Taylor Brown


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Excerpt from Gods of Howl Mountain!

Gods of Howl Mountain Excerpt

Hey guys,

Today, The Wrath-Bearing Tree — a journal established and maintained by combat veterans — has published an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Gods of Howl Mountain:


What’s more, my friend Andria Williams — author of The Longest Night — interviewed me about the book and more:



Rave Reviews for GODS!

Gods of Howl Mountain Reviews

We’ve been very lucky to receive some rave reviews for Gods of Howl Mountain, both from trade publications and indie booksellers.

Trade Reviews:

“Brown (The River of Kings, 2017) immerses the reader in the mountain landscape, such that one can feel the rich soil as Granny May digs for roots, listen to nocturnal howls carried on the crisp night air, and smell the pig roasting over the fire. Brown’s dialogue, too, is magical, capturing the local idioms and cadences and rendering them musical. Ultimately, though, it’s the characters, so wonderfully vibrant and alive in their all-too-human variety—scared, tightly wound, angry, damaged, yet resourceful and resilient, some honorable, some not—that demonstrate Brown’s prodigious talent. Brown has quickly established himself in the top echelon of Southern writers, and his latest will please readers of Wiley Cash and Ron Rash.” –Booklist

“Powerful…explosive…Brown’s lyrical prose invokes a verdant landscape whose rich past is woven into its roots and people; their dependence on the land and respect for its great mysteries are palpable.  This tale of loyalty and retribution will linger with readers.” –Publishers Weekly

“In his third novel (after River of Kings), critically acclaimed novelist Brown gazes unflinchingly at the Howl Mountain community of 1950s North Carolina…Not to be missed, this bold, dark, gritty novel is another coup for Brown, whose lyrical descriptions of the landscape only add to the captivating story of indomitable but isolated folks bound by folklore, tradition, and a hardscrabble life.” Library Journal

Bookseller Reviews:

Rachel Watkins from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA:

“Taylor Brown’s writing grows sharper with each book and you’ll love GODS OF HOWL MOUNTAIN as the people and places inevitably win your heart. Korean war veteran Rory Docherty and his forest shaman grandmother May have a deep connection to their North Carolina town, and when Rory’s bootlegging business gets rocky, deep family secrets may have something to do with the trouble. This is a lyrically beautiful book. If you haven’t read Taylor Brown, I’d start with this one.”

Darwin Ellis from Books on the Common in Ridgefield, CT:

“Gods of Howl Mountain—Taylor Brown.  Although we all have or had grandmothers, it would be rare if one of them resembles ‘Granny May’ who dominates this tale of 1950s North Carolina backwoods seething with bootleggers, Feds, crooked lawmen and snake-handling Christians.  She has raised her grandson Rory, recently returned from Korea minus a leg and minus an explanation for who killed his father and made his mother mute with grief.  Granny May has a dark past but is now retired to the mountains where she is a force to be reckoned with as the local folk healer which she does with herbs and potions, and other tricks.  So take a visit to the hollers of North Carolina and meet the curious folk who once inhabited them with Taylor Brown as your guide.  His writing sometimes tingles the throat like that moonshine transported all other those hills with such passion, skullduggery , determination,  and ingenuity.”

Josh Niesse of Hills & Hamlets Bookshop in Chattahoochee Hills, GA:

“Two words: Granny May. The story of Rory Docherty and the illegal whiskey running business he is caught up in is good, great even. But Rory’s grandmother steals the show.  Granny May is a witchy Appalachian folk healer, herbalist, and bawdy former prostitute whose dark, earthy wisdom combines with her sly, miscreant humor to create a truly unforgettable character. I think Taylor Brown shook Tom Robbins and Flannery O’Connor in a cocktail shaker with whiskey, cannabis, and sassafras and out poured Granny May.”

Damita Nocton from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC:

“To read the work of Taylor Brown is to be given the capacity to enter any world his writing fearlessly creates. He is a well-spring of lyrical beauty.

“Gods of Howl Mountain carried me deep into the mountains of NC, post-Korean War, where moonshine ran like it sprang from the earth, where the embryonic seeds for NASCAR were being sown by moonshine runners in souped up cars, and where the people took care of their own, whether by home remedies gifted from the mountains or by brutality and revenge.

“The characters are unforgettable and remained with me long after closing the book. They are toughened by life, hopeful, and endearing—survivors all. Brown was able to brilliantly infuse humor and light into this gritty tale. Rory Docherty has returned from the war, leaving a leg in exchange for the horrors he can’t forget. His beautiful mother is a resident at Dorothea Dix Hospital, muted by a heinous act of violence, leaving Rory to be raised the inimitable Granny May. This diminutive force is his maternal grandmother; former prostitute turned healer, drawing from the folk knowledge that the mountains take care of their own. Rory’s livelihood options are limited, so he turns to running moonshine, chased by revenuers, lawmen, competing runners, and his own demons. There are questions from the past to be answered, grudges to bear, and redemption to be found.

“I lifted my head from this extraordinary novel in the wee hours of the morning, stunned by the time passed and grateful for the opportunity to read such a literary gift. A vision from the novel that haunts me is that of a lone surviving chestnut tree in front of Granny May’s cabin, branches filled with empty bottles to capture evil spirits and protect the home. The mountains are filled with spirits, good and evil.

“Gods of Howl Mountain captures those spirits like that lone bottle tree within its pages.”

Pre-Order Gods of Howl Mountain now!

The River of Kings Giveaway

The River of Kings Giveaway


St. Martin’s Press, my publisher, has partnered with Goodreads to give away 50 free copies of my novel The River of Kings.  I would be honored for you have a copy of this book on your shelf if you don’t already.  Here’s the link for entry:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/253067-the-river-of-kings


Gods of Howl Mountain Giveaway!

Gods of Howl Mountain Goodreads Giveaway

My lovely publisher, St. Martin’s Press, has partnered with Goodreads to give away 100 free copies (!) of my forthcoming novel, Gods of Howl Mountain…six months ahead of the March 2018 pub date! Easy to enter — here’s the link:

Enter Giveaway


Gods of Howl Mountain

Gods of Howl Mountain Cover

I’m pleased to announce that my third novel, Gods of Howl Mountain, is now available for pre-order (links below). Here’s the scoop:

Set in the high country of 1950s North Carolina, Gods of Howl Mountain is a dark and compelling novel of family secrets, whiskey-running, vengeance, and love.

Maybelline Docherty, “Granny May,” is a folk healer with a dark past. She concocts potions and cures for the people of the mountains—her powers rumored to rival those of a wood witch—while watching over her grandson, Rory Docherty, who has returned from the Korean War with a wooden leg and nightmares of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Rory runs bootleg whiskey in a high-powered car to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients in the mill town at the foot of the mountains—a hotbed of violence, moonshine, and the burgeoning sport of stock-car racing.

Granny May must help her grandson battle rival runners and federal revenue agents, snake-handling pastors, and the mystery of his own haunted past: namely, the real story behind his mother’s long confinement in a mental hospital, during which she has remained completely silent.

With gritty and atmospheric prose, Taylor Brown brings to life a perilous mountain and the family who rules it, tying together past and present in one captivating narrative.

Pre-Order Gods of Howl Mountain now!





Fallen Land: 2017 Southern Book Prize Finalist!


Hugely honored for Fallen Land to be selected as one of four finalists for the 2017 Southern Book Prize in the Literary category. Congratulations to Julia Franks, whose novel Over the Plain Houses won the prize!

2017 Books All Georgians Should Read


Huge thanks to the Georgia Center for the Book for selecting The River of Kings as one of the 2017 Books All Georgians Should Read.  In some ways, this book is my love poem to the state of my birth, childhood, and formative years. I’m so grateful for the book to make this list.

Also, Fallen Land made the 2016 list!

More details here:   http://georgiacenterforthebook.org/Read-Georgia-Books/index.php



Interview on WHQR’s Communique

Huge thanks to Gina Gambony of WHQR’s Communique for having me on the show. We talk about The River of Kings, the nature of time, and I read a passage from the novel.




The River of Kings Endpapers!

I’m so damn thrilled about the endpapers in The River of Kings hardcover. Huge thanks to my editor, George Witte, and all the people at St. Martin’s Press who made these happen.

River of Kings Endpapers

Fallen Land in Paperback!

Thrilled to announce that Fallen Land is available today in paperback!  And oh what a beautiful cover! Copies are available everywhere fine books are sold, and online as well:

Pick up your copy of Fallen Land in paperback!

Fallen Land Paperback



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