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. Naïve 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…
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!
THAT DATING THING
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?
PURCHASE A COPY AT: Amazon
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.
Mackenziecrowne.com / Facebook / Twitter
Author Roast and Toast