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2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist.
13-year-old Henry Valentine is the school’s star pitcher and 4-H president, is intoxicated by first love of a young girl, and all seems right with his world of 1952 racially separated East Texas.
Then he is confronted by an unlikely antagonist, a colored boy who challenges him in his town, bests him in a pitching duel, and fights him in the vacant lot outside of town. A wary distance becomes an unexpected friendship when they discover a common love for Texas beauty.
He is devastated when a corrupt congressman sacrifices Henry’s friend to win re-election, and receives no sympathy or help from his disapproving family, church, and town.
He finds support in the feisty, independent-minded widow with a taste for liquor in her lemonade who helps him fight against the powerful using only the tools of an innocent and powerless boy.
In the end he learns the value of standing for what he believes in face of opposition, and discovers that there is nothing more powerful than a boy–or a man–who knows who he is.
Note: Contains scenes and language appropriate for the time and characters.
This book is a collection of essays, short stories, and flash fiction written over a four-year period in various styles and for various purposes. In the section “Stories from the Writers Bloc” you’ll find many flash fiction pieces written under the gun on a variety of topics. You might see some of the early inspiration for my first published novel here. In the section “Stories from SnoValley Writes!” you’ll find a selection of writings inspired by prompts and meetings with my local writers and novelists, as well as stories written to celebrate our various public festivals and readings. Several of these stories have been separately published in other books. The last section, “Other Stories and Essays,” is a grab-bag of stories and essays written for various contests or just for the fun of it.
Mountains of the Moon –-stories about the Christian faith and journey (2014).
This is a collection of fortnightly articles I wrote for faith and the journey with Christ, published in the newsletter for Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church. The title comes from the Native American description of the mountains behind us.
When the Stars First Fell (2016)
A prequel to “Stars in the Texas Sky,” this book gives more background into the lives of the main characters Henry, Benjamin, Tommy, and Miz Ellen. Peggy makes a brief appearance, too.
Many Waters–the sequel to “Stars in the Texas Sky,” Henry must juggle faith and science as he journeys from young teen to adulthood.
Things are good in Windmill, Texas right now in 1957. Henry is still a bit harum-scarum. He’s getting ready to enroll in high school. And in a few years he will be faced at graduation with what to do next in life. There’s hints about it in the end of the first novel, but the sequel explores Henry’s crisis of understanding what he will do with his life. Family, faith, career, and self all hang on the line.
Tentatively titled “Many Waters,” Henry must learn the essence of humanness and the place of the transcendent in his life.