DESCRIPTION OF BLOG

ZACH DOES THINGS THAT ELUDES OTHERS


Saturday, March 18, 2017

THE SPECTRE OF THE BLACK CAT



THE SPECTER OF THE BLACK CAT, the fourth book of the Z-Dawg series finds Zack in attack mode deep in the heart of Old Marblehead, Massachusetts. Strange things have been happening. The evil Thaddeus T. Slackbottom has arrived back in town.  And no one’s talking! Church bells ring out and dogs howl at midnight, for no apparent reason, every September 22nd, ever since Wilmot Redd was  hanged as a witch  in 1692.  Nobody can account for why a mangy black cat is stalking the town. In fact, it seems the black cat has been hanging around Abbot Hall for hundreds of years, as long as anyone could remember! Now it seems to be following Zack and his friends, Cory and Bean.  How can that be?  When Zack and his friends find an old box in Bean’s attic, written by Bean’s ancestor, Samuel Martin, admitting to murdering and plundering a ship, for gold and precious jewels, during the Civil War, Zack knows their lives are in danger. Samuel Martin left behind a series of strange riddles.  Can they figure out the
riddles in time?  Because--Thaddeus T. Slackbottom would do just about anything to find out the contents of the box! And time is running out!!!







Prologue
                                                                              
 
The Bloody Massacre 1864
 

 
Secrets… buried… layer upon layer… piled up and up… until generations of townspeople forgot to remember their past. No one remembered the fall of 1864, over one hundred and fifty years ago, when the worst nor’easter of the nineteenth century buried the tiny town of  Marblehead, Massachusetts deep in snowdrifts. No one remembered… that is… except for the Slackbottoms and the Martins. But they weren’t telling!



One fateful night in 1864, the sloop Sea Lion was on its return trip to Bath, Maine, from Baltimore, Maryland, when its troubles began. The Sea Lion had unloaded its usual cargo of granite at Baltimore, but instead of riding high in the water on its return trip out of Baltimore harbor, it was riding low, laden with illegal gold, silver, and priceless jewels, stashed deep in its belly. The Sea Lion was on a secret mission, financed by rich Southern plantation owners – Confederate sympathizers – in a last-ditch effort to exchange the priceless bounty for rifles, bullets, and cannons. Their intent was to arm the Confederate soldiers, win the Civil War, and change the history books forever after. The sloop was bound for Nova Scotia, still a British colony at the time.
There was a better-than-even chance that history could have been re-written. The Confederates could have won the Civil War, if they had acquired the weapons they so desperately needed. But a secret operation to pirate and plunder, for riches beyond their wildest dreams, was about to take place off the coast of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Having been inadvertently tipped off by a relative of one of the South-sympathizing fishermen, two devious fishermen and their crew of four trusted friends plotted their greedy plan, inadvertently helping turn the tide of war toward victory for the North and thus ending the Civil War. …Under cover of the worst blizzard to ever hit Marblehead this early in the season of 1864, two long-time friends and expert fishermen, Samuel Martin and Mortimer Slackbottom, set about their deliberate plan to pirate the bounty on board, slaughter its crew, and sink the sloop, Sea Lion. They knew the rugged coastline off Marblehead with its jagged rocks and hidden perils like the back of their hands. They both came from a long and proud line of fishermen, dating back to the early-1600s. When the surprise nor’easter reared its ugly head and churned up the seas, the Sea Lion hugged the coastline, and that made their sinister plot that much easier.
It was during that white-out of a nor’easter that the decks of the mighty sloop Sea Lion turned a bright blood-red, in spite of the
pounding rain trying to erase the evidence of evil. It was in the middle of a moonless night with relentless winds whipping sideways across the deck, when a man named Mortimer Slackbottom and a man named Samuel Martin, along with their band of four, committed cold-blooded murder of the worst kind.
They surprised the sloop’s crew of six, wielding knives and swords with the precision of surgeons, slicing throats, and killing everybody on board in a matter of minutes. Not a single bullet was fired.
The victims were frozen in time, their lifeless fingers icy white and tightly gripping the mast or railing in a desperate effort to undo time. Their frozen faces were contorted in unnatural ways, eyes staring straight ahead, captured in a still image, in a death stare. Samuel Martin never forgot that haunting look of surrender, that a person gets at the precise moment of death. After the slaughter, the mangled bodies were heaved overboard, including legs and arms sliced into pieces, strewn about and tangled in the loose ropes of the sails. Into the turbulent seas the bodies went, with precision speed and without conscience – for a bounty of silver, gold, and jewels worth millions of dollars.
They pirated and plundered the ship. Their rough and bloodied
hands scooped up the precious jewels of the wealthy Southern plantation owners, who were desperately hoping to barter their gold and jewels for rifles, cannons, and other weapons to win the Civil War for the South. Quickly, the fishermen-turned-pirates loaded their little fishing boat with as much of the bounty as they could muster, before the rudderless Sea Lion sank, being battered against the rocks in the storm. And then Mortimer Slackbottom suddenly turned against the four friends – committing four more murders in front of Samuel Martin’s eyes, tossing four more bodies into the churning sea! Now down to a crew of two, the men struggled against the wind and the bitter cold of the storm, and rowed ashore into a sheltered cove. The atrocities took place in mere minutes, but it would haunt Samuel Martin for the rest of his life.
And on that fateful night, the good people of Marblehead stayed put in their homes, buried under two feet of snow, waiting out the storm by the fire. It was like a ghost town, and the good people of Marblehead were none the wiser. In the white-out conditions of the blizzard and lashing winds, gusting as high as 80 miles per hour, no one heard the gruesome sounds of plundering and the blood-curdling death screams not that far off the shore.
And all the while, through the killings, through the bounty haul worth millions, through the dumping of the bodies overboard into the salty sea, and for the next twelve years from 1864 onward, Samuel Martin’s conscience ate him up. The boom-boom-booming of his heart raced erratically, a ticking time bomb. He was haunted in his dreams by what he had done with his own hands. He was haunted by the surprised faces of the crew, bloodied and dying on the crimson deck of the Sea Lion, trying to hold onto the rigging, hands frozen in place, faces frozen in a death stare. That sight tortured him relentlessly.
He had never been involved with even a minor crime, never mind a horrific crime that would change the outcome of the Civil War. That’s what kept Martin from insanity, the knowledge that the blood money would prevent the South from buying arms from the British and from winning the war. Martin desperately tried to convince himself that he had had a decisive hand in bringing about an end to this horrific Civil War, which pitted brother against brother. That most noble of thoughts kept him from going insane. Until that fateful day when he actually did – go insane!

No one knew exactly where or even what really happened. For the next 150 years, rumors of buried treasure circulated among the Martins and the Slackbottoms. Other rumors abounded – of a terrible secret that caused a fist-fight between two good friends, and suddenly two families were instant enemies; of the mysterious disappearance of Mortimer Slackbottom, scurrying out of town a few days after the blizzard, to reestablish his family in the South for generations to come; and of the tragic suicide of Samuel Martin twelve years later. Secrets buried.

If you like this small part of The Prologue of this fast moving adventure/mystery you will love the rest of the story. Look for the Purchase NOW Button at the bottom of the page for a variety of easy ways to buy. Do this now and we will mail YOUR NEW BOOK to you right away.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Z DAWG SERIES - THE SCREAMING WITCH OF OLDE SALEM VILLAGE





The third book in the Z-Dawg series finds Zack in attack mode again.  Zack and Grandpa are living in a haunted apartment building, high on a hill, in a place that was once Ground Zero for the witch trials held in 1692.  Then, in 1874, The Danvers State Mental Hospital was built on this exact spot!  This place is haunted. Dead bodies have been callously tossed into unmarked graves after torturous experiments done to them at the hospital.  There is screaming and moaning coming from the walls and floorboards of the condominium, where 14 year old Bridget Bradshaw, and her mom live.  Bridget is a descendant of Sarah Bradshaw, who  was accused of witchcraft by John Hathorne.  
Hathorne placed a curse on her family for all eternity.  Then, her great, great, grandmother, also Sarah Bradshaw, was tortured in the mental hospital because of a horrible secret that she carried to her grave.  Bridget and her mom need help.  How will Z-Dawg help reverse the curse and set the tortured spirits free after 300 years?  Evil resides in this dark place, at Ground Zero 

Read the first chapter and see  for yourself. Then go to the button below  and purchase a copy


                                          Chapter One
                       Ground Zero!
 

 Ground Zero, that’s where it all begins and ends. As
the plane circled above the islands surrounding Boston,
Zack closed his eyes so he could concentrate on what
Grandpa had said. “School’s out for the summer. We need you here Zack. It’s complicated, and it’s tricky. You’ll understand
everything better when you arrive. The mystery begins and ends with Ground Zero!” Grandpa would say nothing more, except to give him a long list of
links to specific Internet sources that Zack was to read about the witch trials in Olde Salem Village, and then the history of the Danvers State Mental Hospital. Zack couldn’t imagine what the connection was between the witch trials of the 1600s and the spooky hospital where mentally ill patients were treated in the 1800sbegins and ends with Ground Zero!” Grandpa would say nothing more, except to give him a long list of links to specific Internet sources that Zack was to read about the witch trials in Olde Salem Village, and then the history of the Danvers State Mental Hospital. Zack couldn’t imagine what the connection was between the witch trials of the 1600s and the spooky hospital
where mentally ill patients were treated in the 1800s....

Zack fell into a deep sleep from exhaustion. His dreams always got the best of him, especially when he was working a case. Everything melted together, and his imagination played tricks on him. A stern looking man in a black magistrate’s robe with a tall pilgrim hat and a grim look on his face was seated at a long pine table with a wooden gavel in his hand. Zack recognized the man from his research as John Hathorne, a wealthy land owner during the 1600s. He was watching some young girls about 12 years old, behaving strangely, crawling on the floor, contorting themselves into weird positions, and making strange animal noises. They wept at the sight of the woman who was on trial. The girls kept pointing at the old woman and screaming loudly,


"Hang the witch!”
 

The first woman being accused of witchcraft in his dreams was Rebecca Nurse, an elderly woman, about 70 years old. People in the audience testified that she could never be a witch. But apparently, the magistrate or judge believed the young girls who by now were foaming at the mouth and scratching themselves until they bled. 
The gavel went down and the magistrate bellowed,

“Guilty as charged. You will be hanged as a witch on Gallows Hill.”....


Instantly, the scene changed to a giant, red brick,
Gothic-style hospital on a towering hill, overlooking
miles and miles of woods. Its numerous spires appeared

to touch the clouds above...

People were trapped and wailing everywhere. A thunderous banging on walls, and high-decibel screaming permeated the air in a rhythmic pattern, as if it were an ordinary part of life at the hospital. It drew no attention from any of the doctors and nurses in the hospital who went about their business as if they could not hear the infernal noise....

A man who looked just like the magistrate, John

Hathorne, but younger, with shorter black hair and a

long white coat and stethoscope hanging from his neck,

was trying to calm her down and administer the biggest

needle Zack had ever seen. The woman clung to her

quilt as if her life depended upon it.

The woman screamed,


“Not again,”

 

but the doctor kept sticking her with the needle, over and over. Zack could feel an evil presence and the cold dampness which pervaded the cell, but he tried to save the woman anyhow. Though he was invisible, and no one could hear him, he was screaming to stop hurting the lady.
Sweat began to bead on Zack’s forehead. Everything seemed so vivid and real. He could see clearly everything that was taking place, and he could smell the vile scent of evil within the cell. He was sure the doctor was shaking him. Just before the doctor injected Zack with
the long needle, Zack squirmed and screamed,

 

“NO!”





Now that you have previewed this fast moving adventure/mystery, look for the Purchase Now Button at the bottom of the page. Purchasing your own copy is really easy, inexpensive and there are a variety of ways to buy. The book will be mailed to you right away within two days of your purchase..




 

Z DAWG SERIES - THE PIRATE OF DUNGEON CAVE






The second book of the Z-Dawg series finds Zach in attack mode as he and his friends search deep into the Lynn Woods Reservation at midnight to solve the mystery of the pirate and the lost treasure!  Legend has it that Pirate Tom Veal was buried alive at Dungeon Rock during a major earthquake in the 1600’s.  The pirate’s treasure was buried along with him!  To this day the treasure has neverbeen found--until now!  Ranger Dan has been hearing noises coming from Dungeon Cave, a dark and dangerous tunnel dug by Hiram Marble in the 1800’s.  As he searched for the lost treasure, Hiram Marble held séances to
talk to the dead.  Zack and his friends begin to unravel the mystery, one clue at a time, when they accidently stumble upon a mysterious old wooden box in the stone foundation of the cellar at the Ranger House. The contents of that box could just place their lives in great danger.


Read the first chapter and see  for yourself. Then go to the button below  and purchase your own copy.


                                     Chapter1

                      The Pirates Storm the Deck!


Exhausted, Zack closed his eyes as the plane began
its descent into Logan International Airport in Boston.
He immediately fell into a deep sleep. Without warning,

the pirates stormed the deck of the pirate ship,

swords flailing in every direction. The sounds of sword
on sword, clanging and scraping, made him toss and
turn fitfully in his undersized seat on the plane. He

squirmed in his sleep to get comfortable.



Bright red blood ran in rivulets over the edge of the wooden deck and collided with the salty sea, bathing the planks in a pink whitewash.

That made Zack’s stomach turn, and he felt as if he were going to puke!
 




Perched high on the mast, Zack looked down on the
chaos below. Zack froze in place. He struck a pose that contorted his body as he clutched the smooth wooden
mast for dear life. One false move, and the pirates
would look up. One false move, and he knew he would  

be dead! Clinging to life, he watched the scene unfold
below him. And then, he made that fatal mistake, that
one false move. His hands began to sweat and he knew

couldn't hold on any longer. His arms were like rubber and so
numb that he could no longer feel them. He clung to the
mast, teetering between life and certain death below.  


He did it by accident, almost a natural reflex to the grueling
pain. He let out a blood-curdling scream that rang
through the air. Instantly, the pirate with the scar that ran clear down the side of his face, from his forehead

to his neck, and covered in blood himself, looked up
directly into Zack’s stunned face. A black stained patch
covered the pirate’s left eye, but that didn’t seem to
impair his vision. Zack noticed that the pirate’s beard,



which was a dull brown with copper streaks, was dripping
with food, and had something crawling in and out


of its tangled mass. His beard seemed to move up and
down all by itself. That made Zack wince.

Worse than that, the pirate’s sword seemed to be dripping
bright red blood. It was the thickest and longest
 blade he had ever seen. He hoped he wouldn’t be the
pirate’s next victim. He couldn’t tell much more from the top of the mast, but it looked as if the pirate had used .....
 
If you like this small part of Chapter 1 of this fast moving adventure/mystery you will love the rest of the story. Look for the Purchase NOW Button at the bottom of the page for a variety of easy ways to buy. Do this now and we will mail this to you right away.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Z DAWG SERIES - THE HAUNTING OF SWALLOW CAVE






This haunting tale of mystery and intrigue, twists and turns as two modern day teenage cousins untangle a 350 year old island mystery.  A real Nahant, Massachusetts tale about Witch Wonderful, the Narragansett Indians driven from their land on Cape Cod during the King Phillips War of 1675, and four kids trying to find out what went wrong.  Can they decipher the witch’s incantation? What exactly happened to Witch Wonderful on that fateful day in 1675, and why did history get so mixed up?  It involves two kids from Florida, two Island girls, one Dunkin Donuts Café, and a haunted cave so perilous that it can only be accessed during very low tide. The setting is a mile long island, eight miles north of Boston, surrounded by jagged cliffs, white sandy beaches, and a spooky apparition who walks the shores near Swallow Cave at sunset.  This is a mystery that only Z-Dawg, the brainiac teenager and his love struck cousin, TW, can solve.  What happens next is unbelievable!  Read on! 
See the Purchase Now Button below to purchase this mystery for your very own!



Zack turned off his personal television embedded into the seat in front of him as the plane banked to the right off the coast of Massachusetts, revealing a small, narrow island. From the sky, it looked like two large bumps connected by two strips of land. He strained to peek out the plane’s window, almost elbowing his cousin TW. 

“There’s Nahant!” Zack said.

It almost looked surreal from the plane’s tiny, portal of a window, a 1.2 square mile island surrounded by all that water and almost in the jet’s pathway.  As the plane descended into Logan International Airport in Boston, Zack got this funny feeling in the pit of his stomach.
 
 
He was an adventurer, and every summer at Grandpa’s Cape Cod style house in Little Nahant was an adventure.  He had practically taken over the island last year.  Grandpa told him stories of pirates and ghosts, and he couldn’t wait to see what would happen this summer.

He roamed the entire island last year, hiking up and down hills on Little Nahant and Big Nahant until the street lights came on.  That was Grandpa’s signal to be back home, and since the sun rose at 4:45 am in the morning and didn’t set until almost 9:00 pm at night, he had been able to do lots of exploring!

At 13 years old, and growing taller by the minute, Zack planned to eat a ton of donuts at the Dunkin Donuts Café at the bottom of the hill. He also planned to get in shape for the traditional Fourth of July 5K run around the island. No more books, no more hot sticky Florida weather, no more little sister for the summer, and bonus, his older cousin TW who was 16 ½ years old came with him.  TW’s dad lived in a little town on the New Hampshire border, about 40 miles to the north of Nahant, but Zack and TW vowed to stay on the Island as much as possible this summer.

Zack, the brainiac, was entering eighth grade in the fall and a straight A student.  He was also voted the best athlete in seventh grade.  His dad gave him the nick-name Z-dog when he was a baby, and it stuck. He was as fierce as a junk yard dog on the basketball court. Whenever he scored, Dad would scream out, “It’s the Zack Attack… Go Z-dog!” This, of course, was super embarrassing but cool at the same time.

After Grandpa mentioned the legend of Swallow Cave last year, Zack decided to do some preliminary research on witches and strange happenings at Swallow Cave in Nahant before he came up. Zack planned to check out things at the spooky cave.  His radar was up, and he instinctively knew this would be his best summer ever.  TW was entering his junior year of high school, and he had just gotten his license.  Maybe Grandpa would let TW borrow his car, just around the island. 

Zack looked down on the island from the plane and thought about having some kind of adventure this year. Little did he know just how those words would come back to haunt him.

See more at:

http://thehauntingofswallowcave.blogspot.com/