A family torn apart by war. A love affair that reaches to the sky. And a secret with the power to redeem or destroy them…
Sutter County, California 1972
John Reno returns from Vietnam a disgraced army helicopter pilot wracked by guilt and grief. Homeless and alone he makes his way from one crop-dusting job to the next until he reaches the woman who can grant him redemption or ensure his damnation.
Swampy Callohan is a young widow barely holding on to her crop-dusting company. She flies her trusty old Stearmans from dawn until dusk, desperate to make it in a man’s world of faster, more efficient ag cat planes, but time, technology, and a family on the brink threaten to destroy her.
When John Reno—the best pilot she’s ever seen— arrives one fateful afternoon, she believes Callohan Dusters can be saved. And maybe her heart will be reborn as well. Reno becomes her saving grace until the day she discovers he harbors a secret that just might shatter her whole world.
War is an uninvited guest, like a tornado that leaves destruction in its wake. Anyone who ever went through a war, had loved ones who did, or just had incredible surprise trauma in their lives will identify with the characters of Leaving Lonesome. Young men went off to Vietnam, many of them not by choice, to fight a war whose purpose was unclear, whose value is in doubt even decades later, and either died, or came home shredded, and unrecognizable. John Luke, the captain and war hero, is haunted by the death of his best friend Jimmy, and feels responsible. Jimmy’s premonition of death causes him to give a letter to John – a letter to his wife, Swampy, back home in California, with a promise to deliver it personally. The fulfillment of that promise sets off a chain of events that will both heal and destroy. Paula’s characters are raw and real, the stories ring true, and you’ll be rooting form John and Swampy to the end. The writing is excellent, the characters fully drawn, so real you’ll be looking for how to phone them.
This releases Tuesday, June 30, 2020! Get yours today!