I am excited to welcome author Carrie Salo, who is giving us an exclusive look at her novel, The Sounding.
In the Book of Revelation, a man named John has a prophetic dream. He dreams of the final prophecies that will come to pass – and the seven archangels that guard them. Each angel waits to sound their trumpet at God’s appointed time, preparing humanity to fight and win the final battle.
2,000 years later, Father Chris Mognahan is a member of the Hetairia Melchizedek, a secret society within the Catholic Church that studies Biblical omens. The society asks Chris to investigate an unusually grotesque crime – a murder on a college campus where the killer’s hand literally burned off the victim’s face. While the killing seems isolated at first, the society ties the murder to the final Biblical prophecy and a terrifying omen that the order of the prophecies is about to be disrupted. The final battle is coming too soon – long before humanity is prepared to win it.
Suddenly, Chris finds himself fighting against time and hell to keep the prophecies in order and stop an early Armageddon. He is joined by a band of unlikely allies, and together they find themselves in Rome above the Vatican Necropolis – the city of the dead – where the future is revealed to them in ancient texts.
They are not alone, however; an evil as old as time itself hunts them. As they travel across continents on their mission, the demonic force follows relentlessly, waiting in every shadowed corner, and every dark place.
As Armageddon descends, Father Chris finds that his only hope lies in a young woman within the group who has a secret gift – and their belief that God Himself may have sent her to keep the final angelic trumpet from sounding out the early end of the Earth.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Sounding.
Exclusive Excerpt: The Sounding
“I was in the car the day my parents died,” she managed to speak the words casually. “We were driving, obviously. I’m not sure what happened. I think I was asleep in the back. Everything gets blurry; there was yelling and the sound of metal scraping. And then everything was still and quiet.” Elise looked straight ahead, but her eyes moved as though she were seeing things on a screen.
“I opened my eyes, and I could see my father still in the front seat. It seemed like the entire front of the car had been pushed on top of him. He was pinned by the steering wheel in such a way, I knew, though I was young, that there wasn’t enough room for his body to be in the space between the wheel and the seat. He was dead.
“But my mother. She too was pinned, but her seat had broken at the base and she had been pushed partially into the backseat with me. It was the first sound I heard once everything stopped – the sound of her breathing. It wasn’t right. There was some strange clicking sound, wheezing, like she was trying to fill a balloon with a hole in it. Even then, the only thing she thought about was me,” Elise flinched, but pushed past the quiet pain that never seemed to leave. “Here she was, struggling to breath, but she kept turning, trying to see me. She whispered for me.
“I was cut badly by the glass. I think our windshield shattered. I could see blood – my blood – but I couldn’t feel from where it was coming. When I tried to move, it felt like I was disconnected from my body. I couldn’t even hold up my head straight. I think my back may have broken. I can’t think of any other reason.
“Anyway, she kept calling for me, twisting her poor body around to see me. I tried answering her, but it was like my mouth was full of cotton. Maybe it was shock. It’s all very fuzzy, and in and out. Maybe I did answer her. I don’t know.
“Finally she managed to face me, and when she did, her eyes filled up with tears. I knew it must be bad, that there was something wrong with me, because she couldn’t even speak at first.
“That’s when I noticed her side – something had punctured her under the left-side of her rib cage. Dark blood actually streamed onto the seat, like someone forgot to shut off a faucet. It was so black. At the time, I didn’t know, but it was her liver. She had only a few minutes to live.” Elise closed her eyes, deep into the memory now.
“She knew it, though, knew she was going to die. She reached over to me – we could barely touch. She picked up my hand since I couldn’t and she held it. It was so strange, seeing her touch me, and not being able to feel it.
“She said, ‘Elise, I need you to be strong. I don’t have much – time,’” Elise broke her narrative temporarily, trying hard to collect herself enough to repeat her mother’s final words. ‘”But, I need you to be okay.’ I started crying then. I could feel that, the tears on my cheeks. She told me not to cry and that everything would be fine. And then, she said ‘I’ve got your hand, honey. Now you just do whatever it is you do, and you make yourself okay for me.’ I told her no. I wouldn’t. She needed that energy, that life. But she said she couldn’t stand leaving me like this. That I would deny her final wish. She was getting tired, breathing harder, and having trouble keeping hold of my hand. When she told me again, ‘Make yourself okay for me,’ I did.
“I turned-up. I remember being surprised. She was still so strong, and there was so much in her. Unlike other times I’ve turned-up, her life came in a rush. She wanted to give it all to me, so there was no resistance, no bending away from me. I almost couldn’t control it. It just flooded in,” Elise took several hard swallows.
“I began to feel a tingle in my spine, my arms, my fingers, and then after a while, my legs. I wanted to stop then, but it was like I couldn’t. I was too far in, and her energy just kept coming. The voices were so loud – it seemed possible I might actually hear them, understand them as more than breaths. My eyes were glowing so bright, the whole world turned yellow around me. She saw it and she actually smiled, even though I knew I was hurting her, burning her. It was the one time in my life that I new she believed me. She didn’t think I was sick or insane; she believed in what I told her I could do.
“And, it was in that moment that I caught one of her thoughts,” Elise blew a hard breath out into the car, preparing and reassuring that she could get through the end. “They were far away, like she was moving away. Like her soul was leaving. She was remembering the things in her life. And she was happy. I just got an overwhelming feeling that she was really happy with the time she had.
“But then, all of a sudden, it stopped. It was like someone pulled the plug, and her stream of memories interrupted. And then I heard her in my mind, as clear as you hear me now. She thought, ‘There’s someone here for me.’
“I finally managed to release her then, withdrawing my hand – I could move now. I looked around for the person she saw, hoping that someone had come to help. But, there was no one. She died next to me, many minutes before a first responder arrived. The paramedics found me crying next to her with only a few scars on my face fading.”
Meet Carrie Salo!
CarrieSalo is a dark storyteller and emerging author of supernatural thrillers. Classically trained at an Ivy League university, she studied the works of master storytellers seven stories underground in the muffled heart of one of the world’s largest libraries.
Carrie seeks to wield unrelenting suspense in her own exploration of all things (especially true things) that keep us awake at night. She has written under the guidance of two bestselling and national prize-winning authors. Her extensive travels have taken her to many haunted places, including the private catacombs of the Vatican. The Sounding is Carrie’s debut novel.
Carrie enjoys the smell of old books, New York riesling, late night jogging and thunderstorms, though not in that order. Storytelling is Carrie’s secret life. While she looks into all the dark corners by night, by day she is an advertising copywriter and account manager.
Thank you Carrie for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Carrie is giving away a copy of The Sounding. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: So what do you think? Did Carrie’s excerpt get you interested? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until August 15th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.