Ellysian Press is pleased to announce the release of Moth by Sean T. Poindexter on August 5, 2014. The editor is Jen Ryan and cover art is by Jeremy Lovett.
For more info visit Ellysian Press.
Sean T. Poindexter
Social worker Max Hollingsworth is no stranger to monsters. Supernatural or human, he's faced all kinds. But when he's called upon to investigate a missing child, he may have met his match.
Children are vanishing, not just from the streets, but from their parents' memories. Max's investigation leads him to a gang of neo-Nazi vampires running a child slavery ring. There, he comes face to face with the deadliest enemy he's ever met, their charismatic and powerful leader Boone.
Running low on hope and options to find the missing children, Max turns to his friends for help. But even they aren't enough. Forced to face the darkness of his own past, Max forges an alliance with the least likely ally of all. An enemy whose cruelty was almost his end, and haunts him still.
Moth is available at these retailers:
About Sean T. Poindexter
Though born in Mesa, Arizona, Sean has spent most of his life in Missouri. After college, Sean went into social and investigative work, primarily with disabled adults and seniors. Sean’s background in sociology, criminology, and philosophy and his experience as an investigator for the State of Missouri, are heavy influences in his writing.
While Sean has been writing most of his life, he did not consider doing so professionally until he was inspired by a terrible vampire movie. During the film, Sean amused himself by imagining the vampires being attacked by a dragon. His imagination resulted in his series, The Dragon’s Blood Chronicles, featuring dragons and vampires.
Sean enjoys watching and reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thrillers. His hobbies include playing Xbox, fantasy role playing games and collecting firearms.
Moth is Book 1 of The Max Hollingsworth Paranormal Mysteries. Sean's other books include The Shadow of Tiamet and The Will of the Darkest One, both from The Dragon’s Blood Chronicles.
Praise for Moth
"Brutal honesty and raw emotion bleeds on every page as Max survives his challenges only because he is too busy to stop for death." Wendy Russo, author January Black
“Moth delves into the darkest depths of child exploitation in America, while seamlessly blending in a hidden underworld of supernatural nasties. An intense genre-bender of urban fantasy, horror, thriller, mystery-suspense, with a splatter of steamy, erotica.” Travis Luedke, author The Nightlife series
Excerpt from Moth - Chapter 1
“Don’t you usually come in pairs?”
Officer Unruh smiled and nodded. “Yes, sir.”
Max grinned. “You just get out?”
“Yes, sir. US Marines.”
“Ah…yeah, I recognize the haircut.” It wasn’t just that. Max stood a foot over him at six feet, but the patrolman made up for it with broad arms and a big chest. He didn’t look like he needed a partner. And then there was this “sir” business…
“Have you been doing this long?”
“I’ve been with the Joplin PD for five months. And you?”
Max drummed his fingers on the bag hanging from his shoulder. “I’ve been a social worker long enough to know which house on this street we’re going to, even without looking at the numbers.” It was the one without siding, just bare insulation boards nailed to the outer wall.
Max didn’t resent Unruh’s presence; he just didn’t think it was necessary. He’d taken cops with him lots of times, and on a few of those instances, it turned out he’d needed them. But Brian insisted the workers take cops with them anytime an allegation of drugs was involved in a hotline. It irritated him for a number of reasons, not the least of which happened to be that Brian’s job used to be his.
That was another story…
The lawn was overgrown and the wooden porch sagged, but they arrived at the door without incident. Max knew the drill. The burly young policeman stepped to the side of the locked screen door and knocked. A few seconds later, an interior door opened and a man’s face appeared behind the filthy fly screen. Max had been expecting a woman.
“Is Donna here?” The man looked at Max with bulging, bloodshot eyes that darted back to the cop as though expecting a friendlier face. Whatever look Unruh gave, it wasn’t what he’d hoped. He returned to Max, who repeated the question.
“She’s not here.”
It was eight thirty in the morning, so if she worked she might have been there. Max didn’t have employer information for the mother. Also, he kind of doubted she had a job.
Unruh rattled the latch a bit, but it didn’t budge. “Sir, could you unlock the door please?”
“What’s this about?”
Max stepped to the screen and held up his plastic ID badge. It said Max Hollingsworth in big letters under a rather unflattering picture of him. The bulging-eyed man looked at the ID then back up at Max. He looked surprised. He shouldn’t have been.
“Sir,” repeated Unruh, “Could you unlock the door please?”
He looked back to Unruh and nodded. After a click, the door swung open. Max and the patrolman entered the home.
The look on Unruh’s face implied disgust. Max grinned, he really hadn’t been doing this long. The home was a mess, but Max had seen worse—far worse. In a very short time, so would Unruh. Places like this would become normal for him. Max remembered when this kind of mess would have bothered him, too.
The term “shithole” was tossed around so much, but it wasn’t that bad. The awkwardly rectangular living room smelled like dog and had a few plastic microwave food boats piled on an old coffee table. Despite the smell, there was no dog in sight. The most expensive piece of furniture in the room, probably the house, was a flat screen television. It was paused on an image of a video console football game. The wireless controller rested on a ratty couch covered by a slightly less ratty blanket.
“You said Donna wasn’t here.” Max glanced over his shoulder. The man wore dirty grey boxer shorts and a plaid robe. He’d forgone the courtesy of a shirt, so his guests were treated to ribs poking through the mole-speckled, pasty skin of a man who rarely left the house.
“Yeah,” he replied with a dirty chuckle. “I saw the cop and said that.” He looked at Unruh like he thought the cop would be amused. The cop was not, so he looked away.
Max produced a small notebook and pen from the bag hanging at his side. “Who are you?”
“I’m Jim…I live with Donna.”
“You sleep on the couch?” He gestured to it. Jim shook his head.
“Only in the day.”
Must be nice, Max thought, sleeping in the day. “You work nights, then?” Max had perfected the art of over-tact, being a complete dick without getting punched. The people he dealt with didn’t tend to get subtlety. Unruh’s grin showed he got it—the cops usually did. They both knew the answer already.
“Naw, I’m what you’d call unemployed.”
He thought about asking him to elaborate: What exactly do you mean by, unemployed, sir? But that might be overdoing it. White trash will only tolerate so much subtle condescension.
“Would you call Donna unemployed?” Max asked, after collecting pedigree information; Jim’s last name, date of birth, social security number. Max was always surprised when people gave all that to him, especially the social security number.
“No, she works at Macey’s.” That was not to be confused with Macy’s, the retail giant. Macey’s was a chain of convenience stores/gas stations. Joplin had ninety of them or something.
“Is Madolla in her room?”
“No, she sleeps downstairs.”
Max crooked an eye. “Donna or Madolla?”
“Madolla. She’s around the corner, in the kitchen.”
Max stopped writing. “The baby sleeps in the kitchen?” He looked at the entrance to the dining room. Presumably the kitchen was beyond that, behind the stairs.
“The baby keeps us up if she’s in the room.”
“Yeah, they’ll do that.”
Max walked around the corner. The stairs were wooden and covered with peeling brown paint. A few of them were cracked. They ended in a carpeted second floor. The dining room lacked a table, and the kitchen beyond was full of dirty dishes and flies. A few feet from a neglected refrigerator sat a playpen, apparently doing double-duty as a baby bed.
“Let me get Donna’s ass out of bed…”
Unruh stepped in from of Jim as he tried to leave.
“Not just yet.” Max approached the pen. Jim followed, but Unruh stopped him at the dining room entrance.
“I think Donna should be here, I can’t just let anyone see her kid you know—”
“I’m not ‘just anyone’...I work for the State.”
“She’s sleeping.” He seemed to be gauging his chances of darting past Unruh without being tackled…or perhaps his odds of survival if it occurred. He chose the prudent path. “If you wake her up, Donna’ll be pissed. She cries a lot.”
“They’ll do that, too.”
“She was crying for like, hours last night.”
Aside from the slight dirty-diaper smell, Madolla and her pen were clean and well taken care of. The report said she was six months old, but she looked like a newborn. She was lying on her belly, still and peaceful. Max started to smile…
“She was bawling all night, until about four this morning.”
“When was the last time you or Donna checked her?” Max lowered his hand into the pen and pressed his fingers to her little scalp.
“To see why she was crying.”
“I turned up the TV and she cried herself out.”
“When did she stop crying?”
Jim scratched his scalp through greasy brown hair. “Like three or something. It usually takes longer.”
Max withdrew his hand from the pen and wrote all that down. The tap of pen on paper competed evenly with the soft hum of the refrigerator condenser.
“Officer Unruh, can you call an ambulance please?”
Jim’s eyes widened. “Ambulance?”
Unruh didn’t ask any questions. The distraught look on his face showed he didn’t need to. Unruh stepped away from Jim to the living room and pressed the button on his shoulder communicator.
“Oh, shit… Should I wake Donna?” Jim stepped closer to Max so he didn’t interrupt the stream of ambulance-summoning cop jargon.
“That would be a good idea,” Max kept his voice as flat as possible, but under the circumstances his bile filter was a little taxed.
“Shit! What do I tell her? Is Madolla okay?”
Max turned his eyes to the pen.