From Bracken MacLeod and Books of the Dead Press comes MOUNTAIN HOME. Lyn works at an isolated roadside diner trying to save up enough money to start a new life far away from the small town where she grew up. When a retired combat veteran begins killing the patrons of the restaurant, Lyn’s world is turned upside down and surviving the sniper’s bullets is only the beginning of her nightmare. Navigating hostilities from both outside and in, she establishes herself as the disputed leader of a diverse group of people that are at odds with the situation and each other. Will she - or anyone else - survive the attack?
I first conceived Mountain Home after having a nightmare that I was in a roadside café with my wife and son when someone came in and started shooting up the place. I wasn’t able to shake the anxiety from that dream easily, so I decided to try to work a little of it out on the page. I intended for it to be a quick twenty thousand word novella that I’d bang out to get the bad taste out of my brain before I went back to work on a longer piece. But as I got deeper into the book and started fleshing out my main characters, I wanted to add more, to make the people on both sides of the conflict fully-realized humans and not just the same siege-horror tropes we’ve all seen before.
I’m weary of the same action heroes in the same stories doing the same “heroic” things without ever getting hurt or feeling dirty. I’m much more interested in stories of ordinary people rising to the occasion than I am of people with supernatural powers or well-trained super-soldiers getting thrust into circumstances that–while unexpected–they have all the tools necessary to come out on top of. With this book I want to subvert the idea of what an action hero is, so I cast a skinny nineteen-year-old waitress stuck in a dead end job in the middle of nowhere as my hero. She’s got no training, no experience, and no idea what she’s capable of because she’s afraid to pull the trigger on her life. But if she wants to survive, she has to break free from inertia and figure it out for herself. Added to her problems is that she also has to navigate the fears, prejudices, and selfish interests of the other people trapped in the diner with her. Mountain Home is a lean, fast-paced thriller, but at its core it is also character-driven and I hope that’s the point of connection a reader has with it.
Here are some of the early reviews:
"Bracken MacLeod's MOUNTAIN HOME hits like a Claymore mine and cuts with the emotional precision of a scalpel. Ferocious and tender, painful and real, it shows that the worst horrors are those we create ourselves, and that this world offers no shelter from evil, not even for the innocent. A powerful and thoughtful first novel."
~ Chet Williamson, International Horror Guild Award winning author of Soulstorm
Mountain Home is double barrel shotgun blast of violence and pathos. Clean, deft writing and more than enough narrative drive to keep you buzzing along, this debut marks the beginning of a very promising career for Bracken MacLeod.
~ John Mantooth, author of Shoebox Train Wreck and The Year of the Storm
"Bracken MacLeod's MOUNTAIN HOME is a superb page-turner that deserves such merit. What makes the story so compelling is MacLeod's willingness to cast aside clichés and stereotypes, his meticulous attention to facts and details, and his unflinchingly honest characters. His writing is layered with moments of elegant, heart-wrenching prose and pure diesel-fueled suspense, creating a novel that, quite simply, I couldn't put down until I finished the last page. It's THAT good."
~ Peter N. Dudar, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of A Requiem for Dead Flies
"Confident and perfectly paced, MacLeod's novel is at turns heart-pounding and heart-rending, tender and vicious. A grade-A thriller."
~ Adam Cesare, author of Tribesmen
"Bracken MacLeod’s Mountain Home is a thrilling tale that took me places I never expected. With an explosive storyline that keeps you on your toes, the real surprise turned out to be his characters; real, growing, and full of vitality that you both love and love to hate. Joanie and Lyn’s intertwined stories are inspiring and horrifying, and after reading Mountain Home, it is astounding to consider the impact just one person can have. Please read this novel, but be prepared. This is a tale of personal passage—of gateways to change, for better or worse."
~ Weston Kincade, author of A Life of Death