Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith
The Art of Storytelling
Love: A novel of grief and desire
Set in America's heartland, Columbus, Ohio, in 2010, Love: A novel of grief and desire, is the story of a family navigating a minefield of grief and desire after experiencing overwhelming loss. When Ed Gideon meets the 15 year old daughter of the drunk driver who killed his wife, the night her mother attempts suicide, he has no idea what impact it will have on his life or family. Ed is torn between helping Bobbi navigate her comatose mother's care and possible recovery or walking away and condemning Andie Love to the death she deserves. Complicating things, Ed finds himself caught up in desire for two very different women with no understanding how to pick between them. The careful scaffolding he has built around his emotions soon collapses and Ed is left to deal with the grief and rage he has kept bottled up for two years. How can he help his daughters and Bobbi Love find themselves when he is still lost?
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July 1939. Mark 'Mose' Mosely is an enforcer for the Cleveland mob. The city is sweltering through a record heat wave when the bodies start to pile up. The first hit goes down outside a safe house Mose is guarding. Was Mose's boss, Big Mike Tolliver, the intended target, or Tolliver's mistress? Mose has only a few days to bring retribution and stop a mob war from breaking out. Then Tolliver's mistress declares her love for Mose. Can Mose stay alive long enough to stop the war?
1949. A bloody war engulfs the Balkans. Walter Krang, a brutal concentration camp guard escapes certain death as a war criminal when an inmate forgives him and helps him escape as the camp is liberated. Masquerading as a camp survivor, Krang makes his way across the war torn region, burying the dead for his meals. Caught between the solitude of burying the dead and the savagery of war, Krang must confront his own actions and what it means to be forgiven. Will justice be served?
The Ogre Prince
Ogre, a 14 year old servant of King Nigel and Princess Caroline, is banished from the palace and apprenticed to the royal Hunt Master. While on a royal hunt for a real ogre, Ogre is captured by the foul beast. During his captivity, Ogre must reassess what courage and honor truly mean. Princess Caroline, realizing her father has become a tyrant, must find a way to wrest power from him before the kingdom plunges into civil war. Ogre and the Princess find themselves unlikely allies in a fight against time. Can they save the nation from civil war? Can they save themselves from the hangman's noose?
Love is an emotional rollercoaster encapsulating a story about loss, dealing with grief, and coming to terms with the fact that there is a life to live, despite everything that has already happened. The family dynamic in the story and the subplot that grows around forbidden love is as realistic as possible, giving the novel a unique feel. Love is a one-of-a-kind novel that would appeal to every reader irrespective of their genre leanings. Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith delivers a masterpiece with this beautiful classic.
Readers Favorite, 5 stars
"Bold and Perceptive..."
Love is a page turner, quickly investing the reader in Ed's life: his grief for his wife, the anger he carries, and the long road to forgiveness. Ed's family hangs in the balance, caught between hatred and forgiveness.
Anna Daugherty, author of Outside of Grace
" Poignant Exploration of
Love, Grief, and Loss..."
Jefferson’s characters are not only so different and individual from one another, but also complex with a wide range of conflicting emotions. Bobbi’s love and hate for her mom, Ed’s desire and guilt, Becca’s confidence and confusion, Andie’s anger and fear. Real people don’t always have their emotions lined up perfectly, and that’s what makes these characters feel so real.
Jefferson’s portrayal of these complex emotions is breathtaking, his story insightful and moving. You might shed a tear or two, but the end will definitely leave your spirit lifted and hopeful.
Katie Bloomer, Book Trib