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From coming novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings

D.J. Houston – Author

Mother Nature's MysteryMother Nature does a lot of things right — but this was most decidedly not one of them.

No sooner had a warm spring wind chased the last traces of snow into the forest floor than a lightning storm whipped up off the Ohio River and rumbled over us, like an irate god, without a drop of rain.

Then the fire broke out at Jasper Peterson’s salvage yard, threatening to burn the whole place to the ground and a century of trash and treasure with it . . .

A cacophony of church bells started ringing in the distance. And I knew my daddy had to go . . .

C L I C K  T O  R E A D  E X C E R P T:

“Mystery Novel – Mother Nature Father Time”

Copyright©2008, 2013 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.

Mystery Novel Intrigue – Paranormal Stories – World War II Life Journey – Coming of Age 

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From the Mystery Novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings by D.J. Houston

Uncle Chester's Guitar - Havenwood TalesDown on the floor, hidden from view by a heavy crocheted tablecloth, I could hear Uncle Arthur and Daddy in the parlor, whooping and slapping their thighs, swapping Irish tall tales and war buddy stories — good for a smile, but nothing I hadn’t heard before. And then somewhere off in a corner, Uncle Chester started picking country tunes on his guitar.  And that was it: I was mesmerized . . .

I couldn’t say how long I stayed there, listening to his music. Or know my life would be forever changed by the experience . . . But there was nothing to do but close my eyes and bow my head to the moment . . .

C L I C K  for  M O R E

Copyright©2010, 2013 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.

Life Lessons – Coming of Age Story – Mystery – American Literature Treasures

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Excerpts from HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings

by D.J. Houston

~ Honoring My Father on Memorial Day  ~

.

My first pearl appeared the summer I turned six, not long after Daddy and Uncle Arthur returned from the Second World War . . .

It was a time of new necessity for Man.  For despite any halt to the march of evil, that war had turned humanity inside out when the white-hot specter of an atom bomb shocked and awed a pre-dawn New Mexico desert and twice carried death to Japan.

Yet no one could begin to grasp the consequences; it was too impossible to confront that such a thing as an atom bomb could ever happen in the first place.

Even after the war, top-secret scientists kept right on with the military to convince each other, time and again, that bombs do, indeed explode, while regular Joe civilian had no clue of such experiments.  And anyone who might have been aware felt powerless to stop them.  So they did nothing.

Post-WW II Heartland America

Families were reunited with their military loved ones the world over, and did what they could to reorient them to whatever became of their lost years at home.

Most made the transition; all were scarred.  But I’d like to think it was easier for the battle-weary to recover in a place like Havenwood . . .

Livestock and chickens and barns and crops and bank accounts needed tending, leaving little time to ruminate about the war.  And with new enterprises springing up as manufacturing shifted to producing wares and gadgets for the new Consumer Age, earning opportunities outside the home soon grew abundant for adults and young folks alike.

Not that play wasn’t fun and important to youth back then; if anything, a crippling Great Depression with a Second World War on its heels had led Americans of every age to value their freedoms and pleasures more than ever.

But work is its own reward.  If you don’t believe me, ask someone who has none.  And with more choices that come to a freer people, we could enjoy work more than ever, too.

All the kids I knew did chores, before and after school.  And those who had already proven themselves as volunteers for war efforts on the home front had a long leg up when it came to getting hired for the paying jobs.

With no TV screens to spectate at for hours on end, and decades yet before the advent of ubiquitous shopping mall arcades, video games, and personal phones and computers, young people tended to play hands-on at the game of growing up.

They practiced the real deal with real people, in an insular world without internet . . .

~

Author, D.J. Houston

Copyright©2007, 2014 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.

Historical Fiction – Memoir Novels – Life Journey – Coming of Age – Social Commentary

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D.J. Houston, Author

Hello Friends!

What a Summer it’s been for America!  Not to mention this extraordinary 21st Century on Earth.

As for our tale of Havenwood, I can only reveal that — following a summer of brave adventures, some startling misadventure and plentiful mystery after Trudie Beth McAfee’s precocious encounter with Gabriel White Cloud Walling — the era of her childhood freedom threatened to become an empty memory, as time drew near for. . .  the inevitable — SCHOOL.

Here’s some FUN for you (circa 1946)  🙂  Enjoy! (more…)

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A peek at the novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings by Author, D.J. Houston

Family Secrets . . .

I was only just getting to know my father then.  Or at least what he’d become.

Trudie's Tiny Nursery LampHe’d been away to war so long, I’d even begun to wonder if I’d only imagined the times when the uniformed man in the picture frame on Mama’s dressing table lingered next to my crib to play with me by the light of a tiny nursery lamp, tickling my toes and fingers until we laughed out loud at each other.

As the years blended one to the next, the promise of his constant presence in my life dwindled to little more than a mist of wishful thinking, if I thought of him at all.

Envelopes with foreign stamps and the feelings that broke in Mama’s voice when she read passages from his letters to Timmy and me helped keep Daddy alive for us.  The scene I caught of Timmy in front of the chiffarobe, sniffling and blowing his nose on his sleeve while he tried on Daddy’s hats, made its mark, too.

But our father was home now, home to all he’d fought for.  And I was letting the strength of his quiet nature spread around me like calm on a morning pond.

He reminded me of a sycamore tree with his tall, lean build and sturdy limbs.  His skin was white when he rolled up his sleeves to wash his hands in the wintertime.  And his hair was as shiny black as a raven’s wing, only curly . . .

He had a sort of handsome face, I thought, with a strong jaw and a high forehead like Timmy’s.  His eyes were the hazel, Irish eyes my own eyes echoed.  But I was just beginning to see him as something more than a stranger who’d been smart enough to marry my mother.  And she said the war left him with troublesome things on his mind.

I figured he wasn’t ready for me to tell him about Mister Walling.

As for Mama, she must have been quite a catch for anyone.

She was a pretty, plump brunette with light bronze skin and dark violet eyes, who liked to wear aprons with big pockets and her shoes as seldom as possible — a rare free spirit, inclined to practice the time-honored values of her Native American mother over those of her English father.

And while I knew she would hear with her heart whatever I had to say without belittling my reality, some innate, protective instinct prevented me from giving her reason to have to mention Mister Walling, or suffer undue concerns about my comings and goings.

WW II Victory, Freedom and Apple pie. . .

My sweet, brave mother had found balance in her life and I didn’t want to upset it.

She was grateful to be home in her own big kitchen, cooking and baking . . .  with all the sugar and spices and herbs she needed or wanted — away from the hard times she’d endured at the Sand & Gravel plant after Daddy went to war and the money ran low, when rationing of everything from milk to nylon stockings was in full swing and we could no longer survive on barter from our Victory Garden yield alone.

But those times were behind us now. . .

Timmy and the boys at school didn’t have to collect used paper and metal and rubber for the war production scrap piles anymore.  And I didn’t have to stay with that overbearing woman who smelled like pork cracklings and made me call her “Aunt Millie,” while Mama worked long hours at the plant with too many ladies who wished their men were home.

And freedom reigned!

FATHER’S DAY TRIBUTE:  C L I C K  H E R E

Excerpts from the novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings

D. J. Houston, Author

Copyright©2006, 2013 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.

Historical Fiction Books – Mystery Novel World War II Veterans – Social Commentary

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