First #GuestDayTuesday in some time, and I’m happy to say that today’s guest is a good friend who has an outstanding new book to share with you. (Finished it last week and absolutely loved it!) Please welcome Joan Hall to The Write Stuff. Joan, take it away!
Cold Dark Night: Inner Voices
Thank you for hosting me today, Marcia for this last stop on my promo tour for my newest release, Cold Dark Night. It’s the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series. Each book begins with a historical event that ties to modern day.
I think a lot of writers use personal experiences in their books. I know I do. Today’s excerpt isn’t something that happened to me, but to my mom.
Some of my earliest memories are when my mother told me stories of real-life experiences. I think hearing those tidbits of family history is part of what fueled my desire to become a writer. The ones that most intrigued me were those steeped in mystery or unexplained events.
When I was a small child, we lived in the country where my parents purchased forty acres of land. We lived in a rented house across the road. Mom and Dad also bought a milk cow. Anyone who has lived on a farm knows milking is an every-day occurrence. One winter evening near dusk, Mom left the house to do the daily chore, leaving me and my older brother, who had the flu, at home.
She hadn’t walked far when an inner voice said, “Don’t go.” Knowing she had to milk the cow, she argued with herself. The inner voice spoke to her a second time, the tone more urgent. “Don’t go.” When it happened the third time, “I. Said. Don’t. Go,” Mom heeded the warning.
It was that incident that inspired a scene in Cold Dark Night.
I’ll still feel better once you get your carry permit.
Jason’s words replayed in Tami’s head, and her apprehension increased as she got closer to home. Not a gut-wrenching fear, but an annoying feeling like moths niggling her stomach.
She turned on the satellite radio, hoping music would help ease her mind, only to hear the song “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Catchy tune but not the words she wanted to hear tonight.
“Well, that’s just peachy.” She quickly changed to a station playing holiday tunes. By the time she reached her driveway, the upbeat song, coupled with the glow of Christmas lights, lifted her spirits.
I wonder what this house looked like when Ruth first moved here.
From everything Tami had heard, the woman spared no expense when it came to decorating. What she and Jason had—a few lights around the porch overhang, a wreath, and a modest Christmas tree couldn’t compare, but they gave the old house a warm and inviting feeling. She hoped to do better next year. Maybe even host a Christmas party.
Her calmness was short-lived. As Tami neared the garage, she noticed the light at the back door wasn’t burning though it had been when she left.
Maybe the bulb is burned out. Strange. Jason changed it only a couple of days ago.
After putting the SUV in park, she killed the engine, then started to reach for the door handle.
Don’t go in the house.
Where had that thought come from? Except for the porch light, everything looked normal.
She needed to get a grip on her over-active imagination. Shrugging, she reached for the door again.
Don’t go in the house.
Tami tried to ignore the shiver that went down her spine. She was being ridiculous. All she could do was sit in the car and wait for Jason to get home. Or ignore the inner voice. She touched the handle a third time.
DON’T. GO. IN. THE. HOUSE.
New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.
Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.
But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.
Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.
Buy Cold Dark Night HERE
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