Guest author – Kristine Mason!

Please welcome my friend and fellow author Kristine Mason!

Are you afraid of the laundry room?

The laundry room evokes many emotions for me…frustration, disgust and, yes, fear. I’m afraid of what lurks inside, especially during football season. The shoulder pads that smell like sweaty, dirty boys, the jocks that had been tossed on the floor, the muddy, stinky cleats. This room frustrates me because I have baskets to house the football equipment, only my three boys can’t seem to grasp the concept that everything has a place. This room disgusts me (remember the jocks?). But am I really afraid of my laundry room? Okay, fear is a strong word, but I do dread going in there. Since it’s the easiest way to get to the garage, I have no choice but to face what I truly dread.

My three-year-old daughter doesn’t fully understand the concept of fear, but she’s finding things that do scare her and I’ve had to find ways to reassure her that, for example, the sounds at night are just crickets singing (she’s still unconvinced and refuses to sleep with the window open). Then there’s my middle son who won’t go to sleep with the window open because what if a robber uses a ladder to climb the roof and comes through his window (I’m seeing a trend with open windows)?

I recently Googled how to overcome fear and came across several articles that all gave similar advice: A: Analyze your fear and define it. In other words, what’s your fear and what triggers it? How does it affect you? Is it dangerous or life threatening? What would be the outcome if you faced your fear? B: Don’t let fear control you. Numb yourself to those fears and confront them. C: Don’t allow your fear to hold power over you. One site I looked at suggested to “make your fears a source of fascination” and discover why your fear holds so much power over you.

When I was a kid, like my middle son, I was afraid of someone sneaking into my room, and terrified of horror movies. I could remember hating Halloween because horror movies would be airing during that week. I would become physically sick when I checked the Sunday paper TV guide and saw that Halloween or Jaws was going to be airing. Don’t even get me started on The Exorcist. That fear stayed with me until college. I can’t remember what the course I’d taken was, but I do remember that the professor had analyzed The Exorcist as a way to give the class a better understanding of how subliminal messages can affect people and, in the case of this particular movie, arouse fear. If you pause The Exorcist at certain points in the movie you’ll see these creepy flashes of a white, skeletal face. The first time I saw it, my skin crawled with unease, but it did waylay my fears to a degree and it turned my fear of horror movies into a fascination. I began watching them, studying them and had come to love them. Now when I put on a horror flick, I’m ready, waiting and wondering…will this movie scare me? Some do, but most don’t. Slasher films are meh, demonic ones? Well, those tend to scare the crap out of me. The Paranormal Activity movies had me very tense. I think taking ordinary people, living in the burbs and having strange things happening in the house is beyond creepy.

Now, I don’t write horror. I write romantic suspense. But one of the great things about a good horror movie is the suspense. You know something is going to happen. The music is telling you to prepare yourself (or in the case of Paranormal Activity it’s the time stamp on the video camera), and yet when that scare moment happens, I still get all jumpy.

I might be over my fear of horror movies, but I have plenty of other fears. Bridges and heights terrify me. Going past my knees in ocean or lake water, being stranded on the side of the road late at night with nothing but woods surrounding me and no cell phone reception. But if you want to know what really scares me…it’s in my latest release Ultimate Fear (Book 2 Ultimate CORE). I’ll give you a hint. I’m a mother of four.

So…what’s your ultimate fear? One day next week I’ll be posting more of mine on Facebook and Twitter and asking people to tell me what they fear the most. One commenter will receive a signed copy of my new release Ultimate Fear. So like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter. Tell me what scares you and enter for a chance to win a copy of my book. I’m anxious to read what people fear the most…dying, the dark, spiders, snakes…or maybe what lurks inside your laundry room?

barnesnoble-coverUltimate Fear—Kristine Mason

When a deranged mother’s grief drives her to replace her dead son over and over, obsession leads to murder…

Chicago detective Jessica Donavan will never stop looking for her missing daughter. Her obsession has destroyed her marriage, but the search is the only thing that helps keep her sane and her mind off of everything she’s lost—her husband and her baby girl. When she uncovers a string of unsolved disappearances and reappearances of a number of baby boys, Jessica turns to her soon to be ex, Dante Russo, a former Navy SEAL turned investigator for the private agency, CORE, to help her fit together the pieces in this perplexing puzzle. But as Dante helps her, she realizes just how much she still craves his support—and his touch.

Dante is still in love with his wife and would do anything to have her back in his life again. He’s been miserable since she left him to deal with the grief over their daughter’s abduction, never understanding how much he grieves as well. When Jessica tells him about the case she’s working, he jumps at the chance to take part in her investigation. He’s hoping not only to save their marriage and ease his personal pain over the loss of their daughter, but to stop a serial kidnapper from taking another victim.

As Jessica and Dante work side by side, pregnant women begin to turn up missing or dead, and they start to uncover the consequences of another woman’s unfathomable grief. The childless mother doesn’t just want a baby. She wants a newborn straight from the womb.

And when forced to confront the dark and twisted perversion of a mother’s obsession, can Jessica and Dante find their lives again…or merely more death?

Ultimate Fear is available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes!

IMG_0234mason2Kristine Mason bio – I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.


About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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6 Responses to Guest author – Kristine Mason!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Kristine, welcome to Magical. What a great title for your book! And the cover is scary and kind of genius, too, because you know just by looking at it that there’s a child involved. I think that the premise of your book – the loss of a child – is every parent’s ultimate fear.

    I actually still don’t watch horror movies. I have a lot of fears, though I try not to dwell on them. I’m one of those people who check to make sure the doors are locked before I go to bed. lol

    • Thank you, Edie! I have to admit that the cover for Ultimate Fear is one of my favorites. My three-year-old happened to see it when I was showing my husband and said, “Aw, look at the cute baby doll.” I cringed lol. There’s definitely nothing cute about that doll–or clowns for that matter. They creep me out too.

      My husband refuses to watch horror movies with me. Sigh. I have to wait until he goes out of town to watch them, then, like you, I’m checking all the doors before I go to bed. Fortunately (or is it unfortunately) I have two fifty pound dogs that sound like they’re double their size who will bark at just about anything! Which is good, unless I’m writing 🙂

      Thanks again!

  2. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Kristine!

    Thanks so much for joining us here today. And boy do I relate to the 4 kids and neurotic animal issue! Kudos for you on still managing to write! And yes, that cover says it all. Nice job. As for fears myself? Not too many – only as they relate to my children. 🙂

    • Thanks for inviting me to Magical Musings, Dale! Kudos to you, too. Sounds like your life is probably as hectic as mine. I swear I’ve come to thrive on chaos.

      My fear for today? I lost power this morning (it’s supposed to be back on by 10:00 pm–it’s also why I’m chiming in late) and I’m worried about losing everything in my two refrigerators. Fortunately the older three kids were off at football practice this evening, but trying to keep baby girl from opening and closing the refrigerator doors has been a full time job lol. The nice thing about not having power…NO X-Box 😀

  3. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi Kristine,

    Warm welcome to you 🙂

    Great post! I really liked hearing that confronting and analyzing those movies worked for you. I read lots of advice and always wonder how effective it is. lol.

    Oh my, abduction was a huge fear of mine. I was almost abducted as a child–grabbed at a mall coming down the stairs with my parents on the elevator–so I know how fast it can happen. I honor you for using what you know and what you feel so effectively in your books! I haven’t worked up the courage to use abduction, but I do often use a second one, fear of firing.

    Ultimate Fear looks awesome, both as suspense and romance. Congratulations on its release!
    Mary Hughes`s last blog was …Blog Tour Perfect Chemistry by Jodi Redford

    • Thanks, Mary!
      I’m really excited about this book! Glad you liked the post–it seemed fitting 😉

      That college course I took had been very helpful…obviously since I love a good scare now. My middle son (he’s so much like me) used to have nightmares over Scooby-Doo. LOL! I would try not to laugh as he’d go on about the purple monster or whatever, but I also understood where he was coming from. Analyzing The Exorcist helped me realize that people, not demons, with very creative and twisted imaginations created the film. Of course I already knew that, but when my professor broke down the scenes, it took some of the scare away. Only some. I still think The Exorcist is one of the scariest movies ever made.

      You were almost abducted?!? Those few sentences you wrote made my stomach flip. My oldest is at the age where he wants to go to the mall with his friends and all I want to do is wrap him in a bubble and keep him at home. I don’t and know that he needs to do his thing. But you’re right. I can happen SO fast.

      Fear of firing? Interesting. I guess that would bother me. My kids think I’m the meanest mom ever, but I really don’t like to be mean. Unless it’s called for lol!

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