Souls of Nod

In the paranormal suspense/thriller novel ‘Souls of Nod’ five members of a soul family gather to carry on a conflict that has been repeated since the dawn of time. One of them will murder another member of the group, and there is seemingly nothing any of them can do to stop it from happening.

In 2010, Hester has recently married Paul and moved into the house he previously shared with his former wife Flo, located in a suburban Ohio neighborhood decimated by the real estate crash. Many of the houses stand empty, and Hester has encountered ghosts in some of them. Paul scoffs, but neighbor Chanti and husband Clay have seen them, too. Hester learns from them and others about violent deaths that have happened on this land that had once been a prosperous farm, killings involving people who seem strangely familiar. Chanti tracks down Millie, an old woman who appears to know what is going on. Millie tells her about a soul family of the five ancient elements:  fire, air, water, earth, and the void. In each incarnation each member of the soul family can be either man or woman, husband or wife, brother or sister, father or daughter, mother or son, or totally unrelated, or any combination of these. No matter how they are incarnated, each generation the five souls are drawn together to carry out the violence they seem destined to commit. In this latest incarnation the gathering is complete when Paul’s ex-wife Flo returns. Will they continue the age-old cycle of violence they seem doomed to commit? Or will this time be different, allowing the soul family to advance on its path to Nirvana?

Interviews

Featured Author Mike Sherer – Book Reader Magazine

Featured Interview With Mike Sherer

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Mason, Ohio, which is within the Greater Cincinnati Metro Area in the southwest corner of Ohio. I have settled in West Chester, Ohio, about 10 miles distant. I enjoy traveling across the US, and have detailed camping trips across the country on my travel blog American Locations: https://mikesherer.org. I especially enjoy long hikes in the wilderness while on these trips. I have published 3 novels, 4 novellas, and 20 short stories, plus 1 screenplay that was produced into a movie. It was released direct to DVD & now is available on Amazon Prime.

At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
The first books I read in my pre-teen years were science fiction. That’s all my older brother ever read, so they were laying around. I have since broadened my range to all kinds of fiction, especially horror, fantasy, and suspense, and nonfiction, especially history and science. I began writing song lyrics in my teen years. I progressed to short stories, screenplays, and finally novels.

Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Thomas Pynchon, Robert M. Persig, John Updike, Neal Stephenson, Robert Jordan, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Philip Roth, Bernard Cornwell, Elmore Leonard – to name a few.

Tell us a little about your latest book?
In my paranormal suspense novel ‘Souls of Nod’, published by Breaking Rules Publishing, five members of a soul family gather to carry on a conflict that has been repeated since the dawn of time. One of them will murder another member of the group, and there is seemingly nothing any of them can do to stop it from happening. It is app. 67,000 words. In 2010, Hester has recently married Paul and moved into the house he previously shared with his former wife Flo, located in a suburban Ohio neighborhood decimated by the real estate crash. Many of the houses stand empty, and Hester has encountered ghosts in some of them. Paul scoffs, but neighbor Chanti and husband Clay have seen them, too. Hester learns from them and others about violent deaths that have happened on this land that had once been a prosperous farm, killings involving people who seem strangely familiar. Chanti tracks down Millie, an old woman who appears to know what is going on. Millie tells her about a soul family of the five ancient elements: fire, air, water, earth, and the void. In each incarnation each member of the soul family can be either man or woman, husband or wife, brother or sister, father or daughter, mother or son, or totally unrelated, or any combination of these. No matter how they are incarnated, each generation the five souls are drawn together to carry out the violence they seem destined to commit. In this latest incarnation the gathering is complete when Paul’s ex-wife Flo returns. Will they continue the age-old cycle of violence they seem doomed to commit? Or will this time be different, allowing the soul family to advance on its path to Nirvana?

REVIEWS

4.0 out of 5 stars 

Creepy paranormal story

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 January 2021

It is well written and keep me interested throughout. It does jump back and forth between different ages following the same soul family . I usually don’t like when stories go back and forth in time. However, surprisingly enough it isn’t hard to follow because they are different characters with different names. It does keep you guessing what might happens next and is just creepy enough without being too scary. All in all I enjoyed it.

Worth reading 😎

A thriller encompassing the violent lives of people whose souls traveled through different centuries and met again in the 21st Century.

Souls of Nod by Mike Sherer introduces people and lives from different centuries: 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st. The characters from each of these centuries find themselves entangled in extreme circumstances that usually end with violence. As the scenes switch from one century to another, Mike Sherer keeps the audience hooked with enough twists. Believing Souls of Nod to be just a horror story would be a mistake; it is most definitely a fascinating amalgamation of philosophy and paranormal elements. While Hester, Paul, Chanti, and Clay occupy the reader’s attention with the strange sightings and marital drama, the love triangle of Joy, Henry, and Parrish confuse and intrigues the readers. Then, there was Mercy, whose unwavering courage in the face of unfamiliar lands guaranteed many admirers. The story of slave-hunters and slaves proved to be another page-turner. Mike Sherer’s expert manner of binding these stories together was no less than a masterstroke.

At the time, though, the rapid-fire execution of events became slightly overwhelming. The scenes where Hester started seeing ghosts happened too quickly for the reader to pause and reflect. This hasty development stole the joy that comes from connecting with the characters and comprehending their emotions. Having said that, the engaging stories and the suspense of finding a connection between all of these characters were enough incentives to keep the readers glued to the plot. I recommend Souls of Nod by Mike Sherer to readers who enjoy a thriller with multiple parallel stories set in different timeframes.

REVIEWED BY

Ankita ShuklaFollow


Hi! I am Ankita from New Delhi, India. For as far back as I can remember, I loved reading. I have been reviewing books on my blog for close to 4 years now.

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Never1701

4.0 out of 5 stars 

Clever and Quirky

Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2020.

Before I dig into the meat of the book, I have to preface my review with sheer disappointment in the formatting. I read this on Kindle and it looks almost like someone’s first attempt at self-publishing. There were odd line breaks throughout the book in the middle of sentences. No Table of Contents, and only the most basic of typesetting or chapter organization. The cover also struck me as blurry and not very professional, all of which is a shame because Sherer’s book had some very interesting elements which many readers will probably not bother with due to the sloppy publishing. I would also be remiss if not stating that this could have used a much stricter editor to try to keep the story more focused and structured where it tends to veer off a bit into the void. No pun intended.

Although probably not new, I did find the idea of a soul family intriguing. The idea that certain spirits would reincarnate over and over to reenact centuries long feuds and conflict kept me turning the page. Tying each soul to a particular element furthered the epic feel of the book. Adding a fifth element of the void as the catalyst for the breakdown each time made for a very karmic, thought provoking read.

The story is told with a series of flashbacks to half a dozen different time periods starting in the present and working our way back to prehistoric times. The elemental nature of the spirits did help them to be more recognizable in each of the various “flashbacks.” Still the sheer number of them did weigh the narrative down a bit which may turn off more action or plot focused readers. History buffs and those fascinated by past lives, though, will devour this book in short order.

One aspect of this I loved was that the story or plot itself truly became the main character. At the outset we suspect that Hester may be our primary focus, and she is sort of, but the POV shifts away from her about 3/4 of the book allowing us to see through the eyes of not only the other souls in the present, but also their various incarnations through the ages.

Sherer does a nice job of tying up all these somewhat convoluted timelines at the end of the book and delivering a very satisfying ending.

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BonnieD

3.0 out of 5 stars 

Soul families

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2020

Overall, this was a much darker book than I usually read, but it had a creative premise–certain people connected by soul families throughout time. I believe fans of horror will be interested in this one. The vivid and sometimes bloody descriptions are certainly hair-raising.

That being said, there are some formatting issues and errors that, if addressed, would make the book more readable and draw more readers to it. The character Chanti’s name is misspelled as “Chianti” at least twice early in the book. There are spacing issues in the Kindle version, as you will be reading a sentence, and then it will break off in the middle and resume three or four rows down. The blurry cover is not inviting at all and is probably not going to draw anyone in. There are so many vivid descriptions in this book, and some of that could have been depicted on the cover.

I found the book confusing at times, as scenes flashed very quickly from one time period to another. I do think it would translate well to a horror movie as I could see these scenes vividly in my mind.

At the request of the author, I downloaded this on Kindle Unlimited, where members can get it for free. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.