It’s the summer of ’76, and Steven Paul is days shy of his 17th birthday when he hooks up with his oddball friends for a day in their local West Austin, Tarrytown park. The plan is simple – the consumption of cold beer, cheap weed and a large Conan’s pizza.
All’s well in the exclusive park when a seemingly frail bull terrier catches the boys’ attention. This dog is an oddity, for stray dogs do not exist in this part of town. High and their curiosity piqued by this abnormality, the boys feel compelled to investigate.
The timid and skittish dog leads Steven Paul into a ransacked house next to the park and onto a crime scene that sets into motion a string of events with far-reaching consequences.
It’s survival of the fittest.
A Texas oil tycoon’s daughter is held hostage in a villa outside Rio de Janeiro and both the US and Brazilian governments are unable or unwilling to do anything to help.
A black, Austin City detective named Williams may have an unorthodox solution. Through his investigation of unrelated crimes in the exclusive West Austin Tarrytown neighborhood, he has come to know and respect a young scofflaw named Steven Paul. He believes this young man and his motley crew may be the answer to the prayers of his fellow church-going friend, the girl’s father, and he decides to make the introduction.
Only 2,000 miles and a strongman separate Steven Paul and his crew of youngsters from success in their mission.
It’s the summer of ’76 and a nice Cuban family living in exile in Austin, Texas is thrilled when their teenage daughter is befriended by another teenage Cuban girl. It’s a happy time for all until their once-lovely daughter turns moody, distant, disturbed, and finally disappears. Their one-and-only clue is an impound notice for her abandoned car. Distraught, the family turns to their churchgoing friend, Detective Williams, an Austin PD investigator. The bad news is, their daughter is of age and so there is little he can do officially. Yet, he thinks he can help by introducing them to a resourceful West Austin teen he’s recently befriended. With introductions made, everyone hopes that the wayward teenager will simply be found and convinced to return home. This hope fades as Steven Paul’s seemingly simple quest turns deadly.
The summer of ’76 continues. Battered and bruised, Steven Paul seeks only relaxation when he makes a promise, in jest, to the beautiful West Austin woman with whom he’s infatuated–a promise in which if certain events were to occur, he’d join forces with the lovely, headstrong woman in her desire to bring about change in the nefarious international business of dealing in poached animal parts. In making the promise, Steven Paul is secure in the knowledge he has a better chance of being struck by lightning. But then, lightning strikes. Steven Paul, the young woman, and his crew are off on an inane mission to make a difference. The mission leads them to Central America and they soon learn that poaching is indeed a deadly business.
Candy, the current headstrong love of Austin Texas teen Steven Paul, is determined to make a difference when she signs up for a 30-day stint aboard the Greenpeace ship, The Manatee. Her goal is to help bring to the world’s attention the cruel business of shark fin harvesting. Candy promises to call from every port.
A call does come, but not from Candy. A local Austin newswoman, Stacey Keys, brings the devastating news–Candy’s been plucked from the ship by unknown kidnappers leaving Steven Paul no choice. He has to gather his crew to find and rescue Candy based upon the barest of clues. Steven Paul and crew set off in what turns out to be an odyssey rife with peril.
After suffering a non-life threatening, but nevertheless, traumatic head injury, a period of Candy’s memory is missing; the period that includes her relationship with Austin teen Steven Paul.
Steven Paul’s devastated. The love of his life only remembers him as a young rebel and menace in the neighborhood. Reluctantly, he leaves Candy in Miami in the care of Jane, the sister Candy’s never had, to rest and hopefully recover her memory. He then departs for Georgia to a planned visit with his dad.
The calls to Jane become increasingly disturbing. Candy’s purchased a pistol and disappeared–the only clue is that she’s boarded a non-stop flight to Las Vegas and to the place that has meant nothing but bad news for Candy. So much for Steven Paul’s own much-needed rest and recuperation.
The Eddie Winston Series
Personable and handsome Eddie Winston’s life has been in a downward spiral ever since the love of his life, Holly Austin, vanished without a trace. But for the love of his dog, Bobo, Eddie would lack the will to live. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t blame himself for Holly’s disappearance.
Is there a chance for redemption? Is there a chance to find love again? Or is life only setting him up for history to repeat itself?
Then, the unthinkable happens; his past comes back to haunt the happy life he wants to live. Someone, somewhere in the city has a secret and it’s hidden in the attic.
An innocuous shopping trip goes awry when Eddie Winston and Detective Amy Foster find themselves in the midst of a crime in progress. A crime that on its face has all the hallmarks of human trafficking.
Having recently survived a harrowing ordeal, Eddie and Amy plan to share what little they know with the local police and continue on with their day. But such is not to be and they soon find themselves once more in the crosshairs and their plans by necessity morph into a mission – a mission to solve a mystery and to stay alive.
Note from the author: Though the Steven Paul Novels are written as a series, they need not necessarily be read in order.
Historical Note: The author's childhood home, as depicted in Hindsight and throughout the novels, was subsequently used in the filming of "The Tree of Life" starring Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.