The Dead Game
Linda moves to a seaside town to live a quiet life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple–that is until the dead body washes up on shore. Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this small town. As soon as the sun sets, the residents and tourists are stalked by dark shadows. But this is only the beginning.
Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at a deserted house. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house. Or so they think.
They must embark on a difficult journey, chased by unnatural creatures, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the game and everyone in town. Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires? Or a combination of both? Will there be an end to their evil game?
Will Linda and Todd find love? Will a second book be needed?
The Dead Game has begun.
Their car neared the house. A stunning sight unfolded before their eyes. Encased in a tight circle of trees, shimmering from the lights strung through their heavy branches, the glass house sparkled against the dark night sky: a huge glass ball shooting green sparks of light from within its rounded walls. Its great dome twinkled as radiantly as the multitude of stars shining down from above.
Todd left the car with the valet and led the way up the marble stairs to the rounded front door. Two armed men, dressed in tuxedos, guarded the door, their holstered guns only slightly marring the fantasy image running through Linda’s vivid imagination: for as soon as she turned away to admire the scenery, she was once again in fantasyland.
The panorama facing her was doused in white. Gleaming white snow caps covered the tops of the tall trees and the great dome of the house. Snow was falling on them from somewhere. She could feel snowflakes melting on her lips. They felt wet, like real snowflakes. She touched her face and hair. Her hand came away wet. She had snow on her fingertips. She searched the grounds for a snow machine, but couldn’t locate anything—not on the glass domed roof or in any of the trees. She couldn’t have, genuine snow was falling on them from the dark sky. The landscape resembled a winter wonderland despite it being fall in Florida.
Todd placed his hand against her back to escort her into the house. The others followed them into the glowing green ball that was alive with dazzling lights, music, and laughter.
Once inside, Linda was mesmerized by the glittering glass walls that mirrored the dancing images of the guests twirling around the marble dance floor. These images were cast in bright halos of light reflected from the myriad of crystal chandeliers hanging throughout the room.
Soft candlelight from mounted crystal sconces flickered across the intricate patterns carved into the green walls. It was the most beautiful and fascinating house that she had ever seen. She glanced back and watched Shana’s mouth drop open. She was certain that Shana would agree that the house appeared simply magical.
Couples were swirling around the immense dance floor. They were dancing in a large studio between Diane’s life-sized statues. Each sculpture was carved from clear glass: each one revealing a full-sized person. Linda found them to be too lifelike. She stood next to one and stared into it frozen face. She was startled by a fleeting expression of horror that seemed to cross over its features; as if a real person was trapped inside, staring out at her from within his glass tomb. Then the look was gone and the statue appeared lifeless once again.
It is my pleasure to welcome Susanne Leist, author of The Dead Game, to Room With Books.
Please tell us about The Dead Game.
My book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal mystery. It takes place in a small town, called Oasis, on the coast of Florida. During the day, this town is a paradise for its residents and abundant tourists with its picturesque streets, white-sand beaches, and warm waters. However, at night, the town turns dark and deadly. Dark shadows roam the streets. Tourists begin to disappear and bodies turn up dead on the beach. The evil in this town revolves around a deserted house. The younger residents are invited to a mysterious party at End House, and that is when the fun and games begin.
Who is your main character?
My main character is Linda Bennett. She moves to a small town to open a bookstore with an attached coffee shop. She wants to lead a quiet and peaceful life. But she is in for a surprise, since Oasis is anything but peaceful.
What should we know about her?
Linda is a good person who wants to be liked by everyone. She is sweet and kind. She develops a crush on Todd, but at first, she is too shy to speak to him. Her friendship with Shana brings her out of her shell and at times, gets her into trouble. She develops the nerve to speak with him and to voice her own opinions.
What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Her crush on Todd brings complications to her life. She finds him to be aloof. At first, she is drawn to his mysterious nature. But as she gets to know him better, this mystery soon becomes off-putting to her. She believes he’s hiding secrets from her; secrets that have to do with the elusive residents, and the murders and disappearances in town.
What is her personal goal?
Her personal goal is to help save the town from the evil threatening to kill them. She doesn’t know if the evil controlling the town is human or a supernatural creature, but she is determined to find and destroy him or her with the help of her friends. She has a secondary goal of getting to know Todd better, and she has better luck with this than her first goal.
How did you come to write your first book and how long ago was it?
I have been reading murder mysteries and thrillers since I was a teenager. I’ve read all types of mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I’ve begun to read paranormal mysteries. These books bring fantasy and the surreal to the simple murder mystery.
It is hard to find books that combine paranormal with mystery. That is why I have decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. It is the type of book that I search for and love to read.
My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.
When you sit down to write a new story, do you know what the ending will be before you start or does it evolve as you write?
This is the first book that I’ve written. I began with a basic idea in mind. I wanted a murder to take place in a small town. This murder would involve a house that was rigged with supernatural or mechanical traps and moving rooms. But I had no idea how the story would evolve or end. The end turned out to be a surprise to even me.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy being with my family. My daughters and I love fashion and we love to shop. My husband gets dragged along. I swim twice a week and read every day.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
I would love to travel everywhere in the world. The only countries I’ve visited so far are Canada, England, and Israel. There are so many places I would love to see. At least I could visit them in books.
Like most authors, I imagine you are an avid reader. Who are your favorite authors? Do you read many books by indie authors?
My favorite author is Brad Meltzer. It is fun and easy to read his books. His words flow smoothly and keep me engrossed in the stories. I like his characters. He weaves his extensive knowledge of Washington into the story lines.
I buy a book by the description on the back cover and not by the author’s name. This has led me to explore books written by a wide variety of indie authors. I found Brad Meltzer by his book’s description before I heard about him as an author.
Where do you normally find your reading material – from your local library, a bookshop, Amazon or somewhere else?
I buy books anywhere I can find them. If a book catches my eye, then I buy it. I buy online and in book stores.
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
The Dead Game is the first book in a series. The first book resolves the murder mystery, but at the same time, opens a Pandora box of new mysteries. Its surprise ending will lead to more surprises.
Once my book is further established in the marketplace, I will begin work on the second book. I have an outline and notes all ready to be used to write the next book. My writing often leads me in unknown directions, so I won’t know how the book will end until it does.
Susanne Leist graduated with an M.B.A. in Finance. Wherever life has led her, through the hectic commodities’ markets or the number-crunching field of budgeting, she’s continued to read and daydream. Unbeknownst to her, she had been pursuing her dream all along, her dream of putting her words down on paper for everyone to enjoy. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband, two daughters, and Maltese.
Her first book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal thriller with humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. Her goal has been to write a book different than the usual vampire story or murder mystery. She wanted a murder mystery with victims, clues, and suspects. She created that and much more. The book has revolving rooms, traps, falling cages, and anything her active imagination could create. The Dead Game is a fun ride into the realms of the supernatural.
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