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The Ghosts of Varner Creek

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,843 ratings  ·  235 reviews
A well-crafted balance of history and supernatural mystery. -Kirkus Reviews
A Barnes and Noble Nook Sci Fi/Fantasy Bestseller A Kindle #1 Bestseller inHistorical Fiction and Horror/Ghosts An Amazon Top 100 Rated in Fiction, Top 10 in Mysteries Kirkus Reviews
At 87, Solomon "Sol" Mayfield is taken on an otherworldly journey to discover what really happened to his family. Sol
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Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published August 10th 2011 (first published July 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael Weems
Feb 04, 2012 Michael Weems added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This book is now available on Kindle as of August, 2011. I hope you enjoy the read. Thanks.

Update 10/14/2011: Amazing! As of last night, and still today, The Ghosts of Varner Creek is on Barnes & Noble Nook's Sci Fi Best Seller list . . . right next to Game of Thrones! Thanks everyone for reading. Very, very cool.

Michael Weems
Becky
I stayed up until midnight last night, reading this book. First off, as the author states, it's really not a book about ghosts, although ghosts are involved (and can be scary as heck!). I think this book would make an amazing movie - I could totally see some of these scenes being reenacted with special effects.

The book begins with Solomon, who is 87 years old, waking up to the faceless female ghost who has taken to hanging around his room at the nursing home. He's never had a ghost actually com
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Janet
I'll be honest. I downloaded the Kindle version of of this book mainly out of curiosity and because I got in on a free download promotion, so the price was right. I like to read and write about ghosts, so the title intrigued me. My expectations weren't very high. You get what you pay for, right? Not in this case. This book would have been a bargain at any price.

Being an avid reader, I run through four to six titles a month. If I had more leisure time, it would be twice that. "The Ghosts of Varne
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Michael Weems
Jul 18, 2012 Michael Weems added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
07/18/2012

Kirkus Reviews reviewed Ghosts. I thought it was pretty decent considering how tough they're known to be.

From Kirkus Reviews
At 87, Solomon "Sol" Mayfield is taken on an otherworldly journey to discover what really happened to his family. Sol has been able to see ghosts ever since his mother and sister mysteriously disappeared when he was a child. When he dies in a nursing home in the second chapter of the novel, it's only the beginning of his story. He's reunited with his sister, Sarah
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Mae R
Maybe it's because I was reading it in the middle of the night in the dark, but the scene with the ghost in the hotel room really, really freaked me out. Serves me right for staying up late and reading on the kindle app on my phone. However, this is not really a ghost story; rather, it's the story of a man, Soloman, who can see, but not talk to, the spirits of the departed. The story begins with Soloman as an old man in a nursing home, but doesn't really get going until (spoilers!) he dies and e ...more
Christina
I had added the following review to Amazon, but wanted to include the same review in Goodreads:

"This was an excellent read. Normally, I don't read books reflective of this time period in Americana history; however, this book was wonderful, well-written, and beautifully executed. It is a good old-fashioned mystery book teetering on the edge of paranormal. Your heart breaks for all characters, in particular, Annie, the missing matriarch.

I will definitely look for more stories by this author."

Days
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Lara
Deliciously sweetly crafted. Characters do not lie flat on the pages but are rather fully 360 degree flawed but beautiful beings interweaving seamlessly in a multidimensional universe...that universe being small town rural Texas in the early 1900's. The sense of place in this book made Varner Creek feel like my home town. Weems manages to bring humanity to the vilest characters without pitying them, and conversely shows the lovable ones for the humans that they are. He seamlessly weaves into thi ...more
Pamelabyoung
A mystery, told in the first person by the wonderfully authentic voice of an elderly gentleman in a Texas nursing home, this story is a thorough unraveling of the horrific childhood that has haunted him throughout his life. Brutal and sometimes too coarse for this reader, I couldn't help but love Sol and wonder how he lived his life in the interim time between the end of his flashbacks and his last day on earth. Since the story is set in southeast Texas, where I live, I couldn't help but recogni ...more
Sara Jo Schmidt
I recently purchased a kindle fire, and this was a free book to download...it looked scary and supernatural which I sometimes enjoy, so I went ahead and downloaded it. I have to tell you, this is not what I expected. It wasn't supernatural in an unbelievable way. It was not based on a true story, but the story itself sounded so true and genuine. The story it tells is very intense. There were a couple of light moments that literally made me laugh out loud, but it had a very dreary tale. It's a ve ...more
Alan Stormont
A very well-crafted book! Reads part murder mystery, part historical novel (early 1900s small town Texas), part supernatural (see the title), but completely captivating. The book has characters who will all completely captivate you--not one character will leave you feeling indifferent. A great read from start-to-finish and highly recommended to adult readers (some mature themes and language).

When I downloaded this book for my Kindle, free from Amazon at the time, I wasn't certain of what to expe
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Amanda Cowher
I had to stay up tonight to finish this, and I'm still crying! This is instantly one of my favorite books. It had moments that caused me to sweat, instances where I laughed hysterically, and then there were shocking revelations to where I just had to sit and cry for these characters. This is a story about a man who has a special gift, the ability to see ghosts. This is not what the story is about though; it is about all the moments of his life, what caused him to gain this amazing ability, and a ...more
Billi Jo Clem
Suspenseful read

Keep me turning pages long into the night. The book was down and dirty with interesting characters. I wouldn't need to read it again because the plot and characters are burned into my thoughts.
Brick ONeil
Not what I expected being that most paranormal/ghost stories are mysteries with a protagonist seeing a ghost who wants them to solve their murder or to help them solve murders. This is a unique twist, a man dying and visited by a memory of someone that died. Not sure I would classify this as paranormal, rather than more spiritual or new age at best. The book does lag and drag in the middle with a bloated back story that really does nothing for the rhyme and meter of the book. It's nice to have, ...more
Kami
Really 3.5 stars. I was very pleasantly surprised. Eminently readable, well paced, interesting and engaging. It's a mystery but not really a traditional one ... more (as others have said better) of a family drama/mystery, a tale of kind of a perfect storm of dysfunction and how it plays out over generations. How sometimes mistakes we make with our families are ok, but sometimes they lead to tragedy.

I'm not sure what made this book "better than your average kindle freebie." But it was...head and
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Nancy Houston Fields
The story opens with Sol living his last days in a nursing home, sharing reflections of his life and his frustrations of the ageing process. When he crosses the Great Divide, he begins to unravel the past which was his life, the secrets and the truth of what had transpired on his journey. Excellent job, Michael Weems!
Melinda
Shocking Small Town Texas Mystery

I was thrown off at first by the retelling of ghostly experiences, but the novel soon circuitously winds its way from the present day reality of an 89 year old man in a nursing home who sees ghosts, to his childhood before the turn of the previous two centuries ( approx. 1895 ). From this vantage point, we are introduced to his parents as single young people before they even met. We are introduced to their families, the town of Varner, and their lives before and
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Amber
I'm not the greatest at writing reviews but I will say if your eyes do not fill up with tears at least once you just have no soul inside you.
Janet
There is some child abuse and wife-beating, but this book is very well written and was a page-turner for me.
Elaine Miller
A dark mystery that at times can be very disturbing. Though it does have a few literal ghosts this is not a ghost story in the traditional sense. It's more about how a person can be haunted and shaped by their past. A gripping story with excellent character development, I had trouble putting it down.

One small criticism: (view spoiler)
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chonte  colvin
Who did it?

Started out kind of like your typical paranormal novel, "A faceless lady stood in the doorway of his room". I kind of thought this book was going to be about some hauntings or a haunted area. Not only did I find this novel very hard to put down, but also it had many twists in the end. I thought about the game Clue, who did it? The truth ended up coming out after everyone had passed on to another life. I felt sad for the child with down syndrome. She had to experience horrible acts pe
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Mallory
Wow. From the moment I started this book I was captivated. I loved the main character, Sol. The book starts out with him in a nursing home, and he seems like the funny grandpa that everyone loves. A little rough around the edges, maybe some attitude, but overall awesome. Then the author takes you back to the events that shape the plot of the book in early 1900's Texas, and back farther still for the background. I loved the different views, and hearing the back story. I think the author did an am ...more
Courtney
This book was the first eBook I purchased for my new Kindle, & so purchased because it was free.

I knew it would be good because within the book description was, "Caution: Book contains adult content & themes. Reader discretion advised."

Sign me up!

This ghost story immediately pulled me in as the main character, an elderly man named Sol, wakes up seeing a spirit with no face. We learn that he's had many run-ins with ghosts since the death of his older sister & mother when he was just
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Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
The Ghosts of Varner Creek isn't like any other ghost story told. I've read other ghost stories yet this one struck deep abiding emotions within me. The characters are flawed, tragic, intelligent, and soulful in so many ways. I connected with this book on a deeply emotional level that is reminiscent of The Reluctant Dom and Beautiful Disaster. The revelations that occur in the last few chapters of this book will leave you absolutely speechless and heartbroken for everyone that is involved. I cri ...more
Cara
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Rape, abuse (physical/verbal/sexual)

Factored into the rating in order of importance: 1)Story pacing, 2)flow of narrative, 3)somewhat overly detailed background information, 4)excuses provided for those who didn't/wouldn't help one of the victims.

I had a very difficult time staying with this book. It started off steady and strong and clever, then it skipped back in time. This flashback was fine, it's exposition. But then it skipped further back in time. Then a little more. It wa
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Josh Little
I didn't care for this book. I found it to be overly-wordy, and while the attempt is made to match the time's southern dialect, it felt forced and unnatural.

My great grandmother grew up in the south around the time this story was set in, and while the author's attempt to match the dialect was okay- his inadequate use of the language was distracting and annoying.

I enjoyed the main character and George quite a bit; some funny moments surrounding an evil rooster named "Lucifer the Leghorn," lighte
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Walk
Kindle edition.

This is a 3.5 / 5

An old man is drawing a few final breaths at the end of a long life. A life started in dirt poor rural US before the modern world begins, horse and buggy and telegram country.

It is a life with a central tragedy.

The remainder of the book deals with this singular event. It is not a traditional ghost story but early on in the novel there is a haunting experience that was really well written and had me hooked.

I never have high hopes for these low price kindle books, o
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Annalea
This book was a very pleasant surprise since it was a free download. Weems wraps you in Solomon's world, whether it's the nursing home where he is spending his last years or the Varner Creek of his childhood memories. Varner Creek especially felt like a real, living place. The mystery was intriguing and the characters were interesting and well-rounded.

However, as much as I liked this book, I had two major problems with it:

1. The ghost story was not necessary. It felt tacked on, as if the autho
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D.M. Dutcher
It's a more of a literary story with added ghost elements tacked in. Good writing and plot, but don't expect to be scared much.

Sol is an old man in a nursing home who tells us his life story after he dies. He has an ability to see ghosts, but after a few examples he gets to the main story, how he was raised by his father and mother, and the tragedies that happened because of this. It's a very sad story, and he relates it for closure as he is on the edge of moving on. Any more would spoil the tal
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Rupali Rotti
This is one book that will surely haunt you, though not in the scary way. The sweet-bitter taste of the story-telling has lingered in my mind for days after reading it, and then I read it again. Though there are sexual scenes and rape and other things, the narrative is immensely satisfying to the soul as well as mind. As the characters found a closure and solace at the end of the book, I felt as if I found a closure and solace with them. Some situations in this book are very intense and the auth ...more
Rhonda
The Ghosts of Varner Creek is an awesome story. The plot, while not completely original, is very compelling and there is an unexpected twist in the plot at the end. The twist was not unexpected, but I can't say it was predictable either. The first 2 chapters are really slow, but if you perservere, you will be rewarded.

For me, the best thing about Ghosts was the characters. They were richly drawn and absolutely believable. They were true to the locale and the era. While the story is tragic, ther
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