I am happy to introduce something new. I’ve tried my hand at short fiction and realized I’m too longwinded. On the other hand, I’m getting lazier and don’t want to write long novels anymore. Luckily, there is something in between and it’s called a “novella.” Sort of a short novel.
“Sparring Partners” is a collection of my first three novellas.
The first story is “Homecoming,” and it takes place in Ford County, the setting of several of my longer novels. Our well-known hero, Jake Brigance, is secretly contacted by an old friend, a disgraced lawyer named Mack Stafford. Three years earlier Mack fled Clanton, but not before taking some money that wasn’t his, then filing for divorce and bankruptcy. In short, Mack cracked up and ran away. Now he wants to return, with Jake’s help, and nothing about his homecoming goes as planned.
In “Strawberry Moon,” Cody Wallace is on death row and has three hours to live. His appeals are over, the courts have turned him down, the Governor has denied clemency. At 29, he will be the youngest person ever executed in the state. He will also be the most literate -having read thousands of books in solitary confinement.
The “Sparring Partners” are two brothers who inherited a once prosperous law firm built by their father. He’s now in prison. The brothers loathe one another and speak only when necessary. Diantha, their trusted associate, keeps the firm afloat, but she must soon decide whether to go down with the ship or save herself.
I hope you enjoy my second effort at shorter fiction.
Thanks for your loyalty.
Jake Brigance returns; a death row inmate makes an unusual final request; a dysfunctional legal family gets their day in court—but maybe not the way they envisioned it.