Order of the Four Sons

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"Enthralling... An excellent, excellent read." -Jason Crawford, Beyond the Curtain of Reality review site

"I greatly enjoyed the book. It has very clever writing, fleshed out characters, and a gripping story. It perfectly blends elements from sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and adventure. The best part of the story is how real it all feels. No matter how fantastical and surreal it can get, it always feels very plausible. The writers really did their research to intertwine bits and pieces of history to add to the believability of the world. The story is told from varying perspectives, but it always easy to tell what setting is and who is narrating due to the unique forms of writing for each character and setting that makes them highly recognizable. All the characters feel like real people you come to know over the course of their journey, and you want to see them make it out of it all alive. Over all, The Order of The Four Sons is an excellent book, with an intriguing story that will certainly leave you wanting more." -Smashwords reader

"I found this to be action-packed and interesting. The banter between the teammates is natural and often humorous. The setting in Excelsior Springs, including the history involved, is also impressive. I was surprised and pleased with the historical fiction aspects of the story, many of which involved this little town. It was clever to link a famous historical figure with O4S, though I don't want to say who the figure is due to spoilers. The old hotel and the alternate old hotel are both extremely creepy, especially due to the creatures and ghosts that inhabit them." -Amazon reader

“This has become one of my new favorite series. The plot and settings are very original, and it has a big cast of very colorful characters. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Colonel and Murphy are at the top of the list from the original, though all of the cool girl heroines are certainly commendable. I just gave Book I a re-read and it gets better with each successive reading, and if you think this one is good, just wait. This book sets up everything that’s to come. I notice the writers sow in plenty of clues about the following books, so it’s very thought out and well-researched. Can’t recommend these books highly enough.” -Barnes & Noble reader  

The way was narrower here, forcing the team to proceed single-file. In some places, the walls were plaster, crumbling to expose the bare wire mesh. In other places, there was relatively modern-looking cinderblock. The team’s progress was further impeded by heaps of moldering furniture: chairs, headboards, tables, a writing desk, a piano bench, stacks of rotting timber. Occasionally there would be a window, bricked up from the other side. After they had gone about fifteen feet, they found a gaping hole in the floor, almost the entire width of the hallway.
JD shined his flashlight down into it. They couldn’t see anything. He reached into one of the pockets of his duster and produced a flare.
“They teach you that in the marines?” Murphy asked.
“Nope. Boy Scouts, Mister Murphy.” The Colonel pulled the tab. “Be prepared.” He dropped the flare into the hole where it tumbled end over end, down to a bare dirt floor. “Whaddaya reckon, forty feet?” He shook his head. “Deep enough to kill ya, at any rate. Everybody, watch your step.”
He led the way around the pit, pressing himself against the wall, gingerly testing the floorboards with his boots for loose areas.
After that, they could make out the end of the hallway, and a door.
The Colonel opened it cautiously. His flashlight revealed a corridor even narrower than the one they were in. It turned sharply to the right.
The others followed him in.
“Everybody still with me?” he called over his shoulder. “Murphy-Kate-Doc-Cecil?”
There was a chorus of affirmations.
“Just checkin’. Tighter’n a bull’s ass in fly season in here. Can’t turn around to look for ya. Everybody stay right behind me.”
The flashlights revealed wooden walls here. There were also--
“Colonel, we’ve got doors,” Murphy said.
“Well, shit.”
“After you, sir.”
“Looks clear.”
“All right, then.” The Colonel opened the first door. It led to another corridor full of doors. “Well, shit again.” He shut it.
“Colonel, if I may...?” Murphy pulled a plastic doorstop from one of his jacket pockets.
“You carry doorstops?” Kate asked, incredulous.
“Standard SWAT issue,” he dropped it onto the floor and kicked it firmly under the door.
“I mean...really?”
“Really.” He jiggled the door handle to demonstrate. It wouldn’t budge. “Simple physics. Nobody’s coming through that door. Not easily, anyway.” She looked impressed and he gave her a wry grin. “Don’t applaud, just throw money.”
They continued on.
Kate wrinkled up her nose. “Anybody else smell that? Smells like—”
“Burnt hair,” Cecil finished.
“And burning flesh,” Doug added. “You realize what that means.”
“Eretics,” JD said. “Looks like we’re in the right place.”
“What is wrong with our lifestyle, that the smell of roasted undead means we’re in the right place and-- oh look. Blood,” Murphy pointed his flashlight at the floor.
There wasn’t a lot. But enough.
Murphy knelt down and touched a droplet. “Still sticky.” He shined his flashlight along the floor. There were more splashes further ahead-- larger splashes.
No one said anything as they crept along. They tried two more doors. One led to a room barely bigger than a closet, stacked with wooden crates. The second led to yet another hallway. Murphy secured it with a doorstop.
At last, their flashlights landed on an old black telephone mounted on the wall. The whole section of wall surrounding it was awash in blood. Beneath it, more blood stained the floor.
“Movement,” Cecil said. He raised his gun, but couldn’t fire because everyone else was in front of him. Kate followed where his gun was pointed, swinging her flashlight from the phone to the end of the corridor.
The Colonel threw his hand up to shield his eyes. “Get that damn thing out of my face—”
As he spoke, the phone rang abruptly, piercingly. Kate shrieked, leaping back against the wall.
“Movement!” Cecil shouted.
“I can’t see shit!”
“There it goes—”
Colonel, down!” Murphy raised his shotgun.
The Colonel dropped to the floor and Murphy fired, but the creature at the end of the hallway was too quick. The shot tore a section of the wall where it disappeared around the corner.
“Fuck,” Murphy pumped the action. “I guess now we know what happened to Rios.”
“Could he still be alive?” Kate asked.
Murphy looked again at the blood stains. “Maybe.”
“They dragged him off!” she cried, pointing to the trail of blood leading down the hall.
“And we’re goin’ after him, Katie. Just hold your horses,” the Colonel picked himself up off the floor, blinking away the rest of the after-glare as best he could. “Nice shootin’, Murphy.”
“Thank you. We’re going after him?”
“We’re sure as shit not leavin’ him behind. Not when he could still be alive.”
Murphy hesitated. “Okay.”
They followed the blood trail. It went around the corner-- the same direction in which the eretic had gone.
More hallway. More doors. More blood.
“It’s on the ceiling,” Kate marveled.
“Major arterial damage,” Murphy said.
The trail led into a doorway on the left. The door had been torn off.
“Cecil, any movement?” the Colonel asked.
“Neg—” Cecil began. “Wait. Yes...very slight. And some heat.”
Kate looked hopefully from Cecil to the Colonel.
“Murphy,” JD said simply. Murphy nodded. The two of them went into the room and checked it.
Fernando Rios was lying on the floor on the right wall. He was on his right side, his back to the wall. His eyes were open.  
Socorro,” he whispered.