Sunday, 13 March 2016

Elysium Dreams by Hadena James




He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.


Title: Elysium Dreams
Author: Hadena James
Genre: Horror


In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he strikes again.








Excerpt #1:

His cell phone rang as he left the morgue. His wife’s shrill voice came over the line. She was upset because their daughter hadn’t come home yet. He assured her that the girl was probably fine and that he’d check her normal hangouts before hanging up.
He didn’t bother to mention that he already knew where the girl was; he had driven to her location while talking to the harpy he considered his wife. As he sat inside his Cadillac Escalade, he could see her through the large plate glass windows that spilled light into the darkened street. The SUV lights were off, but the engine was running. He lit a cigar. It was one of two places he could smoke; his wife hated the smell of cigar smoke. However, he had bought the Escalade himself, so she allowed him to smoke in it and in the backyard. As long as he picked up the stubs of course, if he let any fall into the yard or left one on the patio, there was hell to pay.
As he smoked, he watched a group of teenage girls inside a pizzeria. The youngest was only fifteen. She was supposed to be home over an hour ago. Her mother was going to be livid. There would be shouting and screaming. After all, there was a serial killer on the loose.
This girl though, wasn’t his target. She wasn’t his type. She was too young, too wild for his tastes. He preferred them to be prim and proper and full grown women. Besides, she was his daughter. No one else in the group fit his purpose either, but their waitress, she was a different story. Her blond hair was pulled back in a very severe ponytail. Her face was hard set as she disapprovingly served the group of unsupervised girls. They were a little unruly in her opinion and it showed on her face.
Then again, the fifteen year old currently shoving a slice of cheese pizza into her mouth, ensured that the waitress was safe, at least for the night. His wife had been insistent that he go find the girl and bring her home. If he didn’t return with the girl, there would be hell to pay.






Excerpt #2:

“It’s art,” I said.
“That’s what it seems like to me,” Lucas agreed.
“That is not art,” Arons joined us.
“Yes it is,” Lucas looked at him. “Art is subjective. You may like Renoir or Monet, but the person next to you will not. And many artists from painters to sculptors to writers have found beauty in death.”
“Art,” Arons shook his head. “Well, you may consider it art, but I don’t.”
“As he said, art is subjective,” I shrugged and turned away from the scene. “The bow and arrow melting the snow can be taken as art. The precision with which it has to be laid out along with the time necessary to have the salt from the skin melt the snow, there is beauty in all of it. You just have to change your perspective. He practically tip-toed over to the area to lay it out and then got down on his hands and knees to carefully put each piece down.”
They continued to talk, but I tuned them out. I was once again faced with a pristine winter scene. Evergreens covered in snow. The ground covered in the white devilish stuff with a thick, crisp crust on the top of it. It would crunch when you walked on it. I closed my eyes. How many people had trampled the path before our killer had used it? How many boots had crunched in the snow? There was no way for me to know these things.
Most people would consider the body in the tree a desecration of both the body and the pristine winter. I did not. Crime scenes were a hallowed area for me. Until the area became a crime scene, it was just a picture to put on a postcard. This was reverse of what most people thought. I knew that, but couldn’t change my logic.



The Author:

Hadena James began writing at the age of eight. By the time she graduated high school, she had published a couple of short stories in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at seventeen. Hadena began college as an English major, but quickly changed to a history major. However, she continued to write and took several extra classes in creative writing.

College showed her that while she could write short stories, novel writing was truly where her heart lay. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian Studies. During this time, she received a couple of contract offers from publishing houses, but ultimately turned them all down.

In August 2012, she self-published her first novel. In retrospect, she is appreciative of the contracts offers she received when she was younger, but believes she made the right decision with self-publishing.

When she isn’t busy writing, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities to visit are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, with her favorites being classic literature; Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Gaston LeRoux, and Jane Austen; modern favorites include Clive Barker, James Patterson, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Her favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages. Some of her favorite bands are Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Rammstein, U2, Marilyn Manson, Oomph!, and Rob Zombie.





Excerpt #3:

Henry couldn’t believe Marshal Cain had fought him that hard. She was feisty. It would make killing her that much sweeter. If he made it that long. He was currently in bed. He’d called work to say he was sick. He was waiting for his wife to leave so he could slip downstairs to his office and check the wounds.
He’d come home yesterday claiming to be ill. He’d used pneumonia as his excuse. He’d caught it from the Marshals. Everyone had believed it, even the Marshals.
The first task had been to relocate his elbow. Once that was done, he had passed out. When he came around, he removed the knife with half a bottle of whiskey and serious willpower. He didn’t have anything that would work as a local anesthetic at his house. The knife had really hurt. She’d plunged it all the way in, until the hilt had bruised the skin. His shark suit had lost lots of rings, he’d had to dig a few of them out of the wound before stitching it up. Then he’d set to work stitching up his arm.
It had been grueling work. His hands had shook. Sweat had poured from his forehead. His entire body had felt like it was being electrified. The stitching wasn’t very even, but it worked. He’d stopped bleeding.
Today he was hoping to redo the stitches, make them look more professional. Scars were easier to explain when they looked like they’d been fixed by a professional. He had hoped he had at least caught her lung.



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