Good News For Mystery Fans!
FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS, the Kindle version of the critically acclaimed mystery novel, Winter Haven, is available for free!
Library Journal gave Winter Haven a starred review and called it “engrossing.” World Magazine called it “a page turning gothic tale.” Romantic Times said, “Top Pick! Nothing is as it seems in this novel by a gifted writer. Readers will be swept along with the suspense and paranormal elements, and they’ll be guessing until the final paragraph.”
Vera Gamble lost contact with her little brother thirteen years ago when he ran away from home. Then his corpse washes ashore on the remote island of Winter Haven, Maine. Vera goes to claim the body and discovers the impossible: her brother hasn’t aged a day since she last saw him.
Boys who never age, giants lost in time, mist that never rises, questions never asked…on the most remote of islands off the coast of Maine, history haunts the present and Vera Gamble wrestles with a past that will not yield. Will she find refuge there, or will her ghosts prevail on Winter Haven?
To get a free copy of Winter Haven for your Kindle, just click this link, and enjoy!
Please leave a comment, and…
The following in an excerpt from a review by Eric Wilson, an Amazon Top 500 reviewer.
OVER THE YEARS, Athol Dickson has produced some works of great literary depth and originality. I first discovered him through “They Shall See God,” a suspenseful tale with multiple plot threads, a thriller deserving more attention than it got. Next was “River Rising,” an evocative tale set in the bayous of Louisiana, full of historical mystery and character. Last year’s “The Cure” moved to the northeastern portion of the country, building from a deep character study into a story of mystery and some suspense. All of these were enjoyable reads.
“Winter Haven” stays north, moving this time off the coast of Maine to the island of Winter Haven. We are thrown into a world caught in the old traditions, where locals protect their secrets while trying to find ways to survive. When Vera shows up, as an outsider, she threatens their ways, but she is determined to find out why her brother’s body has washed up on their shores thirteen years after having last seen him. Even more bizarre to her is the fact that her brother’s corpse hasn’t aged a day.
Mixing the lonely chills and eerie settings of Stephen King’s “The Who Loved Tom Gordon” with the gothic feel of the classic “Rebecca,” this novel moves from one side of the island to the other as Vera searches out the truth. Though a richly detailed and atmospheric story, the pace moves right along once you settle into its ethereal feel. The search for truth is multi-layered, dealing with Vera’s childhood, her faith, her family, and the history of the island. In the end, everything she believes will be called into question–and, as she comes to realize, those questions are an important part of the journey.
Although the ending comes close to stretching credulity, Dickson’s mastery makes it pull together in a fashion that I embraced. We want Vera to understand. We want to believe along with her. Her dreams, her visions, and her nightmares, all have a purpose, and that’s what makes “Winter Haven” rise above the standard fair of gothic suspense.
If you like suspense novels, you’ll love They Shall See God. Beginning today (and for five days only) you can get a free Kindle copy of this critically acclaimed novel for free! Just follow this link to Amazon.
Even if you’ve read They Shall See God before, you’ll want to get another copy, because this is the second edition, which is completely rewritten and includes a new forward. It’s been over a decade since I wrote They Shall See God, and I put everything I’ve learned since then into the rewrite for this new free Kindle edition.
Also, did you know you can give a free Kindle edition to a friend? It’s easy! Just click the gold “Give as a Gift” button on the right side of the Amazon screen and enter their email address.
Now, can I ask a couple of favors?
First, please tell all of your friends. Tweet this free Kindle book offer, mention this offer on your blog or Facebook page, or click the “Like” button just below the book’s title at the top of They Shall See God’s Amazon page. Also, from there you can email the Amazon page, tweet your followers, post to Facebook, or pin the offer at Pinterest.
Second, please post an Amazon Review. Because people tend to buy books that have a lot of reader reviews, it would help my future sales a LOT if you would post an Amazon Review. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes. If you’ve never posted a review before, check out this article on how to do it in under five minutes.
Look for more offers like this in future posts, as my way of saying THANKS for your support and encouragement!
After nearly 36,000 Amazon Kindle readers have downloaded River Rising, Barnes & Noble Nook owners will be glad to hear River Rising is finally available on their electronic readers, too. To get your copy, just head over to the River Rising page at Barnes & Noble or click the link below. I’m excited about this news, and looking forward to getting all of my titles available on every format out there. Again, the River Rising page is linked for Nook owners below. Enjoy!
SO YOU READ one of my novels, and now you want to tell people about it? THANK YOU! No matter what you have to say about my novel, your review is important. It will let other visitors to Amazon know someone has read my books, which is vital in making an independently published author like myself visible to a wider audience.
Because we’re all busy, here are some tips for reviewing a book quickly:
The 5 second “Like” – If you really have no time, you can simply click the “like” button underneath the title. If you have another second or two, then you can also share the book’s Amazon page with your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest friends.
Rate someone else’s’ review – You’ll see the “Yes” and “No” buttons for this just below the person’s comments. Reviews with the most “helpful” votes appear on the buy page. By voting for the most informative reviews, you help move them to the head of the line. Have another minute? Click the link beside the buttons to leave a quick comment about their review. If you find a thoughtful, thorough review that helps you decide whether to buy the book, the reviewer will always welcome a little praise.
Tell people what you thought about the book - If you can spend a couple of minutes more, go ahead and leave your own review. Click on the text link that tells how many reviews the book already has. You’ll see that link beside the stars. Then click on the “Create Your Own Review” button to get started. You can keep it short. One or two sentences is fine. But if you want to say a little more, keep it informal. Just talk about the things you liked or disliked as you would with a friend over coffee or tea. Almost anything you have to say about your reading experience is fine. The only thing you should NOT do when reviewing a novel is give away the ending, or any of the important plot twists.
Give it a star rating – Be honest, but do consider what the stars mean. 5 or 4 stars are a positive endorsement, which will help an author’s career. You should choose one of those if you think the book was well written and well worth your time. 3 stars is neutral, for books that you consider about average when compared to others of their kind. 2 or 1 star ratings are seen as “NOT RECOMMENDED” by Amazon, which can damage an author’s career. They should be chosen only if you think the book was very poorly written, or a waste of your time.
It’s that easy. And because writing is a lonely business, I know every author would join me in saying we appreciate you taking just a little time to give us this kind of feedback.
|Click the cover art of the novels you have read to leave a review at Amazon.|
The eBook edition of January Justice is now available. Get it now at Amazon!
Coming soon for NOOK.
One of the strangest things about the city was the sudden way it disappeared around the edges. One minute you were down on Sunset surrounded by glass and concrete, and the next thing you knew you were up on Mulholland, alone in the rough country. From a high window or a rooftop almost anywhere in Los Angeles you could see the mountains, and there was always a chance something hungry was up there looking down at you.
I was standing among the hungry creatures up at the edge of a cliff, with Hollywood and Santa Monica far below me in the distance. One step forward, and I would be in midair. I was looking down and wondering if Haley had considered how suddenly you could go from city to wilderness. Then I wondered if it was a distinction without a difference, if the city might be the wilderness and the wilderness the city, and maybe Los Angeles’s edges seemed to disappear so suddenly because there really were no edges, no difference between sidewalks and mountain paths, buildings and boulders. Up in the mountains or down in the city, either way the carnivores were in control.
I imagined Haley, out of her mind, running full speed off the cliff. I wondered what it had been like, that final second or two before she hit. Had she realized what was happening? Did she recognize the city lights below for what they were, or did she really think she was flying toward the stars? And did she think of me?
Stepping closer to the edge, I slid the toes of my shoes into the air. I looked down two hundred feet, toward the spot where she had broken on the rocks. I stood one inch from eternity and tried to imagine life without her. I could not summon up a single reason why I should not take that final step, except for one. I thought about the kind of animal that would drive someone to do what my wife had done. Predators like that were everywhere. I should know. I had trained for half my life to be one of them. I was hungry, looking down on the city. If I was going to live, the hunger would have to be enough, for now. I would sink my teeth into him, sooner or later. I would do that for Haley, and for myself, and then maybe it would be time to see if I could fly.
I stepped back from the edge.
The debut of the new series, The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs is just weeks away. You can be a part of Athol’s exciting new fiction by letting him know which cover art you like best for his first release in the series, January Justice. Just click on the graphic below to cast your vote. Your input is most appreciated.
I am always amazed that anyone takes the time to not only read but review one of my novels. Thanks to Victor Gentile for these kind words about They Shall See God. Be sure and visit Vic’s Media Room for more of his insights.
Athol Dickson in his new book, They Shall See God published by Author Author brings us into the lives of Ruth and Katy.
Little Katie was a Christian. Her very best friend Ruth was a Jew. The girls’ eyewitness testimony sent a bad man to Louisiana’s infamous Angola prison. 25 years later, Ruth has become an embittered Rabbi, Kate is a lonely widow, the bad man is out, and people are dying in the strangest of ways.
Torn apart in childhood by animosities beyond their understanding, Kate and Ruth can no longer elude the past’s unfinished business. To survive, these very different women must reach out to each other in spite of the mayhem and mistrust that shrouds one vital truth: sometimes the most dangerous of enemies crouches just inside the human heart.
Before Athol Dickson became a master storyteller he was a master architect. It takes great creativity, imagination and “smarts” to design a building that will fit within the specified acreage and have all the required components and still be spectacularly beautiful. Now that Mr. Dickson tells stories he utilizes all the skills he developed in building buildings to build stories for us.
When Athol Dickson tells a story he builds it like an architect, start with the foundation and then each floor goes up methodically after the previous floor has been built. Reading “They Shall See God” is a lot like being thirty-five stories in the air, walking on nothing but a steel girder just wide enough for your foot; no walls, no floors, nothing but air. Very terrifying but it leaves you with a deep sense of fulfillment when you are done. Mr. Dickson has provided us with another winner with a twenty-five year old murder that had been witnessed by two young girls. Now the murderer is free, new murders are happening and the two women must join forces to find out what is really happening before they become the next victims. “They Shall See God” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next.
When you finish this book you will heave a hugely satisfying sigh because you have enjoyed yourself immensely. But “”They Shall See God”” also has beautiful themes such as the past catching up to you, unresolved trauma and friendship. I liked this book and recommend it highly!
THERE’S A LIST over at over at GoodReads, called “The Worst Books of All Time.” As a novelist and as a Christian, that list saddens me. Why? Because some of those titles include To Kill a Mockingbird, Billy Budd, The Red Badge of Courage, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Forest Gump, Fahrenheit 451, Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Pearl.
While discussing it with some fellow novelists, one said many books by Christians are poorly written. She then felt the need to qualify her statement by affirming that she thinks there are lots of well-written novels by Christians. Probably she didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, and that’s laudable, but it seems to me she had it right the first time.
It’s true many novels by Christians are poorly written. That’s also true of many other kinds of novels. In fact it’s true of most novels of every kind, but it’s not a particular indictment of mediocre writers or the readers who enable them. Most people don’t really care about excellence in architecture, sculpture, painting, or dance . . . or government, commerce, marriage, or anything else in life that ought to matter.
What interests me, is why. In our discussion about the “Worst Books” list, some of my author friends speculated that so many people dislike those novels because they were forced to read them in school and disliked them then. But these books truly are works of genius—most of them are, anyway—so why didn’t we love them in the first place?
The answer has to do with what it means to live in a fallen world. As creatures made in the Creator’s image, we were designed to use our gifts to their utmost, and to savor excellence in our neighbor’s use of their gifts. It’s impossible to imagine the words “good enough” being spoken in the Garden before the Fall. But we did fall, and one of the things we lost was our ability to throw ourselves into living with complete abandon. “Good is the enemy of great,” as Jim Collins wrote (paraphrasing Voltaire). Thus, in settling for good enough, we have rampant mediocrity in the world.
Another thing we abandoned in the Fall was our ability to perceive the true extent of what we’ve lost. So when expediency and ego dilute the full potential of even our best writers and artists, the audience, being also lost, doesn’t know enough to care. Therefore they applaud what little they can get, and their applause rewards mediocrity. This in turn inspires the production of more mediocrity, and the cycle builds more and more support for itself until mediocrity seems normal, or even (God forbid) good, and because that lie has become pervasive, the truth is difficult for even Christians to remember. Thus we have rampant mediocrity even in the church.
The faithful Christian’s life will always include a sense of resisting mediocrity at every turn. It’s a command and a duty. “Whatever you do, do it will all your heart, as if for the Lord and not for men.” (Col 3:23) It’s no coincidence that this command includes the same requirement for wholeheartedness as the Greatest Command of all, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart….”
How can we love the Lord with all our heart? By living every part of life with all our heart. By not settling. By always striving to improve. In other words, as with all of His commands, the Creator simply wants us to live (write, marry, work, etc.) as we were originally created to live…with complete abandonment to what we truly are, which will reveal itself in the constant exercise of excellence in all our gifts.
Don’t believe the lie of “good enough.” You’re so much better than that. Strive for excellence in everything you do, including what you write and what you read.
Live with all your heart.