Rady--Chapter 10 by Jennifer L. Stevenson

Just in time for Halloween, ladies and gentlemen, Jennifer L. Stevenson brings the conclusion to the Winston-Salem Writers' Serial Horror Novel, Rady.

In case you're just signing on, here is how it worked:

Jennifer L. Stevenson of the Winston-Salem Writers organizes serial novels that are posted on the Winston-Salem Writers' web site. Someone writes an initial chapter, then every two weeks a member of the Winston-Salem Writers takes up the challenge and writes the next chapter.

The Winston-Salem Writers have already produced a romance Safe At Home and a mystery Cheerwine is Fine. Jennifer takes the rather daunting task of tying the novel together and as all of you know, the first chapter is easy, it's that last chapter that will kill you [a teensy pun intended].

Without further ado, the final chapter of Rady:

It’s said that if a man is lucky, he might be offered salvation once in his life — but revenge is his own, a wild justice he can choose every day.

The boy tasted both in the searing of remembrance.

His sobbing ceasing, the power came on. Muscles hard, bones grown strong, eyes like shining amber. He could stand upright – with Father’s venom coursing through his veins once more. [READ MORE]

I really appreciate the Winston-Salem Writers giving me the opportunity to speak before their group and the chance to be a part of their serial horror novel. If you're a writer in the Winston-Salem area, look them up. They have terrific programs and they are an awesome group of fellow writers.

Oh, and have a Happy Halloween ...

Rady Chapter 9 by Theresa Crater

Here it is, folks, the next chapter in the Winston-Salem Writers serial horror novel, Rady. This chapter was written by Theresa Crater and she brings us into the climax with her own unique style:

Preacher’s voice rose above the abominable feast in a parody of rapture, “Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” [READ MORE]

Rady--Chapter 7 by Teresa Wiginton

Two new chapters of the Winston-Salem Writers serial horror novel Rady are now up! I'm going to start with Chapter 7. Teresa Wiginton interjects a fantasy element into the story as she carries the story forward:

“So now we know where they are, don’t we? ” The woman reading the paper laid it down on the table, looked over her reading glasses at the man standing across from her. Her eyes narrowed as she tapped her finger on her lips. The man shook his head, turned and pressed down a wing of the moth that had landed on the wall near him. He then gently picked the moth up and carried it to the table. He sat down across from the woman while still holding on to the moth’s wing. [READ MORE]

Rady--Chapter Four by Dan O'Sullivan

Dan O'Sullivan takes on the next chapter of the Winston-Salem Writers' horror serial novel Rady. He takes us to Butner Farm and shows us what lies within. Check it out ...

The walk was easier than he thought and his eyes were drawn to the three story, Victorian rising before him, ever closer.  He imagined he stood in place as the house stalked him.  Clouds moving to the Northeast left a parting shot of sheet lightening, enveloping the huge wooden structure in a brief halo.  This made the return of dusky skies a shroud on the gabled roof.  Thunder clapped away Robert’s calm, as well as that of the horse.  Snorting disapproval, it whinnied for him to give up this foolishness and head for the barn. [READ MORE]

Rady-Chapter 3 Christy Dunovant

At the Winston-Salem Writers, Chapter 3 of the horror serial novel Rady is now up. Christy Dunovant has contributed her writing skills to spin the next chapter:

When Granddaddy went to old Doc Boggs to get stitched up, nobody ever asked questions. Doc just went to work stitching. If anybody in Butner County had ever heard tell of Rady, they didn’t never speak of him. Jimmy thought it was probably best that way, seeing as how he didn’t know what he would say, anyhow.

He didn’t remember anyone telling him to keep quiet, but somehow he just knew they didn’t talk about Rady outside the house. Neither did they talk about Granddaddy’s visits to the sick or Grandma’s way of always knowing when it was time for Granddaddy to call on them ... [READ MORE]

Stay tuned ... I'll be keeping up with Rady as the story progresses and posting links to subsequent chapters in my sidebar until the novel is complete. Follow the links under the WSW Serial Novel / Rady header.

Rady--Chapter Two by Kacey Condon

Chapter two of Rady is now up! Kacey takes the story I started and puts a really cool spin on Rady. Here's a teaser:

Early morning was the worst time for Jimmy. Even before Grandma was gone, in the last year he had been expected to wake his brother. Granddaddy proved how important that job was early last fall.

“The most important thing you can do is be ready to cut yourself. If you hesitate, there will never be time to make up for it. Now, fold this up like I showed you, and let’s get to it.”

Jimmy took the knife from Granddaddy’s hand and, holding the razor edge away from his body, pressed the tiny button. The snapping sound always made him jump, but his hands moved without thought by now. He pushed the smooth heaviness into his jeans pocket and tried to breathe back the fear. [Read more]

Keep up with Rady in my sidebar. I'll be posting new chapters as they're written ...

serial horror novel at the Winston-Salem Writers

Remember I talked about a sekrit project that I was working on? Well, it's got the all clear now.

Jennifer Stevenson of the Winston-Salem Writers organizes serial novels that are posted on their web site. The way it works is this: someone writes an initial chapter, then every two weeks a writer takes up the challenge and writes the next chapter. So every two weeks, you're getting a new installment from a different writer.

If you really want to see how different styles can come together, you'll want to check these out. The Winston-Salem Writers have already done a romance Safe At Home and a mystery Cheerwine is Fine. Now they are going to try their hands at a more gothic story, one of horror.

I was asked to write the first chapter for a horror novel, and I don't know if you recall, but back in the Spring, I attended a writing workshop at StellarCon headed up by author Allen Wold. At that workshop, I wrote the hook for a short-story. That hook was the seed I used to come up with the first chapter in a serial novel entitled Rady.

The chapter is online now. I'll be following along and posting links to subsequent chapters as members of the Winston-Salem Writers contribute to Rady. I'm thrilled to be a part of this project and I can't wait to see what they come up with!

You can find the Winston-Salem Writers here.

Meanwhile, check out the first chapter of Rady:

Grandma’s Bible lay unopened on the kitchen table between Jimmy and his granddaddy. The pebbled black cover, worn smooth by her hands, reflected the dull glow of the florescent light that buzzed like an angry hornet. Granddaddy glared at the book like it had been the one to kill her, not him.

He sat in the kitchen chair, rigid as his funeral suit. Jimmy sat across from him, his own suit an ill-fitting dark blue affair that sat rumbled and sad on his gawky teenage frame. He desperately wanted to loosen his tie, but he was afraid to twitch in case granddaddy would see it as a sign of disrespect.

Although every window in the farmhouse was open, the humid night air refused to move. A gypsy moth battered the screen by the chair where grandma used to sit; ivory wings drove the heavy body toward the light it would never reach ...

blog tour kick-off, contest, and more!

A blog tour, a blog tour! That's right, for the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting links for a blog tour with some of the most gracious and fabulous blogs in the Internetz. I'm going to be talking about writing, publication, and of course, Miserere. The tour starts tomorrow.

But that's not all! I've been working on a super sekrit project with the Winston-Salem Writers and when they've got the post up on their web site, I will tell you more about it. It's one of the coolest on-going projects a writers group can do, and I'll be keeping you posted as the story unfolds.

But that's not all! For my ebook friends: You can now pre-order Miserere for your Kindle at Amazon.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! To kick-off our blog tour, my rock-star agent, Weronika Janczuk, is joining me for an awesome giveaway.

Are you ready? Okay, here it is:

Please read the rules closely.

This giveaway is open internationally, and closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on July 15th, at which point, winners will be announced over the following weekend.

Participants may enter to win any of the gift packages, but can actually win only one. When you fill out the form linked below, rank all of the packages you’re interested in. Whoever wins first place in the story contest (explained below) will get his/her first choice of package, and so forth.

To enter, the only requirement is that you write a 250 to 300-word self-contained fantastical short story. It can be as funny or dark, experimental or straightforward, as you would like it to be. We’ll judge based on the quality of writing and entertainment, and reserve the right to alter or add gift packages if there are any ties, many or too few entries, etc.

Gift packages may be split. (For example, if you win the book and critique, but don’t need a critique, you’re free to pass it on to a friend, etc.)

If you have questions, please post in the comments below.

PACKAGE #1-- autographed copy of MISERERE: AN AUTUMN TALE + 25-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + autographed MISERERE postcard*

PACKAGE #2-- 50-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + autographed MISERERE postcard

PACKAGE #3-- 25-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + synopsis critique from my agent + autographed MISERERE postcard

PACKAGE #4-- 25-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + synopsis critique from my agent

PACKAGE #5-- synopsis critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + query critique

Stay tuned during the tour for news of further giveaways and chances to win more books, autographs, critiques, and more.

The contest is over, folks. Thanks for entering!

*All of the postcards are oversized 5 5/8" x 4"

Okay. Now that's all.

Have a great weekend.