* BookBub * GoodReads * StoneWall Society * AuthorsDen * Blogger * YouTube * AllAuthor * Read a funny and free eBook that revisits the West Texas setting of The Acorn Stories.
Tweets by @DuaneSimolke
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Content warnings: Violence, gore, homophobia, elements of racism, mental health issues
The pills only help if the monsters aren’t real. Sadly, Devon McKenzie figured that out a little too late.
Running from his homophobic father and a mental diagnosis he’s unwilling to accept, Devon finds himself in Sudbury where the people are friendly, the parks are quiet and a looming shadow cast by the local Centre taints the idyllic village life.
Unfortunately for Devon, the Centre is his only hope of maintaining his new-found freedom.
Selling his blood to an organization that no one seemed to truly know anything about wasn’t very high on his list of things to do but after signing a contract, Devon finds himself as bound to the Centre as the poor souls that came before him.
The contract promised money and security, it didn’t say a thing about dead donors, a mysterious shadow dog that was definitely a wolf, or the return of horrific visions that Devon thought he’d buried when he’d left the psychiatric institution that his parents had sent him to years ago.
As the Centre’s secrets continue to grow, Devon begins to realize that Sudbury isn’t the quaint little village he believed it to be. Monsters linger behind every gentle smile and the more Devon digs, the weaker his grip on his sanity becomes.
With another donor’s life hanging in the balance, Devon finds himself in a race against time to figure out what the Centre is truly hiding before it’s too late for all of them.
But the only truth that exists in the quiet town of Sudbury, is that what you see isn’t always what you get and a few drops of blood may be worth more than humanity could possibly imagine.
His final destination was Sudbury, a small village just east of the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Sudbury boasted a population of just over 17,000 people, if the brochure at his motel was to be believed, but that was all Devon knew about the place. His ignorance didn’t bother him because if he didn’t know Sudbury, then chances were that his family wouldn’t know the place either, making the likelihood of him being found beyond slim.
Not that Devon thought any of his family would come looking, especially not his dad.
It had only been two days since he had packed what he could and fled before his dad woke from his alcohol-induced stupor, but Devon knew he wasn’t going to get his old life back.
Because two days ago, he’d still been living a lie.
Two days ago, he’d had a family and a home.
Two days ago, he’d been outed as gay.
A gust of cold air ripped him from his melancholy thoughts, prompting him to pick up his pace as he jammed his fingers into his pockets in an attempt to combat the chill.
There were few ways to make quick money in a new place like this one and Devon’s current destination was the only place that he was sure would accept him.
As if summoned, the building rose in the distance, a towering monolith set against the backdrop of the midday sun, right where the motel clerk had told him it would be. The Centre was all glass and gleaming white walls, a rose growing among the weeds of the older buildings around it. It spiraled heavenwards in an architectural design that many had labeled pretentious, but pretentious or not, it was Devon’s only hope of supporting himself.
The courtyard was empty, the benches bare, and there was no sight of another human—or even an animal—anywhere around. It was like a ghost town compared to the hustle and bustle that Devon had left behind at the motel.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Monday, March 22, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Visit RLWood.Rocks Book Reviews to read the full review, find reviews of many other books, and read about the Dark Little Women Series.
The Acorn Stories by @DuaneSimolke— RLWood.Rocks Book Reviews (@RLWoodBooks) March 20, 2021
Check out this #BookReview peeps
You're going to love this book! ❤️🧡💛💚💙
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Friday, March 12, 2021
Set in an alternate reality, the Taldra novels focus on gays, people of color, and powerful women. Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure flings an Iroquois family into a battle across time and space. In Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure, alien shapeshifters and dark secrets threaten humanity. Both works appear in this specially priced eBook.
“Creative and unique.” —R.L. Wood. Read this SciFi Book Review.
“I hope to see more by this author.” —Emily. Read this SciFi Book Review.
From an earlier review:
“Edge-of-your-seat action, scenes that detail the turmoil and terror of an alien attack and an inside look at love and acceptance for humanity’s differences.” —Tome Tender. Read this SciFi Book Review.
Monday, March 01, 2021
The Acorn Stories review(s) will appear soon at The Traveling Book Review Project. Visit that site for details, to learn about more books, and to suggest other titles for review. Blurbs from reviews The Acorn Stories received elsewhere:
- “A lush tangle of small-town life branches out in this engrossing collection of short stories.” –Kirkus Reviews
- “Duane Simolke is one of our great American writers just ready to be recognized as such. He has the talent and the imagination and the humanity and the perspective to make each of our lives richer. Bravo!” –Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer
- “I found this book to be a perfect vacation companion.” –A. Chandler, #1 Amazon.Com reviewer
- “These highly believable settings and naturally developed characters could be anywhere in the nation.” —TMDGReviews
- “I love the numerous small wins of the characters and the unexpected turns of luck.” –Billy O.
- “Having spent quite a bit of time in Texas, I could see each character matching someone I know or have met in my time there.” –Noel D
- “Amazing and hard to put down.” –Kimmie Sue’s Book Review and More
- “Snapshots of the lives of people and their life-changing encounters that will leave lasting impressions on you.” –Michelle Williams
- “Readers who enjoy immersive first person stories about small town life and the human condition will love this book.” –Purple
- “The author demonstrates a healthy understanding of human nature.” –John H. Mangold
- “Amazing and hard to put down.” –Kimmie Sue’s Book Review and More
- “A talented, insightful author.” –E. Conley, Betty's Books
- “The town is Acorn, Texas, and it is a representation of all of the tiny places, or wide places in the road that dot America.” –jonboy
- “If you liked WINESBURG, OHIO . . . rejoice.” –Watchword
- “By the time you have finished reading these tales of the people who inhabit the fictitious town of Acorn, Texas, population 21,001, you will have met some endearing as well as irritating characters, from the Mayor to the local would-be gigolo; from the busy-bodies to the business owners; from those who grew up in Acorn and have tried to escape the small town to those who have moved to Acorn to escape from the real world.” –Ronald L. Donaghe, author of Uncle Sean
- “A well-crafted collection of short stories.” –L. L. Lee, author of Taxing Tallula
- “It was a real pleasure to read about the fictional town of Acorn, Texas.” –Mark Kendrick, author of Desert Sons
- “Simolke makes good use of his vivid imagination in creating credible dialogue and satirical images.” –Huda Orfali, author of Blue Fire
- “There are people that you like, some that you can't wait to see if they get theirs.” –Joe Wright, StoneWall Society
- “Each of Simolke's stories lets us look into the lives of some of the most interesting characters I have ever read about.” –Amos Lassen, Literary Pride
- “When you finish, when you put the book aside, Acorn will still be with you.” –E. Carter Jones, author of Absence of Faith
- “I highly recommend this book!” –Richard Carlson, author of Jeremy Grabowski's Crazy Summer in Stormville!
- “…reminds us that nobody is perfect and that everyone is just trying to get by in life either it be by hurting others or by trying to change their life for the better.” —The Abstract
Sunday, February 28, 2021
In every story, humans are the weaker species. They are defeated. They fall. They become cattle.
Of course, this is absurd.
In the real world, humans survive and conquer. They remain the dominant species.
For Gyldan Crawford, this is a blessing and a curse. Working for a man who sells tools to regulate vampires and werewolves means Gyldan can provide for his household. But, as the only human living in the house, his choice of profession has always been a sore point... until his friends decide to make use of his position to fight back.
Gyldan is forced to keep several plates spinning—one that makes him the perfect personal assistant to his boss, Albion Saint-Richter; one that supports his friends in taking down his employer; and one that keeps his intimate relationship with Albion a secret. He really doesn't have time for another plate to be added to his frantic performance. But when an unknown entity starts killing off Albion's competitors, the rumour mill starts churning: is the murderer a vampire, a werewolf, or a human?
An excerpt from the book:
Gyldan walked along the length of the display, his stomach churning as he beheld the collage of fear that papered the room. This was a war declaration against the majority, written with the bloodshed caused by a minority. A masterpiece of terror painted with a limited palette. Anyone who looked at this would assume the fourteen years of relative freedom for non-humans had been a bloodbath against humans. But Gyldan knew this was selective history at its finest, fuelled by human panic. There wasn’t a single mention of the blood spilt by humans against non-humans, of course. By this false account, humans had never lifted a violent hand against non-humans.
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Urban Fantasy
Content warnings: Gore, violence, fictional racism
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Sunday, February 07, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
#drama #gay #humor #lubbockauthors #peopleofcolor #poc #satire #shortstories #strongwomen #texas #westtexas
Friday, January 01, 2021
I'm more active on Twitter than my blog posts, but please follow me both places.
All of January 2021, take off 50% off the Taldra eBook at bn.com with the coupon code BNPTALDRA50. That eBook contains both Taldra scifi novels, Degranon and Sons of Taldra. I'm going to focus this year on writing the spinoff from the Taldra novels.