"The Birds" meets "Night of the Living Dead" in Kyle Alexander Romine's "Keeper of the Crows"

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Sunbury Press has released Kyle Alexander Romine’s debut novel The Keeper of the Crows, a super-natural thriller.

tkotc_fcNo evil can remain buried forever, as disgraced journalist Thomas Brooks discovers when a wave of death grips the rural Kentucky town of Gray Hollow in terror.

Following a very public humiliation, Thomas is looking for a story to get him back on the map—and free of the small town newspaper where he serves out his exile. The apparent murder of a stranger seems to be just what the opportunistic reporter needs, until he discovers the death is merely the start of something bigger.

Also investigating the murder is Sheriff Jezebel Woods, who doesn’t approve of Thomas’ sensationalist intentions. Mounting deaths force the pair to set aside their differences to confront a force that threatens to destroy the entire town.

At the center of the mystery is the disappearance of a boy named Salem Alistair, who designed a series of grotesque scarecrows for his parents’ farm—scarecrows that are turning up at each subsequent crime scene. Thomas begins to doubt his uneasy alliance with the sheriff when he realizes Jezebel has her own secret history with Salem Alistair.

Thomas and Jezebel are completely unprepared to face the supernatural force at odds with Gray Hollow. As the killings continue, and the town slowly begins to yield its dark secrets, the truth will pit Thomas and Jezebel on a collision course with true evil.

back imageEXCERPT:
… Jeff hastily brought the aluminum can up to his lips and choked down the frothy liquid.

“Ugh,” he grunted. It was warm. The vehicle bounced over the gravel rocks, causing him to spill the remainder of the beer on his jacket. “Stupid truck,” he muttered as he glanced at the gas gauge. There was barely enough fuel to get back into town. Jeff hurled the empty can down on the floorboard and brought the vehicle to a halt. A rusty metal gate barred his entry to the farm. Jeff almost laughed when he saw the locks fastened around the wooden post.

Like anyone would want to break in here, he thought.

The sun waned above, casting an orange glow on the farm. An old barn stood nearly twenty feet beyond the fence. Like his truck, the barn’s red paint was faded, and planks of rotten wood contributed to a general state of disarray. A cornfield rested just outside the barn, with a small grassy hill overlooking the whole property. Jeff grabbed a cooler from the back of his truck and hoisted it over the gate adjoining the wooden fence. A wave of reluctance washed across him when he rested his hands on the cold metal. After hesitating, Jeff shook his head and yielded to the silent calling that prompted his return to the abandoned farm. It wasn’t like anyone was going to find him out here. The farm lay deserted since the last member of the Alistair family passed away almost twenty years ago. The government now owned the property. All the while the Alistair farm lingered in limbo, waiting. Waiting for him.

“Here goes nothing,” Jeff said before he began climbing over the fence. A blast of freezing wind sent a chill through him, but it was too late to turn back now. He trudged through thick piles of multi-hued leaves. Dusk was fast approaching over the October horizon. Jeff stared into the thick rows of corn. He remembered all too well what secret lay hidden within. That the corn would still be growing in an ordered pattern after all these years disturbed him for some reason. He caughtanother chill, this one not from the cool breeze.

The government probably planted them, he thought. Even as the words formed in his head, Jeff found the probability unlikely. He didn’t understand why the town would waste money by planting corn in an abandoned field. As he rounded the corner, Jeff spotted a dark figure in the cornfield. He nearly jumped out of his skin before realizing the figure wasn’t human. A stitched amalgamation of cloth and straw hung from a pole that towered above the rows.

“It’s just a scarecrow,” he said to himself, letting out a sigh of relief.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kyle Alexander Romines is a teller of tales from the hills of Kentucky. He enjoys good reads, thunderstorms, and anything edible. The Keeper of the Crows is his first published book. His writing interests include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and western.

Kyle’s lifelong love of books began with childhood bedtime stories and was fostered by his parents and teachers. He grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes, RL Stine’s Goosebumps series, and Harry Potter. His current list of favorites includes Justin Cronin’s The Passage, Hard Country by Michael McGarrity, and Red Rising by Pierce Brown. The library is his friend.

Kyle discovered a passion for writing after graduating high school, which resulted in the completion of three novel length manuscripts before The Keeper of the Crows. These fledgling attempts at writing taught him a great deal, and since writing Keeper he has worked to continue honing his skills. He hopes to continue writing as long as he has stories to tell.

He is currently a medical student at the University of Louisville.

The Keeper of the Crows
Authored by Kyle Alexander Romines
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
284 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066461
ISBN-10: 1620066467
BISAC: Fiction / Occult & Supernatural

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Keeper-of-the-Crows-…

Pet crow bonds with fatherless boy in inspirational novel by Paul Argentini

VENICE, Fla.Sunbury Press has released Charlie Caw, Paul Argentini’s latest novel, for middle grade and young adults.

cc_fcAbout the Book:
A crow that picks wildflowers and delivers them to show affection, and a fatherless boy who teaches the bird how to fly create a heartwarming story of these two disparate beings going and growing with one another. Their deep and abiding companionship keeps them close, yet they remain free to maintain all their relationships. Each protects the other in awkward situations, but they respect one another to allow the freedom to make individual choices. They confront humorous and dangerous situations with daring spirit learning a bit more of the other’s world with each confrontation. CHARLIE CAW is such a likeable story one can only believe it is true. It will find a niche in your memory for a long, long time.

Excerpt:
Charlie Partridge caught at his breath with the firing squad’s volley. His body tensed. He expected the bullets to tear through his clothes and into his flesh. He felt as if they already had.

It was the nightmare. Again.

The panorama of the cemetery flashed into his mind. There was the October mackerel sky and the flag-draped casket suspended over the blackness. Standing were dozens of people wearing mask-like faces. As he had never seen her, there was his mother sitting under the canopy: her face white and drawn, her eyes glowing briquettes, her lips held tight to a slash. There was the bass-drum monotone of the minister uttering profundities. There was the cadre of officers and the honor guard who had escorted the fallen decorated hero to this country gravesite with its majesty of flowers. There was the formal precision of the military funeral. These ceremonies were for his father, Lt. James Partridge, but he hoped they had made a mistake and it really was someone else.

More volleys followed.

Charlie wondered if such a barrage had also resounded before the hero had died. He wondered if he, too, had smelled the acrid smoke from burning gunpowder.

Charlie watched the haze settle softly among the blades of dew-damp grass. Then, closing his eyes, he saw himself start to fall as if into an abyss of reverie: it was dawn. His father whistled, as usual, as he slipped into his bedroom to wake him. As they had done so many times before, father, mother, and son grabbed a quick breakfast and the fishing gear, then the three of them were off. Shortly thereafter, he stood shivering in the gurgle and splash of the spring-fed brook where the bespeckled trout hid.

Charlie opened his eyes. A stern-faced officer bowed before Charlie’s mother. He offered her the triangularly-folded American flag. With yet another rush of tears, she took it and clutched it to her breast. Without straightening, the officer turned to Charlie seated beside her, and their eyes locked. As if taking part in a conspiracy, he signaled Charlie with a slight nod.

He watched the officer perform an agonizingly slow salute to his mother and to the flag. Charlie felt the wet at the small of his back turn cold. Then, the officer beckoned with his fingers and nodded, indicating Charlie was to follow him. Charlie stood. They walked to the far end of the headstone-studded field.

“We need to talk,” the officer said to Charlie.

Charlie stared at his medals, then at the man’s chest. “Your shirt is stained, sir,” Charlie said.

“I apologize if it troubles you,” he said pointing, “but this is a blood stain from the wound that earned me the Silver Star Medal and took my life. That’s what happened to your father,” the officer responded. “Only those who have been wounded in battle may have the honor of participating in the ceremonies for a fallen comrade. It is my privilege and honor to be here.” The officer turned toward the knot of people surrounding the open grave, then asked, “Were you and your dad close, Charlie?”

Charlie raised his eyebrows and looked up at the man, nodding his head for several seconds, then said, “Sir, I must go home. Now.”

“Sorry, son,” he said. “To leave this cemetery, you need to be brave; you need to be courageous and you need to be strong. You must allow yourself to cry. You must accept what has happened. This funeral will go on until you accept the fact that your dad is not coming back. When you acknowledge that, then this funeral will end.”

“Everything was so sudden,” Charlie said.

The officer put his hand on Charlie’s shoulder and said, “You can only deny this for so long.” The soldier’s face grew even more somber as he folded his arms and continued, “Time is another problem. When is your next birthday?”

“June sixteenth. I’ll be fourteen.”

“Fourteen! Is that so? You seem older. The fact is, your next birthday, that’s your deadline.”

“Deadline?” Charlie flexed his eyebrows. “Why a deadline?”

The officer shrugged. “Son, many brave men and women fall in battle. Each one deserves to be commemorated, such as we are doing now for your dad. But, we only have so much time for each funeral, or we’d fall way behind. We want to serve everyone their full measure of respect. Once you acknowledge that it is your father’s funeral, you will be through with the formalities, the grieving, and with us here at the cemetery. It will allow us to move on with our work, and you can get on with your life.”

“Thank you, Sir”, Charlie said. “All I know is that something important has changed in my life. It’s so confusing, and I don’t understand any of it.”

“I regret to say understanding will come with time. Meanwhile, it’s like getting measles, you just have to work through it,” the officer said. “The apparitions and demons must be worse.”

Charlie felt the muscles in his face tighten. “Yes, they’re just awful. They’re frightening.” He pulled his shoulders back and said, “Mother’s alone. I must go.” He turned and marched with the officer back to the ceremony.

The brittle, dredging notes of the bugler’s taps consumed the air as if to suffocate Charlie.

He found his arms tight around his mother with his face buried in the folded flag, her spasms pulsating through and shaking his body for an endless moment. Then, taking his mother’s lead, he tried to place the rose he found in his hand on the imposing coffin. He could not let go of the stem – it stuck to his fingers! Shake as hard as he could, the flower still clung to him, and he felt it draw him into the void beneath the casket.

Charlie Caw
Authored by Paul Argentini
List Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 154 pages
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc. (April 23, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620065851
ISBN-13: 978-1620065853
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
BISAC: Fiction / Young Adult / Relationships

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Charlie-Caw-978162006585…