Dream Searcher by William Byron Hillman

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What inspired you to write your memoir?
I’ve traveled an incredible journey and whenever I repeat part of that trip everyone says I should write a book about it. Many suffer from agoraphobia and little is known about it. The number of people adopted and searching for birth parents grows yearly and few have luck finding their roots. After a 35-year search the birth parents were not only identified but located and a whole new family was still alive. Teenage marriages fail while mine excelled and people like to hear how it was done. Building a career in entertainment without help is nearly impossible and yet it was accomplished and feels good to help others.

About your Book:
Tired of being locked out of the house or punished for his innocence, Bill doesn’t take “You can’t do that” seriously. He marries his high school sweetheart, Dianne, and soon realizes she’s a perfect match. She’s compassionate, tough, and yet has agoraphobia lurking in the shadows. Together they pave a rocky road into a smooth highway mixing a budding yet complex entertainment career with a thirty-year search for her birth parents. Deep down they feed each other the right ingredients to avoid bitterness, failure, and loneliness. Refusing to quit or acknowledge either one is broken they raise three children and reunite with a second family they never thought they’d find. Ultimately they discover the joy inside and out which makes it possible to shed painful memories from the past and create happy new ones for their future.
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New York Story by Harlan @harlanvaughn

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What inspired you to write your memoir?
I wanted to reflect on my time in this beast of a city, of all the loving and living I’ve done here.

About your Book:
Roommates. Apartment hunting. The single life. Competition. The New York persona.

Ah, New York – a city filled with anything you can possibly imagine.

What is it like to move here with nothing and build a new life? I’m Harlan. Before I lived here, I was a nice boy from the South. One day, I decided to make the move to New York to see what would happen. This is one side of an eight-million-sided story.

New York Story is a book of essays about living, loving, and surviving in New York. It’s humorous and heartfelt, with a smidge of advice gained from experience thrown in. What happens when a place changes your life overnight? What does it mean to start over in a new city? Told in an honest, original voice, this is my story.

To New York.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I did the self-pub thing. I like to use that as a channel because it provides me greater control over the entire process. I work hard to ensure my books are well edited, have great covers, and are quality products.

How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
It’s very difficult to write about oneself. You almost have to disassociate from your own experiences in order to make yourself a “character” in your story. That, for me, was the hardest part.

Author Bio:
Author and painter currently living in Brooklyn, New York.

Interested in gay issues and themes that are whimsical/apocalyptic/dystopian. I also write poetry.

Follow me on Twitter – @harlanvaughn for updates.

harlanvaughn.com is my website – please visit.

Website(s)
Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon
Link to Book for sale via other sites

Your Social Media Links
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5416819.Harlan_Vaughn
http://facebook.com/harlanvaughnart
http://twitter.com/harlanvaughn
http://pinterest.com/harlanvaughn

FEATURED BOOK: Reflections of Mamie: A Story of Survival by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins

Genre: Creative Non Fiction-Memoirs

Reflections of Mamie-A Story of Survival  is a sad and joyous personal account of growing up under the worst kind of adversity.  It is a story of survival during times of extreme suffering and deprivation that will leave you feeling Mamie’s anguish.

The journey of Mamie’s life began in the early 1950’s suburbs of Houston, Texas.  Mamie is a young child of four who was unwanted, afraid, abused and with nowhere to turn, learned that she had to stand alone.  Her only friends were her older brother, an abused child himself, and her nanny, who begged their mother to stop beating them.  The father, though he loved his children,  remained passive to the end.  A victim himself, the only protection he offered was a warning to stay out of their mother’s reach.

This story shares Mamie’s heroic battle to keep her dreams alive and hold on to her spirit. How she finds her way out of fifty-four years of abuse is yours to discover in her fascinating memoirs.
A must read for  anyone with a difficult childhood or anyone wanting to understand the cycles of abuse!

…S. Allan Kane, MD
“Reflections of Mamie” is the story of a young girl who spends her entire life searching . . . no, pleading for her mother’s love and approval, but instead receives only physical, mental, and emotional abuse in return. This unsettling tale is more a story of hope as Mamie’s fighting spirit leaves the reader in awe at the young girl who comes to life on the tear-stained pages.”

— Peter Healy
During the time this book is feathered, October 27-November 7th- it is offered at a discount but only direct from the authors web site. Two versions are available as follows for this special offer:

Paperback with black and white photographs retails for $17.95 but of two weeks is available at $13.95 plus media shipping

Hardcover version with color photographs retails for $34.95 but also available for two weeks at $25.00 plus media shipping You MUST write to me through the web site for this special. Payment will be billed through PayPal.

Link to buy book

Click for Book Sample

Free Book 10/25/2014: Once Upon an Ever After by Angela N. Blount

CompanionCoverFrontThis book is free on these days only – 10/25/2014 at midnight PST until 11:59 pm on 10/29/2014. If the dates are the same that means the book is free one day only.

Set after the events of Blount’s debut memoir, Once Upon A Road Trip, this short story anthology focuses on the unusual courtship of Angeli and Vincent.

When Angeli left Minnesota on a post-high school road trip, all she wanted was to see the East Coast and finally meet some of her online friends. She didn’t expect to end up in a long-distance relationship with a computer-savvy Southern boy. Yet Vincent seems determined to defy the odds. To prove his intentions, he sets off on his own quest to visit Angeli and win her family’s approval. But along the way he’ll have to contend with her offbeat friends, trigger-happy father, and a few questionable run-ins with Northern hospitality.

South meets North this time around, and “normal” isn’t anywhere on the map.

With a thousand miles and radically different upbringings between them, can Angeli and Vincent forge a forever-worthy bond? Or are the roadblocks they face too much for either of them to overcome?
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Free Book 10/20/2014: HOLISTIC FITNESS: Emotional Muscles, Action, Motivation, and Personal Success by Marta Tuchowska

holistic_fit_big_fonts-188x300This book is free on these days only – 10/20/2014 at midnight PST until 11:59 pm on 10/22/2014. If the dates are the same that means the book is free one day only.

Holistic Fitness helps to untangle the age old riddle of obtaining a healthy lifestyle. Marta infuses her writing with a fast-paced style that is designed to be read casually, but helps instill long-term values that are designed to reboot a person’s habits.

The book aggressively pursues limiting beliefs and dispels the common ideas that cause harm. In a ranting fashion, Marta goes after the haters, the “couches” instead of the “coaches”, and the people of the world who suffer from entitlement complexes–especially those keen to complain without offering back to the universe, or being grateful for their first world problems.

Tackling concepts from career to fitness, the big idea is to help round out a person’s life, in a world where people are increasingly living without balance, focus or direction. Pulling all corners of your life together and achieving balance is what can thus make a person holistically fit.

Through a stream of thought style, Marta instills the virtues of hard work, ethics, and ideas like empathy. As a life coach she attempts to push readers a step forward, beyond what they may be used to. For anybody who feels stuck, Marta’s hard-hitting advice may be just what is needed.”
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Free Book 10/15/2014: He Just Needs To Be Loved by Patricia Zimmerman

This book is free on these days only – 10/15/2014 at midnight PST until 11:59 pm on 10/19/2014. If the dates are the same that means the book is free one day only.

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When my husband, Roger, and I adopted three-year old Tyler from Ukraine in 1992, the orphanage director told us, “He just needs to be loved,” but Tyler needed much more than love. The product of a neglectful and abusive environment, he was a wounded little soul who fought every attempt that was made to integrate him into our family, afraid to trust in human relationships. During his frist years in America, he was diagnosed with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-an autism spectrum disorder) and Tourette Syndrome, leaving my family overwhelmed and ill-prepared to handle such an emotionally fragile little boy. HE JUST NEEDS TO BE LOVED chronicles Tyler’s journey from a troubled child to a confident, happy, young man with endless possibilities.
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Trapped: A Child with a broken heart. by Ellery LaFavor

a-child-with-a-broken-heart“Trapped: A Child With A Broken Heart” begins with a poignant tale of a neglected child’s abuse-ridden past and it ends with an optimistic view of the child’s future. In between lie the detailed accounts of abuse performed by an alcoholic, ill-tempered father. Robbing the child and his mother of innocence and power are some heartbreaking and gruesome experiences that are buried in all of our pasts. Being raised as a punching bag instead of a son, the main character learns to endure acts of bullying upon future abuse expecting each one to be his last. Aimed at the troubled child within each one of us, this book reveals how the dark shadows of our broken past can be harnessed as our greatest strengths. This book is the inspiring guide for those who wish to transform their lives and those who wish to challenge human nature.

Targeted Age Group:: 05-26

What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My heart goes out to anyone who are suffering especially those kids who are too small to understand abuse. Watching T.V, looking at children who have been abused as a child.

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Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher by Debra Shiveley Welch

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What inspired you to write your memoir?
My publisher kept asking me to write it. At first, I didn’t want to. I knew that if I was going to do it properly, it would be a very painful experience. Still, I wanted my son to know about me. I know so little about my mother’s childhood, she’s gone now, and I didn’t want that to happen to my son.

About your Book:
Winner of FaithWriter’s Gold Seal of Approval – Outstanding Read, Books&Authors Excellence in Literature, AllBooksReview’s Editor’s Choice Award 2010 and Book&Authors Best Non-Fiction 2010.

It would be easy to accept this book as ‘another adoption story’, that is until you read it. From the first words the reader is caught up in the account, enthralled by, not just the tale, but the telling of it. Mrs. Shiveley Welch’s talent reveals the journey to love, her decision to adopt instead of giving birth, her new and wonderful child, and most of all her earnest desire and steadfast belief that everything would come to pass.

“Son of My Soul – The Adoption of Christopher” is not just about the joys of motherhood, but is also a self-help book about breaking the cycle of child abuse. The author considers her childhood as ‘boot camp’ and uses the lessons learned from her own abuse to help her beloved son through many surgeries and therapies to correct cleft lip and palate.

A percentage of all royalties go to Operation Smile.
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Let’s Get It On

 

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An intimate profile of the legendary mixed martial arts (MMA) referee, this first full-length autobiography of pop culture icon “Big” John McCarthy details every aspect of his life—from his strong-handed Los Angeles upbringing to his involvement in the naming of the sport, his role in its regulation, and MMA’s rise in stature. The narrative follows “Big” John through his 22-year career as a Los Angeles police officer, where he taught recruits arrest and control procedures as well as survival tactics, then his 15-year career as MMA’s premier official in the chain-linked cage. A fixture of the sport, “Big” John started refereeing at UFC 2 in 1994 when MMA was in its infancy and went on to officiate at every major UFC event but two until 2007. Following a one-year hiatus as a color commentator and on-camera analyst for MMA and boxing events, he returned to MMA refereeing in 2008. In his own words, “Big” John relates his insider’s perspective from the midst of many of the sport’s greatest moments—from Tito Ortiz–Ken Shamrock I at UFC 40 in 2002 to Randy Couture–Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 in March of 2007—along with his account of the birth of the sport in America, its evolution, and MMA’s ongoing struggles for acceptance.

“Big” John McCarthy has been the world’s preeminent mixed martial arts referee for 17 years, beginning with his participation at UFC 2 on March 11, 1994, in Denver, Colorado. McCarthy has refereed over 1,500 bouts worldwide, including every major UFC event until UFC 77 (excluding two), until a one-year retirement in December of 2007. His unmatched tenure put him in the middle of many of the sport’s greatest moments, from Tito Ortiz–Ken Shamrock I at UFC 40 in 2002 to Randy Couture–Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 in March of 2007.

After a one-year foray into color commentating and on-camera analysis for MMA and boxing events, McCarthy returned to his first love and reentered the cage as a referee at Strikeforce “Destruction” in November of 2008. On the eve of his return to MMA as a referee, McCarthy was named the first ever recipient of the World MMA Awards’ Lifetime Achievement accolade, voted on by the sport’s most prestigious journalists.

McCarthy was one of the original authors of the set of mixed martial arts rules and regulations utilized today, and he is a recognized historian of the sport. His advocacy of the sport has been instrumental in the passage of MMA regulations in numerous states.

McCarthy served as a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department from 1985 to 2007. McCarthy was awarded his tactical/self-defense instructor certification by the LAPD on August 12, 1993, and taught until his retirement on September 15, 2007. In his 22 years on the force, McCarthy instructed over 10,000 recruits in arrest and control procedures and survival tactics.

In 2007, California State Senator James Battin awarded McCarthy with a commendation for his career accomplishments in the sport “for the work he has done to increase the safety, visibility, and importance of mixed martial arts.” In a separate proclamation, the California State Athletic Commission also recognized McCarthy for his “dedication and commitment to other officials in helping develop their skills and concern for athletes.”

McCarthy was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in 2006 for his “outstanding achievements in the martial arts” and was the guest speaker at its 2007 gala. In September of 2006, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt opened Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy (BJMUTA), the first fully functional MMA gym in Valencia, California, where he also teaches. McCarthy drafted a curriculum and testing system for MMA referees and judges, which he unveiled at his first Certified Officials for Mixed Martial Arts National Development (COMMAND) seminar in Valencia on December 1, 2007. The program is often noted as the toughest of its kind in the United States.
A pop culture icon, McCarthy has been spoofed in MAD magazine, starred as himself on the NBC series Friends in 1997, and made appearances as himself in a New Found Glory music video and the feature films The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It (2010) and Never Back Down 2 (2011).

Website(s)
Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon

Ears by Lehel Vandor

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What inspired you to write your memoir?
Memoirs are usually written while going through rustling bundles of sepia-toned mental images and yellow, stained pages of the mind… However, some memories, like those of a communist dictatorship and of the radical transformation of a country after a regime’s violent demise, after a while start to seem like acquired collections of someone else’s surreal celluloid strips, film cells seen at some point in the past and now rapidly fading – a decay hastened by the clash between their very absurdity and the rational mind’s immune reaction.
The world that surrounded me for the first nineteen years of my life, a world shaped by Ceausescu’s regime of daily Kafkaesque assault on rational thought, has been changing radically (but only partially) since the Christmas of 1989.

There have been many volumes written about such societies, countless hours filled with documentaries on the vast political, economical and of course, ideological forces at work…
However, I set out to write, based on my memories of the Romanian pre- and post-Revolutionary years, street-level impressions that revealed also often-surprising similarities between the old and the new country.

After having left that country almost twenty years ago, but regularly returning there to this day, I can still meet and converse with many ghosts – ghosts, who cosily nest in the altered, recently turned ultra-materialistic, world of the Carpathian Mountains.

I wanted therefore to write about that past, in which those ghosts still possessed powerful bodies in my weathered homeland, making Europe seem just some distant mirage; the memoir is also about the present in which that world, still silently and slowly being kneaded by these ghosts, hastily re-decorated for its welcome party into a suddenly so reachable and tangible Europe…
While my home land copies the West indiscriminately, eagerly, desperately, the latter has been gradually permeated by thoughts that I hoped to leave behind in both time and space. The eerie resurrection of totalitarian concepts and violations of basic human liberties in the citadel of democracy in which I live in, all committed in the name of building a “safer” society, were terrifying for someone who had seen the very same thoughts and strategies in action – albeit in a very different world.

Therefore, in addition to it being a “plain” memoir, I tried to highlight the parallels and analogies that often I myself was surprised to find between my old and new home.

About your Book:
Ears, too many of them, catching any accidental voicing of free thought, the tragicomedy of spraying trees with green paint during the Leader’s visits… The deadly denial of the existence of “imperialist” diseases, a few hours of TV broadcasts per day, food rationing, power cuts… Then, the Revolution of December 1989 – the swapping of communism with democracy, stability with chaos, external threats with internal tensions, power with corruption, religion with greed… and one dread with many new fears.

It is a personal journey of someone, who was a Transylvanian-born child of Hungarian minority during Ceausescu’s dark 1970s, a teenager during the suffocating Romanian ’80s, a student during the surreal ’90s, and an emigrant during the more recent decades.

His journey from a world that Kafka imagined, but Ceausescu created, to a society that is still fighting with its numerous ghosts reveals parallels between facets of a totalitarian society of the past and those of a rapidly Westernised society.

The post-Revolution Romania is still struggling with the regime’s echoes, with numerous paradigm shifts, and with a vast corruption that has permeated every aspect of daily life.

Having completed his PhD in the United Kingdom, the author has also had the opportunity to experience and meditate on the tectonic shifts in British politics – and on their surprising social side effects.

The powers of the author’s former homeland had tried to police every sentence and every action, in an attempt to protect the system against a faceless and ubiquitous enemy, via measures that violated fundamental human rights on a daily basis. His adopted home, too has obsessed about a very different enemy, and has used many electronic ears and eyes in the name of creating a safer society.

There is also special attention given to the realities of ethnic minorities during the Ceausescu regime and the detrimental transformations that the minority communities, their political representation, and even their outlook have gone through in the post-Revolution period.

This second, extensively revised, edition contains numerous updates that take the reader through the changes witnessed in both societies since the book’s first publication in 2008, now including the period leading up to the 25th anniversary year of the Romanian anti-communist Revolution.

Ears, too many of them, catching any accidental voicing of free thought, the tragicomedy of spraying trees with green paint during the Leader’s visits… The deadly denial of the existence of serious “imperialist” diseases, three hours of TV broadcasts per day, food rationing, power cuts… Then, the Romanian Revolution of 1989 – the swapping of communism with democracy, stability with chaos, external threats with internal tensions, power with corruption, religion with greed… and one dread with many new fears.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I first posted several chapters on the YouWriteOn website in 2008, a site that was launched with funding from the Arts Council in the UK. Based on peer reviews and feedback, I decided to submit the book to their publishing service. The paperback was then available at the end of 2008 via the major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones etc.
As the 25th anniversary year of the 1989 anti-communist Revolution arrived, I decided to put the first edition through a major revision and update, as most of its points and parallels remained valid, and some have even become more poignant.
Thus the 2014 edition was made available in e-book format via Amazon and, with the help of Booktango, in other formats, too.

How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
It is inevitably personal – and the more it is written with honesty, the more personal and grueling it can become – as the often advantageous detachment of the author from the text is not possible.
However, at the same time, one has to maintain some objectivity as much as possible, and also one has to be able to structure the text, to review it, edit it as if it were “just” some story line about other people…

Author Bio:
Lehel Vandor (1971-) was born in Transylvania, and grew up, as a member of the Hungarian ethnic minority there, during Nicolae Ceausescu’s totalitarian regime. His school, and later high school, studies have been completed during the communist dictatorship.
The 1989 revolution in Romania and the 1990 ethnic pogrom organized by the newly formed Romanian extreme right happened during his final year at high school. In 1990, the first generation of students of the free Romanian began their University studies. Lehel Vandor, too was among them, and the five years of student life have been a memorable experience in the country that was just starting to find its way.
After finishing University in Transylvania, he obtained his PhD in the United Kingdom and permanently settled there. Radical changes in British politics, 9/11, the subsequent War on Terror, and its measures introduced by Tony Blair’s government have provided numerous opportunities for drawing certain disturbing and surprising parallels between two very different societies caught up in their ideological and political fights with very different enemies.
Previously Lehel Vandor authored several series of articles and radio programs in Hungarian and Romanian languages, published short stories in Hungarian language. His photography is represented by several photo libraries. One of his other passions is electronic music composition and production.

Website(s)
Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon
Link to Book on Barnes and Noble
Link to Book for sale on Scribd

Your Social Media Links
https://www.goodreads.com/Lehel_Vandor
https://twitter.com/LehelVandor

CONQUERING CHALLENGES – A Working Mother’s Story by Elizabeth Blake

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What inspired you to write your memoir?
I worked in the medical field for 20 years and had many interesting experiences. Some are funny, others are dramatic, and many are poignant. I’ve been writing for many years, so I knew I would be able to write a memoir others would find enjoyable to read.

About your Book:
As a single mother in 1973 in MN, I search for my professional passion in life. I take my three-year-old daughter’s hand and move to Hawaii where I become a Medical Technologist. While taking courses, I learn to stick needles into people while my hands shake. I work in the laboratory at Kapiolani-Children’s Medical Center which Queen Kapiolani began to help island women survive childbirth. I perform a fetal lung test on amniotic fluid of a pregnant Polynesian woman suffering from complications. Is the baby all right? A Hawaiian lady gives birth to a one and a half pound baby, but will they survive? Our lab plays a critical role in the trial of a Mafia hit-man of rape and attempted murder. Will he be convicted? I move to Arizona where I work in a free-standing emergency center. I help diagnose a philandering husband with gonorrhea. What is his wife’s strange reaction? A gunman enters the center looking for drugs. Does he get any? A male patient comes in with pain and says he has sickle cell anemia. Does he really, or, is he just a drug-seeker? A male with an infected eye leaves the Center. He tells me the receptionist wouldn’t check him in because he’s homeless. Does he go blind in that eye because he doesn’t get treatment? The emergency center closes and I’m transferred to the main hospital where the Trauma ER is located. I’m not used to the high tension and stress of trauma. The laboratory staff does not accept me. Trauma doctors scream during Blue Alerts. I help a nurse during a Blue Alert but the nurse doesn’t reciprocate and the doctor yells at me for not finishing faster. I discover a dead woman in a room and the doctor yells at me for not drawing blood. An ER nurse accuses me of stealing from a patient. I work on an AIDS patient who shot himself, with blood all over. Can I ever get used to this tense atmosphere? All in all, a 20-year career is covered. I also interweave my personal life as I balance single motherhood with work, and search for a soul-mate. The various vignettes in this memoir are humorous, dramatic, and poignant.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I self-published through Amazon. It’s in Kindle version and also paperback. I found a professional, Travis Miles, to do my cover for a reasonable price. I was very pleased.

How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
Memoirs are very emotional-driven. And obviously in first-person. I have written two memoirs and found that writing them was very cathartic. They both have received wonderful reviews.

Author Bio:
Elizabeth Blake is an American Society of Clinical Pathologists certified Medical Technologist. She worked in the medical field for twenty years. Then she taught high school science in an inner-city school for four years before taking care of her invalid mother for eight years. She began her writing career by writing short stories about her ancestors and family, most of which sold to various magazines. She is married and has one daughter and three grandchildren, all of whom live in Arizona. She likes to swim, walk, travel with her husband, read, write, and play with her Chihuahua named Sahara.

Website(s)
Author Home Page Link
Link To Book On Amazon

Your Social Media Links
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2039780.Elizabeth_Blake
http://twitter.com/ElizabethBlake

Free Book 09/26/2014: Songs to Make the Desert Bear Fruit by Nathan Gauer

This book is free on these days only – 09/26/2014 at midnight PST until 11:59 pm on 09/30/2014. If the dates are the same that means the book is free one day only.

Songs-to-Make-the-Desert-Bear-Fruit
SONGS TO MAKE THE DESERT BEAR FRUIT is the story about the summer when Nathan Gauer attends the first Lakota Sundance in the Black Hills in over a century, an encounter with the unsettled debts of America’s past that will forever shape his relationship with its future.

In 1999, Nathan and his mother set out on a six-week-long road trip hours before his high school graduation. With the open country unfolding before them like a song, Nathan is unsure if he is running from something or toward something. After tracking down an old family friend to repay a debt his mother refers to only as “the favor,” they accept an invitation to attend a Lakota Sundance in the Black Hills. It is here, camping beyond the margins of society among an unforgettable group of would-be writers, wanderers, and revolutionaries, that Nathan meets Gabrielle. The niece of the medicine man responsible for organizing the Sundance, Gabrielle is fierce, funny, capable of reciting classic hip hop albums from memory, and despite her circumstances, unwilling to indulge in self-pity.

She is also a single mother determined to move her sixteen-month-old daughter away from the Rosebud Indian Reservation at any cost. When the Sundance ends, she invites Nathan to return with her to her uncle’s home on the reservation. Against the backdrop of a community at once generous, desolate, and crackling with the threat of violence, they gradually begin to see a future together. But when the harsh realities of her world collide with their plans, Nathan must discover what it means to find his own song capable of making the desert bear fruit.
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