Jesus once saved Lazarus, but some wonder if the City of Lazarus is beyond saving. This historic Bible Belt homestead located in Hawthorne County, Alabama has a population of 45,000 and is nationally renowned for its fine whiskey. Lazarus, a lively city that was once a resting spot for the Buffalo Soldiers, has a lot of heritage, history, and religion. Maybe too much of each.
The Hawthorne County Whiskey Stop, the city’s most profitable tourist attraction, gets thousands of customers per year from in and out of town. But the Hawthorne County Whiskey House, its counterpart, is anything but good and sacred. Just ask the beloved Mayor of Lazarus, Samuel Justice, who has enough skeletons in the closet to fill the local cemetery.
The level of treachery and mayhem spawned within the whiskey house is uncharted despite the fact that Reverend Jackson Jones, the pastor of the Central Baptist Church, owns it. Many believe that a lot of spirits are uneasy and that a curse lingers around Lazarus and Hawthorne County because of the crass circumstances that surround the whiskey house. There’s an old saying around Lazarus, “Once you enter the whiskey house, if you should ever come out, your life goes south.”
There is also an eerie prophecy tied to the whiskey house that no one wants to acknowledge; they keep quiet about it hoping it will just disappear. Detective Brock Taylor is the only hope in saving Lazarus from total destruction. But will he be able to extinguish the curse and bring happiness back to the lives that have been maimed by the misgivings at the whiskey house? Or will he be another victim of the devastating curse? This time, even Jesus may not want anything to do with Lazarus.
Lazurus, Alabama, a community rich with history, heritage and religion, could be any one of thousands of American towns from east coast to west coast, but the contrasting popularity of the Hawthorne County Whiskey Stop and the more dubious Hawthorne Whiskey House makes it much more. In this first in a trilogy of novels, ‘Curse of the Whiskey House: When Life Is the Principle and Death Is the Practice,’ author Marc Lacy offers a compelling drama centered around the tensions created by secular and spiritual forces experienced through the characters, most notably Reverend Jones and Detective Taylor. ‘Curse‘ is a page turner that consistently draws you deeper into the storyline while exploring basic human values like choice, integrity and morality and will have you anxiously anticipating the next book in the series.
–Kenny Anderson, Maximum Life Enhancement
Everyone has heard the phrase? There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.? I must say, that phrase cannot compare to the rotten, low-down, animalistic activities that take place in the Whiskey House, a house that is cursed from the depths of Hell. Here, you will meet Black Abe, a highly regarded man of the cloth and his cultish followers. Even though he is not what he seems, no one wants to go against him- except Brock Taylor. He wants to make sure that the secrets of the Whiskey House are burned to the ground, but there are two people in his way, Ace Honeycutt, his nemesis, and Brooklyn Fontroy, his girlfriend. Be prepared to take horrifying roller-coaster ride to the black abyss, because Marc Lacy is not afraid to take you there. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride!
–Pamela D. Rice, Author
If Jesus could save Lazarus again, I guess I would have to put the bottle down…well at least for a day. Shoot, let me quit lyin’. Sometimes I don’t know what’s better, straight Jack shots or moonshine samplers. I even drank moonshine in a Jack bottle an’ Jack from a moonshine pitcher. Hell, it’s all whiskey…an’ if you a drunk like me, it don’t matter. Well, on second thought it do matter. ‘Cause there was nothing like the moonshine Lulamae Gerther Jones used to make in that ol’ whiskey house on Turner Road.
Whew. Them Buffalo Soldiers would come through an’ fetch a good nip, an’ be on they way. Matter-fact, World War II was a good time for me. After I enlisted, I never went into battle or shot one gun – I reckon it was preparin’ me for these recent gun-law debates or something. But I sho shotgunned me some whiskey…yes suh. Private Rufus McClendon, that’s me. Supposed to have gone out to Arizona with the 92nd Infantry Regiment an’ then on into the Pacific to fight; but I never made it out of the state, ‘cause the bottle wouldn’t let me go. Well that was over three score ago and needless to say, I’m still a private wandering ‘round Lazarus an’ Hawthorne County. But that old whiskey house ain’t been the same since. I mean, I can’t judge a soul the ways I been my whole life. But good God A’mighty, I know a foul odor when I sniff one. An’ let me tell you, the stench is badder than death itself. I guess when the whiskey died, it left a bad spirit. An’ that spirit is doin’ somethin’ to this town.
Lazarus, Alabama located in the Northeastern part of Hawthorne County in the west central part of the state, got just the right history, climate, an’ bad people for the perfect spooky story. I don’t believe in them goblins myself. But boy when somethin’ wicked takes over…it takes over. People won’t talk about it, but it’s there.
It all started when Lulamae’s grandson used to roll to the whiskey house with us. Now young Jackson Jones seemed like he was ordinary minded; but I said all along…there’s something funny ‘bout that lanky boy. Lulamae raised him as best she could. Raised him in that ol’ whiskey house. Back then, that house had so much space in the front yard comin’ off a Turner Road, you could park a few airplanes an’ trucks out there. Then they had a front porch, a carport garage so folk could grab an’ go, a living room for brewin’, kitchen, one full bath, two bedrooms, a back yard for days, an’ a crawl space for storage.
Matter-fact, the back yard was so close to the Hawthorne County Woods, that if somebody was afraid of gettin’ caught with illegal booze, all they had to do was either run in the woods, or throw they bottle. Wadn’t no police gone chase nothin’ in them woods. Shoot, they wadn’t gettin’ enough pay for all them bee stings, snake an’ chigger bites they woulda got. Nowadays, the house looks mostly the same; but it got runnin’ water, ‘lectricity, an’ some renovations been done. One of them bedrooms was knocked out so the living room could be bigger. But yep, Lulamae raised that boy Jackson in that house. She ain’t have no choice. Wit’ his daddy being a molester an’ mama a prostitute, they was both no good for him.
An’ even though Lulamae gave him a roof over his head, she also showed him some thangs that came with being a hustler. So by the time it was all done an’ over with, young Jackson knew how to brew moonshine, shoot skeet, an’ be a good cheatin’ gambler. He was such a good shot, that he could probably close his eyes, shoot straight up in the air, an’ the bullet would land on a lost Florida ballot. In ’65, Jackson went into Vietnam as a sniper, an’ has been snipin’ ever since. Got a eye like a eagle an’ he still loves to shoot skeet, throw them arrows, an’ would take yo’ tax money in a game of Horseshoes. He mostly mild mannered; but will snap like a twig if somebody drove him to that point. I believe he got that PDSD, or PPDD, or PTSD whatever they callin’ it. Jackson even part of local hunt club, too. Some folk think that hunt club is like a secret militia. Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe that’s how a seventy-year-old preacher can keep his aim sharp…I guess.
Now with all that, he also inherited Lulamae’s gift of gab. Yessuh. The boy was good at talkin’. An’ when his granny died, she left the house to him. Then out of nowhere, this multi-faceted young’n became a grown Baptist minister, still ministering today, an’ is still doin’ stuff with that whiskey house. I think people don’t want to say it. But I’mma say it anyway. Jackson may be the only black southern Baptist preacher who part of that NRAA National Rifles of America Agency or something like that. I tell you what, if good ol’ Abraham Lincoln had a twin who was black, he would be Jackson Roosevelt Jones. Ol’ Jackson ain’t nowhere near honest as they said Abe was; but he tall like him, an’ he mysterious lookin’ like him.
( Continued… )
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