River of Ashes

(St. Benedict, Book 1)

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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 28 Jul 2022

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Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize. As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.


In the town of St. Benedict, Devereaux family secrets threaten to awaken dangerous ghosts in this Southern Gothic Thriller series filled with mystery, a rising body count, and a chilling pact between unlikely friends.

*River of Ashes addresses current social issues such as sexual violence and bullying.

* Trigger warning: Rape


Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from...

A Note From the Publisher

Trade Paperback 9781645480983 / $17.95

eBook 9781645480990 / $7.99

Trade Paperback 9781645480983 / $17.95

eBook 9781645480990 / $7.99

Advance Praise

“A psychological portrait akin to Lord of the Flies.” ~Midwest Book Review

“You could practically taste the fear.” ~Laura Hernandez

“The kind of skin-crawling, queasy-feeling-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach story that needs to be told and demands to be read. The type of cautionary tale that keeps you alive by reminding you that sometimes the biggest horrors aren’t the monsters hiding under the bed but the ones hiding in plain sight.” ~The Nerd Daily

“Alexandrea Weis is one of the most talented authors around, and her novels are destined to stand along with authors such as Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Joyce Carol Oates, and Jeffery Deaver.” ~The Strand Magazine

“Weis is fast becoming the new queen of the Southern murder mystery” ~BestThrillers

“A psychological portrait akin to Lord of the Flies.” ~Midwest Book Review

“You could practically taste the fear.” ~Laura Hernandez

“The kind of skin-crawling...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781645480990
PRICE $7.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

The first book in the St. Benedict series is an absolute gripping read! I don't even know where to start, there's nothing that compares to this book and how it makes you feel. I needed 24 hours to form any coherent thoughts and I'm still struggling to put together what this book is about, how it made me feel and why you have to read it. This book deals with a heavy topic, so be sure to check the trigger warnings.

This book is creepy and disturbing, but in such a way that you want to keep reading. You want to know what happens and what causes the characters to act a certain way. Twin sisters, Leslie and Dawn, are opposites and their relationship is somewhat strained at the moment. They fight a lot and one of the main reasons is boyfriends. Leslie doesn't approve of Beau Devereaux and with good reason. Now here is where the eerie music starts playing. Beau bullies Leslie while dating Dawn, constantly creating a wedge between the sisters and manipulating everyone around him; he gets high on power and pain.

The author includes a note at the back of the book explaining the topic of the book and the reason for choosing it. After reading this book, I was left speechless. Speechless because of the characters, the events, and the disturbing scenes but also because of the important message it carries. I've never read something like this before, and I've read a few thrillers, but NOTHING comes close to River of Ashes. This book evokes different emotions in the reader, I literally clapped my hand over my mouth near the end because I was in utter shock and disbelief. This story is a web of deception that is cleverly planned and well written. These characters will stay with the reader long after putting the book down.

Thank you to Netgalley and Vesuvian Books for the gifted electronic copy in exchange for an honest review.

(St. Benedict, #1)
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller

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This story! OMG!

On the river's edge, kids from the local high school gather every Friday. There is where Beau feels the most comfortable. He is an only child of a very powerful family. In the eyes of the town, he is charming and can do no wrong. No one sees through him, except for Leslie. He starts to date her twin sister, who is smitten with him, but Leslie absolutely hates him.

There is something about Beau that she dislikes, something lurks behind the facade. And she is right. Beau is a monster.

Some of the chapters are told from his perspective. To see how he thinks and operates, was equally interesting and very unsettling.

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It's intense, it's mind-bending, it's ... just excellent!

Highly recommend it (read the trigger warnings before!)

received from Xpresso Book Tours, all thoughts and opinions are my own

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What a tense and atmospheric read... I couldn't stop reading the novel as it kept me totally engaged and 'pulled out' all my feelings off - despair, anger, shock, sympathy, fear and disbelieve. A brilliant novel that steps into control, manipulation and abuse by a rich dominating young man. The writing and storyline are exceptional and deserve the highest rating of five (5) stars. River Of Ashes is very highly recommended to all contemporary readers.

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One word. Excellent. This book filled me with rage at times, those times being around every 10 pages or so. It was spot on with the way it addressed social issues that are so relevant right now like bullying and sexual harassment, which was portrayed in such a harrowing way. I feel like I connected with the characters, whether that was through love or hate (both, it was both), and the antagonist Beau made me want to rip my hair out constantly. If you like a teen based (but definitely adult) thriller with a whole load of twists and turns and a whole load of "oh my god just punch him in the face", please make sure you pick this one up. I’m so hyped that there’s a second book. I definitely feel like this would work really well as a movie, I got a '90s teen thriller vibe from it.

Please check trigger warnings.

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River of Ashes will forever haunt me. This psychological thriller has tormented my nights my days and filled my days with trepidation. This shocking psychological thriller is a masterpiece is not for the faint of heart. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, I could not put this book down. I had to know what made Beau Devereaux tick.

Some truths are better kept secret.
Some secrets are better off dead.

The blurb says it best, Beau Devereaux is an “American Psycho!” His twisted sense of self-worth and penchant for pain oozes from the pages and leaves you feeling dirty for having shared space with him. He is the epitome of evil. This dark, twisted, thriller is quite the page-turner from beginning to end.

The ending (no spoilers) is poetic. Karma is a BITCH!

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