I’m a proud mama. I’ve released my fifth baby, SIX PLUS ONE, out into the world. Well Amazon 🙂
ONE BY ONE ended with Detective Brown disgusted and traumatized over the crime scene in the woods. He wants to find justice for those poor victims and vows to keep his daughter safe from the horrors of the world.
Sequel time–SIX PLUS ONE, Detective Brown can’t keep that promise. Alta and her group of friends leave Voy on a road trip to Green Bank, West Virginia. They’re filming footage for their alien-centric web series.
What should be a get-in and get-out situation for the weekend turns into a deadly nightmare…
Here’s an excerpt for SIX PLUS ONE:
The local grocery store was empty except for Kendrick, his brother Eugene, and the wrinkle-faced cashier. The cashier stocked the dusty shelves. He had cans of beans to line up on display. Generic brand cereals, pancake mixes, and other foods were already on the shelves.
The brothers scanned the bulletin board of local events that hung on the puke green painted wall. A county fair. A coupon for the tourist attraction Green Bank Observatory. A book signing at the public library.
Kendrick wasn’t a believer. In fact, he didn’t think anyone in the Aliens R Us group was either, but aliens and UFOs were a popular market they wanted to tap into. It seemed like TV and movies focused on ghosts and paranormal activity. Doing something different would help them stand out. Busting out the acting skills and pretending enthusiasm was more Johanna and Alta’s responsibility, since they were in front of the camera as hosts.
Kendrick caught a glimpse of the rest of the crew through the window that hadn’t seen Windex in a century. Declan, who had a face full of freckles with ginger hair, was standing by Johanna and Alta in the parking lot.
Kendrick smiled when Johanna laughed and bumped hips with his girlfriend. Alta seemed to be in a better mood. He studied her vibrant face from a distance. She had a natural beauty. No makeup. Her long, straight black hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Her brown eyes always managed to pierce through him.
How could someone so wonderful be into him?
Kendrick’s heartbeat quickened as his eyes slowly shifted back to Johanna. She was more of an exotic beauty. Long wavy hair, tanned skin like she grew up on a beach, oval hazel eyes. He wondered what she saw in boring Declan, the sound guy for Aliens R Us.
Eugene, all neck and arms full of tattoos, continued scanning the board. “This bulletin seems so empty. Where’s all the 1-800-Missing signs?”
“Stop being disrespectful. How would you like it if someone came into Voy and made fun of it?”
His brother looked at him as if he had three heads, a tail, and an arm growing out of his stomach. “I wouldn’t give a fuck.”
Kendrick suppressed a laugh, not wanting Eugene to miss the point of “don’t be disrespectful to the locals.” You never knew whose help you may need. “We should get Johanna and Alta in here to interview the cashier. Maybe he can give us some insight into how the locals feel about their situation. Is there a division? Some hating the fact that they aren’t allowed to listen to music or use Wi-Fi on their cellphones because of the restrictions. Some hating because they think the UFO legend is bogus. This compared to some diehard believers, thinking strangers they meet could be pod people and agree with the no Wi-Fi restrictions. No questions asked.”
Eugene shrugged. “Or we can just wait until we meet Mike.” He stressed the name like it was more of a question instead of a firm statement.
“Grayson. The guy’s name is Grayson. Do you ever pay attention?”
Why ask a question I already know the answer to? Even though Eugene was the “research” guy for Aliens R Us, he never knew anything about their projects.
Eugene stared at Johanna through the dirty window. “Oh, I notice things.”
Kendrick followed his brother’s gaze. Now Johanna’s arm was interlocked with Declan’s.
Keeping quiet, Kendrick swallowed a knot in his throat. Last summer, Johanna had stopped by the apartment he shared with Eugene to drop something off. One thing led to another, and Kendrick had kissed her. She hadn’t stopped him−acquiescence was key. Did she like him? Was it a caught-in-the-moment situation? He never asked her. Not that it mattered.
Eugene had caught them that day. Kendrick hadn’t known his brother came home early from work because he was sick. Mouth agape, Eugene had stood in the doorway of Kendrick’s bedroom.
They had promised him it was a one-time thing. On the same day, Alta’s dad, Detective Brown, had been bombarded with an intense case in the woods. A group of friends had been massacred inside a cabin, and other mutilated bodies were found throughout miles of the woods near the lake.
Not ordinary friends−Kenan and Rae’s friends.
They were brother and sister surrounded by tragedy. Kenan was eighteen, and Rae was fifteen when they had vacationed in Voy with their parents. That summer some hillbillies broke into their cabin and tortured the family. They gutted their parents like fish as Kenan and Rae were tied up and forced to watch. Then, ten years later, which was last summer, Kenan and Rae’s friends were tortured, one by one, in that very same cabin.
Alta was already stressed during this road trip, so Kendrick had to keep his secrets by any means. It’d been thirteen months. He was confident Alta would never find out. He trusted Eugene, and he knew Johanna wouldn’t jeopardize her friendship with Alta.
Kendrick was in love with Alta, but he couldn’t fight his attraction toward her best friend. That’s why he often snuck moments with Johanna still.
The cashier coughed, grabbing the boys’ attentions. They spun around to face him. The cashier was standing with his hands in his pockets. “I hope you do this story justice. It’s not a joke to us in Green Bank.”
“It’s not a joke to us either, sir. We take our job very seriously.” Kendrick hoped his brother wouldn’t do anything stupid to contradict his promise.
“Well, I appreciate it. I hope you find my hometown to be resourceful.”
“Yes, sir.” Kendrick nodded and stared at the older gentleman, an understanding passing between them.
–If horror, thrillers, and slashers are up your alley, then give SIX PLUS ONE a chance to give you goosebumps. It’s available on Amazon. Even though it’s a sequel, the novella can definitely be read as a standalone.