Blog Tour: The Gift of Illusion Excerpt and Contest


What was the worst day of your life?


Having trouble?

You’re not alone. The average life can span over twenty-six thousand days, give or take, thus for most of us narrowing down one particular day as the absolute worst could be an exercise in the impossible.

Isaac Winters had an answer. No problem.

January 17th, 1995 was the day, the worst.

Isaac had stayed up late to finish another round of paperwork due the next morning. While his wife and daughter slept upstairs, the thirty-year-old police officer sat within a small office on the first floor, slouched over a stack of forms, barely able to remain productive. As he struggled to keep his attention on the documents, scribbling a note here, jotting a name there, Isaac drifted away. His head hit the thick stack of paper with a thump and then quickly sprung back up. He leaned back in the black swivel chair and flexed open his eyelids until the back of his head throbbed. The pain felt like his brains were being sucked out of his skull through a straw. He massaged his temples in a slow, clockwise motion. The comfort of his bed waiting above had summoned him, and after a long, difficult fight, he finally surrendered.

Isaac headed upstairs. First, he checked on his nine-month-old daughter, Amy, and then tiptoed into his bedroom, careful not to wake his wife. Linda Winters slept on her right side with her hands snuggled between her cheek and pillow. She was wearing a white silk nightgown Isaac had given her the previous night.

“Do you like it?” he had asked, after she had torn off the red bow and beheaded the gift box.

Linda had smiled and then said exactly what he had hoped she would say.


Then they’d made love for the last time.

Before lying down, Isaac peered out a small window above his nightstand. A large, naked oak tree on the side of the house shook and parted with a few small branches. The wind had picked up over the last hour and showed no sign of calming any time soon. A distant thunder hummed as a sudden flash of lightning brightened the room.

The storm was approaching fast, and soon Isaac would be kneeling in the middle of it. But it wasn’t until he leaned back and closed his eyes that he heard the shatter of glass, followed by the baby crying.

Eyes open.

A sudden unease swept through him and rushed outward to his appendages like a legion of tunneling worms. His fingers and toes itched as the worms struck his skin like a collection of jabbing needles. The temperature in the room seemed to drop by innumerable degrees, spawning a crawl of small bumps across his body.

He sat up. Still. Hesitant.

Contest details:

  • We have a print copy and a pdf of The Gift of Illusion to give away.
  • The contest is open to anyone over the age of 13.  For the print book, the winner must be a US resident.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, August 21.

Purchase Links
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About the Author: Richard Brown is not a vampire, yet. While he awaits immortality, Richard spends much of his time banging his head on the keyboard trying to make sentences out of words. Since the age of ten, he’s written dozens of short stories, over a hundred poems, and two novels, the first — The Gift of Illusion — was released May, 17 2011. He also enjoys spending time with his daughter, girlfriend, three dogs, watching mixed martial arts, singing karaoke, debating politics, and of course dressing up for photo shoots with a guitar he never really learned to play (ahem).