Where dreams take flight
P.O. Box 159
Norcross, Georgia 30091
Jeff Dennis, author of The Wisdom of Loons, is back, this time with a rough-and-tumble, adrenaline-fueled thriller that threatens to .jump the tracks with each precarious twist and turn.
A devastating Wall Street Crash has plunged the U.S. into a second Great Depression. The unemployment rate hovers near 40%. Millions are homeless, roaming the country in search of food and work and two pennies to rub together. Vagabonds ride freight trains. Hobo camps have popped up everywhere. The American landscape is dangerous, teeming with violent predators. Only the strong and fearless survive in this Mad Max milieu where everything, including human life, is up for grabs.
Masquerading as a hobo, Derek Parnell—newly wealthy thanks to an anonymous benefactor—rides the rails through the vast Southwest, searching for the killers of his wife and daughter. He’s also looking for his mysterious financier—a man known to him only as Croesus—and the reasons behind his inexplicable financial gift. Parnell’s journey initially takes him and his love, Elaine, from Flagstaff to Sedona, where they meet with a gypsy fortuneteller. Madame Crystal instructs them to go to Colorado and the Mesa Verde Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings to meet with an operative who goes by the code name of Thor. Thor suggests to Parnell that his daughter is still alive. Further clues lead Parnell and Elaine to a connected high-roller in Las Vegas and a fringe anti-government paramilitary group, The Liberty Dogs, in the remote wilderness of the Rocky Mountains.
Within the hobo community, Derek Parnell is known as “King Midas,” the legend with the golden touch, a man most generous with his money. But to his enemies Parnell is “The Man with Tombstone Eyes,” a ruthless vigilante—judge, jury, and executioner. Parnell’s mindset? “Karma determines who gets to live or die, and sometimes karma has to be helped along a little.”
On his search for elusive truths, Derek Parnell leaves a path of death and destruction in his wake. And what he discovers along the way is startling and life-changing.
“A millionaire superhero. Derek Parnell can outfight you and out-think you. He's equally at home in a boardroom or a hobo camp. And he's on our side! A fun read about a fantasy crusader in a very real world. Great character for a series: a millionaire riding the rails, paying cash to stay anonymous, spouting libertarian ideals and hunting criminals … it’s a great hook.”
— Heywood Gould ... Bestselling author of Fort Apache The Bronx,
Cocktail, and The Serial Killer's Daughter
We are pleased to bring you this page-turning noirish thriller from first-time novelist, Ronald Aiken.
What would you do if your best friend told you his boss was going to kill him? Try to save his life because he once saved yours? Well if you’re Tony Benson, and your best friend is a prankster like Leo Radigan, you’d do nothing, just laugh it off and say, “That’s a novel approach to work-force reduction.” If only it was that simple.
Leo’s boss, the mysterious Hike Muertens, is an influential businessman and philanthropist, but Leo insists he’s not the man he appears to be. “With this guy you gotta give an arm to keep a leg,” he insists.
At first, Tony believes Leo’s ever increasing paranoia is fueled by problems at home—a bad marriage, spoiled kids and rising debt. After all, why would a man of Muertens’ stature commit murder? But as Tony tries to help his friend through his personal crisis, he finds himself being drawn into Leo’s paranoid world, and begins to wonder if there might be something to his crazy tales, after all.
As paranoia becomes reality, Tony’s darker side emerges and he must successfully navigate his way through the state’s mental health and criminal justice systems to save his own life.
“Our Brother’s Keeper is an instant classic. It's not simply a superb account of the impact of war upon those left at home, but also one of the most profoundly moving books on love, sacrifice and loss that I have ever read. With this book, Jedwin Smith has elevated himself to the pantheon.”
— John Connolly ... NY Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost
Things, Bad Men, Nocturnes, and the Charlie Parker series
Two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Jedwin Smith brings us OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER, the story of all wars, past and present.
While this is an unvarnished depiction of combat and its somber compilation of battlefield casualties—those killed and wounded, as well as those who forever must live with the guilt of having survived—it is also the story of mankind’s seemingly endless cycle of madness: men marching off to war, surviving and then subsequently raising their own children in the specter of war’s glory, thus propelling them down the same path of destruction.
OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER is also the story of war’s staggering list of collateral damage—the family and friends of the slain, who, but by the grace of God, are unable to escape the torment of having lost a loved one.
Since 1941, three generations have been seared by five catastrophic wars, the casualties of which are incalculable. For the present generation it is Iraq and Afghanistan. But for author Jedwin Smith, his parents and his brothers and sisters, it is the haunting specter of Vietnam that will never be forgotten.
Seemingly on a whim, Marine Corps PFC Jeffrey Earl Smith put aside his anti-war sentiments and joined the Marines in June 1967. Sent to Vietnam five months later, his death during a Viet Cong ambush in March 1968 was the catalyst that finally ended his parents’ marriage and created a lost generation of Smith siblings.
In OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER, Jeffrey’s older brother and a former Marine himself, shares a riveting family saga unlike anything you’ve read before.
In essence, this is the story of all families whose sons and daughters are called upon to defend our American principals on foreign shores during time of war—a saga that the editors of Reader’s Digest describe as “a powerful story of brotherhood, bravery and healing,” the haunting and gut-wrenching story “of a man who found redemption when he wanted revenge; it will break your heart, but change it, too.”
Writing with passion, intensity, and immediacy, Jedwin Smith tells the tale of years when, consumed by guilt, he spiraled into alcoholism, self-loathing, and a fury at the world that often manifested itself in the obsession to find and destroy the man who killed his brother. He reveals how Jeff’s death drove each member of the Smith family into his or her own emotional turmoil and self-exile—and then shows how each eventually found a measure of peace in their life. As for the author, he shows how only love, patience, and unconditional faith saved him from self-destruction ... and finally guided him toward the road to recovery.
In OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER , Jedwin Smith examines who his brother was, how he died, and why his death has had such a devastating impact to this day. The book is both the story and the outcome of a quest that took the author across the United States to visit siblings he hadn’t seen in decades as well as the former Marines who had been at Jeff’s side on that awful day so many years before.
Finally, the journey took the author to Vietnam, where he confronted Duong Tu Anh, the former Viet Cong commander responsible for the attack that killed Jeff. The encounter was chilling, extraordinary, and life-changing.
OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER is more than a moving and beautifully written family saga of the Vietnam War and its bitter and ongoing aftermath. It is also the story of how America has either been in denial or in recovery in many important ways ever since.
But most of all, it is an inspiring personal tale of loss and healing, anger and forgiveness, self-discovery—and the transcendent power of love.
Born into the wrong family . . .
Hannah is on the run . . .
Veteran novelist/screenwriter Heywood Gould brings us his latest high octane noir thriller, THE SERIAL KILLER'S DAUGHTER.
Peter Vogel, a college senior with literary ambitions, has lurid, erotic fantasies about an enigmatic classmate named Hannah Seeley. She favors his overtures with a dismissive smile until one day, out of the blue, she offers him a proposition: if he ghostwrites her papers she will have sex with him.
He agrees and turns her into an "A" student. She pays promptly, but mechanically.
Still, his obsession deepens and when she disappears at the end of the semester he is crushed and tries unsuccessfully to find her.
Then, after graduation, she suddenly reappears, bringing a chain of bizarre events. On their first night together they are attacked by home invaders who are later found dead in a dumpster. And a day later they are almost carjacked by two thugs in an Escalade who are then found shot dead on a service road.
Now, Hannah confesses. She is the daughter of the Robbinsgate Killer, a church deacon and local official who terrorized her small California town in the 90s, torturing and murdering 11 people, among them her best friend. Someone is stalking her, trying to kill her. It began with e-mails and phone calls, threatening to make her suffer as much as her fathers victims. A man tried to grab her in a parking lot. Another was waiting outside her apartment. The police dont believe her; the FBI says its not unusual for the families of criminals to be harassed. No one sympathizes with the daughter of a serial killer.
She admits she seduced Peter out of desperation. She was alone, unprotected. She felt safe when they were together. She used him, but now shes wracked with guilt because she put him in danger. She tells him to forget her and save himself.
But Peter cannot let Hannah go. Instead, he resolves to find out who, if anyone is trying to kill her.
They embark on a journey of discovery. Every step takes them deeper into a state of paranoid uncertainty in which they dont know what is real or imagined. Are they fighting phantoms or real assassins? The biker comes back into their lives again. They are shadowed by a blond man in steel-rimmed glasses.
The Houston detective tells Peter that Hannah is lying and is really a courier for the Mexican cartels. Hannahs pastor is convinced that she is imagining it all as a way to atone for her fathers crimes.
A man follows them. They set a trap and Peter accidentally kills him, but then doesnt know if he was an assassin or a DEA agent acting on a tip from the Houston police.
They speak to a radical lawyer, who is convinced that her father was the subject of a military experiment gone horribly wrong. Later, that lawyer is murdered and they realize they will be suspects.
In search of clues they visit Hannahs bitter, self-pitying father in the isolation block of a maximum-security prison. Amazingly, he sees himself as the victim and his victims families as his persecutors.
Peter becomes a fugitive. A suspected murderer. All in search of an answer that remains elusive to the very end.
With the creation of Peter Vogel, veteran author Heywood Gould has accomplished for THE SERIAL KILLER'S DAUGHTER what Salinger's Holden Caulfield did for CATCHER IN THE RYE.
Jedwin Smith, author of FATAL TREASURE and OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER, and 2-time Pulitzer Prize nominee
"Novelist Gould is back with a noir thriller, full of action, dark humor, multiple killings, and a swath of eccentric characters plucked from the American heartland (bungling bad guys, a lawyer of dubious sanity, and a reverend with a unique take on eternal damnation). The masterly scope and delineation of the story has inherent cinematic feel, not surprising coming from a screenwriter and director.This high-caliber redemptive road trip is quick-witted, stylish, and highly entertaining."
Library Journal Book Review
Gould is a movie guy (screenwriter for "Boys From Brazil" among other writing and directing credits), and it shows in the big-screen style he brings to this novel. No essayish exposition, just snappy dialogue and narrative set forth in sentences bursting with energy. Revelations come in layers as the violence escalates, accompanied by conversations about guilt and atonement that explain the action while advancing itlike a movie. As Peter learns to handle himself in this world, Hannah, like Lady Macbeth, grows alarmed at what she's created. The reader gets to watch a fine thriller unfold.
Heywood Gould never ceases to entertain and amaze. I could not put this book down. The suspense was literally excruciating.
Tom Thayer, former president of Universal Television and Emmy award-winning producer of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee"
This is the kind of book that you can't wait to finish and then you're sorry it's over.
Joseph Stern, Executive Producer of "Law and Order" and "Judging Amy"
THE SERIAL KILLER'S DAUGHTERis Heywood Gould's seventh novel. He is anartistic tour-de-force with manyscreenplay and directing credits to go along with his novels.
Heywood Gould's Novels:
ONE DEAD DEBUTANTE (1975 St. Martin's Press hardcover... 1989 Pocket Books pb)
FORT APACHE, THE BRONX (1981 Warner Books paperback original)
GLITTERBURN (1981 St. Martin's Press hardcover... 1988 Pocket Books pb)
COCKTAIL (1984 St. Martin's Press hardcover... 1989 Pocket Books pb)
DOUBLE BANG (1988 Simon & Schuster hardcover ... 1989 Pocket Books pb)
LEADING LADY (2008 Five Star Press hardcover)
THE SERIAL KILLER'S DAUGHTER (2011 Nightbird Publishing hardcover)
Heywood Gould's Screenplays:
ROLLING THUNDER (1977 movie starring William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones)
THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL (1978 movie starring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier)
FORT APACHE, THE BRONX (1981 movie starring Paul Newman, Edward Asner, Ken Wahl, and Danny Aiello)
STREETS OF GOLD (1986 movie starring Klaus Maria Brandauer, Wesley Snipes, and Adrian Pasdar)
COCKTAIL (1988 movie starring Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown,and Elisabeth Shue)
ONE GOOD COP (1991 movie starring Michael Keaton and Rene Russo; directed by Heywood Gould)
TRIAL BY JURY (1994 movie starring Armand Assante, Gabriel Byrne, and William Hurt; directed byHeywood Gould)
MISTRIAL (1996 movie starring Bill Pullman and Robert Loggia; directed by Heywood Gould)
DOUBLE BANG (2001 movie starring William Baldwin and Adam Baldwin; directed by Heywood Gould)
You can read more about this amazing literary talent at www.heywoodgould.com
DIABLERO is a supernatural thriller incorporating elements of the horror and action/adventure genres. The novel draws on folklore from the death of Edward Teach (a.k.a., Blackbeard the Pirate), the tales of the Death Defier (Diablero), and H.P. Lovecraft, to weave a story of suspense and terror. There's humor, as well, hiding in the dark corners.
Far beneath the waters off Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, an ancient evil is awakened, and an archeologist’s dream suddenly becomes the world’s nightmare.
Hunter Singleton, a reporter for a small-town newspaper, and his estranged wife, park ranger Lisa Singleton, must join forces and battle a presence older than mankind. A being known as Diablero has miraculously reanimated the bones of Edward Teach (a.k.a., Blackbeard the Pirate) and is moving relentlessly, day and night, through the dark forests and waterways of northeastern North Carolina. The demon leaves a trail of headless corpses as it slowly makes its way through the swamp to a relic dealer in Williamsburg, Virginia, where it can reacquire what was lost so long ago—the skull that will make it human once again.
But it doesn't stop there. Underneath an ancient church on an island in the Bahamas lies a cave with a secret as fascinating as it is terrifying, and it's Blackbeard's ultimate destination. Hunter and Lisa are joined in their fight by others who say they also seek to destroy the demon. But their true intentions may be less than honorable, and Teach is about to open the gates of Hell on an unsuspecting world.
Then, there are the dreams, strange visions of things that have yet to come to pass, and other visions of unspeakable horror. Teach has to be destroyed at all costs, but how can mere humans stop the unstoppable?
One man knows the answer, a shaman who has plenty of secrets of his own. And he must be found before it's too late. Not only for Hunter and Lisa, but for the entire human race.
"Blackbeard is fertile ground for pure evil, and Toby Tate's DIABLERO does the subject justice. A well-crafted read."
Steve Alten, NY Times Bestselling Author of MEG and GRIM REAPER
"DIABLERO is the perfect matchup of Lovecraft's Great Old Ones, and Pirates. Ancient evil, modern intrigue, and a fast pace will have readers hanging on the edges of their seats."
David Niall Wilson, Author of DEEP BLUE and VINTAGE SOUL
"Pirates, voodoo, and zombies are all creatively wrapped in a shroud of the supernatural in Toby Tates DIABLERO. Someone or something has infused the body of Edward Teach, the pirate Blackbeard, with a dose of evil. He roams from the North Carolina coast to the Caribbean in a dream-like state, seeking the source of evil for his re-animator to control. The group hot on Blackbeards trail have little more than the hope they can find the key to stopping him before its too late. Tates skillful treatment of Blackbeard as both an apparition of horror and an empathetic victim is a wonderful twist on the character. Think you know pirates? Think again, and dont miss this one."
Tracy Rud, Author of SEA BEGGAR
Toby Tate is a freelance journalist living and working in North Carolina. He has been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Scary Monsters Magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and more. Toby is also a musician, songwriter, audio engineer, and graphic designer. DIABLERO is his first novel.
This one has it all—bloodthirsty pirate action on the high seas, romance, deceit, murder, and two strong female protagonists linked across the centuries by a bounty of sunken treasure off the coast of South Florida. Macy Macmillan is the current-day heroine who finds Spanish treasure buried under a clump of mangroves near her Florida home. Keary Dunbarton is the female pirate involved in stashing the loot there in 1719. The story moves back and forth in time, telling the stories of both women, each having a fascinating tale to tell.
Macy Macmillan inherits her parents’ property in the Florida Keys after their sudden death in a car accident. There, she befriends an old acquaintance of her father’s and together they find treasure hidden in a cluster of mangroves.
Flash back to 1719 when a ship called the Sea Beggar roved the Caribbean. Her crew were no ordinary pirates, but rather sea rovers and mercenaries who would fight to the death to protect what they believed in; integrity, duty, love. A merchant ship carrying treasure goes down in a hurricane and Calico Jack and his pirates plunder the treasure. The Sea Beggar captures the pirate ship and takes back the treasure—the same treasure Macy found. Under orders of King Felipe of Spain, the Sea Beggar is now in a race to return the treasure to the Spanish Crown before she herself is pirated. The Sea Beggar and her crew have secrets, which could either be their success or their undoing. One secret is the ship’s mistress, Keary Dunbarton, who is both a lady and a pirate through and through. She experiences great gains and losses as she comes to terms with her legacy on the ship.
The odds are against the Sea Beggar, because the closer she gets to completing her mission, the treacheries increase. There is a deadly faction of pirates broken off from the Spanish armada who also seek the treasure the Sea Beggar carries. The Sea Beggar crew must be wily to keep this faction guessing, so with the help of the Benedictine monks in Montserrat Spain, they hide the treasure. Can these sea rovers finish what they started and return the treasure to its rightful owner?
Back in present day, after finding the treasure buried in secrets and sand for nearly 300 years, Macy discovers something more important—a sense of belonging. But her discovery does not stop there. She also finds that the legacy Keary Dunbarton left, is her legacy as well, and this is the true treasure of the Sea Beggar.
Just when you believe there remains no adventure worth seeking, there appears upon the horizon the stout silhouette of the Sea Beggarauthor Tracy Ruds stirring saga of lyrical larceny and love upon the high seas. As Rud so aptly pens, "If we sail far enough, we will find our dreams." Indeed, plus much, much morepirates, both good and bad, and a kings ransom in treasure, both lost and found. Not even Capn Jack Sparrow could have spun a better yarn.
Jedwin Smith, Author of FATAL TREASURE and OUR BROTHERS KEEPER, and 2-time Pulitzer Prize nominee
Tracy Rud is the author of"Midnight Writer" in ourshort fiction anthology, NIGHTBIRD SINGING IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, published September 2009. You can also read about her musings on the writing of SEA BEGGAR in our Author's Corner Archives. Tracy lives and works in Canton Georgia. Visit Tracy's Website at www.tracyrud.com.
DRISCOLL'S EYE is a crime thriller from veteran Connecticut author, John Russo. This is not your usual legal thriller, as described by the cover's tagline: "A crime novel with a mystical twist." Author Russo has twisted the usually formulaic courtroom drama into bold,unpredictable new shapes.
When an Egyptian seer's orb is implanted to replace Marty Driscoll's blinded right eye, its mystical powers alter his personal and professional life forever.
One life-altering moment occurs when Marty Driscoll—Yale’s star quarterback—is severely beaten by smalltime hood, Carmine Brocco, for failing to fix a game. As a result, Marty is blind in his right eye. His footloose roommate, Todd Hamilton, swipes an Egyptian seer’s orb from his Archaeology class and convinces Marty to have it surgically implanted instead of a glass prosthesis.
No longer able to play ball, Marty decides he must do something more meaningful with his life. He transfers to Harvard Law, secretly vowing to seek justice for what Brocco has done to him. While working summers as a security guard in his father’s mall he meets Sara Jenkins, who changes his world and becomes the love of his life. During his summer security work, Marty also begins to experience weird sensations in his implanted eye.
Upon graduation, Marty passes the Bar Exam and is assigned to the New Haven States Attorney’s office. Meanwhile the strange sensations in his eye continue. What is the significance of the colors he sees? What is his prosthetic eye trying to tell him? As he works his way up the legal ladder, learning the ropes, Marty encounters political maneuvering, setbacks and heartbreak, even murder. He becomes more determined to see that those who mindlessly harm others are punished, finally discovering that the strange orb in his eye can guide him in that endeavor.
John Russo is the author of four other novels:
THE BENNIE ARNOLDO FILE — 2003 Five Star Publishing
INDIAN GIVERS — 2005 Infinity Publishing
THE VANDENBERG DIAMONDS — 2006 Twilight Times Books
MURDER ON THE CORAL QUEEN — 2008 Infinity Publishing
THE LEGACY — 2010 Casperian Books
John also authored the lead story—"The Hechicera's Ace"—in our short fiction anthology, NIGHTBIRD SINGING IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT.
NIGHTBIRD SINGING IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT is a short story anthology featuring fiction from the fevered imaginations of 19 authors. This is subtle dark fantasy at its finest, 19 stories that examine life beyond the everyday experience.
“... My aunt is known throughout the island as an hechicera.”
“My Spanish isn't that great but doesn't that mean witch or something?”
“Goodness no, she's not a bruja. Your Spanish really is lousy. Loosely translated, hechicera means a wizard or a sorceress.”
— from “The Hechicera’s Ace” by John Russo
But Pa was strong, and lickety-quick, and somehow he’d got hold of her hands and told her to be still now, he’s gonna pull her right out, like a splinter from a finger. But suddenly something flashed beneath the ice. Danny could see it just under the thin crust. Something silver and moving faster than Frank’s old jalopy along Suicide Road, heading right for Pa and Sarah. And then . . .
— from “Silver River” by Kathryne Kennedy
“I thought you enjoyed ghost hunting.”
“Sometimes success warms me, but I don’t enjoy it. It’s a dirty job. Besides, that ghost wasn’t the kind I hunt. It already missed its window.”
“You’ll understand later.”
— from “The Ghost Hunter” by Doug Hewitt
The tallest one opened its mouth, its yawn revealing a long red tongue and two rows of teeth.
“Teeth in a bird? My god!”
Their wide leathery wings reminded Carl of a hideous paperback book cover he’d seen. A colorful drawing of a pterodactyl.
— from “Dancing in the Shadows” by Gabriele Enyart
Introduction – The Nightbird’s Song by Jeff Dennis 1
The Hechicera’s Ace by John Russo 5
Silver River by Kathryne Kennedy 16
The Ghost Hunter by Doug Hewitt 33
Barn Owl by Jill Lynn Anderson 45
Midnight Writer by Tracy Rud 49
Dancing In the Shadows by Gabriele Enyart 61
The Devil’s Playground by Jedwin Smith 80
Breakthrough by Joyce Reynolds-Ward 97
Chance by Jennifer McKee 113
Spirit Flight by Aubrie Dionne 126
For Russia, For Love by Y. L. Harris 129
Eye of the Beholder by Sherry Haney 144
Garden of Remembrance by Langdon Kennedy 155
Déjà Vu by Emma Melville 160
Bridget by Jennie Helderman 178
Time of the Nightjar by Jacquelyn Bartel 195
Midnight Reflections of the Whippoorwills by Krishna Avva 209
A Scent of the Sea by Austin Dyches 220
Where You Eat by Nathan Walpow 232
a fateful love affair on a haunted lake resort
in the North Georgia mountains . . .
Published March 25, 2009 . . . Softcover . . . $15 USA
click here to purchase
In the grand tradition of dark fantasy masterworks such as F. Paul Wilson’s THE FIFTH HARMONIC, Terry Kay’s THE VALLEY OF LIGHT, and Joseph Heywood’s THE SNOWFLY, comes THE WISDOM OF LOONS. Author Jeff Dennis creates a world where nothing is as it seems, and the threat of tragedy swirls beneath the placid surface of the lake like the frantic webbed feet of the swimming loon.
Cal Blevins is starting his life over at 62 years young. Newly divorced after 40 years of marriage and laid off from his job of 22 years, he heads to his fishing lodge on scenic Lake McDowell in the North Georgia mountains to contemplate his future. There he finds a quirky, mysterious woman renting the cabin next door; Lauren Talbot, a history teacher from Tennessee, vacationing with her stroke-addled father, Edgar. Lauren has brought her handicapped father to the lake for his emotional well-being.
Cal, against his better judgment, becomes infatuated with Lauren’s odd charms, and ends up falling head-over-heels for her. Cal is then shocked when Lauren reveals she has deep feelings for him as well, telling Cal that she fell for him the first time she heard him playing his guitar.
Cal and Lauren become inseparable. Early on in their newly-spun relationship, Cal begins experiencing what can only be described as supernatural events. Lauren also experiences happenings she cannot explain. They both begin to suspect that the lake resort might be haunted, possibly by the ghosts of the Cherokee, who have inhabited these parts for centuries. To complicate matters, Edgar’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic.
Cal learns of Edgar’s strange obsession with the loons that populate the lake. Lauren's father persists in doing loon calls at all hours of the night, claiming he has an insight into the nocturnal birds. Cal is aware that the Cherokee of the Tsi-s-Qua clan living in South Birdtown have worshiped loons for centuries, but doesn’t know the details of their reverence. Is it possible that Edgar Talbot does?
Cal takes Lauren and Edgar on a fact-finding trip across the lake to South Birdtown, where the villagers still practice the old ways. While there, they witness a Tsi-s-Qua loon ceremony, a Cherokee ritual so bizarre that it stuns both Cal and Lauren to silence. But none of it seems to faze the old man. To Edgar Talbot, the inexplicable experience in the Cherokee village is as natural as daylight.
Events continue to spiral out of control as Edgar pulls Cal and Lauren into the ways of the loon. Near the end of Cal's and Lauren’s torrid two-week affair, Edgar Talbot commits one final act of desperation that changes all of their lives. The shocking ending is sure to stay with you long after you read the final word.
THE WISDOM OF LOONS is a tale of offbeat romance between two unlikely lovers, a dark fantasy with a triple-twist ending that will have you thinking about the story and characters long after you read the final sentence. But the novel is much more than that. It’s also about love and loss, life and death, comedy and tragedy. It is a story that peeks into the furthest corners of the human heart—both the light, whimsical corners where music and laughter reside, and the dark, shadowy places where our assorted demons run amok. Mostly it is a tale of eternal hope and the power of the mind. After reading THE WISDOM OF LOONS, you will never again question the possibility of anything.
"A lovely and involving book about very real people with ordinary but universal human concerns . . . love, loss, regrets, hopes, the relationship between the past and present, our relationships with our families, self evaluations and spiritual ponderings. Think ON GOLDEN POND with ghosts. The supernatural elements in the novel are portrayed in a fantastical way, rather than being horrific. THE WISDOM OF LOONS is understated fantasy, is intensely but gently real, and I hope it receives the attention it deserves."
Jeffrey Thomas, Author of more than 30 novels and collections, including MONSTROCITY, LETTERS FROM HADES, and PUNKTOWN
"Welcome to Loon Mountain fishing lodge: A refuge from life’s corporate insanity, where the Cherokee past is flawlessly interwoven with the present, where falling in love is as natural as not acting one’s age—where little is as it first appears. It’s an honor to introduce Jeff Dennis—a truly imaginative and innovative voice—to the realm of literary fiction."
Jedwin Smith, Author of FATAL TREASURE and OUR BROTHERS KEEPER, and 2-time Pulitzer Prize nominee