In The Beginning were The Brothers Brass

Chosen as one of five finalists for BEST GENERAL FICTION NOVEL by the 2015 INDIE BOOK AWARDS!

Two brothers with the gift of song,
A song to a wounded girl,
A girl from a ghostly mountain …

===> Watch THE KESTREL WATERS Book Trailer <===

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The Kestrel Waters  are sweet and deep and full of sorrow.

The Kestrel Waters  are dark and scary.

The Kestrel Waters  are the waters of life.

Hear the night song of Kestrel. He has not always been this dark-winged angel. He was once a star, a guitar star so righteous. He was once a lost boy in love.

In The Beginning were The Brothers Brass.

In The End there is no end to what one wounded girl’s heart will give. And no end to what one brother will give for the other.

The Brothers Brass. Two young grassroots singers (with echoes of Nickel Creek and The Everly Brothers). Raised in Savannah by the sea, together, these boys’ voices chime like heavenly bells.

The oldest brother, Kestrel, falls in love with a girl named Bettilia, a wild child who hides in the treetops—hiding from her bad daddy on a haunted mountain called Riddle Top.

“I was haunted throughout by a sense of mystery and otherness. This book is a mesmerizing, wonderfully written and extraordinary work of the imagination…Thornhorn, where the hell have you been?” ~ William Peter Blatty (author of The Exorcist )

Soon all the Family Brass falls for Bettilia. She touches Kestrel, she touches everyone. And they touch sweet Bettilia, forever.

Then comes that fateful day when Kestrel says “I do” to his dance with the devil—his devil within and without.

“Captures the tragedy of romantic and familial love better than any story I have ever read.” ~ Janeiro Bento

The Kestrel Waters is an eerie, heroic, and beautiful story of human love, like none you’ve ever known. An epic fable of an epic family whose hearts are comic, profane, and profoundly true.

“Mellifluous, Lyrical…with a darkness that creeps like kudzu.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

The Kestrel Waters (A Tale of Love and Devil) by author Randy Thornhorn.

“One of the South’s wildest new voices…” ~ The Oxford American Magazine

“Randy Thornhorn has the talent to blend a kind of mystical backdrop with gritty southern realism that I didn’t think was possible … If I had to pick one thing that sets Thornhorn apart from other southern storytellers (beyond his ability to mix fantasy and realism), it would be the masterful way he sprinkles backwoods dialect into meaningful dialogue. You get the sense you’re learning a long lost language, one that is simple and alluring.” ~ R.W. Ridley (author of The Oz Chronicles)



More readers’ comments:

“I just finished The Kestrel Waters. I started it this morning and read it mostly in one sitting…I could not put it down. The language was beautiful. Honestly, I think it an amazing book…It was a profound experience.”

~ Rebecca Jacobson

The Kestrel Waters is one of those books that leaves the reader with an emotional hangover. It’s difficult to start reading another book, because one’s feelings are still so influenced by the book just read. This emotional hangover doesn’t happen too often for me, and I’m a voracious reader. Indeed, it happens more often with music. But in a way I can’t explain, The Kestrel Waters is like music…”

~ Joy Williams




“I had no idea what to expect when I started reading The Kestrel Waters…I didn’t expect to care for the characters the way I do. I didn’t expect to be as concerned for them as I became. And I certainly didn’t expect to finish this book with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and the sense of having experienced something profound.

This was a hell of a good read had I sought only an engaging yarn of good and evil, love and redemption, and a mystery solved. But it’s a lot more than that.

This is immersive, obsessive, and deeply affecting. Disorienting – in that way that a good book can connect you to something that leaves a tint on everything around you, an aftertaste… this is powerful.”

~ Jeffrey Lindner

“I found it masterful…I feel almost as haunted by [Bettilia] as Kes did. She’s a haunting, haunted little creature, but I fell in love with her. Her snappish wit, her obvious devotion to Mambly and Mama, her courage and strength, and her fears…The climax was riveting.”

~ Brianne Harris (Age 20, Illinois)

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Herald the shadowed things…


Herald the shadowed things, the hearth and tinder,
Lo, she comes, yon midnight madonna, newborn and beheld.


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The Brothers Everly


What strange creatures brothers are…

~ Jane Austen

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Eureka! – THE KESTREL WATERS / The Indie Book Awards 2015

Great News! We just received notification that THE KESTREL WATERS by Randy Thornhorn has been chosen as one of five finalists for Best General Fiction Novel by the 2015 Indie Book Awards. (


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ROXIE WATSON Wings Me Warm Again

It’s cold sunrise. I hope the coffee is hot for all you Thornfolk out yonder, wherever you or your yonder might be percolating. It’s a Roxie Watson morning here in Sugar Hill with my speakers cranked up hot and my frost-glazed windowpanes throbbing to Roxie Watson’s country-bluegrass calliope of heartsongs, hellbent boogies, and resurrection shuffles.

Last night was Roxie Watson night at the intimate Red Clay Foundry in Duluth, Gee-Yay. I was there with many other gleeful folk to bask in the musical glow of Roxie Watson as they performed for the pilot episode of Georgia Musication, a live performance and education program featuring local music acts working with Georgia educators. If you wasn’t there you shoulda been, because band members Beth, Lenny, Becky, Linda, and Sonia made a joyful noise, sang with sweet emotion, and rocked the house like only the most sensual and fiery-eyed minstrels can rock it. They were organic. They were road-tempered and welling with passion. They were free, wild, warm, and funny. They were everything they’ve been every time I’ve been graced with Roxie Watson’s wealth of musical gifts: Roxie Watson was as transcendent as a dear friend’s touch on a cold dark night in Georgia.

So. For you what ain’t heard, the news this new day is pure and it is simple.

Roxie Watson is the best damn angel band to come down from on high in nigh onto too many years. These good women wrap you up in gleaming harmonies and carry you on silver wings and strings to soulful places you surely want to go. Theirs is a rhythmic tapestry for all lovers, a tapestry woven with Bee-Wee’s deft mandolin, the pulse of Lenny’s bass guitar. Linda’s razor-sharp lead guitar, and Sonia’s ringing banjo, with Becky’s aching squeezebox (yes, I said squeezebox) to tease at your most tender places. Listening to them you are forever reminded that the wry strands of epiphany and wisdom they weave in song can only come from the knowing loom of lives fully lived and deeply felt.

Yep. I’m wide and awake and sober. And I am here to tell you now. It is sunrise and Roxie Watson is the best damn angel band this boy could ever hope to hear come this morning or any morning, as I kick back on the hindlegs of my dancing kitchen chair.

(photo: Ray Davis)

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Yes, we is …

the heart is thornhorn


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Word Bastards

imageBemoaning the media’s use of a bit of slang to describe a highbrow artistic work, a woman recently told me she was saddened when we are “forced to downgrade and debase language to be understood”.

Well, with all due respect (and from this writer’s perch), you cannot “downgrade” or “debase” language (so you certainly cannot be forced to do it).

Language simply is.

The variance and progression of language throughout history—most notably in literature–proves that all words (with all their variations, bastardizations, and derivations) are simply colors in the palette, colors to be used when and whereever is appropriate or to achieve a desired effect. Yes, every word is a button waiting to be pushed, a tone to be struck or invoked.

The slang of today is often the codified usage of tomorrow. And slang is often the most rich and colorful language there is. It is not a debasement or a downgrade. It is actually language when it is most alive.

Nowhere is it more alive than in the marrow of Southern Literature. Of course, there are certain elite who consider Southern Lit itself to be a downgrading and debasement of language. I have my own choice words for them.


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Missoura, Missoura

Long boxes of the bastards
On the Lexington track
Missoura, I wish you could see.
They’re headed to hell
And they ain’t comin’ back
And brigands are all that they be
Brigands are all that they be.

I once woke, with the cockcrow
With the frost in my bed
On the pillow where you once pledged to me.
You may run to high heaven
You may run from the dead
Your children lie under the tree
Your children lie under the tree
With me

Missoura, Missoura
Hear the drums drumming after
My love keeps a-coming with no place to hide
Through the wilderness night
Through the rain in the morning
O’er the blood red horizon
The river rises high.

Moonlight lit fire to Little Blue Bridge
So the medicine man never came
All the Glasgow folk
And Roanoke
Came shaking their crowns o’er the shame
Came shaking their crowns o’er the shame

Done hunted this Ozark for to carry you home
Till a Yankee shot got in my way
Now my shroud be ship sail
My head be a stone
And I still pines for you every day
For Missoura, I pine, every day
I pray

Missoura, Missoura
Hear the drums drumming after
My love keeps a-coming with no place to hide
Through the wilderness night
Through the rain in the morning
O’er the blood red horizon
The river rises high.

© Randy Thornhorn


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On The Southern Literary Trail – Notification to Goodreads book group members with Kindles

THE KESTREL WATERS (On The Southern Literary Trail post-1980 read for November) – Kindle notification to all group members:


If you have a Kindle, a free newest edition ebook copy of The Kestrel Waters will be sent directly to you upon request, with no further ado on your part.

I finally got a look at the ARC version NetGalley is sending out for Kindle viewing and was not very happy with with what I saw on my Kindle. It did not display on the page like a normal Kindle ebook, did not have proper line indentations, and was very difficult to read. So I’ve already sent replacements directly from Amazon to group members Candace and Brenda for their Kindles. My apologies for the unforeseen complication.

Any of you who wants the The Kestrel Waters for reading on Kindle, if you will contact me through private message with an email address, I will have the book sent directly to your Kindle for free from Amazon, without any need for you to visit or join NetGalley.

Yours from back of beyond,

Randy Thornhorn

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The Southern Alchemy Book Club reads The Kestrel Waters by Randy Thornhorn

Southern Alchemy Book Club

The Southern Alchemy Book Club (Santa Rosa Beach, Florida) reads The Kestrel Waters!

Thank you kindly, you dear readers.


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A Thornhorn Halloween: I BE THE CHRISTIS, THE KID BEHEADED (New!)

99¢ Halloween Special!

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Halloween was never so obscene. This is no dark Duck Dynasty or Reality TV. This is a true horror story.

From beyond the grave, a Southern boy savior who once raised the dead gives testament to the final hours of his own Judgement Day. A backwater private militia, religious zealotry, and wicked keepers of the Oath converge in terrorist uprising against an Appalachian mountain village. Echoes of ISIS and Islamic terrorism reverberate in this heartrending portrait of an American heartland horror.

I Be The Christis The Kid Beheaded by Randy Thornhorn _ Medium

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99¢ Halloween Special!

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Well, I was wrong. This is even more Magic…


circle of string

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The Law Of The Instrument

The first recorded statement of the concept was Abraham Kaplan’s, in 1964: “I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”

Maslow’s hammer, popularly phrased as “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”

~ Wiki

hammer egg law of the instrument

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Monday Thunder



Soft rain, soft fire, on my dark morning hilltop.

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An Unforgettable Thornhorn Weekend

A couple of value-added items I picked up this weekend at the Nixburg, Alabama Home For Wastral This And Thats. The graveyard nursing staff on duty were never less than courteous and well-informed and were kind enough to let me use my Diner’s Club when I discovered my PayPal debit card was temporarily tapped out.

Thanks girls! I’ll never forget you and all them good times we had.

(As some of you may recall, Nixburg is birthplace of Daddy Brass.)

smokingchild and chickensepia

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On A Monument To The Pigeon

“His love…required only free sky, and the will to ply his wings. To love what was is a new thing under the sun, unknown to most people and to all pigeons.”

We meet here to commemorate the death of a species. This monument symbolizes our sorrow. We grieve because no living man will see again the onrushing phalanx of victorious birds, sweeping a path for spring across the March skies, chasing the defeated winter from all the woods and prairies of Wisconsin.

Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons; trees still live that, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a few decades hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know.
The plaque on the Passenger Pigeon Monument. Artist Owen Gromme sketched the bird. Ornithologist A. W. Schorger drafted the inscription: “Dedicated to the last Wisconsin Passenger Pigeon shot at Babcock, Sept. 1899. This species became extinct through the avarice and thoughtlessness of man.” Reproduced with permission of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

The plaque on the Passenger Pigeon Monument. Artist Owen Gromme sketched the bird. Ornithologist A. W. Schorger drafted the inscription: “Dedicated to the last Wisconsin Passenger Pigeon shot at Babcock, Sept. 1899. This species became extinct through the avarice and thoughtlessness of man.” Reproduced with permission of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

There will always be pigeons in books and in museums, but these are effigies and images, dead to all hardships and to all delights. Book-pigeons cannot dive out of a cloud to make the deer run for cover, nor clap their wings in thunderous applause of mast-laden woods. They know no urge of seasons; they feel no kiss of sun, no lash of wind and weather; they live forever by not living at all.

Our grandfathers, who saw the glory of the fluttering hosts, were less well-housed, well-fed, well-clothed than we are. The strivings by which they bettered our lot are also those which deprived us of pigeons. Perhaps we now grieve because we are not sure, in our hearts, that we have gained by the exchange.

It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of ­generations: that man is only a fellow-voyager with other creatures in the Odyssey of evolution, and that his captaincy of the adventuring ship conveys the power, but not necessarily the right, to discard at will among the crew. We should, in the century since Darwin, have achieved a sense of community with living things, and of wonder over the magnitude and duration of the ­biotic enterprise.

For one species to mourn the death of another is a new thing under the sun. The Cro-Magnon who slew the last mammoth thought only of steaks. The sportsman who shot the last pigeon thought only of his prowess. The sailor who clubbed the last auk thought of nothing at all. But we, who have lost our pigeons, mourn the loss. Had the funeral been ours, the pigeons would hardly have mourned us. In this fact, rather than in Mr. Vandevar Bush’s bombs, or Mr. DuPont’s nylons, lies objective evidence of our superiority over the beasts.

We who erect this monument are performing a dangerous act. Because our sorrow is genuine, we are tempted to believe that we had no part in the demise of the pigeon. The truth is that our grandfathers, who did the actual killing, were our agents. They were our agents in the sense that they shared the conviction, which we have only now begun to doubt, that it is more important to multiply people and comforts than to cherish the beauty of the land in which they live. What we are doing here today is publicly to confess a doubt whether this is true.

This, then, is a monument to a bird we have lost, and to a doubt we have gained. Perched like a duck hawk on this cliff, it will scan this wide valley, watching through the days and years. For many a March it will watch the geese go by, telling the river about clearer, colder, lonelier waters on the tundra. For many an April it will see the redbuds come and go, and for many a May the flush of oak-blooms on a thousand hills. Questing woodducks will search these basswoods for hollow limbs; golden prothonotaries will shake the golden pollen from the river-willows. Egrets will pose on these sloughs in Augusts, plovers will whistle from September skies, hickory nuts will plop into October leaves, and hail will rattle in November woods. But no pigeons will pass, for there are no pigeons, save only this flightless one, graven in bronze on this rock. Tourists will read this inscription, but their thoughts, like the bronze pigeon, will have no wings.

We are told by economic moralists that to mourn the pigeon is mere nostalgia; that if the pigeoners had not done away with him, the farmers would ultimately have been obliged, in self-defense, to do so. Perhaps this is true, but perhaps it is also true that we did away with an idea, as well as a bird. It is one of the ironies of science that it discovers, ex post facto, a philosophical significance in what it has previously tossed into the dust-bin.

The pigeon was no mere bird, he was a biological storm. He was the lightning that played between two biotic poles of intolerable intensity: the fat of the land and his own zest for living. Yearly the feathered tempest roared up, down, and across the continent, sucking up the laden fruits of forest and prairie, burning them in a travelling blast of life. Like any other chain-reaction, the pigeon could survive no diminution of his own furious intensity. Once the pigeoners had subtracted from his numbers, and once the settlers had chopped gaps in the continuity of his fuel, his flame guttered out with hardly a sputter or even a wisp of smoke.

Today the laden oaks still flaunt their burden at the sky, but the feathered lightning is no more. Worm and weevil must now perform slowly and silently the biological task which once drew thunder from the firmament. The wonder is not that the pigeon passed out, but that he ever survived through all the millennia of pre-Babbitian time.

The pigeon lived by his desire for clustered grape and bursting beechnut, and by his contempt of miles and seasons. Things that Wisconsin did not offer him today he sought and found tomorrow in Michigan, or Labrador, or Tennessee; to find them required only the free sky, and the will to ply his wings.

But there are fruits in this land unknown to pigeons, and as yet to most men. Perhaps we too can live by our desires to find them, and by a contempt for miles and seasons, a love of free sky, and a will to ply our wings.

~ Aldo Leopold (an essay on the occasion of the dedication of a monument to the death of the passenger pigeon, widely regarded as the most poignant ever written about extinction)


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Ferocious Words of Wonder from Patrisia Sheremeta

Patrisia Sheremeta is now a fan of Goodreads Author Randy Thornhorn – Patrisia Sheremeta made a comment in the group 2014 Reading Challenge — Patrisia 100 books in 2014 topic

5 stars.

There is a point when I am reading “innovative” fiction where I feel like I am over a friend’s house watching their kids perform. They are cute and they show promise, but you can’t expect me to be amazed by a 5 year old’s attempts a ballet when I’ve been exposed to great dancing. I recently finished [image] and I certainly acknowledge that it showed some creativity, but the creativity was not unique. I don’t think you should write innovative fiction just for the sake of being innovative – that sort of kills the point of the whole thing. Creating great fiction is really a process of finding your true and authentic voice. A person can write an absolute conventional masterpiece, if it is true to his or her voice. A person can also write something they label innovative, but ends up being a derivative slog that does not feel right to the reader.

So in The Kestrel Waters, the author has that true and strong voice and has created a story that is unconventional, but is also truly unique and solid. I want more of this voice in my life and plan on reading every single thing he has out there. The story was beautiful. The language was beautiful. The ideas were beautiful. You only achieve that through years of work and dedication to both craft and art.

Patrisia Sheremeta rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Kestrel Waters
by Randy Thornhorn (Goodreads Author)
read in August, 2014

This book kept showing up in my recommendations and in little ads on the right side of my screen. So I finally just downloaded it and gave it a try, and I am so happy I did because it blew me away. This author has exactly what I love – a unique, sure, and strong voice. He’s also a damn good storyteller. I can’t wait to read every other book he has – which are all available on Kindle Unlimited by the way.


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Abandon Home


Was it only yesterday
The sun rose red and gold
In the dark sweet shadows
Of our bedroom?
And now I would rather you said
Nothing at all
Than say I love you or miss you
On an automatic tune
From somewhere
In a backroom
Of your head
While I have fallen
Off your map
Into a hole in a heart
Gone dead
While over here in this empty house
I go through lonesome progressions
While I am possessed
By sad possessions
Wondering if one day
You might
Remember our morning amazement
When we rose red and gold
In the dark sweet shadows
Of our bedroom.
© 2014 Randy Thornhorn

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Thornhorn, Axman…

Randy and Guitar brighterfinal

Shifting, shifting.


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Thornhorn working on thought crime…

RT 19AUG14 Working on my latest thought crime.

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A little WICKED TEMPER interlude…

Before the woods gave him up, Matthew saw a few more things. With each dark discovery, he kept leaving parts of his head behind. The sun went steadily and, after a hair and shirt snagging push, Matthew stumbled into a wild chestnut grove. In the broken light, white chickens scratched at the mossy mountain skin, milling about. They were just a smattering of dumb cluckers, not like Bob’s flock. Nobody would know if he drop-kicked a few for fun. But right now, Matthew’s stilts were wobbly, his shoes full of sweat and mud, his feet were raw with blisters. Seeing the chickens, he felt closer to the homestead, though: a whoop or two away. So he limped faster. His moves stringhalted now, thanks to the hole in his thigh. It ain’t the gore-horn that kills you, he chanted softly. It’s the hole. The hole. The hole. It ain’t the gore-horn that kills you. It’s the hole.

Another half hour of misery was still ahead of him. But Matthew finally took a wild left turn through laurel briar and around a wasp’s nest and he came to a dead stop. What he saw down slope made him squeak like a rubber toy.

It was Bob Nottingham’s smokehouse.

Matthew left the leafy steambath. He tripped down to the house. Tizzy was waiting on the wagon tongue. She sat there boiling in her own little popskull, in the late glare of day.

“I doubt you could catch a bug in a bucket,” she said, once his tale of woe was told.

“He was sneaky. He threw me.”

“Yeah, and I’m wily Delilah.”

“I’m telling ye, Tizzy now—don’t rile me up. He’s a sneaky, backtracking shitrag and that’s all they is to it.”

“Take a rest, hogboy. You look thirsty.”

“I told ye don’t never call me no hog—”

“I’m sorry. I’m just hot, dern it.”

“Let’s git on in the house then. I need better shade and cool water.”

“Nope,” she said, chin on her knees. She would not even look at the house.

“And why not?”

“They’s something unfit about this place. It’s unfit, Matthew.”

“Well, I ain’t gone argue about that.”

“I’m as much to blame as you.”

“To blame? Fer what?”

“Well, I been thinking,” Tizzy said, picking up speed. “Why do we always gotta be running from something or running after something else?”

“Huh? What’s got into you while I was gone?”

“If we live backwards and upside down from the way of things, we ends up in unfit places.”

“Doll baby, I’d give you a pill but I ain’t got one,” he said. She was going frantic on him.

“Matthew, I wonder sometimes if we ain’t just whirlygigs, for no good reason at all. You know? Whirlygigs. Seeds. We just is. And we fall. And we don’t need no reason at all. And that’s okey-dokey. Besides, they ain’t none.”

“They ain’t no what?”

“No good reason at all.”

Matthew tried to decipher her. But not for long. He gave up quickly and dragged himself inside where he drank six dippers. He almost stopped there, then decided to have a seventh. The seventh dipper finally slaked his thirst, so Matthew took off his shoes. He took out his pocketknife and found a bottle of red iodine in a kitchen cupboard. Then he tip-toed back outside, cussing the hurt of it all the way. His blisters got doctored while he sat with Tizzy and watched the sun go down. They bided slow time until the man’s return.

from Wicked Temper by Randy Thornhorn



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SavannahNow promotes The Kestrel Waters

A heads up: Today and tomorrow The Savannah Morning News is doing featured promotion of The Kestrel Waters on their website,

Four ads in four spots simultaneously on the homepage.

The Kestrel Waters _ Savannah Now _ Randy Thornhorn

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Souls in Distress

Role models are the death of art.

Art that depicts humanity is mostly built on badly-cracked people and broken relationships. If the folk of great story and song were fully realized human beings or the well-adjusted sort, there would be no Shakespeare. Passion eschews serenity and is not kind to contentment.


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A Celestial Fire in July…


All the angels of Tie Siding were on fire.
The famous sky was gone.

Presumably the mountains were still there, invisible in haze.
there was only one angel, but she was a torch in the wind, beside
the wind-ripped American flag the post office flies.
OK, she wasn’t
literally on fire.
Maybe her angelic red hair made me think she was
ablaze as it flaunted the prairie and made a festival of itself.
was a fireworks stand nearby, entirely beside the point, as was the
Fourth of July.
It was really dry.
It was fire season.
It was the
wind festival, featuring an angel standing in it, letting her red hair
conflagrate history, reduce it to ash, bid it start anew, erase the sky
with atrocity’s own smoke.
She wore, besides her flame of hair,
blue jeans and a singlet.
She was violent in the wind.
I started
walking toward her.
I’m still walking toward her, no idea what to
say when I get there.

(Fire Season by James Galvin)

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On Sale Now: HOWLS OF A HELLHOUND ELECTRIC (Riddle Top Magpies & Bobnot Boogies & A Ragged Love Story or Two)

Ten stark and stunning tales set under the jagged shadow of Riddle Top, in a darkling mountain world—a world of unholy mirth and madness, of gods and demons you never knew existed.

Collected together for the first time, Randy Thornhorn’s lyric, comic, and haunting short stories conjure up the fever and folly-filled lives of Riddle Top magpies, Bobnot boogies, and Cayuga Ridge folk—in other words: Thornhorn people. People who resemble everything human and a few odd creatures besides. Here we find fiery baptisms, legless dancers, rockabilly lovers, Buffalo soldiers, spidery wombs, sapphic ghosts, and big lusty birds who’ll wink at you. Scenes unfold of passion, buffoonery, mud-dobbers, murder, and the wonder working power in the blood. Here violence forever lurks, waiting to be unleashed with the beasts in the shadows, amidst the howls of the hellhound electric.

Author of the acclaimed novels The Kestrel Waters and Wicked Temper, and the longest fiction ever published in The Oxford American Magazine (who hailed him as “One of the South’s wildest new voices”), Randy Thornhorn finally leads this congregation of his unforgettable fables:

The Hole And Dobber’s Head (longest story published in The Oxford American), Tarbaby, The Axman’s Shift (abridged), Johabeth’s Holler, The Rain Goblin, Psalm Of The Emu, O Isle Spinner, Hushabye Yule, Turpitude, and Dearest Corliss.

Don’t miss this opportunity to read all these mindblowing stories, together, together, at last! Of A Hellhound Electric - Medium - Randy Thornhorn
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Let me introduce you to The Book Lady (Joni Saxon-Giusti)…

The Book Lady
6 E Liberty St,
Savannah, Georgia 31401


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R.W. Ridley Review – The Kestrel Waters: “Another Southern Masterpiece”

Here’s what you should know about Randy Thornhorn. He dives deep as a writer and creates a lyrical wonderland as a storyteller. He has the talent to blend a kind of mystical back drop with gritty southern realism that I didn’t think was possible. He did that with Wicked Temper, the first book I read written by him, and he did it again with The Kestrel Waters, the second book I read by him. And I will read a third and fourth and onward until his pen stops bleeding or fingers stop tapping. He’s a writer you read obsessively, compulsively – pick your adverb of need.

In The Kestrel Waters you have a tale of bluegrass playing brothers, the Brothers Brass. The way Mr. Thornhorn draws us into this musical fantasy is seamless from the opening pages. It’s incredibly easy to see them spontaneously and feverishly playing a tune on a train ride to their next gig. Using their southern charm to chat up pretty girls and looking for trouble. This is a love story at its core, and the reader is taken there experiencing the passion, appetites and misfortune that such a “nail to the head” provides the oldest brother, Kestrel. It’s a story of family ties and sacrifices that are at once beautiful and tragic.

If I had to pick one thing that sets this author apart from other southern storytellers (beyond his ability to mix of fantasy and realism), it would be the masterful way the sprinkles backwoods dialect into meaningful dialogue. You almost get the sense that you’re learning a long lost language, one that is simple and alluring.

Once again, my hat is off to Mr. Thornhorn. Here’s hoping he gets the recognition he deserves.

~ R.W. Ridley


(My heartfelt thanks again to author R.W. Ridley for his amazing, humbling review. Be sure to visit his endlessly fascinating blog, which you can find at this link. – RT)

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