“Vex and Valor” is the story of two families from different sides of the track. – Tim and Vee Crawford are the parents of four children who are lifelong residents of Brookton, PA. Georgia and Zeke Hayes struggle to make ends meet after moving four of their seven children there from Tennessee. They become intertwined through the marriage of their two youngest children – Ella Crawford and Ben Hayes.
The story begins with a fight between the married couple. The argument is overheard by their two young children hiding in a closet with their 10-year-old daughter watching through a crack in the closet door. Following the altercation, a neighbor finds Ella unconscious with no witnesses as to what happened to her. And her children are missing.
As Ella fights for her life, the children are found. Both she and Ben’s families gather, all waiting on word of Ella’s condition and looking for answers. Many believe it was an accident, while others, who know Ben drinks too much think he may have caused this to happen.
The saga begins in 1969 and takes place over three days. We are transcended into the lives of Ella and Ben’s families. The book is written in two sections. The chapters are short, moving from character to character and place to place. In section two, we watch the families become even more entangled and continue to search for answers about Ella. We meet new characters as we see the Crawford and Hayes grandchildren grow into adults, each with their own accomplishments and problems. The story comes to a climax when the truth about Ella is finally revealed.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-98
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My first-grade teacher told me I would write a novel one day after I turned one in to her titled – Daisy. It was published in two children’s magazines.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
They are based on real people I know.
Curiosity overwhelmed her. It felt like her little heart was beating out of her chest. Up on her tippy toes she quietly peeked out through a crack in the splintered wooden door. The first thing her big brown eyes saw was red…ketchup? No…blood…lots of blood…it was on the kitchen table, on the floor, on the wall. She had to get up higher. She looked around in the dimly lit coat closet for anything she could stand on. A big shoebox holding Daddy’s boots would have to do. From up there…just a little higher, she saw something purple…oh, it’s the jelly from the donuts… running down the wall, coffee spilled on the table, and broken green glass scattered from a coke bottle.
It was so quiet now. Should she go out? He was sleeping at her feet covered by Mama’s coat. She should stay with him, but…where were they? Mama wouldn’t have left them here alone. She climbed up on the shoebox and looked out again. Her heart was racing, thumping, the only sound engulfing the small closet. Stepping back down, she decided to wait and laid down next to her little brother. Her eyes hurt from crying, her head too. Laying down, closing her eyes and the warmth of JJ’s body helped her fall asleep beside him.
Suddenly the noise from a slamming door woke them and they jolted up together when they heard a scream from outside. Vanessa clamped her hand over Jason’s mouth and put her finger to her lips. His blue eyes were filled with fear.
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