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Palace of Ghosts by Thomas S. Flowers - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Palace of Ghosts

Thomas S. Flowers

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing

Date of Publication: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-988819-14-3

Number of pages: 275
Word Count: 62K

Cover Artist: Luke Spooner

Tagline: Evil resides in Amon
Palace. Something worse came to visit.

Book Description:

Four veterans of the Iraq War
seeking a cure for Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder arrive at a notoriously
haunted house in the bogs of Galveston Island called Amon Palace.

Samantha Green, a friendless
former Army K-9 handler looking for a way to put her loss behind her.

Brad Myers, a lighthearted former
Military Police Officer severally wounded in war wanting nothing more than a
good night’s sleep.

Andy Lovejoy, an overweight light
spoken drone operator who once watched the war from above now questions who he
has become.

Marcus Pangborn, a headstrong
Marine who desperately wants a dead friend’s forgiveness.

The group joins Doctor Frederick
Peters, an experimental psychologist looking to prove his exposure theory
hypothesis, and his two assistants, Tiffany Burgess and Dexter Reid.

At first, their stay seems to
conjure nothing more than spooky encounters with inexplicable phenomena. But
Amon Palace is gathering its powers—and soon it will reveal that these veterans
are not who they seem.

Palace of Ghosts
By Thomas S. Flowers
Chapter 1
        Missing Persons

Detective Carter
studied the man across the table through the smoky haze of stale cigarettes. He
paid close attention to any clue that could give away some other reasonable
explanation than the insanity that had just been confessed. Manila envelopes
and folders spread out before him, containing recent photographs and reports of
what remained of the old mansion out in the bogs on Galveston Island by
Boddeker Road. The fire was substantial to say the least, leaving only skeletal
remnants of charred stone and soot of what was once a magnificent estate. And
among the destruction spread out on the table in interrogation room 2B, six
separate missing persons reports. Reaching down, he switched off the recorder,
flipped the tape and resumed the interview.
“Maybe we should
throw you back in holding for another twenty-four hours—see if that gets you to
start talking reasonably,” Carter’s partner, Detective Harley Warren, growled.
He walked around the room and stood behind the suspect. He leaned close to his
ear and whispered, “What you’re giving us, Doc—well, we ain’t buying it. I
think maybe you’re a shit liar and can’t come up with a more realistic story.
You want to know what I think? I think maybe you did something to your
patients. Maybe you lost your temper and—" he made a slicing motion with
his thumb across his neck. 
against the harsh fluorescent light above them, Carter focused on the suspect’s
reaction. But all he saw was more of the same.
The suspect
propped his head up with his elbows on the table, rubbing his temples, eyes
closed. “I’ve told you what happened, I know its hard to believe, but—”
“Hard to
believe? I’d say this was all a waste of our time.” Warren stood but remained
behind the suspect. “There are six people missing—six, don’t you think their
families deserve closure? Just tell us where the bodies are and then we’ll let
you go see the wizard, get your own personal padded cell.”
The suspect
scoffed. “Missing? They aren’t missing—they were taken, but long before coming
to Amon Palace. Whatever happened to them happened in Iraq.”
Warren made a
face. “Again with this crazy bullshit.”
“Its not
bullshit—I’m telling you what happened, you simply don’t want to listen. The
suspect glanced behind him, speaking to Warren directly.
Warren waved him
off. “Fancy talk, Doc. But where does it leave us? I’ll tell you, I think you
just scored a free ride to the insane asylum. Three hots and a cot, you’ll be
living like a king while the parents of the people you killed suffer. All
because you’re too chicken shit to tell us what really happened.”
The suspect
looked into his palms and said, mostly to himself, “Insane? Maybe I am
insane—God, I wish I was.”
Carter cleared
his throat. “Okay, Doctor Peters, let’s take it slow. Let’s see if we got this
straight. What you’re telling us is that you put together this group from
patients you were treating at the VA hospital, right?
Peters nodded. “An experiment in exposure therapy.”
“Jesus Christ,
don’t you think these vets have gone through enough without you playing around
with their heads?” Warren barked.
“I was trying to
help them!” Peters cried.
“Sure you
were—sounds like you were trying to help your own career, if you ask me,”
Warren quipped.
Carter held up a
hand, glancing up at Warren, gesturing for him to ease off.
Warren rolled
his eyes but said nothing else.
“Okay, Doctor.
So, you put together this group for a week at Amon Palace?” Carter asked.
Rubbing his
temples again, Peters said, “I’ve told you all of this already. Yes, I acquired
special permission from Mrs. Driscoll. She allowed me use of her estate to
conduct the week-long experiment.”
“Mrs. Driscoll?
As in Elizabeth Driscoll, daughter of John Driscoll?”
“Yes, and niece
of Sir Christopher Driscoll.”
Carter glanced
up at Warren.
Noticing the
exchanged expression, Peters asked, “Why?”
Carter shifted
in his seat and looked Peters straight in the face, bracing for the reaction
that would come. “Elizabeth Driscoll has been dead now for over thirty years.
The estate passed on to another member of the family who had never bothered to
do anything with it. Amon Palace has been abandoned since the 1980s.”
As if on cue,
Peters’s hand dropped to the table. His eyes shot wide. “What?” he whispered.
Carter nodded,
“Whoever you talked with—if anyone, it wasn’t Elizabeth Driscoll.”
 “That can’t be possible,” Peters stammered.
“Let’s assume
for now that whoever it was you spoke with, you believed it to be Elizabeth
Driscoll,” Carter said, scribbling gibberish in his notebook, a trick he’d used
a dozen times with perps. They see him writing something down after getting the
rug swept under them and get nervous. And with jittery nerves come mistakes.
“Can’t be—I
spoke with her…” Peters went on, glancing at the notebook, whispering to
himself. He looked up suddenly, “What about the Andersons?”
Carter frowned.
“Marge and John
“Are you saying
there were others?”
“There should
be—they were the caretakers hired by Miss Driscoll.”
Exhaling, Carter
said, “Amon Palace has no caretakers—at least none on record.” He flipped
through some of the folders on the table. “And there have been no bodies
recovered as of yet at the crime scene.”
Peters resumed
rubbing his temples. “They have to be there, she hired them to take care of the
estate. I spoke with both on more than one occasion. And I saw them both on the
night of the fire…they were in the house.”
Warren stepped
forward and slammed his fist on the table beside Peters, filling the room with
a loud pang as he shouted, “Don’t you understand what we’re saying? The woman
you supposedly talked with doesn’t exist and there were no caretakers! Which
means your story is total fucking bullshit!”
Peters flinched.
“Okay, Doctor,”
Carter prodded on, “you brought this group in for an experiment. And then what,
spooky encounters start happening—are you telling us that Amon Palace is
Warren scoffed.
He stood back now, leaning against the wall with his arms folded across his
barrel chest.
Smiling, Peters
said, “Go ahead and laugh, I understand. I didn’t believe either, not at first.
Haunted by some specter or specters or demonically possessed? That would be the
real question. Those familiar with parapsychology—of which I am not; I’m
paraphrasing here from what I’ve read—almost all cases with reports of
hauntings, psychic invasions, and the like, all bear a strong parallel to our
experiences within Amon Palace. Cold spots, slamming of doors or banging on
walls by some unknown; unseen force, retrocognition—and yet, according to
documents published by the Vatican, hauntings such as these sometimes serve as
the first manifestation of an entity ultimately bent on demonic possession.
According to said article, odors of human excrement or rotting eggs, sulfur can
be a characteristic clue of demonic infestation.”
More laughing
from Warren.
“As I said,
laugh if it makes you feel better. But what would you find more incredible,
that Amon Palace is; was indeed possessed, or at the very least haunted, or
that we all somehow shared the same hallucinations and grotesque
misinterpretations of fact?”
Carter leaned back
in his chair, pondering the possibility.
Warren jabbed
Peters with a finger. “If what you’re saying is even true—we only have your
statement to go off of. Convenient, wouldn’t you say, Doctor?”  
Peters shook his
head, “Certainly not convenient for Samantha Green, Brad Myers, Marcus
Pangborn, Tiffany Burgess, or Dexter Reid.”
Warren wound up
as if he was about to punch Peters.
“Okay, okay,”
Carter offered his hands again, urging his partner to cool down. “You bring
your experimental exposure group to Amon Palace and everyone starts seeing
things—but didn’t you say you wanted them to see this weird stuff? Triggers,
you called them, right?”
“The idea—the
experiment,” Peters exhaled, glancing sideways at Warren, “was for them to
spend a week unplugged from the rest of the world. No phones. No TV. No
internet. Completely isolated in an unfamiliar and potentially stressful
environment that could possibly trigger certain responses. At the time, I did
not believe Amon Palace was truly haunted. Exposure therapy works by triggering
patients, forcing them to confront buried trauma. But this was supposed to be a
place where I could safely monitor their conditions. There have been cases
before, therapeutic exposure experiments that have gone awry. I’m sure you have
heard of the former Navy Seal whose post-service time was spent helping
veterans with PTSD. He would take them to gun ranges, a known trigger for many
soldiers returning from war. The idea is the same—to help patients with PTSD
face trauma in order to heal. On one occasion, he had taken a veteran out who
had been struggling significantly. The veteran snapped. And in the end, he shot
and killed his would-be therapist and his friend. He was sentenced to life in
prison without parole. A horrible tragedy with three ruined lives. At Amon
Palace I wanted my patients to be able to face the memory of their trauma
without the fear of hurting loved ones or themselves. As they began to react to
the suggested belief that Amon Palace was in fact haunted, I would guide them
toward projecting what they feared the most—their own unique traumas.” 
“Jesus Christ,”
Warren quipped again.
Carter silenced
his partner with a hand. “So, the experiment was designed for them to react to
being locked up in a creepy mansion under the pretense that the house was
haunted, and it worked?”
Peters nodded,
tears brimming his eyes. “And I confess, I pushed them—more than I should
Carter leaned
forward, he could sense they were finally getting somewhere. “What do you mean,
Looking up,
tears now trickling down his face, he said, “Hypnosis.”
You put them in a suggestive state when they were already under duress?”
“Under duress?
No—they volunteered!”
“Only because
you promised a cure—didn’t you?”
“And it would
have worked too…but they weren’t who I thought they were—they changed into
something horrible.”
Carter sneered,
tired of this interrogation, tired of the lies and wild fantasies. “And why
didn’t it work, Doctor? Did your little hypothesis backfire? Did you have
visions of your career burning so you decided to burn everything else? Did you
kill them?”  
Carter shook his
head, the feeling of defeat sinking in and the weariness of this prolonged
interrogation taking a toll. “Taken? Where, Doctor—and by whom?”

About the Author:

Thomas S. Flowers is an Operation
Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Army veteran who loves scary movies, BBQ,
and coffee. Ever since reading Remarque’s "All Quiet on the Western
Front" and Stephen King’s "Salem’s Lot" he has inspired to write
deeply disturbing things that relate to war and horror, from the paranormal to
his gory zombie infested PLANET of the DEAD series, to even his recent dabbling
of vampiric flirtation in The Last Hellfighter readers can expect to find
complex characters, rich historical settings, and mind-altering horror. Thomas
is also the senior editor at Machine Mean, a horror movie and book review site
that hosts contributors in the horror and science fiction genre.

PLANET of the DEAD and The Last
Hellfighter are best-sellers on Amazon's Top 100 lists for Apocalyptic Fiction
and African American Horror.

You can follow Thomas and get
yourself a FREE eBook copy of FEAST by joining his newsletter. Sign up by
vising his website at


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