I'm often asked about my childhood. How I grew up. Where. What informed me as a writer, man and child of God. Starting with some of my earliest memories, these are stories of that place in me. That kid in me. In here you will find honest admission of my mistakes, failures, successes.
Note: these are not fiction and this is not a novel like the others below. River Road is self-published ebook (Kindle, Nook, iBooks) and only available at this website.
Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami.
Twelve years ago Matthew “The Rocket” Rising had it all. Married to his high school sweetheart and graduating as one of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of college football, he was selected as the #1 pick in the NFL. But on the night of the draft, after reaching the pinnacle of success, he plummeted. Accused of a crime with irrefutable evidence, he lost everything—his career, his reputation, his freedom, and the love of his life.
An actress running from her past finds escape with a man hiding from his future. When someone wants to be lost, a home tucked among the Ten Thousand Islands off the Florida coast is a good place to live. A couple decent boats, and a deep knowledge of fishing and a man can get by without ever having to talk to another soul. It’s a nice enough existence, until the one person who ties him to the world of the living, the reason he’s still among them even if only on the fringes, asks him for help.
Third generation Texas Ranger Tyler Steele is the last of a dying breed —a modern day cowboy hero living in a world that doesn’t quite understand his powerful sense of right and wrong and instinct to defend those who can’t defend themselves. Despite his strong moral compass, Ty has trouble seeing his greatest weakness.
On a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr. Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to return home to Jacksonville, FL for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is canceled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley knowing that she needs to get back just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness—one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.
I don’t have good memories of growing up. Seems like I knew a lot of ugly stuff when I shouldn’t. The only two things I remember as beautiful were my mom and this riverbank. And until I knew better I thought they’d named the river after my mom.
The man who lived in our trailer was always angry. Always smoking. Don’t know why. He lit one cigarette with the glow-plug end of the other. Touched them like sparklers. They matched his eyes. He never hit me, least not very hard, but his mouth hurt my ears. Mom said it was the devil in the bottle, but I don’t think you drink meanness. You can try to drown it, but, in my experience, it’s a pretty good swimmer. That’s why it’s in the bottle. To escape it, she and I, we came here. She told me it’d help my asthma. I knew better. Dying was about the only thing that’d help my asthma.
Tucker has an eye for tragedy and pain. A celebrated, internationally famous photographer, he has traveled the world and seen both the serious and the strange. But when his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face agony of his own tragic past.
“...I knew what it meant and I didn’t want to hear it. I ran off the porch, jumped the fence, and ran across the pasture and into the darkness toward the highway. When I reached the other side, I jumped up on the fence and sat like a swivel, looking east and west, but the highway was dark and the night air cool. It crept through my clothes and turned my sweat to icy fingers.”
When Maggie opened her eyes that New Year’s Day some seventeen months ago, I felt like I could see again. The fog lifted off my soul, and for the first time since our son had died and she had gone to sleep–some four months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, and nineteen minutes earlier–I took a breath deep enough to fill both of my lungs.
In a small town square of a sleepy Georgia town, seven-year-old Annie sits at her lemonade stand, raising money for her own heart transplant. At a nearby store, Reese flips through the newspaper, thinking about the latest boat he’s restoring. As a beat-up bread truck careens around the corner, a strong wind blows Annie’s money into the road. Reese looks up in time to see Annie’s yellow dress fluttering in the wind as she runs into the road. What happens next will change both of their lives forever.
A sleeply rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he’s lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever — or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?