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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Scary Stuff by Sarah J. McNeal #blogabookscene

This is me, not supposed to be a scary picture, but might be.

I was afraid of the dark when I was a kid, and afraid of foxes, too. Consequently, I slept with a nightlight surrounded by all my toys (I didn’t want to hurt any of my toys’ feelings if I left one of them out.) Pop used to tell me I made straw men and then got scared of them. I had no idea what he meant when he told me that back when I was a kid. As an adult I realize he was just saying I let my imagination get a hold of me. I’m grateful for it now because what else is a fiction writer except a person whose imagination takes them someplace…and sometimes that place might get scary.
I wanted to write a short story for a Halloween anthology by Prairie Rose Publications, but I’m not into vampires or terrifying ghosts so what could I write with a western flavor involving my Wilding family? Slowly, my imagination began to open into an idea that just might work…sort of a Steve Erwin meets Jurassic Park kinda thing.

THE BEAST OF HAZARD (1940’s Wilding short story)

 Buy Link: AMAZON

Joe and Lola’s youngest child and only son, Joey Wilding, has transformed the family ranch into a veterinary clinic where he treats anything from house cats to cattle. He meets a circus performer who finds herself in desperate straights.

A Terrorized Town…A Killer Beast…And Deliverance

 Joey walked through the woods to take the shortcut back home. Even in the half-light of approaching night, he could find his way back to the Wilding ranch. He sensed rather than saw something move just on the other side of the old pond. He kept his eyes and ears alert as he made his way through the low brush.

Something’s following me. Menacing and dangerous, it seemed to stalk him from somewhere beyond the bushes. Without a gun, he only had a knife to protect himself. His best option was to pick up his pace without running to get back to safety. Running would draw attention to him and whatever it was that shadowed him, it would identify him as prey.

And then he heard it growl. The ground practically shook beneath his feet with its deep, low pitched sound. Never, in all his life, had he heard such a sound. If death made a noise, it would sound like that. Heart pumping adrenaline made his hands shake, but he knew not to let it show. With every ounce of will he possessed, he put one foot in front of the other until he reached home. 

For more stories about the Wildings click on this link: The Wildings   

All Wilding Books are available on Kindle Unlimited

Diverse stories filled with heart


  1. Wonderful excerpt and very timely for Halloween approaching fast. We've all had that feeling of being followed and this puts us straight back there.

  2. C.A., I love Halloween. Even when I was a kid I loved dressing up and going out with a group to Trick-or-Treat. I mean, c'mon, FREE CANDY! As much as I was such a fraidy cat, I loved ghost stories and tales of haunted places. So, the thought that "something" could be roaming the woods with evil intent was just too good to let pass.

    We have a bunch of cool "Haunted" places in North Carolina like the Brown Mountain Light and the Devil's Circle. Every Halloween different groups have "Ghost Tours" and "Haunted Houses" for people to visit and the money goes to charity. Even Carowinds has a Halloween event called "Scarowinds" that's looks too scary for even grownups.

    Thank you so much for coming to visit. I hope you have a grand time this Halloween.

  3. Sarah, I always loved Halloween as a kid--what's better than to know you can have one scary night when it's really "safe"--otherwise, you know your parents wouldn't let you do it! LOL

    I loved your story, THE BEAST OF HAZARD. But I love all your Wilding stories!

    Unfortunately, our Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Volumes 1 and 2 are no longer in print or available on e-book, either. BOO HOO!!!!! I loved every single story in those anthologies. And those covers were just fantastic too.

    But many of those stories are available as single sell stories, including of course, THE BEST OF HAZARD! And what a cover for that one!

    It's not too fallish here today--mid-high 80's. But things are supposed to be cooler next week. Halloween is coming! LOL

  4. By the way, I also meant to add that I think that picture of you is beautiful!

  5. Thanks for telling me about the anthologies ending, Cheryl. I need to work on my promotional documents and remove those anthology links. Livia W. Reasoner does such a great job of getting the essence of the stories in her marvelous covers. I love all my singles' covers--and all of them by Livia.

    That is so nice of you to compliment my picture. After chemo I quit coloring my hair and went natural gray.

    I did some really stupid stuff as a kid. Pop was pulling into the driveway after we had been to the Halloween Carnival at my big sister's school. I was 4 and my next sister was 5. Mom had made me a great clown costume and I was so excited plus hyped up on Halloween candy. I didn't wait for Pop to stop the car and park. I opened the door and hopped out. The gravel drive hurt, but I was okay. Pop ran back to where I was afraid he had run over me. I'll never forget his face when he saw me. I, on the other hand, was ready to check out my treat bag for more candy.

    It's in the 80's here, too. Not exactly autumnish. I am looking forward to cooler weather for certain. I thought winter would never end and now I'm ready for summer to depart. The seasons just seem reluctant to leave the party.

    Thank you for coming, Cheryl and letting me know about the anthologies.

  6. Sarah,
    You sounded like me with my stuffed animals. I always worried about leaving one out too LOL. Loved the excerpt. Sounds like an especially spine-tingling story. :-)

    1. So Kristy, you must be a member of the Teddy Bear Kindred, too. I think it's a sign of empathy most writers have to not want to hurt the feelings of our stuffed toys.

      Thank you for your comment on my excerpt. I see my intentions to get some scary tension going may have succeeded. LOL

      Thanks for coming, Kristy! I appreciate it.

  7. I so enjoyed reading this story when it was released. It kept me enthralled until the very end. Doris

  8. Thank you, Doris, I am so happy you have read this story.
    I appreciate you coming over to comment.

  9. Growing up on a farm, there was never trick or treat for me, let alone dress-up. Just the party at school. I remember one particular Hallowe-en Saturday. I had spent the entire day washing windows, taking down storm windows and washing inside and putting back. That night we went to town as usual for grocery shopping, a library visit and a movie. Came home and the door handle was slippery. Discovered someone had smeared axle grease on the door knob. In the morning we discovered the mischief hadn't ended there. Grease was smeared on the newly washed windows....sigh. Guess you know who had to clean them again. One other time (or maybe it was the same day) our outhouse had been knocked over. Those farm boys were sure mischief-makers. I've never written a spooky story, but I enjoyed reading your excerpt, Sarah.

    1. Elizabeth, I think you're right about farm boys (and maybe girls, too) doing big mischief during Halloween. Pop used to talk about some of the tricks the kids played on Halloween. The most mischievous award would have to go to whoever put the Model A Ford on top of a barn.

      I lived most of my life in the city. The youth get into enough trouble during the entire year so Halloween pranks are rather tame. Maybe country kids are more ingenious than city kids.

      Thank you for the compliment about my picture. It's just the same ol' me living life in the aging process. Thanks so much for coming to visit and comment on my blog.

  10. And by the way....this is such a lovely picture of you..

  11. Sarah, This story is one of my favorites. I'm also tickled pink to see the #blogabookscene. *hugs*

  12. Thank you, Elizabeth. You're very kind.

  13. Kaye, I'm not always certain what I'm doing with hashtags, but I'm making my attempts to come into the 21st century. LOL
    Thank you for coming to visit. I'm sorry I'm late answering your comment.