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Publisher's Summary

Can you hear it? 

Whispering in the dark.  

Secrets only the dark knows. 

Joseph Moore, choir director for the First Baptist Church of Lenora, Nebraska, has secrets of his own. Terrible, lonely secrets. One that involves natural human desire. One that calls forth powers he cannot begin to understand. Both with the potential to destroy him and those he loves. 

Now the world is changing. The darkness, the shadows, the ghosts, are closing in — and Joseph and his lover, Kevin, are being stalked by a merciless demon, hell-bent on possession. 

Can you hear it now? 

There in the dark. 

It's whispering your name. 

©2020 Frederick E Feeley Jr (P)2020 Frederick E Feeley Jr

What listeners say about Hallelujah

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story, Alan H. Staples is Wonderful!

When Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley Jr. bring their unique styles together the result is the complex, emotional, soul-searching tour-de-force Hallelujah. An extraordinary adventure, this is the story of one man’s journey as he strives toward his goal of peace and self-acceptance. His reward is a life filled with love, a revitalized commitment to his faith, and a deeper understanding of mankind.

If I thought Hallelujah was a moving, thought provoking book when I read it, following it up by listening to the audio version was a tremendous experience. I’m sure it’s a combination of knowing what’s coming and Alan H. Staples’ smooth and smokey delivery, but several scenes had chills running up my spine!

Returning home after college to help on the family farm, Joseph is also the choir director for the local Baptist church. A deeply spiritual man, and raised with those hellfire and brimstone values, Joseph is at an impasse. Convinced that God will keep him safe from the spirits he sees, he struggles with several fundamental aspects of his Church’s teachings and is questioning his relationship with God.

A tragic event has Joseph turning away from his faith, and it broke my heart to see the state Joseph’s in when the second part of the book starts off. Responsibilities to his family keep him stuck in his hometown for the next thirty years, and he’s closed himself off to all the things that brought him joy.

But changes are a-coming! With the entrance of his distant cousin, Francine, Joseph’s journey takes off full force and authors Fielding and Feeley pull out all the stops. The events which force Joseph to face his fears, find the courage to stand up for injustice, and create a future for himself are heartfelt and touching and incredibly exciting.

The writers warn us that Hallelujah is not a romance, though I found Joseph’s romantic relationships very moving. The love Joseph shares with Kevin is steamy-sweet, and filled with all the wonder and yearning of a new romance. Then, a mature Joseph finds a very different connection with Stormy. Pure and honest, with no way to conceal his thoughts from Stormy, Joseph truly opens up. The foundation these experiences provide give Joseph the strength he needs to proceed.

I want to reassure anyone on the fence about this one due to the “horror” tag. There is some violence, and the references to human injustices that truly are horrific, but the uplifting messages of hope, positive activism, and good-will far outweigh everything else.

New to me narrator, Alan H. Staples delivers a wonderful performance. With his subtle accents, strong emotion, and lovely singing voice, Mr. Staples has won himself a new fan. I was unfamiliar with much of the music in the novel, and the decision to have Mr. Staples sing the hymns adds so much to the overall effect.

The authors lay some very intriguing groundwork in Hallelujah, and I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a new series. I love Joseph and Stormy together, and watching as they ride off in a muscle car with the word “Prophet” on the vanity plate, opens up so many possibilities of the kinds of demon-hunting adventures they might have. I can hardly wait!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Song

Anyone would say Joseph's life seemed pretty normal from the outside. He had went to college to study music and then got a job as a choir director but when his brother left home Joseph returned to the farm and small town life to help his father. He got the job as choir director at his hometown church but this really wasn't the life Joseph wanted.

The truth is Joseph sees ghosts and he has since he was a boy. He's never told anyone but that doesn't stop it from being true. When things start looking darker and Joseph's visions get worse he is warned of a danger coming for him and asked to help protect the living and the ghosts that walk the earth.

This book was darker than I was expecting. It focused on situations that are happening in the world and there are some subject matter discussed that could be triggers for some people. Not everyone gets a happy ending so be warned.

I think a lot of people would enjoy the supernatural nature of the story and the characters that pull you along on their journey. I've never listened to this narrator before but I think he did a good job and I didn't have any trouble following the story or telling the characters apart.

I received a copy of this audiobook but this is my honest review.


3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow, what a powerful story!

This book is a powerful story about humans in peril, demons on the hunt, men and women with gifts and faith to help them fight the dark and evil.
It had actually been a while since I read a good horror story and maybe it's lowered tolerance, but I definitely had to keep the reading to daytime, because I’m sure it would have given me some weird dreams if read at nights.
The book is very emotional and it’s a lot about love and its healing and saving power.
I think the narrator, Alan H Staples, did an amazing job and it was really icing on the cake! Listening to him sing the hymns and doing "out of sync" voices was incredible!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Story and narration both exceded expectations

First let me say that anyone dubious about this title due to the obvious Christian context, I'd say don't worry. As a Catholic-turned-Humanist, I lost any reservations quickly and just sank into the story. The churchiness is simply a part of the protagonists reality, and rings true in the context of his experiences. The title actually refers to the Leonard Cohen song, not the hymn, and fit well into the story.

I found the characters engaging, generally, and the story quite entertaining. Some of the secondary characters, I thought, seemed to have missed achieving they're full potential, though. The wold building was solid and consistant, and I genuinely enjoyed the story. I could definitely feel a resonance between the secret of the protagonist's supernatural powers and the secret of his sexual identity; but maybe that's stating the obvious.

I found the narration of the book surprisingly polished for a new voice actor, though. Alan H. Staples gave each character a recognizable voice that left little confusion about who was speaking; easily switching between several different male characters, then dropping right into an elderly Creole woman's voice. And he even sang the hymns! Combined with some slick editing, he's definitely a narrator I'll be listening for in the future.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Emotional roller coaster & battle against evil

This book was so much more emotional than I would have guessed from the blurb. I'd probably put this in the top 5 or 10 books so far as its ability to make me cry. Sure, there are some creepy, scary, suspenseful aspects to the story, but this is a book heavy with sorrow, bereavement, guilt, regret, fear, and the struggle to find enough love, passion, faith, and hope to move on. Oh, and music - lots and lots of music. The characters dealt with all of these things as part of their battle with a dark force intent on destroying everything good in their world and in the world in general.

Thank goodness that in the midst of all of that, there were moments of lightness and some surprising laugh out loud humor, (along with some real nostalgia, for me at least, since a chunk of the story takes place in 1991). Joseph had help navigating these supernatural dark forces from the awesome characters of his boyfriend, Kevin, his long lost (and very badass) cousin, Francine, and then Stormy, a man they met along the way.

There is an emphasis on a God, as Joseph loses and then finds faith. Some might find this a turnoff; however, it felt to me that this was what Joseph in particular needed to resolve. Since this is a paranormal, fictional story, I found that this worked without being preachy.

(The only slight negative for me was that wasn't entirely overwhelmed with the climax of the story. I can't imagine what might have been the right way for it to have gone though. There's not much I can say about that without spoilers - and others might find it absolutely perfect.)

I listened to the audio book and LOVED the narrator. He did a great job of differentiating voices, pacing and expressing emotion. Also, Joseph started out the story as a church choir director, loving music, all kinds of music. There is a LOT of music in this book, with many people singing. I give the narrator kudos for all the singing he had to do, poor guy. I hope he does more books in the m/m genre.

I'm fairly certain that the authors don't intend a sequel, but I can just imagine Joseph's demon hunting future. I'd totally read that.

2 people found this helpful

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terrific narration

Would I listen to it again: yes
Did the story keep me engaged: yes
Was I invested in the characters: yes
Story comment: Good fluid pace, likeable well written characters and a story that has a bit of everything in it: action, adventure, acceptance, forgiveness, love. loss, good v's evil, ghosts, possession and faith!

I'm unfamiliar with FE Feeley Jr., but Kim Fielding's books have a tendency to put me on an emotional roll-a-coaster and this one is no different. I enjoyed Hallelujah, watching Joseph evolve from a quiet Baptist choirmaster in a small rural Nebraskan town into a young man who accepts the extraordinary and stands up to fight for what's right and what he wants was delightful.

Narrator comments: Narration on an audiobook is extremely important for me - it can make or break a book. Alan H. Staples is a new narrator to me and in my experience, books running more than 8 hours can often lack the energy towards the end that has been performed at the beginning. On that element alone the performance on this book is outstanding. The energy and characters are consistent throughout, each character has a different voice to the narrative, his rhythm, inflections and intonations all worked to bring life to the characters and he even sings the hymns that occur in the story. He is definitely a narrator I will look for further titles from going forward.

2 people found this helpful

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Different kind of Story

What an interesting story. I wouldn't classify it as a romance, though there is a little romance in it. It was so good though. Joseph sees ghosts. He is gay and lost and struggles. It turns into an epic good vs evil story with demons. It grabs you and you have to know what happens. The narration was spot on. New narrator to me. Very enjoyable listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Awesome book

Seeing how this was a new narrator he did an amazing job. I laughed, I cried...I cried some more. It did freak me out a little bit but I did really like it. Alan H. Staples did very well and I hope to hear more from him down the road.

2 people found this helpful

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intense and raw

This is the perfect tale for present day turmoil snd every day life and strife. Good verses evil. Gift versus curse. Joseph's character just draws it all out of you and leaves you weak and empty. I cried. I screamed. I sighed heavily. Kevin's sacrifice -omg! Thankfully Joseph finds his own peace with his gift and his new realities. Riveting and impactful. The narrator did a great job. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AT
  • 06-18-20

4.5 stars—A fantastic book with an amazing perform

Wow, talk about a profound story. Hallelujah is a standalone collaborative novel that mixes paranormal, some horror, and fantasy to deliver an inspirational story of a man fighting to stave off an evil entity and protect those he loves and the world around him. Hallelujah is a dual crossover. Fans of Mr. Feeley’s will recognize some characters from Memoirs of a Human Wraith and, though I haven’t read it, the novel also reportedly has a couple overlaps from Miss Fielding’s Motel.Pool. Even without the crossovers, Hallelujah is a story readers won’t soon forget.

I strongly feel some books are even more powerful when performed. It’s like extra life is breathed into the authors’ words. When I read the blurb for Hallelujah, I decided to wait on the audiobook release, and I’m incredibly glad I did. Mr. Staples did a phenomenal job at elevating the story using effects, inserting emotion, and simply getting me to feel the itchy suspense building before delivering a blow that left my heart racing.

Apart from a brilliant performance, the writing was smooth and descriptive with great characters who exhibited an admirable strength of will and faith. I loved that Hallelujah discussed religion and faith without feeling preachy or condemning. I also liked how pertinent some parts were, touching on current events in a way that increased the relevance of Joseph and his friends’ mission. I’d definitely recommend this audio for those who aren’t necessarily looking for a romance as much as they’re looking for a good story that makes you think and feel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 05-11-20

Ghosts, demonic possession, and faith - not your average m/m romance novel!

Young Baptist choirmaster, Joseph, sees and chats with ghosts in a small rural Nebraskan town. A powerful demon wants to possess him and it will take the support of loved ones to fight it! I loved this supernatural story, it was gripping and unusual, it reminded me of Charlaine Harris’s wonderful books. The book centres on Joseph, timid, fighting his sexual orientation, and we watch him grow. It is not a straightforward romance, there is great love and great loss, but not despair. 🎧 Alan H Staples puts in a great performance, even singing the hymns that permeate the book!