We deviate this week from my primary theme, Christian Apologetics, to introduce my first novel. The theme of Yellowstone’s Child’s is personal identity, how one answers the question, “Who am I?” The story begins when a married couple, Sam and Gloria Graham, chicken farmers from Mississippi, loose their 10-year-old daughter, Sally, to brain cancer. After her death, they plan to sell their Mississippi farm and to move to Nebraska. To help recover from Sally’s death; they take a short vacation in February at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. At the same time, at Yellowstone, three cousins from the Johanson family reunion fall into a river partially fed by hot springs. Two get right out but the third, Sarah, hits her head and floats away on her back downstream. The Grahams rescue her and discover she has complete amnesia. They kidnap her and take back to Mississippi to replace their dead daughter. Park Rangers and Sarah’s family search the river in Yellowstone but do not recover her body. Sarah is eventually declared dead. In Mississippi, the Grahams inherit significant wealth, move to Nebraska, change their identities and move again to Ventura CA as Sam, Gloria, and Sally Johnson. Sarah, now Sally, still with complete amnesia, enters an all girls private school that specializes in preparing girls for careers in movies and TV. She starts in 6th grade at Ventura Private School for Girls and graduates seven years later. During each school year, 6th through 12th, another secret about her identity develops that must be kept from her by her parents. After graduating from VPSG, she earns a BA in Music, Theater, and Dance from Cal State. About to finish her Masters, she has an auto accident, bumps her head and her memory of her life before she was ten years old returns. She obtains a starring role in the TV series DETECTIVES LIVE as Detective Elaine Scott. She confronts her “parents”; they admit to kidnapping her, and she then begins to search for her real identity. She asks, “Who am I? Sarah, Sally, or Elaine. Johanson, Graham, Johnson, or Detective Scott.” She concludes, NO she’s Yellowstone’s Child.
If this story were a movie, it would be rated “G” and is suitable for teens. Readers complain that they weren’t able to put the story down once they got to Yellowstone National Park. There are two underlying messages in Yellowstone’s Child. First, the reader will recognize humankind’s imperfection. All my characters are real people and none of them are perfect or infallible. Second, as the plot unfolds, it shows that life is uncertain and often unpredictable. Since, as a Christian, I won’t use sex or violence to attract readers I opted for drama, plot reversals and “the story” within the story to keep reader interest. One of my first readers complained: “Yellowstone’s Child made me cry five times, twice for sadness, and three times for joy.” It’s that kind of a story! It’ll make an excellent TV miniseries. It contains a timeline and a list of characters to help the reader follow the story.
Charlie is the author of “Always Be Ready to Give an Answer!” which develops an evangelism strategy that gets to the Gospel every time you witness. His second book ANSWERS For “The Hope That Is In You.” contains answers to more than 100 questions skeptics use to try to stump Christians. My third book, “Without 3 Miracles Darwin’s DEAD!” is currently in the final editing process and will be published later this year. http://yourchristiananswers.com
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