Archive for the News Category

Seattle Sounds-Post Rapture Party- By Dawn Wood

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by elektronikadance

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prp_mercPost Rapture Party was formed in 2011 in the fires that came after. Those left behind were brought together to celebrate that they were chosen to remain. There is always some one left behind. They are the after party joined in joyous celebration with the fellow orphans left upon the earth. Three years ago fate brought Kane, Noccie, Spooky and Ashe together. They brought together the sadness, fury, regret, romance and passion in the darkest days and the brightest of nights. Even though it feels like they came together overnight, the efforts of their work took many months. Post Rapture Party is always  working, creating and perfecting their stories for their audience’s entertainment, even in the most mundane moments of life. Safely amongst other artists, musicians and the baristas, Post Rapture Party lives their shadow lives.  Their horror influences include:

Dust Devil by Richard Stanley; House of 1,000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects; and Cropsey which is actually a documentary. Cropsey was an urban legend on Staten Island about a boogie man. There actually turned out to be some truth to the legend and years later, they apprehended the serial killer.

I would best describe Post Rapture Party as Dark Wave, in the realm of such great artists as: Siouxsie and the Banshees and Kate Bush. Haunted vocals and sweeping synths swirl around the listener.  Post Rapture Party has played with Strap on Halo, Colour Flies and Spiritual Bat.  They have also played with local Blacklist Seattle Gothic bands: Murder Weapons, Grasp Logic, XY Beautiful and PixelPussy.

 

Check out Post Rapture Party online:
Links:
http://www.postraptureparty.moonfruit.com/

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Post-Rapture-Party/230454826993599

PRP

carolyn

 

 

Morbid Meals – Chocolate Coconut Oblivion Cake

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by Dan Shaurette

EXAMINATION

Death by chocolate seems like a great way to go. My favorite recipe comes from a cookbook called A Taste of Murder. This killer culinary collection was edited by Jo Grossman and Robert Weibezahl and contains recipes written by authors of mystery novels.

Their recipe to undertake Death by Chocolate basically makes a devil’s food cake by a mix, and adds a package of instant chocolate fudge pudding, and a whole bag of chocolate chips, with sour cream instead of milk. This makes a luscious, deep dark chocolate cake to be sure. By now I’m sure you noticed that I never do anything instant when it comes to Morbid Meals. (If you do make their original recipe, consider using the Sanguinaccio Dolce from episode #103 instead of the instant pudding.)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on a restricted diet. Their recipe may not kill me, but I would definitely suffer. So this time, instead of presenting a mundane recipe and offering GF suggestions, I decided to create a completely grain-free recipe. You might even prefer this to a wheat cake. The secret? Coconut!

ANALYSIS

Makes: a two-layer cake

For the cake batter

1 cup softened butter
1 2/3 cups coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
10 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups coconut flour (9.75 oz / 275 g)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or carob powder)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups canned coconut milk
Extra butter to grease the pans
Extra cocoa powder to dust the pans

For the ganache

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup canned coconut cream

For the frosting

1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (or carob powder)

Apparatus

  • Two 9-inch (or 8-inch) layer cake pans
  • Electric mixer or hand mixer/beater
  • Two mixing bowls

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease up both layer cake pans with butter and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; cream together for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed.
  3. Set the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla extract then beat at high speed for about 3 minutes.
  5. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Now add the milk and mix thoroughly for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the wet flour mixture to the egg mixture. Beat together at high speed for about 5 minutes.
  7. Split the cake batter into each cake pan.
  8. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes at 350°F.
  9. Remove the cake pans to a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before removing the cake layers from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

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Making the ganache

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream over high heat until it begins to simmer, but stop before boiling. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and let the chocolate melt in the cream, stirring occasionally until incorporated completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Making the frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; cream together for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed.
  2. Add cocoa powder and beat to combine well. Continue to beat the frosting until it forms high peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Assembling the cake

  1. On a serving platter or cake stand, lay the first layer down.
  2. Spread the ganache on the top of this layer, as thick as you can. If you want a lighter filling, beat with mixer until fluffy before spreading it on.
  3. Lay the second layer cake gently on top. Spread the frosting on the top and sides of the full cake.

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DISSECTION

Since this recipe is made with coconut flour, substitutions are impractical with other flours; even almond meal doesn’t work out quite the same. So if you don’t like coconut or are allergic, grab a box cake and enjoy with my apologies.

As it happens, it is less expensive and quite easy to make your own coconut milk and coconut flour. Just know that if you do decide to make your own coconut flour, you will need to do that a day before you make the cake, as you must dehydrate the coconut for at least 8 hours.

If you are avoiding dairy, you can definitely substitute coconut/palm shortening for the butter in the cake and frosting. Do not use coconut oil; even solidified it becomes oil too quickly and then will not cream properly.

POST-MORTEM

This cake can be made as described as a double layer cake or as a bundt cake, but in that case simply dust it with some powdered sugar then drizzle the ganache on top and skip the frosting.

This cake is moist, tender, and full of rich chocolately goodness to die for. It can be a little gritty, but the ganache and frosting tends to make up for this. Your grain-free / Paleo friends will thank you.

Kbatz: Whitechapel Series 1

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 16, 2014 by kbattz

 A Slightly Flawed, but Thought Provoking Whitechapel Debut

By Kristin Battestella

whitecha3Detective Inspector Joe Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones) is on the up and up and ready to make his name in his new assignment to the Whitechapel district – until a series of gruesome murders stump cranky sergeant Ray Miles (Phil Davis) and fellow detectives Fitzgerald (Christopher Fulford), Kent (Sam Stockman), Sanders (Johnny Harris), and McCormack (George Rossi). Chandler’s politicking superior Commander Anderson (Alex Jennings, The Queen) also doesn’t want to hear the facts on the crimes, for they seem all too reminiscent of Whitechapel’s most infamous, 120 year old unsolved case – that of the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper. Self proclaimed Ripperologist Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton) aids Chandler and his team in matching the copycat trends, but can these 21st century coppers be ahead of the next murder or will this new Jack for the new millennium outsmart the police once again?

Although this decade’s popular Victorian resurgence is nothing new to us 19th century aficionados, the trend has brought numerous, semi-competing materials such as the recent Sherlock Holmes adaptations stateside and abroad in film and television and more period programs like Ripper Street and this modern set but past feeling Whitechapel. Thanks to such abundant fiction, media, and Jack the Ripper twists, this type of copycat plot – subtitled The Ripper Returns – may seem familiar, yet the perennial intrigue of the original unsolved crimes and the new investigative spins are stimulating enough to carry the three episode, two-hour plus suspense here. Whitechapel could have done without some of the more standard police procedural designs and the now expected spooky, ghostly, and dark, macabre hints – remember when creepy was rare and nonconformist instead of pop? However, our contemporary need to speculate is matched by the mysteries, conspiracies, divided loyalties, leaks, and press interference. Is the killer amongst our players or an unknown revelation? Are we putting on our CSI caps or thinking like a period criminal? Morbidity aside, it’s pleasing to revisit the so-called canonical murders and fringe theories in such detail, even if the seeing double Jack the Ripper fresh insights and current investigation trappings are too on the nose at times. Would the vintage case be different if the police had cameras? What if the Ripper had a getaway car? Imagine the social media! The 45-minute episodes have stand-alone content and step up the primary storyline with each leg in proper miniseries fashion: Part 1 establishes the Ripper connections, reluctance, and disbelief while Episode 2 sees a suspect in custody and press intrusions before the Conclusion adds the infamous letter writing campaign and…I’m not telling you anymore!

Rupert Penry-Jones’ DI Chandler is initially excited about the eponymous crimes, wet behind the ears new to the street, and looking suave in a tux as he plays upward seeking politics. Viewers have seen this kind of awkward rookie in charge angle before – complete with hiding the chalk from the chalkboard pranks– but we’ve also seen Penry-Jones on other capers such as MI-5 long enough to like and trust Chandler amid his own compulsive rehearsings before the mirror and doubts. These initial characterizations are typical, but Chandler can’t be too perfect when he’s willing to believe the fantastic copycat possibilities or be angry his team isn’t up to snuff. Interesting humor also litters Whitechapel thanks to Chandler’s mockability – after demanding his men wear ties and eat healthy, they adorn joke threads and speculate on their boss’ gaydar. Some of these quirky attempts are a bit out of place; built-in irony already exists in Chandler’s chastising the locals for not knowing their homegrown Ripper facts. Though it’s probably meant to show how the bureaucrats don’t have his back or just how in over his head Chandler really is, he’s unevenly cool with the society types yet nervous with lower coppers. These written clichés hamper Penry-Jones and come too easy, yes, but rather than staying established or stagnant, Chandler loosens up, goes unshaven, and deduces as he should for a thrilling finish.

Whitechapel continues this somewhat confusing, formulaic character development with its ensemble, for detectives Christopher Fulford (The Brief), Sam Stockman (Family Affairs), Johnny Harris (RocknRolla), and George Rossi (The Bill) are both stereotypical fillers and well developed series regulars. Is the show about these eccentricities of the district or the outlandish crimes and Ripper flair? It’s too apparent that the seasonal thread is Jack the Ripper while the character establishment is in hopes for a sequel. Understandably, we don’t see any of our players at home, yet each adds a critical piece to the investigation. Though there should have been more of Claire Rushbrook (Mutual Friends) as pregnant pathologist Caroline Llewellyn – her banter and gruesome, biological moments suffice on the creepy and service the plot – the pairing and chemistry among the team works. Grumpy, secretive sergeant Phil Davis (North Square) starts cliché, but he has the pulse on the street and refreshingly looks like a real detective compared to Penry-Jones’ tall, blonde pretty. Steve Pemberton (Benidorm) as Ripperologist Ed Buchan also adds the right humor, charm, and reasonable Ripper exposition. Despite obvious writing and red herrings, he fits the expected expertise and adds a personal quaint. This cast shows up to play even if the page lets them down, and their clashes, conspiracy theories, and outlandish suggestions add moments of closeness and conflict as the case twists and turns. I thought I had it figured out, then I didn’t, then I did… aha!

Of course, the London locations are sweet, from the dark, cobblestone alleyways to the high society clubs and suits. The look creates an almost Victorian high and low parallel, but the well done, dimly lit, old-fashioned filming design feels at odds with the trying to be modern askew angles, herky jerky flashes, and strobe camera work. It’s not as gruesome as today’s CSI audiences are accustomed to seeing, but intercut macabre photos, rapid autopsies blinks, brief corpse nudity, and jumbled, gaudy scene transitions in any combination there of are unnecessary, too obviously wannabe stylish, and we can’t see a dang thing anyway. Somehow, slow motion is randomly thrown in for good measure, too. One probably has to like British crime dramas to enjoy Whitechapel, but these visual attempts at setting it apart from being like other procedurals don’t quite work. Series 1 director S.J. Clarkson (Life on Mars) doesn’t go off the helter skelter deep end with the edgy look, but I’d rather have no design flair distracting from the story. Stick with the solid investigation instead – the characters, crimes, and disturbed suggestions come thru just fine, and the past meets present set dressings do wonders! The physicality of old chalkboards, a small, dated office, and carefully placed red accents set the scene against smartly used split screen footage, CCTV technology, and now admittedly 2009 blackberries and desktops. Longtime cop show viewers, however, will cringe at the conveniently dropped police protocols, things like, oh, I don’t know, calling for back up or wearing gloves when touching a crime scene! This is the biggest East End case in 120 years and yet five haphazard constables with no support are going it alone?

Have I used words like ‘cliché’, ‘stereotypical’, and ‘again’ a lot in describing Whitechapel? Writers Ben Court and Caroline Ip (Mayday) do at times play it safe with a case that could have been done on any other Scotland Yard show but also occasionally try too hard in this old meets new Ripper twist. Ixnay this flashy on the nose and fortunately, the meaty, well-acted drama is there above and beyond these goofy, Unsolved Mysteries-esque mock docudramas we get stateside these days. This swift First Season is easily available on one disc with some interesting behind the scenes interviews, and a straight run thru is the best way to see Whitechapel’s case unfold. Jack the Ripper enthusiasts, viewers newly tuned in to investigation shows or those who like a sophisticated thinking person’s thriller can see past the cliché starts and police procedural trappings for an intense, down to the wire, provocative Whitechapel debut dénouement.

 

 

The Music of Venus De Vilo

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2014 by David Watson

10168206_537520239700478_8594236322709315030_nI don’t consider myself to be a big music person but every once in a while I come across a musician that grabs my attention. Venus De Vilo is an artist that grabbed my attention. Venus is a rare bread, it’s not often that you find music that combines horror and comedy and can easily fits into genres such as goth rock, metal, acoustic rock and punk rock,  but her music does just that.

Venus De Vilo was described as the love child of Marilyn Manson and Amanda Palmer by the Goth Alternative magazine The Bite. She has also been described as The Voice Of Horror and Queen Of The Pumpkin Patch. She lives in Dublin Ireland and performs ghoulish themed weird concerts in metal bars, rock bars, and in cabaret and burlesque shows.

Venus’s first EP was released on Halloween 2012 and called Edgar Allen Ho. It included songs such as The Heartless Horseman and Miss Frankenstein and was well received by fans of horror and dark music. Her next release was Til Death Do Us Part in 2013.This one had a good mix of hard rocking songs that you could dance to and acoustic versions of the same songs with creepy lyrics to boot.

Venus De Vilo’s latest EP came out earlier this year and is called Handle With Scare. When I first heard this EP it put a huge smile on my face. I enjoy music that has a rawness to it but also has a passion to it and its obvious Venus De Vilo puts a lot of passion into her work. Handle With Scare has a psychobilly sound to it with a great acoustic guitar work and awesome lyrics. Listening to it, I thought that the lyrics must have been hard to record. Venus has a great voice and easily hits high notes and can sing in a low voice as well. All three of Venus De Vilo’s EPs are available on Sound Cloud and are well worth your time. My thoughts on each track on Handle With Scare are listed below:

1. I’ve Got 99 Zombies And A Witch Ain’t One: Good 5RiTGq29_400x400acoustic guitar work, The music is heavy with no electric guitars and some great vocal work.

2. Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder: This one sounds like it would be hard to sing live but I’m sure Venus can pull it off. I have to describe this as a love song with a bizarre twist.

3. BubbleGlum! Venus shows she has a great sense of humor in this song. I love the lyric “Misery loves bubbleglum.”

4. Dead! Dead! Dead! Great vocal work in this song and the music made me thing a little of mariachi surf music if that makes sense. I can see this as a good dance song.

5. The Dead Don’t Dance. This is a slower song with great singing.I love the harmonies in it.

6. Personal Satan. I think this is the best one on Handle With Scare. I love the clapping in the song, this would be a great live track.

In the future Venus De Vilo plans on releasing a full length album, a book of poetry called Creepy Like Sunday Mourning and she also has a comic out based on Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. To find out more about her check out these links:

https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloSongsFromTheStalkersPointOfView

https://soundcloud.com/venus-devilo

https://twitter.com/VenusDeVilo

https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/

 

Kbatz: Wolf Creek

Posted in News with tags , , on September 13, 2014 by kbattz

Wolf Creek – The Aussie Deliverance

By Kristin Battestella

wolf creekWe bought Wolf Creek not knowing anything about the film besides what the blurb on the back cover. 3 friends go exploring in the Australian outback, and bad things ensue. That’s good enough for me!

It took a few minutes adjusting to the Australian accents and dialogue, but the exotic locale is part of the film’s charm. (Close captioned subtitles that include birds chirping are not, but I digress.) Debut director Glenn McLean shoots some lovely Outback scenery and landscapes. His setup, attention to detail, and real characters give Wolf Creek that road trip coming of age feel. This mood and the fact that Wolf Creek is based on true events help the film achieve more than today’s other run of the mill slasher flicks.

When British vacationers Liz and Kristy (Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi) set out to see the Wolf Creek Crater Park with Aussie friend Ben (Nathan Phillips) all seems fun. After the breathtaking experience of hiking the crater, the trio finds their car dead. Low and behold, the seemingly lovable Mick (John Jarratt) comes along and offers to help the stranded tourists. Of course, Mick has a penchant for automotive torture not seen since the likes of Leatherface and his chainsaw. All the horror clichés are here. You’re not supposed to follow the creepy Bushman in the middle of the Australian desert, just like you aren’t supposed to go down the into the dark basement. We know something bad awaits this group, but we are captivated and eagerly watch the doom unfold. Naturally I’ve never heard of any of these people, but the acting is spot on.

Two girls and one guy-they are all friends, but there’s naturally some sexual tension. In the opening scenes, all three party and have questionable encounters. They are real and complete people, and it is totally refreshing to see McLean take the time to develop them as such. Somehow we expect all three to make it, and when they don’t, it’s heartbreaking. The audience knows it’s all a bad idea. You yell at the TV the whole time-telling Liz to find a damn weapon. You know they cannot possibly escape, but the sadistic fortress of Mick is enough to make you root for anyone. Get the heck out of there!

McLean writes, directs, and produces his debut here. He makes expert use of the Australian locales-yes for their stunning beauty, but also for their wildness and danger. Many parts of Australia remain unexplored, so indeed this true story of a sadistic Crocodile Dundee gone wild is absolutely believable. Like Hannibal Lector or even the real life Natalie Holloway mystery-I can suspect something like this happened to her. This reality is more terrifying then any pretend monster. I feel bad for the tourism authorities in Australia. If I ever go there I sure as heck won’t be straying from Sydney.

Wolf Creek scares the outback out of us just like Deliverance squealed us away from the south. I purchased the unrated DVD, so I am unsure where it differs from the limited theatrical release. I’m also not sure which version was screened at Sundance, where McLean was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. I can imagine more gore and offensive language is added, but even then the obscenities aren’t extreme. These Aussies seem to use the f-bomb more than most, but I would too in their situation. Even Mick’s gore house isn’t loaded with excessive blood and body parts. Kristy wears enough blood and staggers just enough to imply bodily harm-and Mick’s talk of rubbers grimly sums that up for us. Just enough leftovers adorn his lair. With Wolf Creek, again it’s what you don’t see that makes it stand out and rise above.

Not for the faint of heart or children by any means, Wolf Creek is for fans of the beautiful and the horrid-if that makes any sense. If you can’t remember the last time you saw an intelligent horror film, then Wolf Creek is a must see.

Flash Fiction Friday: Ken MacGregor

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on September 12, 2014 by Horror Addicts Guest

 What Little Boys are Made of

by Ken MacGregor

Tina pushed down hard on the X-acto knife until it went through Martin’s skin with a little pop. Martin whimpered through the gag and tears fell from his eyes. With an exasperated sigh, Tina looked at her friend.

“You brought this on yourself,” Tina said, “so you can just be quiet.”

Leaning forward to add her weight to the blade, Tina dragged her hand down toward Martin’s belt. She stopped at his bellybutton. Setting the bloodied knife aside, Tina pushed her fingers into the wound. She grabbed the edges and pulled them aside, exposing Martin’s organs.

Frowning, Tina poked around inside her friend’s body cavity, pushing aside guts and organs. After a moment, she stopped and flicked the blood off her fingers.

Martin’s eyes were fluttering, fighting to stay open. They fixed on Tina’s as she looked down at him.

“I don’t see any ‘snakes or snails or puppy dog tails’ at all,” she said. “You are such a liar.”

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

Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats. His author website is http://ken-macgregor.com.

Cheap Reads

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2014 by David Watson

18591386Byron has just moved to the small town of Parkton from the big city and its like entering a new world. Parkton is a place filled with dark secrets and strange people. At the heart of it all is an old house on Jacob Street. For the most part people don’t like to talk about the house, when Byron asks about it in the library he gets yelled at and people seem to avoid the area all together. The only ones that have an interest in the house are two boys at Byron’s school named Lain and Hammish. They seem to have an unhealthy interest in monsters and they want to take Byron to find the monsters that live at 809 Jacob Street.

Byron is not sure he believes in monsters but something weird is going on in Parkton. One of its residents is Joey Blue, an alcoholic blues singer who is homeless and sees ghosts. Joey gets a shock one night when an old friend comes to him for help and he finds that the only way he can help him is by entering the house at 809 Jacob Street. Something sinister lives in that house and it is calling to Joey and Byron and when they enter the house they may never return.

809 Jacob Street by Marty Young is an atmospheric haunted house story that is like a painting put to words. Everything in this story is described in vivid detail from the ghosts in Parkton, the house on Jacob Street and the character’s emotions about what was going on. There is not a lot of action in this story but it makes up for it by giving you vivid descriptions on a town haunted by ghosts and monsters.

The characters in 809 Jacob Street were a mixed bag for me. I liked how Byron and his friends are doing what normal kids do by being curious about the haunted house that no one wants to talk about.  Then its made obvious how their interest is not as normal as it appears. The other kids in school seem to avoid Hammish and Lain and Byron realizes that no one in this town acts like they did in his old hometown. Lain and Hammish are not normal kids and everyone seems to know it. I liked how Byron is given a choice on whether to go along with the monster hunters or be accepted by the other kids. I also liked the dynamic of the group and how Lain’s agenda is revealed.

The other main character in the book is Joey. I didn’t like Joey’s character and didn’t quite understand his role in the book. I found myself not liking him and it bothered me that he talked about how he loved his wife and daughter but he also talks about how he abandoned them and never went back. I didn’t see Joey as a sympathetic character and didn’t care about what happened to him. His role until the very end confused me but I did like the payoff and his involvement in the end of  the book. 809 Jacob Street is a great haunted house story, It’s very visual and I can see it making a good spooky movie.

22351700The next book I want to mention is Sailors Take Warning by Malcolm Torres   When alarms go off aboard the USS Nimitz, first responder Kate Conrad runs to the scene of accidents and injuries. But after 93 days at sea, Kate is suspicious about strange activities in the ship’s morgue, so she conducts her own gossipy investigation. Captain Fox, obsessed with the success of the ship’s experimental cloaking system, delegates authority over the crew to his executive officer, Captain Brandt. And Brandt, of course, is a psychopath who coerces the ship’s medical officer to cover up the problems in the morgue. As the ship approaches the equator, where the crew will hold an ancient hazing ritual, Kate Conrad confronts her superiors with proof of the horrifying activities taking place in the morgue. But they provide no help, so Kate takes drastic action on her own.

13097934The last book I want to mention is by Christine Sutton called All the Little Children is a novella that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Ben and Cara Barlow move into a beautiful Connecticut Victorian home to start the next phase of their lives together. They are thrilled with the home’s beauty, location and price, so they move in right away. When strange things start to happen to Cara, Ben tries his hardest to be supportive. They call in a team of paranormal investigators, and the home’s grisly history, and occupants, past and present, engage in a battle to the death. Will Ben and Cara reclaim their dream house, or will the evil within those walls take everything, including their souls? A short novella at approximately 20,000 words.

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