Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle—Free This Weekend!

Hey, folks.

Starting today [July 21 — July 24] you can get the urban fantasy novel, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle for free in the Kindle store.

In the USA? Free. UK? Free! Mexico? Italy? Germany? ALSO FREE. It’s free for all to enjoy (or even hate! …but you can reach that decision on your own).

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, then great news, everyone! You can already grab a Kindle copy for free.

Don’t miss out on an enjoyable reading experience with Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.


“All life is a gamble . . . We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Deluxe cover for "Lilah's Guide to Hoyle."

“All life is a gamble… We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Demons. Sorcery. Magical playing cards. It’s anything but a fairy tale. Armed with her choice deck, her beloved book, Hoyle’s Guide to Poker and Parlor Tricks, and the skill that led her to throw away her college fund, Lilah gambles with her life—and with the lives of those around her.

Elsewhere, other players have a different idea of the rules of the game. And investigating the bizarre chain of events is Middleton PD’s finest, Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway.

It’s anyone’s game. The cards have been shuffled and the stakes are high. The call has gone around the table. Others may fold, but not Lilah. She plays for keeps.

What will you wager? Will you call? Stand? Or will you fold?


Be sure to get in on the action… for a limited time!

July 21 — July 24, 2017

Until next time,

RJM

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A Poem: Bedtime

Bedtime

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney

As I lie here and rest my head
Next to you, where we’ve made our bed

In the dark, where my eyes dare play tricks
My view obscured by the plight of the night

The light, faint and ever growing tired, it mimics
A heart, and lungs, breathing

I often worry, though
That, how of which you lie
Restful slumber; your silhouette
Is as much as death, forever sleeping

So I cling and often toss and turn
Waking to the demons that dare try to come and take you away;
Wildly swinging, and shooing them tirelessly
“Begone, pest from another plane!” I growl

And so I’ll fight until my eyes do tire
The morning light comes, and then you stir
Then I can rest until the night comes again

As long as I have you by my side
I’ll try and try, defend and brave against the darkness and the demons that lurk

Otherwise…

I’m nothing without you
I can sleep when I eventually die

For my wife.

The Final Countdown! Last Excerpt of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

LilahsHoyle3D (1)

I know I haven’t posted a blog post much “here” as I have over on A.B.Normal Publishing. I’ve been busy doing some other short stories, and getting outlines done, while making sure everything is ready for the Kickstarter for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

I wanted to share the final raw excerpt before it goes through ch-ch-changes and gets red inked to death. So, here you go!


Dana flipped through the newspaper, sighing at the uninteresting articles. Another tragedy? The whole goddamn world is a tragedy. Give me something worth reading on this goddamn toilet paper. The rain beat angrily on the car, as rhythmically as a tribal ceremony, with the flashes of lightning here and there, painting the various gray-streaked sky. Dana leaned forward, looking up towards the heavens through the windshield of the car, noting the giant blobs that pooled together and were then swept away clean by the windshield wipers. He sighed again and let himself collapse back into the car seat. He looked over to his left, waiting for Walter to come out from the coffee shop. Goddamn it, Walter! What the hell are you doing, ordering the whole damn store? Dana rubbed his forehead and glanced back up to see Walter scurrying in the rain to the car. Walter opened the driver’s side door and got in, handing a warm paper coffee container to Dana; setting down a white and brown paper bag beside himself, placing his jumbo coffee cup in the cup holder. Walter buckled his seatbelt, giddy as a schoolgirl. Licking his lips, he reached for his ‘goody bag.’ “Don’t eat it all in one sitting now, Walt.” Dana jokingly jabbed Walter.

Walter sighed and slowly drifted his gaze at Dana, annoyed, “Are you seriously going to do that, every damn time I get a few doughnuts? I mean c’mon Dana.”

Dana snickered at Walter, “Easy, Walter, easy.I’m just pulling your leg, Walt. Don’t go having a coronary on me.”

Walter mumbled something incoherently about a ‘third leg’ as he reached into the paper bag, and grabbed a giant frosted raspberry jelly doughnut. He eyed it, having already turned ‘ignore Dana mode’ on, and then took a massive bite from it. “Mmm, this one, mmm, man, it’s so great.” Walter licked his lips, catching bits and pieces of jelly.

Dana shook his head at the sight of his partner’s eating matters. “Walt, use a damn napkin man. God, you are acting like a dog.”

“Yeah, well, at least I’m housebroken,” Walter mumbled, to which Dana grinned.


I hope you all join me in helping raise the necessary funds to get Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle out in your hands, and the hands of folks around the globe.

See you all Tuesday!

RJM

Incubus

Angel fighting a Demon. Photo by Ail Lee. Ail Lee has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Ail Lee. Ail Lee has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

The somber gray bed sheets were torn and tattered. The alabaster covers—ripped by the ravenous razor blade teeth of a demon so putrid. The bondage of body and traitorous mind held repulsed to a shell of its former self. The heartbeat of a horse’s gallop, the panicked breathing like that of a mother in labor. The sudden rush and reminisce of life! Ah, Incubus, how were the nights when you would so boldly visit. You first came to me, a child of life and flesh. You tainted my being—possessing my mind with the sweet promise of limitless power and eternity. In return, you granted eternal suffering and torment.

The daily nightmare. Ah, yes. How many people rest their heads on their pillows, tend to, as they say, get their beauty sleep. You come to me, Incubus. The nights of old and new, since I was of the age four or five. You took pleasure in granting me such vividly grotesque and horrifying night terrors—spawning to the world, possessing new beings, and things.

Many people would say, “Oh, well they’re just that. Nightmares.” Foolish people. Stupid people. Inconceivable and dumbfounded fools! Ah, how I would have loved to have agreed with them. These, however, were more than just that, though. Oh, how you crept into our world, tainting us! The foretold events of the past, present and future. Mere glimpses of what I’ve seen from my foresight.

Let it be known that this marks as a testament…of what pain I’ve endured in the dismemberment of my mind. A fight with myself. A struggle between the forces of good and evil. War stories—of a war on oneself. The tales of love, hate, revenge, death, and life. The age old question of when we die—if we are judged, and the verdict handed down is eternal damnation and suffering—what is more painful? To experience life all over again, knowing what will happen, and to not able to do a damn thing about it. To live through every day, when you can’t change the past, present, or future. To not even be able to destroy yourself…to purge yourself of the pain that is…living. Immortality. Eternal life. What is the point of going on, when everyone around you is taken in time?

And so he came unto me.

So early, did you first approach me, Incubus. You possessed my toy chest mother had bought for me, didn’t you? You crept into the house, deep in the bewitching hour and laid hidden in it the night before. When mother and father had tucked me in, you waited. Dormant did you lay in the small bedroom, smiling at me with your velvet stitchings and patches of birds and house. A small light oak bed, t’was my everlasting resting place. The soft blue plush carpet that weighed upon the back of a quiet beast. The monsters that hid in the small wardrobe were of no concern, for you had already decimated them for me. The chest, yes, it was the chest in which you manifested unto me. It was here, here in which you finally came alive.

Your reign of terror began. There was nothing strange or odd in the day of light. However, in the nightlife, your insatiable hunger manifested and consumed me. Oh, how the many nights were it that you bestowed upon me immortality and eternal damnation on my soul. Here, you’d sit at the foot of my bed, and thus, would begin your feast! Slowly inching closer and closer. Tearing the sheets that bound me. The gaze of your red fiery glare and abysmal mouth. The razors and knives that began slicing and dicing my body. The blood that splattered—made as a fine wine, so you claimed. The slow fading of life it seemed, yet it was only the beginning. For I was mute—and could not scream. For I was paralyzed—your befouled magics, and bewitching gaze and inflictive haze. Curse you, Incubus! Curse you! How you lied and misled me. How tonight will pass, I shall endure your pain, and one day escape your treacherous way. How you cackle—putrid and profuse with your victory. The darkness in which you bind me, I will escape. For now, I float in darkness. Alone, cold, numb, and decaying.

Temporary salvation blessed am I by the morning’s blissful light. I devised a plan. Oh, dear Incubus…it shall soon be your turn. In Death’s hour and the prime twilight of darkness. The lights are silhouetted by the shadows of the deceased. The damned cry. The damned pray. Oh, Incubus, I see you stare with your hellish glare—salivating, waiting. I see you smile with your clever mouth. How you would laugh when mother would leave the lights on, and even recruited the night’s light to your aid. 

However, fair Incubus, I would soon splice your newfound ally and crumble it to its renowned daily task. For now, I am disembodied, and your attack is made. Tonight you and “Flame,” together, take excruciating glee in binding me to the grill of hell; charring my body to your hellish chef standards. Maniacally you cackle as you indulge your late night snack in your newest and latest victory. The damned cry and pray to falsehoods. Your servant now thrives and is nearly ready. My power grows, and with it, your defeat. Can you feel it, Incubus? Soon.

The new dawn breaks, freeing my soul, returning it to my body. I prepare for the day—self-preservation and honing of my otherworldly skills—I train for the night. For tonight, I would make my stand against your tyranny! So callous are you—casual, in your observance; your grin turned to a sadistic demonic glee. Alas, you wait for the night to come.

My disembodiment approaches, here and where, you thought I was unable to resist. Oh ho ho! How wrong you are Incubus! For as you can see, I have control, dexterity, grace, and agility, with the fierce ferocity of pure will. You…poor fool. I fend you off until the Light’s Salvation, t’was all I needed. Yes, for I have aligned myself with the Light. I wonder, can you now feel the fear you’ve inflicted upon?

And so it begins, fair Incubus, the fight that was destined to be. For I shall be victorious! I shall end your suffering to the people! For light cannot exist without darkness, I shall take the place, and with it, your power! Ah, glorious Incubus! Oh, how your stunned expression did linger.

A new day begins and with it does dawn break. For later in twilight’s eve, shall we face in battle, comrade. Training continuously, self-empowerment, while deep within did the seeds of darkness grow—salivating, insatiable, the hunger for power! Here, you grinned—bastard! You knew you would win. Fool, for this, shall be the final time! You evolved…dear friend—a flash of metamorphosis, bestowing upon you more teeth than a great white, stealth, and the agile reflexes of a serpent. You hiss and lunge at me, devouring me wholly for the last time.

As I laid in your disgusting gut, I listened to the cries of the damned and the demonic prayers that bellowed in your gastric abyss. Hear me, for I laugh at your wretched being and cry vengeance, justice, that I shall prevail! That. I. Will. Prevail. For I, shall be the successor, and you…you shall be the one devoured. For you see, I shall be the hunter, and you shall be the prey.

The Light’s Grace calls and summons me home—renewed and whole. I awake and endure my training for the epic battle of celestial proportions. You will not, however, see me until combat, old friend. Fair Incubus, can you smell it? The approaching scent of defeat? That is the smell of your death that now emanates from you.

Mid-day is now upon us. How you stare, anxiously waiting, hungry, wanting. You wonder…where is your servant? What sort of trickery could he be up to? My old friend and teacher, the final twilight hour has come, and with it, your end. For I shall sleep a valorous knight’s sleep, and be ready for battle.

The ancient being, Time, enslaves us both. With haste, you lunge for my soul. The damned dare pray, they dare cry. Do you hear, Incubus? They demand your demise! Relentless is your assault, as my nimble body dodges and endures damage. I try to escape through the door, yet, you had so cleverly bound it with us. Leaving only the window of truth. I make haste for it, but you knew this already. Rigorous is your charge, sending us to the depths out beneath the window—snapping at me on our downfall. I, however, have gained the upper hand and crushed you beneath me.

Wounded, I at last stand victorious. I know you—how you play possum, you dare ploy me, Incubus. I reach for a stone of relinquishment. Raised high to the heavens, as you ready your final attack. I break the rock upon your mouth, not with the hopes of slaying you, but assimilating you. Your attack dazes me into the wall, and already you motion your next move. Here you hope to finish me off and harvest my soul once and for all. I search my being and find that Light’s Grace has blessed me the dagger of truth. I raise and find it true to your body—stabbing and cutting your wooden mold.

Hereafter, I set you ablaze in the depths of Hell. For I am victorious. Your demonic gleeful grin decimated and brought to ash. Oh, Incubus, how does the pain of death, defeat and the torment of the damned feel?

The Light’s Grace has returned me too early. You linger still, Incubus, I can sense it. Tis a job left unfinished. Where are you?! The damned do not pray. The damned do not cry! They dare not say…where you are. It is unfortunate, but I must now wait for night’s newest duel.

The lion’s roar rolls across the heavens. The world blinks many at once a time and sheds its impurities on high that fall. The torrential flow of the heavens ushers in the finale of Light versus Dark. Mother Nature dances to the tribal ritual, to the sound—light sets thin and twitches, its spasms ever so often.

For this would be a turn, Incubus you have returned. You have been blessed with the agility and strength of the Gators bite. The swooning love of Pepe Le Pu, you stalk in solitude. For this night, you are to exact vengeance, old friend. Yes, tonight, there would not be any mistakes. You come to me above as I slumber. The very tool of my salvation and my freedom is now the instrument of exact vengeance, fear, and destruction. You smile as you gaze, cackling, taunting, gesturing at me, hinting my demise. Here, you crash through my window and pull me by the throat out. You devour me yet again Incubus—consuming my body bit by bit. You cackle manically as you drink my blood as your wine. My short-lived victory—and the Light’s betrayal. I will have my revenge—on them both! Yes, Incubus, your end will be soon.

So, you have come, my friend, no doubt to quench your thirst and hunger. I give unto you to quench: my anger, hatred, misery, and torment! It is here, where you pull me through the window yet again. Our fate—entwined—as we collapse together onto the ground. Broken and battered are you; I raise your Light blessed, one-half of righteousness to quell your rampage for me. You lacerate—attempting to dismember and disfigure my being. I counter with hacking and slashing at your slender, and beautiful form. It is here…here where your soul is spilled upon the ground. The damned are finally freed and pour out from your gut. The Light will not save you, old friend. I reach for your soul and devour it wholly. For I was once merciful, just and true, I grant you a merciless death—in part all the more suffering unto you. I confine and bind you, and while you are tortured, bound, and forced upon an eternity of those you took—their vengeance exacted and complete.

The Light finally arrives—disembodied spirit reclaims the body, rejuvenating the broken body and assimilates you, Incubus. You are defeated. However, I know you…one day, you will break free. For you will return, and again attempt. However, I shall be waiting—salivating, insatiable and wanting. Oh, Incubus. How I have become…you.

Robert J. S. T. McCartney
A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group