Oct 7, 2012

Guest Post: T.M. Souders

Welcome to Beauty and the Bookshelf!

I'm ecstatic to be a part of the blog tour for Freedom Road by T.M. Souders, hosted by Ashley at the Bookish Brunette! Today I have a guest post for you with Sounders, and because it's October, I just had to have it Halloween themed! And to top it all off, I have an excerpt for you, too! Be prepared--some of the following images may scare you! 

Top Ten Monsters, Creepers, and 
Things That Go Bump in the Night

So I have to admit it, I’m a scared-y cat. I don’t watch a lot of horror flicks, nor do I read a lot of books in that genre because, although during the daylight, I’m the essence of bravery, when the lights go down, it’s another story. Suddenly, every creek of the floorboard, bump, squeak, bark from my dog, everything, freaks me out. I can, however, easily create a top ten—the five best and worst—monsters, creepers, and things that go bump in the night. I’m going to list them, starting with the best, going in order of least frightening to the most.


5. Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" video – No, this doesn’t scare me, I’m not that much of a wuss. But when I think of monsters and creepers, I automatically think of Halloween. And what Halloween is complete without either watching the video—thank you, YouTube—or listening to the song Thriller? Just thinking about the costumes on the video and Jackson’s glowing eyes gets me pumped!

 4. Carrie – Yes, what they did to that poor girl in the book and movie, not to mention her awful mother, was terrible. But no matter what, she is CREEPY!

3. The little boy from “Pet Sematary” – Creepy killer child. Need I say more? *shudder*

2. The Mothman – Weeks after watching “The Mothman Prophecies,” I couldn’t drive at night without totally freaking out. I kept picturing him appearing to me on the darkened street in front of my car. Needless to say, I haven’t watched the movie since.

1. Emily Rose – She gets the coveted #1 spot because that movie freaked me out and is based on a true story. To this day, if I glance at the clock and it’s even close to 3 a.m., I freak out.
[Beauty and the Bookshelf: The following video is the infamous crucifix and head spinning scene from The Exorcist (1973). Part of the video's title includes the words "not for the faint hearted." So: WARNING.]


5. The Trolls from the Troll movies – They were disgusting.

4. Godzilla – Surely I’m not the only one who doesn’t find him scary or creepy.

3. “Gingerdead Man” (the character/movie) – If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it. That’s all the explanation needed.

2. The Blob – This movie was from my mother’s time. She saw it at the Drive-in (which is cool), but why did everyone back then think it was scary? Ridiculous!

1. The bunnies from “Night of the Lepus” – A bunch of giant rabbits? Seriously?

To lighten up the darkness from the above pictures, gifs, and videos (I couldn't help myself), here's an excerpt from Freedom Road!

Two days. That’s the length of a hospital stay after your father lops your finger off with a kitchen knife.
I remembered the morning clearly. Maybe I always would, or maybe with time the memory would fade and be one of unimportance as everyone wanted me to believe.
The scent of rain and decaying leaves wafted through the open windows. Cool air whipped inside, diminishing the stench of burning oatmeal from the kitchen. I hurried into the room, my guitar case slung over my shoulder. I was late. In twenty minutes my presence was expected in Mr. Neely’s classroom for one of our practices. Time is of the essence, he told me. And how could I argue with that when the single most important day of my life approached?
“Damn it!” my father cursed. He tore the pot of burning oatmeal from the burner and threw it in the sink with a bang. Waving a towel, he attempted to hasten the foul air out the window.
I brushed past him with my head down. When I opened the refrigerator door, I grabbed the first thing I saw. A carton of strawberry yogurt would have to suffice. There was no time to be choosy. Besides, the longer I stayed in the kitchen, the more I risked a confrontation with him or my mother.
The shattering of glass cut through the silence, followed by a low guttural moan. I gritted my teeth. Sure enough, when I rounded the corner into the living room, I saw my mother splayed on the ground, the empty bottle of some form of spirit broken at her feet. She rolled over. Pieces of glass stuck to her robe. I covered my nose, trying not to gag at the sour smell of alcohol.
The clipped stride of my father resonated over the hardwood floor as he entered the room. He knelt down beside her and began to pick up the shards of glass off the floor. Oblivious, my mother stood up, gripping the wall for support, and stumbled her way to the couch. I took this as my chance for escape and started toward the door, hoping my exit would go unnoticed.
“Samantha, I need to speak with you for a moment. In the kitchen.”
Wincing, I turned. The plastic shopping bag in my father’s hand was heavy with glass. With his gaze still on me, he nodded toward the kitchen and left the room. For a moment I debated sneaking out anyway, but I followed him, saving myself the lecture later. I walked up to the counter. The strap over my shoulder dug into my skin, a reminder of the time—and how I didn’t have any. This had better be fast.
“What?” I chewed the inside of my cheek and glanced at the clock.
He tossed the bag of glass in the trash can and moved to a cutting board on the island. “I wanted to let you know that I’m signing you up for a class this summer at the American Banking Institute. It will be good for you to build up some knowledge before you start working for me.”
Heat rose to my cheeks. It was only October, yet he planned my summer. “I already told you I’m not doing it. I won’t work there. You’re wasting your time.”
Taking a chopping knife out of a drawer, he sliced through the apple in front of him, halving it in one clean swoop.
“This isn’t up for debate. You’ll have to get used to the idea.”
I shook my head. This argument could wait. All I wanted right now was to feel the smooth contours of my guitar in my hands, to feel the chords of the music as I played.
“Fine. Whatever.”
What happened in the seconds following this exchange blurred into a single moment. My mother crashed into the kitchen, knocking over the wine glasses nestled on the hutch. A string of obscenities followed, along with accusations that someone rearranged the furniture. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the raised knife poised above the apple. My father said I shifted my hand on the island, distracted by my mother. A totally plausible explanation—if it were true.
All I remembered was staring down at the halved apple, now drenched in my blood, with wide eyes. Then pain. A sharp stabbing sensation overtook my entire hand. I vaguely recalled screaming in the background. Where it came from I’m still unsure. Possibly me, or my mother.
My father’s panicked voice chattered away as he squeezed a white cloth over the finger, causing the pain to shoot through my arm. I don’t recall moving. I don’t remember speaking or moaning in pain. All I remember is staring at that blood soaked cloth, thinking This is my fretting hand.

Okay, so that excerpt wasn't super duper light. But it was great! Thanks for stopping by my stop on the Freedom Road tour, and before you go scroll down to learn more about the book and author!

Freedom Road by T.M. Souders
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: Fall 2012
Pages: 270

Since the tender age of eight, music served as Samantha Becker’s source of solace against her father’s tyranny and her mother’s alcoholism. Now at eighteen, her only dream is to study classical guitar at Juilliard. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” which threatens her ability to play the guitar, Sam becomes despondent. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.

Just when Sam has given up, two unexpected people enter her life, giving her the confidence she needs, and forcing her to evaluate all she’s ever known. Battling her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury, the odds are stacked against her. With auditions approaching and time running out, Sam must relearn to play the guitar, or be destined to give up her dreams forever.

About the Author

T.M. Souders was born in Johntown, PA and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh. She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women's Studies. She is the author of the bestselling women's fiction novel, Waiting on Hope, as well as the novelette Dashing Through The Snow. Her young adult crossover novel, Freedom Road, is due to be released later this year. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children.
Find her on her WebsiteTwitter, and Facebook!


  1. Yeah, I have to say that blob looks pretty creepy. Anything gooey and indefinite eyes is not for me. :)

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  3. Very interesting blog.....Nice photography.

  4. Interesting pictures, I really enjoy your post.


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