Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post
Hosted by:

The Sunday post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer~ It's a chance to share new ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

Another week of Soccer for the little one. I had planned to read at practice but it's been hard and easy to be distracted by the little ones. We had our first game it's just for fun no keeping score but the loved it. The older one has been in homeschooling all week which has been working out well. 
Just a couple more weeks and my husband will be home so I need to get some reading done. I did get some sewing done which turned out great. 
I'm going to do some baking this week since I didn't get as much done as I wanted last week. I'm making a cheesecake Sunday for my neighbor. 
Really just a busy week I admit a little to much TV watching but I hae to get caught up before my husband get's home. 

I hope everyone is staying cool and having a great week.

Fun posts you may have missed at TRD this week. 

Book Blitz: Whatever You Call It
Feature Follow
Cover Reveal: The Sophisticates Trilogy
M9B Friday Reveal Assets: The Legend Of The Pumpkin Thief
Cover Reveal: Crown of Cinder
Cover Reveal: The Reaping
Book Blitz: Fallen Star
Throwback Thursday
#DustOffYourBookshelf Thursday
Book Blitz: I'm Not Afraid of Wolves
Cover Reveal: My Junior Year of Loathing
Cover Reveal: Forgetting Yesterday
Book Blitz: Tell Me You Want Me
Book Blitz: The Surrendered
Book Blitz: Kiss of Fire
Book Bitz: Looking for Trouble
Release Day Celebration: Looking for Trouble
Book Blitz: Dots 
Release Day Celebration: The Perilous Journey of the Much To Spontaneous Girl
Book Blitz: Anything You Ask of Me
Cover Reveal: Cherished
Book Blitz: Stadium of Lights
Book Blitz: Shadow of a Girl
Book Blitz: Soul Finder

Reviews
None this week. 

New Books
Purchased
Physical

eBooks
Origin Exposed by Jen Crane - Goodreads
Hide Me by Lexi Scott - Goodreads
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige - Goodreads
Before the Snow by Danielle Paige - Goodreads
Queen Rising by Danielle Paige - Goodreads
Vassa In the Night by Sarah Porter - Goodreads
Three Dark Crowns by Kendra Blake - Goodreads
Dark Horses by Cecily Von Ziegesar - Goodreads
Carrots by Collen Helme - Goodreads 
Plus a whole bunch of kindle freebies. I just can't help myself. 

Crafty projects & Baking & Cooking & Gardening. 

I rescued a little almost dead lemon tree when I went to Lowes. They had it on clearance for $3 bucks so I had to bring it home. I found some black currant bushes in my back yard but due to the heat they were dying. Decided to attempt a transplant into a pot in front safe from the dogs. I'm hoping in a week or two it will start to sprout some leaves like my other lemon tree next to it. 

I also decided to get my sewing on and make to bags as well as a skirt. I picked up a whole bunch of fabric this week and can't wait to start cutting up a new project. 

I didn't get any baking done this week but I have plans for the new week. First off a cheesecake as well as scones. 
Around the Blogosphere
Ho Ho Ho Read-a-Thon sign ups are open. (Here)
Blog Ahead October 2016 (Here)
Dewey 24 Hour Read-a-thon (here)

This coming week @ TRD
I've got some fun posts and reviews.

Instagram
I'm still an Instagram addict you should check it out lots of fun!!!!
Find me (Here) I working on 9k followers

I hope everyone has a great week. 

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves
Stacking The Shelves September 24th 2016
Stacking the Shelves is a meme by Tynga Reviews that let's bloggers share their new books and swag, whether they are physical or virtual. I'll include books I've been sent, emailed, purchased, won and for reviews. 

I've been really good this week a selection of eBooks and I received from Simon and Shuster an amazing series I can't wait to check out. 

For review
Beautiful Bastard 
Beautiful Stranger
Beautiful Player 
Beautiful Bitch
Beautiful Begining
Beautiful Bombshell 
Beautiful Secret
Beautiful 
From Simon and Schuster - Can't wait to start it!!!!! 

Purchased
Physical
None

eBooks

Origin Exposed by Jen Crane - Goodreads
Hide Me by Lexi Scott - Goodreads
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige - Goodreads
Before the Snow by Danielle Paige - Goodreads
Queen Rising by Danielle Paige - Goodreads
Vassa In the Night by Sarah Porter - Goodreads
Three Dark Crowns by Kendra Blake - Goodreads
Dark Horses by Cecily Von Ziegesar - Goodreads
Carrots by Collen Helme - Goodreads 

Plus a bunch of freebies to many to mention. 
What did you get this week?

Book Blitz: Whatever You Call Me



Whatever You Call Me 
Leigh Fleming
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Annie Cooper is fed up with Washington. More importantly, she’s done with being Senator George Cooper’s daughter and all the expectations that come with it. She changes her name and tries to start fresh after quitting her job, but the only position she can find is in the political world she despises.
Kip Porter is a two-term congressman from a blue collar district along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay whose ambition leads him astray from the core values he—and his constituents—hold dear. He needs Senator Cooper’s backing to get his bill through the Senate and plans to use Annie to do it.
What starts out as a simple game of hidden identity soon becomes complicated. Annie wants to prove her worth on her own terms, but the closer she grows to Kip, the more she needs to come clean. With unexpected romance blossoming between them, will Kip keep his own secrets, or reveal the truth in the name of love?
(This is a stand alone romance – you do not need to read Best Friends Book 1 to enjoy this title).
EXCERPT:
Annie felt the sting and quickly slapped the mosquito nibbling on her calf. They’d been sitting in the grassy field for over an hour waiting for the tow truck to arrive. The subs had long ago been eaten, but they lounged on the trunk carpet sipping what was left of their fountain drinks.
“Damn, it’s hot.” Kip began unbuttoning his shirt and pulling the tail out of his pants. “I’ve got to get out of these clothes.”
Purposely looking the opposite direction, Annie fought the urge to take a glimpse of a shirtless Kip, but instead looked out at the baking weeds in the field. She jerked upright when she heard his belt buckle clink.
“What are you doing?” she shrieked.
“I’m getting out of these clothes. I’m burning up.” Kip tramped to the car, walking around to the driver’s side back door, and leaned inside where Annie couldn’t see. She strained her neck and rose up on her knees, stretching to see what he was doing. A few minutes later he returned to their makeshift picnic spot wearing gym shorts, a T-shirt, and sneakers. Annie dropped back onto the carpet and pulled up a few blades of grass as Kip dropped beside her.
“Disappointed?” he whispered in her ear.
“Huh?”
“You heard me.”
“Why would I be disappointed?”
“You were hoping I was going to strip down.” He wiggled his eyebrows and nudged his shoulder into hers.
“Oh, please.” She went back to weeding the field, furiously yanking blades of grass and letting them flutter in the humid breeze.
“Come on, Coach. I saw the look on your face when I started unbuttoning my shirt.”
“Get over yourself.” She shoved back and then stood up, brushing the dust from her dress. “Should you call them again to see where the truck is?”
“What, don’t you like our little picnic?”
“Porter…seriously, we need to get back.” Annie glared at Kip where he lay on the carpet, resting his head in his hands.
“Relax, it will be here soon. Come lay down with me.” He patted his hand on the carpet and gave her his most salacious grin.
“Not a chance.”
“Come on…what are you afraid of?”
Annie stared at Kip, taking a tendril in her hand and twisting it tightly around her finger. She glanced over her shoulder at the car and then back at him, now lying on his side with his head resting on his hand. He patted the carpet once more and invited her over with a swoosh of his hand.
“Fine,” she said, joining him on the carpet and mimicking his relaxed position.
“Tell me about the mechanic.”
“I already told you. We dated in high school and he taught me all about cars.”
“Nah…there’s got to be more to the story.” Annie watched Kip’s soft lips curl at the corners. The memory of him leaning in to kiss her earlier in the day flashed through her mind. She sighed and flipped flat on her back.
“Not really. My father hated him…thought he wasn’t a good influence. We didn’t date long.”
“This is the first I’ve heard about your dad. You’ve never mentioned your family, actually. What do they do?”
“Oh, um…” Annie closed her eyes against the bright sun. “My dad is an attorney and my mom is a professional party giver.” Not a total lie.
“Sound like interesting people. I’d like to meet them.”
whatever-you-call-me-quote-card-2


Author Bio:
After several years of saying she would write a book someday, Leigh Fleming finally fulfilled her ultimate bucket list item by writing and self-publishing a novel. In 2013, she completed her first work, Precious Words, a romance suspense story set in the glittering world of men’s professional tennis, taking the reader on a whirlwind trip full of love and danger.
Leigh continues to hone her craft and learn what it takes to create a page-turning novel. She has completed Whatever You Call Me, set to release in fall, 2016, and Whatever You Say, to be released spring, 2017.
Leigh lives with her husband, Patrick, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and is mom to adult children, Tom and Liza, and her two dogs, Lula Belle and Napoleon.
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Feature Follow

Follow Friday

Hosted by 
Parajunkee's View 
&
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
Recently Feature & Follow has gotten a makeover now each week we will have a prompt to respond to. 

Any other way you like.  
My email followers are low and I'm working on changing that. However, you are welcome to follow in your preferred form.  If you want to follow via GFC just in case it goes away I ask you follow a second way, email, Linky, Bloglovin'. Thanks!!!!

This Week's Prompt:

What’s Your Book Betrayal Story? (Someone borrowed a book and destroyed it? Waited for a book for forever and it was terrible?

Answer:
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton 
Add it to your (Goodreads)
I've loaned out a copy of Guilty Pleasures at least a dozen times over the years. I wish I had an exact record of how many times I've purchased a copy. I think I've had at one time every cover. It seems to be the book that never comes back. The reason most of the time is that they loved it so much they ran out and got the next couple and forgot to return it. However, they never do return it. 
As the series has progressed it's kind of turned into my not so favorite but I keep hoping it will get back to the Anita I love. This is the first book and the new one coming out. 

Anyone else have this happen? 

Cover Reveal: The Sophisticates Trilogy


The Sophisticates Trilogy (box set)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: October 17th 2016

Summary:

After a terrorist attack that caused more than 29 million deaths in the US, the government created the Sophisticates—genetically modified children designed to become the perfect soldiers. The Sophisticates were given abilities that made them faster, smarter, and stronger. The only thing they weren’t given was freedom.

But is anything ever truly perfect?

Seventeen-year-old Cleo has been a Sophisticate her entire life. When she begins to exhibit the ability to cause things to explode with merely a thought, she’s sent to the Academy to develop her deviation. She soon learns that there are other Sophisticates like her, Deviants with lethal skills.

Immersed in a deadly game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the golden boy of the Sophisticates program, insists that Cleo should abandon training her deviation. His fierce interest in Cleo only makes her more determined to avoid him.

As Cleo is pulled deeper into her role as a human weapon, all she truly wants is to be free, but there's more danger than she ever realized. There are some things that even the government doesn’t know and when the mistakes of the past are revealed and the Deviants start fighting back, no one is safe.

Fans of X-men and The Darkest Minds will enjoy this dystopian trilogy.




Individual Books in the Series (click on images for Goodreads links):
  

About the Author
The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeinated, bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books. 
Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png  photo iconpinterest_zps6fcf02a7.png 

Cover Reveal Organized by:

M9B Friday Reveal Assets: THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF


Today Charles Day and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for the Bram Stoker Award Winning THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF, which releases October 18, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive a eGalley!!

On to the reveal! 

Title: THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF
Author: Charles Day
Pub. Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Goodreads


As the townsfolk sleep, something creeps into the neighborhood. Hidden in shadows, its presence is as old as time itself, its intent not born of goodness.

Nick, a teenager who fancies himself a detective, wakes to find his carved masterpiece missing. Now a mystery is afoot, and Nick has his first assignment, to find out who or what is snatching up the town’s pumpkins and why.

Unfortunately, as with all great detectives, obstacles stand in Nick’s way—the neighborhood bully and his cronies, and the strange old lady and her dog who share the run-down house at the end of Nick’s block. As Nick investigates, an urban legend unravels . . . .

The Legend of The Pumpkin Thief.

Nick fears the legend as he embarks on the most dangerous adventure of his young life. Collecting clues, getting ever closer to the true nature of evil, he learns that curiosity comes with a high price.

"Charles Day's The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief should be every Halloween-crazy kid's favorite book--and a lot of us adults will love this wonderful tale as well. Part mystery, part fantasy, and part perfect Halloween scary story, it all adds up to 100% sheer delight. Bravo to intrepid young detective Nick, that black-suited Pumpkin Thief, and Charles Day for putting them together in this sweet-'n'-spooky novella."
~Lisa Morton, four-time Bram Stoker Award winner and author of The Halloween Encyclopedia.


Excerpt


Chapter One

Nick sniffed the cold air that had started to settle in and around Chesterville, New York, his quaint, upstate hometown located in the Catskill Mountains. Halloween was one day away, a Friday this year. Nick looked forward to the holiday, one of his favorites, next to Christmas, of course. However, today he had something he enjoyed even better: a great mystery.

Nick flipped through the final pages of yet another mystery novel that fed his mind with exciting characters and great plots. As he sat in bed with his new favorite book held in his sweaty palms, the earth could have exploded into smithereens, his house pulled from its foundation by a tornado—it didn't matter what catastrophe might occur at this moment; Nick found himself fully immersed in the final chapter with his favorite characters.

He loved stories about missing people, crazed or degenerate criminals intent on doing their victims harm, or a detective two clues away from capturing his suspects.

Although he was only twelve, Nick had already completed a good number of mystery novels in his short life. He kept his own personal collection in a large cardboard box on a shelf in his closet, safe above wooden hangers holding football jerseys, dyed T-shirts, and ripped blue jeans, and he was about to add this latest mystery to his library. Just a few pages to go and he would know what these characters were up to … until he heard a voice from downstairs.

"Nicky, time for dinner! I'm not going to call you again," his mother yelled up the stairs, apparently for the second time. Yes, nothing interrupted his concentration when he neared the end of a good mystery book—except his mom, with her threatening voice.

Nick's mother was not unlike other mothers in the neighborhood. He had some friends whose moms were the same when it came to gathering their families for dinner, but tonight was not the night. He wanted to finish the final pages before stepping back into reality.

"I'll be down in a minute, Ma!" Nick screamed back, but his eyes still focused on the book. Sure, he knew he'd be in trouble if he didn't heed her call. Dad would eventually come upstairs and yell at him for not showing up at the table on time. So he bookmarked the page, took a quick peek at himself in the mirror on his way out of his room, admired the short blond hair, blue eyes, and thin physique—still looking good, guy—then quickly ran downstairs to join his family.

As Nick walked into the dining room, he saw Samantha, his younger sister, still ten but going on sixteen, already seated at the table with a generous portion of meat and potatoes
falling over the edge of her plate. Her dark hair, pulled up into pigtails, bobbed as she inhaled the aromas. And, coming out from the kitchen with freshly baked dinner rolls, was Mom.

"Sit down, Nicky," Mom said, passing him by while the smell from those warm rolls filled his nostrils and made his mouth water.

As Nick suspected, Mom, adorned in a silk blouse, yellow skirt, and high heels, was dressed as if she'd just stepped out of one of those beauty magazines scattered about the house. However, he focused on those dinner rolls she'd placed on the table. He had to have one. As he went to grab a roll, Samantha's annoying voice short-circuited his growing appetite to savor the warm goodness.

"Glad you could make it, snot-face," she said, smiling at Nick.

There she was, in all her glory, his pigtailed brat of a sister.

Nick's appetite suddenly disappeared. He stared at Samantha, who continued to smile, and wondered how … how he could make his sister's life miserable at that very moment.

"That's it, sis. Fill up on all that food you got there on your plate so you can keep getting nice and fat, because—"

"Ma!" Samantha yelled.

"Knock it off, Nicholas. Leave your sister alone and let her eat," Mom said.

Of course, Samantha screaming was always his fault. Whether or not his sister was wrong didn't matter; it seemed that he'd be the guilty one. In fact, Nick knew that even if she stood on the dinner table and kicked the plates full of food to the floor, with his parents witnessing the whole event, he'd still be the guilty one, accused of making her do it.

"Yeah, okay … I know it's my fault. Even though she called me snot-face, I'm the one who's guilty." Nick gestured, using his hands to show his frustration. "Whatever."

Nick watched his father come in while he argued.

"I don't care much who's at fault; what I want is for everyone to stifle it and eat your food … understood?" He sat down at the head of the table.

"Ma, have a seat and join us." He looked to his left. "Nick and Samantha, not another word out of you two, or you're both grounded."

That's what Nick wanted to hear—fairness. His dad was harsh when it came to disciplinary things, but he also was fair. Nick could reason with him on occasion, and he liked that.

"Oh, by the way," his father said, looking confused, "I was coming in from the rain and noticed the jack-o'-lantern on the steps out front is missing. Anybody know where it went?"

He knew his dad wanted an answer from him, by the stare he sent deep into Nick's eyes. The Stare of Death!

Nick felt singled out again. Sure, Dad, blame it on me. Score another win for Sam.

Nick heard the drops of water as they exploded on the roof. Loud tapping sounded against the windows from the windswept rain. Halloween is tomorrow. Maybe one of the local punks in the neighborhood took it to use as a flying projectile. I don’t know.

Nick figured that since eggs were hard to come by on Halloween, especially for kids his age, it had to be a teenager who'd stolen their pumpkin to toss around instead. That would make a nice mess on some unsuspecting neighbor's driveway.

Then it hit him. Here was his chance to find out who may have taken the carved-out pumpkin and, just maybe, assist in the apprehension of the punk. After eating most of his dinner, Nick excused himself from the table and ran up to his room to gather a few items.

He shut his door, surprised his parents didn't question his early departure from their nightly dinner ritual. Not even an evil eye glanced his way from his mom. That had certainly made him feel better. No need to get on Mom's bad side.

There was another good reason to venture out and start his investigation: to be far away from his sister.

She was trouble.

Besides, there was a mystery to solve, the case of the missing pumpkin, and he figured he'd start by checking to see if any of his neighbors were missing their pumpkins.

The new mystery reminded him of the stories he'd heard among his classmates: the urban legend of the Pumpkin Thief. He'd cut out an article about this legend from the school's newsletter a few years ago, when he'd first heard the story, intrigued by the creepiness of it all.

Nick wanted to read the article again. He went to his desk and rummaged through his stack of papers until he located the piece of tattered print, written by some kid, a Jeffery Beamer, in the Journalism Club. He'd certainly done his research on the urban legend. Nick re-read the whole thing while standing.

"Legend of the Pumpkin Thief, by Jeffery Beamer.

"One thing that truly amazes me is urban legends. I've heard a few good ones over the years, some from watching TV, others from Googling urban legends. So when some of my older friends in school shared with me the Pumpkin Thief legend, I just had to do a little bit of research. And this is what I found.

" Legend has it that around Halloween, this evil creature, the Pumpkin Thief—a tall, green-bean-thin figure in a black suit and large, orange tie, with a massive orange pumpkin for a head and carved-out eyes, nose, and jagged mouth—would sneak into a town of his choosing and snatch up the pumpkins at night. He'd collect as many as he could hold, then he'd carry them away to a secret location.

"Why did he snatch up all the pumpkins? Well, my dear readers, folklore said it had to do with him trying to stop the townsfolk from using them to ward off evil spirits. You see, without the pumpkins to protect their homes, they were prey to all the ghosts, ghouls, and goblins that float around on Halloween, having fun on the one night when they get to celebrate all things horror. They run amok and frighten trick-or-treaters. It's their night, and the Pumpkin Thief does what he can to allow them to have fun on this special night.

"Now, although the urban legend has been discredited, I was able to retrieve some stories from people who said they have evidence that he is indeed real.

"It appears that a few local towns had confirmed that this Pumpkin Thief visited them. They had their pumpkins stolen, and on Halloween night, weird things happened to a few of the townsfolk. Some said they saw ghosts peering into their homes through the windows. One person claimed that floating chased about his bedroom Another said his doorbell kept ringing, but no one was there. I even found a few photos from a nearby town that showed strange, large, orb-type lights floating above their homes on Halloween night.

Of course, experts discredited these allegations. It seems no one had concrete evidence of a Pumpkin Thief caught red-handed grabbing pumpkins; nonetheless, the legend continues. Which town will be next?

Nick stopped reading. He had enough to go on. One missing pumpkin certainly did not qualify as a visit from the Pumpkin Thief. But it was kind of cool, getting all worked up the night before the holiday, a special holiday devoted to celebrating evil and dead things. And the article intrigued him. Maybe I should look into this some more, find out who else might have been visited by this legend since Jeffery wrote the article. I need to track down this kid. I'm sure he's got more to tell.

He replaced the article on the pile of papers and went to pack his jacket pockets with all the detective tools he'd need for tonight: a flashlight, cell phone, and a small pair of binoculars. Those were all he had, so far. He'd ordered some other items out of one of his detective comic books, but they hadn't shipped yet. He loved all the detective gadgetry!

He knew what he wanted to do when he grew up. He wanted to be a detective with the police department. He wasn’t sure how to get there, but between his parents, teachers, and those guidance counselors they had in the big high school he’d be eventually attending, he’d find his way. Once he had the title of detective, and access to all that high-tech gadgetry he'd seen on his favorite TV shows, he'd be happier than an ant in a picnic basket.

And now that his family's pumpkin had gone missing, most likely stolen, he’d been given the perfect opportunity for an early taste of detective work. Just the thought of it excited him as he began preparations for tonight's quick investigation.

Nick sat on his bed for a moment longer, still imagining how, one day, he'd succeed at what he wanted to do. Detective work. The girl. The cars. The life.

Nick had to stop thinking so much about the future and instead concentrate on solving the mystery afoot. He already had an idea about who may have put their grubby hands on his pumpkin. Lou, the bully of his neighborhood! He stood and walked out of his room, closing the door behind him, then to the top of the stairs. But when he approached the top step, he saw his evil little sibling with the pigtails at the bottom, looking straight up at him.

Samantha put both hands on her hips and smiled. "Where are you going? I'm telling."

"You've got to be kidding me, Sam. What is your problem? You're ten, but sometimes you act like a spoiled baby. Do you really hate me that much?"

Nick hoped a little guilt would soften his sister up, and possibly keep her from saying anything to their parents. She seemed to have a relentless desire to make his life a living mess.

For real.

"You're playing stupid detective again, right?" She smiled, her arms folded. "Well, you're going to need me if you want to solve a mystery because I know how to be a real detective." She continued to smile while blocking Nick's exit.

He knew her motive. She wanted to follow her big brother through a night of detective work, a complete gathering of clues, and hopefully witness a crime get solved through the quick actions of her detective brother.

He also figured she'd tell all her friends that her older brother could solve any crime that dared to enter her neighborhood. He could see it in her eyes. "Yeah, sure. Get your coat and let's go. It's getting dark out."

Nick wasn't the least bit happy about having to drag Samantha along, but he didn't want her telling her friends and their parents any lies about his motives. Besides, she might be able to help keep an eye on things.

***

Nick and Samantha left the house together, first telling his parents he was taking his sister across the street to his friend's house. He knew they would've noticed Samantha missing, with her always under their feet.

As they crossed the street, Nick took out his flashlight. He directed its yellow beam to his neighbors’ stoops and porches in search of pumpkins. He pointed the light at each home, every porch that may have displayed a pumpkin, as he walked farther down his street, Samantha by his side.

He was having trouble getting a clear view. Although the rain had stopped, a misty fog had taken over, reflecting the beam of his flashlight back into his eyes. That made it difficult for him to check for pumpkins, even with some porch lights on. But as far as he could tell, none of the houses had any pumpkins on their porches, either. That bothered him.

Eventually he made it to the last house on the left, the home of Mrs. Needlewhitter, an eighty-seven-year-old widow who hated children. Nick knew she was a mean old lady, and he usually did his best to steer clear of her. Tonight was different. He needed to check her porch, just like he'd checked the others.

Nick slowly approached the gate, then jumped back in sheer fright, pulling his sister to the ground with him. Baxter, the old lady's German Shepherd, slammed up against the fence, barking, snarling, and showing off his white canines.

Samantha cried and screamed, "I want to go home!"

Her loud voice made the dog bark even more.

"Come on, sis, let's go. He can't hurt you. He's behind the fence," Nick said, lifting her up off the wet grass that left a fresh, green stain on the knees of her white pants. He shined his flashlight on Mrs. Needlewhitter's porch, noticing a few smashed pumpkins by her bottom stoop.

Could that be it? Had he found the culprit? An eighty-seven-year-old, half-crippled, almost blind, gray-haired … pumpkin thief?

Baxter stood on his hind legs, his massive front paws hanging over the top of the gate, snarling and barking at Nick as he came closer for a better look. He shined his flashlight in Baxter's eyes, turning them red as blood, reminding him of a movie he'd seen last week on the Chiller Channel about this dog gone bad, evil incarnate, determined to do harm to those who'd messed with him while he was still a pup.

Nick shook this thought from his head and, instead, focused his attention on the front porch.

The porch light turned on.

"What's going on out there, Baxter boy? You see trespassers, is that it?" Mrs. Needlewhitter yelled through the screen door. "Get 'em, boy. Rip ’em to shreds. Dirty rat punks."

Nick couldn't understand why she said what she did, but he wasn't waiting around to find out what would happen next. He grabbed hold of his sister and ran across the street, not looking back as they sprinted home. He still heard the old lady's dog, barking in the distance.

When they reached their house, Nick walked his sister up the front porch steps, and then opened the door. He gave his tearful sister a nudge inside. "Go, and don't say a word to Mom or Dad, you hear?"

She didn't look back or reply as she walked indoors.

He quickly shut the door, then sat down on his front steps to think of what he needed to do next. He'd found a few broken and smashed pumpkins, and Mrs. Needlewhitter might just be the pumpkin culprit, but why?

How?

How could she manage to sneak around and grab all those pumpkins? Or could this be the work of Lou, the bully? Or worse. Has the Pumpkin Thief chosen this town for this Halloween? My town? Now Nick had even more reason to find this Jeffery Beamer.

In the interim, Nick knew he had to gather some evidence, so he thought up a plan, a great plan on how he'd get closer to those pumpkins scattered about Mrs. Needlewhitter’s yard. This was going to be his first real detective work, and he knew deep inside that he was so ready to accomplish the task.



Charles Day is the Horror Writer Association's Mentor Program Chairperson, Co­-Chair for the NY/LI Chapter, and a member of the HWA Library committee. He is also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association, the American Library Association, and the Young Adult Library Services Association.

He is also the Bram Stoker Award® nominated author of the YA novel, THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF. He’s also published his first adult novel DEEP WITHIN and the first book in his Adventures of Kyle McGerrt trilogy, a YA western heroic fantasy, THE HUNT FOR THE GHOULISH BARTENDER, and his first co­authored novel with Mark Taylor, REDEMPTION

His forthcoming publications and projects in development for 2014 include a comic book series
based on the ADVENTURES OF KYLE McGERRT trilogy, his first middle­ grade series, THE
UNDERDWELLERS, and his third YA novel, IMMORTAL FAMILY.

On the publishing business side of things, Charles is the owner of Day Media and Publishing in New York, which houses the successful imprints, Evil Jester Press, Evil Jester Comics, and Hidden Thoughts Press (mental wellness collections,)


He’s also an artist and illustrator, who is passionate about creating the many characters he’s brought to life in his published, or soon to be published works. You can find out more about his upcoming writing projects, check out his illustrations and art, or find out what he’s cooking up next with that evil dude­in­the­box, the evil Jester, by visiting his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/charles.day.92



3 winners will receive an eGalley of THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF. International.