My new, short novel is now ready for pre-order at the publisher’s site. Trepidatio is offering the book in paperback and in three ebook versions. You can purchase the ebook (ePub, mobi for Kindle, or PDF) or buy the paperback to be released February 22, 2019, and receive the ebook of your choice to download immediately.
This little book went through a lot of changes. It began as a straightforward thriller about a family experiencing strange occurrences after meeting a teenage girl from a broken home. As I continued to write, the more magical and disturbing elements of Skillute, Washington began creeping in on all sides.
Skillute is the fictional setting for my first novel Knock Knock, novellas Delphine Dodd, Astoria and In the Light (Omnium Gatherum) as well as an origin story for one of the characters, soon to be published in the anthology Sisterhood edited by Nate Pedersen (Chaosium). Each may be read as a stand-alone but there are overlapping and intersecting characters and events that take on new meaning if you read all of the stories. Over the course of these tales the setting has altered, its history becoming entwined with the fate of its residents, and the land itself has taken on a central role.
I decided to let Skillute guide me this time. The result is a psychological and supernatural story of longing, of illusions clouding reality, of escape and the desire to belong. All I can promise you is that, no matter what occurs in this weird town where every creature and every object seems to have a life of its own–the worst is yet to come.
For most of her fourteen years, Tasha Davis has languished in the rural-suburban town of Skillute, Washington. Her parents offer plenty of comfortable—if stifling—emotional support, but what she needs is a best friend.
In her final year at Clark Middle School, Tasha meets a strange, new classmate. Briar Kenny is the self-styled rebel Tasha wants to be, and the Davises are the kind of close-knit family Briar covets. A moment of unexpected violence spawns a secret between the two girls and awakens a mystery from the past.
Unknown to Tasha and Briar, their secret also attracts something monstrous from a forgotten corner of Skillute. The town is haunted by its history, scarred with the lingering spirit of broken and scattered families, abandoned real estate ventures, and old scores never settled between neighbors. But there’s more to the place than memory and legend. Beneath the landscape something malignant rages, and it will stop at nothing to find a route into the physical world.
Cover art by Mikio Murakami.