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The Hanging Tree: A Novella by [Cash, Michael Phillip]
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The Hanging Tree: A Novella Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 91 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Enter a world where spirits roam the earth in Michael Phillip Cash's haunting new novella, The Hanging Tree. Set amid the eerie backdrop of Long Island, an area famously steeped in old legend, two young would-be lovers contemplate their future while visits from those who have come before them reveal the lure of fate...and the power of free will.

At seventeen years old, Arielle's relationship with her parents is slowly deteriorating. Angry and defiant, she is at a loss on how to cope with the tumultuous situation in which she finds herself. Arielle's only comfort is Chad, an eighteen-year-old young man who seems to truly understand her struggles.

Arielle and Chad meet beneath the low-hanging branches of what the local community has nick-named the "Hanging Tree". An ancient and majestic landmark, it has long been rumored that the tree is haunted by ghosts. These ghosts span various centuries and vary wildly in age, but each one of them has one thing in common: their deaths are all somehow connected to the tree itself.

As Arielle and Chad commiserate over their current situation and their precarious nature of their future, the spectral inhabitants of the Hanging Tree witness their conversation. One by one,the ghosts begin reminiscing about their own lives-and deaths- as they examine the inner demons with which their human forms long struggled.

An eerie meditation on the oft-overlooked power of choice, Cash's The Hanging Tree will stay with readers long after they turn out the light.

About the Author

Michael Phillip Cash 's first book Brood X- A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion is presently under consideration for a film adaptation. His well received second novel, Stillwell- A Haunting on Long Island, has stayed on the top of Amazon's "100 Best Seller" in it's genre since its release earlier this year. He is currently working on another ghost story. He lives on Long Island with his wife and children.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 759 KB
  • Print Length: 91 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Feather Productions (Oct. 6 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FRMVJU6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #244,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
A short, entertaining audiobook that fuses the ghostly past with present day, in a story of betrayal, superstition, redemption and a curse that spanned time. This well written novella has layers of interesting characters, each with their own story and yet the author manages to interweave all the threads into one comprehensive, intriguing tale. The narrator has a great voice that keeps your attention and gives each character an individual identity and personality. The story flows quickly, drawing you into the lives of the characters involved but still keeping the mystery and suspense of how it all fits together until the end. I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very creative and entertaining!!!

An awesome young adult short story. *There is some reference to sex and sexual advances, but nothing graphic or detailed *

I have never been one for short stories, but this was a pleasant surprise. The stories of the ghost in The Hanging Tree each made for a wonderful and suspenseful tale of their past and left me wanting to know how they all tied together and what that meant for Chad and Arielle who were presently at the tree. This short story read much like an old scary story that you would tell late night around the campfire (in fact that may be exactly what we use it for). Mr. Cash is extremely talented in character writing, in each of his novels that I have read, he does an exquisite job at making the character relatable, seemingly like the kids next door.

There are are only two reasons why I could not give this one a full five stars... Number 1- there were a few errors grammatically and just a few missing words (pg 31"Chad said as pulled Arielle closer) and especially in Goody's story (and yes I realize the story of the ghost and when they spoke it was from a time long ago) the writing seemed choppy and in some places the grammar made it hard for me to read.

Caution!!!!..... **SPOILERS!!!****

#2- the ending..., one if kids knew they were related these days would they really date, especially having the same last name at the same school? And in the end it all wrapped up a bit to nicely. Also Arielle forgave Chad too easily. What girl would do that?!!
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By Brett H HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 27 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The author has set himself a double challenge here. Firstly it is difficult to write a decent novella, particularly one as short as this. The luxury of having an unlimited number of pages to expand on the plot and flesh out the characters is missing. Secondly it is not at all easy to write a good ghost story. Too much action and it all becomes silly and unbelievable. Make it too subtle and it's a bit like watching paint dry.

However, The Hanging Tree really works very well on a number of levels. It's an interesting plot which is well paced given how short the story is. The author ties everything up neatly in a way that makes sense. It's an good blend of an ancient curse and a contemporary setting with a touch of demonic possession thrown in. Heady stuff!

This will only take the average reader an hour or two to get through and it's certainly best to read it all in one go as I did. It's a good story and certainly a worthwhile read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e04ea44) out of 5 stars 144 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dea8ae0) out of 5 stars Twisted Curse! Oct. 12 2013
By Naila Moon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
In a break from his full size novels, Michael Phillip Cash has done it again with a new novella that he has just released this week. The short story called, The Hanging Tree is everything you would expect from a thriller writer. Intrigue, mystery, ghostly presence, it's all there.

The story begins to unfolds in present time with two young teens, Arielle and Chad, who are making out under an old tree dubbed, "the hanging tree". Chad is pushing Arielle in a direction that she may not want to go and it is now a make it or break it decision.

Intertwined within, are five spirits from the past who are watching the whole thing unfold. They begin to tell their tragic tales of being at this very same tree and what it meant for them. Their stories are eerily familiar and all their deaths are based on a curse that be felled them.

Can this curse be broken in time so no harm comes to Arielle or Chad?

Ah, but if I told you, my dear readers, then that would give away the twisted makings of this tale.

I read this in about an hour and half to two hours. It really is packed full of imagery considering the shortness of the book. It's well worth the time and just perfect for the Halloween season upon us.

An easy 5 stars here!

~Naila Moon

Disclosure: I received a Kindle version of this book for free to review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e093510) out of 5 stars The Hanging Tree Review Nov. 21 2013
By Jalynn Patterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
About the Book:

Enter a world where spirits roam the earth in Michael Phillip Cash's haunting new novella, The Hanging Tree. Set amid the eerie backdrop of Long Island, an area famously steeped in old legend, two young would-be lovers contemplate their future while visits from those who have come before them reveal the lure of fate...and the power of free will.

At seventeen years old, Arielle's relationship with her parents is slowly deteriorating. Angry and defiant, she is at a loss on how to cope with the tumultuous situation in which she finds herself. Arielle's only comfort is Chad, an eighteen-year-old young man who seems to truly understand her struggles. Arielle and Chad meet beneath the low-hanging branches of what the local community has nick-named the "Hanging Tree". An ancient and majestic landmark, it has long been rumored that the tree is haunted by ghosts.

These ghosts span various centuries and vary wildly in age, but each one of them has one thing in common: their deaths are all somehow connected to the tree itself. As Arielle and Chad commiserate over their current situation and their precarious nature of their future, the spectral inhabitants of the Hanging Tree witness their conversation. One by one,the ghosts begin reminiscing about their own lives-and deaths- as they examine the inner demons with which their human forms long struggled. An eerie meditation on the oft-overlooked power of choice, Cash's The Hanging Tree will stay with readers long after they turn out the light.

About the Author:

Michael Phillip Cash 's first book Brood X- A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion is presently under consideration for a film adaptation. His well received second novel, Stillwell- A Haunting on Long Island, has stayed on the top of Amazon's "100 Best Seller" in it's genre since its release earlier this year. He is currently working on another ghost story. He lives on Long Island with his wife and children.

My Review:

Claire knows her grandmother is right. She shouldn't be running around the reverend but he makes her feel like she is only girl in the world. He makes her heart flutter and when she has something special to tell him she is overjoyed. But that may just be the last thing she ever says.

Goodie Bennett sees her granddaughter doing many things that shouldn't be doing,like running around with the Reverend for one. But how can she stop her, she says she is in love but this could be dangerous. Very dangerous. Goodie finds Claire with the reverend one afternoon, but everything is not as it seems.

Arielle feels it's time to bring her relationship to the next level but as soon as she is alone with her boyfriend she quickly changes her mind and apparently her boyfriend doesn't agree. This defiantly isn't like him he is usually sweet and loving, there has to be an explanation, but what?

Peter sits at home steadily checking the clock waiting for his daughter. She still has time to get home but that movie should have already ended. He can't help but call her and when she doesn't answer, he goes to find her. Maybe not in the best light, and when he sees the boy he's done told her to get rid of, it sets him off.

Just a little bit of a note, this book does contain some strong language content but otherwise an interesting book.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me for free for my honest review from the author.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9de45dd4) out of 5 stars Michael Phillip Cash remains on the top of the heap Nov. 13 2013
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Some author's rather early on find their niche in the literary output - a sector of interest that appeals to a given audience but also allows a writer to grow into his skin - much like the output of John Grisham, Scott Turow, Michael Ondaatje, Patricia Highsmith who focus on a theme and explore it in many ways.

Michael Phillip Cash seems to be consistent in his choice of themes: his prior `Brood X - A Firsthand Account of the Cicada Invasion' and `Stillwell - A Haunting on Long Island' embrace the fantasy cum horror cum `strange beasties in the night' ideas. And so it is with his most recent novel, `The Hanging Tree'. Not to be slotted into the `ghost stories' range, Cash instead takes living characters and makes the imprint of past lives or possible alien influences inform his characters without resorting to Hollywoodesque tampering. His novels unfold with a propulsive energy that makes reading them in one sitting sting enough that the reader will want to return to see how the clues laid in the open escaped notice.

The Hanging Tree begins innocently enough as a spot for a love tryst but almost form page one our would be lovers Arielle and Chad are interrupted by three generations of spirits who introduce family issues, rebellion, sexuality, hypocrisy, deceit, prejudice, and finally acceptance, all the while disturbing the progress of the love between our main characters. Young minds, young emotions shaped by secrets of the past that alter the manner in which choices are made.

Cash divides his chapters with the stories of these spirits, each speaking in the language of their time. He knows just how much of the `thee/thou' dialogue to insert without becoming precious, and the fact that he uses vey contemporary slang for Chad and Arielle show the river of linguistic changes through the years quite well.

Polished, involving, challenging, and engrossing, The Hanging Tree may be a brief novella but it has staying power. Grady Harp, October 13
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e11a024) out of 5 stars A reasonably good story but easy to get distracted from April 29 2014
By Rob Slaven - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
As is usual I received this book free in exchange for a review. Also as usual I give my candid opinions below.

This tiny book took me 5 days to get through and I'm not sure why. It's brief, easy to read and has a reasonable, though pretty familiar story. There's nothing at all dense or complex about it yet it took me a solid 5 calendar days to muster enough interest in the book to get all the way through.

I've come across books like this in the past that are just momentum killers. On the outside, and looking at them as simple stories, there's nothing about them that would make you think so but in actual reading they just leave much too much room for your mind to wander. I found myself constantly sitting down with this book and then waking up with it over my face. Or alternately my eyes would scan several pages only to discover that I had in fact been thinking about something else the whole time.

In summary, it could be just something that I'm encountering but this book just doesn't seem to have enough punch to keep the reader from getting distracted. That said, I can't give it a poor rating really because looking back it's a decent story and is sufficiently well-written.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9df6dedc) out of 5 stars Cash is a great writter Nov. 4 2013
By Israel Drazin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the third Michael Phillip Cash book that I read and like the first two, Brood X and Stillwell, I enjoyed it. As I wrote in the past, Cash has great writing skills, and I think he will soon be recognized for being a very good novelist. He draws us into his drama with suspense, a clear and deep characterization of the people in his novel, and he inserts subtle psychological assessments on relationships. One might think that his books are scary, but they are not.

This story has two plots running side by side. A young man brought a young girl near a tree hoping he could seduce her. Her father had warned her about this boy. She is somewhat angry at her father because he started a relationship with a woman who she does not like. But, on the other hand, her father raised her alone and was always available to help her.

The tree under which the two are struggling is haunted. There are people in it that lived centuries ago, as well as some from more modern times. The oldest ghost has a cat to which she is very much attached. The ghosts talk among themselves and we begin little by little to learn their history. Even readers who generally dislike horror stories will like this one.