Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Everything is Temporary - Book Tour

 



Christmas Horror

Date Published: November 2, 2023

Publisher: Deadbolt Books

How well do we really know the people sleeping next to us in bed at night?

After a tragedy strikes the Barnes family, Sarah's husband Tom begins acting strangely. It starts with wild mood-shifts and accusations at their thirteen-year-old daughter, but quickly escalates to the attempted murder of an off-season mall Santa. From what Sarah can tell, Tom's only motive seems to lie behind a mysterious hatred for Christmas that burns year-round. What's worse, Tom's only defense lies in a long-forgotten book he wrote detailing a traumatic event in his childhood that seems too far-fetched to be believed. His entire case revolves around the notion of talking Christmas trees, a living army of toys, and worst of all, a monster masquerading as Mrs. Claus.

Now, Sarah must go on a journey into her husband's past to learn if Tom is in the midst of a psychotic breakdown, if he's a danger to his family, or if he really is being hunted by the malevolent holiday horror that destroyed his childhood.


READ AN EXCERPT BELOW


 


About the Author

JON COHN IS A WRITER and professional board game designer based out of San Diego, California. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @joncohnauthor.

He would also love to give you free stuff like stories, audiobooks, and games by signing up for his mailing list at www.joncohnauthor.com.

 

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Excerpt from "Everything is Temporary"


“I saw the sign out front…” Tim suddenly realized it might be considered weird for a kid to randomly be wandering around some old lady’s backyard. “It said to come in.”

“And you’re just in time.” The old woman’s words were filled with cheer. “I just made a fresh batch of cookies, and I have some hot chocolate on the stove. Would you like a snack?”

Tim’s stomach rumbled. After his trip to the principal this morning, he had been too nervous to eat most of his lunch, worrying what Larry would do to him come 2:30. “I’d love some. My name’s Tim.”

“Well, Tim, it’s an absolute pleasure to make your acquaintance. You can call me Mrs. Claus.”

“Your backyard is beautiful,” Tim said, carefully navigating the winding stone walkway leading to the house.

“That’s very nice of you to say. In case you haven’t noticed, Christmas holds a very special place in my heart.”

“Mine too.”

“Come on inside. I’ll show you all the real decorations.”

Tim knew better than to talk to strangers, never mind wander into their homes. But she was just an old lady. What was the worst she could do? Besides, this wasn’t like some weirdo in a white van, offering candy. This was an establishment. There was a sign. Surely, it wouldn’t exist if the neighborhood didn’t know it was safe.

If the backyard had been a winter wonderland, the inside of the house was something straight out of Higbee’s Department Store window. In the corner of the living room sat a large green Christmas tree decorated with string lights and ornaments. The base was fully obscured by at least two dozen gold-wrapped presents. More tinsel and string lights glimmered across the room, leading up a banister to the second floor, and each door had a wreath hanging from it. A choo-choo sound forced Tim’s eyes upward, where a train set chugged along a track suspended from the ceiling, running in a weaving pattern through the room. Each car of the train was loaded with red-coated nutcracker soldiers, all standing at perfect attention.

Pressed against the wall nearest the tree was a glass-covered cabinet hosting hundreds of ceramic Hummel figurines: nativity scenes; elves making toys; people dressed in winter clothes, exchanging gifts. Leading the pack was a cheery-looking Santa Claus with a sack slung over his back.

“I’ll just be in the other room, preparing those cookies. Feel free to take a minute to look at all the decorations.” Mrs. Claus wandered off into the kitchen.

Tim leaned in to get a better look at the figures, then jumped back in surprise when the ceramic Santa suddenly moved his hand up to his hat, adjusted it, then winked. Tim wanted to scream, but the best he could manage was a gasping cough. He leaped backward, but his feet tripped over themselves. Tim was falling, his head ready to meet the floor, when something bushy caught him in midair. It was a branch of the Christmas tree.

“Don’t be afraid,” a voice from inside the tree said. The branch lifted him back onto his trembling feet, then released him. As soon as Tim looked at the tree in the corner, all the string lights went out, save for two acorn-shaped bulbs making up eyes and a pair of strings that looked like a scraggly-toothed mouth.

“Merry Christmas, Tim!” the tree said. As it spoke, the lights insinuating its lips lit up and went dark in perfect harmony so it mimicked movement. Tim had no idea how it was able to produce its voice, but it spoke with a slight British accent and sounded like the Santa from Miracle on 34th Street.



 

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