14 January 2013

Gerald Costlow's Crazy Jack

Crazy Jack is the first book-length story in the Appalachia supernatural romance series, with more to come this summer.

In this tale we are introduced to Crazy Jack, a local character who is…well,
. He hears voices in his head that he claims are animal spirits that can even take over his body. He’s in love with Elizabeth, a young Sherritt witch living way back on the ridge, struggling to make ends meet while trying to raise her orphaned nephew. She loves him in return, but has real doubts about the wisdom of marrying someone like Jack.

Then Crazy Jack is accused of murder and becomes a hunted man, both by the sheriff who wants him in jail and the murdered man’s kin who just want him dead. Elizabeth believes he is innocent and must call upon the powers of her Sherritt blood and get help from her own kin before the mountain erupts into a clan feud. And of course, Crazy Jack is not going to take being framed for murder lying down.

Set in the world of
A Distant Call and Deal with the Devil, this new book-length story explores the Appalachia world of our lovers and heroes, revisits old friends and introduces new ones while giving you an exciting love story full of action and adventure. Secrets hinted at in the previous stories are revealed, some questions answered (such as how the Sherritt witches came to be living in that mountain holler in the first place) and new secrets hinted at. While part of a larger tapestry with much still to be written, Crazy Jack
stands on its own with no problem following the story and characters.


Indian Territory, 1824
The angel whistled as he strolled into the stables connected to the smithy. He patted his mule on the neck before walking over to get the saddle and blanket. It was a fine day for riding.
"Going somewhere in a hurry, Sabrathan?" said a melodious voice behind him.
The angel whipped around at the sound of his true name, but he had already recognized the voice. "Heading for church, actually," he replied. "Why don't you join me? You'll like what I'm doing with a choir. It's nothing like our Heavenly Host, of course, but still beautiful in a primitive way."
Zaphiel was sitting on a barrel, arms folded, looking relaxed, like he'd just been traveling through the neighborhood and stopped by for a friendly visit. He hadn't even bothered to change out of the standard tunic and sandals, so this was a private chat. Sabrathan hoped that would remain the case.
"You're doing more than leading the Sunday service, aren't you?" Zaphiel asked. "Last time I checked, you were a blacksmith helping these people make peace with the local tribes. Seems you're the doctor, now."
Oh, oh. "Well, their regular doctor died a few years ago and the settlement had two blacksmiths, so…" Sabrathan looked down and scuffed some mule droppings off the bottom of his boot. "I started setting broken bones and helping out with a few deliveries, that sort of thing."
"It's a tough life, carving a home out of the wilderness. Death comes easy and often. How many people have died while under your care?"
Sabrathan decided not to delay the inevitable. "All right, I admit it! None of them, if you really want to know. I give them some extra help. What am I supposed to do, watch them die when I have the power to heal? They're good people. They're my friends!"
Zaphiel sighed and looked out at the little collection of cabins. "You're not God. It's not up to you, to decide who lives and dies. You're not the first guardian angel to cross the line and start making with the miracles. You think just this once and then just one moreand before long, it's every time one of them gets into trouble."
Title: Crazy Jack
Author: Gerald Costlow
Publisher: Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Historical
Heat Level: Sweet
Length: 120 pages
Rating: 4
Crazy Jack by Gerald Costlow packs a great deal of story into 120 pages.
Falsely accused of murder Jack has to run for cover, but not before he stops to warn Elizabeth, the woman he loves of the turn of events and why he won’t be around for a while.
While Elizabeth returns Jack’s love she has serious reservations about his ability to communicate with animal spirits. And herein lies my one niggle with this book.
Elizabeth is a member of the Sherritt family of witches, so I found it hard to understand her difficulty to accept that her love and lover can ‘talk to the animals’. And now that my one little nit is out of the way, let me go on to tell you what makes this story such a great read.
Excellent writing. Costlow has a fluent writing style that pulls his readers into the moment, the events, setting and emotions of his characters. He has the ability to have you thoroughly disliking the bad guys with very little persuasion. He creates frustrations with the characters that act like real human beings in life. Those who let their doubts rule them, those that are biased and prejudiced against those deemed to be witches, even those people have done nothing to harm the villagers. And of course, to fall in love with Elizabeth and Jack.
Ignorance and arrogance are partnered in Mick as he weaves his web of lies and deceit and draws in his mates, and even his powerful and influential father, to shift the blame when the end result of a card game goes bad.
While there is plenty of evil, there is an abundance of warmth and loving relationships from Elizabeth’s family, until that is, she discovers her nephew is a warlock; a discovery could lead to his destruction.
Sandwiched between the murderous hunt for Crazy Jack and trying to protect her nephew from the rest of her family Elizabeth becomes a victim of circumstances.
The importance of trust, of family, and the consequence when these things are forgotten or ignored, runs through Crazy Jack’s story. And it is how Costlow weaves all these elements together that held my attention.
This is a story that encompasses evil, goodness, and beliefs beyond the everyday and yet is charming, warm and a highly satisfying read.
Now available in eBook or paperback at a low price from your favorite online bookstores.

Bio: Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan with his wife and a house full of critters. His first novel, The Weaving, and a pair of novellas titled A Plethory of Powers were published in 2010 to great reviews. His short stories have appeared in a dozen or so anthologies and magazines over the years.

Leave a comment - including your email addy- and I'll pick a handful of visitors to send free ebook versions of my book to.

To learn more about the previous stories in the Appalachia supernatural romance series published by Rebecca J Vickery, go to http://onceuponaword1.blogspot.com/p/gerald-costlow.html


1 comment:

Gerald Costlow said...

I want to thank Sherry for the kind review, and let anyyone who leaves a comment know that if you give me a way to email you, I'll pick a handful of visitors to send free ebook versions of my book to.

I seem to have mangled that last sentence, but it's too early and the coffee hasn't kicked in so I'll end with that proposition with the preposition.