Back Cover Synopsis:
It exists in a long-forgotten corner of the American dream.
Green Valley County is home to murders and heroes, ghosts and jinxes, gods, devils, and even a pygmy Big Foot.
But the biggest menace is Jinx Jenkins and the string of bad luck he bestows upon the townsfolk.
Can the good people of Green Valley overcome this one man’s curse?
If you love the classic comic and magical realism, you’ll lose yourself in this piece of Americana.
Become a citizen of the City by the Shore and see how seemingly random occurrences come to shape an entire civilization.
WELCOME TO GREEN VALLEY
It exists in a long-forgotten corner of the American dream. It exits in the soul of every town and every village, every suburb and every city. It exists in twilight—that place between waking and dreaming. If you go looking for it, you will pass it by. To find it, you must forget your way there. A place unlike any other, it saturates your consciousness when you are visiting, and it quickly falls to the back of your memory once you’ve left. To say you remember it fully is a lie. And to say you have no memory at all would be the same.
We have all been to Green Valley. Don’t you remember?
That strange county, with an over population of trees, gray-green snow, and buildings washed in art. Contained within a tall mountain ridge, Green Valley is inhabited by a great arbor sanctuary, several small villages, and a river that trickles down its spine. The citizenship walks about, stained in a noxious film that intrudes their pores, their hair, and everything they own.
A single road stretches in a large, dented circle—Main Street. It runs through the forest and over mountain cliffs. It weaves its way from oasis to oasis and carries with it all the hopes and dreams of the people. The only way in or out of town is an entrance and an exit at either end, where upon you’ll find yourself back in a thick expanse of trees. Your lone guide, the woven tunnel of branches slinking in a fearful gauntlet through the forest.
The crescent-shaped valley is located in the heart of the country. The mountain chain tall and foreboding, verdant and fertile.
It’s right there on the map, don’t you see?
The valley’s mouth runs along the banks of Lake Sibylline—a lake large enough to be a member of the Great Lakes, but separated by land, and therefore, discarded by the public’s devotion. Sibylline is the second largest American lake, as well as the second deepest. But when was the last time anybody remembered who came in second?
Along the tortured shores, the people migrate to the metropolis where they find love and hate, work and play, and answer to the god in the crystal tower. But we’ll get to that…
Historically, Green Valley is the foremost spawning ground for the mighty North American Jackalope. During the monsoons, lightning attacks the land, trees catch fire, and the antlered rodents mate until exhaustion. In the spring, when the young follow their loins back home, many a tire is punctured by the razor points of road kill. Some go as far as to worship the vicious beasts, while still others enjoy them with currants and a splash of Worcestershire.
A place like all others, it has roads and houses and people and lots and lots of trees. Children go to school. Rush hour is a bitch. And in the summer, cicadas cry with lust. Also a place unlike any other, there are heroes and villains, murderers and ghosts, and lots and lots of magic. A boy crows at the sun. Mutants sneak in the shadows. And in the summer, the tired river catches fire and keeps the night at bay.
Consumed by a vast pattern of interconnected circles and tracks and trains, like a snake eating its own tail, the links in the chain glide along in their never-ending loops. The valley people ride in the belly of the serpent, moving to and from the city. It was given to them by a madman. He will die for their sins.
A place that God and the devil forgot, and in their absence, others filled the void. Enacting their will through mediums—conduits to their hope and rage, fear and love, truth, justice, and lust. They will lead a revolution. They will rediscover humanity.
To start our story with “Once upon a time” would be disingenuous. It’s said Green Valley exists at all times, which makes that particular adage a bit tricky. Rather, let’s say it happened “Once upon a place…” and leave it at that.
Welcome to Green Valley. We’ve been expecting you.
J. Ryan Sommers has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago. He and his wife recently left the windy city and relocated in Houston where Sommers teaches and continues to write.
If you’re interested in receiving a review copy of my first novel in the CONDUITS series, which features plenty of strange creatures and showcases a string of bad luck, please fill in the form attached.