||Night After Night Publications, LLC
||September 10, 2013
They never thought their luck would be their curse.
Price: $4.99 (eBook)
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Michael Hebler, Author
Michael Hebler, author
In the months following the onslaught, the extraordinary survivors continue to know no peace, as they are haunted by signs that the relentless creature remains on their trail. However, this fight will be better matched, now that they’ve discovered an advantage that will help protect them from the monster’s bloodthirsty lust. But once faced with the decision to kill the beast, the choice will not come lightly since it is still unclear which loved one the chupacabra possesses.
"Curse of the Chupacabra" stretches beyond the claustrophobic world of "Night of the Chupacabra"'s single town setting as the creature’s victims inadvertently lure the beast across the western states; not only becoming a road story soaked with blood and treachery, but a powerful chronicle of passage that exposes the consequences of not following the path of one’s own heart. “Curse of the Chupacabra” is a relentless feast of tragedy that examines the dangers awaiting those who might be kin to the most infamous abomination to walk this earth.
Scene setup: 1872: The chupacabra has elusively been following a reformed prostitute, Suzanne, and her 11-year-old companion, Jessie, who had been invited to hitch a ride by James, an actor who has eyes for Suzanne, to caravan with him and his theatrical troupe through the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains. The lead performer of the group--troupe owner and diva--Evelyn Diamond, is in the middle of ritually entertaining her fellow stagehands and performers during dinner, but her performance has been interrupted continuously by a vague, rough, scratching noise from nearby...
Evelyn was not so naïve as they all thought and knew exactly what was going on. She was also getting quite tired of all this glad-handing towards the two drifters; however, everything about Suzanne and Jessie slipped her mind for a moment when she, and everybody else, heard a loud howl come out of the forest. Despite her audience’s need to turn and look for the source of the cry, Evelyn knew that the show must go on… until it happened again.
She stopped. Furious at the interruption, but playing off her frustrations with a bit of light humor, “Seems we have a heckler in our midst.”
But nobody laughed or even cracked a smile; they were far too concerned about what lurked behind the wall of trees.
With rifles, guns, and knives already at their sides, the men raised their weapons and stood at the ready.
“What’s wrong with all y’all? It’s jist a wolf or somethin’.”
“Or something,” James mindlessly repeated, too distracted to catch himself.
Dale glanced at him. With their years of subtle communications, he knew those words to mean more than they had sounded.
“Fine!” exclaimed Evelyn out of undoubted frustration. “You men do your business. I’m retirin’ fer the night. Let’s go, ladies.”
The women collected the empty cups and plates then began to make their way back to the wagons while the men hunkered down in a formation that they had crouched into several times before. They quietly held their ground and let the lay of the land speak to them. And that was when Evelyn heard the low, boorish growl again; only it was not a growl… it was a cough.
She froze and turned towards the wagon she heard it come out of: the props wagon.
In a matter of seconds, Evelyn threw back the tarp to catch Suzanne playing nursemaid to the ailing child. It was the one thing that Evelyn Diamond feared most of all: illness, and she screamed as if the sickness were attacking her.
While a few men stayed put, others rushed to her aid, but not James, and it was James who needed to account for this travesty. Seeing him, Evelyn stormed up to the man, “How could you?! You wanna risk us all catching the fever? You’d do that to us, for her?!”
But James paid her no mind, too concentrated on the forest, which only sent Evelyn into a mightier rage.
“What about my voice!? Did ya think of that when you snuck them along? There ain’t no show without me, and there ain’t no show without my…”
A roar reverberated off the trees, sending all the women into a panic--all but Evelyn, who gawked, mesmerized at the mysterious forest.
A cracking sound came next: a thick tree branch snapping in two, followed by a barrage of gunfire. Clouds of gun smoke lifted towards the sky as wood shavings spit off the tree trunks.
James waited only a few seconds before lifting one hand into the air and hollered, “Hold your fire!”
Even though the firing ceased, echoes continued to rumble across the land like thunder for what seemed like miles. As the noise dissipated, only one sound was left that could be heard by every man and woman; the faint sobs of a sick little girl.
Without uttering a word, James motioned for Bradley and J.C. to investigate the woods. All eyes focused on the two young men as they disappeared into the dark forest.
Still stuck on the tagalongs, Evelyn demanded, “I want them gone! Ya hear?!”
James’s glare would have flung daggers if at all possible, “You got more important things to be worried about than catching ague.”
Then Bradley proved his position when he screeched from somewhere within the tree’s shadows, “What the hell?!”
Quick flashes of light sparked behind the trees as a succession of gunfire was followed immediately by a roar of unrelenting anger.
Evelyn’s distress about the sick child was no longer her main concern as she kept her eyes glued on what she could not see. Like everyone else around her, she was waiting to catch a glimpse of whatever was hiding. However, it became apparent that what it was had gotten Bradley when his cries of tortured pain were cut off suddenly.
All fell silent once the screams and gunfire traveled far enough away; however, there still had not been a word or noise from J.C.
Whether they knew what they were doing or not, some of the men began to creep forward with curiosity, as if slowly being pulled by a rope. James cut the cord by cautiously commanding, “Everyone stay back!”
The men stopped.
James stood quiet and still like all the others, no longer questioning any part of Suzanne and Jessie’s story, which did not make him feel one iota better about their current predicament. He refused to send more men into the forest while still knowing very little about what it was they were up against. He and the other men were just going to have to wait it out, but they did not have to wait for long...
Concealed footsteps charged towards them.
A chorus of rifles and pistols cocking circled around James and Evelyn.
James held up a hand to signal his men to halt, and rightfully so as J.C. sprinted out of the dark, white as a ghost, crying, “Don’t shoot!”
Then just as the campfire’s low light captured J.C., his head was tugged back suddenly, and his legs ran out from under him. J.C.’s body slammed to the ground. He screamed and reached for the rope that had attached itself to the nape of his neck and dragged him back into the dark foliage.
The volley of bullets zipped past James as the men fired blindly into the woods, drowning out J.C.’s continued screams.
The men stopped firing on James’s next signal.
Evelyn stood in her cowardly position behind him, anxiously waiting with the rest of her men for whatever came next.
“J.C.!?” James paused. “Bradley?”
He supposed it would be of no use to expect a response from either man--he just needed to try. However, there was an answer from someone… or something. An animal-like grumble weaved through the lattice of tall pines and firs.
Without James’ signal, the men resumed firing. Clouds of dust and wood exploded from the tree trunks, pillaged by the lead, while branches and pine needles fluttered in the air, ejected from higher limbs. The war against the beast endured, but it was James who was the first to cease fire upon seeing elongated claws, like those of a mutated bear, climb the backside of a tree trunk.
The blasting of gunfire stopped one by one as each man saw with his own eyes what he could not believe. Then, within seconds, the beast’s claws disappeared into the canopy above. Loose needles and snow rained down on them as the creature hunkered behind a web of branches, hidden from sight.
With a trembling hand, Dale lifted his pistol and fired into the beast’s general vicinity, signaling the others to shoot a hailstorm of bullets towards the heavens.
The mysterious animal let out an anguished roar. James caught a glimpse of the speedy blur leaping from one tree branch to the next, revealing its forwarding position when knocking down a blizzard of snow and frozen pine needles.
The men trained their weapons towards the falling debris while the creature fled, hurdling from treetop to treetop. The trail continued deeper into the forest before disappearing in the darkness. No man dared to give chase.
As the shooters lowered their weapons, Evelyn uncovered her head and stood to ask, “What the fuck was that?!”
Even though she would accept an answer from anyone who had one to offer, it was undeniably James she had turned to for a response.
He covertly communicated to Dale with a single glance before lying to Evelyn, “Haven’t a clue.”
Who needs zombies?
Who needs a zombie apocalypse when you have a chupacabra? I was provided an arc copy of this book in return for an honest review This book is a fast paced horror fest. The creature is similar to the one in Jeepers Creepers but with a western flair. You can get away from zombies, but you stand no chance with the chupacabra As if that is not bad enough, the poor people in the book are related to the creature. Talk about skeletons in the closet.
This is the second in a series of books about the chupacabra. It falls right in line with the first book and picks up where it left off. It is pretty nonstop in the adventure part. I don't' want to spoil the story for anyone, but in this book, it does not pay to be a nice guy. The family continues to travel west where they encounter serious confrontations with the chupacabra. Some of the encounters are terrifying and others are just down right confusing. There is no reading this creature. The only thing for sure is that it will have you watching the shadows for glowing red eyes.
Michael Hebler has a very didactic and descriptive writing style similar to Dean Koontz in his earlier days. He transports the reader to the scene of the story and basically walks them through the entire adventure never giving the reader a chance to disembark from this gruesome tale. This book was gifted to me for an honest review. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
I love my chupacabras!
You can run but you cannot hide!
Not many survived the last faceoff with the Chupacabra.
Suzanne was one of the lucky few.
Now she's running, with a young girl in tow, trying to stay as far ahead of the beast as she can. Suzanne should've known Jessie wouldn't stay with the older couple that took her in. She's resourceful and cunning and wants to be with Suzanne.
But Suzanne, once a prostitute, can barely take care of herself and thinks Jessie would be better off with someone else.
The decision is taken out of their hands when the chupacabra finds Jessie and she barely escapes it bloody clutches.
Again, they run and there's nowhere to hide.
The chupacabra is back!
Sadly, most of the characters from Night of the Chupacabra, the first book, aren't. They didn't survive.
Suzanne did and I'm glad. She may have had to resort to the oldest profession in order to get by, there weren't many opportunities for women in the old west, but she's kind of heart, astute, and charmingly vulnerable.
Another survivor is Jessie. She's young and bold, a real scrapper too. She's been trying to manipulate Suzanne into letting her stay, and she does something really crazy that puts Suzanne in a vulnerable situation.
It turns out good though, as Suzanne's rescuer is a tall drink of water named James. He's an actor traveling with a theatre group and he saved her from a brutal assault by a scoundrel.
James is quite the gentlemen and he's charmed by Suzannes beauty. Wanting to keep her near, he invites the two ladies to travel with the troupe.
What they don't know is, they are about to have an uninvited guest. A really angry one.
Something I've always loved is character driven novels. I'm a people person and have to have someone to care about, someone to laugh with, and someone to loathe.
I have all of those in Curse of the Chupacabra and that's not including the chupacabra.
He is back and scarier than ever. Boy is he ever.
The author has a different take on the legend of the chupacabra which makes for confusing feelings towards it. It adds to the suspense, for sure.
Lots of laughs, some tender moments, and scares galore. I had so much fun continuing with this series.
While I was given this ARC for my honest review, I would have gladly bought it as I've read the first book in this series and am hooked!
Curse of the Chupacabra by Michael Hebler
Suzanne, Jessie, Danny, and Norman are traveling to their new homes. Danny & Norman to a family in New York, Jessie to a couple in Virginia City, and Suzanne will just make her way as best she can. She feels she's not cut out to be a mother, especially considering her past. What they don't realize at first is they are being followed by the chupacabra they thought was long gone. Suzanne and Jessie meet up with James Carter and the traveling troupe of actors he runs with, but even in numbers they may not be safe. `Curse of the Chupacabra' is the second book in the Chupacabra series and captivated my interest quickly. I loved the new characters the author introduced and the chilling humanity in the monster will keep you on the edge. An excellent follow-up to the first book and I am very interested to see what happens with Suzanne and Jessie next!
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