Click on image to enlarge.
by T. K. Sheils
Category: Horror/Suspense/Thriller EPIC eBook Award Winner, Dream Realm Award Finalist, Independent Publisher Award Winner, Scribes World Reviewer's Choice Award Winner, WordWeaving Award of Excellence Winner
Description: Since the moment of Original Sin, man has been mortal, trapped in time, and able only to grasp tenuously at the concept of eternity. That is, unless that man has been able to study and practice the arcane seventh-century teachings of Agrippolos the Left-handed, notably his major work, The Chronomicon Novum. Then the Vast Unknowable is his. But man must beware; failure to master the teachings completely can result in a fate far worse than mere mortality... Two strangers, a male sportswriter and a female student of the occult, buy a house together because, not in spite of, the fact that it is reputed to be haunted. In so doing, they become entangled in the history of the family who built the place to use as a venue for an experiment in controlling time. They also discover that the house now seems to have developed a life of its own, one which bears a distinct resemblance to the evil personality of the defrocked Seventh Century monk and his twisted philosophies on the nature of Sin and Eternity.
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: April 2006
21 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [277 KB]
Reading time: 181-254 min.
"I was interested in this story from the start. For one thing, the setup is far enough from the traditional haunted house take that I couldn't accurately predict what was coming next. For another, while I figured that neither 'hostile' nor 'stranger' would last (I dreaded the inevitable blossoming romance that no story seems to be complete without), the author surprised me again. I won't tell you how, but whichever way you guess, I'm willing to bet you don't get it exactly right. T. K. Sheils has rendered a tale in which the familiar nestles so close to the unknown it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I was willing to allow for some adherence to the horror 'formula,' but every time we ventured into what appeared to be formulaic territory, the trail, much to my satisfaction, took an unexpected turn. With shades of Lovecraft, Barker-esque overtones, and imagery worthy of any of the current kings of the macabre, Butterfly House oozed its foreboding ambiance all over my attic office space and managed to creep me out. In the day time. Exactly what a horror novel ought to do. I look forward to reading more of Sheils' work."--D. McDougle, Reviewer
"Finally a haunted house story with a very original twist...Offers the normal bumps in the night, mysterious footprints, faces in the windows, and an assortment of visions. What makes Butterfly House intriguing is the concept behind the construction of the house and the people who used to live there. There isn't much more I can say without giving away the originality of the storyline. I cannot even say if the concepts uncovered in Butterfly House are real or not, maybe my reading/education experience is lacking and/or I just haven't come across the theories interwoven in Sheils' tale; either way my interest has been piqued. The writing is clear; the characters of Jack and Sabrina are two of the better well-rounded haunted-house characters I've come across in my readings lately. But the strongest element is still the concept behind the haunted house, a concept that makes you ask questions well after you've finished the book. This is a book that I highly recommend, especially for those who favor haunted house tales. If anyone is familiar with the concepts written within the pages of Butterfly House please contact me, I would sleep better knowing that they really are just fiction."--Chris Speakman, Goblin Muse
"This book gave me the creeps and I can honestly say that doesn't happen very often! The writing style is reminiscent of such stories as the Amityville Horror and I found myself wishing I had read this in the same way as I read that book--at night, by candlelight! The writing style is very fluent and enthralling. I didn't quite finish this in one sitting but that is only because I had an appointment to be somewhere. As it was, I was nearly late because I just had to read one more chapter...For once, even though I had a feeling I knew what the final 'answer' was going to be, there is no way the ending could ever be described a predictable. Butterfly House is a fine example of the horror genre. Riveting and extremely unnerving. Superb!"--Steve & Lesley Mazey, The Eternal Night
"Move over Stephen King, there's a new master of horror, and his name is T. K. Sheils. While this reviewer has enjoyed many of Sheils' novels, Butterfly House is the best yet, demonstrating amazing polish and imagination. Haunting, and unlike anything this reviewer has ever encountered, Butterfly House will mesmerize, fascinate, and horrify the reader. Crisp and atmospheric, it's easy to lose oneself in the depth and complexity of the novel."--Cindy Penn, Wordweaving
"5 Stars!...This book scared the **** out of me. In fact, I'm not entirely certain I'll be able to sleep tonight without leaving a light on. So from a horror perspective, it was certainly effective. But what made it so chilling was the perfectly reasoned and believable fantasy/science fiction (alternate theology?) rationale motivating the action. Studying the past, future, or even the present, to the exclusion of all else, is ultimately doomed to failure and frustration. The events of the book explore that concept to its logical and terrifying conclusion."--Jennifer Dunne, Scribes World
"5 Stars!...I actually finished this book a couple of months ago. I'd put aside doing the review because Butterfly House is a rare gem whose impact left me without words. Okay, if you like the horror genre, remember what you felt like the first time you read one of the classics? That, 'gee-whiz-how-cool, but don't you dare turn out the lights' kinda feeling? You do? That is Butterfly House. A scary book. Horror fiction so rarely scares me these days. I've missed it. Butterfly House puts the terror back in horror fiction. Not only that. It makes you think...makes you fantasize as well and that puts you in the very realm of the fiction writer. Sheils has blessed his readers with a rare gift and a rare book. Butterfly House, a classic!"--Buzzy's Books
"5 Stars!...I was held captive as I read this book of dark fantasy, and with each terrifying event that unfolded I found myself holding my breath and reading faster. Butterfly House was a roller-coaster ride of delicious thrills and horror. On a scale (1-5) I give it a glowing 5!"--Jewel Dartt, Midnight Scribe Reviews
"Seldom do I read a horror story that gives me nightmares as this one did! Highly recommended reading for real horror fans! Excellent! I look forward to reading this author in another book soon!"--Huntress Reviews
"...One of those books that begs to be read in one sitting. Fast-paced action combined with a streamlined writing style makes this a quick and entertaining read."--Eric Weule, The RunningRiver Reader
Jackson Rutledge saw the ad for the house at nine o'clock the first morning it appeared in the paper. At about the same time, Sabrina Osterling also saw it. And both were immediately attracted to the phrase, "musty, dusty, and guaranteed haunted." Accordingly, they appeared at the real estate agent's office within moments of each other.
A cold October wind had been blowing the light rain nearly horizontal, so Eadie Barnes, the agent, hadn't really expected to see anyone that morning, let alone two people interested in that white elephant they'd been trying to unload for the Hanleys for years. Nor was she quite prepared for their reaction to her natural assumption.
"You're together then?" Eadie assumed.
"Not…really," the man answered.
"Not on your life," the woman said flatly.
Eadie sighed inwardly. These two didn't look wealthy enough to start a bidding war, so she would have to play her cards carefully or she'd lose them both.
"Then perhaps we'd better introduce ourselves," she said with a smile. "I'm Eadie Barnes."
"Jackson Rutledge." The man smiled back. It was really quite a charming smile, Eadie thought. It transformed his face from a lean and intense almost forty to that of a ruggedly boyish twenty-five to thirty-year-old. And, now that you looked at him closely, he was probably closer to thirty than forty, she thought. His tall, lean frame was perhaps just beginning to show the signs of the inactivity that comes with a city job, but he was certainly not out of shape.
"Sabrina Osterling," the woman introduced herself. She didn't smile, so Eadie didn't know what it would do to her face. Her gray-green eyes remained lusterless and her hair was hidden under a kerchief so that it was even more difficult to guess at her age. Somewhere between twenty-five and forty-five…some estimate!
"The ad was serious about the ghosts, wasn't it?" the woman continued.
"Ah, so it was that line that interested you." Eadie beamed.
"And me, too," Rutledge said.
"Then you've just won a bet for me." Eadie chortled. "Promise me, whether you buy the place or not, you'll tell my boss."
"What's this about a bet?" Sabrina asked suspiciously.
"Well…" Eadie paused, uncertain as to how much she could explain. "We've been trying to sell this place for…well, a long time now…"
"What's wrong with it?" Rutledge asked.
"Well, actually nothing…except it has the reputation…no, it is haunted…they say. Anyway, we tried selling it as a 'palatial country estate,' which it isn't quite. Then, we went for 'handyman's opportunity,' which it isn't either. It's really in quite good repair, considering it's been deserted for several years. But neither of those worked. People got wind of its haunted reputation and backed off."
"So you bet your boss you could sell it, if you played up the ghosts," Rutledge guessed.
"You got it. And he took the bet. And here you are."
"You haven't sold it, yet," Sabrina reminded the agent. "And you haven't answered my original question. Are there ghosts?"
"You saw the asterisk after the word 'haunted,' of course."
Copyright © 2006 by T. K. Sheils.