- Series: Haunted Village (Book 4)
- Paperback: 185 pages
- Publisher: Independently published (February 12, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1796643882
- ISBN-13: 978-1796643886
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,707,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Soul Harvest: Supernatural Horror with Scary Ghosts & Haunted Houses (Haunted Village)
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"The writing is excellent, punctuation and grammar on point, and the story line continues to make this series hard to put down." - A.
"The different factors came as a surprise and the action was what kept me up all night reading." - Reader
"I love all of Ron Ripley's books. This one is no exception." - Mickey
"Very good read!" - Maureen
"As always Ron Ripley's imagination is impressive!" - Beverly S.
"Excellent writing!" - Tammy F.
"I am amazed at how Ron Ripley's mind is able to spin a tale like he does!" - Christina B.
"A wonderful read." - Reader
"I can't express how much I enjoyed this book." - Lisa S.
"Can't wait for the next book!" - Genalynn
"Keep scaring us!" - Reader
"So far every book I have read by this author has kept me rivited. This book was no exception." - Reader
From the Inside Flap
The carriage house contained stalls for eight horses, with a saddler's room in the rear. Above the stalls was a room, whose floor was so dry and brittle that Debra, on a previous trip to the home, had refrained from walking across.
But the greenhouse was what caught her attention and what held it.
The building was huge, easily forty feet long and twenty feet wide. Above the interior, the roof rose up and arched, the peak at least fifteen feet above the curious, white marble floor. Long tables lined the interior, heavy with broken pots and dead plants, among which were hidden sheers, trowels and other tools that were probably still keenly edged. A great deal of the glass panes were broken, but as they neared the structure, both sisters saw that the glass shards were on the outside of the building.
"It's like someone went inside to break them," Sibyl murmured.
Debra nodded. She didn't know why, but it felt right to keep her voice down.
"We'll be in and out in minutes," Debra said. "Just grab a few things and get home."
"Good," Sibyl replied, and Debra could hear the underlying fear in her sister's voice.
They reached the wide door to the greenhouse and Debra grasped the door latch. It was cold to the touch, even with her glove, but she ignored it and pulled the door open.
The wind chose that moment to pick up and blow throughout the greenhouse, chilling Debra to the marrow of her bones.
"It's so cold!" Sibyl hissed.
"Yeah," Debra said miserably, turning the collar of her coat up.
They took a few more steps into the room and glanced around. Debra could see items she wanted. A statue of Pan playing his flute, St. George slaying the dragon.
They'll be heavy, Debra thought. And I don't want to be here anymore.
The door clicked shut and the bolt turned loudly, metal complaining as it moved.
"Said the spider to the fly, come into my parlor," a soft voice whispered.
Debra and Sibyl jerked around simultaneously, but no one stood behind them.
"I have two flies here," the voice said, rising a little and sounding like a young man.
"Tell me," the unseen man continued, "What should I do with two plump flies?"
"Where are you?" Sibyl asked in a frightened voice. "We can't see you."
"Ah, you wish to see your devourer," the young man said, and he gaily stepped into view.
He was dressed in a pleasant, Sunday suit, and there was a large, black hole in the center of his chest. Blood was scattered all over his chest, and he grinned at them.
"Now you see me," the young man said, and he bowed. "I am Wesley Jacobs. Who might you pair of trespassers be?"
Sibyl whimpered and Debra was too dazed to reply.
This isn't real, this is absurd, she thought. Her eyes darted around the room as she thought, This has to be some kind of reality show. Someone must have found out what we were going to do today.
"No?" The young man let out an exaggerated sigh. "Well, I do have one or two pertinent questions for you, and then you'll be on your way."
"Sure," Sibyl whispered, and Debra looked at her, horrified.
"Sure?" she snapped. "We need to leave! This is too weird."
Debra grabbed Sibyl by the shoulders and shook her, then dragged her to the door.
As soon as her hand touched the knob, Debra was pulled backward and jerked off her feet. She landed on the marble hard enough to knock the wind out of her, leaving her stunned on the floor. Sibyl continued to whimper and the young man stood over her, smiling.
Can I see through him? Debra thought, realizing she could see the roof of the greenhouse through Wesley. No. Nope. Trick of the light.
"I will ask my question of both of you, and you can both answer," Wesley said, smiling.
"What's the question?" Sibyl whispered, her voice terrified.
"Are either of you mothers?" Wesley asked politely.
"Don't answer him!" Debra screamed, furious with her sister.
But Sibyl ignored her.
"Yes," Sibyl said, nodding. She seemed to find her voice, to find some sort of strength in the memory of her role as a mother. "We both are."
"Ah," the young man said, smiling, "I was hoping you would say that. Stay right here, I have a gift for you."
The stranger vanished.
Debra scrambled to her feet, took her sister by the arm and said, "We need to leave, and we need to leave now."
"But he has something for us," Sibyl whispered.
Debra could see that her sister was in shock. There was a frightened, shocked look in her eyes, and Debra realized she needed to get them both out of the greenhouse.
"Sibyl," Debra said, forcing herself to remain calm. "We're going to leave the greenhouse. Then we'll figure out what we're doing and get home before Bill teaches our kids something stupid. Okay?"
Sibyl nodded, then smiled and said, "Sure. But he'll have to show us what he has first."
"No," Debra began.
"I'm afraid Sibyl is quite right," Wesley said from behind Debra. "I do have something to show you."
Debra swallowed back a shriek of fear as she turned and faced the almost transparent young man.
In his fine, delicate hands, he held an apparently solid plant pot. The pot was made of clay stained dark with age, and there was a pleased smile on the young man's face.
He's handsome, Debra realized, noticing his appearance for the first time. His features were as fine as his hands, delicate and almost elfin. Dark hair was slicked back away from his forehead, and there wasn't a trace of hair on his face.
"When I was alive," Wesley said, smiling shyly at them both, "I lived here, with my father and the staff. Most of my time was spent in the greenhouse. I loved the flowers, and it was a peaceful enough pastime. I grew the most wonderful roses, and even had several orchids in my home. The greatest flowers I tended, however, were called the Mother's Heart. I found this particular blossom to be enthralling, considering my own mother passed out of my life when I was a young boy."
Wesley offered up that same, shy smile and asked in a soft voice, "Would you like to see my last Mother's Heart? I'm afraid it has withered and died off over the years since my own death."
Debra's heart ached for the young man. She was in a strange fugue, and she felt as though she was in a waking dream. Before she could respond to Wesley's question, Sibyl answered for them.
"We would love to."
Wesley's smile broadened, and he stepped forward with the pot held out towards them. The sisters looked down into the pot and saw a dark, almost fist-sized clump. There was no soil in the container, only the desiccated bud.
"I thought it would be in dirt," Debra said, looking at the young man in confusion, feeling a wave of fear crash over her. "Why isn't it in dirt?"
"I had only a short time with it after the harvest," Wesley explained.
"Harvested from what?" Debra asked, her throat tightening.
Wesley smiled, let the pot fall to the floor, and said, "Why from the chest of a mother, of course. Where else would you find a mother's heart?"
Sibyl shrieked, and Debra tried to run for the door, but the young man raised his hand and there was a curved pruning knife clasped in it.
"You can't go," he said gently. "Not when it's been so long."
Before Debra could react, Wesley's hand flicked, and she felt a sharp, agonizing pain in the center of her abdomen.
"It is a happy day when I can harvest two of such a rare flower."
Debra let go of her sister and sank to the floor even as Sibyl's screams filled the air.
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Timmy, Glen and the "Medium" are United? Sad that we need to wait for the next book. Hope that don't had to wait for too many books, a storyline is interesting until is not (the previous book is a good example of it).