Gossamer Hallby Erin Samiloglu
As evil arises from beyond the grave, a terrified group of students must suddenly fight for their survival. When Juan Fuentes realizes that he can not only make objects appear out of nowhere, but alsosomehowbring the dead back to life, he unwittingly releases four ruthless 19th-century murderers from their
As evil arises from beyond the grave, a terrified group of students must suddenly fight for their survival. When Juan Fuentes realizes that he can not only make objects appear out of nowhere, but alsosomehowbring the dead back to life, he unwittingly releases four ruthless 19th-century murderers from their unmarked graves. Bloodthirsty and ripe for vengeance, the villains wage their attack on the students of Gossamer Hall. Frightening and suspenseful, this horror story follows the students as they fight to stay alive, and search for the only way to stop the evil undead.
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By Erin Samiloglu
Medallion Press, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Erin Samiloglu
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMack "Mad" Maron was his name. Murder was his specialty, mass murder. Dr. Killian Hastings wrote a best seller about the madman a decade ago, and since then scholars and nonscholars alike knew he was the go-to man for everything Mad Maron.
It was Wednesday night, and Hastings sat at his desk, relaxing before his class began. He took a silver flask out of his briefcase and ran his fingers along the engraved initials while he poured its content into a glass. The dry whiskey smell made everything about Hastings's plan feel more real to him, and he swallowed the liquor whole to block out the enormity of the next few hours.
Very soon. Hastings's palms crushed together in anticipation. Very soon now.
The professor set the flask back into his briefcase. He pulled open his desk drawer and reached in, taking out the hardback copy of the Mad Maron biography a Los Angeles Times critic had once hailed as, "The most wildly engaging nonfiction book of the year."
Hastings set the book on his desk and studied it thoughtfully. Devil of the West was written in bold red just above an enhanced, yellowed, black-and-white portrait of the handsome thirty-two-year-old gunman. Maron was positioned with one hand casually folded over his stomach, the other hand tense on his holster, as if to announce that even in leisure he was still prepared for battle. His customary cowboy hat was tilted to the side, hiding his dark hair and shadowing his left eye, and a scarf was tied crookedly around his neck.
"A picture says a thousand words." Hastings repeated the cliché to himself while he studied the photo. It was hard to tell from the drab black-and-white picture, but Hastings knew the killer was dressed in his customary black garb. The professor had often joked during interviews that Maron could have been the Johnny Cash of the nineteenth century, the way he never wore anything but the shade of night.
This evening, it was Mad Maron's face, not his clothes, that held Hastings captivated. The gunslinger appeared to be boiling off the page, building cell by cell into reality. His eyes burned with a menacing evil, intense with its desire, enraged by certainty, as if the gunslinger knew exactly what the professor had planned for the night.
Dr. Hastings, the picture threatened. Don't do it. I'll be coming for you.
Hastings blinked hard, hoping his eyes were playing tricks on him, but when he looked again, it remained-the feeling that Mad Maron was coming to life.
I'll be coming for you, Dr. Hastings, the killer warned. Get ready, partner. Saddle up.
Hastings abruptly grabbed the book and threw it back into the desk, slamming the drawer closed with a violent push. Just the alcohol, Hastings thought, and lightly kicked the briefcase beside his desk.
That's all it is-a little whiskey-induced hologram.
Hastings took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He concluded that along with the alcohol, it was also the excitement that was wearing on him. No one could deny his plan was ambitious. He wasn't even sure it would work.
Can it really be done?
Of course it can be done, he answered himself while he unfolded his glasses and put them back on. He stood up from his desk, walked to the window, and looked out onto the darkening October evening. The purple twilight had deepened like a funnel into the day; all that was left were the sun's dying rays of orange and pink scattered across the sky. Half an hour remained before Hastings's class began, and unlike any other time before, he was eagerly anticipating its arrival.
The little-known Presbyterian school, Brookhaven College, had forced him into teaching the night class, Texas History, after Dr. Matthew Simon had dropped dead of a heart attack last summer on a trip through Yosemite. The recently deceased professor had always taught the shitty classes. Hastings had made sure of it. It was part of the beauty of heading the history department-handpicking his own classes and making sure the other poor sucker got the leftovers.
Hastings considered himself a superstar among college history professors, and Brookhaven, in his esteemed opinion, was lucky to have him. It didn't matter that murderers and derelicts were his specialty. A published book counted for something, by God, and if he couldn't teach at Brown, his alma mater, or another ivy-league school, he could at least teach the good classes at pissant holy-rolling Brookhaven College.
The college dean, Dr. Gretchen Kurcan, had called Hastings a week before the fall semester started. "Got news," she said. "You're teaching the night class." The lady was never one for beating around the bush.
Neither was Hastings. "Want to bet on it?"
"Had any other teaching offers, Kil?" It was her way of reminding him that his specialty wasn't a well-received topic for college curriculums.
Hastings inhaled sharply. "Haven't you hired anyone new?"
"Part-timers. No one wants to teach at night." She sounded tired and irritable, as if calling him was the last chore on a long list at the end of a very long day.
Hastings felt doubly insulted. "Find someone," he hissed into the receiver.
"It's too late. You're it." He could hear her fingers drumming impatiently on her desk at the other end of the line.
Hastings hung up and flung the phone against the wall. The crash resounded in the room and echoed throughout his empty south Austin home. Hastings waited for Kurcan to call back, but she didn't. Looking back, it was stupid hanging up on her like that. He could have lost his job at Brookhaven College, and he would never have taught Texas History. He would never have met Juan. He would never have discovered what Juan could do.
Hastings smiled to himself, shaking his head at the series of fortunate events that would, in just mere hours, make him a rich man.
The professor pulled back the curtain wider, and Juan Fuentes appeared on cue, as if he were in a play in which he was unconsciously starring.
Hastings watched the boy cross the width of the yard. To a casual observer, the student looked like any other. Slumped posture, slight build, a backpack slung over his shoulder, a bored expression shadowing the contours of his dark face.
Just another college kid.
But Hastings knew better.
Excerpted from Gossamer Hall by Erin Samiloglu Copyright © 2007 by Erin Samiloglu. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Erin Samiloglu was born on a steamy morning in Jackson, Mississippi, during the summer solstice. She attended school in Australia, where she received a degree in Media Arts. She now resides in central Texas, where her favorite pastime is listening to live music, feeding the homeless, and keeping the world safe for democracy.
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THIS BOOK WAS SOOOOOOO AMAZING!!!! It should be a movie. I definetly reccomend this book! I usually dont read action books but this, THIS was awesome! I recomend twelve and up to read this though because it some bad words and other stuff. AMZING i want this to be a movie! Someone should make this a movie! There arent any words to explain how magnificent this book is!!!!!!!
Since he was a young child Juan Fuentes knew he had the special gift of making things out of thin air. This skill horrified his mother who sent her ¿evil¿ son away to be raised by a relativee. Juan currently attends Brookhaven College where his history professor Dr. Hastings knows what the student can do and intends to exploit the teen in order to obtain the cache of gold that mass murderer Mad Maron hid. --- Hastings arranges for a séance in his class, but before they can finish, an earthquake strikes. The deformed grotesque bodies of Mad Maron and his partners rise from the ground wanting to kill everyone in the classroom. Since they are already dead, they cannot die, but they can be distracted so that the students can escape. However, the dead men use the secrets of each pupil to induce them to come to them only the strong willed can resists the lure. --- This reads sort of like a slasher movie where many will die by choosing a foolish path. Readers will be hooked by wanting know who survives fighting the call of these two dead killers. There are plenty of action scenes but the gore is limited as the classmates try to outwit the homicidal deadly quartet. Fans get to know some of students as their plight grows nightmarishly worse with little hope to survive the reanimation ordeal. --- Harriet Klausner