July 4, 2016

Book Spotlight Harbinger Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

I am pleased to have as guest, again, Marcia, the lovely host from The Write Stuff and a prolific author. She brings us her latest release
                       Harbinger Wake-Robin Ridge
                                          Book 3


Continuing in the tradition of Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit, Marcia Meara's North Carolina mountain series takes a shivery turn with the Appalachian Legend of Ol' Shuck, the Harbinger of Death.

“. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.”

The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol' Shuck, as he's often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die.

But what happens when Ol' Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger.

When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt.

As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.

 Excerpts From Chapter 11

Monday Afternoon, March 10, 2014

North Carolina Mountains

RABBIT’S SILENCE TOLD Mac almost as much as his frown did. Something was bothering his son. Worry showed on the boy’s face and in his body language, as the two of them walked away from the parked Jeep, and headed up the long driveway toward the Birdwell place. Full of eager chatter about his reimagined control module on the drive over, Rabbit’s mood had changed the minute they climbed out of the vehicle.

“You want to talk about what’s bothering you?”

Shoulders hunched upward in a half-hearted shrug, Rabbit didn’t say anything for a few more steps, but then he slowed, scanning the area to each side of them. “Don’t you feel nothin’ different today, Daddy?”

“Different how?”

Another hunch of those narrow shoulders. “Just … different. It don’t feel so good here right now. Feels like somethin’s waitin’.”

Mac came to a dead halt. “Waiting? What do you mean? Like waiting for us? Is someone here?” He’d assumed all the tire tracks in the drive were from their previous visits, but maybe not. He studied the impressions left in the dry, powdery clay, but he couldn’t tell how old they were.

Rabbit stayed by his side, peering more closely at the drive, too. “I ain’t never learnt to read tracks an’ such. Grampa was always plannin’ to teach me someday, but … well … I guess we just run out of somedays. Can you tell anything by lookin’ at these here?”

Mac confessed he couldn’t. “Maybe we’ll get some books on tracking. Well, tracking animals and stuff, at least. It would be fun to learn how together, wouldn’t it?”

At that, Rabbit perked up for a minute. “I’d like that a lot. It’d make Grampa happy to know I was learnin’ ‘bout it, too, even if he ain’t here to teach me hisself.”

They stood side by side, staring up the road in silence, and Mac wondered whether coming today had been a good idea, after all. “Maybe we should leave, Rabbit. We can come back another day.”

With a shake of his head, Rabbit started walking again. “I don’t think nothin’s gonna hurt us. It’s just a weird ol’ feelin’ … like breath bein’ held. Like somethin’ bigger than we are is waitin’ to see what comes next. Bigger than people, I mean, not just you an’ me. I can’t ‘splain it no better than that.”

“But it doesn’t feel like we’re in danger?”

The boy shook his head again. “No. But the woods is awful still, like even the critters are waitin’ to see what’s comin’.”

Eyeing the trees around them, Mac realized Rabbit was right. The woods were still as death. No birdsong, no animals rustling in the heavy underbrush, no breeze stirring the leaves. It was eerie and disturbing.

He considered leaving again. “Maybe we really should go, Rabbit.”

“But what if we went on home an’ come back another time, an’ it weren’t no different? We’re already here. Reckon it won’t hurt to walk a little bit closer, anyway. If anything starts feelin’ worse, we can always leave then, right?”

Mac nodded his agreement, and they continued on their way, but he decided then and there, he’d bring his shotgun next time. There was a reason for the old expression, ‘better safe than sorry,’ and where his son—his whole family—was concerned, Mac didn’t intend to end up sorry, this time. No, he promised himself. Not ever again.


THE OPPRESSIVE SILENCE of their surroundings kept both Mac and Rabbit more subdued than usual. They trudged up the long drive, each lost in his own thoughts, for another quarter mile, and rounded a bend, just as a bloody apparition burst out of the woods and raced directly toward them.

Mac immediately stationed himself between Rabbit and the frantic man, who screamed at the sight of them. Eyes wild and arms windmilling all over the place, he skidded to a stop three feet away, gasping and wheezing. Blood dripped down his face from numerous small cuts, and sweat plastered his red hair to his skull.

Before Mac could ask what was wrong, or offer help, the man shrieked, “Get outta my way!” and shoved past them.

Stunned, Mac watched him lurch down the road, yelling every step of the way, and glancing back over his shoulder again and again, as though he were being chased by the hounds of Hell. His screams grew fainter until after a few minutes, they could no longer hear him at all.

Rabbit tugged on Mac’s arm, eyes wide in his pale face. “Daddy? Can we go home now?”

“I think we should, partner. I don’t know what was chasing that man, and I don’t want to find out, either. You were right to think something’s wrong here, today.”

“Ain’t nothin’ wrong, now, though. Listen.”

Sure enough. The birds were calling again, and a soft wind shushed through the pines. Off in the distance, a fox barked. The woods had returned to normal.

“Huh. You’re right, Rabbit. Everything seems fine, now. But you still want to go home?”

“Yes, please. Might be, I got some thinkin’ to do.”

They headed back toward the Jeep, quiet once more, though for very different reasons, this time. As they approached the vehicle, Mac asked, “Rabbit? Do you know what happened to that all-wrong feeling you had earlier?”

“Yes. It went away as soon as the man did.”


Author Bio

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!
Marcia has published six books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format:

You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com
or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff:  http://marciamearawrites.com/
To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here:


  1. Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Carmen. This third book in my Wake-Robin Ridge series gave me a great opportunity to explore the Appalachian legend of the Black Dog as a harbinger of death. It also gave me a chance to cement the growing bond between MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit. Hope your readers enjoy the excerpt, and decide to check out the rest of the books. Have a great day!

    1. You are most welcome, Marcia!
      It's a captivating series from all IO read in blurbs and excerpts. I love when a story includes myths, legends, superstitions in the plot. I hope readers will discover your books. They are worth reading no doubt!

  2. I just checked out the entire series on Amazon, and will be adding this to my TBR list. I'm usually not a fan of first person POV (and I see that the books alternate between first and third) but I love the idea behind these novels, especially Harbinger, which ties into the Black Dog Legend.

    I just bought book one from Amazon and look forward to discovering the entire series. Thanks for introducing me to Marcia, Carmen!

    1. I am glad you found the series attractive and am sure Marcia will be, too.
      The Black dog legend caught my attention, too. Perhaps, one day I will be able to buy hers and your books.

    2. Hi, again, Maeclair! Thank you so much for deciding to give this series a try. I hope you enjoy it. As for POV's, I use 3rd person for everyone except Sarah (in the Wake-Robin Ridge series) and Maggie (in the Riverbend series). Everyone else is 3rd person POV, so you won't have to deal with 1st person a lot. :) I started that trend with the first book, and just stuck to it. But as each series grows, other people are taking over plotlines, so 3rd person becomes more the rule. I'm very fond of multiple POV's, and hope you'll enjoy seeing what's in the heads of some of my weirder characters. :D Great to "meet" you!

  3. I can't wait to dive into this book!!! Thanks for sharing Marcia's excerpt, Carmen.

    1. It'll be waiting for you as soon as you "dive out" of Rabbit, Kass! :D Hope you'll enjoy that one enough to move on to #3, wherein Rabbit's gifts really begin to manifest themselves. Such a fun series to write! Thanks for reading 1 & 2, and for taking the time to comment here, as well.

    2. It was a pleasure, Kassandra. Marcia is a great lady and talented author.
      Thank you for checking the post and leaving a comment!

  4. Well done, Marcia. How wonderful to have a book about the ole black dog. I love mountain legends so much.


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