07 June 2019

Midheaven By Ken Kuhlken Book Spotlight!

ISBN-10: 1719585776
ISBN-13: 978-1719585774
Publisher: CreateSpace
August 14, 2018, 286 pages
Genre: Christian fiction

Also available for Kindle

Midheaven, Ken Kuhlken’s first novel, was originally published by Viking Press. The haunting story, set in and around the exquisite Lake Tahoe basin, is told through the mind of a precocious seventeen-year-old torn between her quest for God and her love for a man. In the early 1970's, high school senior Jodi McGee turns from drugs and boys to Christ, but soon thereafter falls for her English teacher. As a result, tragedies test her will, her faith, and her sanity. 

Anne Tyler, as Chair of the Ernest Hemingway Award selection committee, wrote, "The pace, clarity and assurance of Midheaven made it a pleasure to read."

From Kirkus Reviews: "Kuhlken has, with Jodi, created a character new to us--the born again adolescent who’s in-the-know--and he provides her with grit and honesty."

Novelist Andy Straka commented, "Midheaven is one of those rare gems of a novel that sneaks up on you and nestles in your soul. I especially enjoyed the setting and character development. The sun-dappled mountains and cold water beauty of Lake Tahoe hold too many secrets for a teenage girl to bear. Jodi is a character you won't soon forget."

Ken Kuhlken

Some of Ken’s favorites are early mornings, the desert in spring, kind and honest people, baseball and other sports played by those who don’t take themselves too seriously, most kids, and films he and his Zoe can enjoy together.
He reads classic novels, philosophy, theology, and all sorts of mysteries. On his blog, he offers some hard truths and encouragement about living as a writer.
He has long been the author of novels, stories, articles, poems, and essays. Lots of honors have come his way, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; Poets, Essayists and Novelist’s Ernest Hemingway Award; Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel and Shamus Best Novel; and several San Diego and Los Angeles Book Awards.
Though he advocates beer in a video, he actually prefers Scotch.
He also posts regularly on his own blog, and sort of preaches for Perelandra College.
 My name is Jodi. I live alone on the western slope of the Carson Range, five miles up the mountain from the highway between Incline and South Tahoe. Each morning I climb the hill and watch the tour boat make its turn toward Emerald Bay. It cuts a wake through the choppy water, surrounds itself in foam and sets a straight course southwest toward the peaks called Desolation. There the snow has stayed all summer, a dozen shades of red when sunset meets the fog from the lake. It will be there in the last days, when the earth is scorched and the rivers boil. And halfway up Mount Tallac is a cross of snow all through the year.
Charley's dad built this cabin where I'm hiding. It lies pinched between a hill and two mossy boulders and a row of second growth fir with a meadow beyond. Vines that begin on the hillside cover the roof and drape the southern window, which looks out on the meadow, and take second root between the granite stones in the path around the cabin.
The cabin is split pine and fir logs and scrap boards and windows Charley's dad salvaged and dragged up the mountain. It has a loft in one end where I sleep. The land is Toiyabe National Forest, but loggers have been here; they cut down the big trees years ago, all the way up to Marlette Lake, and the road has washes and fallen stumps only hikers can cross. In daylight I draw a tarp over the window so no one who might pass on the creek road can see the glass reflecting.
No one besides Charley will find me here.
A cast-iron stove and a mat on crates and plywood fill the end of the cabin near the door, opposite the loft. It's a small room, about fifteen feet long and ten feet wide. The floor is bare split pine with splinters, and the cracks in the wall have never been caulked. I fill them with rags and socks and cardboard but the wind always finds more entries.
Charley brought me a little girl's mirror with a pink frame and handle. Sometimes at nights I sit by the fire and stare at myself. Once boys thought I was pretty. My legs are long and my eyes are large and nearly black, so people used to notice them and not see that my nose is too thin and curls up too much at the end and that my lips are flat and wide and there is a gap between my two front teeth, which always made me slow to smile. I used to be tan but now I'm just dark; my skin is cracked and dirty and I never comb my hair. I should cut it off. I'm very ugly, but I don't care. No one will come up to see me but Charley, unless it's to capture me and lock me away wherever they put killers.

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