New Video for Aces in the Wind
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This is the story of family trees. The book weaves together the tangle of branches that hold the characters in their grasp. The turbulent times of the Great Depression, WWII, and the social change of the 1960s serve merely as the backdrop to these peoples' lives. The reader meets James at pivotal points in his life. We begin by watching the relationship he has with his son. Then we veer back to James's father and how they live. There are decisions made, and great strengths and weaknesses are within each character. The women are complex and are the nails that hold the framework of these characters' lives.
The characters deal with life head on and try to engage the better parts of their nature to navigate the waters of life. Like a grand poker game, the stakes are high and the players are serious. Some characters grow beyond themselves, while others halt and falter along the way. When the hands are shown and the money is paid, sometimes it comes down to how many aces are in the wind.
The Boy had his first lesson about the fairer sex. Every Tuesday, the lunch ladies in their netted head gear would outdo themselves and truly bake up an ambrosia called buns. It was some of the best bread he had ever eaten. He couldn't wait for Tuesday so he could revel in the awe that is bread. He had the unfortunate chance to be seated across from a beatific angel called Sally. She soon let it be known to the Boy that if he gave her his bread, she would be nice to him, if only through the meal. The Boy readily gave up his favorite of foods week after week just for the kind glance and conversation of a cute girl. What a sap. What a maroon. He lived in a fantasy where the girl actually liked him, so he didn't even notice when she ignored him until the day of the buns.
At some point in the year, the ladies in their hair nets changed the menu forever. The sweet delicate aroma of the buns would be smelled no more. Sally never talked to the Boy again. She never even looked at him. The truth crashed down on his wee form like a logging truck full of dead trees. Girls will use you for what they can get if you let them. This was to be a lesson learned many times during his life, but none stung quite so smartly as the lesson of the bun.
Angus decided to let it be for awhile. The fire crackled and the night grew blacker. He started snickering with his buddies about city slickers and stories about strangers coming in killing, raping, and stealing what they could and then hopping back on the rails to do it again in another patch of dirt. He made sure his voice was loud enough so everyone could hear him. Every once in awhile, he would lock eyes with the stranger and give him the dagger stare of an unstable mind.
Later in Chapter 2:
As Angus went about his dirty business, he had no idea the blood of a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army coursed through his veins. The family long ago lost track of their roots. The lieutenant was considered a brave and daring soldier and won a commendation when his quick thinking had saved a dozen men from certain death. He believed in liberty and freedom and risked his life many times to secure these ideals. His ghost would have been sorely hurt if it had been hanging by the dirty alley that night to see the handiwork of his offspring.
Sample later in the book:
One night, Eva woke up in the middle of her sleep. The light bouncing off the moon was streaming through the window, and she saw someone standing at the foot of her bed. As the sleep left her eyes, she was shocked that it was her little sister Amanda Lee. She sat up with a start and stared wide eyed at the apparition. Amanda Lee looked at her very sadly and shook her head side to side. Eva froze with her hands gripping the blankets at her sides. Before she said anything, Amanda Lee disappeared like a wisp of mist on a hot morning. Eva felt deeply saddened and a little cold.
She went down the hall and floated to her father's side of the bed and gently shook him. He slowly awoke and asked her what was wrong. Eva told him what she had seen. Pulling the covers back, he let his daughter crawl into bed with him. He cradled her small frame against his body. Slowly rocking his child while stroking her hair, soon Eva was asleep. Jacob lay there silently crying. He had felt Amanda Lee's presence before, and believed Eva with no doubts, The ghost of his smallest child had come to warn the household.