Saturday, 16 July 2016

Available for pre-order . . . THE DOLL HARVEST

Driven Press would like to announce that our upcoming release

The Doll Harvest
by Ron Savage

to be released on 31 July 2016, is now available for pre-order.


The twins say I’m perfect and rare. “We had to look very hard to find someone like you.” I am admired.

On the steps of her quiet brownstone, Nettie Harnell smells the sickly sweet scent of chloroform moments before she is abducted.  When she awakens she’s in a dark basement chained to a post with nothing but memories of her mother and Paris to keep her company while she awaits her fate.

There is a shortage of medical donors in Philly, not that Carl and Vern Wachoski consider it a problem--it’s another business opportunity. Taking without permission has turned out to be incredibly lucrative, especially with Carl’s motto being “waste not, want not.” But Carl’s arrogance could cost them everything if they don’t watch out.

Dutch Harnell is no stranger to depression since the tragic and violent death of his wife and son eleven years before. Now it’s time for Dutch to pull himself together to save his one remaining family member, Nettie. With the help of Kapil Talpur, a young graduate student who witnessed the abduction, he finds himself drawn deeper into a world of greed and intrigue, where they can trust no one but themselves.


The reverend liked sitting in the leather chair by his bedroom window with a paper cup of Glenkinchie 1991 neat—not that the staff at Pastureland Retreat would approve. Right now he watched the snow cover the tan meadow and the dark branches of trees, sipping his Scotch. Lots of oak and maple in Buck’s County. A horse pulled carriage was passing along the road by the mailbox, steam wafting up from the animal’s nostrils. Reverend Dutch Harnell had been thinking about his home in Philadelphia, a four-bedroom Mt. Airy town house he’d let go to live here. He was picturing his baby girl beneath her red and blue swing set after a warm rain. He and Bess had given their daughter the set many birthdays ago. The child had a thing for playing with the wet clay under the swings.

“Nettie doesn’t make mud pies,” Dutch remembered saying to his wife, looking out the kitchen window at their girl in the backyard. “You know, the way children do? Never does that. She works on shaping people. Whatever you call it, sculpting people. Did it right from the start. Perfect little people, little legs, little arms. Six years old, mind you, a peanut.”

“She’s a child playing in the dirt,” Bess would say. The reverend’s wife had curly black hair. Nettie had that same hair, her mom’s plump body too. The reverend thought his wife had the look of a red-cheeked pastry chef in some book he might have once read to the kids. Bess said, 

“Children play in the mud, Rev.”

He loved that. Rev.

She’d wanted to keep her daughter normal, Dutch guessed. “Don’t make her too special,” had been his wife’s message. Who was he to argue? Bess was an educator, a terrific teacher. She knew kids.

“I want the child to get along,” she’d say.

“Can’t she be talented and get along?”

“It depends. How talented are we talking?”

The reverend cherished these memories of his family. Pastureland Retreat was a blessing. To sit in his leather chair and look out the window at the fine snow drifting down on the meadow and think about his life—his Bess, his daughter and son—what could be better? Considering the circumstances . . . nothing, absolutely nothing. He was the youngest person at Pastureland. Fifty-seven last October, a youngster compared to the retreat’s majority of seventy- and eighty-year-olds. Then there was Mr. Vasquez—a hundred and two and still flirting with the ladies and using the treadmill every morning.

Dutch Harnell looked down at the small bandage on the backside of his wrist.

He started to pick at the adhesive. God, how many times do I need to see the thing? This was the fifth time in two days he’d peeled off the white gauze to have a look. There were some things you needed to look at and look at again. A man had to be sure some things were really, really there. This was Mage Dalton’s work, the woman who lived in the room at the end of his hallway. Seventy-six years old, still one of the greats. She’d shown him her arms, her back, the calves of her legs. Like walking through an art gallery. The old gal carried her resume with her. Dutch had not stopped examining his wrist. The area was red and swollen, but it was there. A beauty, the work of a true artist. On the reverend’s right wrist was the fresh tattoo of a heart.


The Doll Harvest is available for pre-order
from the following vendors:
Driven Press


Ron Savage was a senior staff psychologist at a state mental health facility in Virginia and also had a private practice. Ron is the author of seven novels and two volumes of short stories, and has published more than 125 stories worldwide. He is the recipient of the Editor’s Circle Award in Best New Writing and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Ron is a member of PEN America and has also been a guest fiction editor for Crazyhorse. Some of his publications can be found in Film Comment, the North American Review, Shenandoah, the Baltimore Review, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Find Ron Savage at:



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