Healers: A Novel by Brooke Reynolds is an enchanting, surprise dive into an urban fantasy world that both delights and shocks readers on a number of levels. Dr. Scott Weaver is an experienced and highly talented trauma surgeon who also has aspects of the “God Complex” in his psyche and is tormented by the demon of drink. One evening, when he did not expect to be called in, he reports for surgery while drunk, makes a fatal error on a gunshot wound, and loses his patient. Refusing to lie to the investigating board, Scott is suspended and then deregistered as a doctor. Bereft and alone with only alcohol and drugs as his solace, Scott chooses suicide as the way out and blows out his brains. He wakes to find himself back in Blister City in his own personal purgatory, given a second chance to make a difference as a “healer”. With his healing powers, Scott could do great work but instead, he chooses the seedy, run-down, nightlife of Blister City as his habitat and wastes his healing powers for a full seven years. Sent a talking dog, Malakai, with attitude, to bring him to his senses and remind him of the short time left to redeem himself, Scott and Malakai set out to “heal” as many of the good citizens of Blister City before he is recalled and a final decision made as to his disposition.
Healers: A Novel took me completely by surprise. Author Brooke Reynolds has created a dark, violent, seedy, “noir” to match the grittiest crime novels and yet there is a whimsical, passionate, and romantic side to the tale that shines through the filth and the crud. For a debut novel, the author has struck exactly the right tone in her narrative. I particularly loved the interactions between Scott and Malakai that invariably drew out the best humanist responses from Scott. Admittedly, the talking dog was a shock but it was beautifully done and lifted this novel well above its competitors in the genre. I also appreciated the two sides of Dr. Scott Weaver, the cynic who hated himself versus the humanitarian nature that had first driven him to medicine and the power to heal. The passionate and deep relationships that Scott formed with Barry, Ginger, Nancy, Layla, and even Malakai show the true, caring nature of a man who had truly gone off the rails but never completely lost himself and that just earns this author much more credit. Brooke Reynolds has a style that takes you deep inside the minds of the participants and you truly feel invested in the actions and the outcomes. This was one book I absolutely didn’t want to end, so if I had one complaint, it was too short. I can highly recommend it and look forward to the next offering from this talented author.
In anticipation for my upcoming novel HEALERS to be published by Adelaide Books, I submitted to their annual short story award contest. This is the 3rd year in a row that I have submitted a story to the contest.
In 2018, I submitted Knick Knack Wars, a cute story about a battle at the nursing home between two men decorating the outside of their rooms. This story was originally published with Defenestration. It was a finalist for the 2018 awards.
In 2019, I submitted Livestock Auction, a horror story where a simple trip to the county fair has more hidden secrets then one realizes. The story was originally published with Ink Stains. It was a finalist in short story for the 2019 awards.
This year I submitted one of my newer stories, Appalachian Curses. It is a horror story about a meeting with a witch while walking in the woods. It was originally published at The Horror Zine. This year I got so much closer…Appalachian Curses was named one of the Shortlist Winners. This was a big accomplishment and shows how much my writing has improved. The story will be featured in the 2020 anthology to be released on February 27th. I will also be featured in the March 2021 issue of Adelaide Magazine. Overall this is just good press for my upcoming book release.
The book is being printing now. All the edits and final proofreads are complete. This has been quite a journey that started about four years ago as the outline pictured below.
Hopefully some of you are asking, “Where can I get this book?”
Good news. Just about everywhere. It will be available through Amazon in print and all digital format as well as your major bookstores. Or help out my publisher and purchase directly through them…ADELAIDE BOOKS NY.
Either way I hope you read it. Here are some blurbs to give you a little glimpse into what the book is about:
This debut novel by Brooke Reynolds doesn’t pull its punches. A supernatural tale which exposes the best and worst qualities of the human condition. Darkness, light, violence and sexuality collide within the pages – resulting in a moving and personal account of a troubled soul struggling with the age-old question of what is the morally correct path to take when faced with a morally corrupt world. – Ian Sputnik – Sanitarium Magazine
In the gritty, noir world of blinking neon, hard booze and flawed humanity, HEALERS raises the question of what it means to save a life, and what it means to live. This page-turner is glowing with redemption, as welcoming as a warm heart in a cold city. – Monica Drake, award winning author of CLOWN GIRL and THE STUD BOOK
“Buckle up for this rollercoaster ride of a novel that blends neo-noir, fantasy, and the transgressive into a dark, compelling, ribald tale filled with humor, tragedy, and somehow—hope. If Jim Butcher and Chuck Palahniuk had a child, it might look something like Healers.” —Richard Thomas, author Disintegration, and the Thriller Award nominee, Breaker
Just a little update for those of you still following along…
Thankfully, my first novel, HEALERS, is still on schedule to be published in February 2021. With Covid, pre-production has been delayed. But everything is still on schedule. Be on the look out for TONS of updates as the big day draws near…cover photos, book signings, and all the info about when and where you can get a copy.
While so much bad is and will be associated with 2020, a lot of GOOD has come out of it for me as well.
It is the year my son, Jacob, was born. It was the year that I found creativity as an outlet again and started writing again after taking off close to 2 years. It was also a year of family, finding ways to have fun and create memories with my little family and drawing closer with my work family. It was also the year I started my 2nd novel. With hope and tons of determination, hopefully you all will get to see that in print some day as well. I’m up to over 20,000 words…averaging 10K+ words a month. With rewrites and editing and shopping for publishers +/- agents, we’re looking at easily 2-3 yrs out. But I found a way to put words on the page and I’m grateful for that.
So as always, thanks for reading and updates will be provided soon.