October Movie Recommendations 2017 Edition

Each year, my dear friend Ashley and I watch scary movies together.

All. year. round. 

October is a special month because we get to cozy up on the days and nights counting down to Halloween with some of our favourites and try some new ones as well.

We've made it a point for the past couple of years to put out a recommendation infographic, giving my readers and those we know ideas for their own October movie nights.

This year, we rounded them up into categories. We hope you enjoy, let us know if you try any, and have a spooktacular October!

-Emerald and Ashley

In order beginning top left: IT, Hocus Pocus, Disturbia, The Cabin in the Woods, Halloween, Silence of the Lambs, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rear Window, What Lies Beneath, Oculous, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, Unfriended, Get Out, Flatliners, House of Wax, Chernobyl Diaries, Sinister, The Strangers, As Above, So Below, Grave Encounters.

A special preview of Midnight Motel

A special preview of the first chapter of Emerald's upcoming YA Fantasy release, Midnight Motel, Book 1 in The Anna Kelleher Chronicles.

Chapter 1

Anna Kelleher arrived at The Golden Leaf Motel as dusk approached, desperate to keep the promise she made to the person she had loved most.

It hadn’t been her intention to confront her mother’s side of the family so soon after the funeral service, but as she drove through the day into night, Anna knew if she’d waited any longer, she wouldn’t do it at all.

The service had been held exactly one week after her grandma Martie passed away of cancer. Her friends, Pete and Cassie, met her in front of the funeral home and their condolences had barely sunk in before her dad pulled into the lot.

After the service, her dad gave her a short hug and shuffled off without saying a word before they left the funeral home for the cemetery. It had been months since she’d spoken to him, and almost a year since they’d come face to face. He’d always taken pride in travelling for work, and if she’d had to hear him brag about pharmaceutical sales while his own mom attended chemotherapy and radiation, she’d have lost it on him.

Anna spent most of the time after he arrived focused on avoiding any awkward encounters with him. He and the rest of her paternal side came to pay their respects to the glue that held their family together, but Anna doubted her maternal side had even heard of the passing.

After driving in the funeral procession to the cemetery in a daze, she’d forgotten how she even got there. She mourned the loss of the best friend she’d ever had, and as she stood over her grave, her deflated body barely held itself up.

With the financial help from her dad, and some support from her uncle and a personal support worker, she’d cared for her grandma at home until the very end, save for the hospital visits. Just how her grandma had wanted it to be, and that was the reason she never confronted her absentee father or the rest of the family about the lack of their presence after her diagnosis.

We’ve got each other, Anna.

After the service, she thanked her friends for coming and accepted a rare hug from Pete before striding off to her car without a word to the rest of her family. Tears poured from her eyes, soaking into the neckline of the jade dress her grandma had made for her, turning it an emerald green. She choked on her saliva as she gasped, not for breath, but for answers.

Why?

Why did it have to be her? The kindest person Anna had ever known. The only person Anna had ever felt truly loved by.

Unconditionally.

Why couldn’t she have gone peacefully in her sleep? Why had such a terrible disease that first took her hair, then her appetite, and eventually her ability to breathe been the way she left this world?

Anna wiped under her eyes, smearing mascara along her fingers. She swept her long dark curls over her shoulder, leaning back against her seat as the cool air hit her neck—soothing her.

She couldn’t go back home where she’d lived with her grandma for almost a decade.

Her grandma’s things still had to be sorted and divided between the family, and the lease on her apartment would be up by the end of the month, but Anna couldn’t think about any of it.

Her grandma’s pictures displayed at the funeral had been too painful to look at. They mocked her as she walked by them, trying to focus on anything else but her grandma’s thin-lipped smile that greeted her every morning over the past ten years. The twinkle she’d get in her eyes when she was pleased with Anna, or excited about something. The pictures were just a reminder that they were the only way she’d see her face again, and she couldn’t go home to them.

To the smell of fresh lavender laundry detergent Anna got a whiff of every time she hugged her goodbye before school. To the ironing board all set-up beside the pile of their clean clothes. To the left-overs in the fridge from the fantastic meal the night before that she’d never have made for her again.

She grabbed her locket tight in her fist and let the tears keep falling.

I love you, Grandma.

As she sniffled, she turned the key in the ignition, but before she put the car in drive, she rested her hands on the wheel.

It’s time to make good on that promise.

She let go of the locket, and instead of turning right, she made a left out of the cemetery.

Anna had packed a small beach bag before she left, intent on staying at her best friend Cassie’s place, or even sleeping in her car. Anything to avoid facing the memories that made her chest ache.

She drove as fond memories swirled in her head, of Sundays with her grandma at her friend’s nursing home. Of reading to the group, and stealing a glance at her grandma’s face every so often, pride written all over it.

Deep wrinkles all over it, too. Ones she seemed embarrassed of, covering her cheeks with her hands when she laughed too hard. Most days, Anna would take her hand in hers and remind her how beautiful she was. That those lines were from a life well-lived and that she could only hope to have as many when she was her age. Her grandma would shoo her hand away and roll her eyes, but a small smile remained on her lips in the seconds after those special moments.

Painful memories came, too, and Anna tried to keep them at bay as best she could. Her grandma made her promise not to think of those times towards the end. To think of only the good, but she couldn’t help it.

Countless times, she’d thought about turning around, but something pulled her to the motel. Or pushed her. She couldn’t be sure, but it felt like something more than a promise. It was instinctual.

By the time she reached Maple View, the big orange sun had sunk in the sky, and she knew it wasn’t an accident that she’d ended up in the small town she spent her early childhood in. She passed the large shiny boulder on the side of the road. As a child, she knew it meant she was almost home.

As she pulled into the entrance of the deserted L-shaped parking lot, her heart beat louder in her chest.

The Golden Leaf Motel.

The last place she had to turn to.

And she wouldn’t have tried if it weren’t for her grandma.

On her deathbed, she made her a promise.

To let love in.

She’d whispered the simple words, knowing Anna would understand. They rarely spoke about her mother’s side. Her grandma rarely spoke a bad word about anyone, even her son, Anna’s father, who’d rather travel for business than spend time with his own daughter. Her grandma nodded and held her after every time Anna visited her mom, having given her chance after chance to prove she was a priority in her life, and being disappointed each time.

“There, there,” she’d whisper.

Acknowledging Anna’s hurt. Holding her tight even at the beginning when Anna was first dropped off on her doorstep. When her mom said she couldn’t do it anymore and finally meant it. It had been years since her mother held her the way her grandma did, and she’d struggled to pull away at first.

But her grandma broke down her wall piece by piece.

She became her only soft place to fall in the years that followed. Safe from the harsh reality of Anna’s life before she came to stay with her.

And all she wanted, lying on her death bed, was for Anna to give it one more try.

As she squeezed her grandma’s hand, she promised her, hoping in her heart that there was a chance to make good on it.

But her grandma didn’t know all the details. She didn’t know her mom well at all. She seemed to understand why Anna’s mom brought her to stay, or at the very least, she wasn’t angry at Constance for it. She couldn’t know what Anna had been through, though. The anger and hurt, and then the fear that her mom had left her for good that day.

The day she made the decision to trust herself and only herself from then on in.

Her grandma had squeezed her hand back, satisfied with her promise.

By then, she’d made an exception to her rule—only for her grandma—trusting her implicitly. Owing her every bit of happiness she’d had in her life since living with her.

And Anna knew she had to at least try.

She pulled her visor down, and studied her face, wiping the streaks of mascara and liner from her big doe eyes.

Blue today.

She flipped her long dark curls in front of her shoulders and adjusted her black blazer over her dress before flipping the visor back up. She grabbed her purse and hung it over her shoulder as she stepped out of her old car and slammed the door shut. The gravel on the lot crunched under her black ankle boots as she strode toward the office on the far-left side of the building.

The brick building stood just one story tall in the shape of an L. The right side led toward the back at the bottom of the L. At the far left, the office was located at the top of the L. Loose shingles hung from the edges of the roof. Each white door had black faded numbers above the peep holes, and drab dark gray curtains covered each window.

The unlit white sign overhead with the motel’s name in gold towered over her and the whole building stood in darkness.

Anna slowed down as she approached, convinced the place had shut down. She’d never have known if it had. She hadn’t spoken to her mom in years, and the last she’d seen of her uncle, she still attended elementary school.

The sun had sank below the horizon, leaving trails of orange streaked across the royal blue sky. A lump formed in her throat and she swallowed hard before she reached the office door. She twisted the knob and pulled without any movement.

She took her cell phone out of her pocket and scrolled through to her mom’s number.

What would she say?

Grandma passed away.

I came to see you.

She wasn’t sure which of the two lines she dreaded uttering more.

Someone should be here.

Anna slipped her phone back in her purse and wiped her clammy hands against her dress, walking onto the lot again.

Has everyone left me?

The chirping of crickets from the back field answered her before she turned back toward her car, and a man leaning against a shovel stood on the lot a few feet away, gripping the handle with his gloves.

She took a step back and glanced around them. The Golden Leaf Motel sign buzzed behind him, the light flickering on and off, casting a stark shadow over him. She couldn’t see him well, but he wore work boots and a hooded sweater. Taller than her with a solid frame. She took another step back.

“Can I help you?” He asked in a raspy voice.

“I’m looking for Cal.” She readjusted her purse over her shoulder and raised her voice. “Calloway Thorpe. Who are you?”

He walked toward her, and as he closed the distance between them, she could make out his facial features. He smiled and stared at her from just beneath his brow, stopping just short of her.

She straightened her posture and pursed her lips.

“He should be in there.” He gestured toward the office, not taking his eyes off her for long. “How do you know Cal?”

He looked a little older than Anna, with short dirty blonde hair, some of it held in part of a style, while other pieces fell in front of his face. It must have been weeks since he’d shaved, and his scruffy beard matched his hair colour.

Anna turned around and walked toward the office door again. She knocked on the glass three times and turned back toward the attractive man still standing a few feet away.

When she’d decided he was attractive, she didn’t know, but she kept her unfazed façade in place as she avoided eye contact with him.

“He might be passed out,” he said, grinning, “and if he is, there’s no way you’ll wake him up by knocking.”

Anna shrugged before turning back to the door and knocking harder.

“I have the key.”

Metal jingled behind her and she looked over her shoulder. He held a large ring of keys up in front of him.

Anna batted her lashes a few times and smiled.

Maybe you’re more helpful than I thought.

“Could you open the door for me, please?”

He tossed the key chain in the air just above his head and caught it again.

“Depends. Will you tell me your name?”

She took a soft strand of her hair and twisted it around her finger, shifting her weight onto one foot while supporting herself on the toes of the other.

“Martie.”

Her grandma’s name slipped out and she let go of her hair, the smile slipping from her lips.

She hadn’t said her grandma’s name in so long, and she surprised herself with the alias she chose to give him.

“And how do you know Cal?” He stood up tall and stabbed the shovel in the gravel in front of him, letting it go.

“I told you my name,” she laughed. “It’s getting cold out here. Could you please just let me in?”

“You’re not his girlfriend,” he said. “Cal doesn’t have a girlfriend. You’re too young to be his girlfriend, anyway.”

“Not his girlfriend.” She shook her head, letting her curls sway from side to side.

“And you’re not here to book a room.” He walked up to the building and leaned against it.

“Maybe I am.” She squinted at him, pursing her lips, growing tired of his guessing game. “But you won’t know until you open the door for me.”

He shrugged and walked around her, over to the office door. “I’m just wondering why you’re here. Not many people stay here anymore. You don’t look like a debt collector.”

She released a soft sigh and stared up at the night sky, waiting.

He took his glove off, slipped the key into the door and twisted it. She put her hand on top of his, feeling the back of his rough warm hand against her cold skin, and he looked up at her, his eyes wide open.

Time to lose him.

“You’re very kind,” she said in a soft voice, as her other hand reached for the glove under his arm. “I appreciate your help…”

“Lock.”

As she got ready to tug his glove loose, letting it fall to the floor as a distraction, she stopped.

“Lock?”

“Short for Lachlan,” he said, and she tilted her head to the side. “But nobody calls me that anymore. It’s just Lock.”

Goodbye, Lock.

She tugged the glove, and with a flick of the wrist, it fell to the concrete ground beside them.

“Oops,” she said softly, and started to reach down for it.

“I’ve got it,” he said, “no worries.”

That was her cue.

As soon as he bent down, she yanked the door open at the same time taking the key out with her, and pulled it shut, all before he stood up straight again.

As he reached for the door, she locked it, laughing to herself at the irony.

He shoved his hands into his pockets and nodded once at her, raising his brow.

Anna bit back a smile.

“Well played, Martie.” He grinned.

At least he gives respect where it’s due.

She saw something black out of the corner of her eye, and turned around as the black thing lunged at her from the desk.

She stumbled back against the door.

“Meow,” it cried at her feet.

She let out a sigh, ignoring the faint sound of Lock laughing behind her, as she bent down and guided her palm over the soft fur beneath her fingers.

“Pokey?” she whispered.

The cat she’d named herself as a child purred as she stroked his head.

The light turned on in the office, revealing the reflection of a tall man in the glass window, standing in the alcove to her right. He wasn’t as skinny as she remembered, but just as tall, with a thick head of dark brown hair.

“Uncle Cal,” she said, before turning around.

He shuffled towards her, his hair a mess, and his wrinkled button down shirt half tucked into his pants. His already small eyes squinted at her until she could barely see them.

“Anna.” His deep voice boomed down to her.

Was it anger in his tone?

He rolled up his sleeves, and ran his fingers through his hair as he looked past her out the window.

“Anna?” Lock’s muffled voice asked from behind the glass door. “Who’s Anna?”

Anna stood and Cal grabbed the keys from her hand—dark circles under his eyes. He twisted the key in the hole and opened the door.

“That’ll be all, Lock,” Cal barked.

He tossed him the keys and Lock caught them against his chest.

Lock raised his hand and waved goodbye to Anna while he grabbed his shovel and Cal twisted the lock on the door again.

He stumbled to the front desk, opening a drawer.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, without looking up.

Whoa, what did I do to deserve the warm welcome?

“No hello?” She muttered under her breath, but he ignored her, grabbing a plastic bottle and shaking it.

Unsatisfied with the lack of noise, he threw it over his shoulder, going straight for the next drawer. He rummaged through it and she guessed what he was looking for. She’d seen the same look in her mom’s eyes when she realized she was out of her prescription for Xanax.

Pills or alcohol?

He turned his back to her and scoured the mantel above the fireplace behind the desk. He opened a tin can and took a small bottle of whiskey with a gold label out of it. He turned around, thumped it down against the desk, and looked up at her.

“Why are you here, Anna?”

The words stung. She opened her mouth to say she already regretted it, but closed it again.

Stay calm. Now’s not the time for sarcasm.

Pokey rubbed himself against her ankles as Cal took a swig from the bottle and screwed the cap back on, shaking his head.

Was she such an inconvenience? Was she interrupting something besides his buzz?

She rested her hand on her hip, ready to lay it on him. To make him regret being so rude.

“My grandma passed away a week ago.” Her lower lip quivered as she spoke, and she pressed her lips together to make it stop.

His chest heaved up and down as a sigh escaped his lips and looked down at the desk before looking back up at her. He’d never spent any time with her grandma that she knew of, and he may not have been able to pick her out in a crowd, but he knew Anna had lived with her.

She blinked several times to keep her tears at bay.

Pokey’s weight against her body soothed her.

“I’m sorry, but that still doesn’t explain why you’re here.” He unscrewed the bottle, and took another swing.

Wow. That was it?

No sympathy. Not a care in the world from the only man she’d ever been close to.

Her chest ached as he slammed the bottle down and her shoulders jerked up.

It’s the alcohol. It has to be. He doesn’t know what he’s saying.

“I thought maybe I could stay here for a while.” Her voice shook. “Maybe I could get a room and we could talk in the morning?”

He rubbed his eyes with his palms and looked back at her. 

“No.”

Even if she’d picture a hundred scenarios ahead of time, she’d never have thought reconnecting with her uncle could go this poorly.

He couldn’t mean that.

He took another drink and leaned over the desk, steadying himself with both hands.

As if daring her to say anything back.

Dare accepted.

She stared into his bloodshot eyes.

“You never used to be this much of an asshole,” she sneered.

He raised his brow and shook his head, standing up straight. As he turned back to the mantel he lost his footing, and reached out, grabbing it for support.

He hadn’t been egging her on as he leaned on the desk, but rather using it as a support.

He could barely stand. He swayed from side to side as he turned over his shoulder.

“You didn’t always have such a slart mouth, either,” he slurred, grabbing the bottle. “I guess you got that from your mother.”

She clenched her jaw, hating the fact he’d compared her to the woman who’d given her up. Who’d decided to quit being a parent, but still wanted to retain control over her life.

“I’m nothing like her.”

He let out a low laugh and took another swig of the amber liquid.

“You know I have to tell her you came,” he said, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt.

“I came to see her, too,” she said, although after the comparison, she felt like doing anything but.

He scoffed and screwed the lid on the bottle. “She’s busy. You can’t see her.”

“She’s always busy.” Anna rolled her eyes. “But she doesn’t know about my grandma.”

“What can she do ‘bout it?” He pointed the bottle at her, closing one eye and staring at her with the other, like staring down the barrel of a gun. “Why are you here?”

“I told you—“ she said, about to work up the courage to let him know that she could use the time away. But she stopped herself.

What she needed was some support.

She couldn’t bare to open herself up to whatever insult he’d sling back at her.

He shook his head and stumbled out from behind the desk toward the alcove that led to the hallway.

“You’re not tellin’ me why, so if you don’t mind, lock up on your way out.” He reached his hand out to turn the light off.

“I need money,” she said, and he stopped with his back to her. “I need a job to save some money up. I was hoping I could work here.”

He looked over his shoulder. “Even if I said yes, it’s not like it’s—it’s your mom’s decision.”

“Why?” she asked. “It’s your motel.”

He staggered out of the room through the alcove that led to the rest of the motel, and she followed him, turning the light off after her.

“Nothing’s mine.” He sighed, and turned left into the door to his place directly on the other side of the office.

“Can I stay until she comes?” Anna called to him. “Until you talk to her?”

“Do whatever you want, Anna. You always do.”

Anna walked through the alcove, onto the dull burgundy carpet, and turned right, staring down the long hallway. The walls that once glowed a champagne colour looked like they’d been stained in cigarette smoke instead. She recognized the scent of cigar smoke, coffee, and burnt popcorn.

Comforting smells.

She turned back to her uncle’s door that had been closed. Only a small beam of light shone from its cracks and a clattering came from inside.

“Alright in there?” she called.

A muffled groan made her open the door all the way, revealing Cal sprawled out on his corduroy couch, one arm behind his head, and the other dangling off completely.

With his eyes closed, he rubbed his lips together and released a deep sigh.

“Uncle Cal?”

He raised his arm and dropped it again, turning over on the couch.

Shoes still on his feet.

The ashtray on the end table beside him had been knocked over, dumping ashes and two cigars onto the carpet. She went to the sink filled with dirty dishes and wet a piece of paper towel. Back at the spot, she got down on her knees, wiping up the ashes as he began to snore.

After throwing the paper towel in the overflowing garbage, she looked around his place.

Clothes on the floor and hanging over her uncle’s prized telescope. The wooden table that had black and white squares painted on the top where he’d taught her how to play chess no longer had the pieces on it. His bed was unmade and she couldn’t bring herself to look in the washroom.

An uneasy feeling washed over her. To her memory, Cal had kept his place spotless. He’d taken pride in his things. Everything always seemed organized.

Controlled.

It was nothing like the place she’d known.

He was nothing like how he used to be.

Something was wrong, and with all the time between her last visit, she couldn’t begin to piece it together.

Anna went to the end of the couch, grabbed his shoes, and heaved until each one slipped off. He continued snoring through it all, and after taking a blanket from his bed and covering him with it, she turned off the light.

If she wasn’t mistaken, Cal used to tuck her in at night after reading to her. Something she hadn’t thought about until her hand rested on the cold metal door knob and she looked back at him as he must have with her countless times.

 “Night, Uncle Cal,” she whispered with tears in her eyes, and shut his door firmly behind her.

What she once called home was no more, and as she wiped her eyes with her fingers, she wondered if she’d made a mistake coming back. She went back to the front desk, taking her time. Under the top shelf, she grabbed a random key and ambled back to her car to get her things.

When she got back to the motel, she checked the number on her key.

Eight.

As she passed under the alcove, Pokey sat in the middle of the long hallway, waiting for her. She walked down the hall, gazing at the pictures along the walls that brought back memories. Pictures of the night sky, taken with the telescope Cal had once taken pride in. Of pressed golden leaves from autumn expeditions she’d go on by herself.

She was surprised he kept them up.

A picture hung beside room seven of five men standing together in front of a large gray building. Her grandpa stood in the middle, but she hadn’t met him before he passed away. Everyone spoke of him with great respect but she’d never liked the picture.

All their eyes staring at her.

She turned to room eight and used the skeleton key to unlock the door.

Midnight Motel releases July 26th, 2017 on all retailers.

Pre-order your copy now at Amazon or Kobo

Add Midnight Motel to your to-read list on Goodreads

Midnight Motel Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

I'm thrilled to finally share the cover for my upcoming YA Fantasy, Midnight Motel (The Anna Kelleher Chronicles, Book 1), releasing July 26th, 2017.

Pre-orders will be available on all retailers, beginning with Amazon.

"You have a choice to make, Anna. If you run we can protect you, but should you choose to stay, there’s no turning back." 

Anna Kelleher returns to the motel her family owns after years of estrangement for one reason: to make good on a promise to her dying grandma.
Upon her arrival, Anna finds an uncle she barely recognizes, a motel that looks nothing like she remembers, and the one person she needed to see is gone.
She soon discovers that one of the motel rooms hides a portal to another dimension and she is forced to either walk away from her dysfunctional family for good or become a gatekeeper to help them defeat The High Power that rules there.
With lives in the balance, her morals in question, and a promise yet to be fulfilled, Anna must use what little time she has to her advantage. Travelling between a world she thought she knew, and a dark dimension that needs her help, Anna is caught in the middle when evil knocks on the motel’s door seeking answers and vengeance.

My Biggest Promotion Yet!

Beginning Friday February 17th-21st, LIES COME TRUE will be FREE on Amazon!

The Avery Hart mystery trilogy has been a fan favourite since the books came out, and I want to give all my readers the chance to start or finish the trilogy with this exciting deal!

O’Brien drops you into the middle of the action and doesn’t stop until the end.
— Jade Eby, Author
Best I have read in this genre this year!!! Holy mystery!
— Girly Girl Book Reviews

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL...

For the first time EVER, I've deeply discounted BARE YOUR BONES and EVERY LAST MARK through a Kindle Countdown Deal, and now you can own the whole trilogy for the lowest cost to date!

Join my Reader's Group on Facebook

Please consider this your formal invitation to join my new Reader's Group on Facebook. 

I share details about what I'm currently working on, answer questions about my previously published novels, and chat with members on a weekly basis.

I appreciate my loyal readers and their support. This group is a way to connect with you all.

In the new year, I plan to share even more, and I hope you'll join us!

Excerpt from Lies Come True

I really enjoyed writing The Avery Hart trilogy, and the whole story is still one of the ones I'm most proud of. Crafting three books to fit together in one overarching story had me flexing my writing muscles in ways I hadn't before, and I find myself beginning that process again with the first in a series I am currently writing. It's exciting to begin a story that's full of possibilities that mostly depend on what the characters decide to do.

Avery Hart is a character of mine that I relate to in many ways and getting to know her was like getting to know more of myself (and even gain a better understanding of those around me, because she was also modeled a bit on someone I'm close to). I wanted to share an excerpt that exemplifies who Avery is in my eyes, and even gives a hint as to how she acts/reacts through the trilogy.  I wanted to share it with readers who've read the trilogy before, but also for those who are new to Lies Come True and Avery. I hope you enjoy this first impression (or memory).

3DLCTNowhite.png

Chapter 2

Avery cracked into her fortune cookie over the table as the credits of her favourite TV show started to roll.

A muffled cry from the baby next door rang through the wall behind her and she turned the   volume up to drown out the wails. She pulled the tiny piece of paper from the cookie bits, and the news came on as she unfolded her fortune.

"... at Birch Falls Park on Glenn, and Fourth Street, in Birch Falls, Ontario, less than three hours north of Toronto..." The reporter droned on, but Avery focused on reading the paper.

You will soon gain something you have always wanted.

Avery read it twice, set it down beside the broken cookie, and folded up the small box of left over veggie noodles.

"Peace and quiet?" She grumbled as she gathered the boxes, and took them to the kitchen fridge. "I doubt the Donovans are moving anytime soon."

As she made her way back to the living room, the baby cried again, as if to taunt her. She'd thought about tapping on the wall, writing them a letter, and even paying the Donovans a visit, but the simple fact was, babies cried. At all hours. She tried to sympathize with the parents, but when it came time for her early morning classes, she cursed them.

She grabbed the napkins from the table, and threw them in the garbage before she settled in on her soft couch again. When she looked at the TV, she did a double take. Her mouth hung agape as she focused on the picture beside the reporter.

"This man is considered armed and dangerous. Please contact the Crown River Regional Police   with any information you may..." The segment was ending, and the picture disappeared from the screen, as a phone number crawled along the bottom.

That has to be wrong.

She stared at the screen, stunned, as they began to broadcast a different story. She thought about calling the news station, but they wouldn't have any more information, and she had already seen the sketch. That was the part that mattered. For a moment she thought about calling the number on the business card in her purse. The only one she carried. Instead, she   sat still on the couch, and twisted her blonde hair around her finger.

What if she was wrong? What if she only imagined the picture was familiar? That's what Inspector Jacoby would tell her. She wondered why she hadn't torn up that business card after he gave it to her.

She thought about calling her parents, but they'd say the same thing as Jacoby. 

Sadie might listen, might even believe her.

The feeling that glued her to the couch turned into something she recognized. She couldn't be sure what she saw. That's what they told her after all and that's what finally stuck after years of therapy.

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to read more:

More Than 20 FREE Mysteries and Thrillers

In the mood for a mystery or thriller this weekend? You're in luck!

The books listed on this page are free on August 20-21 2016 (US time), and often at other times as well (please verify the price before you download, especially if you’re not in the US, because the books may not be free in your territory. Unfortunately, the author has no control over this).

Top 5 Thriller/Suspense Movies and TV Shows of 2016 (so far!)

Love to be thrilled and kept in suspense? Looking for your next Netflix show to binge watch or movie to see? I've selected my top 5 of the year (so far) and wanted to share them with you!  While some of my choices might also fall in other categories (horror, sci-fi, etc.) they all fall into the thriller/suspense genre.

In no particular order:

MTV's Scream Season 2

Inspired by the Scream slasher movies, this TV series first aired in 2015 on Netflix, and I'd been looking forward to the next season ever since.

A little cheesy? Yes, but it is also self-aware, poking fun at pop culture and paying homage to the original movies as well. I think this is a series that has some scares, humor, and most of all, makes it fun to guess who the killer is and why. Plus, I've become so invested in the main characters, which makes each episode more nerve wracking.

Haven't seen season 1 yet? You can binge watch it on Netflix and then catch up on Season 2 before the final  episode airs!

Stranger Things

This binge-worthy Netflix Series set in the 80's follows the disappearance of a young boy and those affected by the loss who are searching for answers (or stumble upon them), including the boy's friends, his family, and the law enforcement in the small town.

It's hard to choose a favourite character (but if I had to, I'd say Hopper) because this cast has several story lines going on at once, and they're all fun to watch.

This show encompasses so much of what was cool about the 80's vibe in both movies (Spielberg) and Books (King), and each exciting discovery will draw you further into this sometimes scary and always entertaining show.

HUSH

This psychological horror/thriller is modern with a fresh twist. It's about an author who lives in the woods alone, and is also deaf. When a masked man shows up, it's clear he has bad intentions, but I can't say much more than that.

This movie had me watching through squinted eyes at some parts and kept me in suspense until the very end as the woman fights for her survival. 

In part, Hush plays to the traditional features of a classic slasher film, but I've never seen one that incorporates the challenges (and advantages) that a deaf woman would have. This is a film that's not to be missed!

The Forest

A young American woman gets a call from Japan in the middle of the night. It's the police informing her that her twin sister was seen going into a forest that not many come out of (alive or dead).

The reason I feel so connected to this movie is that we all have someone(s) who we would go to extreme lengths for, and this woman goes all the way to Japan, into this forest to find and possibly even rescue her sister whom everyone believes to be dead.

Again, I can't say much more without giving things away, but I thought this was a great movie (and inspired my love for Natalie Dormer as an awesome actor). The only part that was iffy for me was the ending, but you'll have to watch to see if you agree!

 

Jason Bourne

The fifth installment of the Bourne series (based on the novels) was exactly what I hoped it would be. Full of action, suspense,  adding fuel to the fire and depth to the next movie in the series.

It's been a while since Matt Damon reprised his role as Bourne, and in this modern installment along with Nicky (Julia Stiles, my fave reoccurring character other than Bourne himself) he must get back in the swing of things as new information about his identity and his past is brought to light.

With some of the best chase sequences in the series, this film did not disappoint. 

And there you have it!

My top 5 picks for the year so far. I'm sure I'll do another one of these at the end of the year. I love these kind of tv shows/movies so much that you can bet I'll be posting a special Halloween viewing list for the month of October as well!

Hope you enjoy and if if watch these, make sure to leave a comment below letting me know what you think!

Street Team Sign Ups Now Open!

 

Calling all readers!

If you're a fan of Emerald's books and would like to help spread the word we invite you to submit an application to join her street team!

You'll be invited to join her private group on Facebook, interact with Emerald personally, and be the first to hear about her projects. Some members elect to take part in monthly challenges and earn points toward exciting prizes, while others enjoy the community that has been created.

Not to mention, when Emerald has a new release, team members have a chance to read it first!

A Sweet Summer Treat

Raspberry and Chocolate Nicecream

I love a cold treat in the summer time, and this is one of my favourite recipes.

Enjoying some nicecream at my desk.

Enjoying some nicecream at my desk.

 

Step 1: Cut up 2 bananas and freeze overnight. Once frozen, put half the pieces in a blender, and add 1/2 cup of your favourite fruit (I chose raspberries). Blend well and set aside.

Step 2: Put the rest of the frozen bananas in the blender and add 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder, along with 1 tsp vanilla extract (or pure vanilla bean). Blend well and stir in with fruit mixture.

Step 3: Divide it up (or eat it all!) and enjoy!

A Special Giveaway

Exciting Giveaway Announcement

Author Jade Eby and I have put together a sweet prize pack for one of our lucky readers to win. We both love gripping and suspenseful stories (we've written some of our own), and we've bundled a gift card along with 5 amazing ebooks together for lovers of great books and intense reads!

 

Up for grabs:

EYE FOR REVENGE by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Cheryl Bradshaw

GIRL ON THE ICE by USA Today Bestselling Author, Robert Bryndza

HOOK by USA Today Bestselling Author, Elisabeth Grace

MARROW by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Tarryn Fisher

THE GIRL YOU LOST by Kathryn Croft, Author of Psychological Thrillers

and a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Head to the Rafflecopter above for the easy entry details!

Open May 7th-14th