Guest Post: Natural Born Killers

In celebration of her Best Seller for a Day for Terri Giuliano Long author of “In Leah’s Wake” today we will enjoy a short story from Terry, and tomorrow I will have my review of the book. In the mean time, sit, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Natural Born Killers

Terri Giuliano Long

Last year four young men, on a pre-dawn joyride, brutally murdered a young mother and seriously injured her eleven-year-old daughter. The boys—at the time 17, 18 and 19 years old—planned their crime, set out that night with the express purpose of killing innocent people. The driver carried a machete, another boy a four-inch foldable knife. When the teens broke into the house, selected at random, their victims lay asleep in their beds.
“It was just a game,” the ringleader, now on trial for first-degree murder, had told a friend afterward. “It was fun.”
“He joked how she woke up to being hacked to death by a machete,” one of the accomplices testified on the stand.
Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, is a quintessential New England town, a Rockwellian village of rolling hills and fields bounded by stone walls, a tiny community, two thousand strong, where neighbors know one another by name and look out for each other. Kimberly Cates’ ranch-style house, buffered by a stand of hemlocks and pines, sat at the end of a dirt driveway, separated from the town center by a five-minute walk through the woods.
According to her friends, Kim worried about the isolation; at night, the thick forest shrouded her home in darkness.  The isolation that stoked fear in Kim’s heart whispered opportunity to her killers. Isolation, boredom, disconnection from the outside world—all this, various commentators have speculated, may have played to the killers’ dark side, ultimately pushing these boys over the deep end, as if life were a Stephen King novel, where isolation leads inevitably to unspeakable acts of violence and rage.
In photographs from the killers’ arraignment and trial, intensely angry eyes look defiantly out of haunting, expressionless faces.
My daughter and I scrutinize the photos. We need badly to make sense of this senseless tragedy. The narrative, like so many others—the Craig’s List Killer, the Yale lab technician, the Dartmouth murderers—drops us into one horrific moment, while providing no context, no definitive beginning, no tangible middle, only this terrifying, unimaginably horrific end.
Voyeurs, we stand outside, looking in. In our humanity, driven to make meaning, we wonder aloud.
Why? we ask—because only the answer, found in some dark pathology, confirmation of their otherness, separates us.
“Look at them,” my daughter says. “They’re skinheads. No wonder.”
The boys’ heads are, indeed, shaved; one news report alluded to swastikas.
Maybe deranged, neo-Nazi beliefs separated these kids from their peers. Maybe, isolated, bored, they whiled away hours playing violent video games.  On his Facebook page, one of the boys wrote that, before heading out that night, they’d watched Dexter, a TV show featuring a sympathetic serial killer. Maybe a violent TV program or a movie, an addiction to TV or video games or YouTube or the Net severed their ties with reality, broke the necessary connection between the fantasy world and real life, where real people suffer and bleed. Maybe Neo-Nazi prejudices fueled their rage; maybe hatred drove them to kill.
Or maybe the shaved heads meant something else; maybe, in some twisted version of reality, their buzzed hair symbolized not their isolation at all. Maybe for these deluded young men, their buzz-cut hair, perhaps even their monstrously violent acts, identified them as a part of a group, their shaved heads a symbol of belonging, offering them a sense of connection—a feeling, however horrifying or psychotic, of hope.
My daughter is frightened. The boys remind her of kids she’d known in high school, bad-ass boys she or her sisters might have dated, hoping to nurture and change.
The pictures scare me, too. The young men look far too familiar.
They look too much like us.
Short Bio
Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows better than anything else can. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and as a writing instructor at Boston College. She blogs about writing and the writing life at Or connect on Twitter: @tglong

Bestseller For A Day August 17th – In Leah’s Wake (You can Win a Kindle, and a great reads)

Today, August 17th, is Terri Giuliano Long’s big day! Her award-winning novel “In Leah’s Wake” is getting best seller of the day status. Best Seller of the Day is a program by Indie Book Collective and you can learn more here.
Continue reading and you have the opportunity to get not only a great read, but the chance to win a Kindle!
Let me tell you how this work:
It’s easy AND fun! Today through midnight:

1.  Go to and purchase Terri’s eBook In LEAH’S WAKE for only 99 cents! You can also get some of the four fantastic bonus books, on sale this week ONLY for just 99¢ each: BELLA, THE TRUST, SOPHIE & CARTER, and CHASING AMANDA

2. Every purchase improves Terri’s ranking on the overall Amazon chart. Our goal is to get her eBook, out of the millions of eBooks, onto the Kindle Top 100!
3.      Once you purchase her book, head over to the Bestseller For A Day site and enter to win a brand new KINDLE – Terri’s way of showing appreciation for your effort and support!
4.      Wait! There’s more! How about this? 4 MORE AMAZING reads – only 99¢ each! BELLA, by D.C. journalist Steve Piacente, a hotbed of danger and intrigue in the U.S. Military. THE TRUST by Sean Keefer, an award-winning, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. CHASING AMANDA, a luminous, must-read thriller by award winner Melissa Foster. And, last but definitely not least, SOPHIE & CARTER, a rocking YA romance by Wonder Woman Chelsea Fine, one of Amazon’s hottest new authors!
5.  If you’re still reading here and not sure you should part with that buck and maybe win a brand new KINDLE, you can go to Amazon and check the 45 reviews of this book that may change your mind. (Did I mention that they are 4 to 5 stars reviews)
If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the Kindle app on almost any device (or read in your browser with the new Kindle Cloud) what are you waiting for, this book will move your heart!…

I am listening voices. I am a writer.

Creating stories can be incredible challenging or incredible rewarding and fun. The problem is that not all the time you can simply create, some time you hear voices, you listen to the voices you want or need, sometimes the voices you hear are telling you a story you don’t understand, and when you obsess on the story you want to hear, you get blocked. Writers called this Writers Block.
I have been working on a terror story for an Anthology for Halloween, and this weekend I was looking to finish my terror story, but the voices were fun, they were laughing, they were not in any way terrifying. So I ignore them. I could not write a word on the story.
Tonight, I stop trying to extract the story I want, stop trying to force the story out of the voices, and  be more of a listener. I stop, I did not try to listen to write the story I want it to tell, but to listen to the story they were telling me, and there it was, in the laughs, were the cry, the tears, the fear, the angst that I have been looking the whole weekend, but the one I could not find while trying to write the story.
I am a writer, but I am also a stubborn person, a really stubborn one that insist on ignore all the things that he had learned over the years, that ignore all the time that the voices he hear are not going to tell him what he want to hear, but what they need to tell.
When I am writing short stories or long fiction, every time I insist in listen to the story I think I want to hear, I get blocked, I can’t write, I simply get stuck into this place where the voices only repeat what I am trying to ignore, what they are trying to tell me, and it’s not until I stop ignoring them that the story comes out.
Finally, after two days stuck, I did what I should have done long ago, decided to get quiet, and listen, instead of wait for the story I want it to hear, I sit and wait for the story the voices were looking to tell me. A soon as I stop expecting what the voices should tell me and begin listening to what they want to tell me, the story begin to flow, and the voices began to share with me again.
I have been listening to voices ever since I learn that I could write, as a writer I mean, and they had been quiet every time I had decided that I am not a writer, or that I should quit writing, or when I ignore what they are telling me because I want to hear something else. For some reason I only listen to these voices while the hat of the writer is on, and then quiet themselves when I am not willing to listen, those times they simply stop talking to me.
I am listening voices, my excuse is that I am a writer, what is yours?