Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts

January 20, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway! Kahayatle, Apocalypsis #1 by Elle Casey




NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, ELLE CASEY, brings readers Book 1 of 4 in the YA Dystopian APOCALYPSIS Series, suitable for older teens and adults.

KAHAYATLE. My name’s Bryn Mathis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I live alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I’m almost out of food and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day. It’s time for me to leave and find another place to live … a place where I can find food and shelter … a place where they won’t be able to find me. Alone, it might have been possible, but now I’ve got company. I’m worried that I don’t have what it takes to get from here to my final destination, and I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

Content Warning: Mild violence and some foul language. Meant for older Young Adult readers (age 15+). This book is in the Dark Science Fiction / Horror / Post-Apocalyptic genres, featuring teen characters only.



I had eaten all the rations that were left in my house, except for five cans of baked beans and two bags of noodles. It’s all I’d been eating for a week, and if I had to have another bite of starch I was going to puke. I didn’t like the idea of going through my neighbors’ houses to find food, but the choice was being made for me now. I was desperate. 

Morning would be the best time for me to make my move. I’d heard the sounds of other people - teens like me - moving around in the daytime; but usually it was in the afternoon or at night. Groups of them had gotten together, looking for stuff in the houses that didn’t have kids in them. None of the houses had adults in them anymore. 

I needed to move without being seen. Leaving my house unprotected would be a very bad idea. I knew that these gangs were soon going to stop showing respect to the houses with kids in them like me. It was only a matter of time before the resources left in these neighborhoods dwindled down to an amount so small, it would no longer be enough to support the number of growling stomachs that roamed the streets; not without the hungry breaking into the occupied places too. 

I hadn’t heard them hit the house behind me yet, maybe because there was someone living there. I’d never met that neighbor, though, and had never seen any sign of a kid there. There were two other houses on my street that used to have kids my age in them, but they had left - I assume to join one of the roving gangs. I guess they figured they had better chances of surviving in a group. 

I didn’t feel that way at all. Before the world had gone into the crapper, I’d been pretty much a loner anyway. I liked my music and my books and didn’t bother with after-school clubs or hanging out at the local cafe. Besides, my dad had me in martial arts training every weekday and most weekends, practically my whole life; it didn’t leave much time for socializing. I’d only moved to this town six months before my dad was suddenly gone. He’d hoped to outrun the apocalypse, but it eventually caught up with him like it did anyone who wasn’t going through puberty.

The guys I trained with at various dojos over the years - I was always the only girl - were as serious as my dad about their skills. They lived for the feel of total control and absolute domination, in any situation. I appreciated the power, but it was never really my thing. I did it to make my dad happy. I’d advanced through the ranks, but didn’t get as far as he’d wanted me to. Now he wasn’t here to help me move forward, and I wished like hell I’d tried harder. For him and for me.

I decided to go to the house behind me to search for food. Maybe there was a kid there, maybe there wasn’t. It was worth checking out, at least. I could get there by climbing my backyard fence, and no one who might be out on the street would be able to see me. Up until now, no one had bothered to try and come into my house. I’d put a note on my door that said to stay the hell away and that I had a gun - which was the truth. But in doing that, I’d essentially become a sitting duck. Eventually, they would come for the things they hoped were in my house - food and fresh water. It was going to be time to leave soon. But until that day came, I needed something else to eat. My hunger was gnawing a hole in my stomach.

Two more hours and I’d go over the fence. My hand went nervously to the ring on a chain that hung at my neck - my dad’s old wedding ring that he’d given me just before he went away for good.



Elle Casey is a prolific, NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling American writer who lives in Southern France with her husband, three kids, and several furry friends. She writes in several genres and publishes an average of one full-length novel per month.



October 31, 2015

Book Blast! Excerpt & Giveaway: Devil's Jawbone by B.J. Sheppard




As night descends on the town of Devil's Jawbone, no one is safe. The veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, and the darkest side of human nature is boiling to the surface. The supernatural and the natural are colliding, and in this sleepy town, the bump in the night is taking human form. Innocence will be lost; the villain will become the victor; spirits will rise and Satan himself will come to town. 

In an eerie collection of short speculative fiction, author BJ Sheppard will grab your imagination, bringing new life to the classic campfire tales synonymous with the scariest of occasions. Halloween will never be the same again.



Janine Richards had been the first to see the body, arriving an hour early to train for that Friday’s track meet. Through the indigo rays of morning, she had expected peace and quiet but instead had been gifted with the body of the football team’s quarterback hanging from the centre bar of the goal post. The police had arrived after her frantic call and all the yellow tape in the world couldn’t stop the student body from stopping to share in the horror, the grief that had blanketed DJ High.

Riley fought his way through the crowd and stopped only when Logan’s body, still hanging one hour after its discovery, swung lazily on a gentle autumn breeze. His stomach lurched and his eyes prickled, yet he couldn’t peel them away.

What, only one day previously, had been a generally happy, albeit momentarily pissed, Logan Greenway was now reduced to a bloating blue-black sac of meat swaying from the goal that Riley himself had scored over several times at practice the night before. The soccer net around his neck had bitten bloodily into his neck, which was pitched at an awkward angle and coated with what looked like thick black paint under the gentle rays of morning sun. Riley fought the urge to run, closed his throat against the violent clench in his stomach that had only occurred before when he was sick, and turned from the body that was once his teammate.

Logan had not been suicidal, that much was the truth. He had been distracted, pissed at Coach for his harsh behavior, but Logan Greenway had been the boy who had it all. Nothing about his life had held a suggestion that things weren’t going exactly the way he wanted.

Riley thought to his own home life, to the secret of his father’s sudden departure that lingered on the tip of his tongue ready to be spilled. Everyone has a secret, he thought, playing nervously with the straps of his rucksack. But what was Logan’s?

It didn’t matter anymore. Logan Greenway was dead. And school was out for the day.



My name is BJ Sheppard and all at once I found myself an author. Such a strange sensation to actually feel you deserve the thing you had aspired to for many years. After all, all it took was computer access and an inner world that reads like a Sheryl Crow song to pound the keys and translate my crazy ideas onto the page. I feel like I could have business cards printed. Maybe wear a black roll neck and perch my glasses on the tip of my nose. I could drink whisky and smoke a cigar and do all those really stereotypical things I imagine all writers do. Perhaps I could get laid a little more? This is not the end. Nor the beginning. Hell, it isn’t even about me. My boys write themselves; I really don’t have that much say in the matter. As long as my characters need a voice, I have two chubby typing fingers and a need to please— watch this space: there is more to come.




August 24, 2015

Promo: Excerpt & Giveaway!! The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl (The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy #1) by Martin Lastrapes


Adam and Jesus (the vampire and the hunter) have an innate antagonism, which is only heightened once they discover they’re competing for the affections of the same girl. Olivia (the girl) is an aspiring author struggling to write a vampire novel. What none of them yet know is there’s a menacing force looming that will change the course of their lives forever. With the first installment of The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy, Martin Lastrapes has created a vampire tale that is scary, funny, thrilling, and satisfying to the very last drop.


Chapter Three

The Girl

In a matter of seconds, Olivia was in the sandbox, beneath the jungle gym, cradled in the powerful arms of a handsome man with pale skin and fangs beneath his lips. Her silver crucifix hung from her neck, causing him to yelp in pain as it touched his hand. Yanking it from her neck, he tossed it into the sand, before pressing his lips to her flesh. She moaned as his fangs entered her, blood trickling out. With the moment finally upon her, Olivia found that it didn’t hurt nearly as much as she thought it might—as it so often happens, the anticipation was far worse than the reality. 

It had all begun as such an average day, sleeping in until noon, before going to the donut shop with her roommate, Elowyn. Elowyn was a stripper at Tropical Lei. Olivia also worked at Tropical Lei when she wasn’t working at the Brunswick bowling alley, just down the way from Memorial Park. Elowyn hadn’t slept all night and was up watching TV when Olivia got out of bed. They lived in a pleasant apartment complex adjacent to a Vons shopping center, across the street from DN Top Donuts, which was a family owned shop that Olivia and Elowyn frequented almost daily. Soon after eating their donuts and coffee, Elowyn fell asleep, leaving Olivia to get on with her day.

Part of getting on with her day involved sitting in front of her computer with the intention of beginning her first novel. She’d been trying for weeks—unsuccessfully—to begin this novel, giving up each time when she could no longer stand the taunting presence of the blank page. Olivia had what she assumed was inspiration, as well as a chosen genre. Vampires. What she lacked was a compelling story to tell. She’d assumed all along that writing a vampire novel would come easily to her, given how much she loved watching vampire shows on TV, namely Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Any time she sat down to write her vampire novel, however, Olivia invariably allowed herself to be distracted with checking her email and perusing eBay, with the occasional detour into YouTube, which inevitably led her into the rabbit hole of Internet porn. But, she always forced herself back to the blank page, beginning the whole process over again. When she finished staring at her blank page for the day, Olivia went to Brandon’s Diner for lunch, eating a veggie burger and fries. She took along a Tom Robbins book to read while she ate, hoping that it might massage the beginnings of a story out of her clenched imagination. By the time Olivia got home from lunch, Elowyn was back on the couch watching TV. Olivia joined her on the couch, passing the next few hours like that until it was time to start her shift at the bowling alley. On her way to work, despite running late, she stopped to get gas; even if it meant getting chewed out by her boss, it would be worth it when she didn’t have to stop for gas in the middle of the night, leaving herself vulnerable to whatever dangers might be lurking. 



MARTIN LASTRAPES won the GRAND PRIZE at the 2012 PARIS BOOK FESTIVAL for his debut novel INSIDE THE OUTSIDE.

He grew up in the Inland Empire, has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Composition from Cal State San Bernardino, watches his favorite movies over and over again, learned many a lesson from professional wrestling, wonders if he’ll ever be famous enough to be on “Dancing With the Stars,” thinks good stand-up comedy is rare and under appreciated, is scared of Vladimir Putin, wonders if it’s too late to learn how to play the guitar, gets depressed when he hears the theme song from “M*A*S*H,” wonders why Teen Wolf never made it to the NBA, and wants Morgan Freeman to narrate his life.

He is also the host of THE MARTIN LASTRAPES SHOW PODCAST HOUR. Subscribe on iTunes or listen on the official website MartinLastrapesShow.com. New episodes every week.




August 10, 2015

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway! Discovery, Drakyl Ranch #1 by Thianna Durston



Warning: This book is a paranormal m/m romance with some horror elements. It also crosses cowboy and vampire genres. If you don’t think cowboys look hot with fangs, you’re missing out.

Living in Montana and working the ranch is all Aaron wants to do for the rest of his life. Diagnosed as allergic to the sun thirteen years previous, every day is a struggle to get out of bed. Having to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and even material to cover his face from the effects of the sun, just makes it all worse. Now, in his thirty-second year, he is sure this will be his last summer. While he hates it, he knows he needs to come to terms with the truth and put things in order for his younger cousins. Before he does so, he heads out for one night of pleasure before facing what’s coming.

Jaret loves excitement and new adventures. For over five hundred years, he has sought them out. In Montana on a whim, he comes across someone he doesn’t expect, someone who makes him feel things he does not understand and does not want to give up. In no time at all, he feels like he cannot live without Aaron. The only problem is Aaron doesn’t know who he is, what he is, nor that he isn’t going to die. Not on Jaret’s watch. With a plan to help the other man discover who he is in place, he only has one thing to worry about: whether an ancient enemy will come and destroy everything he now holds dear.





“You’re not going to die, Aaron.”

“You don’t know that. This sickness, ailment, curse…whatever the fuck it is. It’s gettin’ worse. And it’s changin’. Morphin’ into somethin’ scary. My nightmares lately have been horrible.”

“What kind of nightmares?” Of course, Jaret knew. They were the same kind all of them had during the change. Fire and ice as the body went through horrendous chills and soaring high fevers. They would only stop once the change was complete. For after that, there was no real sleep anymore.

“Bein’ caught on high mountains, pelted with snow. Of the forests here bright with orange fire. Of you—” His voice broke. “Callin’ out my name only I’m no longer here to respond.”

“Babe,” Jaret said in a soft voice, not understanding why but knowing he was closer to this drakyl than he had ever been to anyone. “We’re going to get you cured. Then you can come out with me at night. We’ll keep the place predator free while your cousins slave in the sun. How does that sound?”

A sad attempt at a laugh left the other man’s throat. “Promise me you won’t leave until I’m gone?”

Fury swept along Jaret’s veins. Anger at the sun, the fact the man next to him was terrified, and at Davis for not explaining to the poor man earlier what he was. But mostly, he was furious at himself for not telling Aaron the truth. Leaning in, he placed his nose against Aaron’s. “I promise you,” he said in a deep growl, “that you are not going to die, Aaron Drakyl. I won’t let it happen.”



Thianna loves to write strong stories with even stronger heroes. While all of her books have an erotic overtone, it is the story that is the most important to her. “The story should be able to stand on its own. The erotic elements are an add-on.” 

She enjoys writing about couples with kink, paranormal couples, and straight out strangeness. But more on that later… You can find her at mm.thiannad.com.

She also writes m/f under the name Thianna D.







July 8, 2015

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway! A Demon Inside by Rick R. Reed



Hunter Beaumont doesn’t understand his grandmother’s deathbed wish: “Destroy Beaumont House.” He’s never even heard of the place. But after his grandmother passes and his first love betrays him, the family house in the Wisconsin woods looks like a tempting refuge. Going against his grandmother’s wishes, Hunter flees to Beaumont House.

But will the house be the sanctuary he had hoped for? Soon after moving in, Hunter realizes he may not be alone. And with whom—or what—he shares the house may plunge him into a nightmare from which he may never escape. Sparks fly when he meets his handsome neighbor, Michael Burt, a caretaker for the estate next door. The man might be his salvation… or he could be the source of Hunter's terror.


Hunter wasn’t sure how much time had passed as he wandered the rooms, thinking, but he knew he should be getting back to Ian. He remembered there was a back staircase, not nearly as grand as the large curving one at the front, but closer. It led down to the kitchen and was narrow, for utilitarian purposes only.

The stairway was close… and dark. Hunter needed to grip the walls as he made his way down the raw wooden stairs. Before he even saw it, he felt it, the web of a spider, sticky yet almost ephemeral, clinging to his face. And in dim periphery, he saw a fat, hairy brown spider, alerted to a catch, begin to make its way toward his face. Hunter struggled to get out of the web, trying to tear the gluey strands away from him. He gasped as some of the web got into his mouth and was horrified at the thought that the spider might follow suit.

He pushed onward down the stairs, stumbling, the web clinging to him, accompanied by the crawly sensation of the spider now making its way through his hair. From below he heard laughter. He realized Ian must have returned to the house and glimpsed his predicament. The laughter grew along with Hunter’s horror at the web. He batted at it, struggling to get down the stairs and away from the spider.

After jumping down the last few stairs, Hunter managed to get most of the spider’s web off himself and at last to fling the advancing beast to the floor. He looked back to see it scurry away.

He had a few choice words for Ian, which he started right in on before even seeing the man. “What’s wrong with you? Couldn’t you have helped me? Who knows if that damn spider wasn’t poisonous? And to laugh at me! I just don’t get—” Hunter stopped talking all at once in the middle of the bright, sun-drenched kitchen.

He was alone.

“Ian?” Hunter moved through the other rooms. Ian was nowhere to be found.

“Ian? This isn’t funny. Come out now.” Behind him he heard giggling. Hunter whirled around and was confronted with only empty space. This was not like Ian at all, not at all like the kind but rather staid and humorless friend of the family Hunter had always known. He did one more search of the first floor rooms, assuring himself that all were empty.

Hunter hurried from Beaumont House and stood for a moment after closing and locking the doors behind him, composing himself. The sensation of being watched returned once more, and this time Hunter could pinpoint where it came from. He turned quickly, surveying the upstairs windows, but all of them were dark, reflecting only the sun.

Hunter knew the car was just a few yards away, but as he rushed to it, his foot caught on a bramble, which brought him to his knees. He skinned his hands as he went down. “Jesus,” he whispered… and then tensed. He could feel someone behind him, drawing closer. He was sure it wasn’t Ian. Hunter squeezed his eyes shut, muscles tensing, as he felt hot breath on his neck. He wanted to scream but had no voice.

He turned quickly.

And there was no one there.



Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't disappoint." Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."




May 21, 2015

Book Excerpt! Morgan by Liz DeJesus


In an instant, Detective Morgan Carbone's life changes from day to night. Sociopath, serial killer and charmer, David McAllister won't reveal where the bodies of several young women are located but Morgan is determined to get answers. She gets more than she bargained for when during an interrogation he attacks her by sinking his teeth into her hand. Though the wound heals quickly and perfectly, it leaves her with an insatiable bloodlust as she has now turned into a werewolf like her serial killer nemesis. With her world no longer as she knew it, she is propelled into a dramatic, action-packed journey that includes being forced to leave the country to kill an ancient vampiress. However, when Morgan sees her intended target, she finds that not only does the woman remind her of her one true love whom she lost years before, but she is falling for her as hard as she did with her former lover. Now Morgan must decide whether to complete her mission or risk her own life by giving in to her heart's desire.


Tiny drops of water found their way through the cracks, making a trail half way across the ceiling, only to fall in a steady drip onto the dungeon. Tiny puddles of water decorated the damp floor. The only light came from several torches and candles that were scattered throughout the room.

Little puffs of smoke came out of her parted lips with every breath she exhaled. The Countess’ smooth ivory hand turned a gold wheel. Her manic black eyes searched the room as though she were trying to find a way to escape the prison inside her mind. Her long auburn locks were styled into a French twist that was slowly coming undone. Little pieces of her hair fluttered at the base of her neck and a long curl graced the side of her pale forehead. She wore a white silk chemise so thin that it looked as though she were using a ghost to cover herself up.

“Do you need anything else, mistress?” Irma, the dwarf, asked.

“No. You may leave,” her mistress replied.

Irma bowed and started to walk out of the room. Before leaving the Countess’ chamber, she lifted her gaze above her mistress’ head. In a glass prison, hanging like a bird cage on the ceiling, a beautiful blonde woman slammed her palms against the unbreakable glass. The only words anyone could make out were please and out.

Irma left the Countess’ bedroom, leaving her to continue her business in private.

Elizabeth Bathory continued turning the golden wheel all the while humming Beethoven’s Fur Elise.

The young girl screamed when she saw rows and rows of sharp blades slowly closing in her. No one heard her screams or pleas. The young blonde huddled in a corner in the fetal position and watched her imminent death approach. She never noticed the tiny drain right underneath her feet.

The Countess continued to hum her melancholic tune and didn’t stop until blood started to fall into her golden bathtub. When the garnet colored liquid stopped flowing, she removed her clothing and sat in the tub. The heat she felt sent a passionate shiver down her spine. Little droplets of blood began to steadily drip from above. Elizabeth moved herself until she was directly underneath it. She opened her mouth wide, her fangs sharp, glinting under the pale moonlight that streamed over her body. Oh, how she worshipped the moon and its waxing and waning. She moaned as a drop of blood fell directly over her tongue.

So sweet.

Elizabeth scooped up a handful of the blood with her hands and poured it all into her mouth. She licked her fingers clean.

“Irma!”

The dwarf appeared and bowed her head.

“Yes, mistress?” she asked.

“Bring me another one just like this one. Sweet,” the Countess said as she scooped a handful of blood and brought it to her lips.

“As you wish.” Irma walked away and went in search of another victim for the Bloody Countess.



Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 2011) First Frost (Re-realeased through Indie Gypsy Summer 2015), Glass Frost (Re-released through Indie Gypsy Summer 2015), Shattered Frost (Indie Gypsy, Summer 2015) and Morgan (Indie Gypsy, July 2014). Her work has also appeared in Night Gypsy: Journey Into Darkness (Indie Gypsy, October 2012), Twice Upon a Time (Bearded Scribe Press, Winter 2015) and Someone Wicked (Smart Rhino Publications, Winter 2013).
Liz is currently working on a new novel and a comic book series titled Zombie Ever After (Emerald Star Comics, Fall 2014).


April 20, 2015

Book Spotlight & Giveaway! Almost Alive, The Beautiful Dead #3 by Daryl Banner

ALMOST ALIVE BANNER
goodreads   

Twelve years have passed since the devastation. The world is changed. What once was a planet struggling to survive is now a planet bursting to life. The humans are thriving. Gardens are growing. Trees are reaching up to the sky and the Undeadly clutch on the planet is slowly letting go. But what does that mean for Winter and her friends? In the wake of spring, the last of the desperate Undead gather, fighting to maintain their place in a world that no longer wants them. Mother Nature slowly but certainly works to purge the planet of the Dead, just when Winter thought she had finally embraced this Second Life. Her new friends are back and old nemeses return for the final chapter in Winter's Undead journey.

***
“It’s just how I remember it,” he remarks. “Except I’m … considerably less hungry.”
“Side effect,” I jest.
“Being alive is so inconvenient.”
“So very.”
***
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The Beautiful Dead (The Beautiful Dead, #1) On Sale Now for 99¢! Amazon US | Amazon UK

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She’s dead. In fact, the whole world’s dead. Every single person, apparently. Unburied and reimagined into a beautiful living-dead woman called Winter, she is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a quaint, peaceful city with no hunger, no sickness and no bills to pay. Her Second Life is perfect in every way possible. So why is she so bent on destroying it all? After angering the mayor, befriending rebel headless teenagers and igniting romance with a dark and brooding neighbor, she finds herself wrestling madly with a First Life she cannot remember and this Second Life she cannot accept. Not to mention the maniacal army of rotting corpses who want her dead. Again. But none of that matters in comparison to an even worse problem. There’s a guest in her house. A rude, good-looking man on the run ... a man with a heartbeat.

Dead of Winter (Beautiful Dead, #2) On Sale Now for 99¢! Amazon US | Amazon UK

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No one said being an Undead is easy. Winter’s Second Life became a lot more complicated when the Living moved into her hometown of Trenton. Undead neighbors fight with their Breathing ones. Food is sparse. And, worst of all, the season is taking a change for the colder. A desperate plea for help to a neighboring city turns deadly and soon Winter finds herself facing an old friend from her past whose plot to annihilate all life on the planet may have everything to do with her. And what about the man-with-the-heartbeat in her house? Is there even room for love in such a ruined, unforgiving world? New friends are made. Others are lost forever. In the dead of winter, no one is safe.  

    
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Daryl Banner is a writer and composer who graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Theatre and Psychology. After writing several plays and a musical in college, he started composing for short films and websites, one of which is the Vamplets "Baby Vampyre Dolls" website: (www.vamplets.com) Interesting tidbits: Daryl is also an obsessive piano player, video game enthusiast, and occasional actor. He's been remixing video game music for over fifteen years, and is a passionate Final Fantasy fan. You can feed your ears with many of his remixes (as well as his original music) on his YouTube page "www.youtube.com/DarylBanner". Also, he personally answers all emails he receives, so if you have some strange desire to write him, he may enjoy it. He currently resides in Texas.