Friday, November 30, 2012

Redemption on the River by Loren DeShon (Review)

Redemption on the RiverSilas Jacobson pulled a trigger, killed his father, and ended up months later face down in Memphis mud, trying to forget the girl who betrayed him. He buries his father on the farm, his guilt in himself and leaves home seeking to forget past mistakes. He travels on Mississippi steamboats and meets his best friend in a brawl, his worst enemy in a cat-house, and a mentor and lover at a New Orleans faro table. Fighting, fornicating, and cheating at cards are a grand time, but there's another woman, a girl on a mission of her own, who saves his life and offers the opportunity to redeem himself. Silas staggers out of the mud to go to her, but he finds that she's deceived him from the start. He'll risk his neck for her—he owes her that much—but love is no longer possible. His shot at redemption comes down to his conscience, the two women, a poker game, and the turn of a card. Redemption on the River is historical fiction set along the Mississippi River in 1848.

My PhotoThe Author:
Loren DeShon is a graduate of Stanford University and has been a certified public accountant, a US Navy fighter pilot, and a captain for Alaska Airlines. When not researching and writing a novel he enjoys fishing, hunting, prospecting, woodworking, and reading. He can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, and via his blog at Loren DeShon -  Stuff.

Guest Post:

Donna, our kind host here at My Life in Stories, thought it might be interesting for me to relate how a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot came to be a writer of historical fiction.  I don’t guarantee interestingness (how’s that for a word?), but I can offer the story of my stories.

I’ve been a voracious reader since I can remember and I’ve always enjoyed writing, but aside from an occasional creative writing class I never studied it in school.  I graduated from Stanford with a BA in Economics—a degree I employ on a daily basis in my current real job as an airline pilot—and I set out to conquer the business world at Peat Marwick, one of the largest accounting firms in the world.  That’s right, I became a CPA.

After two years of auditing corporations I was less than excited at the prospect of decades of balance sheets stretching away before me.  A career change was in order, and I joined the Navy in the hope of becoming an aviator and getting to play with their marvelous toys.  After a lot of hard work, and great good fortune, I became perhaps the only CPA-fighter pilot in the world when I received orders for the F-18 Hornet.  I flew from five different carriers, accumulated 278 carrier landings (“traps”), and flew 27 combat missions in Gulf War I.

After my fleet tour I flew for three years based in Fallon, Nevada as an Adversary pilot in the F-18 and F-5.  My obligation to the Navy was up, I wanted to spend more time with my family, and I regretfully left the world of pointy-nosed go-fasts to take a job driving 737’s for Alaska Airlines, where I am today.

Where was writing in all this?  Simmering on the back burner, I’m afraid.  I did some writing for classified technical Navy publications (cue the tired old “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you” joke), wrote some short stories that I showed only to a select few, and had a couple of magazine articles published.  Oh, and I also wrote (and still write) an annual Christmas letter that people tell me they look forward to.

I had always had in the back of my mind that I’d like to write a novel someday, and when a squadron buddy asked me to review the manuscript of a thriller he had written the latent idea began to develop.  I did nothing about it until one epiphanic day when I realized that I had to get off the pot and actually do it, or wait for the next lifetime to give it a go.

So, I summoned up my ambition, climbed aboard my motivation, and set myself the goal of writing a novel in one year.  I absolutely did not want to be one of those wannabe novelists who drags it out for four or five years.

Five years later Redemption on the River was complete.  My process of writing the book—and learning how to write a book—is far beyond the scope of this meandering essay, but I did accomplish my primary goal, which was to write the best possible novel of which I was capable.  It’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done, ranking right up there with my first carrier landing.

Redemption on the River can be purchased at Amazon:

And Kindle:

As per FTC requirements: My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon. A small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above link. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and fair review. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time. Guest Posts are offered so authors can share their writing with my audience for their enjoyment.

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