Thursday, November 28, 2013

Forgiveness by Dilys J. Carnie

The first book in The Fitzgerald Brothers is called One Night One Mistake. The heroin, Eva is a strong, independent woman who made a mistake that caused her a traumatic loss. With age comes a wisdom and the scars on the outside heal far quicker than the ones inside.
Do we learn from our mistakes? Do we get to an age where we should know better? I guess life is a journey of living and part of living is to make mistakes and learn from them. Hurting from the inside out can cause the ruptures of heartache to become imbedded into our souls, but forgiving makes us better human beings. Trusting and forgetting is another story.

The most important lessons in life are from the bad mistakes we make, learning from them so that we don’t repeat them. Developing the wisdom and sense that controls our decisions can only come from bad choices.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” Albert Einstein. Philosophical words…but invariably there are those heart-breaking mistakes that scar us forever, the type that stay with you constantly it doesn’t matter how hard you try to put them behind you.

Eva and Gabe travel a journey where neither one can offer forgiveness for the mistake they made on one night of impulse. Walking away lost Eva ten years of her life and letting her go cost Gabe the woman he loved. Will he be able to understand why she left? Will she ever be able to love again?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Tightening Spiral Giveaway!

Horror Haikus for The Tightening Spiral

Hello there! I’m here today to promote my newest anthology of short horror and suspense fiction. For something different, I have summarized some of the stories from my collection in haikus.
I admit, when I first decided to do this post, I thought maybe I’d gotten WAY out of my depth. I have written poetry, but never a successful haiku. But with a little brush up on what makes a haiku (three lines of 5-7-5 syllables are the “guidelines”) I figured what could go wrong? So here are some horror haikus for selected stories from my upcoming horror and suspense short story anthology with Hazardous Press, called The Tightening Spiral. Try a copy. It makes for GREAT reading when you only have a few moments to spare!
Five girls’ names offered
By a writer seeking fans
Good wet inspiration

The Prison
Man on a mission
To break others out of prison
Finds his plan has flaws

In the Night
Mother and Daughter
Enjoy hunting hitchhikers
Mom, your turn to gut.

Say Goodbye
Her child is missing
Every minute ticks faster
Eat the poison berries, son

The Bribe
A cold beach at night
Evil lurks under the pier
Coin for your silence.

The Lie
Stop social climber
With a spoken vague falsehood
In return? Bullets

Not Enough
Save a beloved bro
With a vampiric virus
Infect the whole town

Granma’s House
Girl alone hears noises
Thinks her dead grandparents are there
Instead...a killer.
Black Smoke
Woman who sees smoke
Confronts her fear in the crypt
Smoke gets her anyway

Let Me In
Demon comes calling
Woman sells her soul for love
The devil laughs last

The Tunnel
Shelter for world war
Becomes a scene of murder
Something waits below

Cold Enough
Iceman seeks storage
To endure coming summer
Stops killer as bonus

Making Hay
Old bitch nags at him
Hired hand has had enough
Buries her in hay

Face Recognition
Failsafe directive
Sends robot on killing spree
No escape, human

The Memory of Trees
Streets are utterly silent
Pro-earths release mutagen
Don’t stand still too long

The Network
The social network
Everyone too busy to care

End of Days
Supernova bomb
Trek south to kids’ salvation
But Sam’s already changing

ENTER THE GOODREADS GIVEAWAY HERE!  3 print copies available:

Blurb: Tara Fox Hall’s second collection of short suspense and horror stories, ranging from novella to microfiction in length. Chock full of demons, serial killers, social climbers, zombies, activists, ghosts, and the occasional happy ending…of sorts.
Excerpt from
 Stan stared at the letter on his glowing computer screen, furious. His newest work, My Victim, had been rejected. His editor said it “wasn’t horrifying enough” and had suggested a rewrite to “up the scare factor.” All his work with Kate—more on point, on her skin—had been for nothing.
Resisting his urge to throw the laptop across the room, Stan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Destroying inanimate objects wouldn’t slack his rage. But destroying an animate one might. The key here was to gain not only some peace of mind, but also inspiration.
Stan opened another internet window, and typed in an address. His website came up:, the stark image of the survival knife shining with just a faint sheen of blood against the pristine white background.
He had tried several promotions in the last few months to encourage readers. Serial killer books were plentiful in small presses. He’d gotten a mixed response, until he’d decided to do some real life research and post some of his findings. But that small increase had been nothing when he’d invited his audience into the kill. Suddenly his inbox had been brimming with emails, all wanting to offer up victims they knew. As if he was an idiot! Stan was not going to be stupid. He’d come too far to be caught now.
Instead, Stan had launched a contest; Name My Victim. He had put in five random girl’s names, saying whomever got the most votes would be killed. He’d never thought to go through with it. But he’d gotten five hundred votes in the first ten minutes, five thousand total. At first, he had been thrilled so many people had responded with Katlyn. Luck and a little computer hacking had lead him to a girl called Kate. Then he had been worried that the coincidence would lead the police to his door. He needed a better method for choosing victims...
A Facebook notification popped into his email. Irritated, Stan went to delete it, then stopped cold. Here was the perfect place to find new victims. There wouldn’t be a trail on his computer for cops to find, because he wouldn’t need to hack anything; all the information was at his fingertips. All he would need to do was run his contest on his website…then choose a winner with a name like the most popular victim. There was a limitless supply of people with their entire lives online: where they ate, where they worked, how they lived. There were tons of pictures of their houses, their kids, their spouses, and their neighborhood. No address was posted usually, but enough clues to easily find one.
Sure, most people didn’t make all their info public. But he could always get a new email address, and build a new avatar. All he would have to do was make a study of those he wanted to kill. Once he knew a few of their interests, he could formulate an identity that would ensure his friend request would be accepted by his victim-to-be. Once he was in, he could get the info he wanted. Then would come the tantalizing wait for his readers to select that name from the list of choices.

God, this was going to be fun! Stan laughed aloud in glee, then began scanning random names by typing in letter combinations. There was no time to waste.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013


            Latham’s Landing is a cursed island mansion that dwells like a sitting spider on a long clear lake in the northeastern United States. The stones that make its skeleton are red granite, bleached in spots to white and pink. Lights form at night in its windows, though the electricity there has been off for some time. Winding out from the isle is a long narrow stone bridge that snakes to a house of glass known as The Sea Room. On some nights, The Sea Room also lights up, burning like a pyre of Hell as it welcomes in new victims.
            How many have died on the shores of the island, or within the walls of the mansion are unclear. What is known are the many drownings in the waters just around the island. The shallow water is home to many hidden rocks ready to gore a boat’s bottom. Winds tend to come up out of nowhere, becoming tempests of lightning and rough waves in mere minutes that overturn boats with childish ease. Time passes differently there, the hours slipping away like minutes.
            To those that spend the time to research the haunted isle, there is also one other troubling characteristic: the house changes. Return through a doorway you just left, and you may find yourself in a room that you’ve never seen before. What was once a wall may suddenly have a door…and the door you ran to for escape may suddenly disappear. Part of the house is sunken, or so the tales tell. But more than one fisherman has returned with his catch to report a house that sits up on dry land, no contact with water visible. The tides ebb and flow, is what some say. However, no one who goes looking for the proof of that ever comes back.
            Disappearances stack up back from the owner’s time. Hans Latham was a shipping tycoon who made his fortune in transport. Some say on foggy nights they hear a clipper ship’s foghorn sound on the lake. Others report a ghost ship covered with algae and flying tattered sails, crewed by a host of skeletons. It is hard to say really, what is truth and what comes from fear. For the isle wears an unspeakable menace like a permanent cloak, and none who come close enough to see anything—and live to tell about it—ever tell all that they have seen.
            It is said that the island is able to sense your fears, to reach into your soul and see what most terrifies you...and bring those fears to life. Some people report dead loved ones beckoning to them from the shore. Others tell of haunting music floating on the breeze, plaintive and melancholy. But most report a shadowy male figure that waits on the shore appearing near dusk. He will not answer any mortal’s call, and never leaves the shore. Not long after, a wind often springs up, storm clouds appear on the horizon, and the waves began to heighten. Those who report seeing him—for most everyone agrees it must be Latham’s ghost—don’t fish those waters again, if they make it back to shore. For it is well known the island takes offense with those few that manage to successfully escape its storms, enacting terrible vengeance if they dare its waters again.
            What exactly haunts Latham’s Landing? Certainly Latham himself, and also possibly his wife, who died there. A woman is sometimes sighted near The Sea Room, dressed in flowing gauze with ribbons in her short hair. There are two reported sightings of a ghost child within the mansion, a boy with needle teeth who asks for his missing father. There are still more reports of a crying girl with long hair on the shore. She plays a flute stained with blood. Like Latham, it is said these spirit apparitions come in advance of storms.
            Strangers come from time to time, looking for paranormal activity. They usually say they have experience; that they know what is waiting for them out there on Latham’s Landing. They bring along lifejackets, just in case they get marooned there. They quote that the police are available with an easy call to 911, and that they are not afraid of ghosts. They go, either with permission or without, sometimes sneaking out with oars in the middle of the night. We find their gear, their boats, sometimes even their personal effects. But we never find them. Not alive, anyway.
            You want to go on to Latham’s Landing? Go ahead. Yes, I’ll rent you a boat. I’ve done my duty and warned you. I won’t stop you, though I must insist you fill out this waiver, which says you are liable for any damage to the boat and equipment. Go on, the isle is waiting for you. It already knows you’re coming. I wish you Godspeed where you’re going, and I hope you get there. I don’t think I’ll be seeing you again. If by some 100-1 chance you do survive, you will not be the same. No one is, once they set foot on Latham’s Landing.

Blurb:  Three novella-length tales of suspense and horror of the haunted sunken Isle mansion known as Latham's Landing

The Origin of Fear
Four college friends mount an expedition to Latham’s Landing—an abandoned island estate infamous for mysterious deaths—to gather pictures and inspiration for a thesis on the origin of fear.

All That Remains
Sandra has come to Latham’s Landing seeking to discover what really happened to her relative who disappeared there years before, persuading her reluctant friend Tina that a little paranormal investigation will be fun.

The Fire Within
A bitter Caroline Stone embarks on a mission to destroy the evil isle estate that took her fiancĂ©, joining with several others also out for retribution. Can the combined fire of their hate triumph over the relentless evil of Latham’s Landing?


     It was a clear calm night. Carolyn watched the lake waves lapping the shore, then looked out into the blackness.
The cursed house was out there, waiting. Latham’s Landing. It had killed Rob. It hadn’t been any accident. Tonight she was here to settle the score.
She hefted the three 5-gallon cans and five 1-gallon cans of gas into the boat one by one. It had taken a stop at each station on the long journey here to not arouse suspicion. That last place she’d had to buy three, and the guy had taken her name. That didn’t matter though. By tomorrow, she’d have burned all that stood on Latham’s Landing down to the bare red granite.
It was said if you went to the island, you never came back. That was fine. Without Rob, she didn’t want to live. The fire within her raged, its fury poisonous. She would destroy the cursed house, or die.
Hours later, Carolyn swam up to shore, then lurched through the waves, choking and sputtering. Coughing up lake water, she went to her knees on the shore, crawling back onto the dry land, her hair a Medusa’s nest, her clothes sodden.
Nothing had gone as planned. The tides that she’d researched had been off, swinging her around the far side of the island where there was nowhere to dock. Stranger, she’d felt a wind on the mainland shore when she’d launched the boat, yet there had been none on the water.
When she’d finally managed to get on the right side of the island, she’d run out of gas. Bewildered, she’d checked the tank to see it was empty. In the lightening sky, her suspicion was proven true. Her watch revealed that the night had passed in what seemed to her several hours. So she’d turned for the shore with the oars, cursing, figuring to come back the next night.
That was when the wind had begun to blow.
At first it was a soft breeze, lightly tickling her neck with wisps of her hair. Then it became stronger, the force intensifying until the boat was rocking in the choppy waves, her hair plastered to her skull from water and wind. Determined, she’d filled the tank with the spare marine gas she’d brought, then cranked the engine to life.
Where the rocks had come from, she wasn’t sure. But the bottom of the boat had peeled away like a can opener had rent it, water spilling in to cover her feet. She’d jumped and began swimming, sure that she’d end up on the rocks herself, another victim of the island. Instead, she’d made it to shore, disheveled but alive, gas containers bobbing beside her in the waves.
She turned to stare at the house, its red granite rock sparkling in the new dawn. “You haven’t beaten me,” she hissed, shaking her fist at it. “I’ll be back.”

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