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The Devil and Preston Black (Murder Ballads and Whiskey Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jason Jack Miller
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Preston Black has a nasty habit of falling in love with the wrong type of woman. But girls who don't play nice are the least of his problems. This handsome bar band guitarist isn't washed-up, but he's about to be. He's broke, he's tired of playing covers and he's obsessed with the Curse of 27.

He's about to add 'deal with the devil' to his list.

Lucky for Preston, he has help. Like the angelic beauty who picks him up when he's down. And the university professor who helps him sort through old Appalachian hexes and curses to find the song that may be his only shot at redemption. And when things get real bad, he has the ghost of John Lennon to remind him that "nothing is real."Let Raw Dog Screaming Press author Jason Jack Miller take you to a place where love is forever even when death isn't, where magic doesn't have to be seen to be believed, where a song might be the only thing that saves your soul.

The MURDER BALLADS AND WHISKEY Series is a unique, literary, blend of dark fiction, paranormal urban fantasy and horror. It's Appalachian Gothic, Alt.Magical.Realism, Hillbilly
Horror. It's AMERICAN GODS meets JUSTIFIED. TRUE BLOOD with witches. It's Johnny Cash with a fistful of copperheads singing the devil right back to hell. THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK is your ticket into a world where love can save your soul, where a song can change your destiny, and where evil still hides in the dark corners of the night.

The Murder Ballads and Whiskey Series is THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK, HELLBENDER, and THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK.

The Murder Ballads and Whiskey Series is THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK, HELLBENDER, and THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK.
"With this new book, Jason Jack Miller has single-handedly cornered the market on Appalachian Noir fiction, and deservedly so. The Devil and Preston Black is a page-turner laced with an audiophile's longing for the days when music was genuine, and the storytelling reminded me of a strange array of similar stories -- High Fidelity, Crossroads, Justified... -- yet it stood out from the pack as fresh, thanks to Miller's authentic Appalachian voice. Any lover of guitar music or the history of the blues will instantly see themselves reflected in the story, filtered through a noir fuzz pedal, amped up with the electricity of dark fantasy. Miller's flair for words is evident even in the title alone: I can't think of a more appropriate name than "Preston Black"! With just the right touch of magical realism, this hip take on the 'deal with the devil' story conjures up a tale that's vastly enthralling and compulsively readable. Highly recommended." Five time Bram Stoker Award winner Michael A. Arnzen

"Miller infuses his tale of longing and self-discovery with so many subtle and overt (in a good way) nods to music and its creators that his passion for music is quite evident. Even if you don't know all of the references, you know the type of music gods he's referring to. He also has created such a believable character in Preston Black that you care about the many ups and downs Miller puts him through. The finale, which I won't give away here, literally sent goosebumps down my arms. I can't remember the last time that happened while reading a book. All in all, a great read from an author with a mature voice. I look forward to reading more by Jason Jack Miller." Glen Krisch's novels include The Nightmare Within, Where Darkness Dwells, and Nothing Lasting.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Miller clearly has confidence in his voice and style, and in the story he came to tell. He cuts no corners and makes no compromises, resulting in a thoughtful book that requires - and rewards - your patience."-Blu Gilland, FEARNET
 
"Certainly Miller isn't the first writer to move from independent publishing to the more traditional. If fact, he's probably not even the first good writer to make the switch (or the first good writer to publish independently). But his attitudes toward the publishing process and his willingness to state, rather loudly, that "No matter how you are published, or who publishes you, you ARE an independent writer" seem to make him just as original as the book itself."-Catherine Ramsdell POPMATTERS

From the Author

About the cover:
 
"If you follow music, art, and culture of the American South, sooner or later you're bound to run into the letters, images, and unmistakable "look" of Hatch Show Print. We're one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, and over the years our posters have featured a host of country music performers, ranging from Country Music Hall of Famers Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash to contemporary stars such as Garth Brooks and Wynonna."-Hatch Show Print, Nashville, Tennessee.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1517 KB
  • Print Length: 415 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615472907
  • Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press; 1 edition (January 20, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SURM0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,795 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Devil of a Good Read March 25, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't like to rehash plot in Amazon reviews--that's the job of the book description, but in brief, THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK (D&PB) is a story that will be familiar to anyone who has ever faced the choice between pursuing their passion and creativity and the need for buckle-down practicality (i.e., a real job).

Black is a likeable character with the best of intentions. He has a dream but he also has family problems, lack-of-family problems, friendship problems, and of course, problems with the women in his life. All of these relationships and problems are woven seamlessly into the plot. (There's a wonderful push-pull in his love life that reminded me of the agonizing Holly Golightly situation in Capote's BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S--male readers will relate.)

In his late 20's, Black faces that crossroads familiar to anyone who dreams of becoming a rock star, movie star, star quarterback, top chef, top model, novelist, champion thrasher or the next Monet: Do you pursue your impossible dream or grow up, give it up and join the rat race? Black faces his now-or-never opportunity: Go for it, or turn back and join the ranks of the muggles and mundanes.

This isn't the first novel to explore such territory. Tom Perotta's THE WISHBONES comes to mind. (Started it twice and never made it to page 40.) And for the record, I should state that I own four guitars, two amps, a bagpipe chanter, a smelly nine-button accordion and a didgeridoo. If you're not a musician (and I don't really consider myself one), your mileage may vary. For me, Black's story brought to mind the struggle of so many singer/songwriters I admire like Dave Alvin, Richard Thompson, Robbie Fulks, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down the old plank road... March 21, 2011
By J Brain
Format:Kindle Edition
Using his keyboard like Joe Strummer used his guitar, Jason Jack Miller gives us a version of the kind of tragedy found in old songs like LONG BLACK VEIL and BANKS OF THE OHIO. Poor Preston Black just wants to be a rock star, and maybe find his pap along the way. Instead he ends up ass over teakettle in a deal with the devil he doesn't remember making.

Miller's vivid landscapes and attention to detail pull you into his version of Appalachia. He weaves a mix of magic and witchcraft into everyday life to tell a balanced story that's a fun, fast read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great new author January 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Miller infuses his tale of longing and self-discovery with so many subtle and overt (in a good way) nods to music and its creators that his passion for music is quite evident. Even if you don't know all of the references, you know the type of music gods he's referring to. He also has created such a believable character in Preston Black that you care about the many ups and downs Miller puts him through. The finale, which I won't give away here, literally sent goosebumps down my arms. I can't remember the last time that happened while reading a book. All in all, a great read from an author with a mature voice. I look forward to reading more by Jason Jack Miller.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steeped in music & atmosphere - good stuff October 25, 2011
Format:Paperback
Preston Black is a musician in his late 20's and is at that turning point in one's life when one has to decide if they're going to go all out and follow their dreams or throw in the towel and get a real job like the rest of us schlubs. Written in first person we witness first hand Preston's love for his music, his confusion, his emotional turmoil, all of it. This is an intimate look at an imperfect guy trying to find his place in the world and locate his birth father. As a girl who grew up around young musicians (and wanna-be musicians), Preston's characterization was spot on. He is a realistically drawn young guy, passionate about music and easily tempted by the devil's playthings. He irritated the hell out of me and there were many times when I wanted to shake some sense into him but that's the charm of Preston and his story. He makes some dumb choices, is a terrible boyfriend like many of the young men I have known, and his journey kept me guessing and I never really knew just how things were going to pan out for him in the end.

I'm not going to rehash the story and point all of the things that happen along the way. I'm lazy and if you're interested in the book you should experience all of the twists for yourself. Though the book was a little long for my liking, I truly enjoyed the quieter moments where the author carefully spins the atmosphere into a living, breathing thing with his words. When Preston finds himself in an off the grid home that time seems to have forgot I felt transported there myself. Great stuff there.

The dialogue also felt genuine. My favorite bit happened when Preston, who can be a bit "woe is me" at times (can't we all?), meets Katy, a student and fellow musician who doesn't mince words.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner by Miller March 26, 2011
By GRR
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The complex and fascinating characters woven by Jason jack Miller gives us a vivid tour of the Appalachian music world. The realism of the dialogue brings the reader into the room with the characters; and the musical explanations and descriptions show the passion and knowledge Miller brings to the subject. This was a book I could not put down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Crossroads for millennials
Very enjoyable read - great pace, legit music knowledge and transportive sense of time & place. Nice creepy factor, as well
Published 17 days ago by Jon Feeney
3.0 out of 5 stars I had a hard time finishing this book. It ...
I had a hard time finishing this book. It was written well but just could not hold my attention. I did finish but I don't think I am going to go on to the next one.
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Lindquist
5.0 out of 5 stars Unreal
This book kept me up all night on a night when I really needed the sleep, and right the at the end the battery died on my iPad. I was left there, unresolved and unknowing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Npedersenn
5.0 out of 5 stars The passion shines through this captivating novel
I keep enjoying titles from the RDSP catalog and a grab-bag of titles that I picked up included this entry novel in Miller's 'Murder Ballads and Whiskey' series. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bacterialover
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and a quick read
Poor Preston Black! Man, does he have it rough. And it doesn't get any easier for him. By the climax at the end I thought for sure he was a goner... Read more
Published 4 months ago by piggle2303
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb story
I realised as I started this book that I'd read them in the wrong order as I'd already the second book in this series. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Brookes
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read!
Wow...this book took me down some introspective paths that I choose not to travel, as they lead to unpleasant places. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. Vincent
4.0 out of 5 stars Devilishly Good
Strong and gritty story of a young musician, haunted by dreams of his absent father and by nightmares of the deaths of many of his idols, sent on a quest by the discovery of an old... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lynda in Oregon
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - dark story with a great mystery
I really loved this book and had trouble putting it down. Preston is depressed and lost but so likeable you just want
him to wake up - smell the coffee - grow up - and you... Read more
Published 8 months ago by charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well-crafted Book
As an avid science fiction reader, I first picked up the book with trepidation, not expecting much to keep me interested. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Patrick Stutzman
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More About the Author

Jason Jack Miller knows it's silly to hold onto the Bohemian ideals of literature, music, and love above all else. But he doesn't care.

His own adventures paddling wild mountain rivers and playing Nirvana covers for less-than-enthusiastic crowds inspired his Murder Ballads and Whiskey series, published by Raw Dog Screaming Press. The next installment, All Saints, is due out in 2014. He is a creative writing adjunct at Seton Hill University, where he also mentors in the school's prestigious Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. Jason is a member of the Authors Guild and International Thriller Writers. He lives just outside of Pittsburgh with his wife, Heidi, and a cat. His blog is http://jasonjackmiller.blogspot.com. Tweet him @jasonjackmiller.

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