Welcome to Gnat Smoke Press
Gnat Smoke Press is a publication company dedicated to bringing you the finest quality poetry and fiction from John Ryland. As a southern small press, we revel in southern hospitality and great southern writing. We are unique, perhaps a little quirky, but we always aim to please. Stay a while, have a look around, just be careful which curtain you look behind. Some of them are hiding ghosts.
The Unkindness of Ravens
When young Miranda follows a raven into the woods, her tortured past comes back to haunt her in the form of the dead body of another kid. Spurred on by haunting visions and voices in her mind, Miranda decides that she must protect the body from a nearby flock of ravens (called an unkindness) who want to devour it. Drawn into her role as protector, Miranda sinks deeper into the darkness that has haunted her for years.
Luckily, she knows how to deal with birds who can't keep their mouth shut, or their distance.
"Ryland's stories, like those of M. Night Shyamalan, are vivid, and often include twists readers do not see coming."
- Stacy H.
" The author’s descriptive writing and style really create a creepy, gothic atmosphere that makes this an enveloping read." -Clarissa C
"I have never read a book like this."
The Reality of Dreams
When Collin Jones awakes from a coma to a world he barely remembers, the lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur. All of his memories are of his beautiful wife and kids and the perfect life they have together, but all he has now is a medical staff that he doesn't trust.
Complicating matters is the fact that he's in a center dedicated to exploring the minds of comatose patients to see what, or if they dream and he is their star patient.
Now, he must determine whether the truth lies in what they are telling him, or what they are not.
"I have to say, I did not see the reality coming."
"The author is gifted in his skill of writing"
"I could not put this book down..."
"This book starts with a bang and never lets up"
"A sprawling masterpiece"
The Facility took everything from him, including his eyes, but Andrew Harkins couldn't be broken. He will have his revenge. All he has to do is avoid gun runners, escape Facility agents, elude the U.S. military and cross a merciless desert. For an average man that would be impossible. Fortunately for him, he's not an average man.
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When Camille Powers hits her head in a seemingly harmless fall, she finds herself in a strange world between life and death. Able to see, but not interact with the world around her, she searches for the only person who can help her, the spirit of a little girl that she has seen all her life.
With the help of Anna Grace, Camille learns that she hasn't just fallen into this Peripheral world but has been pulled into it by a centuries-old demon who wanted to possess her body to enjoy the vices that our world has to offer.
Together they must find a way to defeat the demon and get Camille's body back before it destroys it, trapping her in the Peripheral forever.
"The plot of this book drives it to 5-star status."
"The next time you think you see something out of the corner of your eye, your heart will beat a little faster."
Remarkable depth of Character development.
Full in. Phone on silent in. I stopped nibbling and had to know the resolution for each character.
To the outside world, psychology student Evelyn Jackson has a perfect life, but her secrets threaten to rip away everything she loves. Desperate to find a solution, she returns home, only to find an even more devastating secret: her long lost friend from childhood, Caroline, has slipped from reality and has been labeled the town crazy.
Eager to help Caroline and to avoid dealing with her own crisis, Evelyn is drawn into the dark world of abuse and neglect Caroline has endured all her life. Evelyn braves the perils of Caroline’s schizophrenia and discovers the ugly, dangerous side of real-life mental illness her studies haven’t prepared her for. Shaken but determined, Evelyn attempts to draw Caroline from the horrors of her own mind, eventually revealing the pain and shame that has held her in the clutches of depression for months.
Dragged along an emotional rollercoaster, Evelyn is forced to find strength she never knew she had, but if she can’t save her friend from her pain, she may lose Caroline to suicide and herself to a lifetime of regret.
"If there's one word to describe this collection of short stories that is "unquiet". It's disturbing, yet addictive, dystopian, yet realistic. Reading these stories is like entering The Unholy, if The Unholy was a place, a delectable world of misfortune and courage."
Did you ever have your name on the board for misbehaving in class? If you only got in trouble with the teacher, you should count yourself lucky. Ever find something old in the water? Did it divide your whole town in ways you couldn’t imagine? What is beauty, and how do you stay forever young? The answer might not be what you want, especially if Joe passes by your house. Where does art come from? An old man’s back yard? Who’s to say? Have you ever been in the bottom of a grave? The view gives you quite the perspective on life. What happens to a person when they get struck by lightning? More than you think, I’m sure. Do you know your spouse? I mean really know them. Are you sure? We all have our secrets. Do you remember being a kid and drawing a doodle on your skin, maybe an innocent stickman figure? Yeah, don’t do that. It could be more dangerous than you think.
The Stranger :
poems from the chair
How would you want to be remembered? If you knew the hour of your death, what would you want to leave behind?
This collection of poems takes you on a journey through the last days of a man awaiting execution. Through gritty, hard-hitting verse you will run the gamut of emotional conflict erupting from a man with more regrets than days left to live.
"The poems are beautifully written, deep and insightful. The author masters the art of story-telling through verse. I highly recommend this collection."
"I think this book of poetry is amazing. It has a way of digging deep into the soul. The wording and structure is excellent. Beautifully written."
A young adult romantic comedy
Like many girls, Tamira Brannigan is struggling to survive high school. Unlike anyone, else, she is a girl made completely of glass. Her shy, reclusive lifestyle has helped to keep her secret, and keep her safe, but that is all about to change.
When Damon Kennedy, the witty, charming new boy in school notices Tamira, he sets out to win her heart, and she decides to stop playing it safe.
As their relationship flourishes, she knows that she must choose between safety, and the chance at a normal life. The real world is a dangerous place for a girl made of glass. What is Tamira willing to risk for true love? The answer is everything, but will she end up with her heart broken, or will it be worse?
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"I laughed, I cried, everything you'd want in a book."