The Curse of Crow Hollow | A Review

The Curse of Crow Hollow

By Billy Coffey

Published in 2015

Thomas Nelson Publishing

Summary:

With the “profound sense of Southern spirituality” he is known for (Publishers Weekly), Billy Coffey draws us into a town where good and evil—and myth and reality—intertwine in unexpected ways.

Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves, the old widow who lives in the mountain. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse. Now a sickness moves through the Hollow. Rumors swirl that Stu Graves has risen for revenge. And the people of Crow Hollow are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves.

“Coffey spins a wicked tale . . . [The Curse of Crow Hollow] blends folklore, superstition, and subconscious dread in the vein of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery.’”

—Kirkus Reviews

 

Review:

I picked this up on Christmas Day, when I was in the mood for a thriller that would sweep me through the story and send tingles up and down my spine. Unfortunately, this was not that type of book. The narrator’s voice was confusing and wandered back and forth in time on a few occasions. The story meandered and took until 3/4 of the way through to really pick up and get exciting. I did, however, enjoy the look at small town beliefs and the type of people who inhabit such places and beliefs.

While the story is slow and slightly confusing at times, I did enjoy the journey and give this an overall rating of 3.25 dragons. If you like books dealing with secrets, lies, and demons…this is something you might want to pick  up!

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Dragons in the Deep: Novel Announcement

Last month, before the craziness of NaNoWriMo descended once again, I finally completed 2014’s NaNo-novel. The fourth in the Stone Dragon SagaDragons in the Deep is currently with my proof and beta readers before the next round of editing begins. In the meantime, I wanted to share a little excerpt from the book with you. (if you would like to see the other books in the series, my author page can be found here and the first book in the series, Dragon on My Neck, is available here)

Let me catch you up: It has been a while since the end of Dragon on the Green. Passiona has folded herself into society life, Anna and Jane have graduate college and become ‘real adults’, Al and his siblings have continued to live with their humans, and a new discovery has shaken up their existence. There is a ship, a pirate ship, that sank in warm Caribbean waters 400 years ago. This pirate ship, mentioned in a king’s holdings and suspiciously otherwise invisible, just may hold the key to finding Al’s parents, and ending Passiona’s bid on domination. There are new characters, new settings, and a different style of writing in this book that I hope you will enjoy…and that will seamlessly flow with the previous 3.

Without further ado…I give you Dragons in the Deep: an excerpt – 

“This can’t be real,” Zachary whistled in appreciation, “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

“I don’t think anyone has,” Garron breathed the words out almost reverently, staring in amazement at the scene spread before him on the screen and itching to suit up and dive down to the real thing.

“She looks like she could be on the water, instead of under it,” Lance leaned around Garron’s seated figure to get a better look, “Oh boy, what is that girl doing?”

“Nickel,” Garron hit the call button and startled her out of a staring match with a clown fish, “Have you found something of interest?”

“Well I don’t know,” Nickel admitted, turning back to her perusal of the railings. “I haven’t ever seen ship railings covered in designs like this. I think they’re ancient runes and possibly base Latin words but I’ll have to scan these pictures in to be able to translate anything.”

“I’ve seen a few ships with decorative railings,” Flynn drawled, swimming up beside his partner, “But never ones with decoration on every railing and doorway. Even that mast has some marking at its base.”

“What really gets to me,” Nickel added, “Is that we can make out words. After all of this time under the water the marking should be worn down to an almost indistinguishable smoothness. Instead, the relief is as deep and well defined as if it were carved yesterday.”

“Look at this figure head,” Flynn whistled between his teeth, reaching out a tentative hand to feel the woodworked body. “Normally you find women at the head of a ship, but this…this is something amazing. Almost like a Viking ship, but with a Latin flair. Nickel, take a picture!”

“Hurry up you two,” Lance piped in over their earphones, “You’ve been down there almost an hour and that’s plenty for a first dive!”

“Nickel, snap the picture and come on back,” Garron added, “And bring my bone headed brother with you please! He’s starting to wander off again.”

“Aye aye Captain,” Nickel laughingly agreed, quickly swimming out to take a picture of the astounding figure head before catching Flynn, who was busy attempting to open an apparently locked door to a deck cabin. “You heard the men Flynn,” she giggled at her own rhyme, “Time to go on up to our ship man. We’ll come back down soon.”

“Yes we will,” Flynn agreed, noting the low oxygen in their tanks, “We will be back with tools and time.” This promise was more to the ship than to themselves and, as the duo slowly rose to the surface, the ship seemed to watch them and in watching them, the ship knew that it was time too for long kept secrets to be revealed.

excerpt: Chapter 9, Dragons in the Deep by Elizabeth S. Tyree, copyright 2015

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Magic

For more information on Writer’s Quote Wednesdays hop on over to Silver Threading’s

This week, after a few weeks of being mostly away from my blog, I want to focus on something that seems very appropriate for the end of October: Magic. Not just the magic and mystery of Halloween, and everything that comes with it, but the beautiful magic that swirls through and around us each day. The magic of words, stories…books. Won’t you join me?

One of the best smells in the world, in my opinion, is exactly this. That mystery and magic of a bound book. The breeze wafting their scents at you as you desperately search for your next fix.

I use those connections in my writing…do you?

Finally, when I am writing the magic of words flowing through me makes me feel deliciously lost and a little mad. When I saw this image, it reminded me of that feeling.

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Short Story Sunday

“Anna?” Jane knocked on her friend’s cabin door again. “What’s wrong Anna? You have to come out sometime! OR at least answer your phone!”

“NO! I—I can’t!” Anna stubbornly responded, slamming books around for good measure.

“Why not?”

“Remember Franme’s parting shot?” Anna sighed defeatedly, knowing that Jane would never stop hounding her.

“You mean the light show that FREAK hit you with? Yeah, I remember,” Jane was so frustrated now that she punched her hand like a catcher getting ready for the pitch. Her best friend had gone to take a nap the day before and was now refusing to sen unlock the cabin door. This line of questioning was obviously getting them no where but at least it was a conversation. “Did it make your tummy hurt sweetie? You didn’t grow a tail or fur or anything, right?”

“Well, it definitely did more than we thought.”

SCRAPE! POP! CLICK! CREAK! Anna slowly unlocked and opened the door, preparing to face her nightmare. “I think I know what all that babbling about ‘True Forms’ meant now…”

Jane stood frozen, eyes wide with disbelief and mouth slightly agape. She had gotten exactly what she wanted, her best friend had finally opened the door…too bad it was to show off a brand new pair of glistening, shimmering, butterfly wings!

“I can’t come out Janie,” Anna whispered, “We’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean. There is no where else to hide.” And with a soft click and tumbler, the door was once again in Jane’s baffled face.

Supernatural Salsa

This is the second in a series of short stories centering on a minor character from The Stone Dragon Saga book 4 (coming soon…)
Last week we saw the dramatic introduction of our new friend, Sergio. Now, let us tune back in to Supernatural Salsa for his interview.

Introduction to the Other Side: Part 2

“Welcome to Supernatural Salsa, Sergio!

“Thank you for having me Ms. Sakowich.”

“Susan please!” She tittered at the deep voice of the well groomed legend.

“Susan it is,” he inclined his large head, “I appreciate your willingness to accommodate my need for privacy today.”

“You are very welcome Mr. De la Kraken. May ask though, why is it that you have come forward now after thousands of years of your people being relegated to the pages of legend? I think we’re all dying to know!” She motioned to the studio audience, who’s dumbfounded expressions immediately transformed to smiles, nods, and cheers.

“Well Susan,” Sergio put on his best news caster voice and leaned a little closer to stare penetratingly into the camera, his big golden irises captivating audiences across the viewing area. “The fate of the world may depend on this interview.”

A collective gasp rose across the world as Supernatural Salsa’s audience sat glued to their computers, phones, and television sets awaiting more from this amazing creature.

“The fate of the entire world?” Susan herself was leaning closer to the large screen, almost levitating from her red arm chair and barely able to contain herself. A mythological creature outing himself on national television would boost the ratings for a few weeks, but this….the kraken was practically signing her new, extended contracts!

“Yes Susan, I’m afraid so,” Sergio was saying, “Maybe even the fate of several worlds. I wish I could say that something is coming to destroy us, because then it would be easier to guard ourselves against the threat. But I’m afraid it has already been here, hiding among the elite and the workers alike for thousands of years, amassing power and followers.”

“Oh,” Susan tuned back in long enough to know that a political rant was about to take off. “And we would love to hear all about it, After This Word From Our Sponsors!…CUT IT EARL!”

Aside

 

 

 

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore[ from J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular and amazing hit, Harry Potter, is one of my favorite characters from all of literature…and he’s pretty smart too! I often quote Dumbledore to myself, or to friends and family, and today I am quoting him to you. Here for your enjoyment are my top 3 favorite Dumbledore quotes (decoratively pulled from my Pinterest account). This was a difficult choice, as he has so many wonderful quotes, so if you have other Dumbledore sayings you prefer I would love to hear them!

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" -Albus Dumbledore There have been times in my life when I struggled to pull myself out of my head. The worlds and stories there are gripping and, to me at least, at times just as real as the ‘real’ world around me. I suppose that is why this Dumbledore quote has always resonated with me. Do you have that problem?

 

Harry Potter Dumbledore quote Art Pint Wall Art by geeksleeksheek As an author, a teacher, a mother, and a big mouth sass machine this quote both lifts me up and knocks me down every time I read it. He’s right of course (well, I suppose Ms. Rowling is right, as she wrote Albus Dumbledore’s lines for him) but sometimes we all forget the truth in this. Do you know the feeling?

 

Albums dumbledore quoteFinally, this quote has helped me deal with sadness, depression, and frustrations…whether my own or those belonging to my friends and family…by reminding me that life goes on, happiness is a daily choice, and it is up to us to be open to the light. We have to choose to flip the ‘switch’. I would love to have this around a light switch someday…perhaps in my writer’s loft when we get the lights set up. Where would you put it?

 

 

Wednesday Writing

Normally I use Wednesday as a mid-week check in point with you, dear readers, to find out what we’re all reading as we slog through the week. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, this week I am busy with organizing and rearranging rooms to help prepare for next week’s upswing in housemates (I think we have 5 girls staying with us so far), and I am not finding much time to read…I’m 2 chapters from finishing a book I started 3 weeks ago and it shames me to take so long!

However, I didn’t want to leave everyone high and dry since I know you all look forward to my posts with glee 😉

Since I don’t have much to say about what I’m not reading (and I’ve said it all already!) I will post a bit of a story I have been sporadically working on for the past several years. If you have excerpts of your work you want to share, or comments on something you’re reading, please feel free to do so! I look forward to seeing what you have to say!

Sylvester (Working Title):

 

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

 

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

 

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

 

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

 

Chapter One

 

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

 

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

 

 If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

 

 

Chapter Two

She was in college when the dreams returned. Brianna woke with a start, reaching for someone who couldn’t possibly be real, and letting out a mild stream of curses when she realized she had slept through her alarm, again. It looked like breakfast would have to wait, for the third time that week, as she quickly got dressed and headed out of the dorm towards her first class. If she ran she might be on time.

As she entered the classroom, barely ahead of her teacher, Brianna a familiar tug on her conscious, this was not a class her parents had wanted her to take. They were intent on seeing their daughter firmly ensconced within the business world, most preferably as the President of some huge company. Proving her worth and the worth of women in the workplace, to the world.

Mom and Dad just couldn’t, or wouldn’t, understand her love and need for literature. Not that they didn’t read. They read biographies, the New York Times, the stocks, and every once in a while they would read the memoirs of a friend or allow themselves a few minutes for a chapter in a classical novel. In fact, dad had been reading poetry lately; One poem every night, right before bed. He figured he might complete that first book of Wadsworth before sixty (he was 35 when he started).

They had even insisted on Brianna taking an extra course in literature during high school, along with her music lessons, so that she could be “an accomplished young lady.” But after that course they just couldn’t grasp the reasons why Brianna would want to take others or why she devoured books so voraciously instead of pursuing the math and business major they had pushed onto her.

So there had been a compromise, she would pursue business and they would allow her a few courses of her choosing. Now she was sitting in one of the only classes she enjoyed, “Myths, Faerie Tales, and Legends: A History of Magic in Literature.” As she dutifully settled into her seat to take the notes the professor was busy writing on the board, Brianna decided that her late nights reading these tales were the reason she had been having the dreams again. Magic couldn’t possibly exist in today’s society. If she only knew the truth she might have paid extra attention to the lecture that day. A lecture on the archetype of evil.

‘No’ and other things NOT to say to a Wizard

“He will not be going, I tell you!” “Hobbits do not go on adventures.” “No.” “can’t.” “won’t.” “Impossible”…These are all things that I’ve noticed being said to wizards by people who should really know better. Don’t get me wrong here, if you’ve grown up in a world which doesn’t even have storybooks about wizards, you can have a pass. However, most people in the books either know wizards, are wizards, or have dealt with the situation before…and they still make a wizard mad.

Try telling Gandalf or Dumbledore that they can’t do something. That’s like telling a fire breathing dragon that he can’t barbecue. So why do it? Why mouth off and frustrate/offend or worse a person with those types of powers?? To me, the answers is simple…it is all a question of power and fear.

The Dursleys kept Harry locked in a cupboard to keep him in check, of course they weren’t going to stop bullying him and allow him to go gain confidence and magic. Bilbo Baggins was frightened, a bit obsessive, and more than a little offended at being spoken to by someone who actually enjoyed adventures, of course he would want no part in that! The list goes on and on. In my own books I have a fairy Queen whose pet sorcerer is teaching her to use such powers and anyone who defies her is promptly enslaved and/or turned into stone statues for her garden. Wizards (and sorcerers) are just testy like that I suppose.

It isn’t just wizards or other mythical beings though. Have you ever tried telling a toddler that he/she isn’t big enough to do something? What about telling a teacher that their students aren’t good enough/smart enough to do a certain project or take a certain trip? This list, too, goes on and on. The same reasoning lies behind these actions that lie within the fantasy realms. Power, fear, pride, dignity, and just plain old fashioned stubbornness connect all realms, all worlds, and all languages. Fantasy stories, mysteries, true crime, historical pieces, sitcoms, and the local real-life neighborhood all share in those traits. With those similarities, the willing suspension of disbelief is made much more easily and people (or things) that might never have been able to come together before are now irrevocably connected.

This is why fantasy novels can teach about life, and why I will try not to mouth off (which will be difficult!) if a wizard ever shows up at my door asking me for favors. After all, some things are universal.

Video

Magic

Jem and the Holograms taught me from a young age that Music is Magic. Now My Little Pony is telling us that Friendship is Magic (http://youtu.be/FXGQGsv8eBQ). This got me to thinking about magic…I have always believed in the magic of the world and the magic of music. So if friends are magic too, that must mean that my musical friends and I are very magic!
When you get people together who love music and each other, amazing things can happen. When you get music and writers all together, wonderful stories emerge.
When you get animators and musicians together…80s iconic pop songs become the stuff of little girl love everywhere…and my Dad can testify (He still knows all the Jem songs too!)
What have cartoons taught you??

Link

Dragon on My Neck

Dragon on My Neck

The story of a very small dragon, a very crazy queen, and the series of events that threw both of their families into our world, as statues.

The first in my Stone Dragon Saga, Dragon on My Neck explores the beginnings of Aliphonsore’s misadventures as he, the only fairy dragon in existence, becomes an enslaved pet necklace for an insane fairy.  His struggles, his family’s valor, his new friends, and a hint or two of magic will have pull you in.  So please, come on in.  It’s time for a story…