Thank you for having me today. A few years ago, I became interested in the numerous unsolved Texas crimes along the I-45 corridor in an area known as The Killing Fields. Since the early 70s, bodies have been dumped in these Texas fields, located south of Houston. Many young lives ended too soon and families were destroyed.
A Killer’s Field is a short young adult Halloween story available in e-format. The novella is fictional, but includes a few facts surrounding the I-45 murders.
I hope young readers will pick up a copy of this novella and see the story for what it is—a warning with an underlying message. I won’t give away spoilers here. However, I’d like to leave an excerpt and invite your readers to check out A Killer’s Field, on sale now at Devine Destinies.
Thank you for sharing your blog with me, Dawn. It’s great to be here.
“A deadly event turns participants into victims as a Texas killing field becomes ground zero for a Halloween hunt….” A Killer’s Field, Susan Smith Alvis
Kristen McMurray is flabbergasted when her boyfriend decides to take her to the Texas Killing Fields for Halloween. She’s not at all impressed with his plans for a romantic evening, let alone the idea of frolicking on the very grounds known to harbor the deadliest of secrets.
Picturing a moonlit sky high above them and a murderer lurking in the shadows, Kristen is convinced her boyfriend has either lost his mind or worse. Perhaps he’s become a quiet lunatic waiting to emerge.
Reluctantly, Kristen agrees to spend Halloween in the fields. Unbeknownst to her, they enter the heart of a huge Halloween hunt, an organized event and obvious trap used to entice unsuspecting victims to the very place where dozens of bodies have been previously dumped.
One brush with death leads to another, but Kristen keeps her wits about her as her boyfriend turns their Halloween night into an evening she’ll never forget. While the fields live up to their harrowing name, Kristen faces the horrors of the past. Somewhere along the way, she discovers an inner strength and a will to survive, realizing determination and the desire to live are the only elements insuring she’ll leave the fields alive!
Excerpt for A Killer’s Field by Susan Smith Alvis
“Where to?” I ask, giving the door a quick tug and taking my seat. I’m still irked by his lack of manners. Perhaps I’ll find a Texas gentleman while we’re hunting killers. Oh sure, there’s a plan. Like eligible bachelors frequent those fields. There’s an old adage about tempting fate. Right now, I feel as if I’m setting a determined appointment with death.
Denny starts the truck. “You’re in a mood.”
I glance to my left. “Isn’t everyone?”
“You are,” he grumbles.
“I am,” I agree. “People everywhere are always in a mood. Some folks are in a good mood. Still others are…”
“Terrified,” I deadpan.
“You’re in a terrified mood?” he asks, turning up the radio a notch.
“Turn that off,” I say, reaching over his outstretched arm and hitting the volume knob.
Denny drops his semi-muscular limb like it is weighted down with barbells. He steps on the brake. “What is wrong with you?”
“I don’t feel like listening to scary movie music.” I look straight ahead. I can’t help but blink repetitively. In the face of danger, this always happens. It’s as if I’m not quite able to fathom what is directly in front of me. “How do I get myself in these situations?”
“What are you babbling about?”
“It’s Halloween,” he says, scanning stations.
The notation isn’t necessary. As we enter the New Orleans French Quarter, the holiday is well understood. Already in costume, business owners are unlocking their storefronts. Festive skeletons hang from hotel balconies while elaborate jack-o-lanterns line private patios.
“But of course it is. And I can’t think of anything more appropriate than listening to doomsday hymns.”
“Would you rather hear some bluegrass?”
“Those are your choices.”
“What a nice variety you offer. Behind door number one, we have an arrangement of instruments leaving the listener to believe terror has begun its inevitable march. Behind door number two, an artist with the kind of dreadful voice that makes me want to step into a shallow grave.”
Denny grunts, returns both hands to the wheel and accelerates. “You’re strange. You know that, right?”
“Yes, and you’re the most normal guy in the world.”
He reaches under his seat and retrieves a white plastic mask. “Speaking of which, what do you think?”
I wrinkle my nose as the aroma of Heinz 57 fills the truck. “I think you were out of ketchup.”
“So you smell like a steak.”
“I needed to splatter something thick and dark on my mask. I wanted to go in costume.”
“Thanks for telling me. I would’ve dressed up as mustard had I known you wanted to travel as condiments.”
“I told you to dress appropriately.”
A mustard bottle would’ve been slightly overstated then. I study the mask he keeps thrusting in my direction.
Waving him away, I dare to ask, “Why would I dress up for an evening out in the middle of nowhere?”
“I told you. We won’t be alone tonight. This is an annual event.”
“Explain,” I say, fastening my safety belt as he swerves and barely misses a van. “And you never mentioned any shindig.”
“Yes I did. You don’t listen.”
“No you did not, but I’m all ears now.”
Copyright © 2012
A Killer’s Field by Susan Elizabeth Alvis is available at Devine Destinies and is coming soon to Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, and other third party retail sites.