BRIMSTONE TURNPIKE edited by Kealan Patrick Burke. Forest Hill, MD; CD Publications; 2008. 1st edition hardcover.
Each of us chooses a path through life without knowing where it will lead. There may come good fortune, or misery, joy, or death. It is not for us to know.
But sometimes we are handed an opportunity to alter our destiny, though we may not recognize it when it's there before us. It might be a lottery ticket, or an ad in the newspaper. It might also be an old man named Johnny Divine, and the treasures he keeps in a battered red leather suitcase at the Brimstone Turnpike.
On a lonesome stretch of deserted highway, amid the ruins of a gas station with a tragic past, Johnny waits in the searing sun for those who have found their way off the beaten path, off the map, and into a place where dreams can come true and nightmares become real, depending on the choices made.
Welcome to the Brimstone Turnpike, where the choice is yours.
Join wayward travelers Thomas F. Monteleone, Scott Nicholson, Tim Waggoner, Harry Shannon and Mike Oliveri, as we take a trip into the heart of darkness, where a gift from a silver-toothed old man can mean the difference between life and death.
Reviews & Praise:
"This eerie collection includes five chilling tales with a common motif—a deserted highway with a ruined gas station where an old black man gives a traveler a special gift that could change his or her destiny. From Thomas F. Monteleone's story of a reporter's collision with the truth ("The Prime Time of Spenser Golding") to Harry Shannon's depiction of a detective's journey into darkness ("Behold the Child"), these tales delve into the realm of nightmare and wish fulfillment. Contributions by Scott Nicholson, Tim Waggoner, and Mike Oliveri, together with a narrative thread by editor Burke, round out this anthology; for larger horror collections."
— Library Journal.
"Life as a highway is an archetype: we may know from whence we come, but we know not whither we go. We frequently get lost, but sometimes we are given a chance, a guide, an opportunity to change direction. In these five stories, the guide is Johnny Divine, an old man with a tragic past, sitting in the ruins of a gas station on Brimstone Turnpike. His battered suitcase holds treasures for those who dare to accept them. Thomas Monteleone’s hard-nosed journalist receives a pair of spectacles ("Dey . . . hep ya see real good"); Harry Shannon’s alcoholic LAPD detective, a child’s toys; Scott Nicholson’s protagonist, pieces of very special pie; the unhappy wife going camping to repair her marriage in Michael Oliveri’s contribution, a necklace; and the dutiful young woman Tim Waggoner presents, bound to see the grandmother she fears, a rock and a hard-to-open jewelry box. Each story features high-quality characterization and plotting. All are so well attuned to the theme that the book reads more seamlessly than many novels."
Fine in fine dj. Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED hardcover edition of 600 copies, SIGNED BY ALL CONTRIBUTORS.