Newly Released – The Temptress

Arianna Grenawalt has woken up in a strange bathtub in an abandoned warehouse with no recollection of who she is or where she’s come from. With a fresh suture mark down her abdomen and drugs just barely wearing off she makes her way out of the warehouse into a world she doesn’t recognize. All she has is a single note left for her telling her, ‘It’s more than you deserve’.

In T.M. Williams’ 3rd book of the Twisted Fairy Tale short story series she adapts a futuristic Robin Hood meets Twilight Zone thriller. With elements that blend current social crisis with Williams’ familiar dark fairy tale elements, get ready to go on a twisted adventure The Temptress.

Publisher Note: Each book in the short story series can be read as a stand alone.

 

“It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.”

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE KINDLE COPY (print to follow in a few short weeks)

The Temptress – Chapter 1 Teaser

Water.

 

Darkness envelopes my consciousness. My toes. My ankles. My body. Consuming my entire body. No, not my entire body. My neck? No, not my neck. I can take a deep breath. I take a deep breath.

 

Pain. Shocking pain.

 

Don’t take deep breaths. Deep breaths bring pain. I don’t want that. My mind is foggy. I should open my eyes. They feel so heavy. I can move my thumb and feel the current against my fingers. Shallow water. My eyelids are heavy. I listen to my breath. In. Out. In. Out. Open your eyes. I’m so tired. I just want to sleep. I lift my hand slowly over the water and pain travels through my body, sharpest in my stomach. Ignore the pain. Ignore the pain. Ignore the pain my mind chants. I rub my forefinger and thumb together and they feel sticky. Not water?

 

The water feels strange, thick, sticky. It’s not water, I realize. My senses start to come to me. In the distance I can hear something, a motor running? Air conditioner? But it’s snowing outside, isn’t it? The constant hum from the motor is melodic and makes me sleepy. My eyes still feel so heavy. Don’t sleep. Don’t sleep.

 

Where am I? Why can’t I open my eyes? Why are they so heavy? I open them.

 

The ceiling is spotted. No, not spots. Stains? Dark red stains. Where am I? I can feel my anxiety bubble, my heart rate increases and my vision clears. Dark red stains on the ceiling. This isn’t right. Where was I? I wasn’t here. I wasn’t here. I wasn’t here.

 

I was home. I was in my bed. I wasn’t here. Panic takes over and I rush to sit up. The pain is so blinding, so consuming that I forget how to breathe. No sound comes from my mouth because it’s stuck in my throat. The water, no not water – whatever this liquid is, laps around my body. Where … the… fuck… am I?

 

The motor running and the water splashing, that’s what I hear. I can also hear my heartbeat pounding in my ears. I’m in a tub, I realize. I grip the edges and pull myself up. I can see over the edge. This is not my bathroom. I know that. But I know nothing else. The tiled floor is dusty and old. There’s a stark white towel neatly folded on the sink. The sink is a brownish gray from grime. On top of the towel is a piece of folded paper.

 

I look down and it’s what I imagine. As I see the dark red pool I’m slouched in the smell of copper assaults my nose and by the clean stitched black line down my stomach I realize that the pool of blood I sit in is my own.

 

I close my eyes and count my breaths before panic sets in. Where am I? What was the last thing I remembered? There’s nothing. Nothing. My brain is nothing and the fear that comes with it is paralyzing. I listen to the motor again and I realize then that it’s the bathroom fan. I imagine at one point it circulated air effectively but now it was nothing more than white noise.

 

It takes forever but I pull myself to an upright position. Next to the towel are two white pills and a glass of water. The items on the sink; the towel, the pills, the paper, and the glass are a stark clean contrast against the dirt and grime of the bathroom.

 

“Hello?” I try to call out but my voice is dry and cracked. It sounds foreign to me. I don’t even recognize my own voice.

 

There’s no answer and I can tell I’m alone. I don’t know how, but I know this. What seems like hours pass before I pull myself completely out of the tub. I realize by the time I get out that the tub isn’t filled with my blood because it’s too thin. There’s something else. Ammonia? My skin burns and the suture down my stomach aches and throbs with my movements.

 

Hunched over I pull myself up to the sink and kneel in front of it, bracing myself on the counter. I assume the pills are meant for me but I ignore them. It’s the paper on the towel that interests me. The word, no – the name printed neatly on the paper, looks familiar but I don’t know who it is. I think, perhaps, that it’s my name.

 

 

Arianna

The Temptress – Cover Reveal and Off a Friend Winner

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DRUMROLL!!!! 

 

The third book, The Temptress, has an official cover! The first two are getting a makeover as well as part of the new Half Light Publishing home.

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I think it’s my favorite cover yet! (Although I say that with each one) and of course all due to the brilliance of my amazing cover designer, Jason Vollario. Who just gets me.

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Also, we’re going to have beautiful black and white prints available for those coming to our events! (Without the watermark)

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And, if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, then you’ve already seen the announcement, but big congrats to

Arianna Grenawalt

You’re going to be brutally slaughtered thanks to the people who love you! That’s love I tell ya.

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Children at the Window – Sneak Peek

Some things to know about with this chapter. It’s quirky – so it’s not like the rest of the book. It’s mostly dialogue and I can’t really tell you why I decided to write it that way, except that I did.

It’s about halfway through the book and sort of a moment of comic relief in the story.

Hope you enjoy!

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Twenty One

 

“It’s really dark.”

 

“You have a knack for stating the obvious.” I squinted and my knuckles were white as I gripped the steering wheel tighter.

 

“There’s nothing on the radio.” Lynnette played with the search button for the hundredth time.

 

“I wish there was some wall up on the side of the roads.” I pressed my lips together.

 

“Why? Animals would just jump over the walls and be trapped in between them and run back and forth on the road until they got hit.”

 

“Oh, geez.”

 

“Do you want me to drive?” Lynnette switched off the radio and fell back into her seat, defeated.

 

“No, it’s fine.”

 

“I promise I won’t hit any animals.”

 

“No, it’s fine.”

 

“It was an accident.”

 

“I know it was.”

 

“Then why won’t you let me drive?” she pressed.

 

“I want to drive.”

 

“You don’t look like you want to drive.” She sighed when I didn’t answer. “It really is dark,” she said again.

 

“Yeah, it really is. I guess there’s no moon tonight.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“What?”

 

“Maybe it’s cloudy?”

 

I looked up through the windshield. “I don’t think so.”

 

“Wasn’t there a moon last night?” she asked.

 

I tried to think back. “I don’t remember. Probably not.”

 

She continued looking up at the blackened night sky while I focused on not killing any animals that jumped out in the road.

 

“I really think there was a moon last night.”

 

“And it what? Just disappeared tonight?”

 

She shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s weird.”

 

“I’m sure you’re just remembering wrong.”

 

“There’s something flying around out there,” she said, her face pressed against the side window.

 

I glanced up at the night sky again. “Like an owl or something?”

 

“I don’t know, it was quick. It’s hard to tell.”

 

“Probably just an owl.”

 

“Yeah, probably.”

 

I tapped my finger on the wheel to a soundless tune.

 

“There it is again.” Lynnette craned her. “I don’t think it’s an owl.”
“What? A bat?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“It’s probably your mind playing tricks on you.”

 

She flopped back in her seat again. “I’m bored.”

 

“I can tell.”

 

A loud object thumped against the back window. “What the hell?” I glanced in the rearview mirror and Lynnette turned around in her seat.

 

“What was that?” she asked.

 

“Was that the bat?” My voice came out sounding higher pitched than usual.

 

“Just falling out of the sky?”

 

“I don’t know, maybe it died.”

 

“And landed on our car while we’re driving down the road at eighty miles an hour?”

 

“Look out!” Lynnette screamed and when I looked back at the road a woman lay about a hundred yards ahead, directly in the beam of my headlights.

 

Time didn’t allow me to think. I slammed both feet against the brake pedal and the steering wheel locked. Instead of the pedal going down at once it jittered underfoot. In my peripheral Lynnette place both palms on the dashboard, bracing herself. I cursed under my breath and hoped we stopped in time.

 

We did.

 

“What the fuck?” Lynnette asked.

 

I unlocked my door.

 

“What are you doing?” she asked.

 

“Uh, helping the strange woman lying across the middle of the road?” It was an incredulous question.

 

“What if it’s a trap?”

 

“Seriously? A woman is lying across the road and almost gets killed by a car and you think it’s a trap?”

 

“Call the cops.”

 

“You call the cops. I’m checking on her,” I said, annoyed. She fished for her phone from her purse as I stepped out of the car. I approached the woman and she was lying in the exact same position the entire time. There was no way she was playing  a trick on us.

 

“Hello?” I asked. What else was I supposed to say?

 

“Is she alive?” Lynnette called out from the car.

 

I kneeled beside her. Although pale, her skin had color to it, even in the brightness of the headlights. Her chest rose and fell under her dirt-caked tank top.

 

“She’s alive!” I yelled back.

 

I could hear Lynnette speaking with the 9-1-1 operator.

 

“Amanda, where are we?” Lynnette got out of the car and came to a stop on the other side of the strange lady on the ground. She watched her with what seemed like a mix of apprehension and concern.

 

I looked around. “We passed a town about twenty minutes ago.”

 

“Uh, we passed a town about twenty minutes ago,” she said into the phone. “What town?” she asked me.

 

“We’re on Highway Eighteen,” I offered, hoping it would help.

 

She repeated what I said to the operator. The woman on the ground groaned.

 

“She’s alive,” Lynnette said.

 

“I already told you that.”

 

The woman’s eyes popped open suddenly revealing blood shoot eyes. I fell back on my rear at the startling movement.

“Whoa,” Lynnette said. “That’s creepy.”

 

“Shh. Uh, lady, can you hear me?”

 

She groaned again. Was that an answer?

 

“Yeah, I think she’s gaining consciousness,” Lynnette said into the phone. “I don’t see any,” she added.

 

I raised my eyebrows at her.

 

“They want to know if we see her car around.”

 

Good question. I stood up and walked to the side of my car, looking down the road behind us. I had completely forgotten about the thump on the back window until I saw a red smear down the trunk of my car. I slowly walked completely toward the back around the trunk. The smear went straight down the middle of the trunk and ended just under the back latch. What the hell?

 

“Uh, Amanda?” Lynnette called out. “Please come back here.”

 

I walked back toward Lynnette, all the while trying to figure out what the smear could be. Was it a bat like we thought?

 

“She keeps saying something.”

 

I looked down at the strange woman who was mumbling while looking straight up at the night sky. Lynnette was right, she was creepy.

 

“Cabe?”

 

Lynnette shook her head. “Caleb, I think.”

 

“What happened to 9-1-1?” I realized she wasn’t on the phone anymore.

 

“Oh, I remembered I could just pull the map up on my phone and told her where we were. They’re sending out some units.”

 

“Huh, didn’t even think of that.”

 

“Neither did I. The operator did.”

 

I crossed my arms.

 

“Hey strange lady, who’s Caleb?”

 

“That’s not nice,” I said.

 

“Okay, lady on the road – who’s Caleb?”

 

She repeated his name again. That wasn’t helpful.
“How long do you think it’ll take for the cops to get here?” I asked, getting anxious.

 

“Should we just leave?”

 

“That’s not why I was asking.”

 

“I know, but I think we should leave. They’ll be here soon, anyway.”

 

“Someone else will hit her.”

 

“We’ll move her to the side of the road,” Lynnette said, showing no indication she wanted to move her.

 

I looked at the lady on the ground.

 

“I don’t want to touch her either.”
“I didn’t say anything,” I said.

 

We stood for a moment, watching her. She kept repeating the name Caleb. Maybe it was someone she knew, I wondered.

 

“Maybe it’s who dumped her here.”

 

I looked up at Lynnette. “Maybe her car went off the side of the road.”

 

“And she what? Walked over here and decided to take a nap?”

 

I put my hands on my hips.

 

“She got dumped here.”

 

“You don’t know that.”

 

“How else did she end up here?”

 

I looked at the lady and kneeled down again. “Hey, lady. What’s your name?”
“Joy,” she responded, clear as day.

 

“Her name is Joy?” Lynnette asked. “That doesn’t sound right.”

 

“What do you mean it doesn’t sound right? How would a name sound?”

 

“I mean, she’s lying in the middle of the road, in the middle of nowhere, where the moon went missing and her name is Joy?”

 

“The moon didn’t go missing.”

 

“Then where did it go?”

 

“It was never there.”

 

“The moon was never there.”

 

“You know what I mean.” Lynnette was right, we shouldn’t stay. But we couldn’t leave her either. “I still don’t get why you think her name doesn’t sound right.”

 

“What’s that?” Lynnette pointed down the road behind me.

 

I spun around. “What the hell?”

 

“Are those kids? Walking down the road?”

It was one word, but it was enough to spring us into action. Joy grabbed my ankle when she screamed, “Run!”

Tomorrow When I Die – Teaser

Today commemorates 101 years since the Armenian Genocide. 1.5 million Armenians were tortured and killed in a silent genocide by the Ottoman Empire.

It’s a genocide that has yet to be officially recognized by the American and Turkish government. President Bill Clinton promised to bring this issue to the table during his campaign, yet failed to do so during his presidency.

1 year from today, Tomorrow When I Die will be released. A literary fiction story told by a 14 year old girl named Anahid. She tells her story from the grave. It’s a heart felt story that’s not only about the horrors of the genocide, but the love, sacrifice, loyalty, and friendship that is found in the darkest realms of terror and evil. A story about how an attempt at eradication ended up being a rise from the ashes.

Mark your calendars, spread the word and let’s count down together over the next 12 months for the world wide release of a story unlike any other. A story that needs to be shared.

It is my best work yet.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Death never comes easy. Sometimes it’s slow and the breath suffers. Sometimes it’s quick and it’s the heart that suffers. Not of the person who dies, but of the person who’s watching.

 

A pressed wing against the muddy ground and I can tell it’s broken. I don’t know what kind of bird it is, but I see many of them around. They are small and fly fast. The dark line of feathers from the beak to the inner corner of its tiny black eyes make it appear angry. ‘Looks like Mama when you eat too many of her Gatas’, my brother would say.

 

I stroke the bird’s soft feathers, like Baba would to my hair when I was sick. It would make me feel better. The tiny bird tries mercilessly to move its wing. An instinct, I wonder, to fly – even though it can barely breathe. I know death will come soon, but it doesn’t. It just suffers.

 

“You need to squash it,” Mama says and her voice startles me.

 

“No!”

 

“It’s suffering.” She stands over me, blocking out the sun. I can only see her outline and her hands are on her hips.

 

“No, Mama!”

 

She clucks her tongue at me and I hope she goes away. I’ll hate her forever if she squashes the bird. I don’t know if it’s a threat.

 

“You want it to suffer?”

 

I shake my head and feel the tears start to come. “I don’t want it to die,” I whisper.

 

“Everything dies, Anahid.”

 

I shake my head again.

 

“I don’t want it to,” is all I can say.

 

The sun is warm on my shoulders again and I know Mama is gone. She’s right. But I don’t know what to do. “I can’t hurt you little bird.” The tiny bird struggles to breathe and its eyes are crusted with dirt and mud and foam forms around the edges of its beak. Death is ugly.

 

I find a small boulder and can barely lift it. It will definitely do. My eyes are filled with tears and I barely locate where the bird is through my blurry vision.

 

“Please die,” I whisper. “I don’t want to do it.”

 

It moves the broken wing again and looks worse than it did seconds before. I close my eyes as tight as I can and chant ‘I’m sorry’ over and over as I drop the boulder on the little bird.

 

Mysterious Voicemail – Case of the Missing

If you’ve read Clusters: Case of the Missing, then you know I’ve been following David Paulides’ research on mysterious disappearance cases.

 

Here’s a recent voicemail that’s boggling everyone’s mind.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Here’s an article on his disappearance

 

Sneak Peek – Clusters Book 2 Teaser

TEASER for the new CLUSTERS book.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

“Sixty-one people died by the hands of a serial killer.”

 

Smoke whirled around the tip of Joe’s cigarette as if it were trying to suck itself back in. The air in the room was stale and had a distinct wet odor to it, evident of the layer of toxic black mold that clung to the wood behind the wallpapered walls.

 

“And?” Charles folded his arms in front of his chest.

 

“We’re going to investigate.” Joe puffed on his cigarette, taking in a long drawn hit as if it were his last. When he blew out the smoke, it came out of his nostrils making him look like a pathetic fat bellied dragon.

 

“Are you talking about England?”

 

“Yuuup,” he said.

 

“Under what jurisdication?”

 

“We were called in by MI6.”

 

“The SIS?” Charles asked. “What do they need us for?”

 

“They think there’s a connection,” Joe said, sighing heavily.

 

“You just said they were killed by the hands of a serial killer.”

 

“Yuup.”

 

Charles pushed his chair back and slapped his palms against his knees. “You lost me.” Maps with red circles lined the pin board behind Charles’ head and he leaned back, his hair barely touching the creased and dusty maps. When he was recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation he imagined a nicer office and a more formidable boss. Instead, he got someone who read one too many Sherlock Holmes novels and an office to match, in the least flattering way.

 

“They think there’s a connection,” Joe repeated.

 

“So it’s not a closed case?”

 

“It’s not a closed case.”

 

 

Location for New CLUSTERS Book Announcement

I’m leaving the country.

Ok, I’m not – but Charlie (Charles) Sutton is.

True to Clusters, it’ll be based on true cases and this time inspired by the 61 deaths at Manchester Canal Street in England. 

And true to Clusters, the inspiration from Paulides is still there. As his investigations continue, the strangeness grows.

If you think you knew where Clusters was going, then you’re in for a new surprise because there are new patterns and new ideas behind the cases of the missing.

We’re not out of the woods yet… or maybe we are.

What’s different in this book? 

Like Clusters: Case of the Missing – This book will be able to stand alone. However, we’re going to be moving into urban areas now as cases of the missing is no longer contained in our national forests.
In a way, this will hit a lot closer to home for many of us.

When will it be released? We’re looking at the end of 2016 at the earliest.

Will we see some of the same characters? The Sheriff will have a cameo, but this one follows Charles, who we met in Clusters: Case of the Missing.

Do we have a title? There’s a working title, either CLUSTERS: Nephesh or Clusters: Canal Street. What do you guys think?

Will there be more books? I have no idea. When I started out with Clusters: Case of the Missing, it was supposed to be one and done. The story will be done when it tells me it’s done.

Zombie Takeover Week with Blog Tour

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Zombie Tour Date: Oct 27th

Tour Stops

Dana Fredsti

Host: Stefani @ Caught Read Handed

Tom Leveen

Host: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions

Joe McKinney

Host: Ashley @ Books Blogging Beauty

Eric A. Shelman

Host: Emily @ Emily Reads Everything

Mark Tufo

Host: Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

T.M. Williams

Host: Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}

Also, don’t forget that #tmwilliamszombieweek is in full swing on http://www.facebook.com/accidentalwriter