by Steve Peek
Welcome to the Longclaws book blast. This one-of-a-kind horror novel by Steve Peek is an amazing journey into a different kind of horror story, with a new version of the mythology the reader might not expect. With an average of 4.7 stars out of 5, this is an amazing book that will take you places you don't expect. Interested? Read more!
This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by The Finishing Fairies. Keep an eye out for the book tour coming later in the year.
Their world is crowded with active volcanoes, sulfur and acid rains, permanent thick clouds turn day into deep twilight. It is a violent place: moment-to-moment survival is victory, every creature is constantly predator and prey, sleep is certain death.
This is home to the Longclaws, beings of super-human speed, strength and senses. Their predatory skills allow them only a tenuous niche in their hellish environment. Though smart and fierce, their rank in the food chain is far below the top. One clan leader draws from ancient legends of paradise and devises a plan to escape and take his clan to the otherworld - a world filled with slow, defenceless prey.
The clan activates an Indian mound deep in southern forests and enters our world - hungry for prey.
Torrential rains and washed out bridges force a runaway teen, an old dowser and a Cherokee healer to face the horrors of the clan's merciless onslaught.
Mankind's legends are filled with vampires, werewolves, dragons and other nightmarish. Perhaps our legend of hell is based on the world of the Longclaws.
After Father came home from work, they piled into their family car: a six-year-old 1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic station wagon. Painted hunter green, their car possessed real wood trim around the side windows.
He and his brother sat on blankets in the back, where the third seat had been laid flat to create space for them and the two suitcases. Tom’s sisters - Amanda and Allison - occupied the backseat, with a picnic basket between them.
The basket contained sandwiches and cookies, as well as two of their mother’s green-apple pies that she had made for the new widow in Alabama. Tires in those days were real rubber and produced hypnotic, whining sounds as the car cruised along the highway, causing occasional dogs to give chase.
Their father started the car and enumerated the road-trip rules for the Mason family, which applied only to the Mason kids: no horseplay, no loud talking, no teasing brothers or sisters. They could play games, talk, or tell stories, but in low voices. If they stopped, everyone would go to the bathroom, real bathroom available or not. Their estimated time of arrival was 10:00 p.m. The host family and their guests might all be asleep or ready for bed, so as soon as introductions concluded, the kids were to go to sleep wherever their host placed them.
The Futuramic hummed through the moonless darkness. Boredom settled in, and sleep overtook all the kids except Tom. Tom clipped his Boy Scout flashlight to the neck of his T-shirt and reread the Superman annual comic book for the thirtieth time.
Tom felt the car slow and then turn onto a dirt road packed hard by a summer of little rain. The tires vibrated on short stretches of washboard ruts in the dirt road. Tom sensed the edge of motion sickness, so he put away his comic and sat up to stare out the back window through an accumulating layer of reddish dust.
His brother, Russ, slept at his side. At fourteen - the oldest of the Mason kids - their parents expected Russ to become the surrogate father when adults were absent. Tom never admitted it, but he idolized his brother. Russ was as close to a hero as Tom could imagine. Tom knew he could depend on Russ, no matter what.
Amanda, two years Tom’s senior, was the more feminine of the two sisters. Allison - one year older than her sister and the prettier of the two - preferred mud fights and tree climbing to dolls and frilly dresses. She tried to mother Tom when he hurt himself or fell ill, but Tom would have none of it.
Tom stared out the back window. The taillights cast a scary, red glow behind the car as the tires kicked up dust, which twisted into horizontal dirt-devils streaming from the rear of the car. Beyond the red glow of the taillights, the complete darkness frightened Tom a little.
Tom's father and mother exchanged words. His mom twisted her body and faced the backseats. “Wake up kids. We are going to be there in a few minutes. Wake up and make yourselves presentable.”
The sisters stirred, emerging from whatever dreams had been born of the bouncy car and the background rhythm of the eight-cylinder engine.
Mother looked past the girls at him and said, “Tom, wake up your brother. We are almost there.”
Knowing they would be at their mysterious destination soon, Tom’s phobia of meeting new people - especially new kids - welled up, feeling like the anxiety of walking to school to face a waiting bully.
Without taking his eyes off the illuminated portion of the road, their father said aloud, as if making an announcement over the school intercom, “I want you on your best behavior. The folks here are good people. They are our relatives. If an adult asks you to do something, do it.”
He cleared his throat and continued, “So mind your Ps and Qs. Oh, and one more thing: last time I visited, they did not have a bathroom in the house; they have an outhouse.”
He paused as if preparing to issue a warning or instruction, thought better, and simply said, “You’ll get used to it. But until you do, no complaining.”
Tom saw some lights up ahead: an island in the dark.
When they turned right onto the track serving as the driveway to the old country house standing fifty yards from the road, Tom looked at the layout. The front yard was not really a yard at all. Once part of a forest, it had been cleared long ago, and now only a few huge pine trees were left, rising over beds of needles. Tall grass grew here and there, but gave way to dirt paths where people had walked between the pines.
Light came from every window. An electrical wire stretched fifty feet from the top of the front porch to the biggest pine tree Tom had ever seen. Six bare bulbs - affixed to the wire - dangled about seven feet above the ground.
In one of the circles of light beneath the wire, folding chairs formed a perimeter. The chairs were occupied by men of all ages. In the center of the group, where a fire might be in fall, sat a large washtub filled with melted ice and bottles of Coca-Cola, RC, and Nehi soda pop. The men stopped talking to study the Masons’ car.
“Hello, stranger,” one of them called, walking toward their car. Their father nearly leapt out of the car and grabbed the man’s extended hand, which quickly pulled them together for a hug.
Russ and Tom climbed out the tailgate and stood alongside the car, watching as a group of twelve or fifteen men and kids approached from the string of light bulbs.
The house looked as if it had never seen a coat of paint. The gray planks warped and strained against the rusty nails, which bled dark-red streaks from years of rain. The steep, tin roof was nearly invisible in the night sky. Where the main metal roof ended, another began. A shallow slope formed a roof for the porch, which ran across the front and left sides of the house.
Underneath the porch roof, bare bulbs with dangling pull-strings cast a yellow glow on all the women sitting in rockers. Conversation halted while they examined the new arrivals.
“This is my cousin, Royce.” Their father indicated the man he’d hugged.
“Hello, Royce,” their mother replied with a smile, adding, “Children, say hello to your cousin Royce.”
The man was tall and thin, but somehow seemed stronger than he looked.
“Hello, ma’am,” he said, offering his hand to their mother.
It took me all of 5 hours to read this book. That's counting snack breaks! This book is a page turner, once you enter; you do not want to come back out! This author is a fabulous story teller and his story is woven flawlessly with consistency and attention to detail! I felt as if I were standing in the middle of the scenes taking place! Love the Harley character in the beginning; he brought some humor into it with him and his ways. I look forward to reading Alien Agenda! I am seriously considering Steve Peek as one of my new favorite authors! Great job!
From the Author
The first draft of this yarn was completed in 1984. Since then it has been rewritten more times than a sane person would consider. Had it not been for the success of another of my books, Alien Agenda, on Kindle, it would have remain undisturbed until one of my children found it after my death.
Longclaws, previously entitled Night Clan, stems from my enduring fascination with ancient history, physics, and parallel dimensions. Two of my other books: Otherworld and Alien Agenda share these roots.
I hate horror books and movies where people and/or monsters do stupid things. As characters and situations developed in the writing of Longclaws I tried very hard to not let anything stupid take place. Hopefully, you will tell me if something got through.
About the Author
Steve Peek has only recently seriously taken to writing. Though he wrote and managed to have a couple of books published during his life, something clicked a few years ago and now, for better or worse, he sits at his table researching and writing about things that interest him.
His wife, Annie takes care of him. She keeps him eating too well and laughing often in their old farmhouse halfway up the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Steve’s forty year career in the game industry allowed him to travel extensively and explore histories and myths of peoples and places.
His books on Amazon include: Longclaws, Alien Agenda, Coyote Dreaming, Otherworld, and The Game Inventors Handbook.
In addition to writing, he works in a vegetable garden trying not to be herbicidal, walks in the woods with a rescued dog and gathers imaginary eggs from a few cut-out, wooden hens. He loves all things ancient and appreciates the magic of life and the interconnection of all things.
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