House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Eight unscrupulous guests have been invited to the centuries old Blackstone Resorts. Each patron has his or her own reason for needing an escape from unpleasant circumstances. Tensions mount quickly as, one-by-one, they come to face their worst nightmare. Will they repent their evil ways or remain in Blackstone for the rest of their lives?
Finnegan relaxed as he raised his face to the Reverend, hypnotized by the soothing baritone voice. The Reverend cupped Finnegan’s chin and gazed into his eyes as a father speaking to a wayward child.
“I’m building this house as a home for people like you. Yes, worthy people. They will visit with us, dine on the finest food, drink to their content and through their journey with us they will be freed from the destructive path they have chosen. Yes, this will be a house of redemption for people like you.” His eyes darkened, the red fire returning. He tapped the riding crop on the palm of his hand, bright sparks flying off the end. His voice growing loud as thunder. Finnegan clasped his hands over his ears.
“Liars, thieves, murderers. They will all come and enjoy the fruits of our labor. They will face their sins and they will repent.”
Finnegan’s skin paled. He shook uncontrollably under the heated gaze of the Reverend.
“Or,” Rev continued, his voice returning to his normal soothing baritone. “They, like you my friend, will never leave this house.” He smiled, laying the crop on Finnegan’s shoulder.
Finnegan flinched, the crop singeing his shirt.
Rev sighed deeply. “I see you need time to reflect on the error of your ways.” He turned away.
“No. I swear on my sweet mother's grave. It’s nothin but a misunderstanding,” Finnegan’s voice garbled. He cleared his throat, forcing his tongue to speak. Finnegan grabbed at Rev’s long coattail. “Where are you going?” He tried to stand, but his legs would not move. “Please, don’t leave me here.”
Kathy Finfrock is the author of the horror thriller House of Redemption and host of a podcast series Spooky Tales where you can find her short stories. An avid supporter of other writers, she is the organizer of a local writer's group and has published The Ten-Minute Writing Prompt (Volume 1). She is currently working on a paranormal ghost novel.
Who is your favorite character in House of Redemption?
I would say my favorite is Louis simply because he makes me smile. He is quite charasmatic and enjoys the ladies. All the ladies. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old, tall or short, fat or thin. He loves them all and they love him.
Are the characters based on real people you know?
I would say inspired by and the answer is not all of them, but a few. Louis is based on a former boss I had. That man would flirt up anyone in a skirt. Married or single, he would take your breath away and leave you feeling warm and tingly and then off he would go. He was such fun. Unlike Louis, he sincerely loved and appreciated women. He was not a player as far as I know. I still smile when I think of him many years later. I also had a little pity for him as his wife did not appreciate his flirtatious ways. He might have been a bit scared of her.
Sounds like you really liked him. Why would you invite him to Blackstone?
Because everyone has a dark side and appearances are deceiving. Some people are better at hiding their true face than others and this is true of Louis.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Yes, indeed. In my first draft, the first chapter started with Chris in his apartment. He was having a meltdown and an unpleasant altercation with his neighbor. The next chapter was about Tara, also in her apartment, drinking and watching the news coverage of a fire she had set that had gone horribly wrong. I wrote a chapter for each of the characters. Afterward, I realized these chapters were all nothing but backstory and I had to cut it all out.
At the end of the novel, I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to my characters and I added the chapters I deleted back. I think the readers will be interested to know where the characters were before coming to Blackstone. Maybe it will change what they thought about the guests of Blackstone.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Without a doubt, it would be Washington. and has a million stories to tell. He’s an older man, a historian of sorts, in his own right and the stories he tells will be fascinating.
I would love to spend the afternoon sitting in the shade shelling peas and listening to Washington speak of Blackstone’s history along with his own. I could listen to that slow southern drawl for hours.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I never thought much about it as the casting director would have access to actors I’m not aware of, but just for kicks and giggles, I would not say no to Henry Cavill playing the part of Robert. I would also like Aidan Turner. I love his smile. It would be fun if Russell Tovey played the part of Chris. Fun in the sense of seeing the two actors work together again. Even better, if Russell played the part of Tom, Aidan would eat him up! But I like Russel and I don’t like Tom. Too many choices.
What is the question most people ask after reading House of Redemption?
The first question is always will there be a sequel.
Are you planning a sequel?
I know better than to say never. I feel a sequel can never be as good as the first book. I have considered writing a sequel and I ran into a few road blocks I’m not willing to climb over.
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