Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Moore Hollow by J.D. Byrne

Release date: October 5, 2015
Sub-genre: Fantasy, Paranormal and Urban

About Moore Hollow:

Ben Potter’s life is a shambles. As a journalist he’s hit rock bottom, writing dreck about monsters and ghouls to make ends meet after a big story blew up in his face. As a son he’s a disappointment, unwilling to follow his father, grandfather, and great grandfather into the family business. As a father, he’s mostly just not there.

Now a new assignment could change all that. All he has to do is go from London to the hills of West Virginia to investigate the strangest of stories his great grandfather told. Did a sleazy politician really raise the dead to try and win an election? And if he did, what happened to the zombies? Could they still exist? Ben needs to find out, to solve the mystery and find a way to get his life back on track.

But finding the answer only presents Ben with a whole new batch of problems. Does he use what he learns to put his life back on track? Or will he be compelled to do the right thing, even if it leaves his life a mess?

The hardest part of a mystery is deciding what to do once you’ve solved it.


Nightfall came about half an hour after Ben left town. He stopped at a small convenience store, fulfilled the tank’s enormous thirst for fuel, and grabbed a cup of coffee. It tasted like it had been made from the warmed-over remains of a small woodland creature, but it made him fully alert. He got back on the road and turned north, back to town and back to bed.

There had not been much traffic on the way down, nor was there much on the way back. At some point, however, Ben picked up someone following behind him. They weren’t close enough to be dangerous, but the other car’s headlights became a constant presence in his rearview mirror. Ben didn’t give much thought to it except when the undulations in the pavement shot the lights’ full brightness into his eyes.

A few miles from town, something caught Ben’s attention, something he didn’t expect to see on a road like this. It appeared to be a person walking slowly down the road on the right hand shoulder. Ben clicked on his high beams, then the ridiculously powerful fog lights to try to provide more light for the walker. At the very least, he didn’t want to run him over. Under the best of circumstances, anyone walking down this road was taking their life in their hands.

Ben lifted off the gas and slowed down, trying to get a good look at the walker. It was a man, but Ben couldn’t tell anything else about him—his age or whether he was black or white. His clothes looked rough and ragged, but beyond a general impression, Ben couldn’t tell much else. Then he noticed something odd about the man. It was his gait, the way he was moving. It wasn’t really walking in the strictest sense. It was more of a shuffle, a slow plodding step that fell somewhere between a limp and a gallop.

It hit Ben’s mind so fast he said it aloud. “Don’t zombies walk that way? Slowly shuffling along?” he asked himself. “At least they do in the films.”

He thought about stopping to try to talk to the man, who showed no interest in the presence of the tank near him, but that was impossible. The car that had been a constant companion behind Ben was now right on his bumper, brought near when Ben slowed down. He pulled around the shuffling figure on the side of the road and accelerated back to full speed. Immediately, he began to look for someplace to double back. About a quarter of a mile down the road was a small church with an equally small parking lot. It would do as a place to turn around, so Ben signaled, slowed, and turned into the church parking lot.

The car behind did the same.

Ben’s eyes fixed on the white headlights in the rearview mirror, which were quickly augmented by flashing blue and red.

Also available as a paperback from Amazon and Empire Books & News

About J.D. Byrne

JD Byrne was born and raised around Charleston, West Virginia, before spending seven years in Morgantown getting degrees in history and law from West Virginia University. He's practiced law for more than 15 years, writing briefs where he has to stick to real facts and real law. In his fiction, he gets to make up the facts, take or leave the law, and let his imagination run wild. He lives outside Charleston with his wife and one-eyed dog.

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