Wandering Belle


Ailis Belle and Adelio Beaumont find themselves in dire straights after their only parent, their mother, dies in a local hospital after a long illness. Belle, the oldest of the two, barely seventeen, is forced to start making grown-up decisions. Belle knows she cannot take care of Adelio. She isn't even sure she can take care of herself. She decides to seek out a home for him and enlists the help of a local preacher to find Adelio a loving and adoptive family. Belle then sets off into the world on her own, heading for Louisiana, the state where both her parents were born and raised. There she hopes to carve out an existence for herself. 

Along the way, Belle is befriended by Gideon "Highshine" Brown, a young man from the Ozark country of Missouri, and a young man with a desire to take his trumpet-playing talent to New Orleans and make a name for himself among the jazz clubs there. Belle and Highshine's friendship gets off to a tumultuous start. When Belle is ensnared in a life-threatening situation, Highshine seeks out help from the only power big enough to gain her freedom, God. He finds God's help in the person of Jaimin Aiton, a preacher of the gospel ministering to the lost in New Orleans. 

When Jaimin enters the picture, the lives of all three take on new directions, with a few detours along the way. The biggest hurdle they face is the onset of World War II and the very real danger that some of them may not come out of it alive. 

Flurry is Past

Unlike the deluge of snowflakes and ice that have blanketed much of the country during this last winter, the biggest flurry around here has been the editing activity taking place. I have three new fiction titles being released in the spring of 2015.

Some may think I've been really tearing up the keyboard in writing these books, but in reality, with the exception of Tryst Twist, what I've been doing is shoveling through a backlog of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novels that I penned in past years.

The Reckoning has changed titles three times, but the story has largely remained the same. You can click on the page tab above to learn more about the story.

I also did a lot of wondering about Wandering Belle's title. The story, too, underwent some changes from the original draft. The main characters changed much over the years after sitting in a file box in the closet. After much editing and the addition of several chapters, I finally managed to extricate the characters from their troubles and get them moving in the right direction.

Tryst Twist is a completely new tale for 2015. I began it in February. I originally intended to enter it into a fiction contest. I decided that I didn't have the patience to wait six months to hear whether I made the grade or not. So, I decided to publish the novella-length story on my own.

The flurry of editing and publishing is drawing to a close for the time being. I am off to spend a bit of time researching for the next two nonfiction works. The first is an anthology of true-crime events in Nodaway County, Missouri since its founding in 1845. It is a collaborative work with another author from Northwest Missouri. The second work of nonfiction is a history of the old Nodaway County jail, built in 1882 and torn down in 1984, also known as a "rotary jail" or a "human squirrel cage jail" because of its unique design.

I hope you will enjoy the three new works of fiction for 2015 and that you may even take a chance on one or more of the fiction and nonfiction books listed below.

The Reckoning


Just released in March of 2015, The Reckoning is the story of Miguel Munoz, a doctor with a true heart of compassion, who is dedicated to helping those who often go without medical care for lack of funds to afford it.  Mig, as he is known to his friends and patients, soon runs afoul of his more affluent professional colleagues and their clientele, and gets on the bad side of Dr. Peter Arliss, a powerful and influential man with a lot of dark secrets to hide.

Mig's life takes a downturn and he soon finds himself thrust into a world he is unprepared for, his medical practice all but nonexistent, and belief in himself seriously compromised. Befriended by two men from the local church, Mig soon learns that no situation is impossible for God, and no enemy too great to confront.

Mig's story is not only one of personal and professional challenge, but also of redemption, and a reminder that for everyone there comes The Reckoning for a life lived.

Tryst Twist - New Release

Mrs. Hoyle has been found dead, on a quiet spring morning, in the bed she shared with her husband at their farm near Gainesville, Missouri. Her death was quite unexpected . . . or was it? Is Mr. Hoyle to blame or did Mrs. Hoyle do herself in? The local sheriff is uncertain. Dr. Merryman, the county coroner, is immediately suspicious of the assumption of suicide. With the help of his part-time nurse, Miss Jaymes, he conducts his own examination and investigation into the circumstances of the young Mrs. Hoyle's life and death. The secrets uncovered keep readers wondering. What they discover sets the whole Gainesville community talking.

I hope you will find Tryst Twist an interesting and entertaining novella.