Hello and welcome! I’m both excited and delighted today! The Rave Reviews Book Club Writers’ Conference & Book Expo is finally here! It promises to be an exciting time.Thanks for stopping by. I can also be found here and at my Author Booth on the WC & BE site Author Booth RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO as I reveal the cover of the newly edited edition of MIND-SHAFT. My Paranormal Anthology.
Mind – Shaft is an eclectic Anthology of Paranormal short stories in the paranormal sub genres of #Thriller #Suspense #Romance #Supernatural & #Horror.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.
Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.
Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in Kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.
Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her new Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.
I’m delighted to share my latest book as I present my first adventure into the world of the Paranormal. I have included below a Complete short story from the Anthology for your reading pleasure.
Here we go! COVER REVEAL! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
My thanks to Cover Creator Eeva Lancaster: EEVA LANCASTER on TWITTER
An Anthology of Paranormal short stories. An eclectic and exciting mix of Thriller, Romance, Supernatural, Horror and terrifying Suspense.
Sisterly Love. … Paranormal Horror. After the tragic murder/suicide of her parents, Pippa, at just Nineteen-years of age, finds herself taking on the full responsibility for raising her fifteen-year-old sister, Emma. Emma is … more than just a little different. The body count is increasing. Nothing and no one is as they seem.
Halloween Homecoming …Paranormal Supernatural. A Halloween party is the perfect venue for serving justice on the menu. Leighton Caulfield and his Lawyer are about to get their just desserts. In a way that nobody is prepared for.
A Place So Cold …Paranormal Suspense. Children are missing! Time is running out. Can the stranger from Australia lead the rescuers to them in time?
Spin … Paranormal Thriller Doctor Cameron Christopher is concerned that his patient Holly Daniels is caught in a downward spiral into complex Dissociative Disorder. Using Hypnotherapy he takes her back to explore when the nightmares began. Nothing in his experience as a Psychiatrist prepared him for what lay dormant … and waiting.
The Director’s Cut … Paranormal Romance beyond time. Award-winning Director, Christopher Manning is searching for far more than a location for his next blockbuster. The emptiness that has permeated his entire life is crying out for resolution. Join him as he seeks the answers.
Mind-Shaft … Paranormal Supernatural Victoria Denton served revenge swiftly and without mercy. Her future happiness seems assured. If only the past would remain where it should.
To celebrate my cover release this eBook is available FREE from today (October 22nd) until OCTOBER 26th inclusive. Simply click the Amazon Link at the end of this post!
I have included a Complete short story from the Anthology for your reading pleasure.
The Paranormal Thriller short.
From “MIND-SHAFT” A Paranormal Anthology.
Jenny Rivers looked over with concern at the woman sitting hunched in the corner of the waiting room. Her worry increased as Holly Daniels began rocking to and fro with her arms wrapped tightly around her slim body. Holly had been muttering something unintelligible to herself for a while now, and Jenny wanted to offer her some form of comfort.
“Holly. Doctor Christopher won’t be long, now. You arrived a little early for your session today. Can I get you a glass of water, or perhaps a magazine to read?”
Jenny wasn’t certain if the agitated woman had even heard her, as the muttering continued, now higher in pitch. It was a disconcerting sound. Jenny had worked here a very long time and was accustomed to witnessing unusual behavior. But, Holly had been deteriorating steadily over the past few weeks, enough to have Doctor Christopher reschedule his appointment times to fit her in again this morning.
Jenny was relieved when her boss completed his current session, she smiled up at Dan Jefferson as he left the Doctor’s room and busied herself setting his next appointment time.
She knew it wouldn’t be long before the Doctor buzzed and asked her to send in his next patient. She could count on the man being on time, he never allowed his sessions to go beyond their allocated hour.
Her intercom lit up, and the doctor’s deep voice requested that she send in the next patient.
“Holly, Doctor Christopher will see you now.” She spoke loud enough to be heard above the ranting.
The woman didn’t respond.
Jenny hesitated before leaving her desk, she wasn’t meant to interact with the clients apart from a greeting and making further appointments.
But the woman in the corner was clearly unable to hear her. Jenny approached her and coughed loudly to gain her attention.
The look in Holly Daniels eyes caused her to take a step back. She was unaccustomed to this patient being anything less than cooperative. “Holly? Holly?”
The woman shook her head as if in denial, then responded … “Holly? Yes … Yes, I’m Holly. I’m Holly … aren’t I?”
“Yes, you’re Holly, dear. The Doctor will see you now.”
The painfully slim woman stood then, and keeping her arms wrapped tightly around herself she walked unsteadily across the room and into the Psychiatrist’s office.
Jennifer resumed her seat, and in a moment unusual in her recent experience, she checked that the silent alarm indicating that security was immediately required was clearly switched on. She hoped fervently that there would be no need to use it. Something about Holly’s behavior had made her usual, calm and unruffled self, feel more than a little jumpy this morning.
Doctor Cameron Christopher checked his watch as his patient entered the room, automatically setting the timer to buzz discretely when her session came to an end.
He masked his shock at her appearance, but not his concern. It had only been five days since they’d last spoken and his patient appeared to have aged years in that short time frame.
Forty-three-year-old, Holly Daniels had been experiencing night terrors and this continued deterioration was very concerning. He’d consulted several colleagues, and after lengthy discussions had made the decision to use hypnotherapy to attempt to get to the crux of the problem that was making this woman so visibly ill. His concern was that it may not work at all, each client responded differently to hypnotherapy and it was quite possible that his patient may not be receptive.
He hesitated to increase her medication, it hadn’t assisted her so far, and increasing the dosages would only continue to mask the rapidly escalating signs of complex dissociative disorder.
“Come on in, Holly.” He indicated the high backed chair next to his desk. Sit down, please, Holly, please, be comfortable, I’ll be with you in a moment.
“Comfortable? Yes, I can do that. Is it safe here?”
“Yes, Holly it is a safe, my dear. You have nothing to be concerned about I assure you.”
The woman shook her head as if only just becoming aware of where she was now sitting. “Doc? I’m in trouble here. I don’t understand what’s happening to me. I’m afraid all the time. Can you stop it?” She looked carefully around the room. “Do you want me to lie down on the couch?”
“No, Holly, we don’t work that way, do we? Unless you’d feel more relaxed that way, my dear. You must do what makes you feel the most at ease. Hypnotism is nothing to be afraid of. Do you recall we discussed the process last week when you were here? Let me just check my notes. These nightmares of yours have been recurring for several weeks now. They appear to have increased in frequency. What we’ll do together is take you slowly back to when they first began, to see if we can’t isolate an incident in your recent past that may have caused your subconscious to respond in this way. They are occurring how often now?
“They are happening every night now … I can’t sleep, I’m so afraid that I’ll have it again”. Her voice was shaking.
“Is it always the identical dream, Holly? With each one being exactly the same, or does it vary?”
“It’s getting worse. Maybe, ‘cause I’m so damned tired, Doc. I feel cold all the time and when I wake up, I’m freezing. Hell, Doc … it’s summer … I just shouldn’t feel so achingly cold.”
“Your physician can find no identifiable ailment causing those chills, Holly. Let’s assume for now that these dreams are the cause, and get them under control for you, shall we, hmm?”
His patient didn’t respond.
Doctor Christopher noted her appearance; she had paled visibly in the few minutes since she’d entered his office. He decided to press on. “Do you recognize anything or anyone in the dream, Holly?”
“Well … sort of … it kind of looks like a fairground with lights and Ferris wheels that my folks used to take me to when I was a kid. But, Doc, the colors are all blurred together, like a painting that got wet as it was starting to dry. Do you understand? All the colors are running together.”
“How do you feel talking about it?”
“I’m afraid. I’m cold; I’m always cold. It doesn’t make any difference if I sit in front of a heater, my hands are icy and my breathing seems to freeze in the air. And the screaming, the screaming is terrifying. I can hear it no matter whether I’m awake or trying to sleep! I put music on to distract me and leave my lights burning all night long, but it just keeps on … I need you to make it stop, Doc! Please … make it stop. I can’t do anything, I’m so tired all the time, and I keep hearing the same voice over and over again. I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I know it’s not my voice. Over and over again. I hear it even when I’m awake now. It’s frightening me, I don’t seem to be able to make it stop. Maybe I’m going mad, Doc! Am I crazy?”
“No, don’t think of it that way, my dear … it’s simply a nightmare, something in your subconscious may be triggering it … that’s what we will attempt to discover. Are you certain you understand the process, Holly?”
“Yeah … I guess. Like you said last time, you hypnotize me and we find out what these nightmares are all about. Can we just do this please Doc? I want this shit to stop.”
Cameron Christopher pushed a form across the desk to his patient, “Sign the consent form then, Holly, and we’ll get started. “
Holly grabbed the form and the pen, “Where … here?”
“Yes, just where I’ve indicated with a cross, dear” He pointed, “Yes, that’s right.”
The woman signed it and pushed it across the desk. “So, do you dangle a watch or something that I have to look at?”
“No, no, my dear, nothing like that. You just relax and listen to the sound of my voice.
“The sound of my voice will make your body grow heavy, your arms will grow heavier … heavier; you hear nothing else, only the sound of my voice … nothing else, just my voice. Yes, Holly … yes, that’s good, you are so tired. Your arms and legs are growing heavy now. You are completely safe, Holly, just safe and relaxed and comfortable.”
He watched his patient begin to slump in the chair. “Yes, that’s it. Good, Holly, now you can feel your heartbeat slowing. You feel totally relaxed. Totally safe. Heavier …heavier, you are in a state of deep relaxation now. You can hear the sound of my voice, gently now … calm. That’s it, Holly, …yes. That’s it.”
“Where are you now, Holly, can you see?”
“Holly can’t play. She’s been bad.” The doctor flinched and then leaned forward, the voice was not Holly’s, it was a male voice and appeared to be quite young. Cameron Christopher took a deep breath trying to stem his excitement, and then slowly continued the questioning.
“Bad? What did you do, Holly, that was bad?”
“Holly can’t play. She’s been very bad.
“Where is Holly?”
“She’s in the bad place. She didn’t play right, she was bad. Bad, Holly.”
“Where is the bad place?”
“Everybody knows the bad place. You know the bad place. We all know the bad place.”
“What is your name?”
“Names don’t matter! Unless you are bad. Holly was bad.”
“What did Holly do that was bad?”
“You don’t know? You belong with Holly … in the bad place.”
“Tell me about the bad place.”
“Nothing breathes in the bad place. There’s no air. No air… no care … all gone.”
“Are you in the bad place?”
“Stupid, Holly. Stupid, bad, Holly. No air … no care … all gone.”
“Can Holly leave the bad place?”
“Nobody can leave. Nobody can. It’s bad. I’m sad … all gone.”
“You left the bad place … didn’t you?”
“Nobody can! Stupid man! Stupid, bad, man.”
“Why am I bad? What did I do?”
“You made Holly bad. You made Holly try to leave. Stupid man”
“Tell me about the bad place … can you see it from where you are?”
“Everbody can see it. Spinning wheels and candy floss. Lights and noise … and, them.”
“No air. Them. No care…them. All gone …………… Them.”
“What do they look like?”
“Musn’t look! Must not, lookedy-look! Noise and lights and spinning wheels. Bad Holly, to look. Now she stays.”
“What did Holly see? Did she see them?’
“Holly… don’t look! Holly don’t! Holllyeeeee. Holly … All gone.”
“Gone where? Where did she go? Can you see?” The Doctor’s once calm voice began to tremble.
“Round and round, round and round … lights and noise … round and round.”
“Is Holly on the spinning thing … going round and round?”
“Holly is spinning! … Spinning away! Spinning with them.”
“Can she come back?”
“Nobody can. Spinning up … round and round. She looked! She lookedy-looked. Bad, Holly!”
“Can she see you?”
“Yes … yes, can she see you?”
“I … I don’t kn … can you see me, Holly? Holllyeeee can you see meeeeee?”
“Did she answer?”
“She’s been bad. Sad. All gone.”
“Can you see her?”
“Mustn’t look. It’s bad, to lookedy-look.”
“Don’t you want to see her?”
“NO! No air… no care … all gone.”
“She needs to come back, now.
“Holly needs to come back to the safe place, now.”
“No … all gone Alllllll gone! Lookedy-look … all gone.”
“She can’t be gone. I’ll help her. I’ll help you too.”
“Help, me? Too late … all gone.”
“No, no, it’s not too late. The bad place is gone. You can look. See the bad place is gone now.”
“No … it’s here.”
Cameron Christopher took several deep breaths, attempting to calm himself. He needed to regain control. When he spoke again the edge of desperation was more muted.
“Holly …? Holly! Listen to the sound of my voice, dear. You are coming up through the levels of deep relaxation. Listen to my voice as you emerge feeling refreshed and safe. Nice and slow … nice and easy. Listen to the sound of my voice; only my voice. … That’s it. Good, Holly. … Slowly now, you will awaken feeling refreshed and safe on the count of three. One … two … three.”
“Ahh…back with us.” His relief was palpable. He whispered, “Thank God” then continued, “Good, Holly, very good. How do you feel now?”
The doctor was shattered to still hear the young male voice. Something was wrong here. Something was terribly wrong. “I need you to feel safe now, Holly. It’s time to come back from that memory.”
“Holly dear, are you feeling relaxed?” The doctor’s voice held a last vestige of hope.
“No more Holly; Holly was bad. No air… no care… Holly all gone.”
“Oh, Sweet Jesus … Holly! Holly? Holly?”
Jenny Rivers looked at her watch. The next patient was waiting, the current session should have ended by now. She listened intently for a moment, caught unprepared by the agonized screams shattering the silence. She remained rooted to the spot, rendered paralyzed by the sound.
The silent alarm began flashing …
She froze as she entered the room, the stench was unfamiliar and overwhelming, making her gag. It was desperately cold in the room. The screams so loud, she covered her ears to protect them from the sound. She tried to take a deep breath but there was no air, her lungs became depleted.
The doctor’s chair and the chair the patient should have been sitting in were spinning so fast that the motion was blurred … a flash of blue-green light momentarily pulsed and encompassed the entire room. The screaming became strangled and distant. Jenny watched on, gasping for air. Shaking her head in desperate disbelief as the spinning gradually slowed. Both chairs were empty. How could that be? The only exit from Doctor Christopher’s office was the one that would have brought them straight past her desk.
The police were baffled. The videotaped session consisted of spiraling lights on fast forward, and the audiotape gave them answers of sorts, none of which were acceptable by any laws familiar to them.
The secretary had been briefly questioned, but the woman was hysterical, beyond any help they could render. The paramedics immediately transported her to hospital with sirens blaring, she was in deep shock and her core body temperature had dropped alarmingly. Her oxygen saturation levels were desperately low.
Another patient waiting for his now overdue appointment relayed quite a story. The shaken man spoke of lights flashing and a man and child screaming, he confirmed that he’d seen no one leave Doctor Christopher’s office.
No one at all.
I hope you love my new cover as much as I do! Please leave your thoughts and comments below.
For your FREE copy of MIND-SHAFT click on the following link …
THE FREE PROMOTION HAS NOW ENDED.
CONTACT SUZANNE BURKE
Thank you for making the time to join me here today! I look forward to responding to your comments and questions.