Siren

( 48 )

Overview

Evan is entranced by the alluring song of the beautiful naked woman he saw in the surf one lonely night. But this is no mere seductress. She is a siren, one of the legendary sea creatures who prey on unsuspecting men. And she has claimed Evan as her next lover.

Night after night, Evan walked along the desolate beach, grieving over the loss of his son, drowned in an accident more than a year before. Then one night he was drawn to the luminous sound of a beautiful, naked woman ...

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Overview

Evan is entranced by the alluring song of the beautiful naked woman he saw in the surf one lonely night. But this is no mere seductress. She is a siren, one of the legendary sea creatures who prey on unsuspecting men. And she has claimed Evan as her next lover.

Night after night, Evan walked along the desolate beach, grieving over the loss of his son, drowned in an accident more than a year before. Then one night he was drawn to the luminous sound of a beautiful, naked woman singing near the shore in the moonlight. He watched mesmerized as the mysterious woman disappeared into the sea. Driven by desire and temptation, Evan returned to the spot every night until he found her again.

Now he has begun a bizarre, otherworldly affair. A deadly affair. For Evan will soon realize that his seductive lover is a being far more evil...and more terrifying...than he ever imagined. He will learn the danger of falling into the clutches of the... SIREN.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781428511231
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/6/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

John Everson

John Everson’s short stories have appeared in 22 small press anthologies, 55 have appeared in magazines, and three collections of his short fiction have been published by small presses. He was a  2007 Bram Stoker Award Finalist for Best  Short Fiction and won the a 2004 Bram Stoker Award- Best  First Novel for Covenant. This was Everson’s fourth novel with Dorchester.

 

 

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Read an Excerpt

Siren


By John Everson

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2010 John Everson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8439-6354-0


Chapter One

Today

The rock skipped across the waves like a bullet, skimming the surf and bouncing once, twice, three and four times before it finally hit its match, a whitecap with attitude. The stone disappeared without a fifth leap into the unrelenting ocean.

Evan shrugged and picked up another stone. An oblong one. Gray and smooth. This time, he only got two skips before the rock was stolen by the waves. Arm was tired, he told himself, and left the next stone where it lay.

The ocean stole everything. Leaning down, he picked up the hook of a crab claw and flung it into the foam.

Everything.

Evan wiped the tear from his cheek and walked on down the beach. The night hung on him with its own rushing silence, but Evan could still hear the sounds of his past. He could hear Josh out there, in the waves. His son. His baby boy.

Dad! Josh had called, voice filled with sudden panic. And then, Dad?

And then there'd been no sound at all.

"Stop it," Evan screamed, as he did nearly every night, angry at himself for more things than he could describe. But fear certainly topped the list. A long list of words came to mind actually: fear, coward, chickenshit, weak, pathetic, loser, scumbag, fuckhead ... the words degenerated further with the acid heat of his tears.

Evan picked up another rock from the beach and flung it into the waves. But this time, he didn't stop to see how far it went before it fell. Instead he turned back toward the lights of home.

The rock skipped seven times.

The sound system overhead played a Georgia Satellites song and Sarah smiled to herself, because as she looked around the bar she thought that she might be the only one old enough to remember the Georgia Satellites. When the hick twang of her youth faded into the raspy growl and twining guitars of Foo Fighters, she saw the heads of several guys around the single pool table begin to nod with more gusto. The kids knew this one.

Somehow rock had left her behind thanks to an invisible anchor around her heart, holding her back. She could never escape her past. And wasn't that why she was here?

"Can I buy you a drink?" one of the pool boys asked her, and Sarah stared into the hopeful's eyes, not with honor, but with a simple question. Why?

Her days of one-night stands were two decades past, and she knew the lines along the sag of her jowls and the silvering web in her hair were just the most obvious indicator that time was not on her side. No guy with jet-black hair and pecs that dared his belt buckle to try to cinch tighter could possibly have an interest in her. Still, that guy did stand at her side, and put his hand on her shoulder, and offered her another beer.

What the hell? she thought, and asked for a Guinness. Maybe he saw the ring as her hand slipped easily around the glass.

"You married?" the man said, pulling up a stool. He didn't take his hand off her. Instead, he let it slip from her shoulder, across her back, to grip familiarly on her thigh.

She nodded. "For about as long as you've been alive," she said with a grin. She looked up at him with weary eyes, and maybe something there sent a chill of reality down his spine, because his easy hand slipped away. He threw down a couple bucks on the bar, nodded and slipped back to the pool table. From behind, Sarah heard low voices and laughter. She didn't turn around. There was only so much heartache you could absorb in your life, and she had had her fill. If someone were making fun of her now, for sitting here old and empty in a bar ... she wasn't going to eat that. She wasn't going to do anything at all, except take one more pull on the edge of her glass. Okay, maybe two.

And then she'd go home. Home is where the heart is, she thought. "But where has my heart gone?" she answered herself aloud.

The sound system-whatever happened to jukeboxes-now pumped with the beat of Britney, and the voices in the bar around her began to pick up in volume. It was amateur hour, Sarah thought. Time for the adults to go home. She looked into the neon lights of the bar signs above her head, and smiled sadly at the sexy tattooed thing behind the bar who made no bones against sticking out her rack and flirting with the pool table boys for tips. Sarah looked back to her beer.

The foam on the latest pull of Guinness made her laugh. She couldn't have explained why, exactly. It just struck her as funny ... all this dark, heavy liquid coloring the bulk of her glass and then this white wreath of bubbles trying to hold it all in. She knew about holding it in. That's why she was here. She held it all in.

"Something wrong with your beer?" a voice asked from behind her. Sarah turned slowly, afraid that the pool boy was back. But then the tenor of the voice sunk in, and she saw the hard line of his jaw, and the soft care in his deep-set blue eyes, and she shook her head.

"Nah," Sarah said. "The beer's just fine." She lifted her glass and drained half of it in one desperate pull.

"Let's go home, huh?" Evan said, and pulled her off the stool. She only stumbled a little, as the bells of the door rippled to announce their exit, just as they did nearly every night. Behind them, the bartendress with the rack rolled her eyes and cleared the bar. She gave little thought to why the old girl had to be escorted home every night. She just pulled her T-shirt tighter to smile falsely at the boys drinking Bud as they shot eight ball.

Damn drunks never left a good tip.



Excerpted from Siren by John Everson Copyright © 2010 by John Everson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 8, 2010

    Interesting and well done

    When Evan sees a stunningly beautiful woman skinny dipping on the moonlit beach, he thinks he's stumbled on someone's private moment and slips away. But it's the same strip of beach he walks down every night, ever since he and his wife Sarah lost their son Josh, who drowned in the waters along this same strip of beach. Making matters worse, Evan is aquaphobic, a man afraid to even step foot in water, a man who stood on the shore as his son drowned, calling out his name.

    Since then, things haven't gone too well for Evan and Sarah. Their once tight marriage is on the rocks many years later, and now Sarah spends her time drowning her sorrows in the local bar, while Evan wanders the edge of ocean at night. So when he again encounters the same beautiful woman naked on the beach, and this time she comes to him ... he succumbs, beginning an obsession that quickly devolves into horror.

    When Evan confides in a friend, he tells Evan of the old legends of the Siren of Delilah, who was reputed to have haunted the beach, luring ships and people to their deaths, leaving behind their half eaten bodies ... or making them go permanently missing. Naturally Evan refuses to believe his friend's warnings, but he does recognize his obsession with the woman on the beach must come to an end if he's ever to salvage his marriage. The real moments of suspense in SIREN begin when Evan recommits to his wife, and the reader learns that Evan's obsession with the woman on the beach goes both ways...

    I really enjoyed reading SIREN. It has the structure of a traditional horror novel: an opening death scene, and a handful of death scenes with nobody-characters to build suspense for the main character's interaction with the Siren. What added an extra layer of coolness was the story *within* the main story -- of a rum runner captain in the 1880s and his crew, and how they came to transport the siren, Ligeia, to her final destination off the Delilah coast. The tale of the captain and his crew not only adds a unique flavor to this kind of book, but also serves to lend the reader some sympathy toward the siren herself. Murderous though Ligeia may be, the awful treatment she received at the hands of the rum runners gives the reader a reason to feel sorry for her, to have sympathy for her plight.

    Add in a very well done interaction between Evan and his wife Sarah as they seek to rekindle their love and rebuild their marriage, and you have a great formula to build suspense for the things that inevitably happen to all of the characters. A final perk for me was the setting of the book, which felt fresh, gothic, and magical, being in a small seaside town where a mythological creature has made her lair. All in all, this is a book I can recommend with confidence. Plenty of blood, but plenty of suspense, too. Everson has done a great job with SIREN.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Siren by John Everson

    Siren by John Everson

    Evan and Sarah are a married couple that have been grieving over the loss of their teenage son. Due to a freak drowning accident their lives have been turned upside down. While frequently visiting the drowning sight, Evan begins seeing a beautiful naked woman singing a mesmerizing song. After several contacts with the woman, a fatal attraction begins, which in turn affects those around him, his marriage, and his life line,
    John Everson seems to hit on the human emotions that everyone carries inside them. His writing style pulls those emotions from the reader, and inter-twins them with his words. A second story that occurs during the 1800's is the glue that holds this enthralling story together, and as the novel develops, the reader will relate, and attach themselves to the main characters. Eversons strongest attribute is the ability to link all of these components of story telling, and force the reader to ride on their own emotions throughout the novel.
    A moment needs to be taken from this review that many people don't talk about. The cover art is becoming a dinosaur to the book industry, as the music industry. With the coming of the electronic book, cover art and its future seems bleak. The packaging is an excitement to the reader that would be a shame to lose. Siren has a wonderful eye catching cover that deserves to be viewed, and mentioned.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Siren plays out on two levels; as a horror thriller and as a psychological family drama

    When Josh drowned, his death also figuratively killed his parents Evan and Sarah. Suffering from aquaphobia, Evan watched in horror as his son drowned. Now he watches in horror as his beloved wife drowns her sorrow with alcohol.

    Over a year since the tragedy, Evan meets naked Ligeia on the beach he tramps every night before bringing his intoxicated wife home from the bar. She provides Evan with an escape from his nightmarish failure as a father and now a husband. She sexually entices him with her perfect body and her silky voice drowns out Josh's plea to him for help. Mostly she makes him forget, but not entirely as he tries to ignore her siren's call by returning to his wife.

    Siren plays out on two levels; as a horror thriller and as a psychological family drama. There is also a second subplot that provides the audience with a late nineteenth century look at Ligeia's past, which is a two edged sword depending on the reader's taste; on the one hand it anchors the siren story line, but also detracts from the reader's imagination of whether she is true or a desperate figment of grieving Evan's psyche. Still this is a powerful thriller as John Everson uses the loss of an offspring as the springboard to the gripping Siren.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Highly Recommended-A book you can not put down!

    John Everson was highly recommended to me by a friend. Siren was the first book out of his collection that I picked up. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. I was drawn in right away. With each page I read it made me want to know what happened next.

    Everson's writing flows smoothly. His wording is very descriptive but never leaves you confused.

    We have all heard stories of Sirens. This story leaves you with the idea that they are out there and makes you know that they are not to be trusted and only have bad intentions.

    As soon as I was done with Siren I found out of the stack of books I have that with no doubt another one of his would be my next choice.

    Brilliant is the word that comes to mind to describe Everson and his writing.

    Do not pass up on the opportunity to read Siren. It would be a huge opportunity to miss out on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Story!

    Very good read. It had me hooked and could not put it down. The only thing negative is I had the ending figured out early on - but not an issue-still a great read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    A perfect horror book

    I remember ordering this book by chance because I liked the cover and the title,it is not often you read stories about sirens. I was influenced also by the fact that the author had a Bram Stoker award so I was certain that the book would not be too bad. Truth to be told I was fed up with horror books so in retrospect I am happy that my first horror book after a 6 year gap was the Siren which in my opinion is an absolute diamond. Elegant and beautifully written with fantastic scenes of terror,on land and underwater. The sex scenes are written in a manner that convey both passion and dread while the scenes of violence are sudden and horrific(and disgusting). Underlying everything is a terrible sense of loss and regret which the protagonist endures as the Siren takes control of his life. Needless to say,one of my all time favorites,it reminds me of the dark fairy tales I was reading when I was a child,minus the sex and the violence of course.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2010

    Very interesting to read surprising ending!

    This is written from a man's point of view. It was page turning,each event that involved the SIREN was very well detail, could have left out of the sex senes because they were all the same. The ending really surprised me. Could book though

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2010

    John Everson's Masterpiece

    John Everson gives center stage to an ancient and deadly sea goddess in his latest novel SIREN. In this haunting tome Everson explores the psychology of fear and seduction in the old port town of Delilah, California. Although a Midwesterner, Everson is able to bring this seaside town to life evoking the sounds, smells, and tastes of the ocean to luminous effect. In Delilah, salt hangs "in the air like a fog" and "the taste of the ocean is warm and alive in her throat." In his acknowledgments Everson cites his many visits to the coast and "otherworldly, ethereal music" as influences for the book and the reader will see that inspiration infused throughout his prose. The town is so close you can smell the salt in the air and his description of the Siren's song is an intoxicating melody only a music lover could put into writing.

    The focus of this ill-fated fable is Evan and his shattered relationship with his wife Sarah who each suffer separately from the loss of their son Josh. Evan's aquaphobia kept him from saving his only child from drowning and while Sarah finds comfort at the bottom of the bottle, Evan walks the beach every night reliving the nightmare of his son's death again and again. It's in this vulnerable state that Evan comes across Ligeia, our titular Siren. Evan unknowingly abandons his fear as he is hypnotized into the ocean and the arms of Ligeia whose beautiful song could only be ignored by the tone deaf. Unfortunately, "fear and lust are Ligiea's favorite seasonings." It is in this context that Everson weaves fear and seduction into a haunted tale of loss, redemption, and frightening fatale attraction.

    SIREN does not always take itself so seriously as Evan's coworker and close friend, Bill, offers some comic relief while helping his confidant escape the power of the "sea witch." When you want to slap Evan into reality, Bill is there to tell Evan what's what. When Evan is on the brink of destruction, Bill is there to give him a dose of reality and a helping hand along the way. Bill is often crass spilling unfiltered dialogue, but I appreciated his character's incongruity to the sappy and smitten Evan in the small doses that were offered.

    Everson has cleverly included a 100 year old subplot that is told in pieces throughout the main story. This thread follows the Lady Luck and her crew, a rumrunner in the1880s, with an interesting side story that is best discovered by the reader. I found these brief trips in the past to add more historical weight to the town Delilah and preserve the Siren's ancient roots.

    For those who are Everson fans already this will be almost completely new territory, but his sexually-charged prose and strong atmosphere are still prevalent. And for the uninitiated, what are you waiting for? Go get SIREN! Prepare to fall in love, and then get your head bitten off! You've been warned.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    This was the first book I have read by Everson and I was complet

    This was the first book I have read by Everson and I was completely captivated! The scenes are well described, the imagery vivid, and the whole feel of the book made me wonder  " What is really going on in this town?" and " What is this woman's true motive? Very interesting book.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    Highly Recommend - John Everson's best yet!

    SIREN is the perfect mix of horror, suspense and disturbed love so few books achieve. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a truly good horror story that follows in the tradition of Stephen King's BAG OF BONES.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Different from what i'm used too.

    THis was a book that took me off guard because it certainly was a story that i wasn't expecting but i did enjoyed reading it. It kept me reading forward just dying to know what was going to happen next.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant!!!

    After reading John's last Leisure release "The 13th", purchasing this one was a no brainer. I don't want to give too much away, but its about a guy named Evan and his wife Sarah and the grief they're dealing with after losing a son. Sarah deals with the pain by trying to drink it away with alcohol, while Evan wanders the beach re-living what happened to their son. He soon meets Ligeia (the siren) and an ill-fated relationship begins. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but I'll say this, once you start this one you won't want to put it down. I can't recommend it enough. Its definitely my favorite read of this year so far.

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