Archive for July 11th, 2016

715694_Blog Tour Circuit_L0


Inside the Book:

Mark Christopher
Title: Mark Christopher
Author: Stan Matthews
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ebook/Paperback

As Mark Christopher grows up in a small railroad town during the Great Depression, he dreams of doing something special with his life. Instead, he must face one tragedy after the other as war looms. First, his parents die and then his brother while serving in the Pacific.

When the war in Europe ends, Mark’s sister sends him to live with their grandmother and her son. To please them, Mark is baptized in a Baptist church. While enrolled in college, he befriends a Wallabot Indian who unsuccessfully tries to save Mark’s soul. Despite their religious differences, their friendship continues as Mark is offered a post-graduate scholarship contingent upon his admission to the ministry. Although Mark applies, he secretly believes he is unsuited. After he accepts a student pastorate position in a nearby church, he falls in love and marries. But when he shuns church leaders’ advice and leads a group of black migrants to integrate the county fair, Mark is thrown in jail where he is forced to reflect on his life, his choices, and whether what has been done can be undone.

Mark Christopher is the tale of one man’s faithful journey through poverty and war and tragedy and opposition as he searches for his destiny and meaning in his life.

Meet the Author:

Stan Matthews is a veteran investigative reporter and retired pastor who has worked for both Canadian and American newspapers and served as a fund raiser for many institutions, including churches, colleges, hospitals, American Cancer Society, Easter Seals and PBS.

Read Full Post »


We’re thrilled to be hosting Lincoln Cole and his RAVEN’S PEAK Book Blast today! Fill out the form at the bottom and leave a comment on this blog post to win a FREE autographed copy of his book!  Good luck!


Raven’s Peak
Author: Lincoln Cole
Publisher: Kindle Press
Pages: 276
Genre: Horror/Paranormal Thriller/Urban Fantasy
A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.
Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.
Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

Raven’s Peak is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

“Reverend, you have a
He couldn’t remember when he
fell in love with the pain. When agony first turned to pleasure, and then to
joy. Of course, it hadn’t always been like this. He remembered screaming all
those years ago when first they put him in this cell; those memories were
vague, though, like reflections in a dusty mirror.
“Open D4.”
A buzz as the door slid open,
inconsequential. The aching need was what drove him in this moment, and
nothing else mattered. It was a primal desire: a longing for the tingly rush of
adrenaline each time the lash licked his flesh. The blood dripping down his
parched skin fulfilled him like biting into a juicy strawberry on a warm
summer’s day. 
“Some woman. Says she needs to
speak with you immediately. She says her name is Frieda.”
A pause, the lash hovering in
the air like a poised snake. The Reverend remembered that name, found it
dancing in the recesses of his mind. He tried to pull himself back from the
ritual, back to reality, but it was an uphill slog through knee-deep mud to
reclaim those memories.
It was always difficult to
focus when he was in the midst of his cleansing. All he managed to cling to was
the name. Frieda. It was the name of an angel, he
knew. . . or perhaps a devil.
One and the same when all was
said and done.
She belonged to a past life,
only the whispers of which he could recall. The ritual reclaimed him, embraced
him with its fiery need. His memories were nothing compared to the whip in his
hand, its nine tails gracing his flesh.
The lash struck down on his
left shoulder blade, scattering droplets of blood against the wall behind him.
Those droplets would stain the granite for months, he knew, before finally
fading away. He clenched his teeth in a feral grin as the whip landed with a
sickening, wet slapping sound.
“Jesus,” a new voice whispered
from the doorway. “Does he always do that?”
“Every morning.”
“You’ll cuff him?”
“Why? Are you scared?”
The Reverend raised the lash
into the air, poised for another strike.
“Just…man, you said he was
crazy…but this…”
The lash came down, lapping at
his back and the tender muscles hidden there. He let out a groan of mixed agony
and pleasure.
These men were meaningless,
their voices only echoes amid the rest, an endless drone. He wanted them to
leave him alone with his ritual. They weren’t worth his time.
“I think we can spare the
handcuffs this time; the last guy who tried spent a month in the hospital.”
“Regulation says we have to.”
“Then you do it.”
The guards fell silent. The
cat-o’-nine-tails, his friend, his love, became the only sound in the roughhewn
cell, echoing off the granite walls. He took a rasping breath, blew it out, and
cracked the lash again. More blood. More agony. More pleasure.
“I don’t think we need to cuff
him,” the second guard decided.
“Good idea. Besides, the
Reverend isn’t going to cause us any trouble. He only hurts himself. Right,
The air tasted of copper,
sickly sweet. He wished he could see his back and the scars, but there were no
mirrors in his cell. They removed the only one he had when he broke shards off
to slice into his arms and legs. They were afraid he would kill himself.
How ironic was that?
“Right, Reverend?”
Mirrors were dangerous things,
he remembered from that past life. They called the other side, the darker side.
An imperfect reflection stared back, threatening to steal pieces of the soul
away forever.
“Reverend? Can you hear me?”
The guard reached out to tap
the Reverend on the shoulder. Just a tap, no danger at all, but his hand never
even came close. Honed reflexes reacted before anyone could possibly understand
what was happening.
Suddenly the Reverend was
standing. He hovered above the guard who was down on his knees. The man let out
a sharp cry, his left shoulder twisted up at an uncomfortable angle by the
Reverend’s iron grip.
The lash hung in the air,
ready to strike at its new prey.
The Reverend looked curiously
at the man, seeing him for the first time. He recognized him as one of the
first guardsmen he’d ever spoken with when placed in this cell. A nice European
chap with a wife and two young children. A little overweight and balding, but
Most of him didn’t want to
hurt this man, but there was a part—a hungry, needful part—that did. That part
wanted to hurt this man in ways neither of them could even imagine. One twist
would snap his arm. Two would shatter the bone; the sound as it snapped would
be . . . 
A symphony rivaling
The second guard—the younger
one that smelled of fear—stumbled back, struggling to draw his gun.
“No! No, don’t!”
That from the first, on his
knees as if praying. The Reverend wondered if he prayed at night with his
family before heading to bed. Doubtless, he prayed that he would make it home
safely from work and that one of the inmates wouldn’t rip his throat out or
gouge out his eyes. Right now, he was waving his free hand at his partner to
get his attention, to stop him.
The younger guard finally
worked the gun free and pointed it at the Reverend. His hands were shaking as
he said, “Let him go!”
“Don’t shoot, Ed!”
“Let him go!”
The older guard, pleading this
time: “Don’t piss him off!”
The look that crossed his
young partner’s face in that moment was precious: primal fear. It was an
expression the Reverend had seen many times in his life, and he understood the
thoughts going through the man’s mind: he couldn’t imagine how he might
die in this cell, but he believed he could. That belief
stemmed from something deeper than what his eyes could see. A terror so
profound it beggared reality.
An immutable silence hung in
the air. Both guards twitched and shifted, one in pain and the other in terror.
The Reverend was immovable, a statue in his sanctuary, eyes boring into the
man’s soul.
“Don’t shoot,” the guard on
his knees murmured. “You’ll miss, and we’ll be dead.”
“I have a clear shot. I can’t
This time, the response was
weaker. “We’ll still be dead.”
A hesitation. The guard
lowered his gun in confused fear, pointing it at the floor. The Reverend curled
his lips and released, freeing the kneeling guard.
The man rubbed his shoulder
and climbed shakily to his feet. He backed away from the Reverend and stood
beside the other, red-faced and panting.
“I heard you,” the Reverend
said. The words were hard to come by; he’d rarely spoken these last five
“I’m sorry, Reverend,” the
guard replied meekly. “My mistake.”
“Bring me to Frieda,” he
“You don’t—” the younger guard
began. A sharp look from his companion silenced him.
“Right away, sir.”
“Steve, we should cuff…”
Steve ignored him, turning and
stepping outside the cell. The Reverend looked longingly at the lash in his
hand before dropping it onto his hard bed. His cultivated pain had faded to a
dull ache. He would need to begin anew when he returned, restart the cleansing.
There was always more to
They traveled through the
black-site prison deep below the earth’s surface, past neglected cells and
through rough cut stone. A few of the rusty cages held prisoners, but most
stood empty and silent. These prisoners were relics of a forgotten time, most
of whom couldn’t even remember the misdeed that had brought them here.
The Reverend remembered his
misdeeds. Every day he thought of the pain and terror he had inflicted, and
every day he prayed it would wash away.
They were deep within the
earth, but not enough to benefit from the world’s core heat. It was kept
unnaturally cold as well to keep the prisoners docile. That meant there were
only a few lights and frigid temperatures. Last winter he thought he might lose
a finger to frostbite. He’d cherished the idea, but it wasn’t to be. He had
looked forward to cutting it off.
There were only a handful of
guards in this section of the prison, maybe one every twenty meters. The actual
security system relied on a single exit shaft as the only means of escape.
Sure, he could fight his way free, but locking the elevator meant he would
never reach the surface.
And pumping out the oxygen
meant the situation would be contained.
The Council didn’t want to
bring civilians in on the secretive depths of their hellhole prison. The fewer
guards they needed to hire, the fewer people knew of their existence, and any
guards who were brought in were fed half-truths and lies about their true
purpose. How many such men and women, he’d always wondered, knew who he was or
why he was here?
Probably none. That was for
the best. If they knew, they never would have been able to do their jobs.
As they walked, the Reverend
felt the ritual wash away and he became himself once more. Just a man getting
on in years: broken, pathetic, and alone as he paid for his mistakes.
Finally, they arrived at the
entrance of the prison: an enclosed set of rooms cut into the stone walls
backing up to a shaft. A solitary elevator bridged the prison to the world
above, guarded by six men, but that wasn’t where they took him.
They guided him to one of the
side rooms, opening the door but waiting outside. Inside were a plain brown
table and one-way mirror, similar to a police station, but nothing else.
A woman sat at the table facing
away from the door. She had brown hair and a white business suit with matching
heels. Very pristine; Frieda was always so well-dressed.
“Here we are,” the guard said.
The Reverend didn’t acknowledge the man, but he did walk into the chamber. He
strode past the table and sat in the chair facing Frieda.
He studied her: she had deep
blue eyes and a mole on her left cheek. She looked older, and he couldn’t
remember the last time she’d come to visit him.
Probably not since the day she
helped lock him in that cell.
“Close the door,” Frieda said
to the guards while still facing the Reverend.
“But ma’am, we are supposed
“Close the door,” she
reiterated. Her tone was exactly the same, but an undercurrent was there. Hers
was a powerful presence, the type normal people obeyed instinctually. She was
always in charge, no matter the situation.
“We will be right out here,”
Steve replied finally, pulling the heavy metal door closed.
Silence enveloped the room, a
humming emptiness.
He stared at her, and she
stared at him. Seconds slipped past.
He wondered how she saw him.
What must he look like today? His hair and beard must be shaggy and unkempt
with strands of gray mixed into the black. He imagined his face, but with eyes
that were sunken, skin that was pale and leathery. Doubtless, he looked
thinner, almost emaciated.
He was also covered in blood,
the smell of which would be overpowering. It disgusted him; he hated how his
daily ritual left him, battering his body to maintain control, yet he answered
its call without question.
“Do you remember what you told
me the first time we met?” the Reverend asked finally, facing Frieda again.
“We need your help,” Frieda
said, ignoring his question. “You’ve been here for a long time, and things have
been getting worse.”
“You quoted Nietzsche, that
first meeting. I thought it was pessimistic and rhetorical,” he continued.
“Crime is getting worse. The
world is getting darker and…”
“I thought you were talking
about something that might happen to someone else but never to me. I had no
idea just how spot on you were: that you were prophesizing my future,” he
spoke. “Do you remember your exact words?”
“We need your help,” Frieda
finished. Then she added softer: “need your help.”
He didn’t respond. Instead, he
said: “Do you remember?”
She sighed. “I do.”
“Repeat it for me.”
She frowned. “When we first
met, I said to you: ‘Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the
process he does not become a monster
He nodded. “You were right.
Now I am a monster.”
“You aren’t a monster,”
she whispered.
“No,” he said. “I am your monster.”
Rage exploded through his
body, and he felt every muscle tense. “That is not my name!”
he roared, slamming his fist on the table. It made a loud crashing sound,
shredding the silence, and the wood nearly folded beneath the impact.
Frieda slid her chair back in
an instant, falling into a fighting stance. One hand gripped the cross hanging
around her neck, and the other slid into her vest pocket. She wore an
expression he could barely recognize, something he’d never seen on her face
She was afraid of him. The
realization stung, and more than a little bit.
The Reverend didn’t move from
his seat, but he could still feel heat coursing through his veins. He forced
his pulse to slow, his emotions to subside. He loved the feeling of rage but
was terrified of what would happen if he gave into it; if he embraced it.
He glanced at the hand in her
pocket and realized what weapon she had chosen to defend herself. A pang shot
through his chest.
“Would it work?” he asked.
She didn’t answer, but a
minute trace of shame crossed her face. He stood slowly and walked around the
table, reaching a hand toward her. To her credit, she barely flinched as he
touched her. He gently pulled her fist out of the pocket and opened it. In her
grip was a small vial filled with water.
Will it work?” he
“Arthur…” she breathed.
The name brought a flood of
memories, furrowing his brow. A little girl playing in a field, picking
blueberries and laughing. A wife with auburn hair who watched him with love and
longing as he played with their daughter. He quashed them; he feared the pain
the memories would bring.
That was a pain he did not
“I need to know,” he
He slid the vial from her hand
and popped the top off. She watched in resignation as he held up his right
arm and poured a few droplets onto his exposed skin. It tingled where it
touched, little more than a tickle, and he felt his skin turn hot.
But it didn’t burn.
He let out the shuddering breath
he hadn’t realized he was holding.
“Thank God,” Frieda whispered.
“I’m not sure She deserves
it,” Arthur replied.
“We need your help,” Frieda
said again. When he looked at her face once more, he saw moisture in her eyes.
He couldn’t tell if it was from relief that the blessed water didn’t work, or
sadness that it almost had.
“How can I possibly help?” he
asked, gesturing at his body helplessly with his arms. “You see what I am. What
I’ve become.”
“I know what you were.”
“What I am no longer,” he
corrected. “I was ignorant and foolish. I can never be that man again.”
“Three girls are missing,” she
“Three girls are always
missing,” he said, “and countless more.”
“But not like these,” she
said. “These are ours.”
He was quiet for a moment.
She nodded. “Two showed
potential. All three were being fostered by the Greathouse family.”
He remembered Charles
Greathouse, an old and idealistic man who just wanted to help. “Of course, you
went to Charles,” Arthur said. “He took care of your little witches until they
were ready to become soldiers.”
“He volunteered.”
“And now he’s dead,” Arthur
said. Frieda didn’t correct him. “Who took the girls?”
“We don’t know. But there’s
more. It killed three of ours.”
“Michael and Rachael Felton.”
“And the third?”
He cursed. “You know she
wasn’t ready. Not for this.”
“You’ve been here for five
years,” Frieda said. “She grew up.”
“She’s still a child.”
“She wasn’t anymore.”
“She’s my child.”
Frieda hesitated, frowning. He
knew as well as she did what had happened to put him in this prison and what
part Abigail had played in it. If Abigail hadn’t stopped him…
“We didn’t expect . . .”
Frieda said finally, sliding away from the minefield in the conversation.
“You never do.”
“I’m sorry,” Frieda said. “I
know you were close.”
The Reverend—Arthur—had
trained Abigail. Raised her from a child after rescuing her from a cult many
years earlier. It was after his own child had been murdered, and he had needed
a reason to go on with his life. His faith was wavering, and she had become his
salvation. They were more than close. They were family.
And now she was dead.
“What took them? Was it the
Ninth Circle?”
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“Our informants haven’t heard anything.”
“A demon?”
“Probably several.”
“Where did it take them?” he
“We don’t know.”
“What is it going to do with
This time, she didn’t answer.
She didn’t need to.
“So you want me to clean up
your mess?”
“It killed three of our best,”
Frieda said. “I don’t…I don’t know what else to do.”
“What does the Council want
you to do?”
“Wait and see.”
“And you disagree?”
“I’m afraid that it’ll be too
late by the time the Council decides to act.”
“You have others you could
“Not that can handle something
like this,” she said.
“You mean none that you could
send without the Council finding out and reprimanding you?”
“You were always the best,
“Now I am in prison.”
“You are here voluntarily,”
she said. “I’ve taken care of everything. There is a car waiting topside and a
jet idling. So, will you help?”
He was silent for a moment,
thinking. “I’m not that man anymore.”
“I trust you.”
“You shouldn’t.”
“I do.”
“What happens if I say ‘no’?”
“I don’t know,” Frieda said,
shaking her head. “You are my last hope.”
“What happens,” he began, a
lump in his throat, “when I don’t come back? What happens when I become the new
threat and you have no one else to send?”
Frieda wouldn’t even look him
in the eyes.
“When that day comes,” she
said softly, staring at the table, “I’ll have an answer to a question I’ve
wondered about for a long time.”
“What question is that?”
She looked up at him. “What is
my faith worth?”



st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

About the Author


Lincoln Cole is
a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different
parts of the world, including
Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his
pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through
the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to
anyone who will listen.
For More Information




st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;}



Cole is giving away an autographed copy of RAVEN’S PEAK!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering
    the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner
    will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one autographed copy of RAVEN’S
  • This
    giveaway ends midnight July 11.
  • Winner will
    be contacted via email on July 12.
  • Winner has
    48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: