Today, we’ve got a guest post by the jovial Jonathan Janz, a horror author who is only slightly mad. But I’ll let him post anyway because he makes me laugh and I like his work. Today he’ll be talking about his upcoming House of Skin.
Ok, guest post starts here…………take it away Jonathan:
First of all, a huge thank you to Erin for allowing me to commandeer her blog for the day. And thank you to my doctors for letting me out of my cage.
My new novel is called HOUSE OF SKIN. Here’s the incredible cover and a brief description of the tale:
“Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.
Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate—and Annabel—have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?”
So that’s the skeleton plot of the book. What I wanted to do today was to give you a glimpse into the novel via a short excerpt. The passage I’ve chosen to share with you today is the moment in which Paul Carver first enters his newly inherited Victorianmansion. Any of you who’ve ever bought (or inherited) a home can probably relate to the anticipation Paul is feeling here. So read on after the photo of MY BETTER SIDE for some free fiction!
When Paul came to an opening in the forest, he made out a wooden mailbox whose carved, ornate letters spelled out WATERMERE.
He signaled despite being the only living soul for miles. When the Civic left the thick gravel and disappeared into the woods, its wheels aligning with the twin tire paths that doubled for a road, he felt an odd twinge of recognition. The hickories and oaks and maples leaned over the road like knights with swords drawn, admitting their king.
And wasn’t that the truth? Unless the pictures the lawyers had sent him had been doctored in some way, Paul was about to take possession of a mansion. He chuckled, giddy with disbelief. He was a modern-day baron, a landed count.
Bushes thwacked the Civic, reeling him back toward reality. He’d need to do something about the flora threatening to overtake the lane. He knew Myles had been an old man, but he still could have employed someone, a local kid maybe, to keep the road from going to seed.
The woods opened up, and all he could do was stop the car and stare. Watermere was beautiful. He couldn’t believe that this sprawling Victorian home was his. As Paul pulled forward, he took it all in. Though majestic, the house needed work. He noted the way the porch awning sagged, the cracks in the brick façade, the dead ivy. He doubted the old man had spent much time on upkeep in his twilight years. He studied the detached double garage up ahead and wondered whether either side was occupied.
Paul stopped, threw the car into park. Getting out, he entered the side door of the garage. Flicking the switch, he saw it was empty. The closed air smelled vaguely of kerosene. He scanned the wall for the automatic door opener but couldn’t find one. Then, he spotted the rope attached to the garage door lying there on the floor. He crossed to it, bent and lifted.
The garage door roared up on its tracks. It made a frightful racket, but something about the noise appealed to him, as though he were announcing his ownership of the house by startling it awake.
Climbing back into the Civic, he shifted into gear and rolled into the stall. He cut the engine and got out, relishing the simple pleasure of housing his car in a garage. It was the first time, other than parking garages, he’d had the Civic indoors. He patted its roof fondly and went out.
Paul stared up at the house. He’d never imagined he would live in such a place. In fact, he never thought he’d own a house period. His father always told him how silly it was to waste money on rent, but Paul feared ownership, as though purchasing a home in the city would somehow bind him to it for the rest of his life. It was admitting defeat to buy a home near his family, he reasoned, so he kept his crackerbox apartment. Now he understood the pride his father had talked about.
He trotted toward the porch and mounted it in three strides. It winded him. He stood there panting, his belly drooping over his waistband.
He resolved to get into better shape.
Cupping his temples, he pushed his face close to the beveled door window and discerned a foyer made of checkered tile.
A manila envelope lay at his feet. He picked it up and ripped the top open. Bypassing the papers crammed inside, his groping fingers found the key, pulled it out. Taking one more deep breath, he sighed and slid the key into the lock. A dull click sounded. He thumbed the steel button.
Paul went in.
Thank you again to Erin for being so awesome. She really is awesome, by the way—she’s easily one of the kindest and funniest people I’ve met since becoming a writer. I hope you all read HOUSE OF SKIN. You can get it now anywhere e-books are sold like Amazon, or Samhain’s website, or Barnes and Noble… (with the paperback coming in October). And if you want to learn more about my books or me, go to www.jonathanjanz.com.