(George) will be celebrating the release of his novel Spiritwood. Legend has it that Spiritwood was named after ancient spirits living in the woods around town... The town soon discovers the legend is true.
Book Launch Open House:
Sunday Dec. 7th, 20142:00-5:00 pm.
Silver City Suds
409 E. Northwater St. Silver Lake WI 53170.
Come join the fun!!! G.J. Wise will be there to meet all of you and sign your copy of Spiritwood. Books will be available for purchase.This is being held Open House style so stop in anytime between 2:00-5:00. Snacks provided/cash bar.
If you are unable to attend the festivities, please stop by the publisher's site, Damnation Books, or G.J Wise's FB page or Amazon author page to find out more about the book and where you can purchase your copy.
Author page on FB
Amazon author page
Here is a prologue for the book to whet your appetite:
by G. J. Wise
Sammy Harrington, his brother Virgil, Ned Broadski, and the Burleski twins, Wink and Dink, drove out to the Zanto farm for opening day of deer hunting. Al Zanto expected the boys. It had been the traditional whitetail spot for the Harringtons since Sammy and Virg were teenagers, when they started helping Al put up hay in the summer.
It was a frosty morning and they crunched over the frozen grass in the pasture on their way into the woods.
"Where you setting up, Virg?" Sammy asked as he loaded rounds into his Winchester.
"I'm head'n up the cabin way. I'll pick a spot up that ridge there on the north side."
"Nedly, where you headed?" Sammy continued when they reached the top of the hill where the pasture ended and the forest began. Ned was puffing and had to pause before speaking.
"I'm gonna head to the north with Virg. I'll find a spot on the next ridge over from him, dere."
"Wink -n- Dink, where you boys going?" Sammy asked, hanging the rifle over his shoulder by its strap. "I was thinking a heading down to the bottoms here and finding a small knob to make my stand. Seems all the deer I ever seen in these wood was heading down into the bottoms."
"Think we'll move towards the south," Wink said, wiping his nose on his sleeve. "There's that high ridge, with the rock face cliff, where I popped that eight pointer last season."
"Yep." Dink grunted.
"Okay, guys." Sammy said, pushing the top strand of barbed wire fence down low enough to step over. "Why'nt you all walk in from either end of the valley around ten o'clock if you don't see nothing. I'll be set up in there somewhere and maybe you'll push something my way. I'll have coffee for you."
"Ahright," Virg said, and started off toward the north along the fence line with Ned in tow. "Good luck, boys."
"Yeah, good luck," Wink and Dink said in unison as they turned toward the south.
"I'll be watching for ya around ten." Sammy said, as he started down into the valley.
Sammy worked his way down the slope over the boulders and dead- falls, through the brambles and thick undergrowth, to the bottom of the valley. He'd been through this part of the woods many times. Last year during whitetail season he saw a large buck --ten or twelve points-- run down here followed by a herd of does. The woods opened up at the bottom of the slope, leaving only mature trees with little undergrowth.
He worked his way south down the valley floor, following a lively brook that churned along the western slope. It was a beautiful morning, with the sun just cresting the hill, setting the trees ablaze in a halo of golden hoarfrost.
Sammy saw plenty of deer sign. He passed two large scrapes and one small one. The few small trees that struggled for sunlight in the bottoms were rubbed clean of bark, and he saw several heavily used trails that converged into one. This trail forked at the stream where it meandered around the base of a low hill near the bottom of the western rim. The trail split to either side of the knob and Sammy saw a flat granite slab on top that would make a great stand.
He started up the slope and noticed a red fox lying dead near the base of one of the trees that circled the mound. It sent a shiver down his spine, just looking at the animal. Its dead eyes, covered with a light film of dust stared up at the brightening sky, but when Sammy nudged it with the toe of his boot, it rolled loosely. It had been dead only a short time.
What really gave Sammy the creeps was that the animal had apparently chewed off its own feet. All four paws were chewed off to the first joint and its mouth was smeared with blood. Sammy couldn't figure it out and bent down for a closer look. He rolled it over with his gloved hand --the other eye that had been on the ground was glued with bits of leaves-- searching for any other wound, or something that would help him make sense of this creatures death other than it eating its own feet. There was nothing.
He took off his glove and ran his fingers over the soft coat, grimacing slightly. The carcass was still warm and suddenly he had the impression that those dead eyes came alive with a malign, dead-light. The bloody muzzle drew back in a snarl and a sighing, fetid gasp, convulsed from its deflated lungs. The fox appeared to writhe under his hand and snap at his fingers. Sammy jumped to his feet with a yelp, and took two backward steps before he tripped over a hidden branch and sat down in the stream.
"Son of a bitch!" He said, then looked around foolishly to see if anyone had seen him fall.
He looked to the dead fox and it was just that. No life shone in its dead eyes, no breath filled its flaccid lungs. It was just a dead fox. One that died in some horrible, terrifying madness, but a dead fox nonetheless, and Sammy Harrington wasn't one to question the ways of nature.
He jumped up from the stream, cursing his foolishness and plucking his wet shorts from the crack of his ass, then started back up toward the slab at the top of the mound. He passed the fox without looking and headed up the hill. Sammy noticed an unusual amount of animal bones littered the slope. Sammy remembered, just before he was overwhelmed with nausea and the madness overtook him, that the bones of animals that die in the woods are consumed by mice and other small rodents and aren’t left lying around for very long.
At first Sammy was sick. His stomach did a quick flip-flop and the three eggs, sausage and hash browns he'd had at the diner, came up in a yellow/brown plume before him. Then he started thinking that he should take his rifle and put the muzzle in his mouth and pull the trigger. He sat down on the rock and shrugged off his blaze orange coveralls. He put the muzzle in his mouth, tasting gun oil, and reached down to flip off the safety. He was overcome with the wonder of it all, imagining the exquisite instant of pain he would feel as the hot chunk of lead first passed through the roof of his mouth, up through his sinus, then on into the soft tissue of his brain, turning the gray matter into gruel. Seconds passed as he imagined the outcome, and a long string of saliva slipped from the corner of his mouth, landing on his hand.
Maybe I should wait. He thought, gagging on the barrel. Maybe the knife would be better. He pulled the rifle from his mouth and let it drop to the ground where it barked once, harmlessly splintering a sapling that grew near the slab. He drew the hunting knife from the sheath at his side and held the blade up before his eyes like he'd seen Father Onefry do on Sundays with the Eucharist.
"This is my blood," he whispered, and drove the blade of the knife to the hilt into his lower belly, "the blood of the new and everlasting covenant."
He withdrew the blade and saw his pants darkening. He brought the knife back down hard into his right thigh where the blade embedded in the bone. He had to work it back and forth to loosen it. Sammy didn't scream when he did this but someone standing near him would have heard him making a slight keening noise in the back of his throat.
He raised the knife one more time and readied himself to drive it into his stomach when something occurred to him. They'll be coming, he thought, and a crooked grin split his lips. They heard the shot and they'll be coming to see if I got one. With this in mind his wild eyes searched the ground for the rifle. He snatched it up and lay down on the ground behind the rock.
The next day the papers reported how Samuel J. Harrington killed his brother Virgil and a friend in a hunting accident, then in overwhelming grief took his own life. What the paper didn't say, but Al Zanto related later that night at the Last Chance saloon, was that Wink and Dink showed up at his door all whey faced and shaking, saying that Sammy had gone bonkers and shot Virg and Nedly. Al called the cops and then hiked back into the woods, against the advice of Wink and Dink, to see what was about.
Al didn't get to close, but closer than he should've because he suffered nightmares of the sight up until the night he died at the Silver Cross nursing home. He found the three of them in the bottom of the first valley. Ned was shot dead quick, once through the head, but Virg had done some suffering. He had taken eleven rounds, probably all Sammy had on him, and most of them in the arms, legs and belly. None of them kill shots. Both of them boys were within thirty yards of where Sammy himself lay on top of the mound, like a bloody sacrifice on top of the stone, the knife protruding from his chest and gray loops of intestines hanging across his legs.