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Publisher's Summary

Elien Martel is a survivor, but surviving, he’s beginning to discover, isn’t the same thing as living. In the house he shares with his much older boyfriend, Elien spends his days trying to stay as far away from living as possible. Living, he has learned, means that sooner or later you’ll get hurt.

When a member of Elien’s support group dies under strange circumstances, though, Elien finds himself in a web of bizarre coincidences. The responding officer turns out to be another member of Elien’s support group - a man named Mason, who has made no effort to hide his dislike of Elien. Then, just a few days later, Mason tries to kill Elien in front of dozens of witnesses.

As violence ripples through Elien’s world, he begins to suspect that the coincidences are not coincidences at all. Something is at work behind the cascade of tragedies, something vicious and intelligent. Something that has wanted Elien for a long time.

To defeat it, Elien will have to do what he fears most and face the darkness in his own past. Worse, he’ll have to take the risk of trying to live again.

©2020 Gregory Ashe (P)2021 Gregory Ashe

What listeners say about Stray Fears

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  • WW
  • 10-04-21

“There is a spirit that lives in marshy places…”



This book didn’t “pull me in,” it actually KIDNAPPED ME and held my outside life a prisoner until I finished every last word!

Now I HAD to find out what was wrong with Elion, and why he’s lying. I HAD to find out who Richard was, and how this Dag person fits into all of this. And I HAD to find out what Elion’s mom was like!

From the moment I picked up this book, until I reached the end, my dog didn't get walked, the laundry was put off for another day, and ditto the dishes.

You do this to me every time I get one of your books, Gregory [insert middle name here] Ashe, and you just did it AGAIN!

6 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite by this author—but still excellent

I read Greg Ashe's books for the characters, which may explain why I'm giving this four stars rather than five. I liked the MCs and thought the story was interesting, but I don't know that I understood what drew the MCs together in the same way I feel I do with Jem and Tean or Hazard and Somers. The shorter format probably has something to do with this. At any rate, any lack of enthusiasm is attributable to the very, very high bar Ashe has set. I'll gladly read the next book in this series and look forward to learning more about Dag and Eli.

3 people found this helpful

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Declan Winters for the win!

I already read the book and it's RIVETING, but Declan Winters adds some layers to it. I enjoyed his narration, his voice, the way he did Dag's hilarious parents! It was pure enjoyment. On to the next one.

2 people found this helpful

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Spooky Tale

This eerie spooky tale is perfect for this time of year. I couldn't help but worry, and root for, Eli. And Dag was wonderful, his parents offering some much-needed humor to cut the tension. Gregory Ashe is one of my favorite authors and he excels at suspense. and I enjoyed this trip into the paranormal. The narrator does very well, with distinct character voices and a good sense of pacing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • kp
  • 10-06-21

LOVED

Get ready for the ride of your life! This book will take you places you never thought you would go. The paranormal aspect is spot on and utterly page turning. You never know what is coming next.
The character development is top notch. You will be unable to stop rooting for Elien throughout this story.
When trouble leads him to Deputy Dagobert LaBlanc things might start looking up. Dag's parents add just the right touch of humor and kind of steal the show!
Stray Fears is a great paranormal/mystery romance that you won't regret reading!
Declan Winters does an outstanding job of bringing this story to life!

2 people found this helpful

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Dark!!! I loved it!!

You got love a writer who lets the plot and not the romance drive the story.

I was excited to get my hands on this audiobook since it was Ashe’s foray into the paranormal!! 👏👏

It didn’t disappoint!

I thought that once I figured out who the baddie was that everything would resolve itself and the protagonist would clean up.

But this is Ashe.

Once I figured out the bad “guy” it only started to get worse. And the horrors truly began.

I don’t want to say much to spoil this, but this a solid 4.5 read and horrifically addictive!

1 person found this helpful

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Woooo!!

This book is full of Triggers. Not going to list them though. Spoilers and all.

Welp! Greg wrote a horror/ paranormal/mystery story, set just a tiny bit outside one of my favorite places on earth, New Orleans.

"The door to the porte cochere was open; it was December, and even in New Orleans, December was cold. The frigid air came in like waves that hit me at the knee."

I freaking enjoyed every minute of this creepy book. Right up my Supernatural alley.

The writing
Flowed so well. This one is very readable and listenable book. I was hooked from the very 1st word and couldn’t stop. I am so used to Greg’s writing by now that it definitely feels like coming home to drink warm milk before you bite a cookie then you realize the cookie is not sweet and you are left with a bitter taste. This book deals with some very serious topics, in a way that it is not offensive and preachy. The scenery descriptions were surreal, took me to NOLA and back.

The Characters
Elien – Hmmm! Elien! Elien! What an unlikable likable character. He is the first character we meet. I really wanted to smack him most of the time, he is one spoilt, sweet, selfish, lovable character. Greg writes some of my fav characters because they feel real and relatable to some extent. My tiny peanut heart broke for Elien.

Dag – I liked him a lot. He is one sarcastic, take no bullshit from no one character. I loved his parents, what a bunch of weird sweet parents. They brought so much joy whenever they were on page.

The mystery was creepy; what kind of monster was that? Eeeeewww!! At first I had no clue who it was then as the story progresses, I put on my Sam and Dean gloves then went to working. Let’s just say the hunting experience was an adventure.

There were some funny bits that got me loling hard. Especially the conversations.

The relationship between Elien and Dag was a good one, they got mad chemistry, it felt short though, I wanted more time with them. I guess I will just have to go with the flow for now.

Overall, I had so much fun listening to this book.

Disclaimer! A copy of the audiobook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent!

I loved this book! Not often do I listen to books non-stop, however, Stray Fears grabbed by attention from the very beginning and didn’t let up until it was finished. I loved Declan Winters’ distinct accent on the main characters and could easily tell them apart. Sometimes a narrator has trouble with distinguishing between characters when there are distinct accents, but not in this instance. Well Done, Declan!
The story itself was interesting as well. This, for me, was an excellent change of pace compared to the other books written by Gregory Ashe. It had a great pace and each character was well-developed. I particularly enjoyed the Republican-quasi hippie parents (as odd as it sounds writing this, trust me, you’ll enjoy them popping up!) as well as the mystery of the plot. Again, a great listen and while I’m not sure where the characters go from this book but I’d gladly welcome more of them. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

1 person found this helpful

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Creepy creepy in a delicious way!

Love Gregory Ashe’s writing- always complex characters and storylines! This one doesn’t disappoint and the narrator is top notch!!

1 person found this helpful

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Ashe did a great Paranormal

I was excited to see Gregory Ashe do a paranormal/horror type book. NOLA is a great setting to have it in and the story uses its surroundings to make the experience realistic - even for a paranormal one. The characters are well developed, each having their own set of problems that encourage you to engage with who they are and what they are trying to achieve. All the while introducing a mystery component - perfect Gregory Ashe style - to uncovering the evil doings. This is my first Declan Winters narration and I thought he did a perfect job portraying Eileen and Dag and making who they are come "off the page". Looking forward to seeing what else Gregory Ashe can do in the genre.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 10-24-21

A new twist from a fave author

I’ve struggled a bit with this review. I’m a huge Gregory Ashe fan, so I had high expectations for this book. And there were some parts I really liked. I liked Elien, despite his inability to tell the truth all the time. I empathized with him and the trauma he endured. I didn’t like his relationship with his live-in psychiatrist boyfriend, though. And I did like his relationship with Dag – precarious as it was. Dag was willing to look further than the surface. He was willing to protect Elien from whatever is happening. And there’s a lot happening. Members of Elien’s support group are dying, and at times I didn’t feel he was concerned enough about his own safety.

Now, I wasn’t expecting the paranormal aspects of this story. They were interesting, and I’d never heard of the mythical creature stalking Elien. Feeding off his pain. All very intriguing and verging on horror with plenty of gore.

The information about the book says this is the first in a series, and although I would love to see more of Dag and Elien, I’m not sure where they might wind up next. Knowing Gregory, though, it’ll be interesting.

Declan Winters is a new narrator to me and I enjoyed his performance. I’d be happy to listen to something by him another time. A solid and interesting listen.

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  • WallE
  • 10-10-21

You need to keep on listening

Wow, I finished this book in a non-stop nearly eight hour marathon.

I give this review as a very happy advanced listener.

Gregory Ashe gives us sad endings and new beginnings wrapped up in the supernatural when he introduces us to Elion and Dag.

We meet several people in a lot of pain and full of distrust, a series of unexpected deaths and two beautiful people Elion and Dag coming together.

For supernatural fans the storyline is totally believable and has a touch of Stephen King about it. The backdrop to this story is filled with an ominous power which slowly tightens and draws you in. Even though you are afraid of what the next chapter will bring you have to read on.

Lastly, I cannot leave this review without mentioning Dag's parents. Just what we all need, totally right on, understanding and embarrassing parents! They have some of the best lines in the book.

If this is a one off it has a perfect ending. if that is not the case I can imagine further adventures for Dag and Elion.

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  • L.D.
  • 10-03-21

Gripped Me To The End

Stray Fears is a fascinating mixture of horror, psychological suspense, mystery, and romance. This was unlike anything I’ve read previously (most likely because I steer clear of the horror genre), and I was instantly gripped by the eerie and strange events that the characters were dealing with. What kept this book from being too “scary” for me was the relationship that developed between the two main characters. Eilen and Dag make such a great team, they compliment each other and their banter brings humor and levity that balances out the horror and suspense. I finished this book in one day because I could not put it down.

The audiobook was narrated by Declan Winters who did a great job with it. I really enjoyed his performance. Plus the audiobook production was well done and it made for a wonderful listening experience.

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  • Mary
  • 10-01-21

I love the psycological complexity of Ashe's men

This was a great find. Gregory Ashe rarely disapoints -and he didn't disapoint with Stray Fears.
This story is a little paranormal, and the format is shorter than Ashe's usual books, which I like.
My only complaint about his past titles is a tendancy to over write and drag scenarios out too much.
This story was tight, consise and we are left feeling hopeful for Dag And Eli.
Don't listen to it at night if you're a bit jumpy! :-P