Head Full of Lies (Harlan Winter Book 2)
May 21, 2024
The southbound trail of a stolen spell book becomes a nightmare road trip in a propulsive novel about the unrelenting power of evil by the author of Lighthouse Burning.
Harlan Winter has returned to his corner of Appalachia, where his fiery history with a depraved cult has made him a legend. All Harlan wants is to run his occult bookshop and get on with his life—if only his unsettling visions would let him. But when a fellow devotee of the dark arts moves to Coopersville and Harlan’s coveted grimoire is stolen, he’s pulled into a world deadlier than the one that already scarred his soul.
The foolish thieves are two local teenagers hightailing it out of Appalachia in a stolen car and heading south to Florida where a buyer for the coveted grimoire is waiting. They have no idea what evil lies on the road ahead. But Harlan does. Blood has already been spilled. He’s following them mile by mile on a mission to save them before it’s too late. Because once their prized possession is in the wrong hands, there will be hell to pay.
Lighthouse Burning (Harlan Winter Book 1)
In a small Appalachian town, an amateur detective unearths a dark conspiracy and his own haunted past, in a chilling novel about sacrifice, art, and revenge.
Med school dropout Harlan Winter returns to his impoverished West Virginia hometown, where the law is scarce, arsonists are turning everything to ash, and his family’s turbulent history lingers. All he wants is to keep the peace in a community cowering from The Lighthouse, a local cult preying on people’s fears. Harlan’s own fears, too, when he’s hired to play detective and find a young couple gone missing.
The vanished artist and his girlfriend have left behind a series of paintings that enrage The Lighthouse’s Pastor Logan, who believes art can have divine power. It’s not easy to believe for a rational man like Harlan. And impossible to ignore when his investigation is haunted by visions of the dead lurking in the shadows of his own violent past.
Revelations about the disappearances are being unearthed. The Lighthouse’s grip on the community is tightening. And Harlan fears he’s losing control. As the threats against his town, his sanity, and his life begin to mount, Harlan doesn’t know which is more terrifying: what’s real, or what’s in his mind.
The Poison Flood
"A near-Shakespearean snarl, a mad, seven-day action crucible set in the West Virginia wild...The Poison Flood is an ambitious saga, cockamamie and passionate. Through Hollis, Farmer produces a pocket Hillbilly manifesto."--Atlanta Journal Constitution
A captivating, gritty, and tender story of a reclusive musician and the local disaster that threatens his small town and changes his life forever.
Hollis Bragg lives on the fringes. The hunchbacked son of a West Virginia hill preacher, he now resides in rural isolation next to the burned-out husk of his father's church, and earns his living ghostwriting songs for a popular band that left the poverty and corruption of Appalachia and never looked back. It's the life he prefers, free from the harsh glare of the spotlight and attachments that lead only to heartbreak.
Then, much to his consternation, he's discovered by Russell Watson, a local musician and fan who also happens to be the rebellious son of the local chemical company magnate. When a devastating toxic spill at the Watson chemical plant poisons the local water, it sets off an unpredictable series of events as Hollis witnesses a murder, faces a shocking betrayal, and begins to come to terms with his body and his past. Soon Hollis will find that in losing his anonymity and reclaiming his music, he can transform his future; and in opening himself up to the world, he might find redemption.
Lynch, West Virginia, is a husk of a town: houses collapsing, deserted coal mines, the money gone. The residents who have not abandoned their homes find themselves living in poverty with little-to-no job opportunities, fighting for scraps and survival under the rule of Ferris Gilbert—the patriarch of a local family who governs the town with manipulative cruelty.
When Jason Felts, a dwarf and aspiring social worker who lives above the town funeral home, is assigned to counsel one of the Gilbert brothers incarcerated inside a youth correctional facility for possession charges, Ferris Gilbert sees a rare opportunity. He seeks out Jason and insists under threat of violence that he smuggle an ominous package into the jail. Torn between his desire to save the young Gilbert brother from a life of crime and concern for his own safety, Jason must make a life-altering decision. At the same time, Gilbert has his hooks in Terry Blankenship, a strung-out young man desperate to carve out a secret life for himself and his boyfriend. If Terry cannot pay his debts to the Gilberts, he has one choice: kill the local sheriff or face the consequences. Sheriff Thompson is found dead soon after. Now both implicated in serious crimes, Jason and Terry must outrun the law and escape the threat of Ferris Gilbert but there may be nowhere to run . . .
The Pallbearer is an unflinching debut for fans of Frank Bill and Sarah Waters that lays bare the lives of the outsiders of society’s outskirts.
“The Delinquents,” short story E-Book available from StoryFront.
“The Pugilist” Sequestrum, Issue16, 2018.
“My Father’s Fiddle,” Southern Humanities Review, Vol 50, 2016. (226-239)
“The Delinquents,” Day One Magazine, 2015
“The Adjunct,” Pembroke Magazine, number forty-seven, 2015. (53-60)
“Arrows,” The Baltimore Review, Fall 2014
“Lost in the Flood,” Appalachian Heritage, Vol. 4, Fall 2014. (55-71)
“Dust,” Southwest Review, vol. 100 no.1, 2014. (42-49)
“Renovation,” Kestrel, Issue 32, Spring 2014. (75-84)
“Yard Sale Lingerie,” Issue 36, Rip-Rap Journal, 2014. (146-156)