Struck

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Overview

Lightning isn't always an act of nature. Sometimes it's a calling.

When easy-going Barry Andrews is struck by lightning as he hikes among petroglyphs outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the surge of energy awakens abilities he's carried since birth. Earth's fate is now tied to Barry's, and Barry's destiny is linked to the past.

A thousand years ago, the Anasazi, ancestors of the Pueblo Indians, built an advanced society in Chaco Canyon. Seeking...

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Overview

Lightning isn't always an act of nature. Sometimes it's a calling.

When easy-going Barry Andrews is struck by lightning as he hikes among petroglyphs outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the surge of energy awakens abilities he's carried since birth. Earth's fate is now tied to Barry's, and Barry's destiny is linked to the past.

A thousand years ago, the Anasazi, ancestors of the Pueblo Indians, built an advanced society in Chaco Canyon. Seeking to tame their harsh environment, they aligned their pueblos and kivas with lunar and solar cycles and tapped into powers normally controlled by the spirits. The Anasazi soon realized they couldn't handle such power, and their meddling disrupted a balance of forces and almost ended life on earth. They dismantled their kivas and abandoned Chaco Canyon to stop man from repeating their mistake.

But the pueblo ruins still hold power, and the desire to control it remains strong. One man, driven by greed, ignores Anasazi warnings and exploits the ancient secrets of Chaco. Once again, Earth's ability to sustain life is threatened. The spirits gave Barry the ability to restore the balance. Now he must join forces with a Native American elder, accept his role as warrior, and save the earth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935053170
  • Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
  • Publication date: 5/14/2009
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Pyeatt spent a decade living in an isolated log cabin in northeastern Vermont. He began that decade an engineer and came out of it a novelist. He won't say what happened in those rural woods that turned him, but suspicions are that it had something to do with things that go bump in the night.

Keith now lives in Tucson, Arizona with his husband and two rescue dogs. His novels straddle genre boundaries, but they all contain a strong paranormal element, a mix of physical and psychological tension, and well-developed characters.

Novels now available: Struck, Dark Knowledge, and Above Haldis Notch.

Coming soon: Daeva

Learn more about Keith Pyeatt and his "horror with heart" novels at: www.keithpyeatt.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 2, 2010

    Suspense with a dab of the dark side

    Barry Andrews gets more than he bargains for when he takes a short afternoon hike to check out some Pueblo Indian petroglyphs.

    Sometimes you can just feel change in the air, but you accept it and continue with your day. Then there are times, always in hindsight, where you realize you should have heeded nature's warnings. Barry is lucky to be alive, sure, but can he survive the changes that start happening after the storm?

    Using descriptive and well-crafted prose, the author brings the reader back in time with an engaging look into the history of the Pueblo Indians. With touches of paranormal and the overall sense that this could actually happen, the reader is left without a choice but to turn the page and continue reading. The story contains elements of horror, romance, and mystery. The title is literal, but also a metaphoric theme woven through each character.

    Keith Pyeatt has been writing novels for fourteen years. He writes his own style of paranormal thrillers he calls "horror with heart." His method is to create characters that are just as real as he can make them, drop in a paranormal threat they can't ignore, and add a psychological twist. Keith forces his characters to look inside themselves to find their very best before they can save the day, putting the heart in "horror with heart."

    Struck is a engaging and suspenseful. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys suspense with a dab of dark.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    Supernatural thriller with a strong sense of place

    One of my favorite things about Keith Pyeatt's Struck is its nearly palpable sense of place. I live far away from the landscape Pyeatt describes, but as I read I was so immersed in place I felt I could look up and see the canyons, pueblos, and mesas described in the book's pages. Richly detailed and beautifully described.

    Struck's characters are equally memorable. Barry is a young man coming into his destiny who undergoes a true hero's journey. When he is struck by lightning, his life changes in mysterious ways he doesn't understand--and that tie his fate to that of the earth. Barry's mother had also been struck by lightning when she was pregnant with him; when the lightning finds the adult Barry, it's time for him to decide whether he'll embrace his fate.

    Thomas is a fascinating, multi-faceted adversary whose actions grow increasingly chilling but whose history and confusion inspires sympathy. Pyeatt brings this protagonist and antagonist together in a climactic scene that's thrilling, surprising, and life-affirming. I like thrillers, but this book goes way beyond that genre.

    Supporting characters were also well drawn, including Walter, Barry's mentor; his friend Martin; and Carlos, Barry's love interest. Pyeatt has created a cast of distinctive characters who come to life on the page.

    Struck is more than a thriller or a horror novel. It's a complex story of two men on a collision course, with the fate of the earth hanging in the balance. It's the kind of story whose characters stick with you after you've read the final sentence and closed the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2009

    A beautifully written thriller

    The books I count among my favorites are those whose well-drawn characters linger with me for days, or even weeks. They are the stories that rise above the norm, whose scenes are painted with such skill that I feel a deep sense of place, and suffer a bit of separation anxiety when I approach the last page and realize it's almost over. Struck, Keith Pyeatt's debut paranormal thriller, was such a book.

    It's been two weeks since I finished the book, and Barry Andrews, Pyeatt's protagonist, still haunts me. Barry's life was preordained the minute his mother was struck by lightning when he lay curled in her womb. And when lightning finds him again at Albuquerque's Petroglyph National Monument, a series of predestined events are put into motion. The energy now stored within this likeable young man stir powers unimagined.

    Against a backdrop of ancient pueblo ruins, slumbering volcanoes that unpredictably awaken, and bizarre disturbances in Chaco Canyon, Pyeatt introduces characters with great depth and a subtle touch of humor.

    After being struck, Barry begins to notice bizarre effects. His palm, now marked by a symbol that pulses electric blue on occasion, helps him connect to other souls and carries messages to him about their sadness or fate. He knows when someone is about to die, and can help them peel the layers of pain away so they're free to move on to the next world. Sleep eludes him, and while he stumbles through his job in a daze, strange sensations continue to build within him.

    Inexplicably drawn to Native American tribal elder Walter, Barry is invited into his mystical world, from the village of Amitolita where Walter and his wife live, to kivas in the Amitole Pueblo, to ceremonies in a sweat lodge where sage is strewn across the floor and piñon-infused water is boiled to scatter on hot stones to create cleansing steam.

    Pyeatt's writing style is easy to swallow, yet innovative with strong poetic influences.

    "It only took a moment until he got the sensation of being folded into a deep mixture of past and present that carried him far away from the kiva, far away from his body. He was cocooned somewhere, safe and warm and dark, yet all around him dozens of individual battles raged. Barry only sensed them, but it was enough to recognize their struggles. Life fought death, winter resisted spring, and chaos tugged at order."

    The story plunges ahead, and we discover tribal elder Walter spent time training and working with Thomas Maguire, a browbeaten young man raised by a forceful, cruel grandfather. The tribal elder was driven to "prepare" this young man for a yet unnamed climatic event seen only in his spirit-visions, yet doubts have been mounting about the validity of Thomas as the earth's savior. The future holds something monstrous and potent, and Walter realizes he plays an integral role in its outcome.

    When a bizarre power transfer ceremony based on Anasazi's ancient history drives supernatural powers into Thomas's being, he gradually turns from a man with a tumultuous and fragile psyche who simply needs to be loved, into a monster. Walter reluctantly recognizes this, and transfers his focus to Barry, the true warrior he's been waiting for all his life. Jealousy pushes Thomas further from his true nature, building inside him with an uncontrollable black force. Destiny calls for a showdown between Barry and Thomas, and the book rockets toward a surprising culmination.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    A Southwestern Thrill Ride!

    STRUCK, the first published novel by Keith Pyeatt, is an absolute paranormal thriller. There's no holding back in the storytelling and you are pulled in from the very first chapter.

    Since I love the southwest I knew I had to read this story that takes place in New Mexico, principally in Albuquerque and Chaco Canyon. You won't have any trouble imagining the geography of the area or any the characters for that matter. Upon reading this book I soon realized that Mr. Pyeatt can weave a spellbinding tale with the best of them.

    I have been reading novels by Tony Hillerman for years and am pleased to have found another storyteller who also has a comnplete grasp of the southwest and it's culture. I'm sure we will all hear much more from this author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Absorbing!

    Keith Pyeatt's STRUCK is a fascinating and original read. The novel opens with Barry getting struck by lightning while hiking a petrogylphs-filled trail in New Mexico. Doctors tell Barry how fortunate he is to survive the strike, but also warn him after-effects may yet appear. Barry's prepared, therefore, for the tingling in his hands and the chronic insomnia, but he doesn't expect his sudden ability to read people's minds nor his increased capacity to comfort those in need. Barry meets a Native American elder named Walter who tells him the spirits have blessed Barry with a gift-one that comes with great purpose. Although Barry's mother--who also survived a lightning strike when she was pregnant with Barry-always told him his destiny was that of a warrior, Barry has his doubts. The likeable Barry, however, doesn't want to disappoint Walter, who shows such earnest belief in Barry as he mentors him to fully awaken his spiritual powers.

    Thomas has also been bestowed powers from the spirit world. But his gift wasn't received naturally. Instead Thomas's grandfather conducted a grisly experiment on him--from knowledge he manipulated a Native American elder into sharing--with intentions of exploiting Thomas's gifts for evil means. While Thomas has no memory of the ritual his grandfather performed, as Thomas becomes aware of his newly-bestowed gifts, the power corrupts him. Not only can Thomas read people's minds, he's able to manipulate people, animals, and nature. Thomas becomes convinced Walter is trying to steal his greater powers to bestow into Barry, and Thomas fights to hold onto the powers that have given him the self-esteem he's always lacked, placing Barry-and the world--in grave danger. Despite the growing tension between Barry and Thomas, not even Thomas can deny a bond exists between them. But is Barry's good-hearted nature any kind of match for Thomas's greedy need for power?

    Thomas's terrorizing accelarates as he struggles to hold onto his gifts, but glimpes of humanity shine through, making him the quintessential sympathetic villain. Further sympathy is garnered when the author takes us back in time (in chapters cleverly titled "Eight months before the lightning, "Fourteen days before the lightning," etc.) and Barry and Thomas's pasts are explored. While Barry was nurtured, Thomas was not. While Barry's homosexuality was accepted, Thomas's was not. While Barry had a sense of belonging, Thomas did not. While Barry's friends are trustworthy, Thomas's are decidedly not. Secondary characters are also interesting and varied, and the multiple points-of-view are handled quite adeptly.

    Complementing the wonderful characterization in STRUCK is Pyeatt's rich and powerful writing style. As his words flow and the action increases he never loses our attention and builds a world that is set in present time, yet the ancient rituals and rich Native American culture act to transform the reader to a different place and time, as much as they do Barry.

    While the novel is of normal length, I could have easily read about these characters longer in such an absorbing world.

    Superb.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Uniquely original paranormal novel

    Barry is a young gay man who is hiking in a New Mexico desert canyon, looking at old Pueblo Indian petroglyphs, when the weather suddenly turns bad. Despite seeking shelter between some rocks, the sudden storm seems to seek him out, and he is struck by a strong bolt of lightning. Brought to the hospital by a friend who accompanied him, Barry is told he was lucky he wasn't more seriously hurt, but to expect the complete effect won't be felt for some time. Almost immediately, Barry senses a change, in a sudden ability to connect mentally and emotionally with others, as well as frequent visions of the Chaco Canyon area in which he was struck. On a trip back there, he feels a mysterious connection with an elderly Native American man who recognizes in Barry signs that he has, inadvertently, tapped a source of power last unleashed eons ago by his Pueblo ancestors with dangerous results. Complicating the matter is that Barry only received half of the power, with the other half vested in a mixed-ancestry man who has used it for personal gain, and could cause the catastrophic events to begin again, without Barry's help.

    This is a highly original novel that defies description as one particular genre, including paranormal events, gay romance, science fiction, coming of age, Native American customs and spirituality, with extreme psychological twists. The characterizations are realistic and well-written, and the story draws in the reader with outstanding suspense and plot development. A bit "over the top" for my enjoyment in parts, but recommended as a captivating, escapist read. Four smudge-purified stars out of five.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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