The River Never Ceases

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(Coming in Spring of 2019)

The River Never Ceases

Noah has finally gotten himself under control. With the help of his friends, he’s not only clean and sober, but he’s carved out a new and good life for himself in Buffalo, New York. But when he finds himself entrapped in an ill-advised relationship with a woman from a powerful and dangerous crime family, he lets his demons run free again. This causes his life to unravel so quickly and completely that he has no other option than to flee from his troubles.

As he paddles his canoe on the Allegheny, the river begins to wash the toxins from him. The beauty of the surrounding wilderness and the challenges of traveling alone in an open boat help him start the healing process. After being struck down by a debilitating sickness, he’s nursed back to health by a mysterious young pregnant woman who turns out to have as burdened a past as him. And since they’re both on the run, they decide to continue down the river…together.

When they enter the mighty Ohio, Becca and Noah find themselves paddling through a much bigger world. The towns, the locks and dams, the towboats and barges, and the trials and tribulations of river life – each of these grows in size the farther that they travel. And, all the while, they’re so sure that their pursuers are nipping at their heels that they don’t dare stop. As they continue to overcome every obstacle and challenge thrown at them, Becca and Noah fall in love and begin to dream of a new beginning together. But just as they are about to embark on a new path, their troubles do catch up to them.

If they’re going to survive and get free from their pasts, Noah needs to decide whether Becca is the diviner and agent of their shared future together or the author of his demise. And whether he knows it or not, he’s part of a plan that has been unfurling since the two of them first met.

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Excerpts

The River Never Ceases:

“Right after the lock, they went around an easy bend in the river and came to a massive power plant. While Noah pointed out the four smokestacks belching white smoke into the air, Becca was more impressed by the number of barges of coal that were being unloaded by gigantic scoops onto conveyor belts that lead straight into the power plant. They both stared in awe as the last barge of a twenty barge tow was emptied and a towboat began to move it out of the way so that another, bigger towboat could come in with another tow to be emptied by the scoops. Noah wondered if this choreographed dance of consumption ever ceased, but the massive flood lights around the control tower indicated that it didn’t – this was a twenty four hour operation.

Later, they sat on the bluff and watched the river flow past. As they cuddled together, Becca said softly, “Are you as happy as I am right now, Noah?”

“Yeah, I think I am. And that makes me feel guilty. I’m not sure I deserve to be happy, so I’ve struggled with what has been happening lately. I spent some time in the canoe today thinking about it all, but I’m not going to try to figure it out or defend it anymore. The fact is, I’m excited beyond words to be doing something like this with you. The river isn’t very pretty through this stretch, but I don’t care because I’m with you. Today was a boring and dull day, but I enjoyed myself.”

“Boring and dull? I wouldn’t say that! The river valley twisted this way and that way, and there were pretty little towns far up in them hills that looked down on the river like spiders in their webs. But seeing all them factories and industry that they’ve got on this river made me think about how badly we’ve messed up God’s work. No wonder He is so mad with us and punishes us so frequently. We humans have taken His beautiful world and turned it into an avenue of our own greed and carelessness. After seeing what we saw today, I even wondered if mankind’s been wicked enough to deserve to be punished again.”

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