Saturday 12 September 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - The Wraith of Carter's Mill by C. Evenfall

The Wraith of Carter's Mill
Author: C. Evenfall
Genre: Paranormal / Suspense
Date Published: March 31, 2015

The Wraith of Carter’s Mill chronicles five generations of women from the turn of the century to present day. It depicts in startling detail the result of an old curse and the wraith that haunts the family. Sensitives, The Guardians and The Forgotten tell the tale while the fourth shocking segment, Carter’s Mill provides the back-story. It reveals the shameful truth behind a century of sorrow and the curse of revenge that plagues the Carter women.

Zeb, the Carter family patriarch, is a hard, callous man. He runs his thriving sawmill, farm and family with an iron fist. When he commits an incredible act of cruelty, he ignorantly brings a terrible curse down upon all his kin. Martha Thompsons’ prophecy proves true as the family falls into ruin, and the women pay the price.

Almost a century after Zeb’s death, a Carter daughter is born with notable yet uncanny gifts. It will be up to Shyanne to unearth a long buried family secret and set an old wrong back to rights. Will she find a way to lift the curse and banish the accursed wraith that haunts her? If she fails, she risks losing her own little girl to the dark entity forever.

A small North Carolina community, where everyone knows everyone sets the perfect stage for this suspenseful drama. Rich in history and southern culture, The Wraith of Carter’s Mill harkens back to a time when life was simpler, and superstition was part of everyday living.

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Chapter 1 - Summer 1955

Libby Carter made the long walk back from Mr. Johnny’s store as quickly as she could. Mama was waiting. She had been sent for a box of borax, and it was excruciatingly heavy to her reed-like, eight-year-old arms. The lingering sweetness of the Coca Cola that Mr. Johnny had given her still hovered faintly in her mouth. He had insisted that she take it, even though she had told him she did not have a nickel with which to pay for it. 

“It’s hot as blazes out there, girl. I know you’re thirsty,” he had said as he pulled the icy glass bottle from the drink box. “Sit out there on that bench in the shade a minute and cool off, and put the bottle in the drink crate when you’re done,” he had added as he patted her on the head. 

There had been three men sitting on high-backed wooden chairs in a cluster in the middle of the store. One of them picked lazily at a guitar while the other two eyed her as they whispered. Mr. Johnny noticed it too, but pretended he did not. He was always nice to her but acted nervous when she was in the store. 

Libby had obediently taken the proferred Coca Cola, thanked the storekeeper as she always did and went outside to sit on the bench. The windows and glass double doors were propped open in an effort to catch as much summer breeze as possible. Only the screens separated her from the conversation within. 

One of the men had said to Mr. Johnny, “Hey Johnny, you gone go up to the Carter place and collect a nickel’s worth later on?” One of the other men had laughed loudly while the third continued to pick at his guitar, ignoring the other as he tried to tune his instrument. Mr. Johnny responded in an urgent but hushed tone that did not hide his disdain for the jest, “You hush up, Jim. The girl will hear you.” The man called Jim just laughed all the harder.

Libby did not know what the comment meant, only that it made her feel bad. She knew it had something to do with Mama. Most folks around here did not like Mama much. 

Libby knew that Mama knew exactly how much time it took to walk to Mr. Johnny’s store and back. She had drunk the cold drink as fast as she could without taking the time to savor the rare treat. Now, halfway home, walking the dirt road in the blistering July sun, she wished she had enjoyed the Coke more. 

It was exactly two miles from her house to the little general store. Her twelve-year-old brother, Jack, had told her that once. When Libby had asked how he knew that, he had said that he had watched the odometer on the church bus one Sunday. Jack thought he knew everything. Libby did not know how far two miles actually was, but she sure knew that it was a long walk, especially in summer time. 

Libby shifted the five pound box of borax to her other arm and then propped it on her hip the way Mamas often carried their babies. For most, the sight of the long dark bend ahead would be a welcome sight, especially in this heat. Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss hung over the road, providing shade for a good stretch halfway home, but Libby always found it difficult to pass through that part. It was not the tales Jack told her of a forgotten graveyard buried deep in the woods along this section of the road that frightened her, but rather the feeling that she had when she passed through it. If asked to explain why she kept her eyes cast downward during this stretch, counting the steps of her bare feet, contemplating the red dirt that clung to her 
toes, she would have said that she did not want to see what was just behind the trees. If asked what was just behind the trees, she would have answered that she did not know, because she had not seen it. 

As Libby approached the darkest part, where the old oaks came together over the road, forming a canopy that completely blocked the sun, she picked up her pace. She shifted the heavy box to her front and wrapped both arms tightly around it; and, with her eyes still on the road, she started to run. Libby tried to focus on the swishing sound of the powder as it jostled about inside the box and the slapping noise her feet made on the hard-packed red clay; however, in spite of her attempts to block it out, the frightening clacking sound that came from just behind the trees was louder than usual. 

Libby started to sing Jesus Loves Me as she often did to drown out the noise, but this time it got louder. Eyes still on the road and the tops of her feet, she opened them as wide as she could, trying to keep the tears from forming. If she could make it a little further, she would be away from it and would be home in just minutes.

Bright summer sunlight illuminated the road ahead, indicating that she was almost home free, and she slowed her pace. The clacking sound was loud, but it was behind her now; she had made it one more time. Ten steps from the sunshine, the clacking stopped, and the pounding in Libby’s ears slowed and grew more distant. Five steps from the sunshine, she stopped dead. 

The tiny black figure, half Libby’s height, appeared directly in front of her, inches from her toes. It was like a shadow in that there was no definition, just mass, but it was darker even than the darkest of shadows, darker than night sky. What looked to be two arms hung off from it in a clumsy fashion, the ends of which appeared to drag the ground. Its legs, or what Libby would have discerned to be legs, were two short stumpy masses that supported the small frame. It stood in her path, still and unmoving, as if it merely intended to block her direct passage.

Libby froze. A voice in her mind commanded that she run―run fast―but she was neither able to run nor pull her eyes from the being before her. She struggled to scream, but no sound would come. The chirping birds from moments before were silent, and it seemed as if the busy squirrels that had been running back and forth among the trees had suddenly stopped as well. The only sound Libby could hear was the pounding of her own tiny heart; the only sensation she could feel was hot water running down her legs, puddling at her feet. Mouth open in a silent scream and eyes wide in disbelief and horror, she watched it helplessly with absolutely no comprehension of what it was or why it was there. She had no thoughts, no words. The box of borax slipped from her arms unnoticed and landed on her toes, unfelt. 

As she stared, unblinking and frozen, the little black figure moved in a quick, jerky motion. The top of it seemed to fall backwards, and two eyes and a mouth appeared. The eyes were large and staring, as big as Libby’s little fist, black as onyx and twice as shiny with only the slightest hint of white along their rims. The mouth was a large gaping hole that took up half of what seemed to be a face. It looked like a massive, gaping sore. Filthy pus-looking mucus roped from one side of the opening to the other. Hot air, hotter than the day, escaped the ugly cavern and drifted in huffs against Libby’s face. The foul stench was worse than the pigpen or the dead cat she had found the summer before. Despite her paralysis, Libby’s stomach lurched, and an acidic liquid, lightly flavored with Coca Cola, filled her throat. 

The thing leaned forward slightly, mouth still gaping, stinking hot air still coming out of it. The mouth moved, and two rows of what seemed to be yellowish-brown teeth [...] 

About the Author
C. Evenfall grew up on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. In many ways, her community was isolated from the outside world, and time simply stood still. The old ways of “doing things” surrounded her, and she was both fascinated by the rich history and influenced by it.

As with any such place, the area was rich with ghost lore and old tales of “people done wrong.” C. Evenfall, a child seen and not heard, hovered as close as she dared, listening to the old stories when the adults got together talking about old times. She also spent many nights with the sheet pulled over her head in childish fright.

A paranormal encounter when she was just six years old, experienced by two other people at the same time, convinced her that ghosts really did exist.  C. Evenfall has been seeking answers ever since. Her fascination with the unexplainable, coupled with her love of history and southern culture and the role women play in both, have inspired her to write The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, a series of novellas. Each inspired by tales from her childhood and the family members who passed them down.

Life has taken her many places, but today, C. Evenfall resides with her husband in the same fishing village where she grew up. Together they enjoy hiking, camping, gardening and the outdoors in general. She forgives his skeptics’ dismissal of things that go bump in the night and loves him dearly in spite of it. They complement one another perfectly.

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  1. reading about a family thats curse and how she tries to get the curse removed.nice cover

  2. The whole idea of curses intrigues me.

  3. I LOVE that cover, in fact, everything about the book sounds great to me.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. The excerpt! Sounds really good

  5. The family curse