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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Welcome to Day 29 at 31 Days Of Halloween from Visionary Press Collaborative! Today there will only be one winner. But that winner will receive all four of Nicole Hadaway's great Dandridge Estate series books. Three shorter books, and a full length novel. These are absolutely fantastic books! Simply say, "I want these books!"

Release (Tales from the Dandridge Estate Book 1) by Nicole Hadaway (Jan 3, 2013)

Book Description

January 3, 2013
“The ends justify the means”...

For vampire Miranda Dandridge, using her supernatural abilities to rescue children from impossible circumstances is her means to be a part of the human world that she loves so much, despite the atrocities of WWII.

For doctor Ben Gongliewski, saving his fellow Jews from the horrific death camps is an end for which he risks his own life every day, hiding his Jewish heritage while feigning loyalty the SS.

Neither Miranda nor Ben expects to find love in World War II Europe, but that is exactly what happens as they work for the Resistance. When the war draws to a close, it seems like the vampire and the doctor are free to start a future together. But just how far the Nazis will go to further their own evil ends?

Desperate times make for ruthless men as loves and lives are threatened, but, Miranda and Ben know that their world cannot go to hell, not by any means…


New Orleans, 1842 by Nicole Hadaway and Stephanie Mooney (Sep 18, 2012)


Book Description

September 18, 2012
Young vampire Miranda Dandridge finds New Orleans to be a magical city, but she soon realizes that dark voodoo is not a force with which to be tampered.


Brooklyn, 1830 by Nicole Hadaway and Stephanie Mooney (Sep 18, 2012)

Book Description

September 18, 2012
In this Miranda Dandridge short, a predator seeking new victims gets far more than he bargained for when he befriends Miranda and her brother Cray, two beautiful children with a dangerous secret.

This is a short story from Nicole Hadaway's Tales from the Dandridge Estate series.


Egypt, 1906 by Nicole Hadaway and Stephanie Mooney (Sep 18, 2012)

Book Description

September 18, 2012
One clear autumn night, Miranda and Cray find something far older -- and definitely more intriguing -- than the tombs of Pharaohs when studying hieroglyphics in the Valley of the Kings.

This is a short story from Nicole Hadaway's Tales from the Dandridge Estate.


Here is a little horror ditty for you from Mr. Blaze

Terror On The Hearth

     Gentle chirping fills the room, the song sung on the legs of the cricket acting like a gentle buffer against the cares of a tough day gone by. Sleep: I need some sleep, and this is my magic potion.   

     "Aren't you going to do anything about it?"

     I shake the cobwebs from my head and try to focus on what my wife is saying. "Do something about what?"

     "The cricket! The damn cricket! I suppose you don't hear it?"

     "Yes, I hear it. What's the problem?"

     "That infernal noise it's making is driving me crazy!"

     "I find it relaxing."

     She fumes, as she usually does when she doesn't get her way and people don't jump at her every word and command. "Well I don't! Find it and kill it!"


     "No! What do you mean, no!"

     "Number one, it would be cruel. Number two, it would be very bad luck. Don't you know that crickets are good luck when they're inside your house?"

     "Don't give me that old wives' tale crap! If you don't do it, I'll do it myself!"

     She turns on the light and looks everywhere for the cricket. No luck. As if it knows my wife is looking for it, the chirping stops and there is no sign of my singing friend. But, my wife is persistent, and when she doesn't stop looking, leaving the light on so I can't go back to sleep, I grab my pillow and blanket and get out of bed.  

     "Where are you going?" she asks.

     "Downstairs to the couch so I can get some sleep."

     "You're leaving me?"

     "Looks that way, doesn't it?"

     Something heavy slams into the door behind me as I leave the room. There she goes again: another pointless tirade because the Queen has not been bowed down to.

     I slide my tired carcass on to the overstuffed couch and sigh with comfort. My little friend settles on the hearth, and serenades me to sleep.

     Sunlight filters through the east window. The clock on the mantle tells me it's time to get ready for work. I'm refreshed. Hopefully, today will be a better day at work then yesterday. At least I'll be ready for it.

     My wife is one big frumpy looking mess, and the bedroom appears to be trashed, chairs overturned, clothing scattered all over, and the contents of the top of the dresser in shambles, it appearing that most of the contents are now lying on the floor. How I put up with her insane mood swings is beyond me, but my patience is running low, and her recent cruel streak is getting completely out of control.

     I shave, shower, and dress, not making any effort to say good bye to her. The last thing I need is more of her verbal abuse before I go to work. She can holler at herself!

     Work is better today, probably because I was spared the wrath of the all knowing one before I left my house. Proof conclusive that either she changes her ways or I move out. Pretty much, I've had enough of her.

     Ah, but now I have to return home. That's not a truly heart-warming thought. 

     I walk in to the house and she's sitting at the kitchen table, a smug look on her face, stuffing her mouth. Whatever she's eating, there is only enough for her-something I've grown accustomed to, but which doesn't particularly bother me because she isn't much of a cook. I grab some cold cuts and make myself a sandwich.

     Without making an effort to say a word, she reaches on to the vacant chair next to her and picks up a saucer, placing it on the table in front of me. I almost choke on my sandwich, pushing my plate away in total disgust as I look at the mangled remains of a flattened cricket.

     "You bitch!" I shout. "You fucking bitch!"

     "My, my. Aren't we testy tonight, and all because I killed a fucking annoying bug. Not much of a man are you, to get so squeamish over this?"

     "You are just cruel! There's no other way to describe it. I refuse to put up with you anymore. Tomorrow is Saturday. No work for me. I'm moving out of here for good. You're on your own."

     "But . . .but you can't do that to me!"

     "Watch me. I'm leaving before I wind up like that cricket, dead beyond reason. Maybe I'll snore and you decide to sick a knife in my heart and remove it from my body and wear it around your neck as a good luck charm. You need some serious help, Jenn. Get it for your own good. I could care less what happens to you."

     As if to corroborate what I already know to be the truth, she lunges at me, her fork in her hand, but I knew something would come from her after what I said and I am ready for her, dodging her awkward attempt to stab me. I apply pressure to her wrist until the fork drops, and I walk towards the door. 

     "I'll be back in the morning to get my stuff," I say, and I walk out the door.

     There's no sense in taking the car. I know where I'm going, and I can just walk there. No sense in risking a DUI.
     Harry's place is hopping tonight. As is the norm for a Friday evening, he has entertainment,
a great pianist and a torch singer belting out the blues. Just the kind of music to make me think long and hard. By the time I leave, walking rather erratically back towards the house, my plans are even more cemented. Sure, I'm half lit, but even so, I know what has to be done.

     As quietly as I can, I slip into the house. No lights are on. That's a good sign, so I just use the downstairs john and head for the couch, my blanket and pillow still there.

     Another cricket is on the hearth, singing a song to rival that of the torch singer. Jenn got one, but not all of them. Fucking bitch. I'm sure if she hears it, she'll go bananas, but she's upstairs and it's down here. I doubt she'll even know.

     Pissed off and all, I still manage to fall asleep in a hurry. My mind is relaxed for the first time in ages, knowing that I'm finally removing myself from what's here: my house is a Hell-hole, not a home.

     Quiet. More than quiet actually: total silence. No cricket chirping, no street sounds, no nothing. All sound is in a vacuum hidden away in the recesses of some far-flung corner, waiting for a sign that it's okay for it to return. The hairs bristle on my neck, sensations of touch coming to the forefront now that my ears refuse to cooperate  and my vision is clouded within the darkness and shadows.

     The absence of so much lends credence to accept what is present, and I wait, readying myself for something, knowing what's on the way is not good.. 

     Shadows, more acute this time, form on the steps, showing an elongated form walking from the second to the first floor, shortening, compacting on it's downward journey, merging into the three dimensional being having cast it.

     Even in the darkness, it is not difficult to recognize the traveler for who she is. Jenn pauses at the bottom before slowly advancing towards me, something in her hand, not recognizable because of the darkness.

     "You will rue the day you decided to leave me!" she shouts, as she reaches the couch, her close proximity now allowing me to see the revolver in her hand.
     Where she got the revolver is beyond me, but it doesn't really matter. It's leveled at me, and Jenn is one second away from pulling the trigger. At this range, she can't miss.

     The chirping returns, much louder this time, causing Jenn to flinch, then jump wildly, staring at the hearth with a wild look in her eyes. In her panic, the revolver slips from her hand and falls to the carpet. Not waiting, I'm on it, knowing I can't dawdle for long to get it out of her reach.

     My eyes shift from Jenn and towards the hearth, the reason for her panic very obvious. A huge cricket, fully eight feet in length is rubbing its legs together, creating a song, that as it intensifies even more, causes Jenn to put her hands over her ears, crying out in pain as she slips to the carpet on her knees, tears running down her face, her sobbing reaching a noise level where it rivals that of the cricket.

     "No! No! No!" she shouts. "This can't be real! Shoot it, damn it! Shoot it!"

     "Shoot what, my dear?" I say, pushing her farther into a state of heightened mental instability. "I see nothing for you to be afraid of. What do you see? Tell me."

     "The giant cricket! It's huge!"

     "I don't see it. You must be imagining it. The guilt . . .yes, the guilt from killing the other cricket is weighing heavily on your mind. And just maybe you're feeling some remorse for wanting to shoot me. Could that be?"

     "No, I want you dead! I want the cricket dead! It's there, you bastard. Don't toy with my mind!"

     I laugh, a long malicious deluge of guffaws, my face twisting, turning into something to match the evil and insanity residing in my wife, but the difference is I can control it. She can not.

     Grabbing my cell phone, I dial 911, and when they come on the line, I tell them I'm trapped inside my house with my crazed wife trying to shoot me, hollering about a giant cricket.

     "Don't believe him, it's true!" my wife hollers out, loud enough for the whole world to hear, let alone the dispatcher.

     The cricket comes closer and closer to her, forcing her backwards, making her look as if she's trying to escape inside the very fabric of the house, but to her, even the walls offer no safety, since she swats at them as if they too are attacking her. She is now a woman in the middle, completely surrounded by all her demons, pushed over the edge into a world where reality does not exist any longer.

     In mere minutes, the police arrive, and they find a cowering figure of a woman possessed, screaming at the top of her lungs, telling a tale that no one listens to. Trying to avoid her gnashing teeth and sharpened nails that she flashes at them, they cuff her and escort her out to a squad car. I hand them her revolver, telling them I have no idea where she got it from and that I don't want the damned thing in my house.

     "Your wife will probably not be back home for a while, sir," one of the officers says. "She appears to need some major help."

      "That's fine with me," I say. "I should have insisted long ago that she receive help, but I held out hope that she could turn herself around. Obviously, I was wrong."

     "Don't blame yourself, sir. This happens a lot. Who can say where it starts and where it ends?"

     "I guess you're right. Thanks for coming so fast."

     He nods and walks out the door. Ah, peace and quiet now.

     I have no wish to go upstairs and sleep in the bed we shared for so many years. The couch will do just fine.

     "Well, my little friend," I say, going to the hearth and whispering gently into his ears. "She is gone. Sing for us whatever you wish to share. I  won't have any need of rushing away now."

     The bad luck, the evil, has left my house. Good luck resides on my hearth.

Blaze McRob

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