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Genealogists-Guests-ebook/dp/B00FO03UZ8/ref=zg_bs_7130640011_80

The Genealogist’s Guests A Peek at Chapter 1

 

Liz Taber’s wish for guests is about to come true, and she gets more than she hopes for when her dead ancestors use her art as a portal from the underworld. She discovers a family secret that began in 1885 after a brutal rape and the murder of a child.

An evil entity plagues the Taber family dating back to the fatal event which to this day returns from the depths of hell to seek revenge.

Liz’s journey begins with her obsession of ancestry research. When her dead ancestors visit from the other side they bring trouble with them, Wilbur Savage. Liz must choose, does she keep the secret that’s plagued her family across generations or expose the ugly truth to save the Taber children.

 

Chapter 1

Liz Taber, the only occupant of the colonial revival standing on a five acre wooded lot, sat at her desk in the quiet space. Through the door behind her a larger room loomed. She shifted her eyes and peeked over her own shoulder. “Why didn’t you turn the lights on?” she asked herself. “You always set yourself up for the creeps.”

Stacks of papers and books were scattered all around her. A lone lamp on the floor to her right. The sixty-watt bulb faced a wall illuminating the family tree painted on the canvas from floor to ceiling. She heard a thump, just outside the window, and then a slow drag. “It’s just the wind,” she told herself. She had been there for hours amid the hum of her computer searching for clues.

Another crash against the house, sounded like the deck furniture. She shot a glance at the window and grabbed the desk but kept her shaky grip on the familiar oval-shaped mouse. Then slid her index finger across its round surface, wet from her clammy palms, and clicked on the database.

 A list of passengers on the ship California appeared on the screen. The lights flickered. It was a short list, maybe fifty names. She searched for the surname, Hay, and found one. It was Isabella. The lights flickered again. “Not now,” she begged, but the tower’s hum went silent. “Fine, just fine,” she sighed. “I’ll find it later.”

Liz pulled her robe across her shoulders and stood for a moment staring at her family tree. Flashes of light brightened the room repeatedly exposing Isabella’s name and each time it reached out to Liz. She whispered, “Why did you travel alone Isabella?”  

She closed the office door leaving her family tree on the other side and faced the living room. It was lifeless she thought as she paused and stared at the space. A fire dwindled across the room adding to the dense feel of the room. The nights alone in the large house got spookier with time and losing the lights didn’t make it any easier. 

She kindled the fire and poured herself a brandy and sipped as she lay back on the cream-colored sofa. A tear trickled from the corner of her eye as it did every night. The memory of her husband’s death, the sorrow, loneliness, and the way her friends avoided her. They cut ties with her after his death, and it hurt her more than she ever admitted. She began studying her family history, burying herself in search of the past. It was several months before she learned her husband left her a small fortune, enough to buy a home and live a modest but comfortable life. She dropped her married name reverting to her maiden and started fresh.  “I can’t go back,” she told herself.  

     The storm continued through the night and the house was silent aside the howling wind outside. Liz lay fast asleep in the large room lit by the generous fire. Adjacent to the room, the home office door slowly opened. Covered with her favorite throw and dreaming of a house filled with people laughing and sharing Liz was unaware that next to her a woman wearing a black dress sat in the chair. She had her hair pulled back in a neat bun. Her face was aged but revealed the beauty that once was, and her eyes rested on Liz.

     Liz turned to her side and looked at the empty chair.  She blinked and took in a deep breath. “Nothing is there,” she said. “Go back to sleep,” she told herself.  As she drifted back into her dream, she hummed an unfamiliar tune. The spirit of the woman rose from the chair and hummed the same tune until her translucent stature reached her name on the family tree and disappeared.

     The storm passed while Liz slept and when she woke she raised her head from her pillow and immediately looked to the empty chair. “Goodness,” she said aloud. “Get a grip.” The electricity had not resumed and the fire returned to smolder. She gazed toward the kitchen and on her granite countertop her coffee pot sat empty. “You should have purchased the generator,” she told herself. She rose from the sofa, folded her throw and placed it over the arm of the empty chair, and headed for the staircase.  

As she passed her home office, she saw the door was open, wide open. She was sure she closed it tight. Standing at the doorway of the office looking inside, the room now darker than the main room, her desk covered with notes, unorganized and scattered not only on top of her desk but on the floor as well. “Now Lizzie,” she ridiculed herself. “You get yourself a journal and organize this mess.” She moved around the piles of paper and opened the drapes allowing the daylight in and when she spun around facing her office, the family tree shimmered. Liz swept her hair away from her eyes and smiled at her masterpiece. She felt as if her kin somehow reached from their graves with open arms and shined through the branches of painted names representing their place in time, their lives, “Nice work Lizzie,” she gloated.

     She heard the tires roll on wet pavement, a splash of water, and an annoying screech, “It’s time to get out of here,” she said. She sprinted up the stairs leaving the office door open. Inside, the branches of life, her family tree glistened as the fall leaves of the red maple just outside the window slowly lifted upward as droplets of rainwater fell to the ground. A peaceful moment, but on the other side of the tree, across the long and narrow yard the electricians prepared to fix the broken link between their massive plant and Liz’s house.

Randy Sullivan, a lifelong Rhode Islander, peered at the property. Not a large man, but his piercing eyes intimidated most people. He stood behind the truck and watched Liz leave the house, “Perfect,” he sneered. Liz powered her Honda CRV and gradually rolled out onto the main road.

Randy loathed her living alone just as his mother did when she left. He was twelve when he found his mother and begged her to let him come with her. “No,” she had said to him. “Your father will come looking for you, go away!”  His rage over his mother festered until the day he killed her. Liz, he decided will be his next victim. He had watched her for weeks after following her back from Norwich one Saturday. She was as she usually is alone and vulnerable.

He sucked on his teeth and hollered to Danny. “I’m going around back to check the lines.”

“Watch for dogs,” said Danny. Randy looked back at him and snickered at the way he struggled to get the toolbox open.

“That ought to keep him busy,” Randy said. He worked his way around the back of the house peeking into each window until he reached the opened back door. “Ah, Ms. Taber, you’re slipping,” he whispered, and then entered through the kitchen.

     It was eerie, the silence. The refrigerator, clocks, the creaks in the flooring was void of sound.  “Turn around, go back,” he told himself. Underneath the aroma of flowers from a vase nearby he caught the scent of paper, mounds of it, and beyond that the stench of death.

The office door moved, just a little, and without reason. There was no breeze or movement from anyone in the house to support its ability to move. The door continued to creak as it closed off the small room. The sounds of each creak louder than the one before, and then suddenly it stopped. Randy just stood there, “This isn’t possible,” he said. He finally turned to run like hell and as he did, the door swung wide open. He looked back in enough time to see the door did not recoil, as if someone or something held it against the wall. He begged his legs to move as he stood staring at the door, and then it slammed shut! He dashed out the back door where he saw Danny by the utility truck.  Run, run, he repeated in his mind until he finally gained his voice back and screamed at Danny, “Let’s go!”

Danny had a big smile on his face as he watched Randy run toward him, he asked, “What’s wrong? Did you find the dog?”

 “Get in the truck!” Randy screamed.

As he swiftly made his way to the truck, he saw a man inside the tree line.  He wore gray slacks pulled high up to his waist, and a jacket cut at the hip, with a vest and white shirt. Randy knew from his attire he wasn’t from this time or this world because he seemed… He’s a damn ghost!

He screamed again, “You dumbass get in the truck!” He rushed Danny, and in one swoop shoved him in the truck and pushed him over to the passenger seat. Randy looked back at the house and over to the tree line, he saw nothing but felt imminent danger as he spun the wheels of the truck leaving a ladder behind splattered with mud.

Back in the house, in the small office, Ed Taber’s hand painted name glowed and then faded next to his wife’s name, Isabella Hay, on Liz’s family tree. The whispers between the couple ensued, “Where were you Ed?” Isabella asked. “I was in the field Isabella.” The lights came on, the clock ticked, and the back door closed.

A few miles away Liz continued her drive until she reached the town of Norwich. She rolled the car window down and took a deep breath. The Thames River to her left reminded her of her research and the passages she read about the settlement of Norwich. She thought of the Church family she had read about, and having seen gravestones with the name Church on the same site as her ancestors, she wondered if there were connections. She would have to do the research she thought and grinned as she told herself, why not, it is possible she is a descendant of someone who corresponded with the enemy. After all, she did have an ancestor who spied for the Confederates during the Civil War. She asked what compelled them to do such things. She burst out with a giggle, “Shoot Lizzie what compelled you to leave Virginia.” The rushing water of the Thames River headed for the Long Island Sound. Liz headed for Dunken Doughnut.

She parked and began her walk in the past. The town of Norwich never disappointed as it is rich with history. She bumped shoulders with a young lad and said, “Excuse me.” He mumbled something and scurried on disappearing into the distance. She didn’t notice as she continued to walk down the uneven pathway. That he faded away. Nor did she see the ghost of many integrated with the living in clothing from another period. Nevertheless, they were there.

The Genealogist’s Guests Preview

The existence of ghosts dates back to ancient times. Having been sighted in Europe, Japan, China,  Canada, London, Germany, the United States and other parts of the world it’s a wonder some dispute their existence.  The non-believers, the ones whose perceptions tell them their brains are playing tricks on them hear the thumps around the house, they smell their deceased mother’s perfume, and they see objects move. Supernatural events that frequent their everyday lives. Yet, they refuse to believe their loved ones have returned. All things strange have  reasonable explanations they say. But they feel the ghost’s presence and the anxiety associated with the experience. Perhaps they refuse to accept their own fates, that they one day will live a parallel existence into the unknown.  

Liz Taber journeys into the unknown. Captured by an evil that plagued her family since 1885. It is there Liz finds the strength passed down to her through generations to combat forces the living fears. It is there she meets her fifth generation grandmother, Isabella Hay. A fiery spirit of Scotland. Together they battle Wilbur Savage, a psychotic child rapist and murderer in life, a deranged demonic being in death.  They must find a way to save future Taber children from the wrath of evil. To the non- believers who read this post, happy dreams. Don’t worry about the thumps in the night. There’s a reasonable explanation.

The Genealogist’s Guests. Coming soon.

Lately I’ve been

I had been writing for years, sounds like an opening sentence to a novel, but true I had stopped writing for a while and returned after my successful participation in the NanaWriMo 2011. The piece I wrote during the November challenge was published in June 2012. It is a crime novel with lots of action and a character driven by his love for his first sweetheart. Currently I’m writing a ghost story, sounds ordinary doesn’t it? A ghost story. But, it’s also about family and crime and two very strong women. One alive and the other dead, both lively though.

I read alot on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, WordPress, and several other social websites. In fact it takes up most of my time. However, the information on self publishing I find at these sites, you know the how to’s and what works for others, is beneficial, especially for new authors. I love creating stories. Let me say that again, I love it.

Publishing is a bit of a challenge but doable and Marketing sucks. I recently read a blog on the subject and the author suggested that authors stop tweeting a hundred tweets, and all the other marketing tactics and write. Huh? Yes, he suggested authors need many titles, especially more than one book to get noticed. You know what, I tend to agree. After reading the blog I did ease off the tweets, mostly the ones promoting my works. I still tweets stories I find about self publishing on the web. Why? I want to spread the word to new and established authors on what’s current in the self publishing world. I still catch up on FaceBook and GoodReads. I read what’s being posted or reviewed.

I learned about betas through these sites and thought instead of putting much of my free time into promoting and marketing why not focus more on my writing and since I obviously cannot stay away from social sites why not read the works of other authors, give reviews and maybe get one or two of my own work. So here I am. Instead of seeking reviews for an already published book. I seek opinions of my unpublished work before it goes live at Amazon or Smashwords. I found FictionPress on a Bing search. I’m three days old now. I’ve read and gave reviews, and though I’m no pro, I try to both encourage authors and alert them to typos or errors. I am a firm believer that authors cannot edit their own stories. Beta readers like those found at FictionPress can help authors polish their works to publishing quality. Does this take away from hiring a professional editor…maybe not. The more eyes on the story the better.

I recieve email updates on posts /authors I like from WordPress to keep up, but haven’t added much content myself, well actually none since late September. My time flies when ones busy marketing.

New Authors, Fresh Voices

I’ve been working on my next novel The Genealogist’s Guests! You may ask yourself if you were researching your family history and your ancestors start appearing, in spirit form of course, what would it take to realize it’s not your imagination. When you hear the whispers, see movement, maybe a shadow, or a door opening on its own. Maybe your coffee has already brewed when you go to make a pot, or your computer is already turned own when you enter your office. Rationally, you may think to yourself there’s a perfect explanation, you left the computer on, made the coffee and don’t remember doing it, and the whispers are all in your head, but then what happens when your fireplace has a fierce fire built, your lawn in manicured, your evil ghosts, the menacing ex-serial killer ghost tries to kill you.  What happens when your neighbors find out your place is haunted, or worse it’s you that’s haunted. Here’s a little scene from the book:

George climbed back into his white Ford pickup truck. He looked back at Liz as he rolled along the driveway and as he faced forward he thought he saw a man in the tree line. He slammed on his breaks causing the gravel to stir. He captured Liz’s attention and she stood by her flower bed watching the peculiar way George moved around in his seat. George searched the tree line but didn’t see anything unusual. He saw Liz watching him through his rearview mirror. He threw the truck in gear and got on out of there. Liz searched the tree line herself and saw nothing unusual, except that it was a beautiful scene. In fact her acres looked as if someone had meticulously manicured it to a perfect setting. “How splendid,” she said. “My guest will approve.”

George wasted no time getting home to Margaret and when he charged through the door screaming, “It’s just what you said Margaret! She’s got some spirits over there. Saw it with my own eyes!” Margaret wasn’t surprised.

“Calm down George,” Margaret said. “We’ll help Liz. Now tell me what you saw.”

 

The novel is due for release in the fall 2012. Lot’s of work to do, next step get that book cover in the works. I’ve learned the hard way to hire someone to design the cover, along with editing. I self publish, not that I gave traditional publishing a good chance, I didn’t. The allure of self publishing and getting my works out to readers quickly excited me. I truly believe in the indies and have habitually scanned books on Amazon, reading those first chapters, searching for that fresh voice, that compelling story by the next best selling author-indie author. A huge variety of indie author’s works are now published through Amazon, Smashwords, CreateSpace to name a few, and more publishing companies are joining in on the fun. We, the indie’s are appearing on the New York Times best seller list and web blogs all over the internet. There’s real talent in the self publishing and I am excited to be a part of it.

New Fiction Exciting for Author

I’ve been writing The Genealogist’s Guests. A new novel I’m very excited about, mostly because it’s about ancestors, paranormal activity, or apparitions appearing through the handpainted family tree the main character has in her home office. Here’s a little of what I’ve wrote :

The whispers began immediately. The tree lit up
brilliant as the apparitions made their way to the kitchen, and in there chats
of company arriving in the spring began with enthusiasm. Liz wrapped her hand
with gauze fussing with herself for being careless. In the winter weather it
would take emergency personnel at least an hour to get to her. Aggravated with
herself she made her way to the staircase. She heard something downstairs and
froze, listening. Whispers, she
thought, there’s someone whispering down
there
.

Now Liz is expecting her family to visit from Virginia. After four years of waiting it’s all she can do to remain calm, but no worries she has other family there to support her.

Originally I thought about an October 31 release! Yeah, I’m still holding to that date!

Dare to Write and Share

I recently wrote and published, Compelled, by Ann Simpson, an intense story in a jail setting about a young couple’s encounter with a dangerous criminal subculture. It’s a crime novel, a romance, a drama, and is available at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. Many published indie authors understand the work that goes into each of these, the writing, editing, book cover, formating, and marketing! While marketing I was drawn to the many first pages or chapters offered for view at Amazon, believe me one could spend hours just reading these excerpts from our fellow indie author’s works.

I asked a reader, a friend of a friend, what exactly grabs her attention when choosing a book to read. She said the cover first, then the first sentence or couple of sentences of the first chapter. If that grabs her she said she closes the book and looks on the back cover for a synopsis. If she gets that, I want to read this, feeling, she purchases the book. First impressions seem critical! And so I have decided to share an excerpt of my upcomming novel The Genealogist’s Guests, albeit minor changes with editing could happen,  I thought it would fun to share.

Coldness throughout the house couldn’t stop her.  The fire she set hours before was a mere hint of smolder that barely lit the large room outside of her small home office. Stacks of papers and books lay all around. A small lamp was placed on the floor to her right.  The sixty watt bulb faced a wall illuminating the family tree painted onto the canvas from floor to ceiling.

The wind outside howled as the storm approached, and mother nature’s threat to cut power to Liz’s computer rushed her as she searched almost desperately for clues about Isabella Hay Taber, her third generation great grandmother.  The lights dimmed as the computer prepared to shut down, “No!” Liz held the monitor with both hands, “I haven’t saved it.” The sound of the computer tower’s hum went silent right after the click Liz heard shattering her pleas for just a little more time. She was close to finding out how Isabella came to Rhode Island from Saint Nicolas, Aberdeen, Scotland.

She looked over to her wall at the tree she painted, nearly three thousand ancestors smothered by darkness as the storm outside beat the wood siding of Rhode Island Colonial, a sturdy structure built in 1920. She stood in the darkness facing her family tree visualizing the names she had painstakingly wrote with the tip of a paint brush, Isabella’s name called to her, a feeling she couldn’t escape. Something about the young girl from Scotland who married her third generation great grandfather Edward Luther Taber sparked her curiosity but with the power out she would have to wait to continue searching for answers.

Liz purchased the twenty four hundred square foot home several years back with hopes of entertaining family who all remained in Virginia when she moved north. They said she was crazy for leaving but Liz had a passion for ancestry and she wanted to be near her ancestor’s graves, their old homesteads, and the towns they lived in, she needed to connect.  She especially liked the Town of Norwich, Connecticut.  A Dunkin Donut shop on Main Street served up a hot cup of coffee on cold New England days. Liz walked many a day down the walkways and roads surrounded by buildings built long ago. She laid her eyes on the Carroll Building built in 1887, and the Norwich Town Hall built in 1870, in fact the very ancestors she’d come looking for walked the same path as she and saw the same landmarks.

She closed the office door and tended to the fire incased in a brick mantle and mused at the size of it. It took up the entire wall leaving no room for cozy corners. She made the best of it and circled her sofa and chairs facing the fire. She’d sleep right there on the sofa to keep warm until the power resumed. She wouldn’t have minded a cup of hot tea but she was feeling tired and the idea of heating the water by fire seemed too much for her to do at the time so she settled for brandy. She never really felt lonely with all her dead ancestors occupying her time but situations like this when the power was out she’d allow herself to hope that soon someone from Virginia would come visit. She sipped her brandy and eventually fell off to sleep.

The storm continued through the night and the house fell silent except for the howling wind and rain outside. Liz lay fast asleep in the large room lit by the fierce fire she built. Adjacent to the room, the home office door was closed to keep the warmth in the main room she occupied. A hum of soft musical tones lingered in the background of the office.  The tree of many names was shadowed by darkness. Close to the base of the tree Isabella’s name was bright. The humming continued as the office door slowly opened and as Liz laid on the sofa covered with her favorite throw a woman wearing a black dress that hung to her ankles sat in the chair next to her. Her hair was pulled back in a neat bun, her face was aged but revealed a beauty that once was, and her adoring eyes rested on Liz.

Liz turned to her side and opened her eyes. She felt the unease and looked to the empty chair, she had an overwhelming sense she wasn’t alone. She closed her eyes and mumbled, Go back to sleep. She hummed a tune she hadn’t heard before and assumed she’d made it up in her brandy induced fog, then fell fast asleep. Isabella rose from the chair and hummed the same tune until her spirit reached her name on the handpainted family tree in the tiny home office where Liz called for truth about her ancestors.

Dare to share yours!

It wasn’t easy

But I have published my book, Compelled,  at Smashwords, Createspace, and Amazon. I am excited about the new book cover designed by Donna Casey at DigitalDonna.com. Editorial service was done by Diane Reynolds.  I send a special thanks for your contribution to this book. I am equally excited about my next title The Genealogists Guest, but I have a lot of work to do with Compelled. Mainly get the news out that it is available. I’ve been reading about marketing, my true weakness, and much of what I gather is that social networking is key, along with word of mouth, and a few reviews. And so I have advertised, should I say, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social websites.

Compelled

And so, after much thought and hard work on my book, I’ve finally come to a decision…the first and second books belong together, and so, part one The Tug and part two The Thrust will be under one cover.

Yep, I posted the message above on Facebook Saturday, June 16, 2012. It’s possibly the craziest decision I’ve ever made. But fact is as the author of the two titles I couldn’t see them as separate books. The second continued from the first and though I was told, “If people like the first one they’ll buy the second, you’ll sell two instead of one.” The better advice was that I, the author, am the one who knows best. And my gut tells me to do the crazy, to take a chance, and give my passion, my story under one cover. Well actually sell it under one cover.

Maybe it’s the first time published author thing. You know where the rush to get the first part The Tug out to readers was so exciting and, forgive me; irresistible, it had blinded me to the full potential of Compelled. And so, after much thought The Tug and The Thrust will be part one and two in my soon to be released new and not so new novel. The story, you may ask, is love at its strongest triumph, the will to stand against all obstacles, and in Macon’s case, criminals, to save his sweet Anna. A story of a good boy gone bad ass, forced, err, compelled to become whatever he had to, to assure his freedom and he won’t leave without Anna.

The cover is completed! I am happy to give great credit to my new book cover artist Donna Casey. Take a look at her portfolio at http://www.digitaldonna.com. If you’re in the market for a cover I recommend Donna!  I’m crazy about the new cover. It will soon be seen at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. The editing process is complete with special thanks to Diane Reynolds my editor. All that’s left to do is join the two parts, and yikes, format, and send them on their way to readers. It feels like sending my baby off to, yep, jail!

Interested? Maybe crazy sparks a little curiosity?  I am an indie author! My taking a chance shouldn’t surprise anyone, right, you got me on that one. I don’t know whether my book will be a success, but I hope, pray, wish, want people to read and enjoy my work. So what’s this turmoil of mine all about? It’s about losing one’s self in fiction, mad writing and living, yes breathing each word to create an escape for readers. But not an escape from feeling the emotions because:

Macon will do anything for her. Anna soon finds out how far he will go. They are joined by love and separated by housing units. Set up by cunning criminals and forced to do the unthinkable. Macon finds the strength to free himself but Anna is left behind. He is driven by his love for her and revenge for those who did this to them. His predicament is worse than torture, but he’s relentless and dangerous. They pulled him into their world and now he must push his way back out. He’s not leaving without Anna.

Make it a Series

Well it seems I cannot get rid of Macon, the protagonist of my novel The Tug. I feel the story has much more, and since my creative mind keeps seeing him in the future, that is after The Tug, I’ve decided to start a new title. Actually two more titles. A three part series, The Tug, The Thrust, and The Truth.

It was the last week in October that I first dreamed up this story in preparation of the NaNoWriMo event, and though I have another unrelated title in the works, this one won’t allow me to fully concentrate on the unseen evil that’s chasing my other protagonist around.

I’ve already self published  The Tug and have it on Amazon Kindle of which I’m waiting for customer reviews. Begining tomorrow I will again promote it for free and hope it will inspire some to post their opinions. If I’m correct they should feel rushed, sort of like the rush Macon feels while incarcerated. Seems things happen fast in there.

The Thrust will begin where The Tug left off and Macon has, against his true self, his longing for better, joined a criminal force that seeks to entrap people on the inside for their selfish and evil conspiracy. It’s discouraging that punishment by confinement is nothing more than a breeding ground for such acts. Macon will struggle but triumph as he outwits the most dangerous predators of our society.

At least that’s what I think he’ll do.

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