Jaye Wells

Category Archives: Horror

High Lonesome Sound and Decoration Day

As we near Memorial Day, I wanted to tell you a little bit about the origins of my novel High Lonesome Sound.

I chose to use the phrase as the book’s title because that it is used to describe the mournful quality of bluegrass music. My novel is set in southern Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian range. It’s nearly impossible to write about that region and not include music. The title was also fitting because the story itself was partially inspired by a song. John Lee Hooker’s “Decoration Day” starts like this:

“People I had a woman, she was nice and kind to me in ev’ry way
But Lord, she died and she left me, I sang the blues on ev’ry Decoration Day.”

I first learned of the mountain practice of Decoration Day from a tv show. The tradition happened every spring when the menfolk clean the cemeteries and the women make paper flowers to decorate the graves. There’s a picnic on the ground and the preacher offers a service. It’s a way for communities to reconnect after the long winter and to honor their dead.

There’s some debate about the origins of the practice. It’s similar to Dia de Los Muertos and Memorial Day, which came later. But I’m a writer so my brain is pretty twisted, and when I asked myself why a community would start a ritual like this one, I decided they did it because they had to–or the dead would rise.

John Lee Hooker’s song combined with one of my favorite short stories, “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs, gave me the idea for the basic premise of the story: A man, mourning his dead wife, will do anything to get her back, even if it means making a deal with a demon. The problem is deals with demons rarely go as one hopes, and his dead wife, Rose, doesn’t come back alone.

As I started writing the story, it grew into much more than a narrative about the lengths we’ll go to to escape grief. It became a story about five people who were searching for something they’d lost. Cotton Barret is the man searching for a way to get his wife back. Ruby Barret is his daughter, who lost her ability to hear the mountain’s song on the day her mama died. Peter West is a down-on-his luck horror novelist who’s looking for a new story to save his career. Deacon Fry is the town’s mayor and the head deacon of Moon Hollow’s only church, and he’s search for redemption for a sin he committed as a young man. Then there’s Granny Maypearl, the local granny woman who specializes old folk remedies and magic, who is searching for a way to mend her broken family and pass her gifts to her estranged granddaughter, Ruby.

If you haven’t given High Lonesome Sound a read yet, I hope you’ll consider it. From now through Memorial Day weekend, it’s only $.99 in ebook.

Buy High Lonesome Sound in ebook now!

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High Lonesome Sound Reviews

The reviews are rolling in for my supernatural Southern gothic novel, High Lonesome Sound.

“Jaye Wells has a wholly adept pen and at times much more than that, adding flourish and style.

HIGH LONESOME SOUND is an easy and inviting read. The pacing is on point. The characters are good. The thrills and action move justly. I can’t imagine a fan of commercial horror being disappointed by this book.” —Unnerving Magazine

Read the rest of the review here. 

Buy your copy now!

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Introducing: High Lonesome Sound

The day has finally arrived for High Lonesome Sound‘s big launch! I could not be more excited to share this Appalachian gothic tale about mountain magic, deadly secrets, and vengeful demons with you.

Secrets won’t stay buried. Neither will the dead. 

In the sleepy mountain town of Moon Hollow, Virginia, there is a church with a crooked steeple. No one will say for sure how it got that way, but it’s the reason the whole town gathers every Decoration Day to honor the dead.

This year, there are two fresh graves up on Cemetery Hill, a stranger’s come to town, and the mountain’s song is filled with dark warnings.

The good people of Moon Hollow are about to learn that some secrets are too painful to bear, and some spirits are too restless to stay buried.

Buy it now:

 Amazon | Indiebound| B&N | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay 

 

What people are saying about High Lonesome Sound:

“This story will leave you shivering in the dead of summer.” –Cherie Priest, author of The Family Plot

“A masterful portrayal of flawed humanity struggling to hear the song of the sublime. It’s harrowing, haunting, and ultimately triumphant with a deeply satisfying conclusion.” –Kevin Hearne, NYT Bestselling author of the Iron Druid series

“Some of the best horror I’ve read in ages. Feels like Stephen King after he  really hit his stride.” –Stephen Blackmoore, author of Dead Things

Frequently Asked Questions:

-Where can I buy High Lonesome Sound?

You can purchase it in ebook or print at most online book stores. If you prefer to shop at independent brick-and-mortar stores you can always ask them to order you a copy.
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay 

-When will it be available in audio?

Hopefully soon. Producing high-quality audiobooks is important to me, so I’m taking time to find the best partner for this project. Keep an eye out for more news on this as I have it.

Where can I read an excerpt?

The first chapter is here.

-Is High Lonesome Sound part of a series?

No. It is a stand alone novel. However, I do have other stories planned for this genre, which I call “Appalachian Gothic.”

-Will the story scare me?

Short Answer: Probably.

Long answer: It depends on your tolerance for creepiness. If you’re a fan of Stephen King or Shirley Jackson, you’ll probably love it. If you find them too scary, you’ll probably need to sleep with a light on.

-Does this mean you’ve stopped writing urban fantasy?

Absolutely not. I still have three books left in my Prospero’s War series, and lots of ideas for other stories that fall under the UF umbrella.

I believe it’s important for writers to stretch themselves so their skills don’t grow stale. Plus, the beauty of self-publishing is I can write whatever I want and get it all to the market faster. This allows me to work in several genres at once. If one of my chosen genres doesn’t work for you, that’s okay because there are plenty of other options.

 

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Praise for High Lonesome Sound

I’m excited to share  new book blurbs for HIGH LONESOME SOUND.

“Spooky and sweet, dark and warm, and sharp as an animal’s teeth. This is a story that will leave you shivering in the dead of summer.” –Cherie Priest, author of THE FAMILY PLOT

“A masterful portrayal of flawed humanity struggling to hear the song of the sublime. It’s harrowing, haunting, and ultimately triumphant.” –Kevin Hearne, NYT Bestselling author of the IRON DRUID series

“Some of the best horror I’ve read in ages. Feels like Stephen King after he  really hit his stride.” –Stephen Blackmoore, author of DEAD THINGS

 

HIGH LONESOME SOUND releases on February 13.

-Read Chapter One now.

-Add it to your Goodreads “To Read” list.

-Want to be reminded when it comes out? Sign up for my newsletter!

Cover Reveal-High Lonesome Sound

Check out the gorgeous cover of my Appalachian gothic novel, HIGH LONESOME SOUND.

About High Lonesome Sound:

In the sleepy mountain town of Moon Hollow, Virginia, there is a church with a crooked steeple. No one will say for sure how it got that way, but it’s reason the whole town gathers every Decoration Day to honor the dead.

But this year, there are two fresh graves up on Cemetery Hill, a stranger’s come to town, and the mountain’s song is filled with dark warnings.

The good people of Moon Hollow are about to learn that some secrets are too painful to bear, and some spirits are too restless to stay buried.

High Lonesome Sound will launch on February 13, just in time for Women in Horror Month.

Note: Preorders will not be available on this title. If you want to keep up with release news, please sign up for my newsletter. When you subscribe, I’ll send you The Uncanny Collection for free!