Hello readers! And thank you Meredith for letting me guest post today! I am truly honored to be here.
For those of you who are not familiar with me yet, I am the author of the supernatural thriller, The Sounding. The premise is that of an early Armageddon. But unlike a lot of Armageddon pop culture out there currently – which feature zombies, vampires or even natural disaster – The Sounding is based in real history and real prophecy. It gets its plot from Jewish and Catholic theology. It centers on the final prophecy in the book of Revelation and how events in today’s world might bring that prophecy to early fulfillment.
Because The Sounding has so much history and research in its plot, I am asked a lot about which parts of the book are fiction and which parts of the book are not. And while I could go on and on about what is real and what comes from my imagination, I thought I would tell you about a very scary part of the book that comes from my own experience.
A few chapters in, most readers really enjoy (from the very edge of their seat, I hope) a scene in the novel that takes place in a large library. Here are some exclusive excerpts (and if you want to read it late at night, when it’s quiet and there is just your small reading light on, I won’t complain):
She took off her hood only when she was alone in the elevator headed several floors down into the book stacks. It rumbled slowly until it creaked to a stop at level 5UL – the fifth underground level – and the doors opened.
Just as she hoped, the fifth level was pitch black and completely empty. With only the light from the open elevator, the rows and rows of books appeared like strange sentinels guarding a vast blackness behind them. In the dark, it was impossible to tell they ran straight back for half the length of a football field.
Elise stepped towards the closest row of books and flipped on the light-timer. An electric hum began and several white lights overhead flickered on. Always efficient, the college only paid for lighting in the library stacks when someone actually needed it. Each row in every floor of the stacks had a light-timer. If a student needed to search for something in a particular row, they turned on the row’s timer and received a gracious fifteen minutes of illumination before blinking back into darkness. They should decrease the wattage in the front lobby and put some down here, Elise thought once again, just as she had before when doing research.
The elevator squeaked closed behind her, and she heard it begin to rumble upwards somewhere as the library-silence recaptured the room. She walked to the left, flipping on each row’s timer one by one, watching the library begin to glow with fluorescence. At the far left corner, she found what she came for – a computer. The labs were still too crowded, even on Fridays, and she didn’t want to use the consoles in the lobby upstairs in full view of the librarians. Down here was quiet and safe. Opening a search engine, she queried for the Ashton train schedule…
A book fell somewhere in the far back of the stacks.
Elise jumped, every muscle in her body tense. Instinctually, she hunched her shoulders as if bracing for an attack and turned her head sharply.
For several seconds, she kept very still, eyes and ears straining, but there was no further noise and no one that she could see. Taking a few shallow breaths, she tried to think her heart rate back down.
Really, there was no way the police could find her here – she hadn’t even known she was coming to the library until a half-hour ago. And she was positive no one came in from the elevator or the stairs – she could see both doors from her seat. If someone was in the library, they had been there when she walked in. She just hadn’t noticed – a student probably studying in the back. Except…I turned on the lights when I came in.
Who would sit in the stacks in the dark?
…Get out of here. Real or insane, get out now!
…The elevator button stared back at her mockingly. Even if she ran, she would have to wait for the old elevator to rattle down. The stairs? In theory, the door should be unlocked–
Elise’s eyes flew towards the middle of the room.
It took her a few seconds to realize what was happening (FLICKER). The lights were turning out (FLICKER), one by one over the rows in the same order that she turned them on only fifteen minutes ago (FLICKER). Her time was up. (FLICKER) Already, the darkness captured six rows and moved towards her like a great black wall.
Believe it or not, this scene is based on a real experience I had. The library I describe is even a real library. As an English student at Cornell University, I spent a great deal of time at Olin Library researching my thesis during my senior year (the same year I began writing The Sounding). Some of the books I needed for my research where very old and quite rare. The library would only loan them out for very short periods of time. Rather than take the books back to my room, only to return them the next day, I usually just pulled them off the shelf and worked from the library. For those of you that don’t know Olin Library – it is one of the country’s largest. I have heard it said it is larger than the Library of Congress, but that could just be a student rumor. In any case, it is IMMENSE. It goes up many floors, and it goes down many more, extending for a good part of the way under central campus. There are all sorts of interesting study spots down there; interesting nooks and crannies to take a nap in. You truly could get lost…
And, when you really get way down under, there are no lights. Since the library is so large, it would be ridiculous to keep the lights on for rows and rows of books that, most likely, don’t even have anyone in them. So, on a hunt for a book, I sometimes would end up far underground, the only student on a deathly quiet floor, facing a dark room full of books. I would twist the light timers – which only promised 15 minutes of light – and go searching.
But, as I am apt to do, often I would get a bit entrenched in my search. I might find the book and start reading. And then I’m really gone, no longer thinking of my surroundings.
Eventually, I would start to notice a pretty consistent (but very quiet) click coming from somewhere behind me. I would look up, often only to realize it was quite dark around me. The lights had begun turning off in the order I had turned them on, with the time between clicks matching the short time that it had taken for me to walk row to row.
I usually caught the last light or two, preventing myself from being plunged into underground darkness. But, every time, it raised the hair on my neck and usually slicked my palms pretty well. Then would come the long walk back, ducking into the darkness and feeling for the next timer in order to light my way to the elevator. On one such walk, feeling thoroughly silly and very spooked, I thought, This would be a great scene for a thriller. I certainly hope it turns out that I was right.
I hope you’ll pick-up The Sounding to find out what really waits for Elise in the dark…
About the Book:
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.
View the book trailer: http://youtu.be/K4Pp8F3A298
About the Author:
Carrie Salo 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 looks to wield unrelenting suspense in her own exploration of all things (especially true things) that keep us awake at night. Her extensive travels have led her to many haunted places, including the private, underground catacombs of the Vatican. The Sounding is her debut novel.
Visit her at: www.carriesalo.com