New Release: Beaches

The past is the present is the past

Jacob survived the virus that wiped out most of humanity, but he can’t leave the past where it belongs. Tormented by nightmares, the only option seems to be returning to the source of it all and facing up to what he has done. But the past is complicated and he soon realises that putting it behind him won’t be as straight forward as he thought. If he can’t come to terms with what he has done and what he must do, his sanity and the lives of the people he loves may be forfeit.

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The Dark Tower Extended Read: Introduction

The first “grown-up” book I can remember reading was Stephen King’s The Stand. It was the extended edition, but, even so, I managed to read the whole thing over a weekend. I was captivated and drawn into the world of Stephen King. Over the next few years I read pretty much everything he had written in a haphazard manner based on which stories appealed to me at the time, culminating, eventually, in my first reading of The Dark Tower series.

Since then I’ve been keeping up with his new releases and occasionally dipping into the back catalogue. I attempted another reading of The Dark Tower a few years ago, but found it hard going, despite having enjoyed it the first time around. My assumption is that it’s because I’d grown unfamiliar with the world of Stephen King and because the more recent releases have very little connection with the Tower.

So I’ve decided to do an extended reading of the Tower books, as well as those most closely related to it. I’ve tried to find good recomendations for which books to include and the order to read them in, but nothing has really satisfied me. In the end, I decided to come up with my own order (which I will add below) based on the books recomended by the official Stephen King website, and a few others which I will elaborate on in a moment. The order is simply the chronological order they were released in, with two exceptions: the short story The Little Sisters of Eluria, which is set before the first Dark Tower book and is easy enough to extract and read before the rest of the books, and the eighth main Tower book, which is set between the fourth and fifth books in the series.

One benefit of having read through the series once already is that I know certain things are going to be relevant. That is why you will see a few books below which weren’t even written by King. The first is Shardik (by Richard Adams) which is relevant to The Wastelands. The other is the Harry Potter series which is relevant to Wolves of the Calla. I know there are a lot of other non-King books which are important to the series, and I may add some of those later on, but I needed somewhere to start.

It’s probably worth asking WHY I’m doing this. It’s a total of 35 books and will take me a year plus to get through (because I’m going to read other things as well, I couldn’t manage to read nothing but Stephen King for the next twelve months). Partly I’m doing it because I love the books that are in the reading list and I want to read them again anyway, and partly because I want to be able to enjoy the Tower books again. And partly it’s because I like a challenge and this is a good one to get my teeth into.

My plan is to write something about each of the books as I finish reading them, maybe something about how they relate to the Tower, maybe other things that I’ve noticed. I have already finished ‘Salem’s Lot, so I should have a post up about that soon, and I’m about halfway through The Shining. I’m looking forward to getting back into the world of the Tower.

The Reading Order:

1. ‘salem’s Lot
2. The Shining
3. The Stand
4. The Little Sisters of Eluria
5. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
6. Pet Sematary
7. The Talisman
8. The Mist
9. It
10. The Eyes of the Dragon
11. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
12. Shardik
13. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
14. Needful Things
15. Insomnia
16. Rose Madder
17. Desperation
18. The Regulators
19. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
20. The Dark Tower: The Wind Through The Keyhole
21. Bag of Bones
22. Hearts in Atlantis
23. Dreamcatcher
24. Black House
25. From a Buick 8
26. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone
27. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
28. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
29. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
30. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
31. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
32. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
33. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
34. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
35. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

New Release: Bad Dreams

MEMORIES CAN BE DECEIVING

It’s the end of a long shift and all he wants is to get home and spend the last of the day with his family. But things are not what they seem. The reality of the situation his him hard. He fights against it with a burning passion because accepting it, means losing everything that he loves in the world.

New Release: Fatter

EAT TO LIVE AND LIVE TO EAT

Tanya is so fat that she might die. After a near miss she vows to lose weight. She does everything the nurses tell her to do, eats right and gets exercise. Even her husband is trying to help her. But nothing seems to work. Can she work out why she keeps gaining weight? And will she be able to accept the truth when she sees it? If she can’t then she will end up eating herself to death… or worse.

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New Release: Water

HER PAST IS THEIR FUTURE

The world ended and Louise survived. All she wants is a nice quiet apocalypse, but she makes the terrible mistake of running out of water. She finds a farm where she will be able to get what she needs, but the men who control it don’t want to help. Not only that, but they are holding a group of women prisoners. Louise tries to put the struggle of the women to one side and focus on her own problems, but when one of the women asks for her help, she is forced to confront her own past. If she can’t save the women then she knows exactly what will happen to them, and she doesn’t want to happen to anyone else.

New Release: Miracle Cure

THEY WON’T EVEN LET HER DIE

Spencer and Alanah are neo-luddites who have as little to do with technology as possible. But when Alanah is in an accident her wealthy family aren’t willing to let her die the way that Spencer knows she would want. The only person who can keep her from a fate worse than death is him, but does he have what it takes to say goodbye to his wife forever?

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Or read the complete story below here.

 

Busy

This is a brief update on where I am right now and why I missed a few days posting last week.

It has been a crazy few days (6 in fact) and I am just starting to put myself back together again. I haven’t written anything here, or elsewhere, since Tuesday and that feels strange. I am itching to get back to my projects in progress, at least one of which will hopefully be done very soon.

We have been at the new house every day; sanding, painting, chiseling holes in the wall to fit plug sockets. It’s going well, but it is taking a lot of time. I’m sure it will be worth it when it’s done, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember than when you’re in the middle of things.

While I haven’t been writing, I have been thinking of ideas for new stories and some of them I’m very excited about.

Hopefully, towards the end of this month, we will get the house finished and move in. Then I can move back into something approaching a regular schedule and produce at a better rate than I have been.

Closure

Every now and then a wonderful thing happens. I’m not sure whether it is purely coincidence or if there’s some kind of cosmic law involved, but when it comes around the feeling is incredible.

Yesterday I finished reading a book (The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss) and this morning I finished the first draft of a new short story. In addition to that, I completed a load of work tasks that had been hanging over my head for weeks. There was, one brief moment, where I had no pressing need to do anything. All of the boxes were closed, everything was done.

Although it would be relatively easy to build a life without books to read, or stories to write, I wouldn’t like it. This is a light and dark thing, you can’t really appreciate one without having the other to contrast it with, and anyway, who is to say which one is more enjoyable.

It’s a good feeling nonetheless, and whenever it comes around I make the effort to appreciate it.