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88 pages51 minutes


Imagine you are a mind reader—a voyeur who can steal dreams. It happens in the book, DARK. Now, in DARKEST, the final third of DARK you as “The Thief of Dreams,” will see many dreadful, occasionally humorous, and sometimes downright disturbing dreams--fantasies and nightmares of others. All are expressed as poetry and short stories, each designed to make you laugh, shudder or cringe, or all three.

For example, all SIX parts of “The Zombie Apocalypse” series (two in DARK, one in DARKER and 3 more in DARKEST) drew that title from a recent admission by Google® that this was their most-searched term in June, 2012. Brakken explains, in his Z A series, that, thanks to recent scientific innovation, this idea, this threat, is, indeed, plausible. Those who initially thought this term laughable may find themselves reconsidering. As we all know, science can be wonderful—or terrible—depending on the final outcome. (In DARKER, there is an invitation to new authors to submit their own Z A episodes for an upcoming anthology.)

But this is not a book about zombies. It is much, much more. Brakken's poems such as “In Gloomy Wood” and “The Parson Joshua Black” tell stories that will tingle the spine. Others like “Something in the Shadows” and “Bedtime Story” may lead to the bedroom light being left on until morning. “Gramma’s Noggin” will elicit a laugh while helping readers pronounce Namakagon correctly. (Brakken's earlier book is THE TREASURE OF NAMAKAGON.) A sonnet, “The Count,” will beg readers for restraint regarding releasing evil upon the land. There are so many more.

Brakken included “Nevermore” a poetic tribute to Edgar Allen Poe and a favorite of many. “Nevermore” answers Poe’s question about the final resting place of the spirit of the deceased maiden in Poe’s, “The Raven.”

A number of poems, including “The Ballad of Ole Johnson” and “A Pinery Tale” found inspiration in actual deaths that occurred during northern Wisconsin’s 19th century timber harvest, giving them the western texture akin to the cowboy poetry of Baxter Black. Several mysterious excerpts from Brakken’s 19th century“lumberjack” era novel, THE TREASURE OF NAMAKAGON, complement the poems nicely. And, if dragons are to your liking, you’ll savor the author’s “Three Dragons” series.

Beware! Although this large collection of Brakken’s macabre writings will delightfully scare the reader and sometimes stimulate nervous laughter, the author advises us that some of these works are utterly disturbing. Read at your own risk: Here there be dragons.

For visual relief, the author included many darkly evocative engravings by long-dead master artists from ancient times. Gustave Dore and Albrecht Durer are among the artists who now, long after their death, add mystery and macabre charm to Brakken’s work. Note that these images are not intended to illustrate the writings. Rather, they simply add to the enigmatic, bone-chilling nature of DARK.

THE AUTHOR ADVISES READING DARK, DARKER, AND DARKEST IN THE ORDER PRESENTED. Jumping ahead may spoil the twisting, turning plots of some sequential works.

Enter DARKEST at your own risk. -- We've been waiting for you.

Contents of DARKEST (Third of 3 sections):

Thief of Dreams V
Something in the Shadows
Three Dragons Part III: The Third Dragon
Dare not Swim in Devil’s Lake
The Zombie Apocalypse Part IV
Our Lovely Lucy Brown
A Pinery Tale
The Kinabalu Affliction
In Gloomy Wood
Thief of Dreams VI
The Ghost of the Apostles (Not in present softcover edition)
Death Deceived
Beyond the Laterals
The Zombie Apocalypse Part V (Not in present softcover edition)
Move Not Cold Stones by Midnight’s Mist
The Zombie Apocalypse Part VI (Not in present softcover edition)
Thief of Dreams VII

Plus, there are extras hidden between the above titles.

Muster all your courage and seek them ou

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