Friday, July 10, 2015

Scene Spotlight for The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave by J.H. Moncrieff



I am thrilled to bring you a scene spotlight from The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave by J.H. Moncrieff. I read this book recently and was blown away by it. I didn’t see the twists coming and was biting my nails during the suspenseful parts. And there are many! Edgar is meant to be feared. I’ll let J.H. demonstrate why....

Title: The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave
Author: J.H. Moncrieff
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Book Links:
Amazon | Samhain | Kobo | B&N | Trailer

SCENE SPOTLIGHT:
We lowered our heads again and pushed off, the rain striking our necks and backs and legs. Our clothing was soaked, but it made me feel better to think that Edgar was probably soaked too, as my backpack wasn’t waterproof. Let him drown in there, I thought, and as I did, I felt my pack jostle against my back. I panicked, nearly losing my balance. My hands tightened on the handlebars.
It’s only your imagination.
But I knew it hadn’t been.
We’d gotten out of the forest just in time. There was a loud cracking noise, and another blinding flash behind us. We both skidded to a stop and turned to watch.
“Holy assbat Jesus.” Sean whistled. “Did you see that?”
I was too stunned to reply. Lightning was hitting the trees. One by one they caught fire and fell. Soon a steady stream of chipmunks, squirrels, and birds was fleeing the forest. We even saw a deer run past.
The lightning continued to flash, every strike a direct hit. With each crackle and hiss, we both jumped. Our shoulders were so hunched they almost touched our ears. Sean stared at me, wincing into the rain, his eyes wide with fear. “This isn’t right, man.”
“Let’s get out of here.” I didn’t need to ask him twice. Soon we were moving away from McGiver’s Forest as fast as we could go, fighting for purchase on the slick sidewalk.
We hadn’t gone much farther, maybe another mile or two, when we saw the worms. They covered the path ahead in thick, pink ropes. I could almost hear the squelching. One thing I’d never told Sean is that I was afraid of worms. It wasn’t something a boy my age would ever admit to his buddies, unless he wanted to find a few worms in his sleeping bag on the next camping trip.
My chest tightened as I saw their disgusting, slimy bodies. They were night crawlers, the biggest of the big, and they were everywhere. My mouth went as dry as dust. I couldn’t swallow.
I could hear Sean swearing up ahead. The scene was enough to gross him out, and as far as I knew, he wasn’t afraid of worms. Apparently deciding that the best thing to do was get it over with, my friend picked up speed. Cold worm guts splashed me in the face. My stomach clenched with the need to puke, but I kept on going, focusing on my friend’s broad back.
I could avoid seeing them, but I couldn’t stop hearing the sickening splat they made as our tires ran over them, crushing them into the concrete. Still, we were nearly past. My spirits rose, and even the rain seemed to be letting up. We could do this! We would do this.
And then Sean braked so suddenly I almost crashed into him.

QUESTIONS:

1. Where does this scene take place?

This scene takes place in small-town Minnesota. Josh and his friend Sean are attempting to get rid of Edgar, an evil teddy bear that was a “gift” from Josh’s stepfather.

2. What inspired this scene?

I was actually caught in a crazy, sudden storm like this. When I was a child, I was camping in a provincial park with my family, and these gale-force winds came out of nowhere. Suddenly, all the trees started falling down, and they were huge trees. It was terrifying.

And, while this wasn’t intentional, I see the influence of Stephen King’s IT in this scene, as Edgar can apparently manifest what the boys are afraid of.

Or can he?

3. Edgar is one nasty teddy bear. What do you love the most about this scene?

I love that so much is happening—the storm, the bear in the backpack, Josh’s fear, his friend’s crazy energy and determination, the worms. I was terrified of worms as a child too, and I still don’t think I’d have the guts to ride over them like the boys did. Too gross for me!

At this point in the story, Josh still isn’t convinced that Edgar is more than a teddy bear. He thinks his stepfather is playing tricks on him, but he’s about to discover otherwise.

4. I got chills while reading about them riding over those worms. Was this scene difficult or easy to write?

I found this entire book extremely easy to write. It just flowed, from start to finish, although I was really surprised by how dark things got between Josh and his stepfather. Before I began writing, I’d thought that Edgar had belonged to Josh’s dad, but once I discovered that it was a “gift” from a stepfather, I knew the situation wasn’t going to turn out well.

I’m an organic writer, meaning I don’t have outlines. I start with an initial idea, and in this case I knew I wanted to write about a cursed toy, because I always enjoy those stories. This trope has been used before, of course, but I was confident I could bring something new to it. I also knew how I wanted to end the story in this case, but that was it. Josh, Edgar, Sean, and the stepfather came out of nowhere, but I’m glad they did.

5. I truly hated Josh's stepfather. Can you tell us a secret about this scene?

Even though the boys are having a lot thrown at them in this scene, it gets a lot worse. And this is actually the easiest time they’ll have when trying to get rid of Edgar.


Blurb:

Sometimes evil looks like a fuzzy teddy bear.
Still grieving the untimely death of his dad, ten-year-old Josh Leary is reluctant to accept a well-worn stuffed teddy bear from his new stepfather. He soon learns he was right to be wary. Edgar is no ordinary toy...and he doesn’t like being rejected. When Josh banishes him to the closet, terrible things begin to happen.
Desperate to be rid of the bear, Josh engages the help of a friend. As the boys’ efforts rebound on them with horrifying results, Josh is forced to accept the truth—Edgar will always get even.


BIO:

J.H. Moncrieff loves scaring the crap out of people with her books—when she’s not busy being a journalist, editor, book doctor, and publicist. In her “spare” time, she loves to travel to exotic locales, advocate for animal rights, and muay thai kickbox. She blogs about unsolved mysteries, creepy travel, and the supernatural on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Author Links:


Please leave J.H. a comment. And you might have to say hi to Edgar or he might get mad....



50 comments:

  1. What a delightful review, of a dark and suspense filled story. Thanks for sharing that!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! Much appreciated. If there's anything I can do, it's dark. :)

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  2. What a chilling teaser and a great interview! That cover is creepy.

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    1. Thanks Christine! Samhain Horror prides itself on creepy covers. The creepier, the better.

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  3. Yikes! I really hope I don't see any worms any time soon.... Great scene!

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    1. Thanks, Madeline! Gardening forced me to get over my phobia. Can't avoid worms now.

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  4. A great review for what I'm sure is a great book.
    Yvonne.

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  5. Now that is one freaky teddy bear haha trees falling down around you wouldn't be fun at all. Another reason I avoid camping lol

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    1. It was beyond terrifying, Pat. I'll never forget it.

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  6. Not afraid of worms, but running over them would be disgusting.
    Can't wait to read this!

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    1. That scene really gave me the shivers.

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    2. Thanks Alex! And Chrys, I love to give people shivers. :)

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    3. I bet! LOL! I don't write horror all the time, but when I've added the element of horror I secretly rubbed my hands together knowing I'd be giving people shivers. ;)

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  7. I think I would be scared of that many worms, too! Can't wait to read this book!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! It's dirt cheap, if that helps. :)

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  8. I'm almost done with this story. The bear is frightening. There are so many creepy scenes.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Medela! If you end up reading it and are so inclined, reviews really help, especially indie and small-press authors.

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    2. I read J.H.'s story in one sitting. It was sooo good!

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    3. Oh, stop. You're making me blush. :)

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  9. Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog, Chrys. I was beyond honoured that you asked. I've been a fan of your blog for years, and it's a thrill to be featured in this space. You've built such a great community.

    And thank you to everyone for the kind words and encouragement! Especially those who bought my book--of course you go into the winners' circle. :)

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. You're so very welcome! It's so nice to hear that you like my blog and you were honored to be asked. I'm often nervous when I ask bloggers and readers to do interviews because I think they'll think I'm crazy. lol

      Have a great weekend, J.H.! :D

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  10. Enjoyed the review and the book sounds intriguing. I like the idea of the scene spotlight.

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    1. Thanks, Mason! I'm glad you like my scene spotlight feature.

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    2. Thanks so much, Mason. Intriguing is good!

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  11. Let me start by saying hi to Edgar. :-) This sounds like a fantastic story. I used to go out at night and pick up crawlers to sell to the bait shop around the corner from where I lived. Yes, they are slimy but back then we didn't care. Enjoy your weekend.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Yay! At least someone said "Hi" to Edgar. I think he was starting to plot revenge. :P

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    2. Edgar acknowledges your salutation and promises not to eat your plants.

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  12. This sounds creepy/cool! I'm not afraid of worms, but I imagine biking over a load of 'em like that would be SO gross, haha

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    1. I can just hear them splatting. ICK!

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    2. Thanks, Madilyn. I think anything can be scary if there's a huge amount of it.

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  13. OMG, what a phenomenal scene! Your writing really is reminiscent of Stephen King or Ray Bradbury, J.H. There was so much sensory description. I hope Edgar isn't going to come visit me tonight :) Thanks for the wonderful interview, Chrys!

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    1. J.H. is the female Stephen King, in my opinion. ;)

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    2. Wow, talk about a compliment, Lisa! Stephen King is my personal hero. I worship the man.

      Thank you so much.

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  14. Ok, that was awesome and that bear is wicked!

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  15. Oh my! Hi Edgar!!! I don't think I would welcome you into my home! Best of luck J.H. with the book!

    betty

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    1. Thanks, Betty. Edgar is well behaved as long as you're very, very nice to him. He also likes to sleep on your pillow.

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    2. And put thumb tacks into her feet while you sleep. ;)

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  16. Enjoyed the scene you selected. I'm sure anyone who reads Edgar will give a second thought to giving a teddy bear as a gift! - Good interview Chrys!
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. I second guessed the teddy bear that I still have from my childhood! lol

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  17. Oh, man...now I have to tape shut all the toy boxes upstairs. Curse you, Edgar!

    Actually, this sounds like a great read! Well done, man!

    Thanks for the interview, Chrys!

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    1. It really is a great read. These so many twists, suspense, even sadness. It had everything you want in a horror story.

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  18. Wow, this certainly scared the crap out of me. Well done J H Moncrieff!
    Great interview Chrys.

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    1. J.H. does a excellent job at scaring the crap out of people. She does it on her blog all the time. ;)

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  19. This is intense and now I am looking at the bears on the top shelves of my office in a new light...

    One thing I remember about being in close electrical storms is the smell of burning ozone that might be added in the experiences of fleeing the storm. The worms are gross but I can understand how they really add to the story if the character is afraid of them.

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    1. The worms are gross. I can still picture their pink wiggling bodies and hear their splats. Ick!

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  20. Wow, that is terrifying. I would not be able to ride over the worms either! Yuck!

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Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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