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The Cold Room: A Dark Night Thriller, #2

The Cold Room: A Dark Night Thriller, #2

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The Cold Room: A Dark Night Thriller, #2

261 pages
3 hours
Oct 1, 2018


Something dark and dangerous resides in Karen's new home, and it wants her gone.

Karen and Joel are not the only ones inhabiting Joel's house. An unknown evil lurks within, and it's determined to rid itself of Karen, the troublesome new roommate.

Stalked through the night by an ancient assailant, Karen must shift her focus. It's no longer enough simply to unravel the house's mysteries. Now, she must worry about making it out alive.

Inspired by chilling real events, The Cold Room might cause you to rethink those strange sounds in your own home... and to sleep with the lights on.

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS the second book in the "A Dark Night Thriller" series. This supernatural thriller/horror novel will keep you at the edge of your seat in suspense. [DRM-Free]

"I was pretty blown away by this story. It was full of twists and turns that I never saw coming. Plus, it had a steamy, romantic side infused into the pages which made me cheer the main couple on. Karen and Joel seemed like the average couple who fell in love because they lived in the same area around a Lake in Michigan. In the dead of winter, these two's passion becomes entangled with something insidious lurking in Joel's house. Karen tries to uncover the mystery, and ends up neck deep in a mystery that spans lifetimes where a cold blooded killer with brilliant green eyes become set on her demise. Scary, right?" ~ Voracious Reviews

Books by Jason LaVelle:

  • Whispers in the Shadows (A Dark Night Thriller – 1)
  • The Cold Room (A Dark Night Thriller – 2)
  • The Dark of Night (A Dark Night Thriller – 3) [November 2018]
  • Pathosis (Dying World Chronicles – 1)
  • Ecocide (Dying World Chronicles – 2)

More Great Dark Thrillers from Evolved Publishing:

  • The "Zoë Delante Thrillers" Series by C.L. Roberts-Huth
  • "The Oz Files" Series by Barry Metcalf
  • "Forgive Me, Alex" by Lane Diamond
  • "Enfold Me" by Steven Greenberg

Oct 1, 2018

About the author

Jason LaVelle is an author and photographer from West Michigan. When he’s not spending time with his beautiful wife and four children, LaVelle works at a veterinary clinic, helping animals of all kinds. With his two pugs, Dragon and Mr. Sparkles, his Chihuahua, Mari, and his annoying dachshund, Lady, he pretty much lives in a zoo. After he’s done playing with the pugs and tucking the kids into bed, he ventures down into the basement, where his umbrella cockatoo, Bella, whispers in his ear like a demonic muse, forcing him to explore the paranormal world inside his mind.

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The Cold Room - Jason LaVelle





Second Edition

A Dark Night Thriller – Book 2

Copyright © 2018 Jason LaVelle

Cover Art Copyright © 2018 D. Robert Pease

*Original First Edition Copyright © 2013


ISBN (EPUB Version): 1622534557

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-455-5


Editor: Jessica West

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond


eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by Jason LaVelle


Book 1: Whispers in the Shadows

Book 2: The Cold Room

Book 3: The Dark of Night



Book 1: Pathosis

Book 2: Ecocide




What Others Are Saying about Jason LaVelle’s

THE COLD ROOM (from the previously published First Edition):


I was pretty blown away by this story. It was full of twists and turns that I never saw coming. Plus, it had a steamy, romantic side infused into the pages which made me cheer the main couple on. ... Once it took off like a freight train with no brakes, I could not put it down. It was fast -paced, awesome, very detailed and the storytelling was immaculate. When the back story comes into play, full of lore and legend, it gripped onto me and never let go. Gave me the creeps! ~ Voracious Reviews


I really enjoyed reading this book and had a hard time putting it down at night when it was time to go to sleep. Once in a while, a book comes around that is really worth a lot of praise; this one is it! If you like the paranormal, please do not pass this book by. ~ Deborah Welgehausen


This book was CRAZY! I got whiplash from reading it. Things went from so nice and happy to insanely dark. And then back. And forth. I LOVED the characters, especially the dialogue between the two main characters. I really enjoy a story that has real, fleshed out characters and a moving plot line. This book had it all. I kept guessing the whole time I was reading and was always wrong. Even the last sentence had me in shock. If you like dark, creepy ghost stories with a hint of realistic romance, you will definitely want to read this. And I hope this author has more books coming out, because I really want to know the story behind some of his minor characters. ~ A. Jaeger


We’re pleased to offer you not one, but two Special Sneak Previews at the end of this book.


In the first preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of Jason LaVelle’s THE DARK OF NIGHT, the third book in the A Dark Night Thriller series.





A DARK NIGHT THRILLER Series at Evolved Publishing

In the second preview, you’ll enjoy the First 4 Chapters of Barry Metcalf’s award-winning BROOMETIME SERENADE, the first book in the exciting The Oz Files series of paranormal crime thrillers. Just click on the link below the image to get your sneak peek.

Special Sneak Preview: BROOMETIME SERENADE by Barry Metcalf




THE OZ FILES Series at Evolved Publishing


For my family,

I am nothing without you.

Table of Contents

Title Page


Books by Jason LaVelle




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20


Special Sneak Preview: THE DARK OF NIGHT by Jason LaVelle


About the Author

More from Jason LaVelle

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: BROOMETIME SERENADE by Barry Metcalf


Oh, honey, why do you do that?

Brit rolled over onto his side of the bed, breathing hard. Do what, baby?

Love me so good!

He chuckled and smiled at her. I aim to please, as you know.

Well, hopefully you were aiming for an egg this time. She gave him a wicked grin.

Jeez, Sonja, really?

Well, come on. We know what we’re going for here, don’t we? She rolled over onto her side and smiled at Brit.

He breathed heavily, partly from exertion and partly from pain. Of course, my love. It’s what I want, too. He admired her in the low light of the bedroom. She was a fiery Puerto Rican hottie. Especially now, looking sweet, satisfied and bare naked in his bed. He’d give her anything she damn-well wanted.

So, I could go for a little more if you’re feeling especially strong tonight, Sonja said as she winked and squeezed his bicep. You know, double up on our odds?

Brit sighed. I need to have a smoke first, babe, my back is getting pretty bad.

She made a pouty face, then slowly drew the comforter up to cover her bare body. All right then, mister, but you better not forget to come back to bed this time.

With a fair amount of effort, he pulled himself into a sitting position and swung his legs off the bed.

How could I forget you, baby?

He hobbled from his bedroom to the open living area adjoining it. He sat on a battered orange sofa in his boxers and pulled his smoking bowl and a mason jar full of marijuana from beneath the coffee table. He prepared his bowl by breaking the sticky green lumps into tiny pieces that he jammed into the pipe, then smoked it down straight away. He held his breath as long as he could with the last hit, and in less than a minute, he could already feel warmth spreading out from his lungs, crawling into his nerves and numbing them. It soothed the deep ache in his back. He leaned back against the couch to enjoy the release.

The pain never completely went away, no matter how much he smoked, but the weed allowed him a little mobility. Without it, he would never leave the bed. He was lucky to even walk. He was lucky to have sex and lucky to be alive. The doctors told him that the way that steel beam had blown apart his vertebrae, he should have been paralyzed at the very least. Miraculous, that’s how they described his recovery, but it sure as hell didn’t feel miraculous. The accident had left him with a lifetime of pain, that and a disability check twice a month.

Brit packed the pipe full of marijuana and began smoking again. His mind relaxed a great deal and he closed his eyes. As he did, he heard a funny sound, like howling, coming from outside—he hoped, anyway. He frowned and set the pipe down on the walnut table in front of him.

Did you say something, Sonja?

No, baby. Come back in here.

He craned his head a little, then heard the strange screaming again. It didn’t even sound human to him. Marijuana didn’t usually affect his hearing or vision, and he wondered for a moment if his pot was laced. Then the sound came again. It had to be coming from out on the street.

He pushed open the curtain behind his couch, exposing a hellish scene, and his jaw went slack. Across the street from him, the house and garage were on fire. Brit pressed his face against the window, not believing what he saw. A single-story ranch like his own, the entire roof and south side of the neighbor’s house were ablaze. The small barn behind the house was burning, too. Enthralled and confused, he watched the blaze. Where are the fire trucks? The police?

He stood. His back felt better now, and he walked without much impairment. He snatched his cell phone off the kitchen counter to dial emergency, walked over to the door he rarely used, and slipped his feet into a pair of flip-flops. He started to open the door then remembered he only had on his boxers. That wouldn’t be good. He threw his coat on over his shoulders and left the house.

The snow crunched loudly as he walked through his front yard toward the street. The fire mesmerized him. It danced on the roof. Dancing, for me. Flames leaped through the air, spinning then dropping back down to the dancers below. So beautiful, he thought. An unpleasant sound, like a garbled howl, interrupted the dance. Shit, the screaming. Brit had forgotten about it, but he heard it again now, very clearly.

He shuffled into the street, his flip-flops sliding on the slick asphalt. The screaming got louder as he made his way across, then he found the source. He stopped dead in his tracks. The cellphone he carried dropped to the ground.

From his neighbor's yard, a gruesome creature crawled toward him. A woman, completely naked and badly battered. She scraped along on her belly, using her elbows to pull herself. In the orange light from the house fire, he saw a face covered with blood; part of it looked torn off.

He couldn’t see her eyes through the mess of hair and blood caked to her mutilated face. Her breasts scraped against the icy surface of the snow. A dark trail of red followed her through the yard as she crawled blindly away from the flames. Her legs trailed limply behind, offering no help.

Brit sat down cross-legged in front of her, watching as she approached on bloodied elbows. Damn, this is messed up.

Chapter 1


Karen loved her morning routine. She sat on a tangerine colored mesh lounger, her legs crossed in front of her, hands folded behind her head. Her eyes hid behind large, dark sunglasses with thick, teal plastic frames. Breathing deeply, she took in the morning around her. The sweet smell of coffee on the table beside her mingled with the smell of fresh morning sand.

The moderate breeze that whisked over the lake brought with it the aromas of freshwater life. Somewhere, approaching from the distance, the smell of a man. He smelled like Polo Sport, sweat, and Karen’s own desire. Even as she thought about him, his footfalls drew near.

Karen sat far enough back from the shoreline that she could observe, under the guise of morning repose, without him noticing her too much. Close enough, though, that she could see the muscles of his chest ripple with every impact of his feet on the sand. Close enough that she could see his biceps bulging slightly as his arms moved.

He was beautiful.

As he came into view just beyond the tall dune grass that separated her section of the beach from her neighbors’, she felt familiar warmth creep into her body and smiled to herself. The closer he came to her little section of the beach, the clearer his unshaven face. Most days, he didn’t shave before his run. Something about his dark scruff started her shivering in all the right places. His close-cropped black hair gave way to a gorgeous olive complexion, smooth over his cheeks but square and strong along his jawline. He breathed hard and his skin shone with effort.

After a few seconds, he was gone, but just like every morning, she kept a little bit of him with her: a thought, a daydream, something pleasant and warm to start her day. A nice fantasy, perhaps more so because he was a real man and not some manifestation of her imagination. The best part about the runner, though, besides that rock-hard backside, was that she did not have to know him to enjoy him. She felt safer this way.

He always came back through, but normally Karen had retreated back inside by that time. Today she sat a little longer, letting the sun warm her as she mentally prepared for the day. He had been running by her house since she moved in three months ago, one of the many things she loved about her new home. With only two bedrooms and a bath, it was a small house, but it had everything she needed.

She felt completely comfortable here, and it gave her a certain amount of pleasure to be able to tell people she lived on Lake Michigan, with beach frontage. Friends and even her boss from work had come to her small housewarming and were shocked as they looked out the back door. It made her giggle; she had told them all she found a small cottage by the lake. This was something else though; the back door opened onto the sands of Lake Michigan and, a few steps down the dune, the lake itself.

Reluctantly, Karen shifted from her seat. She stood up and looked toward her beach house. A little outdated, she thought, but with a pleasant kind of nostalgia about it. She would have to have it power washed soon; the white paint was starting to chip off of the aging wood siding. The cottage had been built in the late fifties, and with older homes like this, Karen knew there was a certain amount of maintenance to be expected. She didn’t mind, though. While not much of a painter, Karen actually looked forward to putting a fresh coat on the outside of her home this coming fall.

Karen picked up her cup of coffee, now quite cool, and turned to head indoors when a sound startled her. Footsteps, right behind her. She turned quickly, not knowing what to expect but preparing herself to bolt or perhaps fall to the ground in a heap. Her coffee sloshed over the edge of the cup and down her arm. A dark shape loomed before her and she let out a small shriek.

I’m so sorry I startled you! he said. God, what a jerk I am.

Shit, Karen gasped. It’s okay. She took a deep breath and let her eyes focus. The runner stood about five feet away from her, shielding his eyes from the sun cresting the dunes. Frustration and confusion swirled around in her mind while her body recovered from the shot of adrenaline. Is there something you need?

Well, he started, sounding a bit ashamed, I was coming up to introduce myself.

He took a step closer to her.

Karen remained where she stood.

The jogger lowered his hand to look at her. His eyes were an amazing smoky steel gray.

Karen had never seen eyes like his; they almost shone.

I’ve been running this stretch of beach for almost a year. I noticed you a few months ago, he said as the smallest of smiles touched his lips, then quickly disappeared. I guess I just felt a bit self-conscious running in front of a stranger every morning. His tone turned apologetic again. But I’m sorry. This was rude, I scared you, I apologize. He looked down and saw the spilled coffee all down her arm. Oh Jesus, are you okay?

What? Karen looked down, noticing the coffee for the first time. She thought about telling him that her arm was burning like hell, to see what he would say then, but decided against it. She also didn’t tell him she had been so startled that she’d almost wet her pants. No worries, it’s cold.

Karen offered him a soft smile and her hand. I’m Karen, she said, firming her voice up. I moved in about three months ago.

Okay, Karen, he said, thankful she wasn’t upset. I’m Joel.

Joel shifted back and forth on his feet. Well, it was nice meeting you, and I’m sorry again for startling you.

That’s all right, Karen said and gave him a real smile this time. God, he smelled good. Definitely Polo Sport. I’ll see you tomorrow. Was she flirting with him?

Joel just smiled back, not looking at all apologetic anymore. He straightened his back a little and turned to leave.

Oh, what the hell, he’s hot, Karen thought. Joel, she called to him.

He turned back toward her, sunlight dancing off the beads of sweat on his chest.

I’ll have two cups of coffee for you to spill tomorrow.

Joel’s smile crept up over perfect teeth, and his eyes dug deep into her. I’ll be here, he said. Though I guess I’ll have to pretty myself up a bit first, he said, running a hand over his rough face, those shimmering eyes never leaving hers.

Hmm, no. No need, She flashed her best flirty smile, then turned and walked up towards her house.

Over the next three weeks, Joel stopped by frequently in the morning. Soon, Karen forgot that at one time she had preferred him at a distance. He liked his coffee doctored up with cream, lots of sugar, and a little flavoring if he could get it.

That’s called cappuccino, and you should be ashamed to drink it, she’d told him.

Well, your coffee tastes like shit. That’s the only way I can drink it.

Karen looked at him in mock horror.

Why’d you think I spilled your coffee that first day?

It was the first good laugh she’d had in a while.

They talked some, laughed a lot, and occasionally just sat together. One Saturday, they spent the entire morning together, watching the sailboats leave the channel then disappear over the horizon. She found out little bits about him. Joel lived alone. He had a house a few miles away. Not on the lakeshore, but in the suburban area nearby. An artist who worked for the city, his work included architectural drawings, cityscapes for promotional posters, and the murals inside city hall.

"It’s nice to see my work published so frequently and seen by so many, but I still don’t feel

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