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The Ghosts of Varner Creek

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,256 Ratings  ·  256 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 in Historical 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. 
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published August 10th 2011 (first published July 1st 2007)
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Michael Weems
Sep 11, 2011 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
Feb 08, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 08, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Weems
Oct 14, 2011 Michael Weems added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

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
Mae R
Jan 26, 2012 Mae R rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-freebies
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
Feb 07, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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."

Jan 24, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 16, 2012 Sara Jo Schmidt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently purchased a kindle fire, and this was a free book to 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
Sep 30, 2012 Alan Stormont rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amanda Cowher
Sep 28, 2012 Amanda Cowher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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!
Kim Coyle

Had some good suspenseful parts, but other parts were a little too spiritual-esque for me. The parts when you were reading about what actually happened to the characters were pretty good but other parts of the book were a little too far fetched. Can't really say too much without giving details away.
So wasn't awful but wasn't great. A good Quick read if your looking for something easy
Billi Jo Clem
Sep 24, 2014 Billi Jo Clem rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 14, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is some child abuse and wife-beating, but this book is very well written and was a page-turner for me.
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Oct 22, 2012 Angie ~aka Reading Machine~ rated it it was amazing
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
Sara Meehan
Mar 04, 2012 Sara Meehan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I purchased "The Ghosts of Varner Creek," I thought I was buying a ghost story in the traditional (read: horror) sense. That, it's not - despite a very creepy hotel room encounter with a ghost early on - but I'm having a hard time pegging it. Amazon's description calls it "a southern Gothic tale of a paranormal mystery," and that's pretty close, though I would argue that it's a regular mystery with some paranormal aspects.

However you want to categorize Michael Weems' novel, you'll have to a
May 27, 2013 Rhonda rated it liked it
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
Jan 16, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it
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
Rupali Rotti
Aug 24, 2013 Rupali Rotti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 12, 2013 Cara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trigger-warnings
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
Mar 01, 2012 Annalea rated it really liked it
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
Jul 19, 2012 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
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
Jul 10, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing
A book to savor

This is a believable tale with well-developed characters who are neither all bad nor all good. As a mental health therapist, I much appreciate the characters' realistic responses over time to traumatic events. There are events in our lives that, like a stone skipped across the water, leave a pattern of overlapping ripples. As one young character notes: "These are sad memories." The story is not all about dark, sad places though. It shows the whole pattern and lets us see events t
Adam Nicolai
Nov 18, 2012 Adam Nicolai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to get one thing off my chest. The following sentence is not punctuated correctly:

He ran to the car, "Hello!"

That's not a direct quote from The Ghosts of Varner Creek, but the novel has a lot of sentences structured that way, and I have to admit it drove me completely nuts. I read a bit of the included sample chapter of Mr. Weems' next book, and saw it happening again there. At that point, without the emotional investment I had in Ghosts to keep me reading, my reaction was actually strong
Sandra Lopez
"I see dead people." At least some old geezer in a country nursing home does. He sees "Faceless," a woman whose facial features are a blur. "I've never really spoken of it to other people, but there's no convincing me it wasn't a spirit...that the Good Book was talking about when it said 'unclean spirits' and when possession is when they fill you up with their own misery." (5)

Story was laced with that witty, funny Texas drawl, which was oddly intriguing. Mr. Mayfield may not know much (next to
Brick ONeil
Jan 20, 2015 Brick ONeil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 07, 2012 Mallory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 25, 2012 Bradley rated it liked it
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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