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Tag Archives: Whispers

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

I’m feeling nostalgic today. Remembering times when things ‘seemed’ simpler. I’m positive they weren’t but in retrospect, they certainly seemed that way.

A decade or so ago I worked in an office and one of the few souls there who I honestly felt was a friend used to share his life experiences regularly. It seemed that the funnier or stranger a story was, the more we were pulled into it. He used to toss his hands in the air at the end and say, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

We all understood what he meant. No matter how odd life can be at times, truth (it seemed) was stranger than fiction.

I have no doubt the honesty and veracity of his many stories, but I’ll admit that many might seem far fetched to those who didn’t personally know the storyteller.

And that leads me into the real subject of this post…

As I said, I was feeling nostalgic today. I made the mistake of checking my author rank and to get myself out of the depression, I checked some of the reviews…just to see some of the feedback. I ran across a glowing review for Whispers and in it, the reviewer made the comment, “Stallcup did an excellent job of researching thus making the haunting more real.

Whispers

That statement made me smile. I was instantly returned to the time we lived in our previous house…a house that was most definitely haunted. There was little ‘research’ put into Whispers…no, it was more like using life experiences and putting a twist on them in order to use those experiences in a story.

Now, to those of you who don’t believe in haunted houses…I really don’t care. I didn’t believe they were real until I experienced it myself. Even then, it took me a while to admit that what was happening, was truly happening.

I remember trying to tell my father in law about the haunt and he stopped me. “I don’t believe in that stuff and you’ll never convince me that it’s happening.” I asked why and he stated that it “Went against his beliefs and what the Bible says.”

Okay. I can respect that. I told him as much. Then I told him what was going on and you could see him visibly pale. He finally admitted that the physical things had no logical explanation, but he refused to believe it was a spirit. A demon perhaps. Well, thanks a lot pops for upping the stress levels to maximum. :-/

To those who are chomping at the bit, wanting to know ‘what kind of things’ actually was going on…I’ll give you a taste. Whatever ‘it’ was, it had seemed to focus on my youngest son. Slamming doors. Stomping across the upstairs floor. Throwing things. Pushing him in the shower. Scratching down the middle of his back (and yes, drawing blood) where he couldn’t possibly reach. Yelling at him (and his friend) to ‘get out’ of his room. Scratches along the inside of the wall (and when we accessed the space to put rat poison, there was ZERO sign of vermin). Shadows crossing the loft. Electronic things going off and on on their own.

But the activity that convinced me…the first thing I observed? A Dora the Explorer floatie.

We had shut down the pool and the kids brought their toys in. The kids were scattered to the winds for the night and our best friends came over for dinner. We stayed up late and were playing a board game in the dining room when the Dora floatie (that I had earlier tossed upstairs into the girls’ room…I saw it bounce off the bed and hit the far wall) floated OVER the railing then slowly lowered itself and settled gently into my wife’s recliner.

Meh, big deal, right?

My best friend is a heat and air guy. In fact, he had just installed a new unit in our house. When the floatie was slowly dropping straight down into my wife’s chair, his wife grabbed my wrist and pointed, “DO YOU SEE THAT BLANKETY-BLANK FLOATIE?!”

Her husband and Jess both had their backs to the living room and didn’t see it, but Holly and I had a front row seat. Her husband picked it up. “It’s cold. The air conditioner must have blown it down.”

“Dude, you installed that unit. Do you really think it blows hard enough to blow it out of the girls room and over the rail?”

“No.”

I carried it to the top of the stairs and dropped it. It swished to the side and slid into the couch. We tried again, dropping it on edge (even though that wasn’t how it came down) and again, it swooshed to the side. I tried twice more and never could get it to fall straight down…but when it fell, it was easily two to three times faster than what Holly and I saw.

Time went by, my son was harassed and I eventually called our states version of Ghost Hunters…who drove out and had all of their brand new equipment fail at exactly the same time. Although their things would be moved around and they saw and heard some strange things, they couldn’t get it on tape, so it was ‘unprovable’. A second group came out to simply observe. I explained to them that whatever it was didn’t always participate, but since they had ‘minimum’ activity, they declared the house clear and removed the residence from their list.

I had made a few comments on an internet forum and got the standard questions about burial grounds, murders in the house, etc…none applied. Eventually, we moved and the activity stopped. The family who moved into the house were friends of ours and although the wife was informed and ‘looked forward’ to coexisting with whatever it was…she soon refused to stay in the house alone. Whatever it was, she felt it was evil. Duh. Pretty sure we told you that.

Anyway, long story short…there wasn’t really a whole lot of research put into Whispers.  But I’m glad it seemed accurate to those who have experience in the field.

For those of you who haven’t ‘experienced’ Whispers yet, let me know. I’ve got a few audio codes left that I’ll trade you in exchange for an honest review. Aaron Shook did a helluva job bringing this story to life!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Gearing Up for Candy Extortion

It’s almost time for the annual Adolescent Candy Extortion Day!

Trick or Treat? To most kids those are simply the magic words to get free candy. They don’t realize what it boils down to. I will play a trick on you and possibly damage your property OR give me a treat and I’ll go away. As a grumpy old fart, I could easily choose to see this holiday as nothing more than a shakedown. And that’s my costume this year, BTW. I’m going to be that old guy who sits on his porch and yells at kids to ‘stay off my lawn’! The only difference between Halloween and any other day is, I’ll be throwing candy at them as they run off!

But…now I have grandkids who are old enough to Tick or Treat. To see their joy as they go house to house, dragging their little plastic pumpkin with them in their loose fitting costume brings a smile to my face and stirs old memories. The joys of being old and having a bad memory allows me to believe that I was a good kid and never got into trouble. It’s those inconvenient times that an old school chum reminds me of things I did that makes me question that belief. (I choose to believe that I was mostly good.)

Stampa

But Halloween is the time of change. Seasons transition from hot and dry to cool and wet to bone chilling cold. The leaves, the smells, the cooking, the cooling weather…it all brings a smile to my face as we slide into what is easily my favorite season of the year. Seeing how other people celebrate it is almost as fun as candy extortion used to be. From the goofy to the macabre to the questionable, Halloween is celebrated in so many ways that one questions the origins of the day. Whether dressed as a cartoon character or elaborately made up victim to those who barely wear anything at all and still call it a costume, everybody puts their own flair into it. It is, after all, a celebration and people will find a way to put their own personal and unique stamp on it.

halloween-wallpaper-large006

Personally, I prefer the scary stuff. Sure, the cute and cuddly is nice for the wee ones, and the younger generations can have the ‘sexy’ stuff, but the realistic and frightening is what it’s all about for me. Give me a haunted house that causes people to wet themselves a little and that’s a house I’d stand in line to go through. Of course, my wife will go in ahead of me to keep me safe. She’s a lot tougher than I am…and I hate wetting myself.

And let me add this, I’m joining with my fellow Addictive Reads‘ Authors for our annual Halloween Blog Hop and Giveaway. This year, we’re talking about our favorite parts of Halloween. We’re having a giveaway over at the Addictive Reads site ($50, $25, & $10 gift cards) so be sure and take part in the festivities!

Also, I’m taking part in the WINTER OF ZOMBIE 2015 EVENT on Facebook. I hope you’ll join me and a whole gob of other fantastic zombie authors. There will be fun and prizes and some of my favorite authors will be participating. Just click here to join the FREE event now so you don’t miss out!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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This is HUGE For Me

Pardon me if I make little sense in this post, but I’m pretty stoked right about now.

Paul Stokes just posted a review of Whispers at AudioBookReviewer and it is a WIN!

Whispers

To say that I’m a bit giddy right now would be an understatement.

It’s hard enough to write a story that people might like to read, but to find the right narrator to bring that story to life? I think I hit a home run when I stumbled upon Aaron Shook. Judging by the reviews, those who opted to try it truly enjoyed the story. But to read the review posted by Audio Book Reviewer? Wow…just…wow.

“Excellently written and vividly described in great details.  Although the rape scenes were not vividly described, there is no doubt how vicious they were.”

“A long listen but one filled with twists and turns, action packed excitement and realistic characters. At one time in my life I was a paranormal researcher.  Stallcup did an excellent job of researching thus making the haunting more real.

Stallcup is an author that knows how to tell a story!”

“A well deserved 5 Star rating.”

“Aaron Shook did an excellent job of narrating.”

Yeah…somebody scrape me off the ceiling!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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For A Limited Time Only

So far, the grand majority of reviews for Whispers indicate that it has been well received. However, copies are not exactly flying off the shelves.  Therein lies the conundrum.

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Those who have read it tend to feel it has potential for adaptation to the big screen…something every writer aspires to, but dares not hope for.
So, how to get this in front of as many readers as possible? There are options.
I could give away free copies…but research shows that a grand majority of free books aren’t actually read. It’s almost as though people collect books they never intend to read.
Another option is to put it on sale for a pittance.  Less than a coffee, soda or convenience store candy bar at 99 cents. You may end up with fewer downloads,  but odds are the ‘buyer’ will read it.
Getting the story read is the first step. Praying for reviews is the last. Spreading the word in hopes of getting my work in the hands of others is the groundwork.
So please, check out Whispers while it’s on sale and if you like what you read, spread the word.  Tell your friends and family.  Tell the whole world…leave a review!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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D-Day, T-Minus 24 Hours and Counting

So here I sit.  It is now officially October 2nd.  Softball playoffs are in full swing.  My twin girls are in Regionals and it’s raining cats and dogs. I tell ya, it’s a welcome distraction. Right now I have many irons in the fire and the first installment of the new Monster Squad saga is just a day away. To say that I’m a bit nervous would be an understatement. I can’t help but wonder if the new storyline will hold to people’s expectations. I’m hoping that they’ll exceed them, but you never really can tell.

Things have evolved a bit for the squads.  Unlike the previous saga that takes place back to back, this new story takes place six months down the road.  The dust has settled, things have calmed down and of course, things happened during that time that set the tone for this new storyline.

Homecoming - Heath Stallcup

Questions that went unanswered in MS4 will slowly start being addressed. People have asked what happened with Mitchell and the blonde haired girl?  Why would Laura so suddenly act like she can’t wait to get away? Why…well…you know what?  Not everything will get answered in MS5, so I’m not going to start here.  Some won’t be addressed until 6.  Or 7.  Or…at all? Yes, I read a lot of the reviews and the constructive criticisms I took to heart and have tried to apply to my writing.  I’ve also tried to apply all of the lessons that my editor has taught me.  I know I have a lot more to learn. Heck, I still consider myself ‘the new guy’ so I am always looking to learn.  Anything that can help me hone my craft and provide you, the reader, with a better experience, I intend to employ.

This last quarter will be a hectic one. MS3 coming out on the 3rd.  Whispers being repackaged and coming out in an exciting new box set in time for Halloween. Forneus Corson coming out in November.

Forneus Corson

MS6 was originally slated for March, but it looks like it’s being bumped to New Years and Caldera (originally slated for New Years) will most likely come out some time between now and January. Early December maybe? I’ll leave that up to Todd. All in all, very exciting and a very busy time of year.

Wayward Son Cover

For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you noticed we had to rework Caldera’s cover.  Although I really liked the original artwork, while the story was on hold, somebody else came out with another book with an almost identical cover. It happens. Sometimes more often than we’d like. But rather than cause confusion (both authors run in the same circles), I felt it best to just have a new cover created. Enter Jeffrey Kosh to save the day.  I gave him a brief overview of the story and he put his creative genius to work.  I got a brand new cover that captures the story even better than the original.

Cover New No Glare

Now, I’ll admit, at first I was pretty upset and needed to vent.  My inner five-year-old needed to throw a hissy fit. So, I did what any grown man who tends to behave like a toddler does… I went to my room (a Facebook group that I belong to) and threw a tantrum. Once I got it out of my system, I was feeling much better. I actually woke up today intending to delete the thread and call it done.  But who should stumble upon it? Yeah… the other author. He took it all in good fun though. Luckily, he’s a better person than I am and didn’t take offense.

So, there you have it.  What’s been happening lately, what’s in the works and what’s planned for the near future.  For those keeping score, MS7 is nearing the halfway mark and I try to do as much as I can every night.  Whether it’s a single line or a complete chapter.  But, as we all know by now, things in this business can be very fluid and I’ve learned to go with the flow.  Things happen and they can happen quickly. So these plans are all tentative. I still like to share them as we make them to give you something to look forward to.  Meanwhile, I need to get ready to head back to the ballfield…and get back to writing.  As of now…I’ve got little to nothing to fall back on.  All of my reserves will be out there.  Which, in some ways, is  a good thing.  In others…it’s a bit scary.  No time to dilly dally…nose to the grindstone and all that.

Until tomorrow my monsters…until tomorrow. 😉

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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FREE!! And If You Act Now, We’ll Include…

Did the title grab your attention?  It’s supposed to.  Everybody likes free. Don’t they? I do.  Usually. Unless it’s herpes. Nobody wants herpes, even if it’s free.

But no, I’m not offering anything like that.  What I am offering is a handful of free download codes for the audible version of Whispers! You can save your $24.95 and get it absolutely free…with a slight catch.  Aha! There it is! You knew there would be a catch, didn’t you? Yeah, there always is.  No, I don’t want you to sign up for some revolving charge on your credit card or force you to donate a kidney to the ice water challenge.  No, all I ask in return is an HONEST review once you’ve finished.

There it is.  That’s it.  An honest review.  A high price, I know, but still…

I’m only going to start with a small handful of freebies.  Say…five? Depending on the response, I may add more.  BUT, the first five to take me up on the offer will have the option of getting codes for Monster Squad 1 and the soon to be released Monster Squad 2.  And yes…future releases. Consider yourselves to be the ‘core’ reviewers, if you will. You can get my audible books as fast as I get the codes for the sky high price of an honest review.  And by ‘honest’ I mean just that.  I’m not looking for 5 stars on all aspects…I mean HONEST. If something about the story doesn’t measure up, report it.  If something about the narrator grates…say so.

That’s it. That’s the offer.

And of the first five to take me up on the offer…who knows?  There may be an internal contest of sorts in the near future. Maybe a drawing or…who knows. So there ya go.  The offer is made. If you want to take part in it, feel free to contact me.  You can reach me at Facebook or just email me.  As always, it’s heathstallcup@gmail.com and I look forward to seeing who may be interested.

Until next time…

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Exciting Week Ahead

This week will be a rather exciting one for me.  Rarely do I have more than one thing going on at a time, but this week I have two things to look forward to.

For starters, the Monster Squad Compendium has been released on Smashwords and should be ready shortly on Amazon. Due it’s size, it will only be available as an e-book or hardback.   It IS nearly 365,000 words.

Rise of the Sicarii - Heath Stallcup

For those who aren’t familiar (and yes, I’ve actually been asked, ‘what is a compendium’) it is the first four books, re-edited, rechaptered and placed back to back…the way the story was originally written.  A complete saga with a new cover, new title and the same great characters in the same story.

My second big thing to look forward to?  The audible edition of Whispers should be made available some time this week.  For those who don’t know, Aaron Shook narrated this story and he did a helluva job! When your story is based in Texas, get a Texan to tell it!

Whispers

I know I’ve said it a hunnerd times, and I’ll say it again, any time somebody else can read my own story to me and leave me wanting more…I know I picked the right guy for the job.  I’m hoping that this story will sell a gazillion copies, if for no other reason than to repay Aaron for all the hard work he put into it. Trust me, once you hear it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So, that’s it really.  It’s a waiting game now. Trust me though…once everything is available, I’ll definitely let you know.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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