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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Well House by M.S.Matassa Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway


The Well House 
A Man's Incredible Journey To Save His Pregnant Wife From The Ultimate Evil.
Blog Tour From July 28th to August 1st 

The dream is back and Ben Carson is terrified. His pregnant wife, Anne, is locked in a coma and Ben is the only person who can save her, but he has no idea how to accomplish this. His dreams contain clues, but they make no sense. Ben can’t figure what a small white well house and black flying creatures have to do with Anne.

Then he meets a mysterious woman named Thelma Grippe. What he learns from Thelma shakes him to the core, but gives him the knowledge to free Anne from the force keeping her in the coma. Once he locates the
well house, Ben finds a passage to another dimension, where he searches for Anne. After a long, arduous journey, Ben faces the ultimate evil that holds Anne captive.

The Well House is an exciting, unique and thoughtful story of a man’s fight against unbelievable odds to save his wife. Part drama, part fantasy and part parable, The Well House is a multi-layered tale that takes readers on an amazing journey from the mountains above Boulder Colorado to the depths of the dark zone.

The Well House is the first novel by Michael S. Matassa, an attorney and Municipal Court Judge in Arvada, Colorado. He discovered the well house in the late summer of 1994, standing by a field of corn on a small farm just south of Brighton Colorado, where it still stands today. Mr. Matassa studied at Regis College in Denver and the University of Colorado School of law. He has also written several short stories, a screenplay and is presently working on a sequel to The Well House and a ghost story called “The Baby Carriage.” He writes under the pen name of M. S. Matassa.

What would you like to tell everyone about you that they wouldn't already know from reading your books?
I am an attorney, municipal court judge and now an author. I am 68 years old and live in Arvada Colorado. I was married for 42 years and my wife is deceased. I have 5 children and 7 grandchildren. I graduated from Regis College in Denver and obtained my law degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder.  I coached youth club soccer for 15 years and am a Denver Broncos fan
 What inspired you to write your first book?
I always wanted to write a novel but never had the time when I was working and raising a family. I first saw the real well house in 1994 on Hwy 85 south of Brighton Colorado and I had this idea that it would be interesting if I went inside the well house and it was a huge room even though it was a 6x5 structure on the outside.  The story developed over the years in my mind and on paper into what it is today.  It didn't take 20 years to write but the story sat around for a long time. I finally got more serious in the last few years and decided to finish it.  This is really a personal story with many elements from my life interspersed throughout; so I was rather apprehensive about letting the world see what I had written. I decided that 2014 was the right time for me to publish the book.
 Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style is straightforward and descriptive. I develop the story in my mind over several months and then write the book like I am watching a movie. When I start a chapter I have a general idea what I want to write but at least 50% of what makes it to the page happens as I write. I always say that the story writes itself. I make a brief outline of what each chapter will deal with after I develop the story in my mind. Then I just start writing and see where the story goes. I generally know where I want the story to end up but how I get there is always a surprise.  I like to write mostly short chapters of 4 to 6 pages, so readers have a place to easily break. That's the way I like to read. And I also want to make sure the story has a satisfying ending. My stories are a mix of reality and fantasy, which overlap each other to keep the reader guessing.
 How did you come up with the title?
The main focus of the book is the well house. It is a portal to another dimension. The well house actually exists on Highway 85 in Adams County Colorado. It is a small structure that houses a water pump that pumps the well water to the fields next to it.  I never considered any other name because the name is mysterious and the well house is the central character in the book. I visited the well house and the neighboring cemetery a month ago to scout the location as I prepared to start the sequels.
 What do you want your readers to get out of your novels?
My main aim is to give the readers an interesting story that will keep their attention until the end. At the end of the book, I want the reader to feel he/she experienced an interesting story with a satisfying ending. If this is the case, then I feel my writing was successful.
However, all my books have multiple themes that can further enhance the reader's enjoyment. I come from a religious/spiritual background, so I intersperse elements of spirituality in my stories along with multiple themes.  I want the reader to have whatever experience they personally get out of the book whether it is the basic story or whether they can follow one of the other themes. In "The Well House", I there are at least 5 themes that people who have read the book have discovered.
 Is the book mostly fantasy or do you think these situations could actually happen?
This book takes place in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado, in the cities of Boulder, Denver, and Wheat Ridge and on highway 85 in Adams county Colorado. All of the locations referred to in the book are real locations.  The rest of the book takes place in another dimension called the dream world and the dark zone.
Everything that happens in the real world can definitely happen. Much of what happens in the other dimension is a parable of the struggles that people encounter in their real, daily lives.  The events that occur in the other dimension are a fantasy I created but what happens represents real issues that people can encounter. This story is a unique look at the age-old conflict between good and evil. So looking at this book as a parable of the conflict of good versus evil, yes, much of it can really happen.
 Are the experiences fact based or from your imagination?
Many of the experiences in the book are actual events that happened to me. This book was a catharsis for me to be able to address many issues that had troubled me through my life. It was a great experience to be able to write about things that had bothered me for years. When I go to book club discussions/signings, I am asked questions about different aspects of the book and I enjoy letting people know how and why I wrote what I did. It is liberating.
 Which other authors do you feel have had the most influences on you as both a reader and a writer?
            Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Dan Brown

What book are you reading now?
            Dr. Sleep by Stephen King

 What are your current projects?
            I am writing two sequels to "The Well House".  The first sequel takes place about 7 years after the end of "The Well House".  It will be the middle book of a trilogy and is tentatively named "The Well House, Book 2: Jack's Revenge".  It will not end well for the Carson family.  I will write the third book immediately after the second book and it is tentatively named  "The Well House, Book 3: Taylor's Redemption". 
            If you like the first book, you will definitely like the next two. The second book is meaner and more sinister. The last book will try to put the family back together. I am hoping that the three books taken together will provide quite a ride for the readers. After I finish the trilogy, I have a ghost story in mind. Also I have several short stories that I may publish.

 Do you see writing as a career?
            At this point I have had a career as an attorney and a municipal court judge.  I would love to write full time but I don't see that I could make enough income from writing, so I will probably continue to work in the legal field and see how the writing develops. I'm definitely not ready to retire and intend to write more novels.
 Who designed the cover?
            I published my book through Outskirts Press and hired a cover artist through them. His name is Lewis Agrell and he is a very imaginative and talented cover designer. I gave him my ideas and a  synopsis of the book and he created a cover that perfectly represents the themes in the book and everyone seems to love it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
            If you have a story you believe in, then follow your gut feeling and start writing. Then re-read and re-edit until you are satisfied with your product. Then have a professional editor edit the book.  I have 8 versions of "The Well House", probably because I was an inexperienced writer. Then I hired a professional editor to clean up my writing. Also I suggest that any writer who is not an English major read books on how to write fiction: beginnings, middles, ends and first 50 pages. Then read novels in your genre.  You really need to learn the craft of writing in addition to having an imaginative mind before you dare try to publish a book. But if you really want to publish a novel don't give up.

Which comes first? The character's story, or, the idea for the novel?
            I generally come up with the idea for the novel, then develop a general plot, then add characters to the story. Once I have a good idea of the story in my head, I turn the characters loose on the page and let them go where the story leads them. I am always surprised at what they do.

Have you done any promotional tours for your books?
            I have attended several book club discussions and book signings. It was a great experience for me to talk with a room full of people who had read my book. I have received great feedback and am amazed at how different people read the same story but focus in on different aspects of the story. It also helps me know what the readers liked in the book, which will help me in writing the sequels. I also have a Blog tour set up and an Internet radio interview.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
            I considered myself an author when I first held the paperback version of the book in my hands and read the words on the book's pages that I had only seen in manuscript form. That was an amazing feeling. Now I need to work on the craft of writing so that I can be an accomplished writer. That part may never happen but I'm definitely going to try to keep improving my writing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
            Thank you to everyone who has gotten and read the book. I truly appreciate my readers because without their support, my stories would only exist in my head.  Readers let me share my stories with the world.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
            I invite you to take a journey through the well house if you dare. Enjoy the ride.

      From above, Taylor heard a shrill scream and he opened his eyes again. Circling over the house were several black shapes that made Taylor freeze with fear. He stayed still on the lounge chair, pretending to be asleep.  Taylor heard footsteps on the deck and looked out of the corner of his eye in the direction of the sound. One of the black creatures had landed about five feet from the lounge chair and walked slowly toward him. Taylor continued to lie still, not daring to move. The creature hopped up on the frame of the chair and opened its mouth. Taylor smelled a sulfurous stench, making his stomach turn.
     As the creature inched forward, Taylor could no longer keep still. He bolted from the lounge chair, yelling as loudly as he could, "Get the hell out of here.”
     The black creature jumped off the lounge chair and began circling to Taylor's left. The creature was the size of a large raven, covered with feathers and scales. Its beak gaped open in a hideous smile; its eyes glowed with a pale red cast. The wings were held out slightly from the body, as if the creature was trying to cool itself. Taylor moved back a step and noticed he was surrounded by seven of these hideous things. They formed a tight circle around him. He was trapped. Taylor stomped his feet in hopes that the creatures would take off, but they stood their ground. Taylor kicked the closest creature, sending it flying across the deck into the wall of the house, where it landed with a sickening thud. It appeared to be unconscious, but in a few seconds the scaly creature regained its senses and walked back to its original place in the circle.
     "What do you want?" Taylor yelled.
     The creatures started to shriek, causing Taylor to cover his ears. The pain was excruciating and Taylor fell to his knees. Immediately the sound stopped. Taylor saw that the creatures were changing shape. Their legs and torsos elongated; their bodies took human form. Taylor stood frozen with fear. The creature in front of him was now six feet tall and looked like a muscular soldier covered with black scaly armor. A raven’s head was perched on top of the human body; a red lizard-like tongue darted in and out of the large black beak. Human arms and hands covered with black scales extended out from under the large wings. Taylor felt strong hands grab him from behind and bind his arms to his sides. He struggled, but was unable to move.  The largest creature approached and stopped within a few inches of Taylor's face. Taylor looked into the eyes and could see flames flickering deep in the sockets. The creature opened its mouth as if to speak, then breathed into Taylor's face. A sick feeling rose in his stomach from the acidic stench. His legs gave way, but strong hands held him upright.
     "Are you scared, boy?" the creature asked sarcastically.
     Taylor couldn't speak.
     "Answer me, you piece of crap."
     Taylor raised his head and whispered, "I'm not scared."
     "Can't hear you, boy!” the creature said.
     "I'm not scared,” Taylor yelled.
     "Well, you should be, boy, cause we're going to hurt you real bad. And then when your father comes home we're going to have a barbecue. The main course will be roasted Ben Carson. I bet you didn't think you were going to have Dad for lunch today, did you, boy?"
     "Who are you?" Taylor asked.
     "Just a bunch of guys out for a little fun. Oh, by the way, your momma's dead, and so is the baby."
     "Shut up, you bastard,” Taylor screamed.
     The creature let out a demonic laugh and grabbed Taylor by the front of his shirt. "My boss doesn't like what your dad has been doing, so he sent us to give him a message.  Tell your dad to forget the rescue. The bitch and the baby are ours. He'll know what we mean."
     "Who's your boss?" Taylor asked.
     The large creature let go of Taylor's shirt and walked to the edge of the deck. "My boss is evil, not someone to screw with. That's all you need to know."
     The creature turned, walked back to Taylor and said to the others, "Hold his head."
     Immediately two of the creatures grabbed Taylor grabbed his head and held it immobile. The black creature standing behind Taylor tightened its grip on his arms. Taylor tried to struggle, but could not move. He had never felt such power.
     "Listen well, boy,” the large one said softly. "When your father comes home, tell him about our visit. Let him know he is to stop all plans to save your mother. In return, both you and he will live a long, successful life. I guarantee it."
     The creature moved his face close to Taylor's face. "Look into my eyes. Do you see the flames?  This is serious stuff, boy. Any questions?"
     Taylor said in a shaky voice, "No, I understand."
     "Good!" the creature said. "Oh, one more thing. I'm going to leave you with something so your dad knows we are serious."
     With the speed of a snake, the creature inserted its open black beak into Taylor's right eye socket, grabbing the eyeball, and crushing it slowly.
     The creature withdrew the beak and spit the crushed eyeball on the ground.
     "And now the other.”
     Taylor screamed as the beak slid into the left eye socket, crushing the remaining eyeball. The other creatures released their grip and Taylor fell in a heap on the wooden deck. The creatures shrank to their original size, and one by one lifted off the deck and headed north.
     Taylor put his hands to his face and felt warm liquid flowing from his eyes. He opened his eyelids, but no light reached his brain. In the distance, Taylor heard the motor of his father's VW winding up the canyon.


My review
This is a book that will keep you entranced until the last page. It is a thrilling suspenseful story. I really liked the storyline and the characters are fantastic. This is a scary mystery, how does someone find and understand clues to be able to save someone they love. How many trials will one face in order to save another? I recommend this book to anyone who loves suspense and fantasy novels. I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book for the purpose of a review and all opinions are my own.

author website  http://www.msmatassa.com/

Independant author network page  http://bit.ly/1oY2j4S

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