A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Ash and BoneAsh and Bone by Lisa von Biela
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ash and Bone by Lisa Von Biela is a 2014 Darkfuse publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Eileen packs up what she can carry and takes off on a quest to leave her rather sordid past behind and start a new life for herself. She and her dog, Beau, are passing through a very small harbor town named Cromwell Bay, when she discovers a run down motel and the wheels start spinning in her mind. She looks into purchasing the motel and the real estate agent is all too happy to have a buyer. Things are going very smoothly except for one thing... room number 8. Beau will not go near it and Eileen is chilled to bone while cleaning the room no matter what the weather is. But, it's nothing she can't handle until the guest begin to complain about nightmares after spending the night in # 8.
Finally, Eileen decides to look into the history of the motel. The nervous real estate agent explains that the motel has no sordid history, but once upon a time a mill stood where the motel was built and it burned to the ground killing several of the workers.
When Frank , a freelance journalist, is traveling back home after attending a funeral, he finds himself in a state of sheer exhaustion. He stops in Cromwell Bay to stay the night. Eileen gives him the key to room # 8. Frank experiences some of the most vivid and horrific nightmares he' s ever had. Eileen tells him the story of the mill and it's demise, setting off Frank's investigative instincts. Now, after all these years will the workers who lost their lives in the mill finally get justice? Will the truth come out about what really happened during the fire ?
This is a perfect story to tell around a campfire or read on a dark cold winter night. I love ghost stories because in most instances the hauntings have a purpose and that was certainly the case here. A cautionary tale in many respects, the author examines the damage done by being too stubborn, too controlling, and too greedy to do the right thing and having it come back to haunt you... literally. Once a good portion of the mystery comes to light, lives in the small harbor town will never be the same. Some will have peace , while others will grapple with the consequences of their actions. Overall the story will give you a little chill down your spine and raise the hairs on the back of neck without graphic, overly detailed violence. In other words, the author created an imaginative story that will suck you in by creating a slow build up of suspense and using her skills as a writer to create an atmosphere that will have you on the edge of your seat. A horror story and a mystery combine to give the reader the perfect thrill. I loved it! Overall this one is an A+.

Lisa von Biela worked in Information Technology for 25 years, and still claims there is no application she cannot break in testing. She left the field to attend the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 2009. She now practices law in Seattle, Washington. One of her legal articles, a research piece published in the Food and Drug Law Journal, was cited in an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lisa's first publication was in The Edge in 2002. She went on to publish a number of short works in various small press venues, including Gothic.net, Twilight Times, Dark Animus, AfterburnSF, and more.

She is the author of THE GENESIS CODE, THE JANUS LEGACY, ASH AND BONE (due May 13, 2014), BLOCKBUSTER (coming January 2015), and SKINSHIFT (coming June 2015).

Previous Work (earliest to most recent):

"Vacancy" (THE EDGE #15)

"Gift Horse" (Horrorfind's Fiction Page)

"Hunting with the Boys" (The Swamp)

"The Performance" (Alien Skin)

"Chain Reaction" (Alien Skin)

"Riptide" (Gothic.net)

"Diversions" (DARK ANIMUS)

"Lost and Found" (Naked Snake Online)

"Resolve" (Twilight Times)

"The Scalpel's Path" (Twilight Times)

"Unintended Consequences" (The Dark Krypt)

"Halcyon House" (The Dark Krypt)

"Waiting" (Flashquake nonfiction)

"Dodge and Burn" (Whispering Spirits)

"Exodus Hotel" (Dark Recesses)

"Final Approach" (Dark Recesses)

"Hideout" (AfterburnSF)

"Meat Market" (BLACK INK HORROR #6)

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