Halloween means different things to different people. I like a bit of everything, from suspenseful thrillers like Hitchcock is associated with to giant monsters who make a career out of crushing Tokyo.
My writing reflects this too. We just held a free promotion for Panama, and it included dark magical forces and black magic.
This week's promotion is for The Playground. It includes some of that demonic magic, but it starts off with some near future science fiction.
A ruthless businessman, Tommy Fazio, created a line of toys that include a social network for children. They become the “must have” product of the Christmas season.
He has larger plans though. The Playground Network is brainwashing our children into his own personal army. Imagine a homegrown army housed in our very homes.
Tommy isn't a patient man, so he turns to the occult to speed things along. This is where the story opens.
I chose to tell this tale from three different points of view. The main characters are involved in three distinct stories, but they converge at the end for an explosive finale.
Chloe is a little girl who gets a Playground doll for Christmas. She names the doll Sandra, and it leads her down a dark path. She represents all the children, and their only hope is to bring down the entire network before it's too late.
Gina is a doctor who narrowly survived a brush with cancer. She's somewhat broken at the beginning of the book and working in end-of-life care. She accepts a position working for an eccentric old man, and it changes her life completely. She acquires a parasite that allows her to see into the other world. Demons, fairies, ghosts – it's all real, and now Gina may be the only person who can stop the Playground Network. She doesn't really know what she's doing, but she'd better figure it out fast.
The next generation of Playground software goes missing. Tommy hires a ruthless thug to retrieve it. Clovis is huge, street tough, and has a head start on Gina. A seeming force-of-nature that is going to be hard to overcome.
I tried to replicate the works of Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino in this story. If you think a scoop of Sin City plus a portion of Pulp Fiction, might make a great Halloween story, this may be the one for you.
Like I said, Halloween can mean a lot of different things. This one includes a demon, ghosts, a secret society, a parasite, magical weapons, a classic GTO automobile, a stupid dog, and more.
The Playground is on sale from Monday through Friday for the frighteningly low price of 99¢. I set it up on both Amazon.com and Amazon.uk. It should be live right before this post shows up. (International date lines and time zones may vary, because who really knows what Amazon does?)