Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.
Piers Anthony, best selling fantasy author during the ’80s and ’90s, found that my novel was “…not for the prudish.” Kevin Patrick Mahoney, editor of the once noteworthy site, Authortrek, found that my story was, “…not for the faint hearted or easily offended….” An early voice in the first chapter speaks about things that no child should know. It is that of a traumatized child – a voice most of us never listen to, or want to hear, but in real life is screaming. This passage is mild in comparison to some of the stuff that kids have said during actual group therapy sessions that I have facilitated over the years. By child developmental stage, it is similar to the infamous early adolescent insult in E.T.: “penis breath.” It is tame in comparison to the content of the popular television series, South Park, which was devoured by millions of teens. My story does include marijuana smoking, but that subject has been frequently broadcast in the news when legislation is introduced or debates emerge.
Except for a scene involving domestic violence in the third chapter, there is no violence or horror — no blood, guts, gore, vampires, werewolves, but there is one comical and annoying ghost. There are no graphic sex scenes in the novel. The renewed romance between the protagonist’s parents does include off-scene sexual reference, but nothing that is beyond real-life typical teen exposure. The android coming of age during his pursuit of humanity is reality based. Any boy above thirteen years old would attest. However, Lacy Dawn never lets the android get farther than to kiss her on the cheek, once. The android expresses no interest in sex. He falls in love, all consuming love by the middle of the story. The “F word” is used once, but there is no other profanity. There are two mild sex scenes past the middle of the story that could disturb some folks with conservative values on the subject, but one of the scenes is comedic and the other involves the inhabitation of a maple tree by the ghost mentioned in this paragraph, so Rarity from the Hollow is not erotic. It has a HEA ending like a romance novel.
As prominent on the front cover, it is “A Children’s Story for Adults.”
One reviewer of my novel compared the writing style to the famous author, Kurt Vonnegut! The review is reprinted below. While I’m flattered by this comparison, please note that my novel was found by another reviewer, the editor of Atomjack Science Fiction Magazine, to be “laugh-out-loud funny” in some scenes. Long-time book critic, Barry Hunter, closed his review, “…good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.”
My work utilizes SF/F cross-genre as a backdrop. It is not hard science fiction and more fantasy than SF. It includes elements of everyday horror, paranormal, true-love type romance, mystery, and adventure. The content addresses social issues: poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health concerns – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and the medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Capitalism, and touches on the role of Jesus: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.” It is speculative fiction, not YA. Please see the Target Audience as defined below.
I recently retired after 52 years of contributions into the U.S. Social Security fund so that I could write and promote my fiction. I’m a financially broke, licensed social worker and former mental health psychotherapist in West Virginia. Rarity from the Hollow was published in 2012, but after coming home drained from working with child abuse victims, I didn’t have the energy left to begin its self-promotion. My novel will be reprinted sometime in 2015 if the little buzz that I’ve generated in the last two months boosts sales. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program in my home state. http://thereadingrose.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/review-special-review-request-title.html
Dog Horn Publishing is a traditional small press located in Leeds. Adam Lowe is the owner. He didn’t charge me to have the story professionally edited, to create the book cover, or to print my novel. I have been paid royalties. Rarity from the Hollow is available from various outlets, not just Amazon. http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow It was not indie or self-published, although I am supportive of the indie movement. The first chapter is below, preceded by a link to the same excerpt. Although my story does not address GLBTQ relationships as Layla said she enjoys reading about, Adam is very active in that civil/social rights movement in England. For Layla’s information, Adam’s on-topic Facebook posts are usually very comical.