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The Perils of Eating Out – a #FourthWallFriday with @59CarsonBuck

Before I continue I want to post a blessing to my Rising Phoenix, may she rise again in her daughter, you will be missed.  My friend Nix died after being trapped in her house after a fire broke out late Monday/early Tuesday morning. She is survived by her family, including her teenage daughter and her beloved pit-puppy, Diamond. Her son Michael has set up a fund to help with the funeral arrangements and to help replace her possessions since everything was destroyed.

Thanks for stopping by and now for a special stop on Carson Buckinghams tour for her story, Gothic Revival.


The Perils of Eating Out

You wouldn’t believe how damnably lost you can get in these New England backwaters. It was pouring down rain and I was starving… hadn’t eaten since breakfast… and not a restaurant, or even a greasy spoon, in sight.

The rain began to let up, but only to make way for a nearly opaque fog. Swell. Hungry and now blind, too. I offered up a silent prayer to whichever deity happened to be listening and also happened to give a crap.

And you know what? It actually worked.

When I drove around the next bend in the road, there it was… a restaurant! Harry Wang’s! Good lord, what a name, but Jesus tap dancing Christ, if they had hot food in there, a rose by any other name, y’know?

I parked and dashed inside. What a place! I never would have thought I’d find this classy an eatery in this tiny no-name town, but here it was.

“Jus’ you?” the tiny lady holding menus asked me as she walked up.

“Yes, and I’m starving!”

“You comm’a righ’ prayce, den!” she said. “My name Wing Wang. Tay’ba righ dis way.”

She set me up at a corner booth near a youngish couple. The way they were staring at each other over the two red roses on their table made me think ‘Anniversary dinner.’ They seemed vaguely familiar to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on where I knew them from. Probably a book signing or a reading.

I opened the menu. Pricey, but food, any food, at this point would have been worth it at twice the cost. I ordered General Tso’s chicken and many side dishes.

I looked around while waiting for my dinner. The place was completely full now, but the noise level was so low that it didn’t seem that way. I began to mull over a plot point I was currently stuck on for my second novel, when I became aware that someone was looking at me.

I looked up. She was standing right in front of me, though I hadn’t heard her walk up.

“Hello. My name is Theodora Hamilton. Apparently they’re overbooked here tonight. Would you mind very much if I shared your table?”

Well, I did, but what can you do? “Not at all, please sit down.”

“You have the advantage of me, I’m afraid,” she said, eyes unnerving behind Coke bottle lenses.

“I’m sorry. Carson Buckingham here.”

“The author.” It was a statement, not a question. She knew who I was all right.

“Yes. I’m astonished that you’ve heard of me.”

“Oh, I know quite a bit more about you than you realize.” Again with the frog-eyed stare.

“I’m sorry. Is there a problem?” I asked.

“Not if you do things the right way, there won’t be, no.” I felt a drop of nervous sweat roll down my back.

“What exactly are we talking about?”

“You’re working on a new book, yes?”

“Yes. Gothic Revival.”

“I know. All I need for you to do is to write the section you’re having problems with right now in a certain way.”

“And what way is that?”

“I’m about to offer them a highly lucrative job and I want them to accept it.”

“Why wouldn’t they, if it’s a lucrative as you say? Why the assist from me?”

“I don’t believe in taking chances. I want to be sure. Please take out the notepad that you always carry with you and write it that way, without changing it substantively later on. I’ll know if you do, and I won’t be happy. You don’t want me to be unhappy, do you?”

“Uh, no… no, I don’t.” I took out my pad. “Are you going to give me some background information about this job you’re offering them?”

She did, and though I’d never heard the like of anything she told me, I wrote it up—and it worked! It got me past that section I was blocked on. I knew where I was going with it now.

I looked up at the young couple again, and it hit me.

They were Leo and Alex Renfield—my protagonists in Gothic Revival.

When I glanced back at Theodora Hamilton, she had moved to the booth that had just opened up next to the Renfields. She caught my eye and gave me a smile that would have been more at home on a crocodile.

What have I done?


About Carson Buckingham

The Perils of Eating Out - a #FourthWallFriday with @59CarsonBuck

Carson Buckingham knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer, and began, at age six, by writing books of her own, hand-drawing covers, and selling them to any family member who would pay (usually a gum ball) for what she referred to as “classic literature.” When she ran out of relatives, she came to the conclusion that there was no real money to be made in self-publishing, so she studied writing and read voraciously for the next eighteen years, while simultaneously collecting enough rejection slips to re-paper her living room… twice.

When her landlord chucked her out for, in his words, “making the apartment into one hell of a downer,” she redoubled her efforts and collected four times the rejection slips in half the time, single-handedly causing the first paper shortage in U.S. history.

But she persevered, improved greatly over the years, and here we are.

Carson Buckingham has been a professional proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter, copywriter, technical writer, comedy writer, humorist, and fiction author. Besides writing, she loves to read and work in her vegetable garden. She lives in the United States in the state of Arizona.

about the book-gold

The Perils of Eating Out – a #FourthWallFriday with @59CarsonBuckGothic Revival
by Carson Buckingham
Pages: 536
Published by Sirens Call Publications
on August 17, 2014
Genres: Horror, Occult & Supernatural
Amazon •

Alex and Leo Renfield are a husband and wife contractor team who’ve recently moved to the village of Woodhaven, Connecticut to escape the chaos of life in New York. Pretty close to broke, they meet Theodora Hamilton, a somewhat unsavory and odd individual, who offers them an astronomical amount of money to repaint the first floor of her family home.

But along with the huge paycheck comes a set of unsettling rules that must be followed explicitly if they are to accept the offer; one of which is they must reside on the property having no direct contact with the outside world until the job is complete.

Is Theodora Hamilton just an eccentric woman with a peculiar way of doing things, or is there a more sinister agenda that Alex and Leo are unaware of? What exactly does she have in store for this down-on-their-luck couple who have no choice but to accept the offer and the strange requirements that come along with it?


Gothic Revival can be found online at major retailers including:


US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Italy | Spain | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

Barnes & Noble


Amazon Print



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For those who want to donate anything, or share on your timeline, here is my friend Mikki “Nix” McCain. Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Thank you for hosting Carson, Kriss! I love your fourth wall Fridays!!

  2. Hey, Kriss! I love your blog! Thanks so very much for hosting me on it. I really enjoyed the challenge of writing that piece for it. And if any of you reading this have any questions for me, please put them in a comment here, and I’ll do my best to answer them.
    Happy reading,

    • You are so welcome!

  3. Great guest post, Kriss & Carson! 🙂

    • She really nailed it huh?

  4. That was fun reading. The crocodile smile!

  5. Thanks very much for taking the time to read this, Matt! Most appreciated. 🙂


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