Psychological Thriller – The Storm Creature

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Blurb:

At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realised. 
A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever. 
That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself? 
Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?

Excerpt:

The rain danced against the pane of glass, wild and wicked until the tempo changed,

curling and writhing into a beautiful, sensual rhythm. Bloodied fingers, a palm, and then a waxen face pressed against the wet glass. Blank eyes stared in through the window. Lucy screamed; a sound which, had it been a few decibels higher, would have splintered the glass into a million pieces. Long nails scraped against the glass setting Lucy’s teeth on edge, followed by an insistent tapping.

“Go away!” Lucy shouted, but the noise continued as though the figure hadn’t heard.

Lightning illuminated the sky, highlighting the crazed woman who stood outside sodden to the skin, black hair plastered to her face and hanging limply over her shoulders. 

“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi—” Lucy shrieked again as thunder rumbled overhead tearing the sky asunder with its noise.

The constant tapping abated, and Lucy edged toward the window with a braveness she didn’t feel. She knew it was too much to believe the woman had gone. Maybe she was at one of the other windows or doors now. They were all bolted, but Lucy knew that was just an illusion of safety when the creature could walk through walls if she wanted to. Lucy had always labelled the woman as ‘Creature’ or ‘She’ in her head but recently Adele’s name had crept into her consciousness. 

Adele’s figure twirled in the lashing rain. A huge bang, followed by another flash of lightning revealed Adele laughing and spinning, her arms waving like an Indian goddess as though she, too, possessed multiple limbs. Lucy watched as Adele’s body swayed in time to the rhythm of a piece of music that only she seemed to hear, drawn from the ferocious elements. The thunder and lightning which petrified Lucy should’ve had the same effect on Adele, but the creature revelled in it. The louder the bangs, the faster she spun, until Lucy felt dizzy watching her.

Lucy collapsed on the sofa burying her head in her hands and sobbing. “Please, God, please make her go away,” she begged and edged back to the window, unable to tear her eyes away for long. She felt even God had turned away from her and no longer listened to her cries for help. 

Teasers:

The Storm Creature Teasers.003

The Storm Creature Teasers.006

Reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful, 19 July 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
Fantastic short story, creative, easy to read, well written and meaningful. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and the unexpected twist at the end look forward to more by Maria Gibbs.
5.0 out of 5 stars intertwines both mystical and everyday life into an adventure, 8 May 2017
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The descriptions and details are the right balance to rapidly absorb you into story.
The way it intertwines both mystical and everyday, in a way to bring curiosity and tempting the pages to be constantly turned until the answers and descriptions flow to proceed the journey and story of the characters is extremely well done, at times some parts quite dark, so well done it can spook you if read late at night.An interesting twist including the character to read her book, which is actually an extract from one of Maria Gibbs other books, is a great section that could be taken as a teaser to encourage to buy and read the whole book, as I had read it first it wasn’t applicable to me.

I encouraged work colleagues to read my copy and they all said it got into their dreams as the characters were very detailed in the descriptions and lifelike in the way they became believable.

Overall, a book I highly recommend

5.0 out of 5 stars Small story…Big impact, 20 Aug. 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
This is the second book I have read from Maria Gibbs, and what a great story it is.
I have to be honest that it was nothing like I expected it to be…but saying that I loved it nonetheless.
The Storm Creature tells the tale of Lucy – an author who’s life turns upside down in the blink of an eye.
What this book does is make you think.
Maria Gibbs has certainly packed a large punch with a short story, and I will certainly be recommending this book to everybody.

5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and suspenseful, March 17, 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
This story had a great opening and hooked me in immediately. It was well written, easy to read, and the evocative descriptions created a creepy and intriguing atmosphere. I enjoyed reading the story as it unfolded, telling the tale of Lucy’s tragic past and how it has affected her years later. I especially loved the huge unexpected twist at the end. This story goes to show how one tiny mistake can drastically alter so many people’s lives. This was a fantastic paranormal short story and I found it to be an engrossing read. I really enjoyed it!
Lesson of the story – never try to use your mobile phone while driving ……
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent short story, 3 Feb. 2017
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loved this book about lucy the author every page you turned was gripping exciting and a enjoyable read many thanks to the author
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic and Compelling Short Story, July 5, 2016
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The Storm Creature is just a short story, but what a thought-provoking and fascinating short story it was. I haven;t read anything from this author before, but I guarantee I will be checking out more of her work in the near future.
The Storm Creature focuses on the mental suffering and delusions of a young woman who is riddled with guilt over being the survivor in a car accident, she felt she was the cause of.
The writing is superb and the tension is well created by the Author. I won’t give any of the plot away, but this was a stunning, little tale. I know it was a short story, but still, I couldn’t put it down for a second until I knew just how it played out. Well done to the author!
5.0 out of 5 stars You many well shiver as you experience this stormy short., 15 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

At eighteen years of age Lucy is following her dreams. Her first book is published ‘As Dreams are Made on’ which has been warmly received. Her family are supportive, she is happy, with a wonderful life ahead of her.

Then one dark and stormy night, as Lucy makes her way home, along the quiet wet, winding country lanes, one tiny decision she makes, sees her dreams washed away in the lashing rain.

Eight years on and Lucy has turned into a recluse, her family once close, barely know how to deal with her. She now lives alone in a small cottage in the woods; barely ever does she venture out, and she hardly ever sees anyone.

This troubled young woman is tormented by the events of that stormy evening and is constantly taunted by the presence of the ‘Storm Creature.’ Lucy is petrified by thunder and lightning but this crazed creature revels in it. She dances in the lashing rain, as the author says ‘… laughing and spinning, her arms waving like an Indian goddess… possessed of multiple limbs.’

Maria Gibbs has a wonderful way with words, almost lyrical at times. Check out the opening lines:-

‘The rain danced against the pane of glass, wild and wicked until the tempo changed, curling and writhing into a beautiful sensual rhythm.’

The atmosphere is set so you become embroiled within the story, you may well shiver as you are drawn in, experiencing the stormy nights with the rolling thunder. I sat tense on the edge of my seat wandering what was to come next upon the turn of the page. I was not disappointed.

For a short story this psychological thriller sure packs a lot in, with unexpected twists as you near the end. I don’t wish to share anymore because it is a story you need to experience for yourself, and in my view the author certainly does make you experience every event.

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite thought Provoking, 1 July 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

The Storm Creature wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s a poignant story that made me think more about life. It also reminded me that it is never too late to change your mind.

Maria’s words show us that the way we see things is not always as they are in reality. Sometimes it’s good to take stock before it is too late. It’s not a happy story, but it teaches us to be happy and to dance in the rain.

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story, 10 April 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
OMG this short story was amazing. Once I started reading this book i couldn’t put it down. Thank you to the
author, looking forward to reading your next book.

Very Highly Recommended.

5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars, 29 Mar. 2016
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Loved reading this book, the words flowed beautifully with a gripping storyline.
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing short story, 2 Mar. 2017
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)

An intriguing short story that hooked me on page one and kept my attention to the end. I was glad to be able to read it in one sitting, as I didn’t want to put it down.

The descriptive, and almost poetic, writing created a creepy and tense atmosphere. It was an emotional book, with a tragic ending, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

This is the first book by Maria Gibbs that I’ve read and I’m certain it won’t be the last

Blog Post

https://rainnes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/the-storm-creature-by-maria-gibbs.html 

4.0 out of 5 starsDeath has more than one victim, April 15, 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
A nice little story that’s almost a character study.
A moment’s thoughtlessness, an accidental death and so many lives are changed forever. Lucy’s life is shattered in a single moment, but it’s the slow disintegration of her being that keeps the story moving.
It seems the person least affected by Adele’s death is Adele.
5.0 out of 5 starsreminiscent of James Herbert at his best. More please, 24 May 2016
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Another impressive vignette from Ms Gibbs. A creepy tale masterfully told, reminiscent of James Herbert at his best. More please.

5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful, 19 July 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
Fantastic short story, creative, easy to read, well written and meaningful. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and the unexpected twist at the end look forward to more by Maria Gibbs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, May 30 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Excellent! The story grabs you right at the beginning and keeps you guessing right up to the end.
4.0 out of 5 stars Open the letter Lucy…, 25 July 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Lyrical prose which suits the character of Lucy who loves writing and for whom writing becomes her only escape from the terrible event that can never be atoned for. An emotional rollercoaster that propels you towards a shock ending. But I did expect to hear Adele’s story; perhaps her tale will turn up as another story by the author. This is a poignant story, because such tragedies do occur and we have all wondered how we would cope and empathise with Lucy, yet at the same time we are willing her to reach out to others, to open the letter….
4.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful!, April 1, 2016
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Having read “As Dreams Are Made On,” I was really looking forward to another beautifully written novelette by Maria Gibbs, and that is exactly what I got! This author has a wonderful talent at both storytelling and writing in her own unique way.

The only thing I found a bit uncomfortable was that the protagonist of the story is supposed to be the author of another novelette by Gibbs, which makes it awkward when she writes about her own work.

With that said, “The Storm Creature” has a creative plot, executed well through the use of poetically written prose, and really has something to say, which is important when a great deal of fiction nowadays is devoid of meaning. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading “A Lifetime or a Season” next.

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