Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"The Grass Sweeper God," by Doug Howery

This emotionally resonant story from Doug Howery spans twenty years in the life of Smilie Hanlon, as he deals with heartbreaking conflicts about his sexuality, and the cruelty of an intolerant world.

The Grass Sweeper God, by Doug Howery
Price: $2.99
252 pages, with a 5.0-star rating from 26 reviews

"What I like is the riskiness, the cutting edge of the narrative voice we hear. He has an ear for the rhythm of the story, a natural sense of when to end--hangs fire with a new way of looking at someone or something, turning the entire chapter on its ear. I like the way he makes it impossible for the reader to stop reading at the end of the chapter." -- Suspense author, Maggie Grace

Gender confused Smiley Hanlon runs from hatred and bigotry... He returns with a vengeance... Old scores and unspeakable crimes are settled...

Being different in America has never been easy; being born different and in the wrong body in Solitude, Virginia in the 1950’s, is brutal. Smiley Hanlon lives day to day trapped in a Coal Miners town, buffeted by the Appalachian’s and generations of hate and mistrust. Any hint of being different, or being a ‘Freak’ is enough to ostracize you, pigeon hole you and make you a target for bullying – or worse. Backed by his best friend and protector, Lee Moore, Smiley made it through the days…until the night everything shattered. Chosen as the lead in a new town production called Dorothy of Oz Coal Camp, it seemed to be the beginning to acceptance and maybe even happiness, but the world is cruel and mankind even crueler. The triumph of the play decayed into a Coal Miners version of “Carrie” culminating in a tragic and horrific moment that would change both Smiley and Lee, forever...In the autumn of 1950, his father, Ted, viciously attacks precocious, effeminate 16-year-old Smiley Hanlon. Smiley, his friend, and Protector, Lee, keep the attack a secret. Because of their sexual identity, Lee and Smiley are banished from their family in Solitude, Virginia, and find refuge in New York...

This is their story and the story of so many others who suffered under the psychology of the day that their sexual identity is a sickness...

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Meet the Author

DOUG HOWERY has been writing both fiction and essays since 1990. His essays and familial stories have appeared in The Blue Ridge Lambda Press.

In many of his stories, as in "The Grass Sweeper God," Mr. Howery's true lode, his font of inspiration is in the passion and suffering he has experienced.

Mr. Howery lives in Virginia with his partner of 31 years where he is at work on his next novel.

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