Thanks, The Mummy!
If you haven't seen the 1999 movie The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, you should probably go watch it now. That movie is a classic! Watched it, now? Good, we can continue.
My upcoming paranormal adventure novel After Death centers around Jeffrey Raines, a spirit who works as a bounty hunter for Death. He reaps wandering spirits that cause harm to the living and the natural balance of life and death. What does this plot have to do with The Mummy, you ask? Absolutely nothing.
The plot of the movie didn't influence the book. The tone did. I've always loved the movie The Mummy and the sequel The Mummy Returns. There's a third one, but we don't talk about it. If you're unfamiliar with these movies, even though in the beginning I specifically told you to go watch it you rebel, allow me to explain. The Mummy is part action/adventure, part horror, and part comedy. This blend of genres always fascinated me. There are parts of the movie that are downright creepy and scenes that just make you laugh out loud. All of this mixed with fun and exhilarating action.
I know this isn't something that is exclusive to The Mummy. But this movie series always stood out to me and shaped a lot of my own writing. I loved Rick O'Connell's attitude from start to finish. A little bit of his personality may have found its way to Jeffrey Raines in After Death.
I loved the way The Mummy blended horror tropes with action, adventure, and comedy and I set out to mimic this in my newest book. I hope I even came a fraction close to capturing that sort of tone. But you'll be the judge of that. After Death comes out later this year! Are you a big fan of The Mummy? Let me know your favorite scene in the comments below!
Death's Bounty Hunter
Hello there readers,
I wanted to share some news with you that you may have been unaware of. Did you know you can read an exclusive short story featuring the upcoming protagonist in my paranormal thriller? Here's a quick story behind the...uh... story.
There was a short story contest I entered last year. The challenge was, write a ghost story with a twist. Throw a spin on an old legend. That sort of thing. So, I started thinking about the stories about ghosts like the woman in white. You know the legends. A ghostly woman stalks a stretch of quiet road. She's dressed all in white and hitchhikes rides with her unsuspecting guests. I took that legend and gave it a fun twist. What if the hunter became the hunted?
Jeffrey Raines is Death's bounty hunter. He reaps souls that wander the Earth and prey on the living. And my short story, Death Loves Her Balance, started it all. The story, unfortunately, didn't win the contest. But I think, in the end, I came out the bigger winner because it gave me my next series idea. And I've been having a lot of fun crafting this world and writing the story.
If you want to read the story for yourself, all you have to do is sign up for my monthly newsletter. That's it. You'll get the short story delivered directly to your inbox! Click here to sign up. Every month, I share behind the scenes info, first looks, upcoming works, and much more! Sign up today and read that story! And let me know what you think in the comments below.
The story goes, a secret dungeon was found in 1883 behind a secret wall in the back of the fort. Two skeletons were found shackled to the wall and were identified as one man and one woman. Rumors of a secret love affair between a Colonel's wife and a captain blossomed. When the colonel found out, he had them chained to a wall in the bowels of the Castillo and walled them up alive. Were the long lost lovers found that day?
Maybe not. But it makes for a good creepy story, right? I've visited the Castillo many times over the years and I've been in the very room which is dubbed "the lover's dungeon" and have never seen this story or heard it from tour guides. There's a lot of haunted history pages online which speak to its truth but it seems like there isn't any true evidence of this secret dungeon.
The Castillo de San Marcos, however, was used as a prison for a long portion of its history. Many Native Americans were imprisoned there in 1875. Many people died at the Castillo, regardless of the lover's rumor being true or not.
This haunted history makes it the perfect place for my upcomong paranormal thriller. Jeffrey Raines, Death's bounty hunter. visits this very fort during the first several chapters of my book. I couldn't think of a better backdrop than this. The Castillo is an amazing structure which is well worth a visit if you are ever in St. Augustine, Florida. And if you've heard the story of the lover's dungeon, I'd love to get your take in the comments below. Do you think the story is true?
Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine, Florida. Named after the river it stands guard over. Fun fact, the Matanzas river gets its name from the Spanish word meaning killings or slaughters because several Protestants were shipwrecked in the 18th century and executed on the spot by Spanish Admiral Pedro Mendez. Seems like a fitting place for spirits to hang out, doesn't it?
Fort Matanzas was built by the Spanish in order to control the Matanzas inlet. The inlet was a rear entrance into the city of St. Augustine. The fort was only used once. It fired warning shots to scare away British scouting boats. The twelve ship armada turned around and never attacked the fort. Shots were never fired from Fort Matanzas again. Despite not having seen a lot of action, the small fort is a pretty interesting sight to see in St. Augustine.
First of all, the admission if FREE so you can't beat that. The only way to get to the fort is by boat which the park rangers graciously provide transport back and forth to. So, best to tip them if you go. Once on the little island which houses the fort, you get the real sense of what it must have been like to be stationed there. Out in the middle of seemingly no where on a river with no communication to the world around you. It's almost impossible to imagine.
Jeffrey Raines spends some time at this very structure in the opening chapters of my upcoming paranormal thriller. He's there to fight off a wandering spirit as Death's bounty hunter. A certain type of spirit which likes to hide in lonely places such as this has started to prey on the park rangers there. Jeffrey is ordered to put a stop to it. Of course, I won't tell you how the scene plays out or how it ends. You'll have to read the book when it comes out!
If you decide to visit St. Augustine and you love history, check this place out. It's a cool piece of history. Not to mention, you'll literally be stepping into the pages of my book! Stay tuned for more information about this book coming soon! And if you want to read the opening chapter of the book, please consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. This month, readers will get an exclusive look at the first chapter! Not available anywhere else. Click below to sign up. And enjoy these photos I took of Fort Matanzas on my last adventure there!
Ghost Sightings at This Location
Have you been to the above location? I have. It's called Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Do you know who else has been there? A particular spirit named Jeffrey Raines. If you don't know about Jeffrey, let me give you a little info.
Jeffrey Raines is the main protagonist of my upcoming paranormal thriller book. He works for Death as her bounty hunter. He reaps souls that wander the Earth and prey on the living. His travels will take him to many locations. This is just but one place he will visit in the book.
Flagler College is gorgeous. It started as a Hotel in 1888, built by Henry Flagler. It was a luxury hotel for the wealthy. Back then, it was known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Words really cannot do this place justice. It's beautiful. If you find yourself visiting St. Augustine, do yourself a favor and take a tour through the building. You won't regret it. Just imagine, staying here in the late 19th century. It must have been jaw dropping back then. Now, it's a beautiful piece of history in the middle of St Augustine.
And the college serves as a backdrop for my introduction to Jeffrey Raines and the unseen spirit world. I couldn't think of a better place to kick off this series than the oldest established city in America. Check out some more images of Flagler College below. I took them on my last trip out to St. Augustine. And if you want more inside information about my upcoming book, please consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. I will be sharing information, first looks, and more behind the scenes stuff on my newsletter. PLUS get exclusive access to the short story that inspired the book! Click here to join.
To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.