The Ballad of Murder Joe: A Cautionary Tale

Full disclosure: nobody died, his name wasn’t Joe, and thankfully no one was singing. And yet this is a true story.

WestVirginiaAtNightWhile on a trip to my home state of West “By God” Virginia, my spouse and I were on our way between stops when we had to change lanes on Southbound I-79 just before midnight. We were in high spirits, having found a favorite restaurant open on our way and looking forward to some much deserved sleep, but being deer season, a buck had wandered onto the road and been struck. The lane change had been to avoid the fresh carcass, just behind another vehicle who had done the same.

Before we could switch out of the passing lane, the vehicle in front of us did so abruptly; a thick wooden or metal grating was in the lane and over it we went. The front tire cleared but my right rear tire snagged. A tire pressure warning on my dashboard appeared almost instantly, and Exit 5 was just ahead. I caught a glimpse of a gas station sign, so I took the exit. As I made the turn, I felt how badly the tire was pulling, so I stopped beneath the underpass to check it.

This was my first mistake.

You’re more visible on the interstate — even in a rural state like West Virginia. At midnight on a moonless night, it’s dark…like REALLY dark. Get off the road but don’t leave the road. The other problem was it was highly unlikely either of the aforementioned gas stations were open; this is a state where the capital rolls up its sidewalks at dusk. Moving on…

DarkSoulTireDownRealizing where I’d stopped, and took my high-lumen flashlight out and did a quick sweep of the underpass; we were alone. While I was born in WV, movies like Wrong Turn are far more realistic than The Blair Witch Project, so we weren’t looking for any encounters. I had a tire pump and a repair kit but not a spare, something my car manufacturer assured us was more than adequate.

This was my second mistake.

I have low-profile tires. They look good and grip the road really well, but what I didn’t know then is the grating had gashed my tire’s sidewall, something the repair kit wasn’t going to fix. The tire was a loss and we were stuck. A donut could have gotten us back on the road and to our next destination. Lessons learned.

And then Murder Joe appeared out of the darkness.
Continue reading “The Ballad of Murder Joe: A Cautionary Tale”

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“MEET MY MAIN CHARACTER” Blog Tour!

I have been nominated by action/sci-fi/horror screenwriter Eric Ian Steele from Manchester, England to join the “Meet My Main Characters” blog tour. Today I will be telling you a little about the protagonist of my vampire thriller series The Matriarch.

Matriarch3DBoxCover2013OctWhat is the name of your main character?

Her name is Janiss Annette Connelly, formerly a college senior with one semester to go before she would begin student teaching, marry, have children, and live happily ever after…all of which changes after running afoul of a vampire named Ian Chrisman.

When and where is the story set?

It is set in and around Glenville, West Virginia and at my alma mater, Glenville State College. The story takes place in modern-day, but the roots of the story are steeped in the local ghost story of Sis Linn, a woman who was brutally murdered a century before and was interred in the old city cemetery on the actual college campus. Her murder was never solved, setting up the gray area in history where the story takes place.

What should we know about the main character?
Continue reading ““MEET MY MAIN CHARACTER” Blog Tour!”

The Matriarch: Guardians

She is NOT the last…

The Matriarch novel officially has a sequel in final editing.

The Matriarch: Guardians

Supernatural horror thriller, mature content.
Coming soon – in final editing now.

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GuardiansRightfaceebookcover2014She is NOT the last.

“I’m going to find as many of them as I can, the makers and their progeny.” When a woman in white is encountered along a lonely highway in Jackson County, West Virginia, an unusual number of vampires are discovered.

Once their mysterious maker is found out, Janiss Connelly will have until sunrise to stop the killer – but only if the remnants of her previous life fail to destroy her first.

Get the details and sign up for updates at CedarcrestSanctum.com.

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What is the Secret of Cedarcrest Sanctum?

TlalocIconThings that go on like this shouldn’t be ignored.

Cedarcrest Sanctum bills itself as “a modern rest home nestled in the mountains of central West Virginia.”

The residents who are accepted have no family, no money, and nowhere else to go. In spite of these facts, the administrator of the facility still takes them in. If accepted into “the program,” they are removed from the public eye and are no longer permitted outside visitors.

To date, no one in “the program” has ever left Cedarcrest Sanctum and no deaths have been reported – not a single one in over ten years. No one seems to know what happens to the elderly who reside there and no one seems to care.

My attempts to contact anyone on the inside of their gated, secure facility have all failed. Their website, CedarcrestSanctum.com, claims that the phones are unlisted (for privacy reasons) and that emails go unanswered because they “cannot reply to every correspondent.”

There was a recent story concerning a college student named Janiss Connelly who used to volunteer there before “suddenly” being offered a job. Immediately thereafter, she withdrew from college only a semester before her graduation and became unreachable by phone or email. Like the residents, no one has reported seeing or talking to her since.

If you know anything about what is going on at this facility, DO NOT keep it to yourself.

Someone has to stop this.

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The Matriarch (Teaser Book Trailer)

How about a book trailer? As you wish.