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The Storm by Dan Jolley - Book Tour

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Dan Jolley's The Storm Blog Tour

February 18-25, 2019

Discover a great new suspense thriller in Dan Jolley’s The Storm Blog Tour, taking place
February 18-25!

An intense tale that explores murder, mystery, and race relations in a rural area
of modern day Georgia, The Storm delivers a captivating reading experience!

About the author: Dan Jolley began writing professionally at age 19. Starting out in
comic books, Dan has worked for major publishers such as DC (Firestorm), Marvel
(Dr. Strange), Dark Horse (Aliens), and Image (G.I. Joe), and soon branched out
into licensed-property novels (Star Trek), film novelizations (Iron Man), and
original novels, including the Middle Grade Urban Fantasy series Five Elements
and the Urban Sci-Fi Gray Widow Trilogy.

Dan began writing for video games in 2007, and has contributed storylines, characters,
and dialogue to titles such as Transformers: War for Cybertron, Prototype 2,
and Dying Light, among others. Dan lives with his wife Tracy and a handful of
largely inert felines in northwest Georgia, and enjoys connecting with readers
via his website ( and on Twitter (@_DanJolley).

Book Synopsis for The Storm:  


A tiny town in Georgia’s northwest corner — ninety-five percent white. Five percent black. Utterly unprepared for the devastating tornado that rips and smashes through it one dark August day.

SHERIFF ZANDRA SEAGRAVES already faced an uphill battle. Elected by a fluke, Red Springs’ first-ever black, female sheriff leads the recovery efforts, despite knowing how much the townspeople–and her own department–loathe her. But Zandra has no idea just how hellish things are about to get.

Because one of the relief workers stumbles across a ghastly secret: the tornado tore a long-abandoned house off its foundations, revealing a grisly, recently-used torture dungeon below it.

A monster has been dwelling in Red Springs. Undetected for years. Preying on the unsuspecting populace. His atrocities only brought to light because of the storm.

Now, amid the tornado’s wreckage and surrounded by people who want her gone, Zandra has to hunt this monster down before he disappears again.

And to do it, she’ll have to peel back all of Red Springs’ dark, corrupted layers. One vile secret at a time.

Author Links:

Twitter: @_DanJolley


Top Ten Eight List
I’ll be the first to admit that my new novel, The Storm, gets pretty nasty.

It’s the first book I’ve written that’s completely non-fantasy and non-sci-fi; it’s a tense mystery thriller, and the antagonist is, I’m told, really freaking disturbing. But I would venture to say that the nastiest parts of it come from the real-life, real-world interactions that take place in the tiny, fictional Southern town where it’s set. Those interactions were taken from actual experiences that I’ve either been through or witnessed, in the tiny, real Southern town where I was born, raised, and moved back to a few years ago.

So! To somewhat balance out the vile racism, misogyny, and general hatred displayed by a number of characters in the book, I figured I’d shed some light on a few good things that can come out of being raised in the Deep South. Here are…


1. HUMILITY - You should, wherever possible, put others before yourself. My Dad was adamant about this. Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking (and God help you if interrupt someone a good bit older than you — see #5 below). Hold doors open for everyone, male, female, young, old, whatever. (Though that sometimes gets carried away when you pull up last to a four-way stop and the friendly Southern driver who very much has the right-of-way gives you a big smile and waves for you to go ahead and turn.) Make sure everybody else gets a piece of fried chicken before you serve yourself. The list goes on and on. This is actually how I learned one of the cardinal rules of correct grammar: it’s never “Me and him decided to.” It’s “He and I decided to,” because in the correct example, “I” goes second.

2. PROPER USE OF Y’ALL - This useful pronoun means “you all.” As in “Y’all should have some of my Mama’s sweet potato casserole.” It’s not spelled “ya’ll,” because the apostrophe denotes the part that’s left out, and “ya all” would be… I don’t know what that would be. Not correct. “Y’all” is equivalent to other such conveniences as “you guys,” “youse,” or, depending on how Pennsylvanian you want to get, “yinz.” The easiest way to spot a fake Southern accent is hearing an actor or actress refer to a lone person as “y’all.” Do that in the real South and it’ll just cause confusion, followed by, “Who-all you tryin’ to talk to?”

3. FRIENDLINESS – Especially as it applies to strangers. If someone asks for your help, whether it’s getting something off a high shelf in the grocery store for a little old lady or providing directions to a bewildered out-of-towner, you do your best to help them. (I have a lot of experience with the directions thing, since apparently I have a big tattoo across my forehead that says, “KNOWS WHERE EVERYTHING IS, ASK HIM, HE’LL TELL YOU.”) This is in sharp contrast to, say, some neighborhoods in Boston, in which asking someone where a particular bus goes might prompt a response such as, “Well it won’t take ya to Mahs!” (That’s my poor attempt at a Boston dialect, and a further poor attempt at the planet “Mars” in Bostonian.)

4. LOVE OF SOUTHERN FOOD – Let’s be clear: most Southern food is terrible for you. The trade-off is that most Southern food is also mouth-wateringly delicious. Yes, there are a few acquired tastes to be developed, such as collard greens with pepper juice, but for the most part you just flat can’t go wrong with barbecued chicken, or a big pot of home-made chili, or chicken-fried steak with white gravy. And the desserts…! Get somebody’s Southern grandma to bake a carrot cake or a pecan pie, using a recipe that’s been handed down for generations, and see if your toes don’t curl. (They will.) The one thing newcomers to Southern cuisine should bear in mind, though, is that a lot of it doesn’t look very good. A big bowl of white gravy is one of my favorite things in the world, but at first glance it could pass for an over-large blob of wallpaper paste. So close your eyes if you have to, but do dive in. You’ll thank me.

5. RESPECT FOR ELDERS – I grew up in a house with my mother and father, my older sister Belinda, and my yet older brother Clint. Walking out the kitchen door and traveling fifty or sixty feet across the side yard would take you to my grandparents’ house, occupied by Grandma and (rather than “grandpa”) Papa Jack, or just Papa for short. I came to realize at a very young age — like four years old or so — just how freaking hard Grandma and Papa worked. These were people who held down full-time jobs, came home, and then engaged in what amounted to small-scale farming on the hillside behind the house. (My parents did the same thing. They had to, because we were so crushingly broke that if Mom and Dad hadn’t grown a lot of our food, we wouldn’t have had food.) That’s one reason Papa (eventually) approved of Mom’s choice in marrying Dad, because my father could get out and work every bit as hard as Papa could. It was in this atmosphere that I learned — and it was more like learning by osmosis, rather than being told — that my grandparents deserved all the respect. I understood that they had lived long lives filled to the absolute brim with back-breaking labor, which they did for the good of their families and without complaint, and I’d damn well better treat them accordingly. So you better believe I did. (Except for one time when I’d been watching “Super-Friends” a lot, in which Lex Luthor referred to everyone as “Fool!” I made the mistake of calling Papa an “old fool.” Some not-inconsequential behavior correction followed that mistake, and it was not made again. I was five.)

6. TOLERANCE FOR HEAT – Okay, I know this can’t really be taught, but it does arise from my parents’ choice to live where we did. And I’m not claiming I have some sort of super-human fire-proof thing going on. I’m not Hellboy. I’ve been to places such as, say, Yuma, Arizona in August, where it feels as if you’re standing in an oven, and no, that’s not pleasant. But on a more global scale, growing up in the South — where an absolutely delightful day, the kind of day where you just want to be outside because it feels good, registers at about 85°F — can cause some confusion when you see a headline like, “LONDON SWELTERS IN THE 70’S.” (And no, that wasn’t referring to the 1970’s, I checked.) We were having a heat wave at one point, with temperatures reaching 105° and 106°F for days at a time, when I had to go on a business trip to Vancouver, BC. I stepped out of the cab at the hotel into 75° air, with a blissful breeze blowing, and I literally just stood on the sidewalk and held my arms out and turned in place for a few seconds. Then, when I got inside, the hotel clerk said, “Welcome to Canada! We apologize for the hot weather.” (Of course, the flip-side of this is that cold weather kicks my butt up around my shoulders.)

7. RESPECT FOR RELIGION – It is super common for Southern families to go to church every Sunday, and mine was no exception. Depending on the church and the family, they might even go twice on Sunday, to the morning and evening service both, and maybe on Wednesday night, too. Now, when I say “church,” I mean “Protestant church,” because most churches in the South when I was growing up were Protestant. You might have found the occasional Catholic church, but in a small Southern town, the only thing rarer than a Catholic church was a Jewish synagogue, which basically didn’t exist. But here’s the thing: there are an awful lot of varieties of Protestants. In a small Southern town, in any given ten-mile radius, you might have Baptists, Methodists, Church of God folk, Church of Christ folk (yes, there’s a big difference there), and maybe even some snake-handlers if you went far enough out on the mountain. Then, within the Baptists, you’d have Missionary Baptists and Primitive Baptists and Free Will Baptists and maybe some Reformed Baptists, and they all did things a little differently from each other. This list is nowhere near complete, but you get the idea. So I grew up going to school and in the Boy Scouts with kids from lots of different denominations, and it never bothered me a bit that they weren’t Southern Baptists like my own family. As I got older, and traveled a little, and met more people, that same respect branched out to the Catholic and Jewish and Muslim and Hindu people that I met. Because they were all just people, like the Free Will Baptists and Lutherans and Church of Christ kids I grew up with.

8. RESPECT FOR WOMEN – One of the things Dad impressed upon me as I was growing up was the importance of being a good provider. And yes, that’s a very traditional, some might say old-fashioned, approach to “being a man.” No one would ever say Dad wasn’t old-fashioned. But at the same time, Dad also impressed upon me how smart, tough, resourceful, and usually right my Mom was. My parents are two people possessed of, shall we say, “strong opinions” about the way things should be done, but Dad always, always, always gave just as much weight to my mother’s opinions as to his own. When I got old enough to start dating, he gave me lots of advice about how to treat girls, and though I did listen, it largely wasn’t necessary. Because he had shown me how to treat girls, every day, through the way he treated Mom. It’s one of the things I’m most grateful to him for.

That’s not a comprehensive list, but I think it does give a good idea of how customs and values and habits in the South can be a good thing.

In contrast, for lots of ways dimly-lit little corners of the South can be bad… ranging from the merely unpleasant to the full-blown horrifying… I invite you to check out The Storm.

Dan Jolley
February 16, 2019

Tour Schedule and Activities

2/18    Jazzy Book Reviews      Top Ten's List

2/19    I Smell Sheep        Vlog

2/20    Breakeven Books           Guest Post

2/21    Sheila's Guests and Reviews     Guest Post

2/22    Jordan Hirsch           Review

2/23    Sapphyria's Books Guest Post

2/23    The Book Lover's Boudoir     Review

2/24    Horror Tree          Guest Post

2/24    Willow's Thoughts and Book Obsessions            Review

2/25    The Voluptuous Book Diva  Guest Post

Amazon Links for The Storm

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