September 14, 2012

Haunting Obsession Blog Tour: Excerpt

Haunting Obsession Blog Tour
Welcome to Wickedly Bookish's stop on the Haunting Obsession Blog Tour! I"m really excited about this book. The illustrations are gorgeous and the excerpt I have for you made me laugh out loud. Enjoy!


Haunting Obsession
R.J. Sullivan
Genre: Paranormal thriller

“She wants to be loved by you…alone!”

Daryl Beasley collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl’s girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.

Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta’s birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he’ll never forget.

            Setup--Daryl has spent over a day with the ghost Maxine Marie. He's just finished vomiting and starting to realize that Maxine may be hazardous to his health. In the meantime, Loretta, Daryl's long-time girlfriend, has just figured out there may be another woman and is on her way to confront him.

This except has been edited for content, both for self-contained clarity and to keep it a family show.
            Maxine helped Daryl back to the dining room table. Daryl said, “Whatever I caught, I’ve never felt like this before. If this is a flu bug, it’s a nasty one.”

            Maxine handed him a damp washcloth, and he dabbed at his face, trying to recover some sort of dignity after that messy display. 

            Daryl spoke the next thought that entered his mind. “Maybe this is some sort of … ghost venereal disease.”

            “A what?”

            “You know, like, a virus you get from having sex, but something from the ghost world.” Blinking through a watery scrim, he couldn’t quite read her blurry face.

            But her tone communicated her dismissal just fine. “Don’t be ridiculous, Daryl.”

            Daryl shook his head. “So says the ghost of Maxine Marie standing in my dining room? We passed ridiculous in the rearview mirror some time ago, hon.”

            “You didn’t catch a disease from me.”

            Daryl scoffed. “How do you know that? Ghosts don’t come with free handbooks, you said. We don’t know the rules. You said that yourself.”

            “Don’t be cruel, Daryl.”

            Easy for her to say. She’s not the sick one. Daryl pressed, “How do we know you’re not emitting some sort of paranormal radiation that’s making me sick?”

            Maxine shot to her feet, sending her chair sprawling across the floor behind her. She swiped her hand at the table. 

            Shoved by the power of Maxine’s mind, Daryl’s plate flew across the room and bounced off the far wall. 

            She glared at him. “Oh how typical. You don’t want to understand me, so it’s my fault! That’s cruel, Daryl. All you need is some food and some fresh air and you’ll be fine. You don’t have to be cruel.”

            “I’m not being …” As he looked over, the waterworks had already started in the corners of her eyes.  She’s trying to manipulate me again. In his anger, he gave voice to his frustration. “It’s like talking to an eight-year-old!”

            “What did you just say to me!”

            Her hand clamped, vise-like, around his throat. At the same time, some sort of painful energy coursed through his body, causing his limbs to shake as spasms of pain seared over his skin. 

            She pulled him close, face to face, his vision dominated by her look of cruelty, her eyes flashing anger. “Don’t you ever say anything like that to me again, Mister!” Her hot breath spat in his face with each sneered syllable.

            What the hell is she doing? His teeth rattled, and he forced words from his mouth as his body jerked and danced out of control. “Stop! Maxine, stop!”

            “Apologize first!”

            “You’re hurting me …” No sympathy in her eyes, no mercy in her touch. The energy charge built up, grew more intense. And he knew she wouldn’t stop. For the first time, he feared her.


            “I’m sorry! Maxine, I’m sorry! Stop!”

            The pain subsided, and Daryl dropped where she released him. 

            He found himself slumped over the table, the cold washcloth once again pressed against his neck. He realized he must have passed out, but her body pressed against his, fingers caressing, her voice whispering, trying to offer futile comfort. “I’m sorry, Baby; I don’t know what came over me. I’m so sorry, please get better Daryl, please, I’m so sorry …”

            Words failed him. The shock of what just happened, the real danger she now posed if he spoke out against her, frightened him into silence. Instead, he reached out and patted her hand, the irony that he comforted her after what she had done was not lost on him. But what else could he do?  

            She continued in a chastising tone. “It’s just … you sounded just like all the others before they’d leave me.”


            “When I was still alive. Before someone would leave, they’d belittle me, call me a child, and walk out the door. And I was helpless to stop them. And I’d be alone.”

            “Maxine …” He closed his eyes and counted slowly to five before he spoke. “What was that you just did to me?”

            “I don’t know, but isn’t it delicious?” As he watched, her expression changed from sympathy to the look of someone very pleased with herself. “These things keep happening. I think I’m getting more powerful, Daryl. By the hour. By the minute!”

            “Maxine, you need to control that … power, whatever it is.”

            “Oh, I’m okay now; I just sort of lost my head for a minute. But let’s find you something to eat.”

            The doorbell rang.

            Maxine glared at Daryl. “Who is it?”

            Daryl shrugged. “I have no idea, Maxine.” He rose from the chair. His legs wobbled, but held him. He took a first step forward, and was relieved to find he could still walk.

            “What are you doing?”

            “I’m answering the door.”

            “But you can’t! Then you’ll want to leave me again!”

            “I’m not going to––”

            “––Daryl Beasley you open this door this minute or I’m coming in after you!” A wave of guilt and shock at hearing Loretta’s angry bellow froze him mid-step. His mind went blank at the sound of her hurt and anger. “And I had better not find what I think I’m going to find!”

            “Her!” Maxine hissed.

            Daryl found his voice and called out. “Wait, Loretta, I’m coming, don’t …”  And he heard the telltale metal rattling of the doorknob as a key inserted into it. Oh...she's using her copy of the key!

            The door flew open, and Loretta stood in the doorway, murder in her eyes. 

            Somehow Daryl found the strength to step forward and lurch toward her. “Loretta, go now,” he pleaded.

            Loretta focused on Daryl, and her expression changed from anger to shock. “Oh, Daryl, my God, what happened to you?” She started toward him.

            Then she saw the other figure in the room, and all sympathy vanished from her face. 

            Loretta’s features reflected sadness personified. “Oh … I see. Oh, Daryl, you really are pathetic, aren’t you?”

            Daryl flailed his hands. “Loretta, it’s not what you think–”

            “–Did you sleep with her?”

            The blunt question stopped him. “Loretta, that’s … kind of beside the point right now …”

            “–Because if you are, I’d say it’s pretty much exactly what I think!”

About the Author

R. J. Sullivan resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. His first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller about punk girl loner Fiona "Blue" Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona's story, Virtual Blue, coming soon from Seventh Star Press.  R.J. is a member of the Indiana Horror Writers.

Connect with R.J.



Twitter: @RJSullivanAuthr

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, thanks for having me!