Hello, my Freaky Darlings!
Greetings from a warm and sunny South Africa. We’re celebrating Heritage Day today and get to have an extra-long weekend. We have a pretty diverse culture, and most of us come from a rather mixed bag of cultures. I have English, Scottish and Irish blood on my mother’s side of the family. On my father’s side, I have German, Dutch and rebellious Afrikaaners who the British hung during one of our wars of independence because we didn’t just fight one, but two of them. Family gatherings while I was growing up were rather interesting, given that my father’s side of the family have long memories and believe in holding grudges. They never did get over the whole being put in concentration camps and don’t even get them started on the being executed for treason bit.
But anyway … The one thing they could agree on during these holiday gatherings was that my mother’s side of the family made an excellent whisky – Grants Whiskey (My Grandmother was a Grant) and my father’s side were outstanding farmers who really knew how to cook the perfect steak on an open flame. So, on this heritage day, I hope you’re enjoying a great whisky with a perfect steak.
After spending a year working on it, I have finally finished writing Bound in Betrayal. It’s always a weird feeling when you write the last word of a book. I never know if I want to cry or laugh, and most of the time, I end up doing both. Now the hard part starts – Editing!
The good news is that I should have Bound in Betrayal ready for you to download onto your ebook readers or listen to it in audio form before the end of the year. Yay!
I also wanted to tease you today with an unedited short extract from the first scene. I hope you enjoy it.
A brisk wind rustled the leaves of the trees above him. He shivered and rubbed his arms while bringing his knees closer to his chest. The temperature dropped a few degrees. He peered up at the sky through the branches, expecting to see clouds covering the sun. Not a single cloud dotted the endless blue summer sky. The wind picked up some of the sand from the heap he sat on and blew it back into the grave.
“What the…” Sam said as he jumped off the pile, watched as a dust devil formed where he’d been sitting, and took more of the sand back to the grave. The earth once again covered the skeleton.
“Shit,” Sam said, scanning the horizon for his brother, whose small figure in the distance had only just reached their bicycles tied to a tree next to the dirt road. Watching his brother, he realised that leaving them there probably hadn’t been the smartest thing they could have done. If their father drove past, he’d know exactly what they were up to. But the bush was too dense to ride their bikes through it.
They’d heard stories about their neighbour’s farm being haunted and an old gold mine on it that had been deserted because of the ghosts. There were also stories of buried treasure left by the English army during the Boer War.
The ghost stories hadn’t scared Sam. He was interested in the gold and the treasure. It had taken a bit of convincing to get his brother to help make the metal detector, but once the promise of buried treasure had come into it, Daniel had come around. Another dust devil picked up another load of sand and deposited it in the grave.
An exasperated sigh escaped Sam’s lips as he picked up the spade and began digging the sand out again. Every shovel load he managed to scoop out of the grave was replaced by what felt like another two loads.
“That’s it,” he shouted at the wind. “I’m getting those fucking nails out even if it means I have to use one of these bones to do it.”
He scrambled out of the grave and retrieved the discarded arm he’d dropped earlier. “One of these finger bones might be small enough to get under the nail head,” he mused out loud as he examined the skeletal arm. The nail that had been firmly wedged in the hand fell to the ground without any further help.
The wind howled.
Sam picked up the nail and jumped back into the grave. He decided to start with the nails in her skull and make his way down. Using the tip of the nail he’d already pried from her hand, he began digging the one out between her eye sockets and slightly above where her nose would have been.
He assumed the skeleton was a woman’s because of the long strands of hair still attached to the skull, and it just felt like it was female. He didn’t know why he thought it, but he just knew it was. He also just knew he had to get those nails out of her. He felt compelled. It was as though a soft voice was whispering to him, telling him to get them out. The voice begged him for help. Another voice carried on the wind, screamed for him to stop. He ignored the angry, screaming voice and focused on the sad, pleading one. He felt sorry for her. She needed him.
Sam pried and wiggled the nail between her eyes till, after what seemed like an hour, it flew out, narrowly missing his right eye, but nicked his temple. Blood slowly dribbled down his face and landed on her forehead. The air around him crackled. The wind screamed. Her bones vibrated.
“What the fuck did you do?” Daniel squealed from above. His dirty face peered down at Sam from the edge of the grave.
“I freed her,” Sam shouted over the roar of the wind.
This week’s episode of the Freaky Files is about the haunted Crumlin Road Gaol in Ireland.
Shit to Read
I’ve got a whole bunch of freebies and some books on sale for you to dive into and explore new adventures.
Gratuitous Cat Pic
Well … that’s it for now. Until next time …
Happy reading, and thank you for being a Freaky Darling!