“Harbor House” Now in Paperback

“Solid Collection of Stories by John Greco” Joseph Souza – Author of “The Perfect Daughter.”

“Will raise the hackles on fans of horror and dark tales” – Jacqueline T. Lynch Author of “The Iron Lung Mystery.”

Now available as a paperback and eBook at Amazon.

“Harbor House” Goes Live One Week From Today

 I just want to update everyone on my forthcoming new collection, “Harbor House and Other Dark Tales.” The eBook is now available to pre-order on Amazon (Click here). Publication date is only one week away – September 6th. The paperback version will be forthcoming.

“Harbor House” includes a varied collection of sixteen all-new stories. Below are the titles…

Harbor House

Love and Hate

The Next Door Neighbor

Believe

Big Carmine

Room 111 

A Permanent Solution

So Many Books, So Little Time

And Then She Was Gone

I Would Do Anything for You

That Stuff Will Kill You

A Morning Walk in the Woods

Dwayne

Sorry for Your Loss

Bad Luck

Jacqueline

Below is a short excerpt…

1902

     Everyone in the coastal town of Laurel, Maine, knew the history of Harbor House. Built in 1902 along the rocky shores of the Atlantic, Harbor House has survived over one hundred years of cold winters, snowstorms, icy winds, and death. The large house was built by Joshua Holt and his two sons, Jedediah and Samuel. One year after its completion the Holt family, which included Joshua’s wife Becky and youngest child, Kate, were all killed while boating in the Atlantic. An unexpected and merciless storm capsized their boat.

     Legend has it Joshua was knocked unconscious while Jedediah and Samuel both drowned attempting to save their mother and sister. No one knows for sure what happened since there were no witnesses or survivors. What is known is the bodies of the entire family were washed ashore and eventually buried on their large property. Their names carved into pieces of wood used as markers. 

     After the tragic death of the Holt family, Harbor House remained empty until 1910. During that time, stories spread, mostly by the local teens, that Harbor House was haunted by the spirits of the Holt family. Some kids claimed to have seen Joshua’s ghost in the house crying and calling out to his wife, Becky. Older teens and a few adults claimed to have heard the oldest son, Jedediah, scream out the name of Eleanor Crane, his bride to be. Eleanor was supposed to have been on the boat trip with the Holt family. She bowed out at the last moment because of illness. What is known is that two months after the Holt family drowned, Eleanor, who had been distraught over her fiancé’s death, was found dead. Her body draped over Jedediah’s grave. The cause of death was cyanide, an ingredient her father used in his photography studio. Rumors spread she was pregnant with Jedediah’s baby at the time of her death.

 If you have not pre-ordered yet, why not do so now?

New Short Story – One More Cup of Coffee

Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

I have posted a new short story ony my Medium platform. It’s Free!!!

I sat at a table for two in the small coffee shop where we agreed to meet. The server, his name tag read Henry, had taken my order: one large dark roast coffee with almond milk and a toasted onion bagel with extra cream cheese. He said it would be ready in a few minutes. I opened my laptop and booted it up. Every few minutes, I kept looking up at the door to see who was coming in. It was early yet, but you never know.

It was here in this small upstate town back in 1969 where we met. She was my first date, my first love, and the one I never forgot…. CONTINUE READING HERE

Dark Secrets Book Cover Reveal

Dark Secrets, my upcoming collection of short stories will be out late summer/early fall of this year. The book will consist of ten short stories all with one thing in common… secrets! Very dark secrets best never revealed. What is revealed for the first time anywhere is the book cover. I hope you like it.

This fall season will have some very DARK SECRETS

Book Review: Heaven’s a Lie

Wallace Stroby knows his way around writing tough and tight crime thrillers. His latest, Heaven’s a Lie speeds along at full tilt. The storyline is old, a young woman, Joette Harper, finds a bag of money after attempting to save a man from a burning car. She knows she should leave it in the car and either let it burn or wait until the cops arrive and confiscate it. But Joette has money problems and three hundred thousand dollars can be a big leap in helping out. She knows the money has to be dirty (the cash belongs to a brutal and violent drug dealer), but Joette is desperate. What follows is a high-speed chase and who knows where or how it will end. Stroby likes powerful women characters (check out his excellent Chrissa Stone series) and writes them well. Joette Harper fits the role. The author does not waste words and what he uses is sharp and pointed. Heaven’s a Lie is a book you won’t be able to put down.

Short Story: Social Distancing

Tad was a wild and reckless kid. We’ve known each other since middle school, hanging out many afternoons when we cut classes: smoking pot, drinking, and picking up girls. They were good times until we’d get caught. Our parents reacted in different ways to the news. Tad’s father always physically hit him. There were times he came to school with visible bruises. When the teachers questioned him, he always said he got into a fight with some kids who he refused to name. My father never hit me. Instead, he’d sermonize. No, he’s no preacher, at least not in the traditional sense. Dad would sit me down and give me what he called a good talking to or a lecture: why cutting classes is wrong, why it is wrong to lie, why it is wrong to be friends with a kid like Tad. The talks were long, lasting close to an hour each time. By the end of his sermon, I prayed he would just hit me and get it over with.

As time passed, I became more responsible: graduated high school, went to college, and got a good job. I guess my father’s sermon’s sunk in; I did not want to jeopardize my future by having a bad reputation that would follow me through the years. Tad didn’t give a damn. He barely graduated from high school. Had one low-paying job after another, none of which lasted long. Through it all we remained best friends, though he thought I became a flaming pussy. Afraid to take chances I wasn’t, I just grew up and learned that many of those chances were not worth taking, like sleeping with your best friend’s wife. Technically, Jenny wasn’t my wife at the time; we were engaged. Tad later said that still made her available.

Jenny and I married. I didn’t know about their hooking up at the time. Neither of them ever mentioned it. After Jenny and I divorced ten years later, Tad assumed it was okay to tell me about it since Jenny and I no longer were husband and wife.

I never forgave him.

I finally understood what my father told me at the end of all those lengthy sermons which he always finished by saying, “Tad’s a jerk.” That he was. Still, we remained friends. Don’t ask me why? I don’t think I can explain why.

Jerks! There are plenty of jerks around these days. Stupid may be a better word, and unlike COVID19 when someday there will be a cure. There will never be a cure for stupid. After being caged up in his apartment for more than a month, Tad couldn’t take it any longer and decided he needed to get some beach time in now that the county reopened the beaches.

“Tad, I don’t think it’s a great idea, going to the beach,” I said. “There will be hundreds of people there and who knows who is carrying the virus.”

“Hey man, we live in Florida! The beach is what we live for, Sand and surf, watching women strolling along in bikinis, fishing, watching women hanging out in bikinis, what could be better?”

“It’s reckless!”

“All these years and you’re still a flaming pussy.”

“People are not going to social distance.”

“The sun and heat kill the germs.”

“Tad, there is no proof of that.”

“The President wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.”

“Listen to the scientist and doctors. You’re better off.”

“You’re coming with me, my friend.”

“No, I’m not.”

Tad laughed. “Fine, I’ll go myself. Sit in your apartment all day, every day, doing whatever you do. I can’t take it anymore. No one in our lifetime has ever had to sacrifice like we’re doing now. This is America, man, we have rights, and we have the freedom to do what we want.”

“You make it sound like staying home is the biggest sacrifice ever. How about the people who went through the years of the Great Depression, World War

i and II? And what about Anne Frank and her family who hid from the Nazis for over two years? No sun, no rain, they couldn’t see the sky or the grass.  All we have to do is stay home and watch Netflix, and you can’t do it!”

“That’s all bullshit; this is not a war. And we have our rights.”

“Oh yes, it is a war, and we will lose it, or at least those of us who are reckless enough will lose it. Freedom doesn’t mean you can be reckless and get other people sick and die!”

Tad didn’t pay attention. He called me a drama queen and went to the beach.

That night on TV they showed the crowds on the newly opened beach, hundreds, if not thousands, of people. There was no room for social distancing, even if you wanted to observe it. Tad made it on the news that night. As the local news commentator spoke and the camera scanned the crowded beach, there stood Tad next to this beautiful blonde in a skimpy bikini. They were part of the crowd in the background cramped together with other beachgoers, Tad, the blonde and everyone waving at the camera attempting to get their one moment of TV fame. Less than a minute later, as the commentator wrapped up the segment, Tad and the blonde were hugging and kissing each other as the surrounding crowd egged them on, and giving each other hi-fives.

Tad told me the next day over the phone, since I refused now to see him in person, that her name was Sandy; they met that day. Like Tad, Sandy loved the beach.

That was the last time I spoke to Tad. His father called me a few weeks later; he was crying. Tad was dead from COVID 19.

Copyrighted 2020 by John Greco

You can find more of my short stories at Amazon.

She Took One Step Into The Bedroom…

She took one step into the bedroom framing herself by the open bathroom door. Jimmy stared at her.  Exactly as John Garfield first saw Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice, he thought: white shorts, halter top, and turban.   Only this time Margaret added one more accessory… – The Late Show and Other Tales of Celluloid Malice

 

Lana Potman

Favorite Books Read in 2019

Here’s a shortlist of some of my favorite books I read during 2019. Some were published in 2019, others are older works I finally caught up with.

Favorite Short Story Fiction 

The Sleep Tight Motel (Lisa Unger)

Sleep

Rides a Stranger (David Bell)

Rides

Payoff (Steve Brewer)

pay

Favorite Fiction Novels

The Bitterest Pill (Reed Farrel Coleman)

COleman

Prey for the Girl (Joseph Souza)

Pary

The James Deans (Reed Farrel Coleman)

Deans

The Outfit (Richard Stark)

Outfit

Beyond the Truth (Bruce Robert Coffin)

Beyond

 

 

Favorite Non-Fiction – Hollywood vs. the Author 

holly