GONE, THE REDEEMER
IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Winner, Historical Fiction category
Thomas Sparkman wasn’t looking for trouble. He never could have imagined being on a wanted poster, let alone becoming a notorious gold robber hunted in two states.
But when Thomas sneaks off the Cuban front of the Spanish-American War with his sights set on returning home to California, where his wife is expecting their first child, his path takes a series of unexpected turns. He's joined on his journey by a mysterious mercenary, a runaway circus sideshow performer, and an Apache guide and her infant son.
As the group traverses the American West, they cross paths with rogues, loners, and hired guns—some searching for their own form of redemption, some working to stop Thomas and his travel companions dead in their tracks.
Thomas must stay two steps ahead of his pursuers, outwitting them at every turn, or he may never see home again.
Cover design by Craig Gates utilizing
"The Ranger, Adirondacks" by Winslow Homer.
Cover design by Craig Gates utilizing "Veteran in a New Field" by Winslow Homer.
HARD ROAD SOUTH
Feathered Quill Book Awards Finalist, Debut Author category
The Civil War is over. Soldiers have returned home, and families have begun to piece their lives back together. But for Union Army veteran Solomon Dykes, there is no kin waiting; his Connecticut home holds no promise. He hopes to make a fresh start in Virginia, where he can farm a piece of land and start a family. But the contentious times don’t favor such ambition.
Dykes settles near Jeb Mosby, a Virginia native farming his family’s land near the town of Middleburg. Under different circumstances, the pair might have been fast friends. But with the community still reeling from the stinging defeat of the war, all Northerners are cast under suspicion. Dykes is no exception.
Mosby finds himself torn between his faith in humanity and an allegiance to his small town, while Dykes begins to doubt his future as a farmer and finds himself drawn to the cause of the newly freed slaves.
The battlefields may have cooled, but passions still run hot in this turbulent era of societal change. Both Dykes and Mosby learn even the smallest actions can carry far-reaching consequences, sending each on a collision course with tragedy.