When Judd Vowell dove into the research for his new book Powder House, he got more than he bargained for, including a visit from the long-dead grandfather he never met. Through it all – from befriending a real-life medium to following the breadcrumbs fate dropped for him along the way – Judd discovered that writing can offer many gifts. Even ghost stories.
Judd’s writing journey started five years ago, when he wrote and published the first book in the Overthrown trilogy. The experience began as a challenge for the former musician, to see if he could produce a full-length novel. Having accomplished that personal goal, he sought to hone his craft, writing and editing the next two Overthrown novels, and then delving into something different. In developing his next book, he studied the art of storytelling, with the guidance of a dedicated book coach who led a weekly writing group. Ideas, support, criticism – it was all part of the process, and Powder House is the result.
Judd lives with his son Charlie in his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, a city rich in haunted history, complete with regular ghost walks and cemetery strolls. He counts himself lucky in one regard – he doesn’t scare easy. Otherwise, those bumps in the night in a house where more than one person has died might have him seeing ghosts.
Julie Danner has been running away from home for nine years. She hoped leaving small-town Hopes Ridge and starting a career in journalism would silence the voices in her head causing her to question her own sanity. But when her wheelchair-bound dad calls, asking for help with her unraveling mother, she's forced to go back home and confront the woman she hoped to never see again.
If returning home weren't bad enough, the house Julie moves back to may be haunted. At first, she tries to ignore the signs. But Julie soon discovers that she has an ability more powerful than mere intuition - the other side is desperately trying to send her a message. The clues start to add up, to reveal a horrible truth about what happened inside Julie's house long ago, and just how connected to the violent and evil past she might be.
While a serial killer still lurks, Julie moves from skeptic to believer, and from journalist to cold-case investigator, enlisting her retired cop father to hunt down a murderer who may be closer than she thinks. Inside Powder House hides the stink of betrayal, lust, and a love twisted beyond anything natural - but will Julie uncover it all before it's too late?
A global blackout...a stranded family's dying mother...
and a rescue that leads to the war for survival...
"Overthrown sets a story of the bond between father and kids against a background of cyberterrorism and global doom. You'll come to like Gordon, his twin children, and maybe even some of the terrorists."
- Lady Smith,
The Snail on the Wall book blog
"Overthrown is simply fantastic. Reminded me a lot of Stephen King's The Stand. Didn't want it to end and hope there are more in this series! I would highly recommend it for your next read."
- Robert Bailey,
author of The Professor, Between Black and White,
and The Last Trial
"The writing is excellent and I was hooked from the first page. The only bad thing, the world Vowell created is a little too easy to envision and find plausible."
- Tracey Fortkamp, Instagram book blogger @sobookinggood