“How do you like your first off-roading adventure, Cassie?” Denise asked with the harsh laugh of a smoker while shifting her plump hips between her boyfriend James and her sister Mary.
“It’s great,” Cassie said without enthusiasm and with a whole truckload of sarcasm. The vehicle ran over a monstrous rut, and her head knocked against the window. She sucked in air through her teeth. Checking for a bump, she glanced over to Mary. Although three years younger and still in high school, Mary was Cassie’s best friend and confidante. Cassie had missed her most since she moved to Missouri for college. She leaned close to Mary’s ear. “I think we should’ve stayed and watched a different movie.”
“Me too,” Mary whispered back.
James slammed on the brakes, and the truck fishtailed to a stop.
Cassie pressed her hand against the glove compartment. Dashboard lights illuminated Mary’s grimace and her white knuckles from clutching the seat belt so hard.
“What’s out there?” Cassie peered ahead.
Title: Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection
Author: Cherie Reich
Genre: Paranormal Horror/Thriller
Release Date: April 16, 2015
Cover Art: Amygdala Design
Book Description: A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.
Disappearances every ten or so years make little impact on the small town of New Haven, Virginia. Hikers get lost. Hunters lose the trail. Even when a body is discovered, the inhabitants’ memories last about as long as the newspaper articles.
No one connects the cases. No one notices the disappearances go back beyond Civil War times. No one believes a legendary monster roams the forests in Southwestern Virginia.
I don’t either until the truck breaks down on an old mountain trail. Cell phones won’t work in this neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much a person can see by starlight alone. So what if we can’t feel our fingers or toes as we hike toward the main road. How many more miles left to go?
Hear that noise?
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About the Author: Cherie Reich has more books than she can ever read and more ideas than she can ever write, but that doesn't stop this bookworm from trying, even if it means trying to curb her TV addiction. She is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the paranormal horror collection Once upon a Nightmare and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club, Valley Writers, and Untethered Realms. For more information about her and her work, please visit her website and blog.