by Lynn Mullican
Raven’s Hill, known for its history of murder, mystery and mayhem, has gained yet another owner, Serena Goodwin. Upon learning that she bought a haunted house and a private cemetery, she becomes interested in learning more about the unique occupants of the house, Asmodeus and Gisela. Serena soon makes a terrifying discovery and learns of their mysterious and dangerous love affair, a love that could endanger Serena’s life.
The cabin was warm and cozy with a historical gothic feel to it. One of the major things that sold me on it was the dark and ominous cellar. I was interested in restoring it. I would have to fix the staircase first, maybe even rebuild. It was rickety and not very stable. I would also need to install some lighting in down there.
The house was a fixer upper but that didn’t matter. I was looking forward to making some alterations, and starting my life over again in a new town, with no house for miles, surrounded by the forest and the wildlife. After my last relationship, I needed some alone time, away from my ex-boyfriend, and the big city. Being out here with mother nature gave me the opportunity to jump into what I loved, writing and photography.
Now, that everything had been delivered, and the furniture was where I wanted it, I grabbed my camera and walked into the living room. Boxes were piled everywhere, some contents draped over the side, some full, and some empty. The wooden floor creaked beneath my feet.
Smiling, I walked toward the red brick fireplace, and turned. The picture frame window behind the couch looked out onto the patio and the gazebo in the front yard. The mountain top in the near distance completed the view. Now, that would make a great picture!
I opened the front door and stepped outside onto the wooden deck. It groaned beneath my feet. I leaned on the rail, steadied my camera, and took a picture of the mountainside.
As I turned to my left, something moved near the apple tree. I zoomed in.
Oh, yes! A doe stood frozen near the tree, her eyes on me. I snapped another picture. As she turned her head, I hit the button, again, and again.
A cool breeze whisked past, blowing my blonde hair around my face. The wind picked up, blowing the branches around above the doe’s head. Her ears perked up. Somewhere a branch broke. Then, she was gone.
I took the steps down to the gazebo and looked around. It needed a lot of work. Some of the wooden flooring was broke, and the paint was old.
I ran my finger down the pillar. Flakes of paint fell off. Then, something on one of the other pillars caught my attention.
Smiling, I ran my finger over their names. How unique! Their names sounded so…ancient.
Something moved in the forest. I glanced up. Was it the doe? Or was it just the wind?
Another branch broke. Maybe I could get another picture of her, preferably one with her body in it.
I walked past the gazebo and into the forest. The scent of pine filled the air. Leaves crunched and twigs snapped beneath my feet. If I was lucky, I might find a squirrel. Now, that was a possibility.
I held my camera up, ready to take a picture. Something moved behind the nearest tree, which was thick enough to hide a person, maybe even the partial view of a deer.
I approached the tree, slowly moving around it, coming within inches of a squirrel. I jumped, accidentally hitting the button on the camera. It flashed, scaring the squirrel and running it off. My heart leapt into my throat. I gasped, clutching at my chest.
I glanced at the tree. The deep engraving of a cross drew my attention. Something had dried to it. Sap, maybe? I picked at it, pulling some of it off, yes, sap—thick, sticky sap. I shook my finger to get it off but it clung to me. Dammit!
I tried to wipe it off using my jeans, but it didn’t work. Frowning, I pried at it with my fingernails. My gaze fell to the foot of the tree. A cross had also been engraved into a rock. Interesting!
I knelt down and touched it. It was smooth, almost too smooth. I glanced around. For the first time, I noticed a natural, almost perfect, circle in the formation of the trees. How weird?
Then, something else caught my eye. A small patch of roses stood at the base of another tree. Had they grown there?
Then, the odd formation of the tree drew my attention. Parts of the tree were missing, making it appear as if it had female curvature to it, like legs, hips, a torso, even the breasts, arms, and head of a woman. It was amazing!
I approached it, taking several pictures along the way. Once I was beside it, my gaze shifted to the roses. They appeared to be growing near the rock, which had an engraving on it, as well.
Hmm, just who were Asmodeus and Gisela? I had to know.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
RAVEN’S HILL is a paranormal novellette by new to me author, Lynn Mullican.
Serena has just bought an old cabin with a nice plot of land. It needs work but Serena is happy to fix it up. Unfortunately, there’s more to the house than what the realtor disclosed!
This is a spooky twenty minute read! Because of it’s length, I’ll warn that it doesn’t have an intricate or complicated plot. But if you’re looking for something creepy that you can read quickly, this would be a good one to scoop up. Serena stumbles upon a few ghosts (Asmodeus + Gisela), a demon and an old mystery that she desperately wants to solve. There’s a ghostly romance that the story revolves around, though it’s evident that there’s a bigger backstory for Asmodeus and Gisela. I would’ve loved to get more of their romance, a glimpse into how they came to be. Maybe in part 2? We’ll see!
Told from Serena’s POV with a wicked ending! I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.
Raven’s Hill II: The Ritual
Women are disappearing, and Gisela’s husband, Nate is acting strange. So, when a stranger arrives in the small western town, Gisela doesn’t know who to trust. Is the stranger the prime suspect? Or is her husband?
Nathaniel loved me at one time, I know he did, but in the last few days of my life, it seemed otherwise. It started October 13, 1891 when I awoke to him throwing a tantrum in the middle of the night. His scream filled my ears, awakening me from a dead sleep, startling me. I scrambled to sit up, almost falling out of the bed. My heart raced, my eyes wide with fright, as I struggled to see him in the darkness.
He wouldn’t stop screaming. As my vision cleared, I saw him clawing at the air, fighting with something invisible. I was sure he had a nightmare, as there was nothing there. The wild-eyed look in his eyes forced me to reach out to wake him.
“Nate!” I screamed, touching him.
He lashed out at me, his nails gouging my breasts. I gasped, winded, shocked he would attack me. This was not normal for him, for us. I glanced down. Blood oozed down my breasts, staining the white gown I wore.
I bolted from the bed, aware he was not yet awake. From the opposite side of the room, I screamed at him to stop. His voice echoed within my ears, filling my head, my ears ringing from the constant shriek.
“Nate! Please, stop!” I screamed, throwing a book at him.
That was when he awoke, completely oblivious to what had just happened. A look of confusion settled on his face, his brows furrowed in, his gaze narrowed in on me, the muscles in his face relaxed. It was as if the nightmare had never happened.
“Wh…wh…what are you doing over there, Gisela?” he stammered.
“I’m over here because you attacked me,” I said, turning on the light.
His eyes widened. “What happened? Why are you bleeding?” He climbed out of bed, his eyes never leaving my chest. “Gisela, why are you bleeding?”
I stepped back, unsure if he would flip out again.
“Nate, don’t you remember anything? Anything at all?”
“No, I don’t.” He fell to his knees before me, taking my hands in his. “Why? How?” Then he saw the blood on his hands. “Dear God, what happened? Tell me what happened?”
“Do you not remember your nightmare?” I asked.
“Nightmare?” he asked, trembling. “No, I don’t.”
His eyes fell upon the gown, the one his mother had given me before she passed away.
“Oh, my dear. I am sorry to ruin your nightgown…”
Tears filled my eyes as I gazed down upon my breast.
He pulled at the fabric and tried to wipe away the blood, instead it stained the fabric.
What about my chest? I was sure I would have scars.
“I’m so sorry. Gisela, I didn’t mean to…,” he cried, tears streaking his face.
He touched my wound but the pressure was too much. Pain settled within it. I backed away, glancing in the full-length mirror. He was right, my gown was ruined. I stripped it off, but not before catching sight of someone sitting at the head of the bed. What the hell…?
My heart raced. Who was that? I spun around to stare at an empty bed. Where did he go? I glanced around. Nate followed my gaze. He, too, looked at the bed, his eyes narrowing in, a look of confusion on his face.
“What is it, my dear?”
I glanced around. “I thought I saw someone sitting on the bed.”
“There’s nobody here, but us, otherwise I would have seen them.”
He was right. Maybe I was losing my mind, after all, his nightmare not only affected him, but me. Glancing around, I entered the bathroom, turning on the light. I stared at my reflection in the mirror. Behind me, Nate stood in the doorway.
“Are you alright, love?” he asked.
I couldn’t help but wonder who was alright, me or him? After his nightmare, he should have been freaking out, not me.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
RAVEN’S HILL II: THE RITUAL is a short novelette originally found in the Love from the Other Side – A Ghostly Writes Anthology. It can probably be read before OR after part I.
Something scary is happening in Gisela’s little town. Women are going missing. And her husband, Nate, is acting strange. When a stranger comes to town, Gisela has to ask…is the stranger, Asmodeus, to blame for the missing women or her husband?
So, in my review of the first novellette, I stated that I wanted more of a backstory for Gisela and Asmodeus. And I guess wishes come true because this prequel gives us a better look into how they came to be! Now, once again, this is about a twenty or thirty minute read, so super short. But it’s dark and devilish, a perfect shortie to read on a stormy day (if you want a little scare!).
This is one of those little diamonds in the rough. It has a great storyline and if it were expanded, it would make an awesome horror romance! Told from Gisela’s POV with an unsure ending. (Maybe there’ll be a part III?) I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.
LYNN MULLICAN was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She is married to Patrick Mullican and has three adult children, Cassandra, Bridget and Joeseph. She also has three grand-daughters and two grand-sons.
Starting from the age of 7, she began to write short stories and developed a love for the art. At twelve years old, she submitted a short story to her school for a Creative Writing competition and took 1st Place. Throughout her teenage years, she continued to write short stories. At the age of 14, her love of the art took a turn towards the theatrical when she started writing scripts, plays and poetry. In high school, she attended Drama and Journalism. It was then that she wrote her first screenplay, in which she received high praise from a local playwright, Dorothy Seiffert.
In 1985 she met her husband and married him two years later. She became a stay at home mom after the birth of each of her children. It was during this time Lynn wrote several poems, which were published; In Memory and Waking Up One Morning in 1987, A Baby Poem in 1989, 1990 and 1996, The Violent Mind in 1993, The Demon of Love, Mother!, and Night of Intrusion in 1996, and Possession-Obsession in 2000. During this time, she took a Creative Writing course.
Lynn’s writing was put on hold while she raised her children, worked a full-time job, and also went to college.
She also studied Chinese and American Kenpo with the Red Dragons Arizona Self Defense Systems under the direction of Sifu Denis Wooten. She has taken 1st and 3rd Place for Kata in Arizona State Tournaments. She also studied American Kenpo under the direction of Dennis Conatser Sr. She has years of extensive knowledge in self-defense and martial arts under her belt.
Currently, Lynn works a full-time job and writes part time. As of 2018, Lynn has eight published short stories, four of which were published in anthologies, and three published novels; Bad Elements series, Crystal Dragon, Blood for Blood and The Hybrid Unleashed.