Jaydeep Shah's Halloween Playlist #Horror


Hello guys! 

Let’s have some Halloween fun in January. 

If you enjoy listening to Halloween party songs, I have included a playlist below. Play it when you miss Halloween.

If you ever threw a Halloween party, feel free to play this playlist. I think you’d like to break the dance floor this Halloween. ;) Haha!




Thank you, Bewitching Guide to Halloween, for having me as your guest.

I wish you and everyone out there a prosperous new year.

-Jaydeep


The Haunting of Black River Forest
Jaydeep Shah

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Jaydeep Shah
Date of Publication: 12/14/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7349826-3-3
ASIN: B08V4ZY7QY
Number of pages: 86
Word Count: 8611
Cover Artist: Jaydeep Shah

Tagline: A spine-chilling story in which adventurers struggle to survive on the land of a cold-blooded psychopath who enjoys slashing humans.

Book Description:

A forest of blood and corpses. The land of a cold-blooded psychopath.

In Black River Forest, it’s best not to wander too far off the beaten track. There’s no telling what you might find.

Mia and Oliver have long wanted to explore the forest, and one cold, rainy October day, a week before their fifth anniversary of the day they met, they finally make the trip.

But they’ve heard the rumors as well. The haunting. A psychopath hidden somewhere amidst the towering trees. Too many missing. Too few answers.

It’s only rumors, though. Stories. And stories can’t hurt you. Yet as Mia and Oliver venture deeper into the Black River Forest, they’ll soon discover that there’s more haunting this quiet woodland than hikers and bears.

The psychopath is very real. And he’s excited to meet them.

From Jaydeep Shah, author of Tribulation, the first book of the Cops Planet series, “The Haunting of Black River Forest” is a bloody, spine-chilling story best read with the lights on.

Kindle US      Kindle UK    Kindle CA      Kindle AU

Nook      Kobo      iBooks      Google Play


Excerpt 2:

After walking for three or four miles, the trio hadn’t found a way out of the forest.

Their hearts were beating in fear and their legs were tired from walking.  

“When will we find the way out of this creepy forest, man?” asked Mia, her arm linked with Oliver’s.

“I wish we hadn’t come here,” said Oliver. “But we have no choice except to keep trying to find the path.”

“I just hope we get to the right path before . . . he finds us,” said Jany.

“That’s what I’ve been praying to God for this whole time,” said Oliver. “I don’t want to encounter him.”

“Right. I just want to escape,” said Mia. “However, if we do meet him, and if he tries to block our path, I will kill him with my axe.”

“You must be kidding!” said Jany. “Please don’t say that again. I’ve seen enough horror.”

“What did I say wrong?” said Mia. “If he finds us, we must fight him and kill him. Otherwise, he will kill us.”

Walking, walking, and walking. Eventually, the trio reached a divide in the path. Following Mia, they took the left.

The trio walked for one more mile, until they saw something that stopped them in their tracks.

Skeletons. Hanging on almost all the trees ahead, as far as their eyes could see. Not one, not five, not ten, but at least a hundred skeletons, swinging on the trees in the breeze.

Jany gaped at them, her eyes filling with tears.

Oliver felt a chill furling through his body.

And Mia stood completely petrified; somewhere inside her, a voice said: My heart may stop beating if I let the horror possess my senses.




About the Author:

Jaydeep Shah is an avid traveler and the author of gripping horror, thriller, and romance stories. As a bachelor’s degree holder in Creative Writing, he aims to entertain as many as people he can with his stories. He is best known for Tribulation, the first book in the “Cops Planet” series.

In addition to those books, The Shape-Shifting Serpents’ Choice, Jaydeep’s first young adult flash fiction written under his pen name, JD Shah, is published online by Scarlet Leaf Review in their July 2019 issue. Currently, he’s endeavoring to write a debut young adult fantasy novel while working on a sequel to his first apocalyptic thriller, Havoc.

When Shah is not writing, he reads books, tries new restaurants, and goes on adventures.














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Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore by Mark W. Curran #Horror

 Why Stephen King Still Matters

No writer has had the impact and longevity on the American psyche as Stephen King. A best-selling publishing juggernaut, King has sold millions of books since his first novel, 'Carrie' was published in 1973. (His prolific output started even earlier; his first article was published first professional short story, The Glass Floor, to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967.)

How does one writer sell over 350 million books, had 60+ films made from his work and still remain relevant?

The answer lies in his ability to connect to the average reader in language which resonates not only visually but psychologically. Stephen King is an astute observer of human fears and behavior. (For a deeper dive into Stephen King's secret sauce, I'll be covering Danse Macabre - King's 1981 non-fiction book-length treatise on the subject of horror, in next month's column.)

A true rags-to-riches ascent, King's own climb to success started humbly. At the time of the acceptance of Carrie by Doubleday, he did not even have a working telephone on which to take the call. Carrie, the story of a troubled young girl who takes revenge on her high school bullies contained elements of supernatural horror and fused them with rage, serving up a potent cocktail which propelled it to best-seller status [and later made into a movie starring Sissy Spacek.]

Some scholars have argued that Carrie is a social commentary. Linda J. Holland-Toll has stated that "Carrie is dis-affirmative because society makes the human monster, cannot control the monster, and still denies the possibility of actual monsterdom while simultaneously defining humans as monsters."

Nonetheless, the novel is notable for being one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools in the 1990s because of its violence, cursing, underage sex and negative view of religion.

Salem's Lot, published in 1975, pumped new blood into the vampire genre. [sorry I couldn't resist]. During that same year Stephen King completed his fourth novel, The Stand which was published in 1978. Through the years King has been a fiction-generating machine turning out long-form novels at a near-miraculous pace. The trend has continued to this day.

He went on to become a publishing phenomenon, producing such classics as The Dead ZoneFirestarterCujo, IT, and many more. His work continues to be made into successful movies and TV shows. Stephen King is one of the most prolific published writers working today, reportedly turning in a minimum of 2000 words per day. He finishes a 180,000-word novel in three months. 

“If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind—they begin to seem like characters instead of real people,” King reveals, “The tale’s narrative edge starts to rust and I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.  Worst of all, the excitement of spinning something new begins to fade.  The work starts to feel like work, and for most writers that is the smooch of death.”

In his book The Philosophy of Horror (1990), author Noël Carroll examines King's work as an exemplar of modern horror fiction. Analyzing both the narrative structure of King's fiction and King's non-fiction ruminations on the art and craft of writing, Carroll contends that for King, "the horror story is always a contest between the normal and the abnormal such that the normal is reinstated and, therefore, affirmed."

While much of today's horror fiction seems to extend into the worlds of science fiction and fantasy, King's success over the years has been in keeping his horror fiction more mainstream and accessible to the masses. Keeping it real is the key to fiction which resonates across a broad spectrum of readers. It is here King excels.

A narrative that takes the reader too far from reality crosses the line of believability. In crafting down-to-earth believable characters, King is able to speak in a common tone even people who are not regular readers can identify with.

Currently on the best sellers lists is Billy Summers, the story of a hitman with a heart of gold who takes what he hopes will be one last job. While that premise may seem like a straight crime novel, the narrative turns into a nerve-rattling slow-burn, as Summers, an Iraq War veteran and former army sniper, plots his final hit while hiding out in a nondescript southern town.

While there are no vampires or werewolves in Billy Summers, it exemplifies the monsters we can become when the circumstances allow them. There is one reference to the supernatural in the novel.

Midway through the book, writing in a remote cabin high in the Colorado Rockies, Billy can see across the valley to the site of a haunted hotel that burned down. Hanging in the cabin is a painting of topiary animals, which seem to move around when he’s not looking. Billy turns the painting to the wall and writes on.

It is astounding Stephen King's works span such a large landscape of genres. Yet horror remains the one for which he is best known and most revered. And while the supernatural worlds he has introduced us to seem fantastical, the horror for which he is most remembered is that which seems to come closest to our own reality. In some cases King's writing has become prophetic. 

As Vanity Fare's Anthony Breznican states, "People keep comparing the eeriness of the COVID-19 pandemic to the far deadlier one that swept the world in his novel The Stand. They draw parallels between Donald Trump and Greg Stillson, the ego maniacal, world-threatening politician from The Dead Zone. Even the recent rush on grocery stores has vague echoes of The Mist, where shoppers turned against each other while surrounded by unseen threats."

In his 61st novel, The Institute, children with supernatural abilities are taken from their parents and incarcerated. Sound familiar? Even Stephen King himself admits doesn’t feel good about seeing the worst things he can imagine coming true. He’d rather remain in the realm of the impossible.

Yet there is always the sense of hope and redemption at the heart of his sometimes bleak narratives.

As Breznican also offers, "Within every terrifying story about a shape-shifting killer clown, homicidal father in a haunted hotel or super flu that depopulates the planet, the relentlessly prolific writer has filled his pages with equally powerful supplies of strength, selflessness and even hope. That may be why so many readers, many of whom discovered his books when they were kids themselves, have remained loyal over 45 years of storytelling."

What a ride it has been for horror fans. Many of his works have become iconic.

Who can forget the little girl twins standing at the end of the hallway in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining? Or the zombified cats in Pet Sematary (1983). How about when Annie Wilkes breaks Paul Sheldon's ankles with a sledgehammer in 'Misery?' [Readers are quick to point out that in King’s original novel, Annie doesn’t break Paul’s ankles: She chops off his left foot with an axe, then cauterizes the wound with a propane torch. It was later decided to change the scene for the movie version of the novel].

If one single achievement stands out, it is that Stephen King brought horror to the mainstream. His horror novels are still featured at the grocery store checkout counter, no small accomplishment when you consider that up until King, Danielle Steele was the most visible author on mainstream shelves. King made horror acceptable across a wide age gap, subsequently opening the door for sub-genres such as fantasy and sci fi. [Now dubbed 'speculative fiction.'].

King's fiction continues to be highly respected both from a sales perspective as well as a literary one. His work has stood the test of time, and will likely continue to do so for the decades to come. To close, I quote Stephen King from Danse Macabre: 

“The ultimate subtext that underlies all good horror is But not me. Not this time. Because in the final sense horror is the celebration of those who feel they can examine death because it does not yet live in their own hearts.”   

Witches of Wildwood: 
Cape May Horror Stories and 
Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore  
Mark W. Curran  

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction 
Publisher: NMD Books 
Date of Publication: Sept 15, 2017 
ISBN: 978-1-936828-51-7 
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 83,365
Cover Artist:  Robert Gonzales 

A Collection of Contemporary Horror Fiction 

Book Description: 
Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran. Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.

The spooky offerings include: 

- An abrasive radio talk show host is stalked by an angry werewolf in 'Werewolves of Dennis'  

- A Fun Pier boardwalk worker falls under the spell of a strange attic dwelling girl  in 'The Girl In The Attic'

- An ancient sailing ship filled with bloodthirsty zombies crashes into the Jersey Shore in 'Night of the Wildwood Dead'  

The cornerstone of the collection is 'The Witches of Wildwood,' the harrowing and suspenseful tale of a witch-hunting preacher hell-bent on killing four teenage sisters determined to destroy the world from their Wildwood boarding house.   

This collection contains: 
The Girl In The Attic - Dante's Inferno At Castle Dracula - Neptune's Revenge - Night of the Wildwood Dead - Captain Harvey's Wildwood Seafood Palace - Showdown In Anglesea - The Fortune Teller Machine  - Jersey Devil - Werewolves of Dennis - Swamp Beast of Grassy Sound  - The Witches of Wildwood [novella].      


Excerpt:

 Dante snapped out of his flashback in a startled daze.

He tried shutting the images out of his brain as he swam through the smoke and flame – peering forward as the shaft of white lantern sliced through the smoky darkness. As he walked the creaky floorboards, he heard the groaning and falling of smoky timbers in the unseen floors above him; he knew the ceiling could give way at any moment. His radio crackled with warnings to exit the building immediately. He reached down to his radio, switching it to off, then fought his way through the haze and flame.

He fought hard against the images; the memories as ghosts floated around him; he saw visions of his father, a fifth-generation firefighter, his tough, angry face floating disembodied on a thin veneer of white smoke. Then the image of his father: lying in a casket in a Northeast Philly funeral home, looking like some strange wax figure from a horror movie. The embalmers and makeup people had done the best they could but there was only so much that could be done with burn victims. It had been a fire in Manyunk, a section of Philly, that had taken his life.

Dante fought against the exhaustion and inertia he’d been feeling for months now; tried putting it all out of his mind; the divorce from Kathy; losing the custody battle; losing their home to the mortgage crisis. Guilt and depression had dogged him for the better part of his life, but a man had to remain strong, to fight his way through it, that’s what his parents and friends had told him.

It’ll pass, they said, in the meantime, man up.

But they could not know the debilitating effect of depression, how it freezes you and turns your life into a living nightmare of psychic pain. He’d tried sleeping it off, twelve hours a day; he’d tried drinking it away but it only made matters worse.

Snap out of it, they all said. Tough it out, Petrillo, suck it up. Yeah, he thought, if I don’t snap first.

The roar above his head was an angry crescendo; it sounded like a thousand railroad trains thundering over his head. He pushed forward into the oily black smoke and the ominous arms of orange and yellow flames that reached out all around him like angry beckoning spirits.

There was crashing overhead as sections of the burning roof fell into the floor above him. It did not slow his resolve or lessen his courage, he simply pushed the fear down below the surface He heard voices ahead of him. He stopped dead and tried to ignore the ghosts. Ahead of him in the glow of flame and smoke was Gracie-Lynn, his mother – the strong, silent pillar of strength that had endured so much before she’d died.

For years she’d dealt with his father’s unspeakable anger, the deep bouts of depression, the unexplained rage that would erupt in a split second into violence.


About the Author:

Mark W. Curran is a book author and horror film blogger. His indie horror films 'Hoodman' and 'Abandoned Dead' are now in worldwide release. He edits the weekly Horror Fiction Newswire and moderates the Horror Fiction Central website which feature the latest in horror fiction publishing, news and events.






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Release Day Blitz The Haunting of Black River Forest by Jaydeep Shah #Horror


The Haunting of Black River Forest
Jaydeep Shah

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Jaydeep Shah
Date of Publication: 12/14/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7349826-3-3
ASIN: B08V4ZY7QY
Number of pages: 86
Word Count: 8611
Cover Artist: Jaydeep Shah

Tagline: A spine-chilling story in which adventurers struggle to survive on the land of a cold-blooded psychopath who enjoys slashing humans.

Book Description:

A forest of blood and corpses. The land of a cold-blooded psychopath.

In Black River Forest, it’s best not to wander too far off the beaten track. There’s no telling what you might find.

Mia and Oliver have long wanted to explore the forest, and one cold, rainy October day, a week before their fifth anniversary of the day they met, they finally make the trip.

But they’ve heard the rumors as well. The haunting. A psychopath hidden somewhere amidst the towering trees. Too many missing. Too few answers.

It’s only rumors, though. Stories. And stories can’t hurt you. Yet as Mia and Oliver venture deeper into the Black River Forest, they’ll soon discover that there’s more haunting this quiet woodland than hikers and bears.

The psychopath is very real. And he’s excited to meet them.

From Jaydeep Shah, author of Tribulation, the first book of the Cops Planet series, “The Haunting of Black River Forest” is a bloody, spine-chilling story best read with the lights on.

Kindle US      Kindle UK    Kindle CA      Kindle AU

Nook      Kobo      iBooks      Google Play

Excerpt 1:

Oliver looked around in terror, believing the bear had attacked someone nearby and that they once again would be in danger.

“What the hell was that?” he asked.

“The scream came from that way,” said Mia, pointing to the right.

They slowly walked to the trees alongside the path. They saw the ground sloped down to the valley. Mia tried to take one more step forward to have a clear look, but Oliver pulled her back before she could slip.

The three of them stood by the trees and looked around to find the source of the scream.

A few seconds later, what they saw made their hair raise in horror.

Mia’s hands flew to her mouth as a scream tried to make its way out. She was looking at a man thrusting a machete in a teenage boy’s gut and dragging it horizontally to the right and then to the left with all of his force.

“So, the psychopath story is real?” said Mia.

The boy’s severed body lay on the ground beside the bank. Next to him lay a girl’s body. Blood was streaming from her stomach.

“Yes. The psychopath is real,” said Oliver. “I hope we return safe and alive.”

The killer bent, having finished with the boy, bent down to the girl, and started to take off her clothes. There was an X symbol cut into her stomach and a hole near the belly button. It seemed like the killer first had thrust the knife into her stomach and then carved the X symbol.

The killer checked the girl’s pulse and then held a hand under her nose as if to check for breath.

“Dead bitch!” he said.

He looked around.

The trio was frozen in silence in the trees, hidden from sight. They were lying on the ground, taking a position of concealment just like a sniper as they watched in trauma from the top of the valley.

Oliver grabbed his hair, perhaps feeling some type of pressure in his brain. Trying to stay silent, he walked away, slowly. He stumbled as if he would lose consciousness.

He leant against a tree across the path, bending forward to be sick at its roots.

Petrified, Jany remained lying on the ground, gaping at the killer, who was perhaps preparing himself to have intercourse with the corpse.

Mia stood up, keeping behind a tree to stay hidden. She looked at Oliver and Jany with tears flowing down her cheeks. She tried to speak but couldn’t let the words out of her mouth.

She took a deep breath. Then she cleared her throat.

“Jany!” she said in a croaky voice.

Jany remained the same, unresponsive.

Mia cleared her throat once more.

“Jany,” she said, her voice clear but soft, as she was afraid the killer would hear her, despite him being down in the valley. She bent and gently shook Jany, holding her by the shoulders.

Jany opened her mouth as if about to scream, but Mia swiftly clasped her mouth.

“Don’t! He’ll hear us!” she said.

Jany stared at her for a moment and then nodded. Mia took her hand from her mouth.

“Get up!”

Jany stood up and followed Mia toward Oliver.

“We will die. He will find us,” said Jany. She was speaking too loudly, panicked. “I hope my friends are safe.”

“Be brave, Jany,” said Mia, swallowing the fear. “Think positive. Just stay together, and we will find a way out of the forest.”

All the while, Oliver stood watching them. For a moment his terror had paralyzed him. He had no answer, no solution, only the storm of horrifying thoughts of their death in his mind.

Oliver took a deep breath and removed a water bottle from his backpack. He drank a few sips.

He cleared his throat. Then he said, shifting his look between Mia and Jany, “Mia is right. We can get out of here.” He paused. “We must hurry and try to find a way back to our original path before dusk.”

A silence fell for a bit as the trio exchanged a look, nerves clear on their faces. They looked around them at the different paths.

“Where did we come from?” asked Mia.

“I’m not sure. I was so scared,” said Oliver.

“And everything looks the same to me,” added Jany quickly, looking at the paths on either side, both covered with branches and leaves littered from the storm.

Mia unzipped her backpack and slowly, quietly pulled out her axe, still glancing around for signs of movement. “Alright! Let’s go this way,” she said, adjusting her backpack back on her shoulders.

They set off up the chosen path, but Mia grasping the axe strongly.

Just a few steps on, Jany slipped on some wet leaves. She fell and let out a scream that rang through the air.

Oliver scanned the area in a panic.

Mia swiftly helped Jany back up.

Jany hissed in pain as she stood, clearing the dirt from her scratched elbow while Mia brushed off the dirt from her clothes.

“I hope he hasn’t heard your scream!” said Oliver.

Jany and Mia looked toward the valley, following his eyes.

They waited for a few more seconds in stillness.

The psychopath didn’t appear.

“Keep moving!” said Oliver in a very soft voice, only audible to Jany and Mia.

They resumed their walk.

After a few minutes . . . Mia began to feel that someone was following them. She looked through the corner of her eye, but she could only see trees.

The hair on the back of her neck prickled as her senses still signaled someone’s presence.

She stopped.

All the while, Oliver and Jany kept walking hurriedly without glancing back.

Mia turned around slowly. Still no one, only the emptiness of the forest. When she was sure she couldn’t see anyone, she turned back and strode on to catch up with Oliver and Jany.



About the Author:

Jaydeep Shah is an avid traveler and the author of gripping horror, thriller, and romance stories. As a bachelor’s degree holder in Creative Writing, he aims to entertain as many as people he can with his stories. He is best known for Tribulation, the first book in the “Cops Planet” series.

In addition to those books, The Shape-Shifting Serpents’ Choice, Jaydeep’s first young adult flash fiction written under his pen name, JD Shah, is published online by Scarlet Leaf Review in their July 2019 issue. Currently, he’s endeavoring to write a debut young adult fantasy novel while working on a sequel to his first apocalyptic thriller, Havoc.

When Shah is not writing, he reads books, tries new restaurants, and goes on adventures.













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Real Haunted Locations Dunblane, Scotland with Kevin McLeod #ParanormalLoveStory



I used to live in a haunted house. I grew up in Dunblane, in Scotland from the ages of 11 to 19 we lived in 13 Glebe Place. An unassuming small 2 bedroom flat. I shared my room with my older brother. He was 2 years older than me. The first few months were unremarkable, nothing happened that I remember. One night as me and Paul were lying in our beds he suddenly called out to me sounding scared. I looked over to his bed and could see what looked like a figure crouching down at the end of his bed. When he called out the figure appeared to move then vanished. We were both quite shaken by that. 

A few nights later I was asleep in bed when I was woken by the door being opened and two small children walked into the room. I screamed waking up the whole house. Our parents didn’t believe us, and thought that we were just adjusting to our new home. 

The night that really sticks in my mind, that I keep revisiting even 35 years later is the one I will talk about next. I was in bed; my brother was staying with a friend. I had just fallen asleep, and I felt something tugging at my covers. At first, I thought it was my dog and I called out for him to stop. There was a brief pause then it started again. My covers continued to get pulled off me, slowly then one very violent tug and my covers were pulled onto the floor. I fumbled for my bedside lamp, finally getting the switch, and looked around my room. There was definitely an eerie feel to the room but there was nothing there. 

I was tired and confused and picked my covers up. I didn’t switch off my light and tried to get back to sleep. My bed was against the wall near the window. I turned towards the wall and tried to get back to sleep. I swear on my life that something reached up from under my bed and grabbed my arm. I screamed, waking up my parents and I told them what had happened. They said I was dreaming but I knew I wasn’t. Whatever was happening in that room was real. 

My brother came back from his friend’s house the next day and I told him about my experience. He believed me and that night we both sat up all night waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. The very next night we were sitting in our room talking just before going to sleep when we heard someone walking up the hall towards our room. We knew mum and dad were in the living room, so it wasn’t them. The footsteps were very heavy and there was no mistaking that sound. We heard my dad shouting from the living room that we shouldn’t be out of bed, meaning they could here the footsteps as well. We shouted through to them and when they realised we were still in bed they were clearly a bit freaked out. 

I am going to write more about out experiences in that house in an upcoming book that will be out in 2022.

She Died on a Monday
Kevin McLeod

Genre: Love Story, paranormal
Date of Publication: 20/09/2021
ISBN: 979-8469680987
ASIN: B09DYZ1D4W
Number of pages: 50
Word Count: 8886
Cover Artist: Theresa Bills

Tagline: What do we do when everything changes in an instant?

Book Description: 

Picture the kind of enduring love that most of us would wish for; the kind of elderly, married couple we might see on the street, or in a café, so in tune with each other that it’s hard to imagine one without the other.

John and Elizabeth have a love like that, but John’s world is suddenly shattered when Elizabeth is brutally taken from him. For some people it can feel as though it’s just too difficult to go on when one half of you is missing. How will John cope with his broken heart? Who, or what, can help him?

Kevin McLeod is a best-selling children’s author, but this is his first adult short story, inspired by the love his grandparents shared. Kevin writes beautifully, in heart-rending detail, about the numbness, shock, and crushing grief that John faces. He explores challenges that we will all face when someone we love dies, made all the more poignant by his tender evocation of a long and happy marriage.

‘She Died On A Monday’ is a story of love and loss that you’ll want to read time and again, to enjoy each perfect detail and the clever twists and turns. But, be warned, you might just cry every time that you do.


Excerpt:

She died on a Monday. No long lingering illness. No last words, just there, then gone. One minute they were sharing breakfast, the next his world collapsed. She was falling too fast and he was moving too slow. Later, the doctor would tell him that it didn't matter how fast he had moved. He couldn't have saved her. Like that makes it ok. As if that would make him feel better. It mattered to him. He should have caught her and helped her; instead he had moved in slow motion as the love of his life, his very reason for living, disappeared in front of his eyes.

There was no warning. She had been healthy and happy. Ten minutes before she died, they had been discussing what to do after breakfast. He remembered scoffing at her suggestion that they should visit his sister. He tried to remember the last words he had said to her. Finally, they came back to him. Is there any toast? Such a normal question, but now it seemed so stupid, so banal. If he had known they were going to be his last words to her he would have said something meaningful, something profound.

Later, the doctor would tell him that it had been an aneurysm in her brain and that she had felt no pain. Should this comfort him? If it was supposed to, it didn't. Somehow the suddenness made it worse. Neither of them had been prepared for this. The numbness he felt began cocooning him in his own sorrow.

At some point, he didn't remember when, his daughter arrived. She was talking to the medical crew. She turned and began to talk to him. He couldn't make out the words. The lines of her face were blurred by his tears and her words were unable to penetrate an overwhelming numbness.

They took his wife's body away, carted it off on a trolley like she was nothing. He wanted to yell at them, to make them do this terrible thing in some different way. Instead, he sat and watched while his daughter hugged him. He was vaguely aware he wasn't hugging her back, his arms unwilling to move.

He found himself on the couch, unaware of how he had come to be there. His daughter was on the phone and his son had arrived. His son was looking in drawers and speaking, but he couldn't make sense of it. He heard the word funeral and slowly his brain began to understand. His son was looking for the funeral plan papers. He managed to tell him where to find them. His voice was quiet, broken, as he mumbled through the words. His son put a hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. A simple act of love from a son to his father. He put his hand over his son’s. No words were said.

He couldn't accept it, wouldn't accept it. His wife couldn't be dead. They had so many plans. So much to do. How could she be gone? They were due to go on holiday next month. It was all paid for and arranged. She had been looking forward to it. They both had. Now, they would never get to see those views, or take that boat trip. The same one they had taken on their first holiday together.

After a few hours of helping and being there for him, his son and daughter left. His daughter had asked to stay with him tonight, or for him to come with her, but he wanted to be alone. He managed to thank them for helping, while ushering them towards the door. He shut the door, instantly becoming aware of the silence. It crashed into him like a wave. There were no sounds coming from the kitchen, or from the radio in the living room. She always liked to listen to the same channel, keeping it on for some background noise. He walked to the living room and switched on the radio, as if this would bring her back. Feeling foolish, he turned it off again.

He lay down on the couch and cried himself to sleep.

'John, wake up, it's time to get up.'

He heard her voice so clearly that he woke with a start and sat up straight. Confusion took over as he tried to work out whether it had been a dream or if he had actually heard her voice. He looked to the large window, the one with her favourite view over the city from their fourth-floor apartment. It was one of the reasons they had bought this place, she loved that view. It must be late, as darkness had replaced light while he was sleeping. He turned on a lamp and went to shut the curtains. He froze, as just for a second, he swore that he saw her behind him. He turned to the living room but found only emptiness.

He drew the curtains and went to the kitchen. The clock on the wall told him it was a quarter past ten at night. He hadn't eaten all day and knew that he should. He went to the fridge and found a sandwich that his daughter must have made for him. He sat at the table, the same table where she had died, and stared at her empty space. Slowly, he ate the sandwich, tasting nothing.

He walked through the hall to their bedroom. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he stared at her side. Suddenly he felt it, her touch. He couldn't explain it, but he felt her. She was here, she was with him. But, as quickly as the sensation came, it left. His mind was playing tricks on him. It surely was understandable; he was processing the enormity of what had happened. He didn't bother to undress. Lying down on the bed, on top of the covers, he curled into the foetal position and began to cry.

She died on a Monday.


About the Author:

Kevin McLeod is the international best selling author of The Viking’s Apprentice series. He has written 4 books in this series and now takes a step into a different genre with ‘She Died on a Monday’ 

Kevin is 46, lives in Hamilton in Scotland with his two daughters and his dog, Tiger. Kevin is a keen cook and loves the outdoors. He loves spending time with his friends and family. 

Kevin began writing professionally in 2013 with the release of his first book, The Viking’s Apprentice. After his huge success in middle grade fiction he has moved into a more adult genre and looks forward to writing many more stories in the years to come. 









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