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Godland

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Welcome to Godland…pray you get out alive.
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Sales price: $5.50
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Rating: 5/5
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Author: Stuart R. West
Description

 Godland

by Stuart R. West

Genre Horror Thriller

Tags Horror, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological suspense, Closed Door Mysteries, Terror, Survival

Release September 16, 2014

Content Editor Tanja Cilia

Line Editor Erin Liles

Cover Designer Charlie Volnek

Words 55267

Pages 201

ISBN 978-1-77127-581-1

Price $5.50


Back Cover

An embittered farmer. A New York corporate raider. Two teenage high school girls. A failed small business owner. Past and present collide, secrets are revealed. These disparate people gather at a desolate Kansas farm for a hellish night not everyone will survive.

Godland is a dark psychological suspense horror thiller. A Midwestern nightmare. Farm noir.


Excerpt

 

Chapter One

A blast sheared open the night sky. An ear-piercing shriek followed. Bats and birds fled trees,draping a transient veil across the face of the moon. A moan gained in intensity—not quite human, not quite animal—and rumbled across the cornfields like a runaway train.

For those gathered at the small Kansas farm, the long night of survival had begun.

* * * *

Five Days Earlier

 

The old dog lay on the steps seeking comfort from the heat. The door flew open. Before the man could kick him into the yard, the dog raced for shelter.

Edwin Lewis Quail stepped out into the sunlight and stretched, painfully thin. Weather-beaten crevices and sun damage marked his roadmap of a face. His cold eyes stood out in stark contrast, like two ice cubes in a Bloody Mary.

He took in a deep breath and coughed. Probably not a healthy cough. But, goddammit, it didn’t matter. Things were going to get better now.

Edwin’s farm hadn’t brought in money for a long time. Too long. His cornfields were dry. The remaining livestock looked sickly and wouldn’t fetch much in the town market. The liberals and Democrats blamed something called “global warming” for destroying his crops. Nothing but lies and political propaganda. Edwin knew better. Nobody helped him out, nobody gave a damn. After fifty years of farming, Edwin had given up on waiting for government aid. The government forgot about him out here in Godwin, Kansas; too busy with its own money-grabbing agendas.

Well, fine and dandy. God put Edwin on this earth for a reason. To take what he could and better his position in life. All up to him.

Edwin squinted into the early morning sunlight, appraising his dying cornfields. All this land—this pretty much now worthless land—had been a struggle to maintain. Nothing he could do to save it. A lost cause. But he had one thing left to do before he put it all behind him.

Like clockwork, the moaning from the room upstairs began. The sound rattled through the windows, permeating Edwin’s aching joints. It could wait, though. Edwin intended on enjoying his morning.

For the first time in quite a while, he smiled. A new day was coming. Time for the meek to inherit the earth, as the Good Book says. His laughter grew into a low, guttural growl, born from the pit of his stomach. Soon, he was howling madly at the injustices God had showered down upon him.

The old hound dog crawled into the cornfields, putting as much distance as possible between himself and the beast on the porch.

* * * *

Lindsay Bellowes unstrapped her backpack and dropped it onto the cafeteria table.

Shannon looked up from poking around today’s mystery meal. “Excuse me,” said Shannon. “Some of us are trying to figure out what we’re eating today.”

Lindsay sat down across from Shannon. “And some of us shouldn’t be eating at all.”

Shannon knew Lindsay’s ways, her constant teasing a part of their daily routine. Nonetheless, Shannon couldn’t help feeling self-conscious about her looks and her weight. She tossed the fork onto the plate and wiped her mouth. Meal over. “Lindsay, are you going to do that thing at the American Royal this year?”

Lindsay grimaced. “I don’t think so. It’s so redneck city with all the cowboys and creepy old guys. Ewww.” Lindsay kicked her feet under the table, fending off imaginary cowboy suitors.

“You know, not everything has to be about cute guys. Besides, you were actually pretty good.” Lindsay’s mother had always considered herself quite the equestrian, as she’d grown up riding horses. Last year, she pushed Lindsay into a group called The Young Kansas City Cowgirls. The Cowgirls received a spot at the American Royal—an annual Kansas City celebration of everything country, cowboy, and just plain cows—and entertained the audience with showmanship and trick riding.

“Says you,” said Lindsay. “But I did look pretty damn cute in my Cowgirl outfit, didn’t I?” Lindsay jumped out of her seat. She sashayed around the table, fluffing her hair and batting her eyelashes.

“Gag. I would’ve never been caught dead in that outfit.” The outfit had consisted of a short, light blue dress, laced with white trim. A Stetson and high-heeled white boots completed the eyesore. “The latest in cowgirl hooker apparel,” Shannon added.

“Whatever. You’re just mad ’cause you couldn’t bring it off.”

The girls’ high-pitched giggling prompted Miss Swanson to rush over and rap her knuckles on the table.

“That’s enough, girls,” said Miss Swanson. “Settle down.”

“Sorry, Miss Swanson.” As soon as Miss Swanson scuttled off to hold court over another table, Shannon and Lindsay broke out in laughter again.

“Hey, can you give me a ride home tonight after play practice?” asked Shannon.

“Cool,” said Lindsay. A tall boy with unruly dark hair slouched by them, grinning. “Oh my God, he’s so hot!” Lindsay gripped her lunch tray, anchoring herself to the table.

“Who? Gavin? I don’t know. He seems like kind of a douche to me. Isn’t he a stoner anyway?”

“With a body like that, who cares?” Both girls watched him walk away. Shannon snuck a glimpse at his bottom, lending credence to Lindsay’s assessment. “I think he likes you, Shannon.”

Shannon’s fair complexion burned crimson. Another thing she hated about herself. Her pixie hairstyle emphasized her blushing cheeks, blonde arrows of hair pointing toward them.

“Lindsay, you think every guy likes me.” Shannon appreciated Lindsay’s attempts at building her self-confidence. And truth be told, she wasn’t totally oblivious to some boys eyeing her on occasion. But her shyness held her back. Lindsay, on the other hand, was blessed with a great figure and a fearlessness in her sexual pursuits. Sometimes Lindsay scared boys away with her aggressiveness. Other times, she didn’t. She regaled Shannon with outrageous stories of sexual conquest and brazen behavior.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Reviews

Wednesday, 03 June 2015
If we could look behind closed doors, we might be surprised, even horrified, by what we see. Do we really know the family next door or the farmer in the country? Do we even care what they’re like, or is it simply easier to ignore those that might seem a bit different to us?

In Author Stuart R. West’s novel GODLAND, the reader meets a cast of characters that push the word “normal” to the limits. I’m not going to give anything away by describing each character, but the major players are people that you do not want as neighbors. There are a few characters that can be classified as “normal”, namely the teens Lindsay, Shannon and Gavin, well, as normal as teens are, but 300 pound Joshua, man-boy, 16 or 17 years old, will make you have nightmares or touch your heart or both. No, I can’t explain. You’ll have to read Joshua’s story to understand.

For me, Joshua is the character that I wanted to help. I think you’ll understand why.

Mr. West is a master at creating characters that are so real you hope you never run into some of them on a dark street, or a daylight or his son. Are people really that warped? I guess so.

All I can say is read GODLAND with the lights on and even better with friends or family present to keep you in the real world. You certainly don’t want to get lost in GODLAND. I believe that the author has achieved his purpose of writing a story the reader will long remember and will avoid deserted country roads and lonely farm houses.
I won a copy of the novel from the publisher, MuseItUp Publishing
###
Beverly Stowe McClure
Saturday, 11 October 2014
I was gripped by this book immediately, engrossed in the strong characters and how they're all brought together in a horrifying climax. I've read all of Stuart West's novels, but this one is by far the strongest. I see a bestseller in Godland. Stuart West's writing is exquisite, powerful, and engaging. I'm expecting to read about major awards.
Suzanne Demontigny
Wednesday, 08 October 2014
This book grabbed me from the first sentence. I'm a big fan of first sentences. Here is the first sentence of Godland: "A blast sheared open the night sky." Seven little words, but what powerful words. From those words, the reader knows they are in for a roller-coaster ride like they've never experienced before.

West writes in short, quick sentences. His chapters are brief and have many breaks. He goes from the point of view of his main characters (Edwin, Peter, Matt, Shannon). He writes in a tight fashion. No words are wasted. Here's an example: "Hell, he practically owned New York City or at least most of it. And why not? He earned it." The quick terse writing style keeps the reader entranced. Because he jumps from four points of view, the reader never gets too close to any character. And, believe me, that's a good thing. West skillfully changes the point of view. He does not "head hop." There's a break whenever there's a change as a clear signal to the reader.

The characters in Godland are very complex. The reader will quickly recognize Edwin as a sociopath with a religious bent. Peter, his son, is a clear narcissist. Matt is a bit wimpy. There is really no one in whose mind one wants to remain. Shannon, the fifteen-year-old, is the most likable. Because everyone's lives are in danger, it's best we readers do not get too close to the main players.

And, what action! Once the story takes off, it really doesn't stop. It reminded me of when I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Reading those books on my device, I had no idea how much was left. When I scrolled to the last page and there was no more, I felt as if I needed to look under the bed for lost pages. That's how West leaves us. Flying through the book, unable to put it down, worrying about the outcome, and then poof, it's over.
If you like action, fast writing, ugly characters and a dar
Joan
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