A light glows from the gazebo.

Chanting floats on the howling wind.

Lit candles form a circle inside.

A body dangles in their midst,

swaying in the increasing winds.

Dark figures circle the body.

Their hands raised in prayer.

The Dead Game has begun.




Red flows freely.

From the ocean.

Through the town.

Into windows.

Up the stairs.

Into your beds.

It sucks dry.

The innocent.

The sleeping.

It takes all.

For its own.

For its army.

An army from hell.



The Battle for Oasis

Let the darkness lull me to sleep,
with dreams of red sunsets.
Clouds drifting on cotton balls,
encircling me with their softness.

Let the moon’s face shine on me,

making me feel safe and secure.      
The stars twinkle in merriment,
ready to tackle the night.

The day brings a new enemy

to our peaceful shore.
A dark kingdom will rise up,
a new kingdom for The Dead.

A hooded figure approaches me,
his gait slow and sure.
He slowly pulls back his hood
to reveal the creature beneath.

“You have waited for me, dear one.
I will have my ice princess at my side.” 
Wolf quickens his stride to reach me,
But I turn my face away.

I peek through my eyelashes

At his beautiful face.
He abruptly turns around

To summon his army.
Over his shoulder he whispers,
“I’m so sorry you will
fall in battle like the others.
Goodbye, my ice princess.”
What form will Wolf take on in book 2?
You will soon find out.



We might look human
but we’re not.
We might act human
but we love to kill.
Our fearless leader
shows no mercy.
Who is he?
Will he show his face?
Only The Dead know.

The Dead Game


THE LIGHTHOUSE“Come back to me my sweet.Take a break from the heat.An afternoon in a cool retreat.We could make our own special heat.”The wood door rattles and creaks open wide.I hesitate before I walk inside.The small room is as dark as night.I begin to tremble with fright.Maybe I should leave this place.The door slams shut in my face.I hear the voice in the airTelling me, “what fair is fair.”I intruded on this secret roomAnd so I won’t be leaving too soon.

“Come back to me my sweet.
Take a break from the heat.
An afternoon in a cool retreat.
We could make our own special heat.”
The wood door rattles and creaks open wide.
I hesitate before I walk inside.
The small room is as dark as night.
I begin to tremble with fright.
Maybe I should leave this place.
The door slams shut in my face.
I hear the voice in the air
Telling me, “what fair is fair.”
I intruded on this secret room
And so I won’t be leaving too soon.



A house so dark and bleak
That I can’t even speak.
Dark shadows glare at me
Where clear windows should be.

Do I dare venture inside?
I’ll have to swallow my pride.
And quietly cross the threshold
Without being so rash and bold. 

There’s a secret party inside.
I wonder if I should run or hide.
Who’s the host of this feast,
Man or dangerous beast?





Todd and Sam were apprehensive about visiting Hayden in his own home. But they were running out of choices.

    Todd was hoping that Hayden was still around and hadn’t sneaked off into the night as he drove past the thick bushes and massive trees that outlined Hayden’s remote plot of land. He wasn’t too eager to face Hayden on his home turf. He glanced across at Sam, who seemed to be having his own doubts—judging by the amount of squirming he was doing in his seat. They drove up to the house that stood silently waiting for them.

     A warm wind was rustling through the leaves of the tall trees that shrouded the bleak house. Low-hanging limbs swiped at their legs with their long, skinny fingers as they walked up the gravel path. The wind blew leaves in circles around their feet, trying to slow their ascent up the steep stairs. They crunched through the fallen leaves to reach the front door.

     Todd couldn’t locate a bell, so he rapped loudly with his knuckles. There was no answer. The door began to drift open on its own. A long, dark hallway gradually came into view. Rare masterpieces lined both walls, starkly illuminated against the muted walls by bright spotlights suspended from high above.

     The deafening silence felt alive and heavy—as if someone was there with them waiting, but not yet willing to reveal himself. A cold draft hit them. In the translucent stream of air, Todd could see shadowy forms fighting against each other, struggling to break free. “Are those vampires caught in the wind?” asked Todd, beginning to regret his decision to enter the house without sufficient back-up. “Did you notice those strange forms floating in the air?”

     He continued, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” Not hearing a response from Sam, he tried to downplay his concern a little. “It could have been just an elaborate illusion.”

     When Sam still didn’t respond, Todd turned around and found him standing as still as a statue, eyeing the flow of air with fear in his eyes. “Sam? Are you still with me?” Sam didn’t answer or move a muscle.

     Todd knew that he had to continue on with the search—with or without Sam. He called out Hayden’s name, his voice echoing down the empty corridor. Still no one answered.

    He followed the faintly lit hallway until its end, where it opened onto a huge oval-shaped ballroom. He stood in the center of the room in the bright light cast by the enormous crystal chandelier. The light reflecting from the hanging crystals shot colorful prisms of light across the multitude of artwork all around him. Hundreds of statues by eminent artists were haphazardly scattered about the shiny marble floor; the walls were decorated with priceless paintings in massive frames.

     He wandered through the ballroom and recognized Rembrandts, Picassos, and even Renoirs, filling every available space on the gilded walls. At the back of the room, he noticed a circular staircase with elaborate gold railings, leading up through the ceiling to the floor above.

     “There are no other rooms on the main floor, so we might as well check upstairs.” Surprised to hear Sam’s voice, Todd spun around to find him standing right behind him. Todd slowly nodded his head in agreement, even though he suspected that this was what Hayden expected them to do next. It was almost if Hayden had put out a sign that read: “Stupid human vampires! Come up my staircase at your own risk!”

     As soon as they began to climb the stairs, the air turned colder and more frigid.

     Now, let the games begin.








A door opens in Oasis that can lead

to anywhere that you might imagine.

It needs a gatekeeper to ensure

your safe return.

The residents of the quaint fishing

village have kept this door guarded

and a dark secret for many years.

Be careful what you dream,

for reality might not match

your dreams or your wildest expectations.






The staircase abruptly fell through the ground<br /> and opened a tunnel below End House.<br /> The guests were thrown down the stairs.<br /> Linda lost her grip and began to free-fall<br /> through space.<br /> Creatures with long sharp fingers were<br /> trying to grab her.<br /> Their white elongated faces had their<br /> mouths wide open in silent cries.<br /> Linda kept falling until Todd yelled out,”Stop!”<br /> The creatures magically disappeared and the<br /> tunnel transformed back into a staircase.<br /> Linda was now certain that Todd was hiding<br /> secrets and his powers from her.<br /> She wouldn’t be able to trust him ever again.<br /> The Dead Game by Susanne Leist<br />

The staircase abruptly fell through the ground

and opened a tunnel below End House.

The guests were thrown down the stairs.

Linda lost her grip and began to free-fall

through space.

Creatures with long sharp fingers were

trying to grab her.

Their white elongated faces had their

mouths wide open in silent cries.

Linda kept falling until Todd yelled out,”Stop!”

The creatures magically disappeared and the

tunnel transformed back into a staircase.

Linda was now certain that Todd was hiding

secrets and his powers from her.

She wouldn’t be able to trust him ever again.

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist




5.0 out of 5 stars You are invited to an evening of intrigue…, May 29, 2014

Jim Goforth – See all my reviews

This review is from: The Dead Game (Kindle Edition)

Some books take an eternity to get things kick-started, using slow burn tactics to ramp up suspense or develop story lines, some almost to the point where you almost feel like giving up on them with the thought the ultimate payoff is never going to culminate.
Susanne Leist’s debut opus ‘The Dead Game’ is not one of those books.
From the very moment it gets underway, starting off with a sinister, tempestuous and enthralling prologue section which takes place five years prior to the main story, it launches directly into chills and thrills and lays out a wonderfully dark and engaging foundation on which to build all ensuing events.
After these cataclysmic events in the residence known as End House in the seemingly idyllic Florida town of Oasis, the story now begins in earnest from present day revolving around chief character Linda Barnett who has relocated to this very town in a bid to discover a simple, peaceful existence.
For a while, that is exactly what she finds in this apparently ideally named township, but that is all going to change and soon enough it does, with Oasis becoming plagued by a host of strange and mysterious occurrences, deaths that occur once the sun goes down.
The mysterious invitations to a party hosted by unknown persons, received by Linda and her bunch of compatriots are the spurring agent to initiate events where the worried townsfolk embark on a nightmarish expedition to uncover the dark secrets lurking behind the perfect innocuous facade of oasis.
Leist is a great natural storyteller and she exhibits her skills here, weaving a cornucopia of elements into the fabric of the tale, developing a cast of intriguing characters who engage the reader and draw them into their various stories and agendas.
This is a supernatural thriller, predominantly involving things of a vampire nature, but it is far from your standard generic vampire by the numbers piece, it is skilfully crafted to involve romantic overtures along with lashings of action and loads of building suspense, as well as some atmospheric horror, all neatly balanced without sacrificing any of the components.
Rolling along with a suitable undercurrent of menace and portentous threat, The Dead Game keeps things interesting with a host of plot shifts and moments to maintain a strong desire to continue reading and become absorbed in the frightening secrets engulfing those who dwell in Oasis.
For the most part, the characters are extremely well fleshed out, in particular those in main roles such as pivotal soul Linda herself as well as the mysterious and wealthy Todd, the vivacious Shana Logan and the others in the core group of friends, and the author ensures we care about what happens to these folk, though having the knowledge that not all is right at End House means we’re helpless to warn them against having anything to do with it.
Susanne Leist has constructed a thoroughly engrossing debut novel here and those who enjoy atmospheric supernatural thrillers with a taut and deftly written story will find plenty to captivate them here.