Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday's Special is: Cold in the Light




Cold in the Light by Charles Gramlich

Where the beings known as the "Whoun" came from, only a few know.

What they're going to do next is anyone's guess.

But in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, where a decades old conspiracy has started to unravel, a small handful of reluctant heroes are about to find out. Against an enemy from their nightmares, the group will have to fight, to save the life of an unborn child who isn't human, a child that will change their world forever.

In the brooding forest, they'll learn what it means to fear the dark.

And the light.


EXCERPT

Tru Maclang followed Highway 265 up past Stone Hill, driving slowly with his window down and his lights off. He'd seen no sign of the black Toyota and was about ready to head home for the night. A closed gas station at the top of the hill offered the deputy a place to turn around, and he pulled into its graveled lot and brought his cruiser to a stop. That’s when his ears caught the faint impression of a shout.

Tru turned off his engine, waited to hear if the sound repeated. It didn’t. But as he sat in the quiet an impression of fear crawled up on his shoulder and began to whisper in his ear. That fear came out of many things, the metronomic ticking of his engine cooling, the blackness of a night where the moon's light seemed swallowed, the sudden stillness of the world around, like spoiled butter melting on a plate.

There should have been a wind to stir the odors of pavement and grass. But the wind had died. There should have been an orchestra of crickets and frogs. They were silent. There should have been a comfort in being cocooned inside his car with a gun strapped to his hip. He didn't feel any comfort. He felt like something wrong was happening here. Not just bad, but wrong.

Feeling halfway foolish and halfway scared, he reached a hand for the car's ignition, and stopped as a fleeting shadow caught the corner of one eye. It was coming his way, coming fast, straight toward the police cruiser from across Old Man Fowler's meadow. The hair stitched itself to Tru's scalp in a cold wave. His right hand dipped for the service revolver at his belt; his left grabbed the door latch, snapped it open. The back of the car rocked as the shadow struck it.

Tru heard broken taillight glass tinkle on gravels, and by then he was out of the cruiser, knees locked in a defensive crouch and pistol thrust out before him. Whatever had hit the car had been knocked down by the impact, was momentarily hidden by the bumper. Tru saw a hand come up and slap on top of the trunk. He heard a faint screech as the nails of that hand slid on the metal, but there was still enough strength in the hand to pull the body up behind it. Neither the hand nor the body were human.

For the first time in his seven years as a deputy, Tru Maclang almost fired his revolver in the line of duty. His finger had taken up the last of the trigger's slack when it froze on the weapon. The same hand that had scraped paint from the car had moved to rest on a belly that was ripe and swollen with late-term pregnancy.

*************************************

Question - as suggested by Charles (that's him in the pic - ladies, as you can see, he could teach us a lot about accessorizing):

So who is the father of this pregnancy? And what is Charles's top baby
care tip?

Buy COLD IN THE LIGHT here...

Publisher: Invisible College Press

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Amazon UK

Visit Charles to discuss alien pregnancies at his blog

49 comments:

Shona Snowden said...

Morning, all! It's time to roast one of our most regular visitors - jump right in!

I think one of Charles's top baby tips would be, be careful what you're putting in your holster.

Chris Eldin said...

OOOO!! I LOVE this excerpt! But then, I've been a fan of his writing for quite some time! Just happen by his blog around Halloween, if you really want the ((&(*&&^%$ scared out of you!

the walking man said...

Tru Maclang is the father. He didn't shoot because he recognized the nails on the blackboard sound on the trunk of the cruiser as coming from his ex-wife. He didn't know she was pregnant with is spawn and had been ducking her calls for the last six and a half months.

His ex, Lies Maclang, had an overpowering craving for field mice (as you can see she's not really a pickle and ice cream person) and Tru just happened to place himself in the dangerous position of interrupting her as she slaked her craving for rat.

Now to her hungry eyes her former husband Tru Maclang looked more juicy and tender than any rodent of the field...

laughingwolf said...

welcome, charles... great excerpt, shona :)

of course, charles himself is the father/progenitor, and his baby tip: find out when you exchange recipes :O lol

this is my fave book by charles, can't wait for the sequel :D

Charles Gramlich said...

Shona, I like a big holster so there's plenty of room.

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, thank you for the kind words. I'm blushing under all that hair. Truly, I am!

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, I thought my imagination was pretty good but I have to bow to the master. Dude, write that version up.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, I'm working on a book with a similar structure right now, called "The Razored Land."

laughingwolf said...

lemme know when it's out, charles, i'll buy it :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, sure thing!

Chris Eldin said...

Love the title, Charles! Is it related to the Razored Zen?

McKoala said...

You're all up so early! Bedtime here in Oz. Have fun...

(Don't feed that baby and turn it upside down! Just don't! (gushing noise)... uh oh, too late...)

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris Eldin, it may be the first in a new post apocolyptic series. It's not specifically related to razored zen but I love the word razor and razored.

Charles Gramlich said...

McKoala, I once had my son hit me with such a gush even though I was holding him at arm's length. and right side up!

L.A. Mitchell said...

great hook at the end, Charles. So nice to read an excerpt of your writing :)

Charles Gramlich said...

L.A., thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

Avery DeBow said...

"The same hand that had scraped paint from the car had moved to rest on a belly that was ripe and swollen with late-term pregnancy."

At that very moment Tru knew in the deepest, darkest part of him, that things weren't just bad, weren't just wrong, but that tonight would be the worst blind date of his life.

Charles Gramlich said...

Avery, as indeed it turned out to be for Tru, and for quite a few others who met that pregnant female.

Rachel said...

The being sporting the late-term pregnancy belly is the father. Naturally there is weird alien biology at work here...

Baby tip? Hmmm... Always have a cold bottle of Abita in stock for those evenings where dinner and a bath began to look like a war zone (be sure not to confuse which bottle is for the baby - I'll let y'all decide which is which:).

Charles Gramlich said...

Rachel, hum, a definite possibility. And the bottle tip! Right on!

Pissenlit said...

The father of the pregnancy is the one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater's step-uncle's former piano teacher's half-first cousin once removed's college roommate's ex-boyfriend.

Charles' top baby care tip is...when changing a diaper, make sure you're armed with a face shield and waterproof apron...and maybe have a pair of nitrile gloves handy...just in case.

Charles Gramlich said...

Pissenlit, hum, maybe you got hold of an early outline of the novel. I had actually planned exactly that scenario but it didn't quite work out. As for the tip, judging by your name I'm assuming you've had experience from which to suggest that tip. I agree with it totally.

Mary Witzl said...

Whoa, I absolutely love that excerpt! Who cares what Charles' top baby care is; I'll buy the book anyway.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mary Witzl, who knows what evil lurks in the womb of humanity? Tru knows!

Pissenlit said...

Charles - It was the step-uncle, wasn't it? I KNEW it was too far-fetched! Argh, I should've gone with step-aunt!

Luckily, it's never actually happened to me. I've learned to be on guard since I was a kid and my baby brother got the pediatrician. *snicker* "Pissenlit" is actually French for "Dandelion". I really should've thought it through before picking it as my moniker. :D

Lana Gramlich said...

So who is the father of this pregnancy? Eric Cartman's mother.

What is Charles' top baby
care tip? They are best served with ketchup.

Scott said...

I loved this book!

And remember...to make baby powder you have to crush them, to make baby oil you have to squeeze them.

Whirlochre said...

I'm torn between Elvis, Hitler and Jim Morrison. They normally figure as culprits in any kind of mystery parent scenario. Or maybe it's just Mama Cass?

No — I'll go Morrison.

Baby care tip? Set nipples to BLOW, not SUCK.

Steve Malley said...

Baby care? Water twice a day, mow once a week. Can't be any harder than that, right?

Danielle Thorne said...

Cool excerpt. Not familiar with your work--but you have my attention. I love how his hair "stitched" itself...I could feel it. I am so happy when I come across great writers with original work. Good luck!

Charles Gramlich said...

Pissinlit, There is an Uncle involved. I did not know that about Dandelion. Interesting plants those.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you got the tip right, except I prefer Miracle whip.

Charles Gramlich said...

Scott, crush or squeeze. I always get those mixed up. When do you grind?

Charles Gramlich said...

Whirlochre, well that would explain why the kid is such a handful and won't keep his pants on.

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, my experience is the water has to actually be money. But the principle of twice a day is correct.

Charles Gramlich said...

Danielle Thorne, thank you for the kind comment. Glad you enjoyed.

Charles Gramlich said...

OK folks, I'm gonna give this thing about 10 more minutes and then pick our winner.

Thanks to everyone who came by and commented. Much appreciated!

laughingwolf said...

lana, good to see we think alike ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

OK BOOK ROASTERS! What great and imaginative suggestions. I had a hard time deciding on a winner. Some of these I will steal for my next book.

But I have decided and wish to congratulate: Mark: The Walking Man.

Hurray for Mark! I'll be in touch.

Thanks again to everyone for taking part, and to the book roast staff for all your help.

Chris Eldin said...

Wow, you guys were up late!!!
Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by!

Thanks, Charles, for hanging out with us--I hope your writing enjoys the success and recognition it deserves!
:-)

Shona Snowden said...

Thank you, Charles and everybody who participated!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hey Charles,

Late to the party, but I had to drop in and say 'Wow'. Great excerpt!

And congrats Walking Man!

the walking man said...

Thank You Charles! The dang insanity is finally paying off for me!

X. Dell said...

The father of the pregnancy is obviously the author, Charles Gramlich.

Baby care tips? Well, for non-humans lying down on the middle of the road in the middle of the night, the first tip I'd give is to get out of the goddamned road.

laughingwolf said...

grats mark, that was an incredible bit you posted! :)

and thx for the fun, charles :D

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, I'll contact you today. And thanks everyone for visiting!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Charles, I'm late to the party, but you gave me the shivers! Great excerpt! I'm totally a romance reader but this excerpt has me thinking I've got to check out this book more.

Charles Gramlich said...

Stacey, thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.

SzélsőFa said...

I missed it :(
I'm sorry Charles.