Re-release: BEAUTY RISING

My first novel, published at the tale-end of 2012, has a new polish, a new cover, and a new price for the new year.

I’m very pleased to announce a re-released edition of this story which is near and dear to me.  The re-edits make the story flow in a more natural way, which will, I hope, draw you in even closer to these vivid characters and the beautiful land of Vietnam. This is the only novel I’ve ever written in first personal narration – and it’s from two different points of view.

And one more thing. It’s FREE. Yes, that’s right. Hit the links below for your free copy.  It’s my hope you’ll try my work and like it enough to try my other works as well.

Choose your preferred link below, enjoy, and share with others.

BEAUTY RISING – 2019 edition – available now @

Barnes & Noble – FREE

KOBO – FREE

On SCRIBD

Smashwords – FREE

Amazon – $0.99 (READ 85 reviews)

OVERDRIVE

(Note: for Apple – Please search iBooks.)

And I even wrote a new blurb:

An unlikely request. An unlikely adventure. An unlikely love. On his death bed, a Vietnam vet asked his estranged son a huge request – return his ashes to Vietnam. Martin Kinney Jr. does just that, but when his wallet is stolen at a Vietnamese festival, it sets in motion a series of events which will change his life and family forever. Two perspectives, one incredible and tragic story of love.

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40 Years Ago – Star Wars at Penn Theater

Recently, Star Wars celebrated its 40th year anniversary of its original theatrical release in 1977. I remember it well.

I was nine years old and had seen an extremely low number of movies in my lifetime up to that point. Maybe two. One for sure. My family didn’t go to movies. We were not the entertainment type. We were the sit on the front porch and watch the neighbors type. I do remember seeing The Hiding Place in 1976, which we undoubtedly saw because of its Christian foundation. I enjoyed that movie tremendously, and re-watched it two years ago before visiting the Corrie Ten Boon house in Haarlem, Netherlands. Star Wars, however, was different.

My sister, Melanie, who was seven years older than me with a drivers license, had bought into the media hype surrounding the big release and wanted to take me and my brother, who was 15. Of course the movie had never before seen special effects! It was all as mesmerizing as it could have been by word of mouth or by a small black and white ad on the next to  the last page of the daily Butler Eagle. Melanie arranged a time when the car would be available and we went, most assuredly, on a Saturday afternoon of early May 1977.

I remember three things about that day. The first was my brother’s doubts about the film. He downplayed its potential because “he didn’t like science fiction” films. He was such the skeptic that I wondered why he went, but I didn’t care. We were standing in line at the Penn Theater in downtown Butler with my brother’s doom and doubt sitting on our shoulders, and it was wonderful. There was excitement in the air–an opportunity to go out on the town, six miles from home without any parents, an amazingly rare treat for us back then. It turned out that Star Wars was just the beginning of an unforgettable year for me.  Just one month after the opening of Star Wars, our family would have our yearly end-of-school celebration where we would go to Winky’s and eat a hamburger. That was our yearly ration of restaurant fare. Later that summer, I would attend my very first Pirates game. I still remember that they lost 4-1 with Dave Parker scoring the only run, to which I commented “Of course, he’s the only one who ever does anything.” I wouldn’t mind having that lineup back.

1977 sat large on my mind that day and would forevermore since it would also be the last year we would have with our sister Melanie, as she passed on in February of the following year.

So that line, on that day, in my memory today, holds a special moment. A frozen link to my childhood that I’ll never forget. We went in and watched the film. The second thing I remember is how I was mesmerized from start to finish. It must have felt like a second in a wonderland, a million miles away from the slow-paced country life I was used to. A dreamworld where anything could come true and a small boy of nine could realize his potential in profound and unforgettable ways.

The third memory is when my brother ate crow. His face shone wide-eyed and his expressions exaggerated as he blurted out the most contrarian line he could think of as we emerged onto Main Street: “That was the best movie I’ve ever seen!”

Yes, it was. And it’s still one of my best memories.