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The Monarchs Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The writer is not the infamous Stephen King antihero Mort Rainey, but the far more nefarious author of the novels Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark (with Elizabeth Massie), Balak, The Lebo Coven (Thomson Gale/Five Star Books, 2004), The Nightmare Frontier, and Blue Devil Island; three short story collections; and over 80 published works of short fiction.

Product Details

  • File Size: 754 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press; Macabre Ink Digital Edition edition (January 14, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 14, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B14RDSG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

The writer is not the infamous Stephen King antihero Mort Rainey, but the far more nefarious author of the novels Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark (with Elizabeth Massie, HarperCollins), Balak (Wildside Books), The Lebo Coven (Thomson Gale/Five Star Books, Crossroad Press), The Nightmare Frontier (Sarob Press, Crossroad Press), Blue Devil Island (Thomson Gale/Five Star Books, Marietta), and The Monarchs (Crossroad Press); three short story collections; and over 100 published works of short fiction.

Those with long memories may recall that I edited Deathrealm magazine, from 1987 to 1997. In its decade-long history, Deathrealm won a bunch of nice awards and featured hundreds of short stories, poems, and essays by authors ranging from the most established professionals to young, aspiring first-timers, many of whom proceeded to carve out names for themselves in the horror/dark fantasy field.

In 2004, I edited a new anthology for Delirium Books, titled Deathrealms, which features a wide selection of short stories from the magazine. I've edited a couple of other anthologies as well. The Song of Cthulhu (Chaosium) features 20 stories of Lovecraftian horror, and I have co-edited (with James Robert Smith) an anthology for Arkham House titled Evermore, which features short stories about Edgar Allan Poe.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I came upon Stephen Mark Rainey’s work later in his career. It was only a few years ago when I stumbled onto his novel, The Nightmare Frontier, and I thought it fantastic. I enjoyed it so much I picked up another of his novels, The Lebo Coven, and I also found that to be a great read. Rainey’s work was full of the type of surreal brain candy that I love to devour in horror fiction. Give me a plot with monsters, extra- dimensional creatures, characters that are unabashedly evil, and one or more characters that I could care and root for, and then I’m one happy reader. Of course the story has to be written well enough to not only be exciting but to cause me to sit up straight in wonder and fear. I was more than pleased that Rainey’s newest, The Monarchs, fulfills all of these criteria.

In, The Monarchs, we are introduced to Courtney Edminston, a woman who has experienced the worst kind of heartbreak imaginable, her husband has killed himself and their young child. Without family to turn to for comfort, her wealthy college friend, Jan Blackburn, invites Courtney to stay with her and her small family in order for Courtney to regain her bearings and to start life anew. What seems like a compassionate gesture from an old friend soon turns into something more ominous. Jan’s small family consists of a brother named David and an aunt named Martha, and both of them have opportunistic plans for Courtney.

For one, David is a womanizer and Courtney is leery of his advances. And secondly, Aunt Martha is just plain crazy, and she tells Courtney that if she’s not careful, she’s is going to sic a mythical swamp beast called The Monarch after her.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was captivating!! Once you start reading, you have to keep going. The storyline is wonderful. Hoping a sequel will be written... Left this reader wanting more long after the last page was read.. Would have given more than 5 Stars if I could.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mark Rainey is one of my favorite horror writers, and his latest novel is a Southern gothic tour-de-force. He can evoke Lovecraftian themes in a way that would make any Cthulhu Mythos fan happy. Despite the weirdness of events, the characters and situations are realistic, and tension builds to a most unsettling climax.

This family raises the bar on dysfunctional, but turns out to function frighteningly well.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Courtney Edmiston is grieving the tragic deaths of her young daughter and husband: now in need of comfort and time to resolve her grief, she turns to longtime friend Jan Blackburn. Jan invites Courtney to the Blackburn family's ancestral estate near Fearing, North Carolina, for some necessary R & R, and tells Courtney to take all the time she needs to recover -- room and board on the house. At Blackburn, Courtney encounters Jan's handsome brother, David, and soon finds herself drawn to the debonair young man. Courtney also acquaints herself with Jan's great-aunt Martha, the eccentric family matriarch who rarely leaves her upstairs bedroom except to join the family at mealtime, where the old woman is often bombastic and nonsensical. Being a quick study, Courtney soon learns to ignore Aunt Martha's eccentric ways, dismissing the old woman's mindless chanting upstairs in the wee hours of the night as nothing more than the rites of encroaching senility. But night after night, in the closeness her bedroom, Courtney listens to Aunt Martha's sing-song rituals, inside that rambling old mansion perched ominously on the edge of the Dismal Swamp, and finds herself questioning the veracity of the people around her while she remembers the old adage, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
Courtney's dismissal of Aunt Martha's peculiarities is the first mistake among many, as she propels herself headlong into a web of secrecy, and discovers the terrible truth behind Blackburn's legacy -- a legacy that includes Courtney herself.
THE MONARCHS is a highly entertaining Gothic novel by author Stephen Mark Rainey, and guaranteed to keep the reader wide awake in the wee hours of the night, even after the last page has been turned and the reading light dimmed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose to give this book five stars because I believe it deserves all of them and more. It was easy reading for me in that I love the horror genre above all others and have found Mark's books in the past to be all that goes with that territory..a mind that sends tales like this to his fingertips and delivers them into novels for the shivery attention of his readers is among the giants of writing, to say the least. Move over Stephen King. Being terrified by Mark, is indeed a pleasure.
This particular tale had so many elements that kept me on the edge of my seat with the tingles running a marathon up and down my spine. As the saying goes, it scared the yell out of me. So clearly I saw the horrors, heard and felt every element and I doubt I would have held up as well as the star of the show. The human star, that is to say.
I felt the relentless rain, saw the gloom of night,s eerie descent and heard the sounds of the deep woods reaching out to the unsuspecting heroine wanting to make her will collapse into easy submission. The near success made me want to cry out.
If you are a horror buff such as myself, you will not want to miss getting this book into your hands at the earliest possible moment.
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