Tag Archives: magic

The Monday Book: THE DARK SIDE OF THE WOODS by Willie Dalton

darksidecoverMany thanks to Wendy for inviting me to guest blog and promote myself, well, my new book that is. I’ve been working on this book for about a year and a half, which seems crazy since I wrote my first book in three months
“The Dark Side of the Woods”, takes me a little step closer to writing the genre nearest to my heart, horror. I’ve always loved creepy books, much more so than creepy movies and at some point it might be the majority of the stories I tell. This book isn’t too scary, just enough to keep you wondering what’s coming next. Perfect for this time of year!
The inspiration came when my husband and I were hiking in Cumberland Gap, Tn. We walked by an unusual stretch of path that was a bright and sunny meadow on one side and a dark forest on the other with great rocks peeking through the trees. My imagination immediately jumped to shadows hiding behind the rocks and running through the woods. I knew the story I wanted to tell and even kept the setting in Cumberland Gap.
The story centers around a young woman named Sadie and her love interest, Rob. The closer they get, the more mysterious things start happening in town. Meanwhile, a small stretch of road that Sadie has always walked by becomes dark and menacing. No sunlight touches the dark side of the woods, no animals will pass through it and nothing that goes in there, comes back out.  Sadie learns she and Rob are both tied to the events going on through long forgotten family secrets that date back to the settlement of the town. It’s up to them to make things right, but that means going into the dark woods. 22281604_906572242823586_7535788090923277310_n
It was such a fun book to write and so far all the feedback I’ve gotten has been great. “The Dark Side of the Woods” is available in all the usual places (like that online company we don’t mention in front of Wendy)–or even better: request it in your local bookstore!
To keep up with my work you can follow me on Facebook or through my website.

And yes, I do love tattoos. Why do you ask?


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Filed under Big Stone Gap, book reviews, bookstore management, publishing, reading, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, writing, YA fiction

The Monday Book: INSTEAD OF THREE WISHES by Megan Whalen Turner

MEGAN WHALEN TURNER_0I read this book years ago as one of the judges for a storytelling magazine contest. Loved it then, loved it now, when it recently came through our shop.

Megan Whalen Turner wrote seven “fractured” fairy tales. I love twice-told tales, and slightly sarcastic senses of humor, so I ate this book with a spoon. In the title story,  a poor old elf in the modern world gets helped across the street by a girl he has to reward, but she is suspicious of his three-wishes offer. Things go from absurd to funny to sweet in this send-up of that age-old fairy tale motif.

My other favorite is “A Plague of Leprechauns,” when leprechaun-hunting turned tourism threatens the peace of an English village, until the pub owner and the guy who found the little green man in the first place get smart–and cynical. I love this one.

“Leroy Roachbane” is about the wonders of Borax in the ancient world. Time travel, local boy makes good; it’s fun.

My other favorite was “Factory” a rather amusing treatise on the practicality of being a ghost in an industrial society gone wrong. The humor Turner displays in this is wonderful. You have to realize, ghosts stay as they were when they died for eternity. The mom who’s plotting the death of her family is very worried about the fact that her two-year-old granddaughter has a cold. Which would be worse, she muses, to miss the moment and get evicted from their house before crossing over, or to spend eternity with a sick two-year-old? That kind of thing.

“Aunt Charlotte” is about a silkie with a seductive plan. “The Nightmare” will delight every child who’s ever been picked on by a bully (be advised one should not threaten little old ladies in the streets, boys). And “The Baker King” is a fun send-up of youthquests to become rulers.

I liked the stories for their simple, clear language and humor, and also because they exude warmth and compassion. Things work out right for the nice people. The supernatural characters are hysterical in their over-the-topness. The airhead tree nymph from Instead of Three Wishes is wonderful. And the humans are sweet, silly, charming, scary–real. This is intended to be a young adult read, but I’d recommend it for anyone who just wants an hour of escapism and a little faith in humanity restored. Leprechauns and elves can do that for you.


Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, book reviews, bookstore management, out of things to read, publishing, reading, writing, YA fiction