The calm waters of Lake Olivia portray a sense of idyllic life, but locals know that all is not as it seems in these short stories of mystery and suspense.
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When Dr. Andrew Rosselli and his wife relocate from Tampa to her hometown of Olivia, he brings with him his beloved Cabo 35 Express, lax professional and moral ethics, and his perceived superiority. Rosselli’s blasé existence in the sticks takes a sharp turn when a boat capsizes on the chimney of a submerged house near his secluded rural health clinic, threatening him and his medicinal allocations with unwanted attention from the local sheriff’s department.
Widower Fayette Moseley alleviates the loneliness at home by adopting a dog from the local shelter and trying his hand at homemade blackberry wine. By day, he runs a vintage press at Preston Prints in downtown Olivia. When the pastor of school-aged coworker Jeremy is hired on, the boy is noticeably apprehensive. Fayette reluctantly returns to the mystical waters of his own childhood for answers concerning young Jeremy and the oily preacher moonlighting as a pressman.
Anne Adams’s favorite season is upon her, and she’s already received the most precious gift she could ever imagine—sole custody of her granddaughter, Abigail. But holiday cheer is hard to find in the foreboding foothills of Myer County. When the dreadful actions of her estranged daughter, Cassidy, are revealed at trial, Anne discovers her good fortune has come at a most disheartening price.
Billy’s Friday night guitar lessons with his friend, mentor, and guitar hero Russell Sumner are the highlight of his week. Though Russell’s fingers never miss a note, the aging picker’s mind is failing him. Billy’s family and friends start to wonder if Russell’s increasingly far-fetched tales and accusations could be more than what his nephew, caretaker, and heir apparent, Kenny Sumner, has dismissed as symptoms of mild sundowning.
From afar the Southern Appalachians appear majestic and pure, but within what the Cherokees called “the land of blue smoke” lurk hidden evils not listed in the guidebooks.
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Ray Solomon can leave his hometown behind. His wife and daughter too. But Ray’s past actions and his thirst for alcohol have followed him to the foothills of Southern Appalachia. Here, his attempt to start a new life on peaceful Lake Olivia falls apart in brutal fashion.
It was the final day of the 1982 World’s Fair and banker Finley Cross’s annual Halloween party epitomized the era of endless money, luxury cars, grandiose homes, bulging bags of coke, and bloated egos. But the next day, as masks lay strewn about the floors of the criminally wealthy, the hangovers would not be relieved with aspirin and a Bloody Mary.
It’s 1969 and Bobby Tolliver is doing his best to keep his family “normal” after his wife’s death. But the Tolliver clan has a history lawlessness, even when they are the law. Bobby learns the depths of human depravity after discovering a girl chained up in a shed on his family’s property.
Gerald McNabb is dying of cancer. The loathsome liveaboard attempts to clear his conscience by offering his caregiver his account of the massacre on Whistle Mountain during the summer of ’69. Is the old man’s mind failing along with his body? Or, did twelve-year-old Gerald have a connection to the mysterious resort?
What brought Bobby Tolliver and young Gerald McNabb to the Whistle Mountain Resort on that infamous night?