Steph Post is a recipient of the Patricia Cornwell Scholarship for creative writing from Davidson College and the Vereen Bell Memorial Award for fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in Haunted Waters: From the Depths, The Round-Up, The Gambler Mag, Foliate Oak, Kentucky Review, and the anthology Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics. Her short story The Pallid Mask was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first novel, A Tree Born Crooked, was a semi-finalist for The Big Moose Prize.
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“Brilliant...Lightwood solidifies Steph Post as the official voice of working class literature in Florida, akin to what Daniel Woodrell has done for Missouri, or Ron Rash for the Carolinas." —Brian Panowich, bestselling author of Bull Mountain
"(A) gritty, propulsive crime novel...Lightwoodkeeps up a headlong pace as the Cannons, the Scorpions, Sister Tulah and other forces clash brutally all around Judah and Ramey. You might not want to visit Silas in real life, but it makes a fine setting for this twisted and compelling tale." ―Tampa Bay Times
"With spot-on characterizations and dialogue, Post explores the strength of family, religion, and vengeance in an absorbing literary mystery." ―Booklist
"Steph Post’s prose is lyrical and evocative. Her depiction of hardscrabble life in rural Florida is so effective, you’ll wanna lock the doors and crank up the AC. But where LIGHTWOOD truly excels is in illuminating the ties that bind―and stretching them well beyond their breaking point." ―Chris Holm, award-winning author of The Killing Kind
Judah Cannon is the middle son of the notorious Cannon clan led by Sherwood, its unflinching and uncompromising patriarch. When Judah returns to his rural hometown of Silas, Florida after a stint in prison, he is determined to move forward and live it clean with his childhood best friend and newly discovered love, Ramey Barrow. Everything soon spirals out of control, though, when a phone call from Sherwood ensnares Judah and Ramey in a complicated web of thievery, brutality and betrayal.
Pressured by the unrelenting bonds of blood ties, Judah takes part in robbing the Scorpions, a group of small-time, meth-cooking bikers who are flying down the highway with the score of their lives. Unbeknownst to the Cannons, however, half of the stolen cash in the Harley saddlebags belongs to Sister Tulah, a megalomaniacal Pentecostal preacher who encourages her followers to drink poison and relinquish their bank accounts. When Sister Tulah learns of the robbery, she swears to make both the Cannons and the Scorpions pay, thus bringing all parties into mortal conflict rife with deception and unpredictable power shifts. When Judah’s younger brother Benji becomes the unwitting victim in the melee, Judah takes it upon himself to exact revenge, no matter the damage inflicted upon himself and those around him.
Judah becomes a driven man, blinded by his need for vengeance and questioning everything he thought he believed in. With Ramey at his side, Judah is forced to take on both the Scorpions and Sister Tulah as he struggles to do the right thing in a world full of wrongs.
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