They say you hurt the ones you love most.

No one ever talks about when they hurt you back.

Dark Alley Press Logo SMALL

an imprint of Vagabondage Press Books



Just after dawn on the hottest day East Providence has endured in a hundred summers, Todd, a bit of a ladies’ man, finds his prized rose bush dead. This is only the first in an ever-more-ominous series of events, and someone…or something…is trying to invade his home. In the tradition of “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Ligeia,” and Aura comes a gripping tale of love, lust…and regret.

Released in all e-formats January 28, 2014!


Watch the Trailer

“In this spellbinding tale, Petersen Schoonover lures readers through the intricacies and intimacies of the male-female relationship. Enter This Poisoned Ground: a place where fear obscures the line between lust and love; where setting mirrors the entangled mind; where even sleep offers no reprieve from a past that comes alive year after year after year forever.”

~ Heather Sullivan, author of These Onyx Hours


(Prefer to read it in hard copy offline? Download a PDF here: This Poisoned Ground Sneak Peek PDF)


He eyed what he thought was the culprit—the window A/C unit—but it wasn’t blowing any air.

Annoyed, but not sure why, he struggled into the shorts and T-shirt he’d tossed on his nightstand. He lay back down and pulled the thin sheet over his body.

Thump. Thump. Scratch.

What the hell was that? He sat up, listened. Scratch. It sounded like a stiff wire brush running down the wall.

The cats? He looked as his alarm clock: just past three a.m. No—two more hours to feeding time.


The wall shook.

Thump. Scratch.

Was someone was trying to break in?

With much effort, he rolled over onto his stomach and groped beneath his bed for the only weapon he kept—a crowbar.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

He made his way down the narrow second-floor hall and the stairs, cursing each board as it creaked.

Scratch. Bang!

He stopped on the ground floor just shy of the bathroom and listened.

This time it sounded like someone was dragging a body across the porch.

He tightened his fingers on the crowbar, rushed to the kitchen, and yanked the door open, ready to come down on—

No one.

“Hello?” he called.

Only the distant groan of a big rig on the highway responded.

He stood for a second, not sure what to do. The noises didn’t continue.

He took a deep breath, closed the door, set the crowbar on a work bench that served as his wine bar, and decided to have a glass. But as he reached for the bottle, he heard a scraping sound.

The kitchen window.

Leave a Reply