Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island
Michael Phillip Cash
Red Feather Publishing
New York, New York
ISBN: 978-1484196090
$ 12.99
232 pages

Any young family with one parent suffering from cancer has immense challenges that few people can really comprehend.  Sometimes just maintaining a career, a marriage, and raising three children is overwhelming.
For Paul Russo, this is his life.
Paul has been a successful real estate agent in the Long Island area.  Fortunately, his financial situation is healthy enough that he can take off time to be with his dying wife.  However, a year with cancer treatments, death, and three children can be taxing on anyone financially, physically, and most of all, emotionally.
His wife, Allison was diagnosed a year ago with a brain tumor.  Keeping a household running smoothly usually fell on Allison's shoulders, but now Paul must do everything possible to keep the family together.   Allison and Paul were blessed with the twins, Jesse and Veronica and their younger sibling, Stella.   Without Allison, Paul knows that he must return to work while helping each of the children and himself through their grief.  He quickly realizes that to meet everyone's needs, including his own, this seems like a never-ending insurmountable task.
Not being active in real estate for the past year has made it more difficult to work with new listings and fortunately an old friend contacts Paul about selling their 200-year-old family mansion name Stillwell.   With a phenomenal location but the house not in the best of condition. He quickly wonders if this is a blessing or a curse especially when he hears the rumors about the house being haunted due to two tragic deaths. 
How do you sell a haunted mansion?  If he is able to accomplish this sale, at least this would solve his current financial issues.
Stillwell does more than just haunt the locals.  The house haunts Paul and his children in their dreams causing them not to be able to eat or sleep.  In the nightmares, a demon is holding Allison's spirit as hostage.  What is strange is how much Allison resembled one of the tragic residents from years ago.  How do you stop this nighttime haunting of the minds?
Stillwell is considered to be a horror story, but in reality, it is a well-written story of love and caring.  The strength of this novel is its phenomenal grasp of the characterization.  Each person is realistic with daily struggles looking for any positive aspect in their lives as they move through their grief. 
Michael Phillip Cash grew up and continues to live in his beloved Long Island creating wonderful horror stories that are more than blood and gore but show the best of humanity.
Stillwell won the award of being a finalist in horror by ForeWard Reviews in 2013.  However, this is much more than a horror story, this is a human story of grief, caring, and love that is an outstanding novel by the masterful storyteller, Michael Phillip Cash.

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