Shadytown is now available at Amazon:

Want to read the next ‘Stranger Things’? A kinder, gentler ‘Stranger Things’ written for a younger audience?

Dear reader of scary books

Ever read a book that just didn’t have enough oomph? That had blah settings and bland characters? On the other hand, ever read a book that was too lurid and graphic for young readers? It’s a balancing act. An MG paranormal adventure novel needs to be exciting and engrossing without being brutal and offensive.

Shadytown does this. Like Hawkins, Indiana, Shadytown is an ordinary place where extraordinary things happen. A large unmarked collection box appears out of nowhere at the same time neighborhood pets begin to go missing. In a timeless bog the ghost of a sixth-grade boy’s grandmother gives him an enchanted Celtic Cross and a pet rattlesnake to battle an evil she warns is coming. A witch in a fantastic pumpkin patch unleashes havoc on the small town. A huge Native American emerges from a historic blizzard to attack a family. Roadside crosses appear at sites where a wreck hasn’t occurred – yet. And then there is the Spirit Tree.

Shadytown was released in January 2020 by INtense Publications in both digital and print. If you are a young reader interested in the paranormal, I believe you will enjoy this novel. If you are the parent of a young reader, rest assured this novel has been written with the age of your child in mind.

Here is a link to INtense Publications web site where the book can be purchased in January:


See Shadytown at my Ask David site:”


1. When you were my age (10), did you like to read?
Science fiction. That’s what my older brother read, and he read voraciously. Science fiction books were stacked up all over the house. So those were the first books I picked up. These weren’t Middle Grade or YA. Those categories hadn’t been invented yet. You had children’s fiction and adult fiction. These science fiction books were definitely adult. They were fascinating.

2. What is a book that made an impact on you?
‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, by Thomas Pynchon. Densest, most richly-charactered, most intense, trippiest, most imaginative, wildest, most incredible book I have ever read. But it is extremely adult literature.

3. Is it hard to come up with book ideas?
Not at all. I have too many ideas. That’s why I enjoy writing short stories, of which I have succeeded in getting 20 published. Short stories give me a chance to explore an idea without committing to a major project. Same goes for novellas, of which I have published 4.

4. Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of?
Sam Swicegood is a new author. His novel ‘No Place’, which incorporates elements of ‘Wizard of Oz’, is a good read. An older writer you don’t normally associate with MG lit is Ray Bradbury. His novel ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is great, if a little frightening. If you saw the movie, don’t be put off by it. The movie was terrible. The book is great.

5. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Did I mention write? You learn to ride a bicycle by riding it. You don’t go to classes, you don’t attend seminars, you don’t read books about it. You learn to ride a bike by riding it. Same goes with writing. And do not give up. If you enjoy writing. But you would have to enjoy it to invest the necessary time required to get good at it, whether you ever make a dime at it or not. If you invest your time in something you enjoy doing, then even if you fail you win.

6. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?
I get feedback from my friends. They are honest friends. I don’t always like what they tell me, but it is useful. My friends point out problems I don’t even realize are problems. They also make suggestions on how to improve my writing. I don’t always follow their suggestions, but I consider them. You need a tough hide. Not only will you get tons of useful criticism (if you are lucky), but you will also get tons of rejection notices. I’ve always said 1 yes is worth 1,000 nos.

7. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?
‘The Eye of the World’, by Robert Jordan. That is the first book in his amazing Wheel of Time fantasy series. He created an amazingly rich world which I would enjoy being a part of.




Sandra’s Book Reviews

Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2020

Sean is a young boy with a mission to protect his town from evil, according to the ghost of his grandma. Each section of the story is written like a short story, rendering it like a scary tell you’d tell to kids around a camp fire. It all started with a big yellow box and its eerie contents. A trip to a pumpkin patch turns monstrous. Some weird things happen in Shadytown. Follow a young boy as he and his friends battle evil forces.

Great, little tales that culminate into one interesting story!

Confession: the cover is cringey and almost kept me from reading the book. But, I gave it a shot and oh my wow. Such an entertaining, engaging, and imaginative world! I’m beyond pleasantly surprised! – Victoria Tomis

Must read 🏆
A creepy-crawly coming-of-age thriller, Shadytown is packed with witches, werecats, and fierce friendships powerful enough to stop any evil.

When a malevolent force begins to assail Shadytown, it’s up to timid sixth-grader Sean to protect his small town from the darkness.

In Shadytown’s synopsis, early critics have billed it as “the next Stranger Things”. As complimentary as this may seem– it does Shadytown a disservice. Shadytown isn’t Stranger Things. Nor does it need to be.

Packed with werecats, witches, and other creatures that go bump in the night, Shadytown is part bone-chilling thriller, part coming-of-age dramedy, and a heroic tale of friendship and fierce courage to stand up against dark and seemingly insurmountable forces.

A sinister Shawnee prophet storms Sean’s house during a raging blizzard, a shape-shifting witch named Seraphina peddles tasty autumn treats that are more tricks than anything, and a seemingly inconspicuous box houses a growling monster that hungers for neighborhood pets. There are creepy twins, pumpkins that bite, and a lawn full of malicious little stone gargoyles. Roadside crosses materialize, heralding gruesome deaths, and a wicked tree is revealed to be a nexus of evil.

Mustering up his bravery Sean tackles each supernatural challenge with an enchanted Celtic Cross passed down from his grandmother, and an uncanny rattlesnake named Plisskin by his side. An unlikely guardian for his family, his friends, and his entire town, Sean takes each fearful encounter as a new lesson.

Shadytown is an atmospheric and remarkably imaginative romp into the things of nightmares… and the value of true friends.

Sean’s rowdy best friend Aaron, his athletic neighbor Tammy, and the mischievous shape-shifting twin’s Sam and The Sham are all integral to Sean’s story and his quest to banish the many evils. The star of the novel though, beyond Sean, is Maeve. A witchy and curiously uncommon girl new to Shadytown, Maeve instantly stood out. Wise beyond her years and followed by dark secrets and an even darker past, Maeve has one of the most compelling roles and backstories in Shadytown… she’d be a brilliant heroine in her own novel, and I can’t help but cross my fingers and hope that Sherer gives Maeve a story of her own to headline.

In the vein of spooky anthologies like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, and Robert D. San Souci’s Short & Shivery series, Shadytown is a must-read for fans and enthusiasts of the supernatural, spookiness, and the occult. This thrilling debut is sure to become a part of Halloween traditions right up there with repeat viewings of Hocus Pocus, fun-sized candy bars, and haunted hayrides.

Reviewed by

Victoria Tomis

I’m a freelance entertainment writer with a degree in Journalism and 3+ years of experience writing for print and web publications. I’m currently a product trend writer for Screen Rant, a feature movie review writer for That Moment In and a contributor to POMEmag and The Sartorial Geek.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Haunted Tree Service Needed!!!
Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Just when Sean thought being a teenager was enough to contend with, he has to deal with a pet eating donation box, a dad stealing witch, a possessed tree and strangely enough the ghost of his grandmother. Good thing for him he has a magic snake, an enchanted Celtic cross necklace and a group of friends that’s tough to beat, including one that turns into a cat and knows her way around the realms of magic.

Shadytown combines the magic of youth with the lurid imagination of H.P. Lovecraft in a compelling read. The pace is excellent and the characters are intriguing. The story (and threat) develop organically over the course of the story and you can never tell with each new supernatural encounter whether its a friend or enemy. We’re not even really sure if the grandmother is on his side. Is the snake on his side, or just a spy to keep tabs on him. Wonderfully surprising.

The character of Maeve was especially interesting as we never really knew what her game was. First she directs Sean to the pumpkin patch and the next thing we know, she’s helping him get uncursed. The fact that she can turn into a black cat doesn’t hurt.

I love the fact that Sherer incorporates a number of religious and spiritual beliefs into the solution and the problem from Christianity to shamanism to a little bit of Wicca. Very well rounded. It made for a greater degree of texture than I expected. A truly great read.


New! Wendy A. Vogel reviewed Shadytown
A great find for horror-loving kids April 6, 2020

Shadytown is a compelling read for kids who are looking for a creep-out. Divided into a series of short story vignettes, it follows a boy caught in a web of supernatural danger with his whole town hanging in the balance. He and his friends are joined by his long-dead grandmother and a guardian snake that’s more than it seems in the battle against an ancient spirit. Keep an eye on the scarecrow, watch the pumpkins, and whatever you do, don’t go into the corn maze alone.

Combining Native American mythology, elements of earth magic, and modern-day tradition, Shadytown will not disappoint young readers who want to huddle under the covers with a flashlight until the wee hours when monsters prowl.


Sharon rated it 4 stars

The book for review today is “Shadytown” by Mike Sherer. It falls in the genre of action/adventure and supernatural.

Sean is your run of the mill normal but average boy. He lives with his sister and parents with the average ups and downs of a family.

One day changes it all when he sees a bog yellow box on his way to school. It is so out of place and he is the only one that thinks it is a big deal. It is. It is just part of the danger his town, Shadytown, is in if nothing is done.

What kind of danger? That yellow box is fed pets by a dark figure. A farm that has a maze and pumpkins that is owned by a witch who is working to destroy the town. Let’s not forget mysterious crosses that are appearing all over town and a spirit world that is trying to come through to their side to join in the fun.

Thankfully on a vacation trip he comes across the ghost of his dead grandmother, who he has never met, who gives him a necklace with a Celtic cross as well as a magical snake. It is with these items and a group of amazing friends – Maeve, Tammy, Aaron, twins Sham and Sam and his sister – that Sean embarks on preventing what could be the end of all they know.

My thoughts:

This is the right target audience for this book. It has the action and adventure sprinkled through the book that will interest the young ones as they root for characters inside the novel to save the day. It will make them turn the pages quickly wanting to know what will happen next. This is a good pick up for your child to read.


Book Reviews,  International

Shadytown by Mike Sherer

1 May 2020

Review: Shadytown

Brief (Non-spoiler) Review with Recommendation

Combining religious mysticism, indigenous folklore, and witchery, Shadytown is your classic tale of good v evil.

Buy or Pass Recommendation: A decent buy for children between the ages of 8 and 14. The price is steep for Indian markets.Rambling (Possibly Spoiler) Review

The Good

I was hooked from the get-go. The mystery surrounding the ‘large yellow box’ was intriguing, and I wish the box had featured more prominently in the book.

Shadytown has an eclectic mix of characters. In particular, I enjoyed the twins’ antics, Maeve’s transformative abilities, and Pliss’ devotion to Sean.

Making Sean’s family the target of evil forces was a good choice. It heightened the sense of danger and excitement, and made you feel and root for him.

Shadytown has the makings of a good series.

The Bad

The final face-off between Sean and Robar aka the Spirit Tree fell shy of expectations. Seraphina and Tenskwatawa were more compelling antagonists. With them being human or at least in human guise, it was easier to imagine the evil they could unleash. Hard to do that with a tree, even one that’s possessed by a demon.

That said, Shadytown is a series, and first books are all about setting the stage. As the true extent of the Spirit Tree’s demonic abilities as well as its origin story become clear in the books to come, it’ll help readers appreciate (and fear) Robar more. 

The Nit-picks

Teeny-tiny proof reading errors of which there are few and far in between.Final Thoughts

I enjoyed reading the book. My ten-year-old self would’ve loved it. If you like reading horror and fantasy adventure books that are intelligently written, you should give Shadytown a try.


Joshua Grant gives Shadytown 5 stars on Goodreads!

by Mike Sherer
Joshua Grant‘s review May 12, 2020
it was amazing
Ghosts, ghouls, and hilarity run amok in Mike Sherer’s Shadytown! Sean is your typical teen dealing with typical teenage things…until the ghost of his grandma shows up one day with a dire warning. Now Sean must battle a whole slew of evil creatures with little more than a Celtic Cross and a rattlesnake. Sherer strikes the perfect balance between goofy fun and depth, and I really liked Sean and was drawn into his plight! If you love classics like Percy Jackson, then definitely go do some monster hunting in Shadytown!


Book Review


Posted on by Bridget

By Mike Sherer

Book Source: copy provided for review purposes

Book Status: available

1. The boy’s grandmother is a ghost.

2. There is a tree that is summoning evil ghosts.

3. There is a boy, Sean, a boy, Sam, a boy, Sham, a boy, Aaron, a girl, Celia, a girl, Tammy, and a girl, Maeve, who’s also a werecat, plus good ghost grandma, that are trying to save their town.

4. There is a few evil ghosts, that include a lady who can be any age, a guy who can get inside your head, a tree, and a skeleton on fire that can make you see car crashes before they happen (not very evil, right? But he causes them to make up for that!)

5. This is a slow book at first but once you get into it you won’t want to put it down! I was up for literally all night!


Susan Bethany’s Bookshelf

Mike Sherer
Intense Publications
9781947796348, $24.99, HC, 332pp,

Critique: Original, entertaining, and a thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ fantasy novel for young readers ages 7-12, “Shadytown” by Mike Sherer will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school, middle school, and community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated fantasy fans that “Shadytown” is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781947796164, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).


Jacqui rated it 5 stars

I enjoy reading YA fiction. Generally, stories establish quickly, action is well paced, and the characters are well developed and the reader gets the opportunity to care about them.
I loved reading this book. Like other readers, I was not looking forward to finishing it as I had really engaged with the characters, their families, and the overall story. I was with Sean every inch of the tree.
The writer played the long game by establishing early characters and occurrences that had relevance and impact down the timeline.
Really looking forward to the sequel, Mike!
I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for a genuine review, by Voracious Readers Only. (less)


Samantha Wynd’s Reviews >


by Mike Sherer
Samantha Wynd‘s review Jun 03, 2020
it was amazing

First I received this book from the author through Voracious Readers Only in return for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the combination of traditional Native American mythology anodern day life used in this book. It was easy to read and follow and held enough excitement that even as an adult I couldn’t put it down. I can’tant wait to share this series with my nephews.


Customer Review

Julie Dancer5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, family and friends. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 June 2020

I was able to read this as a free download and I can only give praise to Mike Sherer.
Fast paced and beautifully lifelike characters. I didn’t want to put this book down. All the components were set out, linked together and finally exploded into a believable finale. I can’t wait for the next book.