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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

☀ Dead Souls - J. Lincoln Fenn

Thank you for joining us on the Release Day Celebrations for  Dead Souls, a Horror Thriller by (, Gallery Books, 352 pages).

Don't miss our interview with author J. Lincoln Fenn.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first chapter with Amazon Look Inside.

With Fenn’s “wicked raw and proudly untamed” talent (Bloody-Disgusting.com), Dead Souls is a terrifying and witty venture to the dark side that will haunt you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author |

Synopsis

From the award-winning author of the acclaimed novel Poe comes an edgy and bone-chilling new novel.

When Fiona Dunn is approached in a bar by a man who claims he’s the devil, she figures it’s just some kind of postmodern-slash-ironic pickup line. But a few drinks in, he offers her a wish in exchange for her immortal soul, and in addition, Fiona must perform a special favor for him whenever the time comes. Fiona finds the entire matter so absurd that she agrees. Bad idea.

Not only does Fiona soon discover that she really was talking to the devil incarnate, but she’s now been initiated into a bizarre support group of similar “dead souls”—those who have done the same thing as Fiona on a whim, and who must spend their waking hours in absolute terror of that favor eventually being called in...and what exactly is required from each of them in order to give the devil his due.

Teaser: Excerpt

PROLOGUE


WE NEVER TALK ABOUT him at first, and we never say his name. But after an hour or more, after a few drinks or more, when the light in the bar becomes golden and woozy, talk usually drifts to a safe circumference, the sphere around him. We speculate about the news. Which crimes might be a favor he called in. Things like school shootings, downed planes, drone strikes that hit a wedding instead of the terrorists are always likely suspects, our shared paranoia. As for the other, more macabre stories— the mother who drowned her children in the bathtub, the grandmother clubbed by her grandson and then left to rot while he spent out her pension, the man who sliced off the face of his wife before he ate it— we hope— no, we pray— that these are just the random acts of random people in a depraved society. It’s the TV; no it’s the video games; no it’s the patriarchal structure and the glorification of violence to sell deodorant and car insurance.
     Because the other explanation is far, far worse.
     The other explanation is that it will be us one day.
   

CHAPTER ONE


SCRATCH. He said his name was Scratch.
     But no, it starts before that, over a year ago on a dark Friday night in Oakland, California, rain pouring down like it’s the next biblical flood and I’ve just seen the thing I’ve been afraid I’d see. Justin opening the door of a taxi for a woman with effortless blond hair that almost reaches, but stops short of, her shoulders. She wears a pink coat. I’ve always despised pink. He holds a newspaper over her head protectively as she gets in, and the taxi driver pops open the trunk for their suitcases.
     He said he had a business trip. Seattle.
     Justin looks gaunt in that way I always found Byronesque: pale shadows under his eyes, a military-ish buzz cut that makes his cheekbones starker. I miss his hair, the feel of it in my hand. Did he cut it for her? There hadn’t been much of an explanation—something about a new barber who got carried away.
     He doesn’t see me standing in the shadow of the apartment building across the street, but then that’s always been our inside joke—the invisible girl, he calls me. I’m constantly startling the shit out of him. He swears he doesn’t hear me when I walk into a room, and has actually shouted more than once after finding me just behind him, opening a cabinet door when he thought I was asleep. It’s a skill that anyone with abusive parents learns, and learns early. How to slip into the kitchen and get a soda and a candy bar for dinner without causing a blip on the radar.
     But still, I wish he’d look over this way for once. I long for it, I will it—I send a psychic message that if he doesn’t look over this way it means he doesn’t love me, that he stopped loving me months ago.
     He gets into the taxi, closes the door. The cab pulls into the street, causing an arc of water to splash in the gutter. Gone.
     It’s cold. I should have put on a jacket, but there had been that note in his voice when he said he was going to Seattle, a tinny drop that caused a shudder near the base of my spine, an emotional 5.0 tremor. He’d been strange for months. Distant. I don’t remember walking out the door of my apartment. I do remember when I stepped outside and realized it was cold, and I was barefoot. But my car was right there. I’d gotten lucky with a spot right in front of the apartment, no circling the neighborhood for fifteen minutes trying to land within three blocks.
     Then I realized I’d left my keys in the apartment. Locked out.
     The next steps—finding someone to buzz me back in, let me use their phone to call the super, making up some cheery explanation: Oh, it’s been such a stressful week at work, amazing I remember my head—was a calculation that seemed unfathomable.
     So I started to walk. Not impossible—I’d done it before, although never at night. I pushed aside all the reasons this was a bad idea. Tried not to look at any of the souls folded in alleyways, huddled under trash bags and newspapers. Ignored the occasional catcall.
     The rain hit about ten minutes in, and in fifteen I was completely drenched and my feet were numb, but it felt good somehow. Like I was present, a high-definition version of myself. I began to imagine scenes: Justin opening the door—­looking perplexed in that way that always made him seem about ten—our having a good laugh at my neurosis again. Me taking a warm shower. Justin joining me. A smaller part of me tugged at the thought that I would seem pathetic, that his furrowed brow would really be a sign of his rising discontent, a precursor of the end. There was, or would soon be, someone else. When that thought hit I’d raise my hands to the rain, let it slide through my fingers. Wash it away.
     This is how I got through the next twenty minutes, and by the time I reached his street I had convinced myself of the first version, which left me utterly unprepared for the pink coat. Just the sight of it made me dart into the entry of the apartment across from Justin’s. Left me breathless.
     And then they were in the taxi, and then they were gone. Vanished. The night, and the rain, closing over them like a cloak.
     [...]

Dead Souls
Available NOW!

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About the Author

J. Lincoln Fenn is the award-winning author of the bestseller Poe, which won the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror.

Fenn grew up in New England and graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hamp­shire, studying with poet laureate Charles Simic, and author John Yount, a mentor to John Irving.

Currently Fenn lives with her husband in Seattle, where she’s at work on her next book.

Follow J. Lincoln Fenn:

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