Review: Indebted by Braxton DeGarmo

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Cover Rating:


Date Published: January 6, 2013
Pages: 398
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Author: Braxton DeGarmo
Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense
ISBN-10: 1481857193
ISBN-13: 978-1481857192
Book Source: The book was provided by the publisher through Bookfun.org for my honest opinion.
Warning: Contains Mild Profanity

Blurb:

It’s the late 1960’s and life with an alcoholic father in rural western North Carolina couldn’t get worse for for young Alice Cummings, until she gets pregnant out of wedlock and her father “sells” her baby. She flees, resolved to find her child, but more tragedy derails her search. Yet, her life turns around in a most unexpected way … before she disappears from the face of the earth.

For current day, mega-selling author, Myra Mitchell, the “Diva of Disaster”, a life of hard work and harder partying falls into a tailspin after a life-changing diagnosis. In pursuit of a final book, she sets her sights on the unknown story of Betsy Weston, her favorite cartoonist, who appeared from nowhere in Ashville, NC, in 1969. Myra finds herself racing death to pay back a debt unvieled by her hunt.

You can purchase it Here:
Deeper Shopping  *  Amazon  *  Barnes & Noble



Author Bio:

Braxton can’t lay claim to wanting to be a writer all his life, although his mother and seventh grade English teacher were convinced he had what it would take. He went to Duke University, earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering, and found his way into medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Following a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief, Emergency Medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL. Who had time to write?

By the late 1990’s, his professional and family life had settled down, somewhat, and his mother once again took up her mantra, “Write a book. You’re a good writer.” Yet, with no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction. That changed in 1997 when the local newspaper held a writing contest for Valentine’s Day. Out of 1100 entries, he made it to the top five finalists and realized that maybe he could write fiction after all.

The next ten years saw him learning the craft of writing through local writers’ groups, seminars, critique groups and more. “The Militant Genome” (©July 2012) marks his first formal publication. “Indebted” (©January 2013) is now out,and “Identity” will be released later in the spring of 2013.

Fifteen years after that first hesitant start, he can’t find enough time to write as much as he’d like. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Paula. Their two children are grown and with three grandchildren nearby, “Papa” wears a number of hats.

You can find Braxton Here:
Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Favorite Scene:

Alexia looked off toward the mountains and then back to Myra. “Christianity is my key to living. I grew up with two alcoholic parents and my mom died of liver cancer when I was in my early teens. That’s what I meant when I said I was no stranger to liver failure. My dad abandoned me and without any other family, I went into the foster system. The parents who just recently passed away were actually my adoptive parents. They saw something in me I never saw in myself and with a life centered on Christ, they offered me a home, gave me my education. Personally, I wasn’t sure about all that religion stuff. I withdrew, looking for answers in books. In college, I had a course that required reading the Bible as a literary source. I found more than that there. I saw the source of my new parents’ love. Something in Christ’s teachings just clicked for me and I found a vibrant church with a young pastor who showed us that living for God was not the stuffy, “Thou shall not” kind of lifestyle portrayed by so many. After that, the bond between my parents and me just grew and grew. That’s why their deaths this past year hit me so hard.”

She paused and Myra caught her watching, waiting for Myra’s reaction, which was one of subtle resistance outwardly while inside she wondered what she had done to Samuel to make him inflict this girl on her. Never mind. She knew what she had done, repeatedly. Still, something in Alexia’s story touched her. Alexia had been given something special. Few people, including Myra, ever experienced such love.

“Sorry, I know alot of people hate preachy Christians, so I’ll stop. I don’t want to overstep my bounds here, but I do want you to know I’m praying for you, for you to have peace and for God’s gift of healing for you. There, I’m done. What can I do for you?”

Myra, too, had read the Bible as a literary source but certainly had not come away from the experience with anything more than a collection of stories and allegorical phrases that all writers needed to connect with Western culture. Nevertheless, Alexia’s statement filled her with hope that God, if He existed as described by Judeo-Christian tradition, offered healing as a gift. Myra wanted to know more, but hesitated to ask in fear of being overwhelmed by zealotry.

“I’d like a little time to myself, please.”

Alexia nodded and returned inside. A few minutes later, Myra watched her new assistant walk toward the office. She remained outside until sunset and the nocturnal chill of the desert forced her inside to the kiva fireplace. She held a vague recollection of Alexsia returning, helping her to bed, tucking her in as a mother would a child, and kneeling silently at her bedside.

Synopsis:

Alice Cummings, a teenager living in the hills of western North Carolina in the 1960’s, had had nothing but a life of heartache. Her mother died when she was a child, her father was an alcoholic, her boyfriend, JT, was killed in Viet Nam one month after joining the service and the local “thug” was trying to take unwanted liberties. The only bright spot in Alice’s life was her son, Jimmy Bob, conceived out of wedlock. That is, until she wakes up to find him gone, stolen in the night and “sold” by her very own father. Alice knew she had to get away, had to escape the alcoholic rages of her father. The first thing on her agenda was to get to safety, the second, to find her son. Alice makes her escape but finding her son proves to be more difficult than even she had imagined. She again comes face to face with more tragedy in her life and soon after Alice disappears, falls of the radar to never be heard from again. But is there someone that knows the wherabouts of Alice Cummings? Who holds the key to the past that everyone has been looking for?

In present day, Myra Mitchell is a multi-million dollar, best-selling author of crime novels and her reputation precedes her. She loves the drinking and partying lifestyle she has come to know but soon discovers she has to change her ways when her doctor gives her a devastating diagnosis. With her publisher hounding her for her next novel, Myra knows of only one story she wants to write about. A mystery that was left untold and unsolved for decades. The story of her favorite comic strip creator Betsy Weston. It’s a race against time and an unwanted pursuer but with the help of her new assistant, Alexia Hamilton, Myra sets off on a journey of discovery. A journey of enlightenment. A journey that finally has an ending.

There are so many aspects of this book that I truly loved. The western North Carolina setting drew me in from the beginning as I have been a native my entire life, but that’s just the beginning. The hardships faced by Alice brought out such emotion in me that I found the tears falling freely throughout the story. The characters formed such close friendships brought about by their mutual hardships and I fell in love with several of them. The plot was so full of twists and turns that several times I thought I had it all figured out just to soon find myself second guessing my theory and rethinking all over again. I was sucked in from the very first page and remained in a vice-like grip until the very end, which was the proverbial “icing on the cake”. It was a story of tragedy and celebration, hate and love, loneliness and friendship.

From the attention to details it’s obvious alot of research went into the writing of this book. The author really did his homework and, from the caliber of the writing, it’s hard to believe it’s only his second book. Indebted thoroughly satisfies the reader without too many sexual overtones and heavy profanity. Braxton DeGarmo is a master storyteller and Indebted is storytelling at it’s BEST! I HIGLY recommend it!

My Rating:



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