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Coming of Age Fiction

Last Ride

Pam crouch last ride
By Pam Crouch

Inspired by a 1975 cold case, Last Ride is a coming of age, dramatized fiction of love, obsession, betrayal, and murder.
Vicky was only seven when forced to leave two loving grandparents and move into her stepfather’s house with a mother she barely knew. Neglected, and by the age of thirteen, she’s unwanted, vulnerable, and betrayed by a body that matured too soon. Trapped in a world she doesn't understand, she finds comfort in drugs, alcohol, and a budding relationship with the boy across the street. But what chance could they possibly have when the cop chosen to protect her is determined to keep them apart?

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Front book cover
By Christian Pascale

This collection of stories presents a mixture of truth and fiction akin to J.D. Salinger’s "Catcher in the Rye” or John Glassco’s “Memoirs of Montparnasse.”

Sometimes told in the third person and sometimes in first person, the stories have several common themes that reverberate through them. The first series of stories include the themes of innocence, coming of age, finding oneself, being a loner, learning not to judge others, the need for companionship, how to face death, the afterlife, disillusionment with religion, and can we make a difference in this world.
The second series follows a young man’s experiences in France. They explore the expat life of a youth who goes in search of adventure and self-knowledge and describe his quest to find himself. In them, he falls in love with a city, deals with jealousy and unrequited love, survives and thrives as a tennis coach, and finally learns a truth that takes him back to the original memories.

In the last section, four stories, all told in the third person, explore the life of diplomats living in imaginary countries. The stories address social issues such as corruption and violence, and the main characters must come to terms with the paradox of encountering wonderful people living in corrupt and violent societies.

I believe that writing is a way of communication with the wider world and a means to transmit something of what we have experienced. Each new experience contributes to who we are, and I would not be who I am without having lived and loved and met such a wide variety of characters. Although some of the stories are not completely true to life's experiences, they are based on what I have seen, a reality sometimes time ugly, but often wonderful and beautiful. Each experience taught me something of life's basic values. Without the ability to cherish what is good in ourselves and others we have nothing. So I write because I cannot afford not to write, just as I cannot afford not to breathe. When I write, I draw on what is within my soul, an essence which pours out and hopefully allows me to touch the soul of the reader.

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