Doves In A Tempest

The Valley of Horror

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
325 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2023
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Author Biography

Howdy, Y’all. I’m Bill Schweitzer. I live in Austin, Texas, where my books and stories are located, with my lovely wife, little faux beagle, Sami (per her DNA, Sami is actually ½ Basset Hound, but you’d swear she’s a beagle), and Sami’s cat. I grew up in Austin and was about the same age as the characters in my novel, Doves in a Tempest, in 1958, when the story takes place. It’s set in the part of town where I grew up, and the characters live in the homes where I and several of my friends lived. The restaurants, schools and shops depicted were real, and the street names of local streets have been changed, but major thoroughfares are unchanged. I’ve tweaked the geography to fit the stories, but only a little.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite

In Doves In A Tempest by Bill Schweitzer, it’s the summer of 1958, and a group of smart preteens wants nothing more than to enjoy the summer together. That peaceful dream is shattered when they come across a strange anomaly that none of them can explain. Each of the children’s stories is the same as they enter the forest, trying to see what the big deal was, and what Stevie thought he saw a few nights prior. A strange creature or being shows itself to each of the kids differently. For Betty, it is a beautiful fairy that reminded her at first of her favorite character in Peter Pan; Tinkerbell. Anna, Levi, Stevie, and James have different experiences but one thing remained similar: they believed their friends had abandoned them and were traumatized by whatever it was. None of the kids can make up for an hour of lost time, and the fact that they had bruises and cuts all over them. They know that something isn’t right, but feel that no one will believe what happened to them. Taking matters into their own hands, the kids, along with Stevie’s older brother, decide to figure out what’s in the forest.

I really enjoyed reading Doves In A Tempest. It reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s It with other homages to different books and movies from the 80s and 90s. Bill Schweitzer created a great tale of a group of preteen kids who had a terrifying yet unexplainable event that happened to them. I liked all the characters but I found myself relating the most to Anna personality-wise. She has this Beverly Marsh and Richie Tozier kind of feel to her. She’s smart with the mouth of a sailor but is always loyal to her friends. I also liked the nostalgic feeling of being a kid as my group of friends and I go on these adventures with our bikes. Doves In A Tempest is a summer tale of friendship and the paranormal; be prepared for a scare! I’m really glad I came across this book. I think Schweitzer has done an excellent job and I can’t wait to read more of his work.

Scott Cahan

Doves in a Tempest: The Valley of Horror by Bill Schweitzer is a coming-of-age tale that includes strong doses of adventure, mystery, and science fiction. The story is set in 1958, in Austin, Texas, and centers around a group of pre-teen children. When one of them sees something unusual in a wooded part of town, he convinces his friends to come with him to check it out. As they crest a hill to look down into a valley, something strange happens that will have long-reaching effects on each of them. Meanwhile, college students from a nearby university are having hallucinations, and there is an explosion at a large manufacturer in town that looks suspicious. The children and their parents are in the middle of it all. While the adults look for logical explanations, the pre-teens suspect that something much more bizarre and dangerous is going on.

I enjoyed the way Doves in a Tempest told its story through the eyes of its preteen characters. Not only does each of the children deal with the strange events of the story, but they also experience the pressures of school and new emotions and bodily changes that happen when they are around the opposite sex. Bill Schweitzer does a great job of describing the innocence and nostalgia of 1958 America. I also enjoyed the mystery as the plot piles one strange occurrence on top of another, turning up the tension slowly but surely throughout the plot. Seeing it all through the eyes of young people reminded me a little of Stranger Things, but there is a different vibe here than in the show. We go much deeper into the young characters' minds and lives here than they ever do in Stranger Things. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories with fascinating characters caught up in mystery and intrigue, and it's all wrapped in the ambiance of 1950s America.

Miche Arendse

A thrilling tale that follows five young misfits takes place in Doves in a Tempest: The Valley of Horror by Bill Schweitzer. In 1958, Levi, James, Betty, Stevie, and Anna Belle find themselves involved in unprecedented events. Strange things start to occur in Austin, Texas, but the locals can’t seem to tell if it’s due to the nearby chemical plant or something even more sinister. While the adults have different means of dealing with the events, these five youngsters take matters into their own hands while struggling with puberty.

Doves in a Tempest by Bill Schweitzer is a gripping story covering events that occur in Austin, Texas. As promised, this book was reminiscent of a Steven King novel which made it all the more enjoyable and thrilling. I enjoyed how we were given the characters' perspectives through diary entries as it allows you to get in touch with how the individuals felt. I find this style to be better than just reading the characters' points of view as the entries are usually written after the events took place so it gave them time to digest and process what has happened to them. Schweitzer did a phenomenal job all-round both with the world-building and character development. The tone and pacing of the story were just right, allowing for the suspense to grow as the events unfold. I thoroughly enjoyed this coming-of-age novel and I’d happily read another book by this author.

K.C. Finn

Doves In A Tempest: The Valley of Horror is a work of fiction in the speculative fiction, horror, and adventure subgenres. The work features preteen kids as its protagonists but contains a lot of mature content, including explicit language and racially motivated violence, so it’s best suited to mature YA and adult readers. Penned by author Bill Schweitzer, this nostalgic look at growing up and the confusion of puberty and identity takes place during the 1950s in Texas. A possible government experiment may be to blame for the vivid hallucinations of a group of youngsters, but it’s also possible that something beyond our earthly imaginations is lurking in the shadows of their lives.

Author Bill Schweitzer has crafted a work that fans of Stephen King and Stranger Things are sure to enjoy because it focuses intently on characters and the psychological and emotional journey that they undergo during the plot. I really enjoyed the speculative elements, which touched on science fiction and horror plentifully in the early stage, but also seemed so eerily plausible and realistic that you could never totally tell what was going on. The split journey between the younger characters and their parents gives us a chance to see both sides of the story developing, which leaves plenty of room for speculation and tension, and I liked the difference in attitudes as the younger generation approaches things with a fuller imagination and open minds. Overall, Doves In A Tempest will be a highly enjoyable read for fans of poignant coming-of-age tales that also have a multi-layered approach of interesting genres, fantastic atmosphere, and plot twists aplenty.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Doves In A Tempest: The Valley of Horror by Bill Schweitzer is a YA coming-of-age tale. It’s 1958, and the story is set in Austin, Texas. Five children set off on a hike through the woods, a day that should have been filled with fun and adventure as they searched for something that fell from the sky. A horrifying chain of events occurs when they stumble over a strange being—a fire at a nearby engineering plant, hospitals filled with people suffering hallucinations, and strange lights in the sky. The children and their parents want to know what’s happening, but what they discover is horrifying. A government coverup, drugs, and aliens? What is going on at the engineering plant? What doesn’t the government want people to know? Amid their growing pain, the children strive to solve this frightening mystery and uncover what’s happening beneath everyone’s noses.

Doves In A Tempest: The Valley of Horror by Bill Schweitzer is a wonderful story. Set in 1950s America, it appears loosely based on a true story of military experiments and the ensuing horror. But it’s more than that. This is also a coming-of-age story dealing with everything teens face in the process of growing up and the prevalent racial issues. Everything is dealt with sympathetically but within the era. The story is written partly from the children's perspective, including diary entries, allowing you to understand them truly. All the characters are well-developed, likable, and relatable, and you’ll be on their side from start to finish. This is Bill Schweitzer’s first novel, and it’s a fantastic start to what looks to be a fun, thought-provoking series. His descriptive writing places you right in the story, and you’ll experience everything in vivid detail, the plot playing itself out in your mind. This is a great story; I look forward to the next installment.