Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday's Special Is...Shadows

SHADOWS by Joan De La Haye

Buy from Mobipocket.

Visit Joan's website.

Sarah is forced to the edge of sanity by the ghosts of her family’s past. Suffering from violent and bloody hallucinations, she seeks the help of psychiatrist and friend, Michael Brink. After being sent to an institution in a catatonic state covered in blood - from stabbing her unfaithful boyfriend - Sarah is forced to confront the truth about her father’s death and the demon, Jack, who caused her father's suicide and who is now the reason for her horrific hallucinations. Unlike her father, Sarah refuses to kill herself. She bargains for her life and succeeds. In Sarah’s struggle to regain her life and her sanity, she discovers there is more to the world than she could ever have imagined, and it leaves her seeking the answer to the nagging question, "Who is really mad?"

Excerpt for Shadows:

I rolled over and managed to switch off the bedside lamp before falling asleep. Gypsy snuggled up in her usual spot. I always slept on my stomach which left the backs of my legs free for her to perch herself on. She usually slept with her head on my arse. I drifted off into a deep sleep and dreams floated in and out.

Gypsy hissed. My heart pounded. There was something in the room with us. Gypsy bolted off the bed. I could still hear her hissing and screeching from under the bed. I rolled onto my back and looked around to see what it was. I thought it was another cat from next door. But a voice at the back of my mind screamed – RUN.

Shadows moved and took shape. I closed my eyes and blinked to clear my vision. There was something there: something with shape and form. It was coming for me. I wanted to scream but no sound came out. A hand came out of the shadows. It was a claw, not a hand. It grabbed my ankle. I felt its talon dig into my flesh.

“There’s nothing there,” I whispered. “It’s just my imagination.”

Another claw grabbed my other ankle. Using my legs, it pulled its way out of the darkness, coming closer towards me. Its head emerged out of the shadows. It looked at me, smiling. It was the man from the parking lot.

He slowly clawed his way up my body. A scream locked in my throat. I was paralysed with fear. The air in the room froze and time stood still.

His face was above mine and his breath stank of rotting flesh.

“Real enough for you?” He said with a grin. “I'm really going to enjoy our time together.”

The weight of his body pressed down on me. I couldn’t breathe. Cold, hard lips pressed down on mine. I closed my eyes. His sharp teeth bit into my lower lip and I tasted blood. His tongue slithered into my mouth. I bit down hard. And bit my own tongue. I opened my eyes. He was gone.

I switched on the bedside lamp and scanned the room. My heart was pumping ninety to the dozen. A cold sweat covered my body. My teeth chattered and I could still taste blood. My tongue and lip hurt like hell.

Gypsy jumped back onto the bed and made herself comfortable on my stomach. I tickled her under her chin with shaky fingers and she started to purr.


Let's scream some awesome answers to win a copy of Joan's fear-fest, SHADOWS. As always, please hang out too. I don't expect anyone to get murdered. Here's your question:

What is the most embarrassing (or illegal) thing your shadow has ever done?


Anonymous said...

Welcome Joan! The sun has come out here in Philadelphia. Perfect weather for making shadows!

Let's turn up the heat extra high today.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason! Thank you so much for having me on the Roast. I'm quite looking forward to the twisted comments that people are going to come up with.

Joan De La Haye

Anonymous said...

Joan, did you have some lively thoughts about shadows when you were little? Did you have closet monsters?

Anonymous said...

Mine were under the bed and hid amongst my toys. I often made my parents crawl under it to make sure that it was safe for me to get into it.

Anonymous said...

How about you, Jason?

Anonymous said...

Hanging clothes on doorknobs and such did it for me. Those dark shapes. They became all sorts of bad guys watching me.

Anonymous said...

One thing I love to ask writers is what is your goal when you write a novel? What experience are you trying to create for your readers (and yourself)?

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough I don't really think about it while I'm writing. It's a case of having a story that simply has to be told and getting it down onto paper. So I guess, it's simply about writing the best story I possibly can.

Chris Eldin said...

Great excerpt! Dark, but gripping.

Jason, LOL because my very first manuscript was a picture book about shadows... I do love the shadows.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris! Glad you enjoyed it!

Charles Gramlich said...

Once after a "few" drinks as a teenager a friend and I were chatting up some girls. They were on his (passenger) side of the car and I had to throw up suddenly. I leaned quitely out my door and achieved the amazing feat of a silent puke. Straightening back up, I thought all was well. then "ewwww," I heard and suddenly the girls were backign away from the car. Turns out we were parked on a slight incline and the puke was running out the other side onto their shoes. Man, my shadow is smooth.

laughingwolf said...

welcome joan; great excerpt, jason :)

my shadow thinks its jack nicholson in 'the shining'... freaks me out, every time

before that, i imagined ghosts, goblins, trolls and other critters whenever i opened my eyes in the dark... in dreams, i was able to 'float' and escape... until i began to fall :O lol

laughingwolf said...

when you write, joan, do you use prompts of any kind, or just open and vein, and let the 'ink' flow?

Dani said...

I was an overly-sensitive child and am still haunted by creepy matinee movies I saw. I always expect to see a body hanging when I open my closet door, and I have creepy crawly bug nightmares every Spring. Those dreadful B movies have warped me into old age. LOL.

Hopped over from the BBT Cafe.


Anonymous said...

Well I was supposed to have quit smoking - this was many years ago. I was still sneaking a smoke here and there. One time at a convention I told my wife I was going outside for a bit of fresh air. I didn't know she was tailing me. I ducked around a building corner and lit up. The way the sun shone my shadow was smoking in full view on the sidewalk as my wife approached.

I caught hell for that one. All because of my damn shadow. (wink)

Good post - this is a wonderful blog and all the stops I've visited so far have been great. Best wishes for the rest of your tour!

Marvin D Wilson

Jean Henry Mead said...

Unless my shadow sneaks out at night and committs a crime, she's done nothing illegal. (Hmmm, that's a good plot for my next mystery novel). But because I'm tall and slender, I think it's funny during the early afternoon when my shadow shrinks to short and plump.

donnas said...

Sounds great. I wish I could say my shadow has done something exciting but if it has it has done a wonderful job of keeping it hid from me.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi Laughingwolf,
I don't use prompts. I pretty much just slice into that vein and let it flow.

Anonymous said...

Hello Folks,
Thanks so much for all the great comments. Your Shadows really do get up to mischief.

Karen Walker said...

Newcomer here. Hate to admit it, but at 60, I still have to have the closet door closed when I go to sleep.

Jackie B. said...

My shadow is very impish and naughty. Everytime I drive on the interstate, my shadow likes to get in the backseat and moon the other drivers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
Don't worry, I also feel a little uncomfortable if the cupboard isn't closed properly. Even after I've told myself that I'm being silly, I'll still get out of bed and close the door and then lock it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie,
Thanks for the giggle. That was brilliant!

Cat Connor said...

Loved the excerpt Joan.
Thankfully the shadow people I've encountered have kept their hands and tongues to themselves!

Anonymous said...

I see that lots of people have their shadows.

laughingwolf said...

thx joan...

when my older daughter was just starting to talk, she saw things, even in daylight... she'd freak out, a scream something like, DAADUU!

we'd ask what she saw, a shadow? monster?

and she'd shake her head, no, at all options

even today, she doesn't know what it was...

Sarah Hina said...

Very vivid and creepy excerpt, Joan. I loved how you included the cat's purring at the end! :) And the story sounds like an intriguing setup that dives into some dark and troubling questions.

My shadow is like Peter Pan's. I'm always snapping her off somewhere, she gets into god-knows-what kind of trouble, before slinking back so that I can very innocently (ahem) sew her back onto my bright, sunny other half. :P

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone! The contest portion is now closed. Joan, please go ahead and choose your winner. Thanks for being a great roastee and re-introducing us to the shadows!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a wonderful Roasting! It was a tough decision, but I think I'm going to have to go with Laughingwolf!

Thanks everybody!

laughingwolf said...

wowsers... thx so much, joan!

Charlotte Phillips said...

Hi Joan,
What a naughty question!

Once when I was around 12, by girlfriends and I had giggle fits over our shadows pinching the butts of cute males nearby. (Just for the record, we didn't pinch any real butts - we were playing with shadow puppets.)

An interesting conversation followed about what else our shadows could do. Well, it was very interesting for 12 year girls.

As soon as Mark gets home, I'm going to ask him about his shadow's exploits.


Ann Parker said...

Love the excerpt, Joan.
I just discovered this blog ... I foresee lots of post-browsing in my future!
I love your story, Marvin. Hmmm. And I can see how I might be able to take the "shadow around the corner" and work it into something for my next book. Inspirations everywhere! :-)

Rabid Fox said...

The most embarrassing thing my shadow has ever done is join in conspiracy with another to put on a show against the side of a tent, in an effort to make it look like my friend and I were engaged in debauched acts. We were not. :)

Charlotte Jolliffe said...

My shadow tries to kill me...But i've managed to stay far