New Release: Ghostly Hijinks

In book 2 of my Agnes Barton Paranormal Mystery series, Agnes has her hands quite full when a very telling dream becomes a reality for her, but can she convince the folks of Silver, Nevada, that there’s indeed a missing family? If they’re not found soon, they might just perish in the harsh Nevada sunshine. 

 

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Driving up Highway 50 through Nevada, said to be the loneliest road in America, sure would make a body nervous. Unless, of course, you’re Agnes Barton, who welcomes the challenge and the chance to check out a real ghost town. But before she even arrives in Silver, Nevada, a mystery has unfolded in the form of a lost little girl, Rebecca, who has become separated from her family who are searching for the elusive Leister’s gold. The real kicker is that Agnes saw it all in a dream, but when they arrive at the Goldberg Hotel & Saloon, she realizes so many things about her dream are real, like the details of the inside of the hotel. It isn’t long before she learns that the hotel is haunted by various spirits from the past, further making for an interesting vacation.

Agnes is determined to find the missing family, insisting that it simply wasn’t just a dream as she learns that a family with a young daughter had indeed disappeared in the middle of the night just before they had arrived. Will Agnes and Eleanor find the missing family before they perish from the elements, or will the knife-wielding spirit called “The Cutter,” shorten their chances?

Ghostly Hijinks now available on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo!
Amazon http://amzn.to/1o2pL2c
iBooks http://bit.ly/1spSQEO
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1tHYSg6
Kobo http://bit.ly/1vSuRNt

Smiles 🙂
Madison

New Release ~ Discovered

madisonjohns-discovered

 

DISCOVERED, book 2 of the Clan of the Werebear Serial 

The story continues…

Elaina awakens from her night with Cullen only to be herded to hide by the stream as the Clan of the Werebear inspection is at hand. It’s too late for Klesa or her sons to leave the village and Elaina worries as she hides with them. She thought her days of hiding were over.

Elaina vows to persuade the werebears to ask the werewolves for help if the clan brings war to their doors, but Cullen is resistant. It might be their only chance, and another chance for Elaina to see her childhood friend and werewolf Liam again.

As the fever still rages and Elaina gives into her primal needs, she allows herself the freedom to experience both of the brothers as they share her, but how long will it last before she’s forced to make a decision that will change all of their lives forever?

Amazon amzn.to/1pfz7UF

Amazon UK amzn.to/1tOGPoP

Kobo bit.ly/1pfygn3

Barnes and Noble bit.ly/1rRwJIh

Cover Reveal ~ Bigfoot in Tawas

Coming Soon!

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The sixth book in the Agnes Barton series.

 

Agnes and Eleanor embark on their most challenging case to date … finding Bigfoot!

Agnes isn’t sure what to say when Billy Matlin hires her to find Bigfoot, and it doesn’t help that Eleanor is hiding in the car. Who is she to say that Bigfoot isn’t real? And, lord knows, she sure could use a paying gig. Armed with a baggie full of brown hair, Agnes and Eleanor march into the sheriff’s department, but Sheriff Peterson is reluctant to test the hair, outright refusing to use county resources for a DNA analysis.

Before long, the Department of Natural Resources and the United States Fish and Game Service also both refuse to test the hair, suggesting that the only way they would investigate is if an endangered species is involved. Never one to be told no, Agnes does the only thing she thinks will get them to change their minds by planting evidence in the form of a road-killed Bald Eagle on Billy’s property.

East Tawas is not only overrun with Bigfoot sightings, but it would seem just about everyone they question claims to have seen something mysterious in the woods. When big game hunters roll into town, and with the DNR and U.S. Fish and Game fighting over the brown hair, not to mention a reality show offering up a ten million dollar prize to whoever finds Bigfoot, it’s up to Agnes and Eleanor to find out the truth, which is further complicated when Billy Matlin mysteriously disappears.

Coming late April.

New release ~ Trouble in Tawas

I wanted to let my readers know that the fourth installment of my Agnes  Barton senior sleuths mystery is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This go around Sheriff Peterson is up for re-election. Thanks to all the readers this series will continue. It’s because of you that I continue to find unusual situations for Agnes and Eleanor to find themselves in. I have toned down the content considerably and have removed the adult content warning, but don’t think for a minute that there won’t be snarky remarks amongst the residents of East Tawas.

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Agnes Barton has been waiting years for this day. She’s always told Sheriff Peterson he would rue the day when his re-election time came around and now — it’s finally here.  What will Agnes do? Will she cause conflict or support the other candidate?

When the sheriff’s father Hal goes missing, Agnes and Eleanor Mason are on a mission to find him, leading them to the Soaring Eagle Casino. But when they haul him home it’s only to find that his companion, Raul Perez, is dead at the bottom of the stairs. When the cops show up it doesn’t look good for Hal who is in possession of the dead man’s credit cards. With Hal now as a suspect, and Sheriff Peterson off the case, the sheriff hires Agnes and Eleanor to clear his father’s name.

Will Agnes be able to clear Hal’s name in time to save Peterson from failure at the polls or is this case too bizarre as a tenant claims aliens are involved?

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Inside Redneck Romance

Facebook banner Redneck Romance by Madison Johns - FBbanner

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the recent release of my book Redneck Romance I wanted share something with you. Forget everything you think you know about Rednecks and go on an adventure with Kelly and Jimmy Bob. Sure Kelly is from New York, but she’s nowhere accustomed to what she’ll encounter in the wilderness with Jimmy Bob. She gets herself into plenty of trouble and luckily Jimmy Bob is on hand to help her out even if neither of them much care for the other.

When a mishap happens in the wilderness and Kelly and Jimmy Bob’s cousin needs medical, they are forced to go back to Jimmy Bob’s Ma and Pa’s house. While there, Ma is under the false impression that Jimmy Bob and Kelly are a couple and she plans a shindig to announce their impending wedding!

Take a step back in the Appalachian mountains and discover a real family, that thus far have shunned society to their simple ways. They are enchanting in their own backward way, but delightful. Kelly is in for a culture shock in a big way,  but will she discover that it’s everything she has been missing all her life?

Available on:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

 

Redneck Romance: in this scene Kelly gets herself into more trouble than she’s prepared for.

Excerpt

I wandered straight ahead and entered a grove of trees that were clustered together, real sinister like, or so I thought by the light of the lantern. I turned and thought to go back, but I couldn’t quite figure out what direction I had come from. Oh great, I was lost!

When an owl hooted, I trembled. I raised my lantern high, illuminating a spotted owl on a branch above my head. If not for its glowing eyes, I wouldn’t have been able to see the blasted thing. It blended right in with the branches on which it was perched.

Up ahead, a glow radiated from within the trees. Maybe it was another camper. My stomach growled and that alone gave me the nerve to check it out. I could at least take a quick peek. Who wouldn’t give a lost camper food, right?

I heard people talking but couldn’t quite make out what was being said. The trees were quite thick in that area, but the glow of a fire could be seen clearly and smoke permeated in a small clearing of sorts.

Indecision and Jimmy Bob’s warnings about my trusting nature occurred to me, and I backed out a step, but not before two bloodhounds raced toward me barking. I didn’t have time to think about what my next move should be, because just then I was propelled upward as a rope tightened around my ankle.

*** 

I dangled, suspended above and thankfully out of the reach of the blasted dogs bellowing below me. I was swinging like some kind of live bait.

Wrong Turn movie memories came back to haunt me for real now.

“Pa, I think we caught us a live one.”

Below me stood a boy covered in camouflage clothing, including hat. Two more men surfaced and my heart nearly leapt from my chest. They both walked toward me. One of them raised a machete while the other took ahold of my leg to still me. I tried kicking him with the other and they all laughed at my pathetic effort.

“She looks like a frisky one,” one man said.

“That there is the best kind,” the other replied.

I felt like a complete idiot. I had let anger place me into a dangerous situation. Where was Jimmy Bob?

I shut my eyes when a machete sliced toward me.

My free-fall to the ground happened in milliseconds. As I hit the ground, the wind pushed out of my chest and I stared at the stars overhead, dazed.

“Is she dead?” the boy asked.

“Nope, she just had the wind knocked out of her.”

One man leaned down and examined my face. “What you waiting for? Breathe.”

I took in a deep breath and gasped as a pain ripped through my chest. Two strong arms grabbed ahold of me and yanked me up. They then pushed me into the clearing where there was a collection of metal pots. One of them was oval and quite large, sitting atop bricks with a fire burning beneath. My eyes widened when I saw a propane tank. Was it combustible? Metal hosing extended throughout the area and into a running stream. I wrinkled my nose at the stagnant odor.

I had run into damn moonshiners.

Just great.

“Sit your ass down, missy,” the wrinkled man said. He looked about sixty, but it was hard to tell considering his beard covered nearly most his face.

I sat on an overturned log, and my hands were jerked backward and tied together. The boy held a shotgun and pointed it straight at me.

“You the law?” the older man asked.

I turned my attention to the old man and shook my head. “No. Hell, no,” I stammered.

“What you doing wandering round these parts then?”

“I’m a photographer. I came here to take pictures of the Fall leaves.”

He hunkered back for a moment. “I don’t see no dang camera.”

“I left it back at camp.”

“Pappy, what we gonna do with her?” the other man asked.

“Hell, I don’t know, but I sure hope she’s not the law.”

“Maybe we should search her.”

“Good idea, Pete, but be quick about it.”

Pete pulled me up and ran his hands along my body, lingering in intimate spots.

“Jesus, Pete, you’re not enjoying yourself, are you?”

“Yup.”

“Knock it off. Your boy is watching, you know.”

“Maybe he needs to see what she looks like naked,” he suggested.

I tried not to panic. The old man didn’t seem like he cared for what ole Pete was saying and I hoped he’d interfere if he tried to do anything further.

The boy laughed. “Pa, I already know what gurls look like under their clothes.”

“How’s that?” Pete asked. “You better not be messing with Becky Sue.”

The boy hushed up and looked away.

“Her pa will string you up by your balls, boy.”

I sat again, hoping the men would change subjects. “I’m with a guide from around here.”

Faces turned in my direction. “She’s trouble. Do you reckon we should just shoot her, Pa?” the boy asked.

“I’m not trouble and if you untie me, you’ll never see me again.”

“Sure, that way you can lead the law straight here, right?”

“I told you I wasn’t—”

“Shut your damn mouth so I can think. I just hates a woman that keeps yapping on like some kind of barkin’ dog,” Pete said.

“I’m not the law. I don’t care about the law or moonshiners.”

“Sure you don’t, but you might not feel that way if’n you tried some. You might even warm up to ole Pete real good,” he suggested.

“My boyfriend is back at camp and I’m sure he’s wondering where I am by now.”

“Where are you camped?” Pappy asked.

“I’m not sure which direction, but he’s a redneck like y’all.”

“Redneck,” the boy spat. “Pa, please let me shoot her. She’s so irritating.”

“If’n you say one more dang word, I’m gonna slice you up with this here knife. Got it?” Pete said menacingly.

I nodded. I caught a flash of light, but I must have imagined it because when I looked again it was gone.

My eyes teared up. Not because I thought they’d kill me, but because the smoke was so thick. I leaned my head down and all but ignored the men until I lost all feeling in my legs. I rolled to the ground and curled into a tight ball to warm my body as the ground was so cold.

I wondered how I had managed to get myself into this predicament. Where in the hell was Jimmy Bob? I thought he’d have at least tried to rescue me by now. Maybe he just thought I was cooling off, or never noticed I had left.

* * *

I awoke to the sound of pans being clanged together and I sat up with a start. The trio were holding tin cups in their hands, coffee from the aroma that lingered in the air, and something was cooking over a fire.

“Attention! I’m coming in,” a voice yelled.

My eyes widened when I saw Jimmy Bob walking in with a shotgun held to his shoulder. The men jumped up and grabbed theirs, too.

“I don’t mean to be interfering, but that there is my gurl,” Jimmy Bob informed them. His eyes were cold as steel.

My heart leapt a bit when he said it and I hoped he could get me out of the fix I had gotten myself into.

“What’s your name?” Pappy asked, his eyes shifting from Jimmy Bob to me.

“Name is Jimmy Bob Willows, and this here woods is my kin’s hunting grounds.”

“Who says?” Pete spat.

“All this equipment you’re using belongs to my kin, and when they find out you’ve been using it, your lives won’t be worth a plumb nickel.”

“Those are big words coming from a dead man,” Pete suggested.

“My first shot is gonna hit your boy,” Jimmy Bob said. “I’m willing to overlook the borrowing of the still. I’m only here for my gurl.”

“Then y’all be a tellin’ your kin, for sure.”

“Not much point to it now. They have already packed in for the season and so should you. The leaves are getting real bare and the law’s planes will be able to locate the still real easy.”

Pete stepped forward. “You’s a damn fool. The law never comes this far into the wilderness. Take your dang gurl. She weren’t no dang good anyhow.”

I scrambled up and Jimmy Bob’s eyes narrowed when he glanced toward my tied wrists. He then glared at the men. Pete looked a bit too smug like he didn’t give a hoot.

Jimmy Bob led me from the site of the still and reached behind him, retrieved a knife from his pants, and cut the ropes at my wrists. I tried wiggling my hands once they were free, but it hurt and a tear trickled down my cheek.

“City. We need to haul ass before they change their minds.”

Halloween short story ~ 10,000 Souls

carnival (1)

Ten Thousand Souls

By

Madison Johns

Amanda Conner glanced towards the darkening sky, fear mirrored in her blue eyes, wondering if her brother would make it home before the storm stuck. Storms in Kansas can be brutal, and this had the makings of the worst of the season.

The wind began blowing, picking up dirt, the beginnings of a dust storm — stinging her skin as it struck her. Amanda pulled her shirt over her nose and went in search of her brother, barely reaching the carnival before the storm hit. It looked to be deserted, which made her worry even more about her brother.

She told him to stay home, but as usual he didn’t listen. Her parents had left her in charge and it’s gonna be hard to explain if she can’t find him.

Jerked from behind and pushed into a small shed. Amanda clenched her fist. Ready to inflict injury on whoever had pushed her inside, but turning, she saw her brother Luther’s ashen face. Luther is twelve-years-old, and she had never seen him look so visibly shaken before.

Thunder cracked within the clouds making it seem as if the sky had broken in two, causing them to both jump. Looking outside, they saw the clouds flashing from within, and one bolt of lightening struck the ground with a thunderous boom, deep in the thick underbrush.

Thump, thump, thump.

“What is that noise Amanda?” Luther asked, whispering into her ear.

Amanda put a finger to her mouth and turned her head to the side, listening intently. “It sounds like a drum,” Amanda said. The thumping continued and became deafening until suddenly it stopped. They saw the Ferris wheel begin to move and the lights of the carnival flickered on, showering them with light.

The wind still roared, and the dirt still blew, but only outside the area of the carnival.

A woman appeared out of the dust and made her way into the center of the carnival. She had a dark complexion like Amanda had never seen before. Gold chains encircled her body as clothing, and she wore a gold headdress with a ruby amulet, containing tentacles above her head.

Her red eyes lit up as she raised a silver sword high into the air, illuminating the once dark tent behind her. The cloth of the tent looked like a clown with yellow teeth, and it moved as if waiting for a helpless victim to stumble inside.

The woman moved to walk inside, pausing briefly; she glanced towards Amanda and Luther, sniffing the air. She smiled, revealing sharp teeth before disappearing inside the tent.

Amanda heard the sound of dripping water behind her, glancing at Luther she saw his urine slowly trickle down his leg, creating a puddle at his feet.

He seemed to be in a daze, and Amanda gave him a tug, trying to snap him out of it. His brown eyes once lost in the darkness of the shed began to glisten.

“Luther, you need to snap out of it. We need to get out of here before she comes back.”

“I came here with Paul and Martin. We heard a story about a woman from the sea that came onto land once every hundred years. She will appear at a carnival seeking souls.”

Amanda thought for a moment how ridiculous the story sounded at first, a local urban legend that originated during the dust bowl days when sideshow freaks traveled town to town.

“Where are Paul and Martin?” Amanda asked.

“I don’t know where they are, aren’t you listening? We took a look around and I saw something. We weren’t trying to hurt anything, I swear, but when we started poking around; things started happening.” Running his hands through his short hair, he pointed out a tent behind the Ferris wheel. “There is a tent over there, maybe that’s where they’re hiding.”

Amanda gave Luther a quick shake. “What did you see Luther?”

“I thought I saw a little girl, but her arms were so long, they dragged on the ground as she walked. She giggled, and I think she wanted me to follow her.”

“Are you sure they were arms, or tentacles like that woman?”

Luther began to cry. “I don’t know for sure. I didn’t get that close of a look, and I didn’t realize until later that Paul and Martin weren’t with me.” Luther stepped outside, but Amanda pulled him back.

“Luther, where in the hell are you going?”

“I know you don’t believe me. Let me show you,” he implored.

“Fine, but if that tentacle woman comes out and eats me, I’m not going to be happy.”

Casting an amused grin her way, Luther crouched down and crept back to a tent behind the Ferris wheel. Amanda followed, grabbing his hand as they walked inside.

It was a small tent, lit dimly, a lantern hanging on a post with a long tank of water directly in front of them. Tempted, Amanda gingerly touched the tank, bringing it to life. It was dark and murky, but there was movement within, forming bubbles and waves, slouching water over the top, splashing Amanda.

Amanda took the lantern off the hook, she then put it up to the tank to see more clearly, wanting to know what lie within. Luther pulled at her hand, trying to stop her, but it was too late.

Amanda gasped, and took a step backward, seeing a baby with gills and it had a tail as a serpent. The tiny face lit up within the glow of the raised lantern. She appeared to have an angelic face at first. Merely swimming within the glow of the light. Without warning, she slammed into the glass of the tank; revealing jagged teeth.

Amanda dropped the lantern, but Luther caught it just in time before it struck the ground. Amanda felt compelled to walk to a table and pulled the tarp aside when she heard a soft cry.

Underneath, a cage contained a small creature with a tail of an alligator, his head looked as a skull, with hardly any flesh on it. Instead of feeling fear, Amanda knelt, feeling sympathy for the mutant beast with huge doe like eyes.

“Who could do this? Put these poor creatures on display like this,” Amanda said.

“Poor creatures, give them a chance and they’ll rip you to shreds,” Luther insisted.

“How can you say that Luther?”

Without thinking, she knelt down and opened the door, and the alligator boy hobbled out towards Amanda. Screams pierced the air as the mutant bared its teeth. Luther kicked the creature, and it tumbled, disappearing under the tent and out of sight.

They ran outside, barely making it back into yet another tent, before they heard the pounding of feet.

Pulling a tarp aside that covered a table; Amanda crawled inside, pulling Luther in with her. It smelled musty and the smell of fish clung in the air so much so that Amanda had to put a hand over her nose, so she wouldn’t sneeze. Amanda then trembled as she saw something crawl past. The creature had a grotesque face covered with scales, and a serpent like body, slithering as it moved. Its small arms began to lift up items. Searching for them, Amanda feared.

When it turned in their direction, Amanda nearly fainted at the stench emitted from the beast. It pointed and squealing directly at them. Rolling out, Amanda kicked it, silencing its screams.

Luther followed Amanda and grabbed her hand as they ran into the center of the carnival, searching for a way out. Running towards the dust flying without. They fell to the ground when they connected with what seemed to be a brick wall, unable to leave. Trapped.

Amanda turned, feeling Luther’s hand slip from hers. One tentacle from the she-beast wound tightly around his ankle and lifted him off the ground.

Amanda froze, and before she could think, another tentacle snaked out for her. She kicked it away, but it wound itself around her leg.

Reaching inside her pants pocket, she pulled out a screwdriver, stabbing it deeply into the tentacle. Screaming, the woman released her, but Luther was held out of reach.

“That was a stupid thing to do girl. You have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.” The woman walked into the tent with Luther still dangling out of reach.

Two albino men grabbed Amanda, and despite her struggles, they pulled her into the tent, too.

Once inside, Luther was nowhere to be found. What had that beast done to her brother?

“Who are you?” Amanda screamed, ejecting spittle from her mouth.

“My name is Mia. One thousand years ago, I was forced into the sea as a creature.” She smiled with an evil grin. “Every one hundred years, I have the opportunity to attain my release by acquire more souls.”

She held out the sword. “See, your friends are being transformed already.” Amanda approached the sword, not wanting to look, not wanting to know.

Paul and Martin’s faces were embedded on the sword. Their eyes were open and unblinking; they were breathing and alive. Oh god, Luther’s face too.

Amanda felt her tears begin to emerge as she could see the fear mirrored within their eyes. They knew what was happening to them!

The albino men dragged Amanda and tied her tightly to a pole.

“Why did you do that?” Amanda asked, trying to wiggle her way out of the ropes.

“I need ten thousand souls.” She tapped her silver sword.

Amanda could clearly see the skulls layered on it. Horrible faces, of anguish and misery, but not dead at all; trapped inside.

“Where are you going once you have all the souls?” Amanda asked.

Mia put her face close to Amanda. “Why you are a curious one.” She sneered with a sarcastic grin. “When I have enough souls, I will deliver them to Leviathan as a gift. He will then release me from the sea and transform me back into human form.”

“You have to be kidding. Even if you deliver him a sword with ten thousand souls attached. He will only banish you into the lake of fire.”

“There is a lake all right, but not of fire my girl. I have resided in the ocean trenches for many years, but I will remain there no longer”

“Why were you forced into the sea? Surely there is some crime you committed, a rule you broke.”

“Desiring more is my only crime. I was tricked into believing it was possible to slay Leviathan, betrayed by my own sister, Merussa.” She shook her fist in the air. “She now holds the favor of Leviathan, but when I’m returned to human form. That will change.”

“The only place you will be going is back to the sea,” Amanda insisted.

“I will enjoy watching you grow gills,” Mia retorted, tapping her sword.

Sliding her hands out of the ropes, Amanda leapt forward and grabbed the sword from the beast’s hands and ran from the tent.

Pulled backward by a tentacle, Amanda severed it with the sword. The beast screamed, rumbling the ground on which they stood. Transforming herself, with every step she took, and slime fell as her tentacles began to grow longer and longer.

Amanda continued to limp to where the dust blew outside.

“No,” the beast screamed!

“No more souls for you,” screamed Amanda as she took the sword and with both hands, swung it, pushing it through the dust, bringing the dust storm upon them all.

New Release Redneck Romance

Redneck Romance by Madison Johns - 500

Redneck Romance
Twenty-year-old Kelly Gray arrives in the mountainous area of North Carolina, deep in Redneck land, intent on journeying into the Joyce Kilmer Wilderness to take fall pictures, which she hopes to sell to National Geographic. That is until she runs out of gas and needs to enlist the help of Jimmy Bob Willows, a redneck with sexy blue eyes. While he filled her tank with gas, she threw caution to the wind and hired him as a guide, ignoring the fact of how dangerous it may be. Hiring a man whom she doesn’t even know, a man who insists on calling her, City.

Experienced mountain man Jimmy Bob Willows leads the inexperienced Kelly into the mountains, teaching her how to survive in the wilderness. This is a new experience for Kelly as she has never been out from under her mother’s thumb before, but she embraces what Jimmy Bob is teaching her, and for once in her life, she’s on a real adventure, one that results in Jimmy Bob saving Kelly from a copperhead snake and moonshiners!

Kelly fights the growing attraction between them, but will it be a losing battle?

Amazon US http://tinyurl.com/mzc62tb
Amazon Uk http://tiny.cc/k4934w
Smashwords http://tiny.cc/o5934w