In final edit and format phase, GOAD will be available as an eBook and in paperback by the end of the year. It will be produced and available in audible format shortly after the start of the new year.
Goad tells the tale of a troubled young doctor who learns he is destined to carry on the role of a gatekeeper, chosen to stand at one of hell’s portals and limit the influence of a dark and evil spirit. His journey to the acceptance of his duty and responsibility is filled with doubt and uncertainty.
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Formats: Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook
Author: Richard C. Crossley
Publisher: Gapoz Publishing
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Stephen’s Quest I: The Pirates Son
Stephen Shepard was a prototype of the modern-day ghostbuster. A myth breaker attracted by the most horrible and improbable stories of the times in which he lived. He was, for purposes of lineage, the first of the Shepard family, having taken the name for himself to avoid association with his father, whose name was never discovered among Stephen’s records.
What was found however were documents, notes, and letters that indicated his fathers before him had been successful pirates. Their success did not extend to living long happy lives but was measured by the fortunes they accumulated and hid. Fortunes that Stephen, after being left alone in the world even before the death of his father, was privileged to discover and not inclined to surrender.
Stephen found himself in what would become West Virginia early in the spring of 1747, having struck up a partnership of sorts with a conman by the name of Tilly. Tilly convinced Stephen that the local superstitions about a cave of green mist, that evil itself called home, was more likely a treasure trove safeguarded by legends. Stories of evil beasts and sudden madness were only intended to keep anyone from searching there.
This seemed reasonable to Stephen, given the general levels of superstition among the people, whether indigenous or immigrants. There were numberless accounts dating back ages and passed down orally, of sundry accidents and terrible and gruesome slaughters. All of which centered in this small area.
Tilly had gone off with a local who was supposed to show him the well concealed entrance. The man refused to continue past a certain point, swearing that to go closer would put him in mortal danger. He would wait where he was while Tilly followed his instructions and verified the find.
What followed was confused, more especially being based mostly on Tilly’s claims, and later through the reports and rumors of locals that discovered the rotting body of the native.
What is known for certain is that Tilly returned covered with blood, some his own but most that of the man that accompanied him, who was now dead and left in the woods under brush. Tilly claimed he had found the entrance, marked it, and returned. The man had gone inexplicably mad and attacked him. He had no choice but to kill him in self-defense.
Stephen had known Tilly for some time and been through several scrapes with him. Something in his eyes bespoke a falseness, or at least an exclusion in his story. Stephen convinced Tilly to show him the body.
The man rested in a sitting position against a tree, mutilated in ways that no normal battle would explain. His head was severed from his body and placed in his hands upon his lap, the eyes roughly gouged out. They rested on top of his ravaged neck.
Stephen saw madness in Tilly’s eyes and tried to restrain him, but he broke free and ran. Stephen, always unable to resist the allure of adventure, was able to track him to a hollow in the forested hills. There, hidden within the rocks of a small outcropping, he found the entrance to a cave. The start of an adventure that would span centuries.
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