Reaper's Walk: Hellstone [NOOK Book]


After 10 generations, the Reaper is coming to collect his due...

The dark witch, Umaa, was raised for one purpose: to punish the white men for taking her people as slaves. Her revenge was terrible. Harper’s Town burned along with every living thing within its boundaries. The price was to be her soul, but she cheated death and even cheated the Devil. Impressed, Satan postponed his payment for 10 generations.

In the modern era, Lita Harper is the...

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Reaper's Walk: Hellstone

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After 10 generations, the Reaper is coming to collect his due...

The dark witch, Umaa, was raised for one purpose: to punish the white men for taking her people as slaves. Her revenge was terrible. Harper’s Town burned along with every living thing within its boundaries. The price was to be her soul, but she cheated death and even cheated the Devil. Impressed, Satan postponed his payment for 10 generations.

In the modern era, Lita Harper is the ten-times descendent of Umaa. The circle is closing, and it’s time for the Reaper to collect her soul.

Lita learns the shocking truth about the cursed patch of Washington D.C. that had once been Harper’s Town, and of the hooded figure carrying a scythe who can be seen patrolling the perimeter of the area known as... The Reaper’s Walk.

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940045041270
  • Publisher: Greyhart Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 614 KB

Meet the Author

Here is a little about me. I was born in 1965 in a small town in South Carolina. I have 3 children ages 3, 4, and 21. I live in Stowe VT and moved here in 2006. My trade is professional driver, driving a mountain shuttle bus for skiers during the season. Off-season I spend as much time as I can with my children and writing.

I am 46 yrs. old and I've never written anything before. I got an idea in 2006 while looking at a stretch of land that was unused. I thought, what if a piece of land that is today in a metro city was cursed hundreds of years ago. That curse got the seed planted. I love all things creepy and scary: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons and anything else that go bump in the night. That love created The Reaper's Walk.

The basic storyline is a deal made with the devil. It is broken and a curse is placed on the offending family along with the land that they lived on. Ten generations later one member of this family has to make good the terms of the bargain. The devil is sending the reaper to collect her soul. She searches for a way to save herself and attract the attention of beasties along the way.

I finished the story in 2010 and struggled with the nuts and bolts of writing. Grammar, structure and that sort of thing are not my strongest traits so I joined several writers’ sites to try to get some feedback and advice. I was told one of my weak points was switching tense and passive voice. I didn't have the money for an editor and the story was not ready to submit to anyone without one, so it sat idle until this past Feb.

I decided to take a chance and submit anyway just in case someone liked the story enough to offer editing. First I tried for an agent. That was a bust. So next, I decided to just try an e-publisher. I submitted to 2 places and got a flat out no.

The third was Greyhart Press. Tim Taylor (publisher) told me to send him a partial manuscript. Then he asked for the full manuscript.

Five weeks later, he said that in its current form, he could not take the story on. However, if I did a re-structure then he would look at it again. I took his suggestions and resubmitted the story.

He loved it and offered me a contract. He said that the skills of writing could be learned, and that all else failing, a good editor could work wonders. But if the story itself was not good enough then it wouldn't catch on regardless as to how great the writing was.

So in essence, I got published on my third query! I know that is not how it goes in the book world. I feel that I got lucky.

Growing up I have always been afraid and fascinated by the Grim Reaper. When I decided to start writing, people said to write about what you know about. Sci Fi and horror stories and movies have always been tops in my book so it is only natural that I chose that as my genre. Stephen King is my favorite author. I have always been impressed with his ability to make the readers feel as if they were a part of the story. I want to write like that. Hopefully people will enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it, and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Don Franklin — September 2012

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 21, 2012

    From the first sentence of this book, I was hooked¿and the more

    From the first sentence of this book, I was hooked…and the more I read the better it got.

    How Mr. Franklin could come up with such a new and fresh story is just amazing.  I love the way the book starts with the curse and then it explodes.  What a great mind Mr. Franklin has…to not only imagine such a exciting adventure but to also put it into a book that makes you feel like you are in the middle of all that is going on.  This book scared me but I couldn’t put it down wanting to know what was going to happen next.

    It is brilliant the way that the author has woven together so many monsters and it works.  If you like vampire stories it has it, if you like werewolf stories it has that also, or demons or witches or voodoo hoodoo it has all that also…and it all works/flows together seamlessly.

    I loved this book and can’t wait for the next story.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    An ambitious start to a scary series

    To begin with Reaper's Walk: Hellstone (which I henceforth might refer to as: RWH) is the start of an ambitious 5-book project by Vermont-based author, Don Franklin. This may be his first novel, but it's clear that he's no stranger to the world of contemporary fantasy fiction, as he draws on a melange of sources from European, African and American mythology to construct a dense weave of a tale that revolves around Lita Harper, her cousin Lydia, and their two witchy grandmothers (Dora and Eva) as they struggle against an ancient contact that may well end with Lita having to surrender her very soul to Satan.

    At the heart of this struggle is a race to discover four magical stones (one of which is the Hellstone of the title) that can control (and offer great power to) demons, witches, vampires and werewolves respectively. These stones may offer Lita a chance at saving her soul, but soon draws some terrifying and interested parties including an ancient vampire, a do-gooder werewolf gang, and a variety of demons, Satan, and Satan's chief aid, the Grim Reaper (who graces the cover). This fine blend of adversaries and myth is one of the hallmarks of this book; in fact, you would be surprised to discover just how many characters Franklin has tucked into this relatively slim novel.

    Another strength of RWH is that Franklin does a deft job of bouncing back and forth between story lines. The plot has a tightly-knit feel which is important because- for our heroes and villains- every minute counts and in fact, some important elements from the front thrid of the book (especially a planned exchange between Lita and Satan himself) play a big role in the final act. You get a nice sense of control throughout the book.

    Consider me a Don Franklin fan, however, from my own perspective, there were a few things that could have used a bit of development. One was the rushed tone of the narrative which often felt like it was being delivered as part of a newspaper report. Scenes bounced quickly from one to another leading (honestly) to an ending that while smartly executed, felt a bit rushed and not as rich as it should have been.

    Also, our two heroines, Lita and Lydia could have benefited from a bit more shading and complexity, and differentiation.

    A few other notes of interest:

    1. I was also very interested in reading HRW because Don Franklin is not a white author, which may seem like a funny reason to some people, but I recently became involved in a diversity reading challenge after I learned that- in my own reading habits- I read almost exclusively white authors (around 98% white). I also learned (as part of this diversity challenge) that the grand majority of published fantasy authors are white, so it was great for me to step outside of my own familiar zone and get a different POV. Franklin (who is African-American) does a solid job of integrating elements of cultural experience (including African lore and the painful history of slavery) into Hellstone.

    2. This book also contains some great/ terrifying elements of horror, in particular in Franklin's creepy description of dark magic (brujura magic). In particular watch out for a spell called "the hunger" and a circle of protection that is cast with the aid of a dead cat; that's the stuff of nightmares.

    All in all, Hellstone: Reaper's Walk is a finely scripted and bold thriller and I recommend it to fans of fantasy and horror.

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