Who will rescue the kidnapped infant prince… and will they save him… or kill him? Find out in LIGHT OF THE OUTSIDER!

"I make things for people who like the kinds of things I make."
Author | Creator | Consultant


Storyworld: The Protector Cycle | Series Name:
Reading Order: 01 | Stand Alone? Yes
Genres: Fiction, Horror | Editions: Audiobooks, E-Book

“Cloak!” A world-weary, beaten-down everyman… a mysterious, street-wise old man… the shadows that hide beneath the shadows… and the secrets we keep for generations… all come together in the debut story in the occult-flavored Protector storyworld!

Shattered by family tragedies, Harry Turpin does his best to lead a life of mediocrity, sheltering himself from strong emotion and the risks of love and commitment.

When his girlfriend dumps him for a snide would-be magician, Harry’s life begins to take a very strange turn. As the mysteries about his family and his own stunted emotional growth begin to mount, Harry has to do something to shrug off the cloak he’s been living under.

The fate of his ex-girlfriend… and maybe a lot more… hangs on his decisions.

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An Excerpt from

One hand on the door, Harry Turpin stopped before going into Apex Metaphysical Books. His stomach tightened when he looked through the glass.

Inside, his girlfriend Betty scampered around the counter. Her mouth was wide with laughter Harry could just barely hear.

Behind the counter, her skeletal co-worker, Gabe, gave mock pursuit. In one spindly hand he held a pair of scissors. He made chopping motions in the air and his face was bright with mirth.

Gabe vaulted the counter. He landed right in front of Betty; almost ran into her. They were very close.

It looked to Harry like Gabe said, “Ah ha,” or something like that, anyway, when he snatched the end of Betty’s long brown hair and quickly snipped a lock or two. Betty squealed and darted away.

Harry’s eyes met Betty’s through the glass of the door. He came in as smooth as he possible; of course he hadn’t been standing out in the brisk October afternoon. Why would he do that?

Betty’s smile shifted slightly. Dimmed. She brushed the hair away from her flushed face.

“Harry! I was just thinking about you!”

Harry wasn’t surprised she turned her head when he leaned in for a kiss. His lips grazed her cheek and his stomach notched tighter.

“I thought I’d come see you on the way home from the site,” he said. She didn’t avoid his hug. Harry glanced over her shoulder. Gabe busied himself behind the counter, near the dusty black velvet curtain that obscured the store’s back meeting room.

Betty pulled away. “I’m… um, glad you came by. I was going to call you later, but…”

Harry made himself smile. “Hey, you can still call me later.”

“Yeah.” Betty laughed. “Um.” She looked at her feet, at the wall rack of herbs and essential oils, at the tarot card display and very quickly in Gabe’s direction before she took Harry’s arm and lead him to the door. “Let’s go outside.”

Harry said, “It’s kinda cold…” even as she led him though and onto the sidewalk.

“I don’t mind.” Betty wore a thin black leotard and an ankle-length pleated black skirt. She hugged herself. “I wanted to talk to you.”

Harry dug his hands into the pockets of his paint-spotted blue jeans. “Yeah, okay.”

Betty’s focus skittered, landing anywhere but on Harry. She laughed, a short nervous cough. “I don’t know how to say this.”

Harry let himself fall back against the storefront window. His breath went out in a hard sigh. “That never means good things.”

Betty seemed to study an old bit of gum on the sidewalk at her feet. The Autumn wind played with her hair. She looked up. Her eyes locked on his face, just below his right eye.

“I think maybe… we’re seeing too much of each other.”

Harry moved his head slightly to force her to meet his gaze. She looked away.

“Too… much of each other?”

“Well, yeah.” Betty shrugged. “I think we’re interested in different things.” She glanced over Harry’s shoulder, into the store. Harry had the feeling she was looking at Gabe. For support?

It hardened him a little. “So, what you’re really saying is that you don’t like the time we spend together. Not that there’s too much of it.”

She frowned and finally looked at him, quickly, before looking away again. “Don’t twist it around, Harry. We never really just talk. It’s like you don’t even really want to be in a relationship in the first place, so I don’t know why you’re surprised.”

“Talk.” Harry felt a weight, a constriction, wrap around him. He thought of a straight jacket, which made him think of his mother. “I thought we talked.”

Betty tossed her head. “Yeah, I guess so. But it’s about the dumbest…” Regret crossed her face quickly before irritation reclaimed the territory. “It’s about just everyday stuff, y’know? Your work. Who you saw at the bar. All the same stuff. Nothing real! We never talk about us – how we feel about each other. What’s the point?”

She couldn’t help shivering now. If Gabe hadn’t taken that little bit of hair, Harry absurdly thought, Betty’d be that much warmer right now. “What’s the point? I don’t understand.” Harry really wanted to turn around to see if Gabe was watching. “What do you mean?”

Betty blinked and shook her head. “That’s what I mean, Harry.” She put her hand on the door and leaned in. “I never felt like you wanted to be in love, y’know?”

“What? I –”

“I can’t even really take it personally.” Her lips pressed into an odd, small smile. “I don’t think you have it in you. I’m sorry, Harry. I’ll… I guess I’ll see you around.”

She went inside, made a bee-line for the counter and slipped past the velvet curtain, out of sight.

Through the glass, Gabe looked at Harry and smiled before he followed Betty into the back.

Heavy, laden, Harry shuffled back to his car and sat behind the steering wheel until the parking meter flipped to red; fifteen minutes. He felt nothing.


Harry found himself at the Greycap Saloon and took a table he and Betty had never used. He nursed a stout and stared without enthusiasm at the basketball game on the big-screen televisions above the bar. When Charlie Kincaid threw his rumpled frame into the empty chair across the table, Harry startled.

“Harry. What’s shakin’, kid?”

“Just drowning my sorrows, Charlie.”

The older man leaned forward. Crow’s feet spread from the corners of his bright eyes. “Hm…” He rubbed the dark stubble on his chin. “It’s not your job, I don’t think, so… girl trouble?”

“Yep.” Harry’s head dropped an inch toward his chest. “Betty broke up with me.”

Charlie scratched at his thinning scalp. “You ever bring her in here? Frail thing, dresses like a flapper, lots of earrings?”

Harry raised his head. “She kicked your ass playing darts last week. Remember?”

Charlie shrugged. “I try to put my losses behind me. So, what’s the problem? I thought you were pretty cozy with this one.”

“Not cozy enough.” Betty’s words came back to Harry. He wondered if she was right, if he was in love with her; if he could be. If ya gotta ask…

Charlie clicked his tongue and shook his head. “Ah, right. Like your old man used to say. ‘Artistic differences.’” He chuckled.

Harry looked at Charlie. “What?”

“You know. Two people might want to do the same thing, but they go about it so differently…”

“No,” Harry held up his hand. “I know what ‘artistic differences’ means. You said my old man used to say that?”

Charlie laughed again. “I told you I knew him.”

“No.” Harry thought about it. He only knew Charlie from the bar. How much had they talked about that was pissed away with the beer? “I don’t think you ever did. Jesus. How did you know my dad?”

Name Your Price!