Today is my stop on the book tour for chilling novel, Descent of a Broken Man by Ashon Ruffons! Read on for details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Descent of a Broken Man #1
Publication Date: February 11th, 2022
Publisher: Dreadful Times Press
James Corbin is an ambitious high school history teacher who resides in the lively, yet dangerous city of New Orleans. He suffers from severe depression and anxiety and is on a downward spiral, unwilling to seek the help he desperately needs. His troubles are compounded by a lack of progress in his professional career, his disintegrating marriage, and lack of respect from his peers. While his struggles threaten to cripple him, the city is marred by a series of brutal religious murders.
However, it’s soon clear that there is not only one, but two murderers wreaking havoc on the city. While police chase the murderers, James focuses on his quest for professional success and self-worth from his research. Unfortunately for him, the research leads to the discovery of a nefarious essence, which unlocks a darkness and brings James face to face with a monster of his own. Within some people, there is something… off. Something dormant. A terror that, if found, will leave a path of pain in its wake.
TW: Depression/ Mental Health
The thought of escaping New Orleans and the violence of their hometown after graduation excited their youthful minds. Ever mindful, Cynthia watched her surroundings and stayed aware of some of the dangers in the area, but the pair managed to enjoy their brisk walk among the tourists before they made it to a much thinner crowd and a much rougher neighborhood.
As the young couple’s pace quickened, two large Rottweilers snarled. Drool fell from the dogs’ mouths at the sight of them, as they walked past the housing development.
“Just keep walking, baby. Don’t make eye contact. They’ll leave us alone,” Damon insisted.
The dogs sprinted toward them, baring their teeth and leaving a trail of saliva behind them.
“Oh shit, bae! Run!” Damon yelled.
Cynthia snatched her hand away from Damon and took off toward the police station ahead. Damon beamed and raced behind Cynthia as the dogs caught up to him. The sound of the chattering teeth nipping at his heels pushed his legs faster. The vicious hounds chased and snarled after them as they sped up the block and past the First Precinct Police Station. The sound of their laughter echoed in the night’s air the entire way.
Cynthia and Damon managed to lose the dogs, after they turned and entered the side gates of Louis Armstrong Park, a shortcut to their Treme neighborhood where Damon lived.
The struggle to catch their breaths while guffawing at their experience brought some lively energy to the park’s dreary atmosphere.
“My God, you are so slow!” Cynthia yelled out, weak from laughter.
“Shut up!” Damon replied. “I was gonna catch you. Not really though. I tried. Your ass is too fast. I could’ve run behind that ass all night though.”
“Boy, you play too much!” Cynthia replied, as she playfully slapped Damon softly on his cheek. Both still hunched over with their hands on their knees as they tried to catch their breath.
“Hey, will you shut up? People are trying to sleep out here,” a voice bellowed from nearby.
“Oh, shit.” Damon snickered. “Now we are waking up the bums.”
While Cynthia and Damon flirted, they stood under the large oak trees near Congo Square. Sweat dripped from their foreheads from the muggy evening, but the still trees above offered no sign of a breeze to break up the oppressively thick air. The young couple continued their walk through Armstrong Park as they listened to the sound of soft jazz pumped from speakers from the nearby radio station.
As they passed the old Municipal Auditorium, a place of concerts and graduations, Damon gripped Cynthia’s hand once more and pulled her toward him. The two embraced and shared a long passionate kiss under the towering presence of the oak trees. Damon placed both hands on Cynthia’s arms and caressed her smooth skin with his thumbs. Their love had grown since their sophomore year. Cynthia’s hands lay upon both sides of his face, and the engagement ring on Cynthia’s hand glimmered as it managed to capture the little light in the area.
As they stared into each other’s eyes, a sudden movement from above caught Damon’s attention. He looked up into the sturdy wooden structures and noticed a shadowy figure hidden among the cluster of branches that rustled and swayed. A human-like figure moved with a purpose from tree to tree and bent the branches along the way, as if a hurricane force wind blew them about.
The sound of a stick snapping startled Cynthia. Damon held her hand firmly and proceeded to pull his fiancée through the park. Cynthia glanced behind them as they hurried through the darkness, and she dipped “her eyebrows with confusion at the sight of the branches breaking and falling to the ground.
As Damon yanked on Cynthia’s arm, something fell from the tree before them. Damon and Cynthia halted and looked on with horror in their wide eyes. “What the hell?” Damon mumbled as he stared ahead. Paralyzed by fear, he squeezed Cynthia’s hand tighter.
She grimaced in pain, as the couple glared at the enormous figure that panted in the shadows ahea
My Review – 3 1/2 stars
3 1/2 stars
I love horror books, and the fact this one was set in New Orleans thrilled me.
The story started off with a bang! When a book starts with what appears to be a supernatural murder, I’m ready to dive in. Had the book kept that pacing, I would have enjoyed it more. The story slows quite a bit when we first meet James. Then again, history class wasn’t my favorite in school so sitting through a history lesson with him didn’t exactly win me over.
The horror aspects were great! I did feel as if I were back in New Orleans while reading the story. The descriptions were very well done. Overall, I liked the story. I just didn’t love it.
*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.
About the Author
Ashon Ruffins is a native New Orleanian and a military Veteran. He earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, while also holding certifications for several other professions. He loves the art of storytelling in all genres and believes the best lessons in life can be told through fiction. In his spare time, he likes to read, enjoy movies and develop recipes. Descent of a Broken Man is his debut novel.
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