A dark entity is after Gabriel Davenport and there may be no way to avoid it.
Living in a quiet farm house outside of town was supposed to be peaceful. For Beth Davenport, it was…for a while. At least as peaceful as a new born son and a new house would allow it to be. A new baby, a new house, and a chance purchase of an antique box. Beth got an eerie feeling from the box her husband purchased on holiday and the feelings were getting stronger. Beth was getting particularly strong feelings on a day that Stu had to run into town for a work meeting and she practically begged him not to leave. With assurances that he would be back before the predicted winter storm hit, Stu left, leaving Beth and Gabriel alone in the house.
Stu gets stuck at work during the storm and the feelings of dread Beth experiences intensify; lights flicker, doors slam, draughts blow around the house with no windows open, and furniture rearranges itself. Fed up with the experiences, Beth decides to get rid of what she believes is the cause: the box. Unfortunately, the entity housed within had a different idea. It had waited long enough and a new host was within reach in the form of baby Gabriel.
After a fall, the box springs open, unleashing the entity within. Unseen to Beth, she picked up the box and threw it out into the deepening snow. The entity had other plans. It began torturing Beth with more intense happenings within the house. Beth and Gabriel were trapped and could not escape.
The weather caused havoc with other drivers on the country road as well. Reverend Noah Isaacs caught in the storm slid off of the road and sought shelter at the closest house: The Davenport’s. Trudging through the snow drifts toward the house, Noah felt something was wrong. The front door stood agape and he could hear the cries of baby Gabriel coming from the house. The entity felt a new spirit to torture and went after Noah. Protected by only his faith and a book of Psalms, Reverend Isaacs was able to thwart the weakened demon and it fled. Finally making it to the house, the scene inside stopped the reverend cold. Beth knelt comatose on the floor and Gabriel screamed from somewhere else in the house. Getting the situation under control in the house, Noah began trying to call for help without success.
As a new day began, a neighbor began helping with snow removal and happened upon the Davenport place stopping when he saw Noah signaling. Eventually they were able to get in touch with Stu who was trying to make it back to the house through the snow ridden roads. Tragedy strikes again and Stu’s phone goes dead. Gabriel was all but orphaned, but a friend of Noah’s volunteers to take Gabriel and his comatose mother in and care for them.
For the next fifteen years, Gabriel is under the care of an occult scientist, Carver, in his home know as the Manor. With the help of Carver’s live-in housekeeper and another ward of his Ollie, Gabriel experiences a quiet, if not normal, existence. All of that is about to change. The entity returns stronger than before, ready to claim its prize. But it is not the only thing interested in Gabriel. An unlikely ally shows itself and may be Gabriel’s only chance for survival. Then again, it may just be the beginning of the inevitable.
Beverley Lee tells the story of Gabriel Davenport, the boy destined for bad things. She does a wonderful job of setting the tone early; Beth knows something is wrong in the house and her experiences are shown in great detail. The story is well paced, keeping the story moving forward with very few speed bumps. Beverley develops the supporting characters well whether they are introduced at the beginning or later in the story, readers even get a glimpse inside the entity’s thoughts letting them know its motivations and desires. The tension holds out throughout the story and detail is paid to resolving and escalating the tension from cover to cover. The battle for Gabriel ends, but the story is not over. It will be interesting to see where Gabriel Davenport’s story takes readers.
What was the inspiration behind this story?
Many moons ago, after watching a TV show about an old house used as a paranormal research centre, I decided that it would make a great base for a story. In 2014 I tentatively put pen to paper and wrote a few thousand words about a house that dealt in those things. Four characters emerged from that very badly written draft, characters that would go on to be Gabe, Carver, Ollie and Clove.
The first few scenes in Gabriel, as it is now, were written for a competition for new writers, but I never sent it in. About six months later, I pulled it from my files and started playing with it again. At that point Gabe was a baby called Erin. As soon as I changed the gender of that baby, things started to fall into place.
And I’ve always loved the idea of something living in a box. That human need to peek inside, that opening of Pandora’s Box with all the heady consequences. It makes my writer’s heart beat faster.
I really wish I could remember that TV show. It was the catalyst for many things!
A strong point of your writing is how you build dread, it's incredibly well done. Are you conscious of that while writing?
Thank you so much for the kind words! I am conscious of it, but in a way that weaves itself quietly through my words. I don’t set out to create it in a certain way, I just let the settings and the events taking place shape the atmosphere. You could say it’s an underlying thread to my voice, I’m always aware of using sensory perception to deepen the readers’ experience. I want them to be pulled inside the story so that they are the character. And I’m building towards a climax that I always know, so I can drip feed the tension in a subtle way. I hope!
Are you a fan of the horror genre?
Yes! It’s such a good time to be involved in horror right now. As well as the established writers we all grew up with, there’s a wave of bright and diverse voices coming into play, taking well used concepts and giving them their own special twist. I read Gwendolyn Kiste’s The Rust Maidens earlier this year and was thrilled by its originality. (Kiste also won the Bram Stoker Award this year for her novel, check out the winners HERE)
Do you watch horror movies, if so what are your favs?
Very little scares me in a horror book, but put me in front of a horror movie and I turn into mush. I’m the one watching through my fingers as the music amps up, just waiting for something to happen! Occasionally, I’ll face my fears, just to prove that I can. The most recent ones that I’ve watched and enjoyed are A Quiet Place and the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s It.
We love spotlighting indie authors on Horror Bound, are there any indie authors you'd like to give a shout out to?
Becky Wright over on Instagram (@beckywrightauthor) has a new gothic release out in July (Mr Stoker & I), based upon Bram Stoker and how he might have gained his idea for Dracula. It’s such a neat twist to the story.
What do you have coming up soon? Any teasers?
I have a short story nearly ready which is based on an old English fairy tale, The Buried Moon. The Seventh Son is a twisted tale of trust which is definitely more Grimm than Disney! You’ll meet August, the youngest of seven princes, whose quest to bring his mother the light of the moon has the deadliest consequences.
And I’m currently working on a standalone with an abandoned house at the edge of an English forest. Daniel and Faye Morgan return to the place where Dan spent his summers after the death of their son. But Barrington Hall has left a scar on Dan’s mind and he doesn’t know why.
It’s a story of revenge and remorse, of trying to find something that is lost. Of an act so terrible that the repercussions have vibrated down through the years.
Loss leaves a hole large enough for anything to crawl into. You’ll just have to wait and see what it is ;)
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