Naomi and Luke have only one thing in common: they both died by suicide. They can earn a second chance at life by efficiently guiding their loved ones through grieving their untimely deaths. Naomi excels at making her friends and family mourn, but the Death Shadow stalks ever closer to Luke. The dark entity carries non-compliant souls straight to Oblivion where unspeakably terrifying torture and the final goodbye await. The two are forced to work together to navigate the in-between world in which they’re stuck. The only certainty is that the rules are unclear and shifting, and things are not always as they seem. The pair must prove they’re worthy of another shot at life before time runs out. Can Naomi and Luke get better at living now that they’re dead?
Penni Jones has done the unthinkable: made a story about suicide funny as hell. It’s also gripping, emotional, compelling, and surprising. Suicide Souls made me put aside all other tasks and keep reading until there were no more pages left to turn.
-Stephanie Gayle, author of My Summer of Southern Discomfort and the Thomas Lynch series
Suicide Souls is a provocative trip into the great beyond where the sins of the past are waiting for you on the other side of the veil. At times darkly comic and heartbreakingly moving, it’s a book that doesn’t offer easy answers but poses a lot of thought-provoking questions.
-SA Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland
For anyone who finds Mitch Albom’s depiction of the afterlife a little too saccharine, Suicide Souls is the perfect antidote. In this book, Penni Jones builds an afterlife for the rest of us—those of us who are imperfect, frustrated by the emotional toll of modern life, and challenged by the psychological damage it can inflict. Jones is a powerful writer with a frank, bold, and funny voice that safely leads us through the world of the dead. In addition to being engrossed by the story and its characters, this novel also made me contemplate how we deal with challenges in life and how we impact the people around us.
-Alex Dolan, author of The Euthanist and The Empress of Tempera
What begins as a witty and borderline sardonic exploration of the afterlife straight from the literary loins of Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker, twists into a heartfelt thriller. There are notes of Beth Revis and Neil Gaiman and Porochista Khakpour in Penni Jones’ Suicide Souls, but she takes us deep into her own brand of magical realism. I cared about a cast of characters that didn’t always care for themselves as they navigated the fallout from their own suicides. At once both poignant and hilarious, Jones strikes a delicate balance that should easily make this book the envy of many, many writers out there who will be fortunate to ever create anything quite as funny, quite as touching, or quite as thought-provoking. Much less pull it off in one book.
-Matt Coleman, author of Juggling Kittens, Graffiti Creek, and A Rocky Divorce
An inventive and darkly funny foray into the afterlife.
-Kelly Ford, author of Cottonmouths
Beetlejuice meets The Good Place in Suicide Souls, a wildly inventive and darkly comic novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you question everything you assumed about this life and the next.
-Emily Ross, author of Half in Love with Death
It’s difficult to write about suicide and second chances without sounding preachy, but Penni Jones pulls it off in this imaginative thrill-ride through the afterlife. Part ghost story, part heist movie, Suicide Souls will have you rooting for the main characters even before they root for themselves.
-Jacob de la Rosa, writer and director of Break Glass in Case of… and Real American
“Owing no small debt to this novel’s timely dystopian backdrop, contemporary readers are sure to connect with Kricket Foster as a ‘woke’ warrior woman worthy of cherishing and championing.” KRISTOPHER ZGORSKI, founder of BOLO Books and 2018 MWA Raven Award Recipient
“In this scary, wonderfully imaginative novel, Penni Jones has created a frightening, all too believable Orwellian America where books are banned, sexual intolerance reigns, churches are merely fronts for alcohol distribution, and the country is ruled by an all-powerful, iron-fisted DRA (Department of Religious Affairs). In Kricket, she has created a heroic young single mother who, along with her compatriots wages war against the establishment.” CHARLES SALZBERG, journalist, acclaimed writing instructor, and author of the Henry Swann Mystery Series, Devil in the Hole, and Second Story Man
“In Kricket, Penni Jones creates a dystopian version of the country that rivals The Hunger Games. When the government takes away the right to religious freedom, access to life saving drugs, and the legality of choosing who to love, Kricket quietly becomes a gun wielding, shady-agent-killing badass, out to protect her fellow citizens. But when Kricket stumbles into a surprise discovery about her own past, she’s forced to dive deeper into a political power structure she’d rather avoid completely. A relentless journey of discovery that will leave you wanting more.” LIBBY KIRSCH, Emmy Award winning journalist and author of the Stella Reynolds Mystery Series
“Set in a dystopia future where religious fundamentalists have taken over the country, Kricket is a badass bootlegger and drug runner determined to go against society and her own father to acquire needed prescription drugs that are no longer available in a world where women are required to wear skirts and religious intolerance is the law. In Kricket, author Penni Jones has created a relatable, yet flawed, heroine whose sheer determination is no match for guns, an authoritarian regime, and double agents.” CHERYL L. REED, author of the thriller, Poison Girls
“TAKE ME TO CHURCH—because that’s the only place to get a stiff drink or three in Penni Jones’ America, a fever dream of a police state in which everything from alcohol to medicine to homosexuality has been banned. Enter KRICKET, a single momma/bootlegger/drug-runner on a mission for the resistance, and you have a heroine who reads like she just stepped out of a Bobbie Gentry ballad, co-written by Margaret Atwood.” LAURA ELLEN SCOTT, author of The Juliet and the New Royal Mystery Series
“In her rambunctious debut, Penni Jones has created a one-of-a-kind character –a horny and heartfelt heroine itching to reclaim her life in a world gone mad. This is original, breezy, and compelling storytelling.” MARK HASKELL SMITH, author of Moist, Delicious, Salty, Baked, and Raw: A Love Story
“Penni Jones is a genius. Her voice is completely unique and inspiring. Read this book and tuck it in your heart.” ARIEL GORE, award-winning author of Atlas of the Human Heart, The Mother Trip, and The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show
“On the Bricks is a fun twist on the just out of prison subgenre and Penni Jones has a bright future writing characters with dark ones.” JEDIDIAH AYRES, author of Peckerwood
“I liked the story but didn’t care for the language.” MY MOM
“Not the ‘feel good’ novel of the year, but well-written, gritty, and with fascinating characters that will nonetheless draw you into their seedy lives. On the Bricks is an excellent debut effort from Ms. Jones and one I highly recommend. ” NEIL A. WHITE for Readers’ Favorite