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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Bitten Bullet and The Purple Dragon

If I happen to have any regular readers left out there and waiting for something new, don't get too excited; this is just an announcement.  As you know, I've been in law school for the past year and a half and hardly able simultaneously to keep up literary or "grammarly" commentary and my grades.  Obviously, I've sacrificed the blog.

Because I needed a project this winter break, and because I don't have the time or means to continue sending queries and making submissions (if, that is, they're not related to job applications), I bit the bullet and self-published.  As of today, I have made two sales.


The book, originally intended for a Mormon audience, is plenty suitable for a "general" readership, though it's lack of horned or polygamous characters may stump the stereotypes.  Instead, it's about a kid preparing to serve his Mormon missionary service.  The church--both the institution and its people--put a tremendous amount of pressure on its youth to serve.  I did.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  The pressure on Eugene is greater than anything I experienced, however, as his family has been stigmatized by some ugly family history, and he and his sister--the last remaining and cogent of the Cross family--are desperate to bring the name back into good repute.

Mormon missionary service, however, requires a towering degree of "worthiness," which Eugene is hardly able to claim.  He is a kleptomaniac, and despite his self-justifications (including the stealing exclusively of books), is racked with the guilt of it.  He convinces himself that he tells the truth to the religious leaders who interview him and vouch for his readiness, and he makes the trip to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.  Eugene, despite his stealing and despite what he is certain the membership of his local congregation surely will think of him, is a good kid.  He brings himself home and begins the devastatingly painful repentance process, which necessarily includes the returning of the thousands of books and other items that he's stolen over the years to their owners, including his friends and family.

The book is cheap: just $.99 at Barnes and Noble and $2.99 at Amazon, though only available in digital format.  (BN only provides for the Nook platform, from what I understand, while Amazon makes their ebooks available for Apple and other products.)  If you pick it up and read it, I'd love to hear you thoughts!

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