Review: Elderwood Manor by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes

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About Elderwood Manor

Things fall apart—Bruce Davenport knows this all too well.

On the heels of his wife's death, laid-off and penniless with an eviction notice on the door, the only thing left for him and his four-year-old son Cody is Bruce's childhood home, secluded deep within Ozark forests, haunted by the ghosts of his past.

After he receives a strange phone call from his dying mother, who has lived alone in the house for the past 15 years, Bruce reluctantly returns to the estate with his son.

But they soon find that something else dwells in the home, in the earth, in the woods. Unseen things are out for vengeance and blood. If they can survive the night, they may just find out what truly lies within the walls of…Elderwood Manor.


About the Authors

Christopher Fulbright

Christopher Fulbright is the author of short stories, novellas, and full-length novels of fantasy and horror. His short stories have appeared in many venues--webzines, magazines, and anthologies--since 1993. Fulbright received the Richard Laymon President's Award in 2008 from the HWA, and his short stories have received honorable mentions in "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" and "Best Horror of the Year." For news on his latest and upcoming works, please visit http://www.christopherfulbright.com.

Christopher is a former journalist turned technical writer, but his real job is raising four kids with his wife and sometimes collaborator, the Bram Stoker award-nominated author Angeline Hawkes. For more information on the collaborative work of Fulbright & Hawkes, please visit http://www.fulbrightandhawkes.com.

Follow them on Twitter @FulbrightHawkes.

Angeline Hawkes

Angeline Hawkes holds a B.A. in Composite English Language Arts and Secondary Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Angeline's collection, The Commandments, was a 2006 Bram Stoker Award finalist. Her story, "In Waters Black the Lost Ones Sleep", appears in the Origins award-nominated Chaosium anthology, Frontier Cthulhu. Angeline works or has worked for such publishers as Delirium Books, Chaosium, Elder Signs Press, Dark Regions Press, DarkFuse and many others. She has seen the publication of novels, novellas, collections, fiction in 40+ anthologies, and over 100 short fiction publications. She is formerly an active member of HWA and a former member of the Robert E. Howard UPA. Angeline often writes collaboratively with her husband, Christopher Fulbright. Visit her websites at www.angelinehawkes.com and www.fulbrightandhawkes.com.


My Thoughts

I can always tell an author is doing something right when, while reading, their words play out like a movie inside my head and I lean forward, closer to the text, as if that can somehow move the camera and show me what's lurking around the corner or draw me further into the story. They've sucked me in, and I can't help but become a part of their story.

I found myself doing this a few times during my reading of Elderwood Manor.

Christopher Fulbright and his wife and co-author Angeline Hawkes have crafted a mighty fine, emotionally engaging haunted house story with this one. There's a few slight spins on the genre tropes, drawing on pagan rituals, black magic, and human sacrifice. While there's a few ghosts, the evil haunting Elderwood Manor is a thicker stew, one that has seeped right into the earth itself and lives, quite literally, in the roots of the estate.

The atmosphere is rich, and the authors set the stage nicely between the snowy, ice-laden backdrop and the empty manor, which feels disused and dusty.

Where they really shine, though, is in the slow unraveling of the history surrounding Elderwood. Bruce Davenport and his four-year-old son, Cody, share a deep connection with the family estate, one that's rooted through the legacy of generations prior. That history is ripe with tragedy and shame, and creates some startling illusions upon the present-day as Bruce tries to find safety and shelter for his son.

Elderwood Manor is a brisk read, short but well-written and immediately engaging. As expected, it is another fine addition to the DarkFuse line of novellas.

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Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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