Monday, 25 December 2017

Beyond the Vale by Kerry Alan Denney



Title: Beyond the Vale
Author: Kerry Alan Denney
Genre: fantasy / adventure
Publisher: Burning Willow Press, LLC
Publication Date: December 23, 2017


There’s no rest for the weary in the afterlife: We all must earn our passage to the next world . . . or pay the ultimate price.

Logan Leonard comes to his senses with his memory full of holes, and a half-familiar woman asks him if he remembers how and why he died. She tells him he must earn his passage to the next level, leads him through doorways to impossible places with surreal landscapes and bizarre inhabitants, and sends him into pictures that are portals to his past. Logan meets his spirit guide in the form of a friendly dog, finds and then loses the woman of his dreams, and battles a madman who has enslaved the entire populace of the afterlife world.

Then menacing shadows come to claim Logan, and suddenly the stakes are his own immortal soul—and the souls of everyone he loves. All he has to do to earn his passage is rescue the woman of his dreams, defeat the shadows and their master, and correct the mistakes he made that ruined his life. If he fails, everyone will burn.

Because the punishment for failure is a one-way ticket to Hell.


Excerpt:

      The shadows grew more distinct as the torches dimmed. He did his best to ignore them, but he suspected he would always see them, forevermore in the corners of his eyes, like a door that, once opened, could never be closed again.
      Maybe they were a part of everything around us, always waiting to welcome us into desolation. The ghostly guides to reckless abandon and ultimate surrender, the blissful letting go of responsibility and accountability.
      “Forget that,” he mumbled into the darkness as the oldest torch sputtered. He cleared his throat and spoke up, as if the shadows were his audience and he was an actor in a play. “I may have cobwebs in my central processing unit, but this old boy doesn’t throw in the towel that easy, bitches. So come on. Give it your best shot.”
      Another torch sputtered, and he wondered how long he’d been sitting on the edge of the cot. He remembered Ashley warning him that darkness would be more frightening than it had ever been before, and stifled a shudder.
      He was certain that, as with Kelly, Ashley had not lied to him once, and never would, whatever her warped perception of truth may be. Neither would Jessica, or Bob—wherever he was—or Ringo, if he had a voice to try it.
      If Ashley was right, a deeper darkness was about to descend upon him.
      He watched as the third of the four torches fluttered with lighter blue flames around its bottom edges, striving to keep the fire burning as the last of its life was expelled.
      He chuckled, realizing how simple it all was. All he had to do was turn off the world, spare the children, win the girl, stop the madness, slay the dragon, earn his passage, and find his way back home.
      “Piece of cake,” he muttered as the fourth torch flickered. Darkness was almost his to claim now, equally ready to claim him. It crept upon him with a vengeance, echoing Ashley’s certainty.
      Death is not dying, my friend, Bob had said. And dying is not death.
      Laugh in your next last breath, Jessica had told him. It’ll make dying a second time easier.
      Do you realize now that every moment is precious? George had asked, and added, Just remember that shadows hide in the light too.      “Shadows in the light,” Logan said as the last torch sputtered. He gave in to the voices, determined to defeat them, and looked down at the planks under his feet.
      The darkness was all his now, and he was a part of it. Ready to kick its ass again.
      Except for one tiny, minor thing.
      Without the torchlight, a familiar pale blue luminescence pulsed from below. It seeped through the cracks between the floorboards. He’d seen it before, recognized it for what it was. He sucked in a sharp breath and started laughing again.
      “Kane, you son of a bitch,” he sputtered like the light of the last torch giving out. “You knew all along, planned it this way.”
      Whoever had built this old-fashioned town had founded it upon a quatrocyte deposit, unaware of the doom they’d pronounced upon its citizenry.
      Trying to hold his breath was pointless, and he breathed in the omnipresent gas of madness.

Praise for Beyond the Vale:

“Pure, uncut genius. Mind-blowing literature from the wicked mind of a master.”
– L. Bachman, award-winning author of The Blasphemer series

“Kerry Alan Denney twists time and reality to bring us a compelling story of regret, forgiveness, and redemption. Rarely have I seen this type of depth offered in such a fast-paced, action-packed book. Throw in a healthy sprinkling of Denney’s wit and some shadow creatures and spirit guides, and you have the perfect ingredients for a tale that will satisfy even the greatest of literary appetites. Eat up!”
– Mark Reefe, author of The Road to Jericho and El Sendero

“Every time I begin a Kerry Alan Denney book, I’m reminded that I’m entering the mind of a master of his craft. Beyond the Vale takes the reader on an odyssey almost as epic as Homer.”
– James Master, author of The Book of Roland

Author Bio:

Colleagues and readers have dubbed Kerry Alan Denney, The Reality Bender.

The multiple award-winning author of the post-apocalyptic/ urban fantasy A Mighty Rolling Thunder, the paranormal thrillers Marionettes, Soulsnatcher, and Dreamweavers, and the post-apocalyptic sci-fi/ horror thriller Jagannath, as well as numerous published short stories, Denney blends elements of the supernatural, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror in his work: speculative fiction at its wildest and craziest. With joy, malicious glee, and a touch of madness, he writes reality-bending thrillers—even when the voices don’t compel him to.

He lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia with Holly Jolly, his 11-year-old Golden retriever and veteran professional Therapy Dog, where he’s currently writing his next thriller . . . and deciding who to kill in it.

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