Author: Xavier Axelson
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: October 1, 2022
Genres: Contemporary M/M Horror/Dark Fantasy/Bisexual/Paranormal
Tropes: Vampire/stranger comes to town/strange things start to happen/good versus evil/transformations/magic/suspense/creepy beings/witches/goblins
Themes: Loyalty, forgiveness, obligation, acceptance commitment
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 155 459 words/392 pages
It is Book 1 in the series and ends with a HFN. There are unresolved plot points but it's not necessarily a cliffhanger.
The wind carried the unpleasant smell of decay. In the heat of summer, the odor is nectar sweet, but in autumn, decay is unexpected. In the summer, it could be tomatoes left too long on the vine, fresh roadkill or sewage wafting up from the dank sidewalk grates. Autumn chilled the stench, offered it bite and acid. The hair on my neck stood on end. I dug my hands deeper into my pockets.
Coming out of the tree-lined path leading to the fields reminded me of emerging from a dream. Overwrought and graphic, like an illustration in a bad comic, the scene unfolded block-by-block, piece-by-piece. The fields were barren, except where remains of gourds and pumpkins jutted from the earth like fevered skulls, things emerging to the cold dreary light. The distant pine trees lined the border of my property like sentries sent from a general to contain the scene. Beyond the trees, the forest appeared a black mass; empty and full at the same time. Perhaps Adam’s body—or Adam himself—waited, hidden in the woods.
They hadn’t found a body.
A new but not unfamiliar wave of pain welled within my chest so I thought I’d burst. Adam was dead. Dead…How could he be…?
Chester turned toward me, his eyes wide. He pointed.
Antonia sat, facing him. She’d been playing house or school with her gourd-squash students. Her singsong contrasted with the fouled air, unnerving me.
Behind her, centered in the field, something either unaware or unconcerned with our presence was consuming the remaining pumpkins.
“Declan,” Chester breathed, “stay still.”
The stench coming from the field hit like a ton of putrid bricks.
“Get her.” I heaved, trying to breathe through the stink. “I have to get her.”
Chester restrained me with more strength than I thought he possessed. “She must stay still.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
Just then a huge crow dove and we watched as the creature reached with a massive clawed paw, grabbed the bird and crushed it. It then stuffed the bird into its mouth and made horrific bone-sucking sounds of pleasure.
Antonia smiled and called, “Daddy, have you seen the goblin?”
About the Author . . .
Longer written works include “The Incident”, “Dutch’s Boy”, “The Birches”, “Earthly Concerns”, “Velvet,” and “Lily”.
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win
one of 5 ebooks from the author's backlist.