Wednesday, March 27, 2019


Unbearable Failure
Bears of Aria
Book Two
ML Guida

Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Publisher: Buffalo Mountain Press

Date of Publication: March 27, 2019


Cover Artist: Melody Simmons

Tagline: He’s on a mission that could destroy his family, but he has to learn the truth. Only his mate is willing to stand by his side.

Book Description:

Vaughn: I won’t rest until I find out the truth.
No matter what––even if it disgraces my father.

Rumors are floating around that my father a decorated captain abandoned his crew on the cruel planet Sutois to save his own skin.

I can’t believe it’s true. He isn’t a selfish coward. Or is he?

But I have another problem. Our women are dying on Aria and we don’t know why.

An Earth woman may have the cure, but she won’t hand it over.

I don’t like kidnapping, but she leaves me no choice.

And she’s my mate.

Sandra Rotella:  Everyone thinks I’m a failure. I’m here to prove them wrong.

My mom and stepfather are respected scientists and so far, none of my experiments have worked.

But one.

This is my chance to prove I’m as good as my parents.

An alien is desperate for the formula, desperate enough to kidnap me.

And he tells me we’re fated to be together.

That isn’t logical. He can’t take away my only chance for success.

I’ll fight to get back home.


Vaughn, the Intrepid’s science officer, reviewed documents on the ship’s computer of his father’s mission on Sutois and there wasn’t a shred of evidence that his father had abandoned his crew on that cruel planet.
The screen turned blurry. He rubbed his tired eyes and exhaled a frustrated breath. He hadn’t had a good night sleep since that day Nucl had accused his father of being a coward.
The door to his quarters buzzed open. Dread crawled up Vaughn’s dry throat.
His older brother and captain, Tash, stormed inside with a scowl. His green eyes were dark and the scar on his throbbing cheek was white. “Why do you have your damn intercom turned off? I’ve been trying to reach you.” His voice was less than pleased, meaning Vaughn was at the bottom of the food chain.
Heat burned on Vaughn’s cheeks and his ears. He immediately turned off his computer. “I’ve been doing research.”
Tash crossed his arms over his chest. “Still trying to prove that Dad was a yellow-bellied coward?”
 His gut tightened. “No. Not at all.”
“Then why do you insist on believing Nucl?” He spun his computer and turned on the screen to reveal the last page Vaughn had been reviewing.
Vaughn winced and avoided his brother’s accusing gaze.
“Dad was a well-respected star ship captain for the United Planet Confederation.” He pounded his fist on the table. “He’s an admiral, for Shade’s sake.”
“I realize that Tash, but I need to know. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
 His brother’s eyes clouded over, and he turned away. “Then, you’re a fool. Nucl was completely mad. He betrayed his own people on Sutois. Feeding our people to the Gogs.”
Nucl’s betrayal had ripped his brother apart, making him doubt his ability to be captain.
Vaughn wanted to believe him, but the hair on the back of his neck itched and cold chills crept down his back. Insanity was just too easy to accept. “Tash, there was nothing you could do.” Vaughn could still remember the screams, the horror, the constant death, and he shuddered.
Tash cast him a lost look, then hung his head. “Dad would have a found a way. I was the captain. I should have way to save my crew.”
Tash never thought he could live up to their dad’s reputation, but he was a better captain than their father had been. “You did everything you could do.”

About the Author:

Award Winning Author M.L. Guida loves science fiction and the paranormal. From Star Trek to Dark Shadows to Supernatural, she fell in love with things that go bump in the night. But it was the heroes, she loved the best. Whether it's a shape shifter from outer space or a vampire from the past, her wounded heroes always find a way to win the heart of the heroine.

Sign up for M.L. Guida's Supernatural Scroll  Newsletter:

Friday, March 22, 2019


Hello and welcome to Friday. We're ending this week with a sneak peek at Clare Di Liscia's cover release. What do you think? We're loving the shading on this one. Please read on to find out more about the book.

Clare Di Liscia

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948671-37-8

Number of pages: 287

Cover Artist: AM Design Studios

Book Description:

Half the population of the island of Madera are dead, killed by an unforgiving and indiscriminate plague. Oriana dreams of escaping her life of ruthless cruelty from the people who now rule over those who remain. No telling whom the plague will strike next, Oriana means to find freedom for herself and her people. Drawing strength from ancient tales of her enemy, young Oriana transforms herself from victim to warrior with the help of a mysterious and powerful dagger given to her by a kind and dying boy.       
Years later, during her enemy’s betrothal ritual, Ezra, a boy she has never before seen, selects her as his mate. With servitude her only option, Oriana accepts the offer. Whisked away to a seemingly perfect world, Oriana discovers sinister secrets at every turn, including the identity of Tristan, a boy with whom she shares an undeniable but impossible connection.

Why would a boy she doesn’t know wish her to be his betrothed? Why does she feel such a strong pull toward a stranger? Someone in Ezra’s family not only knows the answer to both those questions, but also about the dagger Oriana possesses. He will do anything to stop the union. Now, with everything on the line, Oriana turns inward to find the strength she needs to seize the full power of the dagger so that she may protect herself and save her people.

About the Author:

Born in Queens, New York, Clare Di Liscia moved to California as a small child and grew up in the hills by Dodger Stadium. Constantly roaming the woods, she took to embellishing on the stories of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck to fill her imagination. To her horror she soon realized there was no way to fit a miniature tuxedo on a frog. Fortunately in sixth grade, Clare won a short story contest with the grand prize of fifteen happy meals. She would like to point out that two of those meal tickets were missing by the time her mother handed over her prize. After traveling extensively throughout South America and the Caribbean, Clare attended KU Leuven, in Belgium for University where she studied Dutch and French. Clare graduated from Cal State Northridge Film School, earning Dean’s List recognition with a BA in TV/Film. In 2006 she placed in the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting beating out 4700 other applicants. After joining SCBWI, Clare won 1st place HM in the Sue Alexander for her YA novel, now titled NELIEM.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

INTERVIEW with LORI ZAREMBA (Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter)

We're lucky to have Lori Zaremba in the house today!

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

LZ: Trudy Hicks is an ex-cop turned ghost hunter. She uses her knowledge to go into each investigation and treat it as a cold case, solving why the ghosts are in turmoil. Trudy is the person you want for your best friend. She is strong, smart and capable yet down to earth and sometimes she lets you see that she can be a bit vulnerable.
The theme throughout the book is Trudy’s bravery. She must lead a crew of inexperienced ghost hunters into some pretty dicey situations and protect them. But most importantly Trudy must decide if she is brave enough to give away her well-guarded heart.

SC: Speaking of ghosts, do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
LZ: Ha! Well, since I’ve been seeing and communicating with dead people all my life I could go on and on about my experiences. But I will stick to one bizarre encounter that relates to Case One- The Deceit.

I was looking for a famous flapper-like personality to be in the scene where Vanessa goes to the Chicago speakeasy with Raul. I was googling names, and no one seemed right. A woman’s voice in my right ear whispered clearly, the name, Marian Davies. I had the shivers down my back, and I knew by researching her- she’d be perfect.
Now at the same time, my sister CJ was visiting my niece in New York City. They went to a friend’s apartment in Manhattan for dinner. My sister who smokes had to walk down three stories to go outside. When CJ went back inside, a woman passed her on the steps, dressed in 20’s style clothing. CJ r greeted her and the woman greeted her back. My sister turned back to make sure she was seeing right and watched as the woman disappeared into thin air.

Going back to the dinner party and quite excited, my sister told Angelica, the friend hosting the dinner party, about what she had witnessed. Together the two tried to make sense of who the woman may have been. Angelica promised to do some research.
Fast forward to a year later. Angelica is now visiting my sister, and we are all having dinner together. Mind you, my book is complete at this point but un-edited and not yet read by anyone other than me.  Angelica proceeds to tell my sister that she did her research, meeting with local historians and knows who the flapper is that my sister saw in the stairwell. I'm curious because my sister told me about her experience but so much time had passed..

Angelica tells us an intriguing story of a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst who secured the building that Angelica lives in as a love nest for the woman he was involved with romantically. Their long term affair lasted until her death.  The affair is also well known among the locals and well documented. 
The woman's name was non-other than Marian Davies.  Coincidence?

My guess is that Marian really wanted to be in the book ~so she is.

SC: Fabulous story. Thanks for sharing. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about? 
LZ: My publisher has approved Case-Two-The Kept which will go through the editing process in April and I’m hoping it will be released in early summer. Case-Two is a little darker as we learn more about Trudy’s past. The haunting is on the Jersey shore and the team uncovers a white slave trafficking operation during the early 1900s. This book has so much action, twists and turns and most importantly lots of paranormal activity.

I am currently writing Case Three-The Hex. This one gives me the shivers of excitement and is keeping me up at night. I will reveal that it’s based in the French Quarter. It involves Voodoo, a brothel and some witches who will save the day.
SC: Thanks so much for stopping by. Let's take a look at your novel now.

Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter

Case One -The Deceit

Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter

Book One
Lori Zaremba

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Date of Publication: 2/12/2019

Number of pages: 337
Word Count: 78500

Tagline: Some secrets are meant to stay buried.

Book Description

My job? I hunt ghosts. Not to prove they exist—because I already know they do—but to figure out why they’re still here.

My first big case leads me to a mansion on the Chicago Gold Coast, the previous home of a wealthy socialite who lived there until she accidentally fell to her death in 1927.

I’ve never been this determined—and excited—to solve a case like this one before. Pity I’m forced to work alongside a man whose sole purpose is to debunk paranormal activity. But the worst part? He’s gorgeous, and the more we work together, the more I realize I might be falling for him.

Together we’re delving deeper and deeper into the spiritual world. But the more secrets we uncover, the more pissed off these ghosts become; and that’s when I start to realize…we might be in way over our heads.


Looking once again across the table at Jason, she noticed he was listening to his two-way radio.
“I’ll go check it out,” Trudy heard him say as he excused himself.
“Is everything all right?” Paul started to rise from the dinner table.
“Everything is fine. Sit and relax. I have to go and check one of the cameras.” Jason slipped from the room.
Trudy caught up to him at the base of the stairs. “What’s going on?”
He looked at her warily. “One of the cameras on the third floor caught the door of your room slamming shut.”
“Oh, I left it open for the dog when I came down to dinner.”
“Jasmine?” He raised a questioning brow as he referred to the golden retriever who was sound asleep under the dining table.
“No.” She bit her lip and tried not to laugh at his puzzled expression. “I left it open for the other dog that was whining and scratching at my door.”
“Oh, I see, the imaginary one,” he quipped, climbing the stairs two at a time. Trudy was almost at a sprint to keep up, careful not to slip in her high heels. They finally reached the third floor. The air was so thick that Trudy could barely move her legs and felt the hair on the back of her neck rising in warning.
“Shhh. Did you hear that?” A door slammed from inside her room.
“What the hell was that?” Jason said as he reached for the door, looking down at her.
“It’s probably just a little mouse,” she said, causing him to frown down at her before slowly turning the knob.
They entered the room as quietly as possible, and a blast of frigid air struck them. Jason reached over to flip the switch for the light. Everything was normal. They quickly searched the room for any signs of a disturbance. The room was just as she left it, and the door to the bathroom was open as before. She couldn’t figure out what made the slamming noise that they heard.
“Uh, were you typing an email earlier?” Jason asked, looking at her laptop.
“Oh, yeah, to my mom. I forgot.”
“You better take a look at this.”
Trudy looked at the screen and saw her email was
still up. She had written, “Hi, Mom. We’re at the house. All is well. Please...” That was where she stopped when she’d been interrupted by a phone call, and that was where it looked like the email went wild with,
The two letters repeated the whole way down the page. “How is that possible?” she questioned.
“Maybe your keys are stuck.” He bent down to get a better look at the keys then tapped them to see if they were sticking.
“Please, there’s nothing wrong with the keys. Someone was playing.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not talking about a human.”
“You think a ghost did this?” Humor danced around his mouth as he tried to keep from smiling.
“Well, it certainly could be a possibility, and it is the reason we’re here.”
“Not we, you. I’m here to look at things rationally.”
“Rationally...really?” She was irritated, folding her arms over her chest and glaring at him. “What was rational about the events that led us into this room? And for the love of God, what was rational about what happened to you in the basement?”
Jason sat on the bed, elbows on his knees, and looked down at the floor. “I don’t know, but I plan to find out.”
She looked at him for a moment and could almost feel his confusion. He was a bit lost in all this chaos. She sat beside him and mimicked his pose. Trudy elbowed him on the arm, and the simple touch sent a thrill racing through her body. “I guess we have our work cut out for us.”

His gaze settled on her half-smile. “At least it won’t be boring.”
Her heart did a somersault. “Yeah, I don’t do well with boring.”
Feeling brazen, she leaned over and planted a quick kiss on his mouth. His eyes widened in surprise, and Trudy jumped up, grinning from ear to ear.
“Let’s go, Mr. Young. They’re probably wondering what’s happened to us.” She was halfway out the door.
Jason grabbed her hand before she could reach the hall and spun her around. His lips claimed hers before she could grasp what was happening. Trudy felt his hand on the small of her back molding her to him, while his other hand gently held her head. She felt a thrill like never before, and just as her knees started to give out, he released her.
“Better hurry, Gertrude. Wouldn’t want anyone to think you were trying to take advantage of me in this here grand bedroom.” He smiled into her eyes, and once again she was lost. She shook her head to clear it and get some control of her senses.
“We better go, or I’ll be taking advantage of you.” She laughed, and he did too. She loved the sound of it. She glanced over her shoulder. “I hope that damned camera of yours was turned off.”

As they headed out the door, Jason walking just behind her, he grimaced when he saw the red light on the camera on and grunted, “Oh, shit.”

About the Author:

Lori Zaremba is a full-time Internet Sales Manager and writes Web Content as well as providing Copy Editing for businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Lori has published short ghost stories on Your Ghost Stories, as the Haunted_Cleaner and on her website

On her website,, Zaremba refers to herself as the ghost magnet and briefly describes her encounters with departing spirits.

Lori began writing her fiction story as a creative offering of why a ghost would haunt.  Before long the story became a novel Case One: The Deceit in the Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series.

Lori currently lives in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband Wayne and two fur babies Jaxson and Stewie.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019



We're finally hitting double digit weather here in Vancouver. The kind of weather where you begin to think of hitting the beach with a good book to get some fresh air. With that in mind, author Kellie M. Davies dropped in to say hello and tell us about her book MABON.
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
KMD: We enter the story on Lucy DeBane’s sixteenth birthday. Not particularly auspicious for our protagonist as it’s also the day her father died sixteen years prior. Understandably, this day makes Lucy irritable, but add in that she’s on the verge of an ancestral truth, and she’s kinda falling to pieces! Lucy is the younger sister to twins Mathilda and Abigail - blonde bombshells who’ve attained their witchy powers. It’s clear the twins are their mother’s daughters but Lucy, petite with volumes of burnished red locks and brilliant turquoise eyes, is of her father’s lineage. Does Lucy also share in her paternal linage’s Black Majik as well?

SC: I'm sure Lucy has a few tricks up her sleeve as well. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
KMD: Ooh … I love this question … I’m a skeptic but have had several ‘odd’ experiences that I couldn’t quite explain. Back when I was around fifteen, on holiday with my family, I can vividly recall the words my brother spoke while dreaming early one morning and although these words have no weight on this story, it was the vision I had during my brief sleep after being woken by my brother’s rant.

A large spider sitting square on a white background.
I woke telling my mother of the strange vision, I thought it was odd as it had jump-cut itself into a dream I had already been having.

Our day went on and when we arrived at our dinner table, with white table cloth, I began to feel a sense of de-ja-vu. Within minutes a large brown spider made its way onto our table and sat directly in front of me as if it had something to say.
At times now I wished it hadn’t been swiftly whisked from the table by the steward. I often wonder exactly what it had needed so desperately to elucidate.

SC: I have visions of Charlotte's Web running through my mind now. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
KMD: ‘Yule’ which is the second book in my series ‘The Clandestine Chronicles’. I’m finalising an ancestral witchcraft card game that involves an intricate mix of cards, ancestors of the families of the sun and moon, and selected objects that either enhance the game in the players favor or make it a lethal mix!

Follow along with the series’ development at :

Instagram: kelliemdavies

Twitter: @kelliemdavies

SC: Thanks for stopping in to chat with us today! Let's take a look at your novel now.

The Clandestine Chronicles
Book One
Kellie M Davies

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Aurora House Publishing

Date of Publication: September 2018

ISBN: 978-0-6481851-7-8

Number of pages: 227

Cover Artist: Simon Critchell

Tagline: Let the Magick in.

Book Description:

Magick or Love.

If both ran deep in your blood, which would you choose?

On her sixteenth birthday, introvert Lucy DeBane can’t shake the memory of her father’s death, or the possibility that by day’s end a life altering ancestral truth will blow apart the world she knows. Lucy is sure of one thing, her feelings for Gil ... tall, dark and hot ... her first real love.

So when she hears the chiming of ancient bells and her family’s secret is revealed, Lucy must make a decision ... become a DeBane witch, or walk away from family for love.

Is there a way she can have both?

‘Davies weaves together a complex tale of magic and romance in this sweeping adventure.’ ~ Fiona Horne

Teaser Excerpt:

All three witches took their places. Dana stood in the north quarter in front of the alter stretching her hands out for the twins to take in theirs. She pressed on their hands and they all smiled at each other. Abi winked in my direction and my pulse quickened.

The ritual, my initiation ritual, was about to begin.

About the Author:

Kellie M Davies was born and lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children. After University and a long period away from writing, she began to dabble with words again. Stories flowed and from the mess of manuscripts that cluttered her computer files, Lucy’s story rose.

INTERVIEW with THOMAS S. FLOWERS (Palace of Ghosts)

Look who's dropped in again to talk about his latest! We're welcoming back Thomas S. Flowers today.
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
TF:  I’d say there are five main characters in Palace of Ghosts, 6 if you count the house. Samantha Green is a friendless former Army K-9 handler looking for a way to put the loss of her dog Hercules behind her. She’s somewhat of a recluse in her personal life now that she’s out of the military. Her parents are struggling to understand why she will not let the past go.
Brad Myers is a lighthearted former Military Police Officer who was severally wounded in war wanting nothing more than a good night’s sleep. He has troubling dreams of his time in Iraq. Of not just his own personal wounds but wounds he caused others.
Andy Lovejoy is an overweight light spoken drone operator who once watched the war from above now questions who he has become. His parents are what you’d call “modern hippies” and raised Andy to be a pacifist. He joined the service because he wanted to serve his country. He never thought he’d participate in hurting people, especially innocent people.
Marcus Pangborn is a headstrong Marine who desperately wants a dead friend’s forgiveness. He’s what I’d call a “man’s man,” super “tough guy” who drives Harley’s and listens to some badass music. His father and grandfather were both Marines and when 9/11 happened, he felt it was his duty to enlist. After the Second Battle of Fallujah, he was never the same.
The group joins Doctor Frederick Peters, he is an experimental psychologist looking to prove his exposure theory hypothesis. He doesn’t necessarily believe in the supernatural, but he hopes his patients will. To him, Amon Palace is the perfect testing grounds for his theory that long-term exposure and aggressive paranoia in a stressful environment will force his patients to face their repressed traumas. Unbeknownst to him, Amon Palace is very real and the ghosts it conjures are not psychosomatic.
SC: So the good doctor isn't sure about the supernatural. Hmm. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
TF: Though I’ve never personally seen a specter or ghost (other than the symbolistic manifestation of my own traumas, typically conjured in dreams), I do not discredit the paranormal or supernatural. Part of the reason is due to my strict religious upbringing. If I am to believe in an ultimate good, I therefore must believe in an ultimate evil. As for the run of the mill ghost, I’d probably lean towards Dr. Lionel Barrett’s theory from Richard Matheson’s 1971 novel, Hell House. That what we think of as “ghosts” are lingering “echoes” from the past, of some event leave traces of itself behind, and not necessarily the remnants of someone’s soul or spirit. But again, that is just my opinion. There are many things that occur in this world that I cannot explain.
SC: What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
TF: Now that Palace of Ghosts is out in the wild, I’ve started work on my next book titled Detective Carter And the Cult of the Feared Ones. While readers may recognize the character Detective Carter from Palace of Ghosts, it is not a direct sequel, simply a continuation of the character himself. This story will have a Lovecraft meets Sherlock vibe, but told in modern times. Carter should be a very familiar name for fans of H.P. Lovecraft. The story follows the main protagonist, Detective Carter and his partner Warren, as they investigate a series of brutal murders on Galveston Island.
After the Detective Carter story, I’ll be working on the 3rd book in my Planet of the Dead series, titled Escape from the Planet of the Dead.
SC: Well we can't wait to have you back again to tell us all about them! Thanks for stopping by. Let's take a look at Palace of Ghosts.

Palace of Ghosts
Thomas S. Flowers

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing

Date of Publication: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-988819-14-3

Number of pages: 275
Word Count: 62K

Cover Artist: Luke Spooner

Tagline: Evil resides in Amon Palace. Something worse came to visit.

Book Description:

Four veterans of the Iraq War seeking a cure for Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder arrive at a notoriously haunted house in the bogs of Galveston Island called Amon Palace.

Samantha Green, a friendless former Army K-9 handler looking for a way to put her loss behind her.

Brad Myers, a lighthearted former Military Police Officer severally wounded in war wanting nothing more than a good night’s sleep.

Andy Lovejoy, an overweight light spoken drone operator who once watched the war from above now questions who he has become.

Marcus Pangborn, a headstrong Marine who desperately wants a dead friend’s forgiveness.

The group joins Doctor Frederick Peters, an experimental psychologist looking to prove his exposure theory hypothesis, and his two assistants, Tiffany Burgess and Dexter Reid.

At first, their stay seems to conjure nothing more than spooky encounters with inexplicable phenomena. But Amon Palace is gathering its powers—and soon it will reveal that these veterans are not who they seem.

Palace of Ghosts
By Thomas S. Flowers
Chapter 1
        Missing Persons

Detective Carter studied the man across the table through the smoky haze of stale cigarettes. He paid close attention to any clue that could give away some other reasonable explanation than the insanity that had just been confessed. Manila envelopes and folders spread out before him, containing recent photographs and reports of what remained of the old mansion out in the bogs on Galveston Island by Boddeker Road. The fire was substantial to say the least, leaving only skeletal remnants of charred stone and soot of what was once a magnificent estate. And among the destruction spread out on the table in interrogation room 2B, six separate missing persons reports. Reaching down, he switched off the recorder, flipped the tape and resumed the interview. 
“Maybe we should throw you back in holding for another twenty-four hours—see if that gets you to start talking reasonably,” Carter’s partner, Detective Harley Warren, growled. He walked around the room and stood behind the suspect. He leaned close to his ear and whispered, “What you’re giving us, Doc—well, we ain’t buying it. I think maybe you’re a shit liar and can’t come up with a more realistic story. You want to know what I think? I think maybe you did something to your patients. Maybe you lost your temper and—" he made a slicing motion with his thumb across his neck. 
Squinting against the harsh fluorescent light above them, Carter focused on the suspect’s reaction. But all he saw was more of the same.
The suspect propped his head up with his elbows on the table, rubbing his temples, eyes closed. “I’ve told you what happened, I know its hard to believe, but—”
“Hard to believe? I’d say this was all a waste of our time.” Warren stood but remained behind the suspect. “There are six people missing—six, don’t you think their families deserve closure? Just tell us where the bodies are and then we’ll let you go see the wizard, get your own personal padded cell.”
The suspect scoffed. “Missing? They aren’t missing—they were taken, but long before coming to Amon Palace. Whatever happened to them happened in Iraq.”
Warren made a face. “Again with this crazy bullshit.”
“Its not bullshit—I’m telling you what happened, you simply don’t want to listen. The suspect glanced behind him, speaking to Warren directly.
Warren waved him off. “Fancy talk, Doc. But where does it leave us? I’ll tell you, I think you just scored a free ride to the insane asylum. Three hots and a cot, you’ll be living like a king while the parents of the people you killed suffer. All because you’re too chicken shit to tell us what really happened.”
The suspect looked into his palms and said, mostly to himself, “Insane? Maybe I am insane—God, I wish I was.”
Carter cleared his throat. “Okay, Doctor Peters, let’s take it slow. Let’s see if we got this straight. What you’re telling us is that you put together this group from patients you were treating at the VA hospital, right?
“Correct,” Peters nodded. “An experiment in exposure therapy.”
“Jesus Christ, don’t you think these vets have gone through enough without you playing around with their heads?” Warren barked.
“I was trying to help them!” Peters cried.
“Sure you were—sounds like you were trying to help your own career, if you ask me,” Warren quipped.
Carter held up a hand, glancing up at Warren, gesturing for him to ease off.
Warren rolled his eyes but said nothing else.
“Okay, Doctor. So, you put together this group for a week at Amon Palace?” Carter asked.
Rubbing his temples again, Peters said, “I’ve told you all of this already. Yes, I acquired special permission from Mrs. Driscoll. She allowed me use of her estate to conduct the week-long experiment.”
“Mrs. Driscoll? As in Elizabeth Driscoll, daughter of John Driscoll?”
“Yes, and niece of Sir Christopher Driscoll.”
Carter glanced up at Warren.
Noticing the exchanged expression, Peters asked, “Why?”
Carter shifted in his seat and looked Peters straight in the face, bracing for the reaction that would come. “Elizabeth Driscoll has been dead now for over thirty years. The estate passed on to another member of the family who had never bothered to do anything with it. Amon Palace has been abandoned since the 1980s.”
As if on cue, Peters’s hand dropped to the table. His eyes shot wide. “What?” he whispered.
Carter nodded, “Whoever you talked with—if anyone, it wasn’t Elizabeth Driscoll.”
 “That can’t be possible,” Peters stammered.
“Let’s assume for now that whoever it was you spoke with, you believed it to be Elizabeth Driscoll,” Carter said, scribbling gibberish in his notebook, a trick he’d used a dozen times with perps. They see him writing something down after getting the rug swept under them and get nervous. And with jittery nerves come mistakes.
“Can’t be—I spoke with her…” Peters went on, glancing at the notebook, whispering to himself. He looked up suddenly, “What about the Andersons?”
Carter frowned. “Who?”
“Marge and John Anderson.”
“Are you saying there were others?”
“There should be—they were the caretakers hired by Miss Driscoll.”
Exhaling, Carter said, “Amon Palace has no caretakers—at least none on record.” He flipped through some of the folders on the table. “And there have been no bodies recovered as of yet at the crime scene.”
Peters resumed rubbing his temples. “They have to be there, she hired them to take care of the estate. I spoke with both on more than one occasion. And I saw them both on the night of the fire…they were in the house.”
Warren stepped forward and slammed his fist on the table beside Peters, filling the room with a loud pang as he shouted, “Don’t you understand what we’re saying? The woman you supposedly talked with doesn’t exist and there were no caretakers! Which means your story is total fucking bullshit!”
Peters flinched.
“Okay, Doctor,” Carter prodded on, “you brought this group in for an experiment. And then what, spooky encounters start happening—are you telling us that Amon Palace is haunted?”
Warren scoffed. He stood back now, leaning against the wall with his arms folded across his barrel chest.
Smiling, Peters said, “Go ahead and laugh, I understand. I didn’t believe either, not at first. Haunted by some specter or specters or demonically possessed? That would be the real question. Those familiar with parapsychology—of which I am not; I’m paraphrasing here from what I’ve read—almost all cases with reports of hauntings, psychic invasions, and the like, all bear a strong parallel to our experiences within Amon Palace. Cold spots, slamming of doors or banging on walls by some unknown; unseen force, retrocognition—and yet, according to documents published by the Vatican, hauntings such as these sometimes serve as the first manifestation of an entity ultimately bent on demonic possession. According to said article, odors of human excrement or rotting eggs, sulfur can be a characteristic clue of demonic infestation.”
More laughing from Warren.
“As I said, laugh if it makes you feel better. But what would you find more incredible, that Amon Palace is; was indeed possessed, or at the very least haunted, or that we all somehow shared the same hallucinations and grotesque misinterpretations of fact?”
Carter leaned back in his chair, pondering the possibility.
Warren jabbed Peters with a finger. “If what you’re saying is even true—we only have your statement to go off of. Convenient, wouldn’t you say, Doctor?”  
Peters shook his head, “Certainly not convenient for Samantha Green, Brad Myers, Marcus Pangborn, Tiffany Burgess, or Dexter Reid.”
Warren wound up as if he was about to punch Peters.
“Okay, okay,” Carter offered his hands again, urging his partner to cool down. “You bring your experimental exposure group to Amon Palace and everyone starts seeing things—but didn’t you say you wanted them to see this weird stuff? Triggers, you called them, right?”
“The idea—the experiment,” Peters exhaled, glancing sideways at Warren, “was for them to spend a week unplugged from the rest of the world. No phones. No TV. No internet. Completely isolated in an unfamiliar and potentially stressful environment that could possibly trigger certain responses. At the time, I did not believe Amon Palace was truly haunted. Exposure therapy works by triggering patients, forcing them to confront buried trauma. But this was supposed to be a place where I could safely monitor their conditions. There have been cases before, therapeutic exposure experiments that have gone awry. I’m sure you have heard of the former Navy Seal whose post-service time was spent helping veterans with PTSD. He would take them to gun ranges, a known trigger for many soldiers returning from war. The idea is the same—to help patients with PTSD face trauma in order to heal. On one occasion, he had taken a veteran out who had been struggling significantly. The veteran snapped. And in the end, he shot and killed his would-be therapist and his friend. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. A horrible tragedy with three ruined lives. At Amon Palace I wanted my patients to be able to face the memory of their trauma without the fear of hurting loved ones or themselves. As they began to react to the suggested belief that Amon Palace was in fact haunted, I would guide them toward projecting what they feared the most—their own unique traumas.” 
“Jesus Christ,” Warren quipped again.
Carter silenced his partner with a hand. “So, the experiment was designed for them to react to being locked up in a creepy mansion under the pretense that the house was haunted, and it worked?”
Peters nodded, tears brimming his eyes. “And I confess, I pushed them—more than I should have.”
Carter leaned forward, he could sense they were finally getting somewhere. “What do you mean, pushed?”
Looking up, tears now trickling down his face, he said, “Hypnosis.”
“Hypnotherapy? You put them in a suggestive state when they were already under duress?”
“Under duress? No—they volunteered!”
“Only because you promised a cure—didn’t you?”
“And it would have worked too…but they weren’t who I thought they were—they changed into something horrible.”
Carter sneered, tired of this interrogation, tired of the lies and wild fantasies. “And why didn’t it work, Doctor? Did your little hypothesis backfire? Did you have visions of your career burning so you decided to burn everything else? Did you kill them?”  
Carter shook his head, the feeling of defeat sinking in and the weariness of this prolonged interrogation taking a toll. “Taken? Where, Doctor—and by whom?”

About the Author:

Thomas S. Flowers is an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Army veteran who loves scary movies, BBQ, and coffee. Ever since reading Remarque’s "All Quiet on the Western Front" and Stephen King’s "Salem’s Lot" he has inspired to write deeply disturbing things that relate to war and horror, from the paranormal to his gory zombie infested PLANET of the DEAD series, to even his recent dabbling of vampiric flirtation in The Last Hellfighter readers can expect to find complex characters, rich historical settings, and mind-altering horror. Thomas is also the senior editor at Machine Mean, a horror movie and book review site that hosts contributors in the horror and science fiction genre.

PLANET of the DEAD and The Last Hellfighter are best-sellers on Amazon's Top 100 lists for Apocalyptic Fiction and African American Horror.

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