Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Enter If You Dare by MacKenzie Crowne @KMNbooks @MacCrowne @WildRosePress #flashfictionbash #giveaway #Free

This contest has ended! Celtic Chick is the winner! Congratulations!!

KAREN: Mackenzie Crowne, or Mac to her friends, pens romance tales for The Wild Rose Press. You'll fall in love with her witty characters and beg for more. Mac also helps write some of those a fun and interactive blog posts at Author Roast and Toast! Let's give her a warm welcome!

***GIVEAWAY: Mac will be giving away one PDF copy of That Dating Thing to one lucky Trick or Treater!

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter! You can enter everyday for a chance to win one of the Grand Prizes! There's an extra point for commenting on this post and stating the title on the Rafflecopter entry. It's so easy! Good luck!

Enter If You Dare by MacKenzie Crowne

I’m supposed to share a spooky story, but I freely admit to being a weenie when it comes to that sort of thing. I don’t see scary movies or read scary books. To tell you the truth, I don’t even like to think scary thoughts, so my experience with spooky is limited. But, I do have one memory from my childhood that still gives me chills. It happened the summer I was seven. My siblings and I spent several weeks at my grandmother’s home in a small town in Illinois…

As a seven year old, I was thrilled to tag along behind the throng of my older siblings and cousins as we explored the tree-lined roads of Evansville. The town is the centerpiece of a small farming community. Quaint and quiet, with only one grade school, high school, firehouse and park, if you blink while traveling down Main Street, you’ll miss the high points.

That summer was one of my best, a sweet taste of freedom and innocence, of bare feet and fireflies, of corn fields and fireworks. But all that changed one balmy, early August evening. The oldest of our group, my very cute fifteen year old cousin, led us up the walkway of the Sauer estate. The huge house had belonged to the wealthiest family in town. Once the crown jewel of local society, time and neglect had taken its toll on the sixteen room mansion.

The once thriving, well-groomed orchard to one side of the main house had long since been strangled by weeds. Rotting fruit littered the ground. A jagged hole left an upstairs window open to the elements and critters. All but one of the levered shutters hung haphazardly from broken hinges. The neglected mansion had been empty for ten years, since the mysterious disappearance of old man Sauer.

At seven, I didn’t understand the concept of breaking and entering, but was pretty sure climbing through the window of the spooky mausoleum was a bad idea. But alas, I buckled to peer pressure. Older kids are brave, especially when they shouldn’t be, and can be brutal in their challenges. Na├»ve seven year-olds don’t stand a chance against their older peers.

The hairs on the back of my neck prickled as I slipped through the window—and stood at attention when my feet found purchase on the time-dulled wooden floor. I looked around. Worn and dusty furniture filled the living room. A yellowed newspaper lay folded on an end table beside a tattered arm chair. The chattering voices of a few minutes earlier dropped to whispers as we moved as a group through the shadowed rooms of the silent house.

Everyday household items rested where they had been left. In the kitchen, a petrified plate of moldy food sat on the counter beside a half-filled glass of water, as though old man Sauer had simply stepped out to run an errand—and never returned.

A chorus of strangled gasps shattered the silence at a sudden, heavy thump from somewhere above. At last, bravery deserted my older sister. She whimpered and her face went white. My brother, only a year and a half older than me, stared up at the ceiling, his widened eyes the size of the plums outside, clinging to life on the scraggly trees of the orchard. My own gaze flew to the window and escape, but no, cute cousin wouldn’t have that. Pressing his finger to his lips, he jerked his head in a follow me motion and headed for the grand staircase.

My heart pounded as the other kids hesitated. Surely we’d be leaving now. We shouldn’t be here. Something very, very bad was going to happen if we didn’t leave immediately. But apparently, a fifteen year-old’s arched brow has magical powers of persuasion. My feet dragged as if they were encased in lead as I clung to the tails of my sister’s t-shirt and climbed the stairs.

If the first floor was spooky, the second was downright creepy. Little light came through the shuttered windows. The floorboards squeaked and moaned beneath our feet, and the airless hallway made breathing difficult. The gloom amplified the scrape of scurrying animals. My imagination conjured up long tails and sharp teeth. I reached for and wrapped my fingers around my sister’s arm, hoping the dig of my fingernails would snap her out of her blind obedience, and I fought against peeing my pants.

I’d never been so scared before, or for that matter, after.

Like criminals on death row, we shuffled forward. Our destination, the door at the end of the hall, directly above the kitchen. Cute cousin and my brothers were first in line, even the wide eyed one. I noticed his knees knocked, but he gave no other sign of his terror. Boys have male egos to protect, after all. We girls brought up the reluctant rear. By the time we reached the door where the boys waited, I could barely breathe. And then I couldn’t breathe at all, not when my cousin pressed a hand to the door—and shoved!

My ear piercing screams joined those of the others as the door crashed against the wall of a large, tiled bathroom. A claw foot tub crouched in the far corner like a beast about to leap. And in its depths, cold and still as death, waited…

…absolutely nothing.

Psych! I made the whole thing up. Weenie, remember? You would never catch me inside a spooky house!


Karen: Mac, you had me rolling! Loved the post!! Readers, don't forget about the giveaway!

***GIVEAWAY: Mac will be giving away one PDF copy of That Dating Thing to one lucky Trick or Treater! All you need to do is leave a comment or answer this question: Would you sneak into a Haunted House with friends? Alone? Don't forget to leave your email!


The daughter of Wall Street’s most notorious stock swindler, dog trainer, Rylee Pierce has perfected the art of flying beneath society’s radar. Prosecutor, Cooper Reed is a threat to her carefully hidden truths, but how is a woman supposed to resist a man capable of handling a psychotic Great Dane while charming her out of her panties before she has the chance to blink?


About the Author:

I’m a wife, mother and really young grandmother. Together with my high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian and a blind cat, I call Arizona home because the southwest feeds my soul.

My love of books, specifically the romance genre, has been a lifelong affair, both as a reader and a writer. A bout with breast cancer sharpened my resolve to see my stories shared with others. Today, I’m a five-year survivor, living the dream. Raised on the concept that a stranger is just one conversation away from being a friend, I love meeting new people.

My friends call me Mac. I hope you will too. / Facebook / Twitter
Author Roast and Toast


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


I loved your flash fiction. You had me going. :)

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

LOL, great post! I'm with you, total weenie. I'm the one who at the first sign a house is haunted, I'm the one who packs up and gets the hell out of dodge, no "risking it" for me.


AJ Nuest said... Best Blogger Tips

AHAHAHAHA! Mac, I knew you would come up with something totally awesome! LOL You soooo had me in the moment with you. Loved this story! Great job!

Rosemary Gemmell said... Best Blogger Tips

You should write more of this kind of thing as you're good at it!

Cara Marsi said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the chuckle. You had me going too. Great story! Good for you that you've beat breast cancer. I too love Arizona because the Southwest feeds my soul. Alas, I'm stuck living on the East Coast.

Jean MP said... Best Blogger Tips

Loved it, that was a great post.
No I wouldn't be going into a haunted house, even if there weren't anything going bump in the night, I would be imagining all sorts of things.
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Karen Michelle Nutt

*Snicker* Thanks for including me in your fanfictionfest, Karen. Lots of fun and so much talent on display!

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips


Hey, Emily, there's nothing wrong with being a weenie. I say pack and run and live to pack and run another day. :-)

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@AJ Nuest

*grins* I had ME going. Scared myself! LOL

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Rosemary Gemmell

Why thank you, Rosemary. I did have fun, but as a weenie, I'm afraid I'd write myself into a really scary corner, then be too scared to write myself out. Oh, the horror! :-)

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Cara Marsi

I love passing out chuckles, Cara. Isn't AZ incredible? And where on the east coast. I'm a transplanted Bostonian, myself. Great name, by the way. Cara is the name of the heroine in Cara O'Shea's Return, my long awaited prequel to The Billionaire's Con releasing 10/28. :-) (shameless plug)

Geez, that's a lot in common. *humming It's a Small World*

Great, I can never get that song out of my head. Pffftt.

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Jean MP

A vivid imagination is a wonderful - and terrible - thing, Jean. :-) Weenies unite!

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, I knew you made it out of there because you wrote the story, but I was surprised that you made it up...and it was good. You got me. LOL
All the best to you.

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Sarah J. McNeal

LOL Glad I got ya, Sarah. :-)

RE Mullins said... Best Blogger Tips

So funny. I totally believed it as I've gotten in so much trouble bowing to peer pressure over the years. Made it believable to me!!!

Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

You got me. Really funny.

Would I sneak into a haunted house with friends? No way. I'll hold the flashlight and guide their way down the pathway. lol

cnickol @ verizon dot net

Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips


I really believed you went inside. Funny!

As for the question-- I might go inside. I like to go on ghost tours. :)

Katrina Gillian said... Best Blogger Tips

oops--my email is katrinagillian @ yahoo (dot) com

Celtic Chick said... Best Blogger Tips

That was a fun, scary read. I remember an abandoned house a couple of houses down from my grandmother's house in Nebraska. As kids, me, my siblings and cousin used to scare each other every time we passed that house.


Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@RE Mullins

I was among the younger kids in my family and I really did have a cute older cousin. I'm telling you, he was the pied piper. None of us could resist him. He got us into a few scrapes over the years.

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips


When I say I'm a weenie, Cathy, I mean it in the broad sense of the word. I don't do conflict very well and when I do, the experience leaves a mark. Thankfully, I've learned to say no. Oddly, I think I would probably sneak into a house like this now, just for the experience, but I too would rather be the one to hold the flashlight outside.

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Katrina Gillian

Glad I could make you smile, Katrina, but I think you're nuts going on ghost tours. No way in hell. :-)

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Celtic Chick

Same here. There really was a cute cousin, a summer in Evansville and a Sauer House. The old estate was super creepy and always stayed in my imagination. Thankfully it never occurred to cute cousin to talk us into going inside, because I have no doubt my older sibs would have caved and dragged me with them.

Hywela Lyn said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh you really had me going there, Mac - I'm so gullible, I was believing every word! (I did think how well written it was though, more like a short story than a 'slice of life' true account.) There was an old deserted Mansion down the lane from where I used to live in Wales, totally seculuded and surrounded by trees. It's said to be haunted - but although I kept my horses in the stables there, and was often down there around midnight I never saw one - though other peopl apparantly did.

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

No, I wouldn't

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Hywela Lyn

;-) Hiya sweetie! It's amazing how many people remember spooky houses from childhood. What is it about an empty house in need of a little attention that sets the imagination flying?

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips


Good for you, bn100. Neither would I.

Calisa Rhose said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh that was fantastic, Mac! I was right there and jealous. :) I would so be in the house! I'm a weenie who loves ghost hunting! lol

Karysa Faire said... Best Blogger Tips

That was great! I'd absolutely go into a spooky house--I've been in a few and am a ghost hunter at heart. :-)

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Calisa Rhose

A weenie who loves ghost hunting sounds like an oxymoron to me, sweetie. ;-)

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

@Karysa Faire

LOL Now, see. I am just the opposite. I want no part of spooky houses and ghosts, thank you very much.

Mackenzie Crowne said... Best Blogger Tips

Okay folks, my bad for not announcing my winner until now, but hey, better delayed than never right?

And the winner is...

Kelly! The Celtic Chick! Yay!

Congrats, Kelly. A copy of my lighthearted romance, That Dating Thing, will be winging its way to your inbox. Enjoy.

Thanks Karen, for this terrific event and for all of you who stopped by to play along.