Monthly Archives: February 2021
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.
But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.
Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?
Read an Excerpt
Inside the grocery store was just as run-down as it was outside. The late afternoon sun did little to illuminate the space, but our flashlights revealed uneven aisles with busted shelves, dirt and litter-caked tile floors, and thick layers of dust everywhere.
There was a foul stench like rotting flesh that I attributed to the Reapers that had been hiding here. They’d most likely come charging out because we’d unearthed their nesting spot, but their bravery to reveal themselves in daylight was still unnerving. I’d never seen that happen before.
Mom had me stay with the noncombatants while she and the other sharpshooters scoped out the store for signs of Reaper offspring. Female Reapers laid large basketball-sized eggs in nasty gray-veined sacs. The slightest sound could awaken them, and they were formidable due to their size and speed.
Luckily, Mom and the sharpshooters came back momentarily and gave us the all clear. She had us split up in pairs of two, and we each took an aisle to stash supplies. I got paired with a mousy girl named Meredith who pretty much lived at the library back home. We rounded the corner of aisle four, canned goods, and I groaned when I saw its meager contents.
Cans sparsely populated the slanting shelves in tiny rows, a few dozen or so on each side. This was it? After risking our lives to get in here? I wondered how much of the food would still be good. Preservatives or not, it had been five hellish years. Nothing was exempt from that.
“I’ll take the right side,” I told Meredith. I walked ahead of her to my side of lopsided racks as I unzipped my large supply bag. I shone my light on the first can I saw. Sliced Beets. I recoiled. Grandma food. I begrudgingly threw the can and a few identical ones behind it into my bag, then moved on to the next row.
Dinty Moore beef stew. I chuckled to myself. More like dog food. After a couple minutes of scrounging I was done with my side, and boy was it depressing. Turnip greens, diced rutabaga, menudo. What the hell happened to carrots and green beans, peaches and pineapple? I didn’t even want to think of what monstrosities the cooks would make out of this stuff back home.
I glanced back at Meredith. She was looking over the cans meticulously, taking her time before placing each one in her bag. Geez, what was her damage? Our job was simple; put the goods in the bag and go. At her speed, we wouldn’t get out of here until nightfall when the Reapers came out in droves.
I tried waiting for her, but my patience wore out. In my frustration, I noticed the back aisle of the store. Several rows of knickknacks laid virtually untouched, and I weighed my options.
What was the harm? The others weren’t that far away, and with Mom’s birthday just weeks from now I had to find a present for her. I walked ahead in slow cautious steps, entering the back aisle. No one else was here. In front of me and panning to my left were the racks of trinkets I’d seen. This side of the aisle ended in a back room separated by tall, thin sheets of plastic. To my right was a freezer section. Whatever was in there had long since spoiled without electricity.
I rummaged through rows of untouched doodads, clouds of dust rising as I went. Most of it turned out to be junk: small stuffed teddy bears, fake jewelry, pinwheels, and other cheap crap. When I unearthed a small globe-shaped object, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but as I brushed it off I couldn’t help a small squeal of excitement.
Mom always had a fascination with snow globes. I guess she just thought they were beautiful. This one said Billings, Montana and had a small, insignificant skyline. When I shook it, little flurries inside stirred to life. I smiled. She was going to love it.
I set my supply bag down on the ground, shuffling cans around to make room for the trinket down below so no one would see it. As I sorted through my supplies, one of the cans fell out and rolled down the dirty tiled floor to the entrance of the back room before settling. I groaned to myself and walked over before picking up the can. Sliced beets. I shook my head and chuckled. Fucking beets, man.
Suddenly, all the hairs on my body stood on end. I jerked my head up just in time to see a tall dark silhouette lurking behind the thick lines of plastic. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
As I backed away, the Reaper emerged from the back room into the aisle. This one was just like the other two we’d killed, boils, teeth, foul odor, and all. But unlike before, there was nothing between it and me.
“Reaper!” I spun around and bolted, only to catch my feet on my own supply bag. I went plummeting to the ground, cushioned by trash and dirt.
The monster gave a horrendous howl of rage just feet away, and I scrambled forward futilely. It was all over. At this range, there was no way I could esca–
Several thunderous gunshots sounded ahead of me, followed by a wail of pain from the Reaper. I looked up. It was Carlos, one of the only noncombatants with a gun.
“Get behind me!” he shouted.
I double-timed my crawl to him as he fired several more shots at the Reaper, the last one ending in a click from his gun. Carlos’s face went white. Oh shit, he was out of bullets! I closed my eyes in defeat, expecting the Reaper’s long claws to rake into my back and through my body at any moment. Instead, all I felt was a rush of air as the Reaper leaped over me and charged Carlos.
He punched and kicked fruitlessly as the Reaper grabbed him and lifted him into the air. It gave a hideous screech as it shoved Carlos headfirst into the glass door of the refrigerated section, keeping its grip on him. As it removed Carlos, I fought the vomit that lurched up my throat.
Large glass shards embedded in his face jutted out in all directions, blood flowing freely from each wound. He gave a gurgled cry before the Reaper threw him down to the floor.
Loud footsteps echoed closer to us.
“Over here!” I called out.
As Mom and several others entered the aisle, the Reaper lifted its razor-sharp claws, bringing them down on Carlos.
A deafening hail of bullets pounded all around me. I sank to the ground, covering my ears and closing my eyes until the carnage quieted. When I opened them again, the Reaper was in front of me, lying on the floor in a pool of its own black blood. As I set my eyes on Carlos, I gaped in horror. We were too late. Carlos was dead.
About the Author:
Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, fantasy, and other speculative fiction stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his Halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.
Reaper: Aftermath Universal Ebook Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/3asmrg39g7
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578827441
Barnes and Noble Paperback: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reaper-jonathan-pongratz/1138649891
Reaper: A Horror Novella Universal Ebook Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/yaar1pv37e
Jonathan Pongratz will be awarding a 15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
HAUNTING IN OLD TAILEM
by Janice Tremayne
GENRE: Supernatural suspense, horror
An Australian Ghost town. A resident demon and a local Shaman. A confrontation with evil awaits.
Clarisse realizes that running from evil is not a bad idea until you figure out you can’t hide. When some ghosts get tired of hanging around, they latch onto you. At the centre of the war on evil is a historic Church that carries dark secrets within its walls. After she meets with the local Shaman, Clarisse discovers secrets with evil consequences by digging too deep into the town’s past. When matters become complicated, she visits a circus of young performers on the outskirts of town triggering unexpected paranormal events and unleashing memories of a one-hundred-year curse. After being caught in the crossfire of a battle for evil supremacy, Clarisse confronts Little Charlie as he rallies the town’s ghosts into an impeccable evil stronghold.
Can the local Shaman and townsfolk rally in her quest to defeat the evil incarnate or will the town succumb to Little Charlie and his evil crew?
Haunting in Old Tailem is the third book of the Haunting Clarisse Series. If you like spine-tingling, chilling, creepy and spooky supernatural thrillers, then you will love this story by 2020 USA Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Finalist in Supernatural Fiction, Janice Tremayne.
Pick up your copy today and follow Clarisse through her battles with evil!
He hung with the rope around his neck, his tongue sticking out with a red-starved oxygen face. At the same time, he was smiling as though he was only having fun. Death was a reenactment that he had become accustomed to, to the point he thought it funny; a way of horrifying others and making them pay attention. He had a young mind—innocent and conditioned to get the attention of others. Little Charlie didn’t know whether he was dead or alive; far too young to understand. As far as he was concerned, tying a loop around his neck, jumping, and choking to death made him realize he felt no pain. He could do it over and over again.
Clarisse knew from her encounter in Hartley that Little Charlie was an attention seeker and someone who liked to cling onto you. That could explain how he had ended up in Old Tailem Town. Running away from evil might seem like a good idea at the time, but you could not hide.
“Come over here, Little Charlie. There is nothing to be afraid of,” she said.
He replied with a cheeky grin on his boyish face. His mousy brown hair thrown from side to side, he signaled with his right index finger, waving it left to right many times.
“Nuh-uh,” he mimed, his way of saying no.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Janice Tremayne is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning ghost and supernatural writer. Janice is a finalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2020 International Book Awards in Fiction-Supernatural.
She is an emerging Australian author who lives with her family in Melbourne. Her recent publication, Haunting in Hartley, reached number one on the Amazon kindle ranking for Occult, Supernatural, and Ghosts and Haunted Houses categories, for hot new releases and bestsellers.
Janice is well-versed in her cultural superstitions and how they influence daily life and customs. She has developed a passion and style for writing ghost and supernatural novels for new adult readers.
The concept of writing the Haunting Clarisse series was spawned over a cup of coffee many years ago, and she has not looked back since. Her books contain heart-thumping, bone-chilling, and thought-provoking ghost and paranormal experiences that deliver a new twist to every tale.
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:
A print copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner
Q&A With …
Tell us about you as a person.
So, it here comes—Janice Tremayne is my pen name. I write under the pen name of Janice Tremayne to separate my writing from my business life. In real life, I am married to my beautiful wife and two children. I am Australian and live in Melbourne. Yes, I am a male!
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would like to spend a day with Stephen King and pick his brains about writing. Because I am a fan of his writing, I would like to get his perspective on what makes a great story and writing technique—learn more about the craft.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
My latest series is the Zack Bolder Supernatural Thrillers. Books one and two are launched, and I am writing book three. The story has the hallmark of everything I enjoy writing—a unique storyline, supernatural elements, thriller and suspense and characters that grow on you. There is the banter between the characters that also makes the story enjoyable. They are all based on real Australian ghost towns for the setting.
What is your writing process?
I plan my writing in advance from a thought process. I know what I am going to write about. Most of my ideas come from walking around the lake on a sunny day—when the endorphins kick in. I like to listen to music that helps stimulate my senses and creativity and set the mood. So, you will often see me writing with my headset on or talking to myself when walking around the like—people must think I’m mad!
Tell us about your main character.
In the Zack Bolder series, the main character is a priest turned parapsychologist—yes, it’s a mouthful but also intriguing. Zack Bolder is assigned to the police force to help solve supernatural murders. He is young, good looking and you would never think of him as a priest if you walked past him along the road. He can reach the dead and spirits (Reacher or lightworker).
If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
It would have to be the Australian actor Chris Hemsworth. He has the right looks and age. I also believe he has the skills to portray a character like Zack Bolder convincingly with all his character’s peculiarities.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on book three of the Zack Bolder series—Guilt-Edged. It’s a hell of a story, and I take the protagonist and antagonist to another level. However, in another Australian ghost town and an unsolved murder, this demon screws with your head and is not your typical poltergeist. I’m having fun writing it!
What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Learn as much as you can about book marketing—its essential. Your first book will not be your best, and it won’t be until you write book two or three that you will start to put together some great stuff. Try not to over market the first book but built a strategy around two or three books.
What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Stephen King-The Stand
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I have a very imaginative and creative mind. I can conjure up stories that readers find refreshing and different. It helps me with my branding and providing a point of difference.
You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
To be invincible like a fly on the wall!
List 5 things on your bucket list:
- To write a best seller.
- To give something back to the community through charity
- Changing careers successfully (I don’t want to work in a corporate job anymore)
- Travel to Antarctica
- Rediscover my faith and be humble.
Any final thoughts?
We don’t write for the money but for the love of the craft. When I get messages from readers halfway around the world in small towns I have not heard before—I pinch myself. I can’t think of many jobs in life that enable you to reach people in such away. And for that short time that they engaged in your writing and their precious time to your story—it’s a privilege.