Archive for December, 2009

My First WordPress Blog

December 17, 2009

It’s finally out! The first book “The Battle of Armageddon” in my romantic suspense/horror series “With Black and White Comes the Grey” is finally out.

A lot of sweat, blood, and brain matter were sacrificed in the process. The sweat and blood, I can regenerate, but not the brain matter. I think my brain has shrunk and the synapses expanded to fill up the wide cavity of my head. There’s also a rattling and humming clamor every time I turn my head sideways, which is quite distracting. :) But the sacrifice was worth it.

And with the release of my novel comes the creation of a new blog. This one will have my eccentric ramblings at times, but I really don’t like writing about myself. The words in my head are a nuisance and to pay attention to them day in and day out is cumbersome, so I’d rather hear what other talented authors and artists have to say. Therefore, I’ll be having guest bloggers from time to time to entertain readers and especially me.

But for today, you’ll have to bear with reading my ramblings instead…

Obviously, it’ll be a plug for my novel’s release. :)

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A boy searching for absolution finds terror and torment…

Driven by guilt of his father’s death and fear of his newfound visionary abilities, Jonathan runs away from home only to befriend pure evil.

A mother haunted by dreams avenges her son’s death…

When nightmares of Miriam James’ missing son’s death invade her sleep, she decides to go with her deceased husband’s friend in search of her son’s murderer.

A man driven by love sacrifices everything…

Alex Thompson has loved Miriam for so long, but she was never his to take. When her husband suddenly dies and she becomes available, he struggles with his conscience to honor his friend’s memory while he helps her in her quest.

A demon seeks to destroy his formidable enemy…

With an army of visionaries at his side and his supernatural powers, Nathan searches for his enemy and the secret to destroying The Chosen One.

They all meet in THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

Review snippets:

“This story is character and plot driven with plenty of atmosphere and dark tones to aid in those chills as they run down your spine….” — Midwest Book Review

“…Ms. Lagana is a masterful storyteller that will tear the reader’s heart out and deliver it on a silver platter! All this reviewer can say is don’t read it in the dark!” – 5 Hearts, Love Romances

“…When the battle of Armageddon begins you will be shocked at the climatic conclusion. This book was impossible to put down. ” – 5 Cups, Coffee Time Romance

First Excerpt:

A blistering wind howled outside Father Flannigan’s bedroom window. Its bellowing force made the windowpane shake, and its rattling sound echoed with such loudness through the unlit room that it could have awakened the dead.

But its boisterous clatter fell silent to the battle raging in the seventy-year-old priest’s head. He had a heavy weight upon his shoulders, so burdening, if he were ever to unload it, the order of good and evil on earth would become imbalanced.

As he sat there oblivious to the turmoil echoing about him, he tapped his fingers on his antique desk and tried to read his Braille Bible. His rosary was beside him, still damp from the frothing of his sweaty hands. The ticking of the seconds on the grandfather clock in the corner of the rectangular room made the knot in his stomach tighter. Having touched his special pocket watch just a minute ago, he knew it was nine thirty at night.

While he slouched in his chair and tried desperately to find refuge in the holiest of books, he heard a knock. “Come in.”

The door creaked open and a fifty-seven-year-old Italian nun drawled in a light accent, “Father Flannigan, may I come in?”

“Of course, Sister Alda. Please, come sit down.” He pointed to the prearranged chair on the other side of his desk. Each piece of furniture was strategically positioned in his room, so he knew where everything was and could walk around freely.

That was something he clung to even at his old age – his need for independence and stability. Each and every thing or person in his life had a place and purpose, whether it was in his room or anywhere else. And tonight, his yearning for order above all else drove him to worry. The answer from one very important person could change his stable and independent life into one of complete turmoil and abandonment, and Sister Alda was the messenger of that answer.

She stood in the doorway for a moment. Father Flannigan could sense her uneasiness and hesitation. Did it mean the message she would deliver was bad? Sweet God of Mercy, he hoped not for everyone’s sake. “Come in. Now. Sister, don’t leave me hanging here, please.”

“Yes, Father. Sorry.” She closed the door and sat down in silence. She fidgeted with something, making a clinking sound. He surmised it was her necklace. Then she cleared her throat twice, as if she were trying to muster her words.

Father Flannigan waited for a few seconds, but when his patience wore thin, he started, “Well, Sister … did you place the call?”

“Yes, Father, I did.”

He drew in a deep breath to steady his nerves. The sister had to pick this night to be tongue-tied? “Well, go on…. Will she be coming?”

“Yes, she will. She said she would be here tomorrow morning.”

Sighing with relief, he leaned back in his chair. “Good. The sooner the child is baptized, the better. I will call Archbishop O’Malley tonight and tell him the boy will be baptized tomorrow.”

Sister Alda cleared her throat once more. “Um-um.”

Having known the sister for over twenty years, Father Flannigan knew that ‘um-um’ meant something was on her mind. Sister Alda was never one to shy away from speaking her mind. She always made her opinion known regardless if one asked for it or not. In directness, he asked, “What is it, Sister Alda?”

She procrastinated for a second, as if wondering if she should ask her question, but his finger tapping in impatience on his desk pulled her out of limbo. She whispered apparently in fear that her words would be heard by someone other than him, “Do you think ‘He’ knows about the boy?”

In continuum with her whispered words, Father Flannigan murmured, “No, I don’t think so. ‘He’ hasn’t found out about her yet. So I’m assuming the boy is still safe.”

Sister Alda took a deep breath.

Sensing her continued anxiety, Father Flannigan asked, “Now what is it, Sister?”

Another moment of silence elapsed while she seemed to be contemplating something. Then in a quickened voice, she uttered, “Father, I think we should tell her who she is, now. She has a child to protect.”

Had the good sister lost all sense of God’s purpose? Father Flannigan violently shook his head and shouted, “No! She must not know now! Only God knows when the time is right. He is the one who decided when to give her powers and when to take them away. No, Sister Alda, her fate is in His hands, not ours.”

Obviously forgetting the fear her words might escape the room and be heard by someone else, she shouted, “But she needs to know who she is and that ‘He’ is looking for her. And now that she has a son, ‘He’ might come after him, too.”

“No, Sister, that will be going against God’s wishes! You know that better than anyone else. By telling her, we could be jeopardizing everything. No, we must never tell her. Mankind’s safety depends on it!”

She cleared her throat and inhaled deep, apparently feeling the potency of his words and his wisdom. “Yes, Father, you’re right. God will know when the time is right.”

Father Flannigan sighed in relief. “Yes, that is how it has to be. Now, if you don’t mind leaving, Sister, I want to make the phone call to the Archbishop before it gets too late.” He picked up the phone on his desk.

Sister Alda got up and walked toward the door. “Of course, Father, good night.”

Before she shut the door, he asked, “What is the boy’s name?”

“She said his name is Jonathan.”

“Well then, Sister Alda, pray for Jonathan’s safety—pray for hers, and ours as well. Pray like you never have before. That is all we can do.”

“Yes, Father, I will,” she uttered as she closed the door.

While Father Flannigan waited on the phone, he whispered, “And may God help us all.”

Second Excerpt:

Just when his mother was drifting off to sleep, Jonathan entered REM sleep. His eyes moved quickly back and forth under his closed eyelids. A nightmare began to ferment in his mind.

He dreamt of the cemetery. This time, Alex, his mother, and the crowd weren’t around. Much to his dislike, he was there alone with the enigmatic stranger, the Merlin look-alike, facing him.

Jonathan looked at him and asked, “Who are you?”

“A friend.” The bona fide magician smiled.

Perplexed, he asked, “You are a friend of my dad’s?”

The stranger shook his head. “No, I’m not.” He started to move toward him as he spoke. It seemed to Jonathan that he glided through the air rather than walked on the ground.

“Then you’re a friend of my mother’s?” Jonathan asked with apprehension at the stranger’s progress.

The old man shook his head once more and continued to float toward him. He responded, “No, I’m your friend.”

Jonathan felt bewildered. “I don’t know you.”

The strange-looking man was only a few inches away from Jonathan’s face when he said, “Soon I will be.”

The boy jumped back at the invasion of his space and at the spooky answer. “I don’t understand. How can that be?”

“Never you mind, boy. Never you mind.” He placed his hand on his ear. “Listen, do you hear it?”

Jonathan stood silent. He began to hear the haunting, tapping sound. “Where is it coming from?” he inquired.

The stranger pointed to a grave. “From there.”

Jonathan turned to see it. No grass grew on this grave. Nor did it display a tombstone depicting who its occupant was. Thousands of earthworms slithered on top of the moist soil, each as if trying to dominate its territory.

Jonathan placed his hands over his ears, attempting to halt the tapping noise’s infiltration into his mind. He closed his eyes to ignore the man and the grave, and shouted, “No, it can’t be! You’re wrong.”

The shrilling sound continued as the stranger stated, “You’ll never know if you don’t look for yourself. Go on. Check who it is that’s in there.”

Jonathan opened his eyes to gaze upon the stranger. But what he saw was horrendous. The stranger had turned into a rotting carcass. The worms that wiggled on the grave earlier were now transported to the dead corpse. The man’s eyes, nose, and mouth had been replaced by black cavities. Worms slithered into these abysses of nothingness, into the deep crypts of hell.

He shut his eyes again, unable to endure the vileness and decay. With his eyes closed, he had escaped the physical ugliness before him. But his other senses became vulnerable to attacks.

An unsettling rumbling sound began to tremble in his ears. It sent sharp, sporadic pain to his brain. A nauseating smell of rot seeped into his nostrils. Its potency was so acute, the membrane in his nose began to sear.

His sense of touch was the final sense to come under assault. A howling and bone-chilling wind suddenly blew, forcing him to quiver with coldness. His heart beat uncontrollably with the mounting stress.

Jonathan finally opened his eyes, unable to withstand the torture. To his surprise, everything instantly stopped – no howling wind, no disgusting smell, no earth-shattering rumble, and no rotting Merlin. He took a deep, much-needed breath of fresh air.

The silence and tranquility that blessed him was short lived. Within minutes, a trace of a whisper caressed his ear. At first, the words and the voice were undecipherable, but soon he realized the voice was his father’s.

It said, “Jonathan, it’s me. Please help me, son.”

Tears of longing trickled down his cheeks. He spoke to the allusive voice. “Where are you, Father? I miss you so much.”

The ominous voice responded, “I miss you, too. But soon we will be together.”

Jonathan was perplexed. “How can that be, Father? You’re dead.”

In sharpness, the voice replied, “No, I’m not! I’m alive! I need your help.”

Jonathan smiled at the news he had just heard. Those words just spoken were the words he hoped and prayed he would hear. “You’re alive? I’ll do anything, Father. Tell me what to do.”

“I’m buried in this grave before you. Free me and we will be together forever.”

Without a moment of pause, Jonathan fell to his knees and began to dig with his bare hands.

As he clawed at the damp soil, it began to liquefy. Soon it became a huge puddle of murky, pungent-smelling water. The buried coffin floated to its surface.

He shouted, “Are you in there, Daddy?”

“Yes, son, please get me out,” came a muffled voice from inside.

Jonathan jumped onto the buoyant casket and opened its lid with complacency.

Pitch darkness enveloped the interior of the coffin. He was unable to see if his father were really inside of it, or if it lay empty.

Jonathan asked, “Father, are you in there?”

He waited for what seemed like an eternity.

Shockingly, his father didn’t appear, but what did come forth was something frightening and evil: a creature of unimaginable hideousness that no word could describe.

It lunged toward his chest with its claw-like hand. It bore through his ribcage, until it got to his soul. Then it ripped it out with ease and devoured it in one gulp.

As Jonathan’s lifeline began to expire, the beast said in elation, “GOT YOU!”

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