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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Palace of Ghosts by Thomas S. Flowers



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
ASIN: B07NTQWWQG

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.

Amazon


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?”  
“NO!”
“THAN WHAT
HAPPENED?”
“THEY WERE
TAKEN!”
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?”



My Review:

Palace of Ghosts is the first book I have read by Thomas S Flowers. It is to say the least a very creepy book. I loved it. I am all about haunted house books. And Thomas Flowers gave me a great one. 
The books starts off actually with the ending but then switches to the beginning to fill you in on all the details. At times the "details" and descriptions of places and things in the story were a bot drawn out for me but I still enjoyed it. 


Doctor Frederick Peters has some new ideas on how to treat PTSD. He gathers 4 volunteers to help him with his experiment. All 4 are Veterans of the Iraq War and all suffer from some form of PTSD. 

Andy Lovejoy flew drones in the service and watched from above as the war raged on, now he wonders what type of person has he become afterwards. 

Samantha Green was a K-9 handler who lost her beloved K-9. She is not able to cope with his loss.

Brad Myers was a Military Police Officer and lost his leg due to an IED. /he would just like to be able to sleep now. 

Marcus Pangborn is consumed with guilt after not being able to save the life of a close friend.

These 4 along with Doctor Flowers, his assistant, and a male nurse arrive at Amon Palace.  rumored haunted house in the middle of no where to start their treatment. Doctor Flowers thinks that taking these patients of everything that is comfortable and giving them solitude will help them over come their PTSD. Great idea. Right? But the House has other ideas. At first some of them see or hear things. But as the house gets stronger so does the horror. 

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.

You can follow Thomas and get
yourself a FREE eBook copy of FEAST by joining his newsletter. Sign up by
vising his website at www.ThomasSFlowers.com







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Emerge and Submerge by Tobie Easton



Emerge
Mer Chronicles
Book One
Tobie Easton

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: April 19th, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-944816-32-2
ASIN: B01CC3C47E

Number of pages: 312

Cover Artist: Beetiful Book Covers

Book Description:

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid, but she’s never lived in the ocean. Ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality, war has ravaged the Seven Seas.

So Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia's entire community at risk. So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right?

That is, until Lia finds out she isn't the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn't realize the danger he's in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay than ever. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with Clay, the harder it is for Lia to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.


Teaser
Excerpt Book 1:







As I swim back up, I angle my
face just right. When I hit the surface, I flick my head back so my hair flips
in a perfect cascade, sparkling with thousands of water droplets that catch the
sunlight at every angle. Maybe it’s unfair to use a classic Mermaid move
against Clay.

Submerge
Mer Chronicles
Book Two
Tobie Easton

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: September 12th, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945107-84-9
ASIN: B071SFBG13

Number of pages: 392

Cover Artist: Beetiful Book Covers

Book Description:

Lia and Clay's love has broken the Little Mermaid's curse, but their ever after may not be as happy as they planned. Lia is adamant about staying on land with Clay for her senior year despite her family's opportunity to move to the new, sparkling capital city below the waves. Before any decision about the future can be made, her family must endure Melusine and her father's trial, where new revelations will have far-reaching consequences that threaten what Lia holds most dear.

The verdict will shake Lia's whole world, calling into question her future with Clay, her feelings for Caspian, and the fate of all Merkind. As she wonders whom to trust, Lia sets out on a treacherous path that will lead her away from her sheltered Malibu home to a remote and mysterious school for Mermaids—Mermaids who may hold the secret to ancient magic Lia can use to either get back all she's lost or embark on a thrilling and dangerous journey where only she can define her fate.


About the Author:

Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens (so she’s lucky enough to spend her days gabbing about books). She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies.





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The Heart Collector by Barbara Russell


The Heart Collector

Auckland Steampunk

Book One

Barbara Russell


Genre: Steampunk/Romantic Suspense/


Steamy Romance



Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Date of Publication:  06/Feb/2019

ISBN: 978-168291-838-8
ASIN: B07MPXP4TY

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 87,000

Cover Artist: Anna L. Spies

Tagline: She can read people’s feelings, except for the man who has collected her heart

Book Description:

Auckland, 1884. The Supernaturals are frightened. Despite being able to do extraordinary things like teleporting or lighting a fire with a stare, a serial killer, the Heart Collector, is slaughtering them. He rips their chests open and removes their hearts.

While other aristocratic, nineteen-year-old girls spend time dancing, Isabel trains hard to become an MI7 agent—Military Intelligence Seventh Division, a crime squad run by Supernaturals. The Heart Collector murdered her best friend, and enrolling at MI7 is the best way to help catch the killer.

Isabel senses other people’s feelings as if they were her owns. But MI7’s leader is too worried about Isabel’s safety to let her join the team.

Eager to prove that her power is valuable, Isabel volunteers to meet Murk, a dangerous Supernatural man who can turn himself invisible. MI7 desperately tried to recruit him and failed.

She believes that her power is enough to convince Murk to become an MI7’s agent and help apprehend the Heart Collector. If he wants to attack her, his feelings will broadcast his intention, and she’ll be ready.

What Isabel isn’t ready for is to fall in love with the man who will collect her heart.


Amazon     AmazonUK

Chapter
1
Auckland,
1884

One of the perks
of being a duchess and the lady of Hastings Manor was that I could make my own
decisions.
Most of the
time.
I bunched a
corner of my long brocade skirt and climbed the sweeping stairs toward Victor’s
office. The bustle, heavy with satin ribbons, bounced lightly, tapping on the
small of my back.
On the landing,
one of the little cleaning machines that roamed the house trotted around,
buzzing as its brushes dusted the white marble floor. A puff of steam trailed
behind it while its wheels and pistons whirred. I strode on, the star-bright
tiles sparkling under my velvet slippers.
The butler bowed
stiffly, carrying a tray with tea and cakes that smelled of cinnamon. “Your
Grace.” He stepped aside to let me pass.
“Hollom.” My
heels’ click-clacking noise died down on the blue rug covering the entrance in
front of Victor’s office.
I raised my fist
to knock but stopped inches away from the gleaming, polished oak wood, needing
a moment to collect myself. Victor had to see reason. Convincing him that my
role in the investigation was vital wouldn’t be easy, but I was nineteen and
properly trained in combat. More or less. The point was, I could face danger.
My resolve
wavered, and I bit the inside of my cheek. On light feet, I turned and slid
inside my late father’s personal library. Victor’s supernatural hearing
wouldn’t catch me in the room protected by thick walls, and the old
leather-bound volumes calmed my nerves.
I cleared my
throat before rehashing my speech. “Victor, you’re the leader of Military
Intelligence Seven, but as Duchess of Sussex, I have the right to  . . .” I shook my head. This sounded
patronizing. I took a deep breath to slow my pounding heart, glad that I wasn’t
wearing a corset. Another perk of being a duchess.
I squared my
shoulders. A wrong word and Victor would dismiss me. “Victor, I kindly request…
would you… I would appreciate if you assign me to the ongoing investigation on
the Heart Collector, since I believe my skills can be an asset.” There. Simple,
polite, and to the point.
I jutted out my
chin and smoothed my bodice. I should’ve worn my dark green dress. It made me
look taller and older. This blue gown gave me a childish air with its velvet
ribbons and budding roses.
Too late.
After another
deep inhalation, I marched toward Victor’s office again and knocked on the
door.
“Come in.” The
thick door muffled his deep voice.
I wiped my
sweaty hand on my skirt before turning the handle and stepping into the office
that had once belonged to my father. Victor and his younger brother Jamie stood
up from their stuffed chairs and bowed.
“Good morning,
Victor, Jamie.”
After the dimly
lit corridor, the sunlight streaming from the floor-to-ceiling window blinded
me, and I squinted, closing the door behind me.
I walked to the
desk that occupied almost half of the room, keeping my eyes on Victor’s
frowning face. “I need to talk to you.”
Victor stretched
out an arm, indicating the empty chairs. His serious expression added wisdom to
his five and twenty years. “Of course, Isabel. Please, sit.”
I perched on the
very edge of the chair and set my back straight to not crush my bustle. Victor
sat at his desk while Jamie settled himself next to the fireplace.
“Is something
the matter?” Jamie leaned forward, his blond hair swishing about his cheeks.
“You are pale.”
I faced him.
“Well, I—” A dark blue bruise marked his chin, his bottom lip was split, and a
fresh cut marred his forehead. “What happened to you?”
Jamie clenched
and unclenched his fists. “My encounter with one of the Supernaturals we’re
trying to recruit didn’t end well.”
I focused on
Jamie, unleashed my power, and reached out for his feelings. A rush of energy
flooded me, and heat warmed my chest. His anger, annoyance, and humiliation
washed over me. Physical pain stabbed him as well. I gently prodded his body
with my mental strength. His ribs hurt, and a cut on his back throbbed. His
feelings left the sour taste of unripe grapes in my mouth.
I swallowed.
“This Supernatural must be particularly strong to hurt you.”
Jamie stroked
his bruised skin. A new wave of mortification surged from him. “He is
moderately strong.”
Moderately
strong? Jamie could bend iron bars with two fingers and lift twenty times his
weight. How strong was this Supernatural?
Victor shifted
his gaze to me. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Exactly about
this.” I nodded toward Jamie. “This Supernatural you want to recruit for the
investigation on the Heart Collector.”
Victor knitted
his blond eyebrows in the same way Jamie would. “You don’t have to concern
yourself with that. Jamie will soon make another attempt to meet this
Supernatural.”
“But.” I paused
to read Victor’s feelings. His determination and mild exasperation reached me.
It wasn’t a good start, but maybe my speech would convince him. “I would like
you to allow me . . . I mean, to assign me to this mission since I request,
kindly, I request kindly, that it would be me, myself, to do it.” Damn. So much
for rehashing. I clasped my hands in my lap not to show how much they trembled.
“I’d like it to be me.” I swallowed. If I weren’t so eager to get the job, I’d
laugh at Victor’s scrunched face.
I searched his
feelings again. Even without my supernatural empathetic power, the hard set of
his jaw and his narrowed icy blue eyes told me he wasn’t pleased. I cleared my
throat. “I want to meet this Supernatural.”
“You want what?”
Jamie asked, propping an elbow on the mantelpiece.
I ignored him.
“What did you say his name was?”


“I didn’t.”
Victor straightened the pile of documents on his desk, arranged quills and
inkbottles, and loosened his bow tie.

About the Author:

I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Ring and fell in love with fantasy novels.

When I discovered cosy mystery and crime novel, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and . . . Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.

PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.