During a recent Days Of the Dead convention here in Atlanta, I caught up with an author friend of mine, J.H. Glaze. His table was loaded with novels. One of his more recent, an 8 story collection, had the unique distinction of being written in and about small coffee shops around Georgia.
But these aren’t just ANY coffee shops. They have a history.
Dark & Strong: Haunted Tales from The Coffee House was the perfect thing for me to read on a cold, windy Atlanta morning while I sipped on my own cup of joe.
SYNOPSIS: Join the Dark and Strong Tour if you dare. You will be drawn into a mysterious world of haunted coffee houses and weird caffeine fueled tales that will push you past the edge of sanity. Over the course of 8 weeks, J.H. Glaze traveled to 8 different towns with a single purpose: Visit a coffee house and write a complete story in one sitting, each one inspired by the area where it was located. Following in the tradition of his Horror Challenge series, J.H. Glaze has woven a collection of short stories that you will remember long after you read them.
To begin, each and every story was a thrill to read. The stories themselves aren’t too long and the collection itself is the perfect way to pass some time while you relax and enjoy your coffee (or tea) as the case may be. From ghost stories like “Just A Wisp Of A Woman” to an alien based one like “Hamburger” each story will grab and hold your attention.
The coffee shops themselves are loaded with charm and personality. They capture the essence of Georgia to a tee and span the scale from modern to rustic. With some of them having a “haunted history” they set the atmosphere for the perfect story.
Starting with a solid plot, Glaze then mixes in realistic characters which makes the overall feel Dark and Strong as the title suggests.
Without giving away spoilers, I will say I was fascinated and pulled into each story by characters like Sara and Ray who were opening their first coffee shop called Java The Hut. Then in one of the final stories there were customers like Stan and Jack who probably wished they had never left the coffee shop.
About the Author:
Living in the heart of the South, J.H. Glaze spins tales that will grab you by the throat and not let you go until the last page. If you are a fan of Horror, Thrillers, Action, and like the occasional dash of Humor in the mix, Glaze is the author who should be on your reading short list. His stories are packed with punch and wit, and when you meet him at a Horror/SciFi/Fantasy convention, he will dare you to pick one up, read a few paragraphs and try to stop reading – if you can.
With multiple titles under his belt, Glaze has established a solid reputation as a writer. When his characters aren’t screaming, their cool and natural dialog will draw you into their world and set you up for some of the most unique plot twists you have ever encountered.
Step into the vortex of the writings of J.H. Glaze. When you reach the final page of each of his stories, you will find yourself shaking your fist at the sky and screaming what most everyone who reads him does, “I WANT MORE!”
Glaze draws inspiration for his tales from the adventurous life he has lived and the unusual people he has met along the way. He was born and raised in Niles, Ohio, but currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Susan, three dogs and a parrot who bites him whenever it gets the chance