10 Days of Halloween with Carol Riggs

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Today, Carol Riggs is joining us for the 9th day of 10 Days of Halloween! She’s sharing a little bit about her book Junction 2020 and the boogeyman! Ooooo….

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Hello! I’m Carol Riggs, and I like to read and write books with a twist of weird.

Most of my YA novels have a sense of mystery, maybe because I grew up reading Nancy Drew books. I also enjoy science fiction and fantasy elements, so I throw those in there too. THE LYING PLANET, my third published book, was born one night in 2010 as I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep…and I thought I heard a noise out in the living room. Nothing was really there, but my mind started spinning scenarios about What If. I figured this could be the initial pivotal moment of a YA novel, the story about a teen lying in the darkness of his room, and hearing…something.

More recently, my JUNCTION 2020 series involves portal travel to a dimension built by my 5 main characters’ sweetest dreams and worst nightmares. It’s been loads of fun! From magical music rooms to awesome lighthouses, and vampire spiders to street gangs, the alternate-dimension landscapes challenge my characters like nothing else. Each book in the 5-part series is written from the viewpoint of one of the characters. Book 3 of JUNCTION 2020 is Lauren’s book, and is called SILENT SCREAM. Interestingly enough, it also involves a character lying in bed and hearing something creepy (do I detect a pattern here?).  

EXCERPT from Silent Scream, Chapter 3:  

Stray thoughts tumble through my head, blurring with images of me blowing on my steaming mug of hot chocolate and swinging my arm to throw snowballs. I’m drifting off into serious drowsiness, when I hear a distinct and prolonged metallic creak.

Blinking, I lift my head. What was that?

I heard it loud and clear. Is someone walking around, maybe Stefanie in the outer hall as she heads to the bathroom? Except the creak didn’t quite sound like a floorboard, and it didn’t sound like the noise came from the hall.

It sounded like it came from inside my room.

I sit up, breaking into a clammy sweat. Impossible. There’s no one in here except me. I’ve got to be imagining things.

Squinting around the moonlit semi-darkness of the room, I see the tall, solid-wood dresser against the wall, the motionless, thin curtains over the window. Across the room the closet is silent, but its door stands ajar a few inches.

Crap. Wasn’t that door shut before I got into bed?

Creak.

That’s the metallic noise I heard earlier, I’m sure of it. It’s the rasp of a squeaky hinge. And right as I’m watching, the closet door opens wider. Slowly, inching its way outward.

Creak. Creeeaaaak.

The gap is now a spooky wedge of blackness that makes an instant lump form in the pit of my stomach.

Creak. The gap widens further yet. A foot and a half of sheer terror.

A hoarse breathing begins—and it’s not mine.

I clutch the quilt to my chest, paralyzed on the bed. My lungs forget how to work. Only my mind is whirling. It’s been nine long years, but I know exactly what’s behind that door. In this landscape, my nightmares have caught up with me at last.

It’s the Boogeyman.

He’s real. And he’s coming to get me.

More about Junction 2020:

It all started on New Year’s Eve, 2019. Despite being hearing impaired, Lauren Carnes was determined to go to Stefanie Anders’ party and celebrate the holiday like everyone else. But instead, she and four others got blasted through a portal into another dimension. They ended up with strange triangular marks branded on their forearms.

Worse yet, the whole thing happened again ten days later. Instead of a creepy landscape built by her new friend Mari’s dreams and nightmares, they fought to survive in a world built by Tony Rodriguez. In both of these alternate realities, ruthless black-cloaked Shifters tried to capture and exploit them as Mainworlders.

The third time is not a charm. Because on this journey, it’s Lauren’s fascinating—and dangerously silent—landscape everyone is stuck in.

Purchase your copy of Junction 2020!

For anyone who comments on this post, there will be a drawing for a giveaway. The winner will get the choice of an ebook or (if a U.S. winner) a signed paperback of THE LYING PLANET or a JUNCTION 2020 series book.

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About Carol Riggs:

Carol Riggs is an author of young adult fiction who lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. She enjoys reading, drawing and painting, writing conferences, walking with her husband, and enjoying music and dance of all kinds. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head.

 

 

Follow Carol Riggs:

EMAIL: carolriggsauthor@gmail.com

WEBSITE:  http://www.carolriggs.com/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/CRiggsAuthor

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/CarolRiggsAuthor?sk=wall

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8055261.Carol_Riggs

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carol-riggs

 

10 Days of Halloween with Lee Roberts (again)

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Let’s welcome back Lee Roberts! If you remember, he was just here on Friday, but he’s sharing another book with us, Trouble Rising, and it has characters from his Elvis Blue book in it! (I hope you emailed him to get your free copy of Elvis Blue!) Check out this excerpt of Trouble Rising!

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Chapter 36

Elvis and Monk walked slowly along the thick stone walls of the basement, both of them engrossed in studying their instruments. Elvis paused at one point, and then moved on again with a sigh of frustration. It was difficult to tell in the semi-darkness, but Monk’s face wore the same dismal expression. He turned and looked at his partner on the other side of the room.

“What is going on here, Elvis? We were getting readings all over the place last week, and they seemed to be growing, like something really big was going to happen. But now it looks like everything is getting quiet again. It’s like all the energy is draining out of here, kind of fading away or something.”

“I know what you mean. I’m seeing the same thing.”

“So what’s going on? You think all of the new construction is shredding the electromagnetic fields or reducing them somehow? It’s like the energy that was here before is evaporating.”

“Who knows, man? That could be it. Or maybe it could be something simpler.”

“Like what?”

“Like maybe whatever paranormal thing was going on is over now or going away. Maybe the spirits are going dormant or moving on to somewhere else.”

“But we didn’t do anything. All we did was record stuff. We haven’t even made contact with any entities or done anything to eliminate them.”

Elvis shrugged.

“Maybe whatever was provoking them is gone now for some other reason. There are still a few more hot spots down here, especially back in that far corner of the basement. We should probably go check that area again.”

Suddenly, they froze in their tracks as several loud pops erupted from the casino above them. Elvis and Monk looked at each other. As they turned toward the stairs and listened, now they could hear the roaring wave of noises spreading upstairs. They heard people yelling and screaming, running in various directions away from something in widespread panic.

“There’s some heavy stuff going on up there, man,” Monk whispered. “What do you think it is?”

“Sounded like gun shots to me.”

“Gun shots? Do you think somebody is trying to rob the casino?”

Elvis shrugged. “Who knows? Do you want to go up there and find out?”

“Not me,” said Monk. “That’s where the hired help comes in. I’m calling Maria.”

He pulled out his walkie-talkie and keyed the mike.

“Maria? This is Monk and Elvis. You guys still in the van?”

A brief pause, and then two seconds later a garbled reply came back.

“We’re all still here, Monk. You want us to come down and relieve you guys on the investigation? Send in another team?”

Monk shook his head, but of course Maria could not see that over the radio. He keyed the button to respond.

“Just tell us what is going on up there. We’re hearing all kinds of loud noises from the casino. Elvis says he thought there were gun shots.”

“Gun shots? Dios mio! Let me look outside. We can’t see much sitting here in the van, you know. I’ll be right back.”

Elvis and Monk stared at each other. A minute later, Maria was back.

“Hey! It looks like there was some kind of big fight right outside the casino doors. Mr. Crockett is standing out there with some other people. And there are a whole bunch of security guys running around with pistols in their hands. We didn’t see what happened, but it looks pretty serious from here.”

“Okay. Tell Isaac and Derek to go in the casino and check it out. Me and Elvis are coming up there.”

“Roger that.”

Elvis and Monk grabbed their gear and started for the wide staircase leading up to the casino level. The boys were almost halfway up the steps when they saw Simon Cruz coming down in a rush dragging Candi by her hair. They flattened themselves against the wall to get out of the way. Cruz brushed past them with hardly a glance and continued on to the basement.

“That was something you don’t see every day,” said Elvis.

Monk keyed the walkie-talkie again.

“Maria? We have an update on the situation.”

“Too late, Isaac and Derek are already on their way inside.”

“Then you need to handle this yourself. Find Crockett or someone who looks like they are in charge and tell them we just saw Simon Cruz going down the basement stairs. And it looked like he was holding Candi Rios hostage.”

“Oh crap! I mean, roger that.”

Maria dropped her headphones and quickly jumped out of the van. Her body wasn’t really built for speed, but she ran as fast as she could toward the knot of people gathered near the front door. One of the guards turned and pointed his gun at her.

“Wait! Wait! I’m one of the good guys!” she yelled.

Rico stepped forward and intercepted her.

“You need to stay back out of the way, so you don’t get hurt. There are some bad people running around here.”

“But I need to tell Mr. Crockett something!”

“You can tell me, sweetheart. I’ll make sure that he gets the message.”

Maria looked at Rico, her eyes wide with fear.

“Tell him that Simon Cruz is in the basement, and he’s got Candi with him.”

Rico’s heart skipped a beat.

“Okay, then you wait here next to these guys with the guns. You’ll be safe here. I’ll take care of that problem myself.”

He spun around and ran for the front door. Candi was in trouble, and he was determined to rescue her, with or without a gun. Rico didn’t care if Cruz shot him a couple of times as long as he could get Candi away from him first. Then he would kill Simon with his bare hands.

But Simon had other plans.

Cruz had passed Rafael Perez and Benito Rivera coming through the bar. They would be hard on his heels. But he thought he could lose them down in the huge maze of partially finished construction. Maybe he could hide for a while or find some way to slip out a side door unseen. There was always a chance.

He pulled Candi along by her long hair as they twisted and weaved through the giant maze of material and debris. He could feel his heartbeat pounding in his chest. He needed to stop for a minute and think.

They moved deeper into the blackness of the catacombs, way back into the far corner of the subterranean level. Candi was getting really tired of Simon pulling her hair. She was already mad as a hornet and itching for a fight. She finally decided that she had had enough of this bullshit.

With a grunt of effort, Candi turned and yanked her long hair free. Simon looked at his empty hand in surprise, as if it had somehow betrayed him. He hesitated for a second and then lunged toward her again. She lashed out with both hands, punching and cursing in his face.

But Cruz ignored her. He managed to get his hands around Candi’s neck and began to tighten his grip, slowly cutting off her air and strangling her. She started to gasp for every breath, fighting for each molecule of precious oxygen. Simon was bigger and stronger, and she could not overcome that disadvantage.

The light began to fade from Candi’s eyes as life ebbed out of her body. Her few attempts to stop him now were too feeble to make any difference. It looked like this was the end.

Slowly, she reached up and touched the little necklace of yellow and aquamarine stones around her neck. Candi whispered a silent prayer and prepared herself to accept what was soon to come.

Suddenly, Simon screamed and jumped back like he had just been electrocuted. He stared at his open palms in disbelief. Candi collapsed on the floor in a heap, panting weakly, barely conscious.

A dark, swirling mist began to form in the air, taking shape out of the darkness. The cloud of mist surrounded Cruz and then seemed to come together in a big, massive shape. A huge black bear materialized right in front of Simon and reared up on its hind legs, spreading two giant paws that gleamed with long, razor-sharp claws.

Simon screamed again and snatched up the gun he had dropped. He began firing wildly at the image, terrified by what he saw. He continued to yell obscenities and move farther back into the corner until all the bullets were gone. Cruz staggered into the wall and then slid down to the ground, the gun now clicking on empty chambers.

Rico heard the shots and ran down the dark hallway hoping desperately for some miracle. He rounded the last corner and saw Candi lying on the floor. Instantly, he was at her side, checking her pulse. It was still there, but very faint.

He scooped Candi up in his arms and ran back toward the stairway, leaving Cruz sitting in the corner staring vacantly into space.

“Hang on,” he whispered. “Please hang on, babe. I’m going to get you out of here. Everything’s going to be all right.”

Rico hurried up the stairs carrying Candi’s limp body cradled in his arms. There were two men at the top of the stairs, and they stepped out of the way to let him pass by. Rico moved on. Rafael Perez and Benito Rivera glanced at each other and then descended slowly into the basement to find Simon Cruz.

About Trouble Rising:

New passions awaken old evils, and the construction of a modern hotel and casino on old tribal land has stirred up the restless spirit of a massacred Indian maiden. Candi Rios is a magnet for trouble and sensitivity to the supernatural compels her to seek out the answers to the perplexing mysteries that plague the new venture. As a smart young accountant, Candi struggles to sort out the complexities of the business while caught up in the emotional turmoil of the unseen forces at work. With Rico and her quirky friends, she investigates the strange deaths and disappearances in the area, uncovering evidence of money laundering, embezzlement, and murder. Others cross her path and make things difficult, including a psychotic personnel manager, Colombian drug dealers, Elvis Blue and the ghost hunters, and even Godzilla. Candi must figure it all out in order to put an end to the madness and avoid becoming the next victim.

Purchase your copy of Trouble Rising.