DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
“When the world ended, people eventually regained their footing, but that was a long time ago. We have come so far since then. We still have so much farther to go…”..... Two decades before the bloodstained events of the novella “MERCY”, Rancid Mahoney is commissioned by Gunther Ostrander: purveyor of opportunity and Head Prospector of New Canterton, a mining settlement located in what was once, but long forgotten as, the heart of the American Northwest. Mahoney is tasked with scouring the land in an attempt to locate Blackheart Mountain: the source of "Blackvein", the heavily romanticized miracle mineral rumored to be able to enhance the human body's ability to heal, effectively defeating death itself. But time and time again, Mahoney returns empty handed to his reluctant employer. On the heels of setting out on yet another venture to locate the Mountain, Ostrander orders Mahoney to first escort the prisoner Til Drange to the settlement of Vermouth not far to the north, so that he may face judgment for crimes committed against the eccentric Mayor Henry Kenroy. On the way to Vermouth, the two are interrupted by scouts of the Tuskatawa Tribe, an assemblage of people who believe the cataclysmic event which put an end to civilization long ago was a sign for their people that it is now the time to take back the land that was once theirs in the name of their native ancestors. To make matters worse, Mancino Rolandraz, the deranged leader of the savage Crimson Collar gang, is on his own quest for vengeance under the guise of what he believes to be the only purpose worth fighting for. Spearheading his campaign for "justice" is an obsessive hunger to kill Til Drange, and anyone else who gets in his way. It swiftly comes to the realization of Mahoney that a new war is not only about to break out, but is impossible to prevent, one which he must decide whether or not to take part in, and if he does, which side to fight for.
When your work is savage and your world is cruel, it's hard to find your heart. Mahoney knows this better than anyone. He lives in a world that was burned to the ground many years ago, and he knows nothing but cold, hard truth and scavenging his way through life. Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain, by Dave Matthes, is the thought-provoking tale of Mahoney, an outlaw of sorts who has made his home working for the powerful but evil Gunther Ostrander. Mahoney, by and large a loner, is accustomed to taking care of things his own way. I was immediately taken with the setting of Matthes's book. This post-apocalyptic scene is striking in that it mimics the feel of the Old West in both character and setting. From the brief mentions by characters of modern times gone by to the hints of modern technology, readers are taken on quite a visual thrill ride as they try to piece together each scene. I am not a fan of westerns, but this particular book is so much more and carries readers on a captivating journey into the author's imagination. The notion of an almost mythical Blackheart Mountain and the ways in which it impacts the main character are fascinating to read. I am a huge believer in drastic changes as a character is developed throughout a story, and Matthes succeeds in carrying Mahoney through some major challenges to mold a character not to be forgotten. From his kindness and almost subdued nature with Cassandra to his quiet viciousness when threatened to his experiences among the Tuskatawan people, Mahoney takes shape before oureyes, and his spirit is almost palpable. I think readers will be pleasantly surprised at how well the mix of action meshes with the tender character development that takes place throughout Matthes's gripping novel. ★★★★★!"--- LiteraryTitan, winner of the Literary Titan Gold Award for July 2020 . "In Dave Matthes' enthralling narrative, the reader is never sure where it is all going.... the plot is ingeniously written, with unsettling moments sprinkled throughout the story. The crisp writing is, in itself, a delectable treat, and it is hard to not get pulled in by the author's skillful handling of elements of the setting -- both geographical and cultural. A gorgeous read...★★★★★!"---David Reyes, The Book Commentary .
. "Fast-paced and intense; these were the first two words that came to my mind when I started reading Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain. Mahoney had my attention the moment he was introduced. He had the spunk and sass to grab my attention and hold it until the end. The development of the plot reflected incredibly well with Mahoney's development. This action-packed journey is a must-read!★★★★★! ---Rabia Tanveer, Reader's Favorite . "The world that Mahoney inhabits is a bleak, god-forsaken place with few pockets of civilization left. Matthes' raw writing and poetic prose not only brings out the bleakness of this world brilliantly but also effectively conveys the inner monologue of a loner like Mahoney. Atone point, Matthes describes the bond between Mahoney and his horse so sweetly, you cannot help but believe he is capable of some good, despite the man himself denying so. The menacing plot builds to a high-octane climax, and the bittersweet ending provides a satisfying denouement. ★★★★!"--- Debjani Ghosh, Reader's Favorite . Author Dave Matthes has crafted a western that perfectly captures the traditional atmosphere of the genre, but is also suitably complex and involved for the modern reader to enjoy in greater depth. One of the things which I really enjoyed was the web of intricacies and the many different parties with their own agendas, all of which clash around Mahoney's life and cause him no end of strife as the plot thickens. ★★★★★! --- K.C. Finn, Reader's Favorite
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Matthes was born and raised in Swedesboro, New Jersey. He has attended various colleges for computer engineering, automotive science and criminal justice-like degrees, though he is mostly self-educated in the subjects of World History, Philosophy, Political Science and Spirituality. During the day, he works as a service technician and system installer for the restaurant industry. He is a writer of prose and story-driven poetry and is the author of autobiographical books "The Slut Always Rides Shotgun", its sequel "The Passive Aggressors", his post-apocalyptic western series: "The Two Revolvers Saga", and "The Mire Man Trilogy". Dave presently lives in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania with his wife Sarah and their cat Hank.