Hallelujah by Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley Jr. [Book Spotlight – LGBTQ Horror]March 24, 2020
Can you hear it?
Whispering in the dark.
Secrets only the dark knows.
Joseph Moore, choir director for the First Baptist Church of Lenora, Nebraska, has secrets of his own. Terrible, lonely secrets. One that involves natural human desire. One that calls forth powers he cannot begin to understand. Both with the potential to destroy him and those he loves.
Now the world is changing. The darkness, the shadows, the ghosts, are closing in—and Joseph and his lover, Kevin, are being stalked by a merciless demon, hell-bent on possession.
Can you hear it now?
Warnings: violence. This is not a romance.
There in the dark.
It’s whispering your name.
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Joseph fought against the hands on his shoulders. The room was sweltering, and all his strength had sapped away.
“Joseph, open your eyes! Open your eyes, dammit!”
He was being shaken, and despite his unwillingness, his eyes opened. Kevin’s face stared down at him.
“Fuck you. Let me go!”
Joseph pulled away and fell backward onto the altar steps. His attempt to break the fall caused his wrist to smart painfully, and he whimpered. His whole body shook; he felt sick to his stomach.
Kevin raised his hands in surrender. “What the hell, man? Who did this to you?”
“What do you mean, ‘what’? You’re beat to shit. Did someone jump you?”
Joseph looked down and saw his scratched-up legs and swollen ankle. He scanned the sanctuary, half expecting the shadowed figure to be lurking somewhere nearby. But that wasn’t the case. All the lights were on, brilliantly illuminating every corner. There was no sign of the spirit who normally haunted the place.
“Who are you looking for?”
Joseph faced Kevin once again. “What? No one. What are you doing here?”
Although Kevin had been bare-chested at their last meeting, he was wearing a shirt now. Well, part of a shirt. It was an old Budweiser tee with the sleeves cut out and the sides wide open. When he moved, it revealed glimpses of his chest and flat stomach. Joseph felt his face flush as he averted his gaze.
“I was driving by and saw all the lights on and the door open. Figured the joint was getting robbed or somethin’. Then I found you wailing on the floor in…. Damn, dude. Look at your wrist.”
Joseph saw it was swollen. The memory of where he’d been flashed in his mind once more. The red-eyed gaze was burned into his memory.
But that had all been a dream, hadn’t it?
Please, Lord, let it have been a dream.
“Who did this to you?” Kevin repeated with a furrowed brow.
“Nobody. Look, I came back here because I thought I left something, and I fell. I must have banged my head or something.”
“You fell. Where? Into a war zone?”
Joseph snorted a laugh and looked up at him ruefully. “I don’t know what happened.” He hoped Kevin would leave it alone.
Outside, thunder crashed loudly enough to make them jump, and through the front door of the church, they could see the rain falling in torrents.
“Shit, my car windows!” Kevin took off running.
Joseph watched him go, Kevin’s ass bouncing as his long legs carried him out of the door. “Dammit,” Joseph muttered as he clenched his eyes closed.
He tried to get up, but as soon as he put weight on his ankle, it gave and forced him to sit back down.
What am I going to do?
Just then he saw the ghost once more. She was floating on the upstairs balcony, looking down at him. Her mouth was moving, and if Joseph sat really still, he swore he could hear her words, carried on the wind that howled through the open church door.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee
He felt sadness wash over him. She wasn’t terrible to look at; in life she must have been quite beautiful. But he didn’t know how to help her.
“You must help them, cher.” Celine had said.
Kevin dashed in through the door. His jeans were soaked and his wannabe T-shirt stuck to his muscular build. “Well, we got two options.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“We could wait out the storm before I take you home, or I can haul your crippled ass right now into said storm and take you home.”
Joseph reached out his good hand to Kevin, who grasped it and pulled. Joseph lurched to his feet and, in trying to keep the weight off his swollen ankle, ended up clinging to Kevin. They were almost nose to nose, staring into each other’s eyes as they held fast.
Blood pounded in his Joseph’s head. “I gotta get home.”
Kevin’s long eyelashes fluttered once, twice, three times before registering what he’d said. Yet his hands didn’t move. The two of them looked as if they were on a dance floor waiting for a waltz to start.
“Yeah, let’s get you home. Here, lean on me.”
“I appreciate it.”
They moved slowly across the floor of the church.
“You gonna tell me who did this?”
“I honestly don’t know.”
“Crazy shit, man.”
Joseph nodded. “Yup. It’s been a hell of a night.”
They closed the door behind them, got into the car, and drove cautiously into the downpour with the windshield wipers slapping.
Five minutes later, the lights they’d forgotten to turn off went dark.
GUEST POST BY KIM FIELDING
Hi, Kim Fielding here to celebrate Hallelujah, the horror novel F.E. Feeley and I co-wrote.
If you take a peek at the cover, you’ll notice it features a tornado. That’s not an accident—a twister features prominently in the story. And for me, it’s the perfect image for a scary story because tornadoes terrify me.
I spent my first nine years in suburban Chicago, where tornado warnings were a way of life. I think part of my fear was due to the fact that you’re supposed to go into the basement, but our beloved dog was afraid of the basement stairs and refused to go. Since he was a very large Saint Bernard, there was no way anyone could carry him down there. I was certain he was going to be swept away.
Additionally, our fence used to blow down during these storms. I have a vivid memory of my mom—who’s tiny—rushing outside to capture our barbecue, which was doing its best to fly away to Oz. That scared me too, as did the time a tornado hit a power substation about a mile away, causing a spectacular light show.
Eventually we moved to Oregon, where tornadoes are very rare. And all was well until I decided to attend grad school in Nebraska. Yup. A return to tornado territory. I refused to go into my basement there, because it was small and infested with spiders. If my 100-year-old house collapsed, I’d rather take my chances in the wind than risk being trapped in that basement. Our final summer in Nebraska, an 80-mile-an-hour wind swept across the parking lot containing our brand new car, sending carts barreling into—and in one case, through—the car. That was $4500 worth of shopping cart damage. Because it happened during the night, it was too dark to tell whether that was a straight wind or a tornado, but at 80 mph, that distinction hardly matters.
I’ve spent the most recent decades in California. No tornadoes here. Yes, we have earthquakes and fires, but not so much in my part of the state. And anyway, those don’t scare me the same way tornadoes do, maybe because they didn’t feature in my childhood nightmares. I did get to experience a tornado warning during a trip to Iowa a few years ago, and later I missed some damaging twisters by only one day during a visit to western Nebraska. So tornadoes still have the potential to pop into my life now and then—or at least make an appearance in a novel.
What force of nature scares you the most?
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
Author Website: http://kfieldingwrites.com
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F.E. Feeley Jr.
First and foremost, I am a husband to my wonderful husband, John. I am a father of our five-year-old German Shephard, Kaiser. I am an avid reader of Mysteries, Horror, and Suspense, and biographies. I am a gamer. My favorite ones are Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Star Trek Online, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, and Civilization Five. I love to cook and I love trying new recipes (hint hint). I am an avid music junkie from POPular music to Opera, to Showtunes, Gospel, Rock, Rap, and Hip Hop. I am also a Poet – a lot of which is offered on this web page for free. And I do some gay fiction writing from time to time.
I love connecting with people. As an ex- fundi, I grew up in a world where there was this invisible boundary set down between me and the world around me. I felt more like an observer than an actual participant in that world. Since I’ve left fundamentalism – it has been my constant endeavor to be a part of the world. To be a part of humanity. And when I write my poetry or my books, I draw from the experiences of being raised in that environment as well as the experiences of tasting the bouquet of humanity I’d been denied all those years ago.
Author Website: https://fefeeleyjr.com
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/groups/170296487228770/
Author Twitter: @fefeeleyjr
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/f.e.feeleyjr/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6806438.F_E_Feeley_Jr_
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/f-e-feeley-jr/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/F-E-Feeley-Jr/