Twenty Miles West of Branch, Texas and other stories

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From a desert highway in West Texas to the plains of frontier Kansas to an abandoned mine in New Mexico, from a courtroom to a high school girls’ speech contest to a nursing home, from the side yard of a suburban home to a youth revival to the halls of an urban high school, K.C. Knouse puts the main characters of the thirteen short stories and novella included in this collection into circumstances that challenge assumptions they have made about themselves, their lives, and the world in which they live:

The mother who is estranged from her son.
The young woman who has doubts about her relationship with an older man.
The widower who struggles to accept the death of his wife.
The young man who is fearful of becoming his abusive father.
The homesteader who fights to redeem his pride.
The aging salesman whose livelihood is threatened by technology.
The father who relives his past at the expense of his relationship with his son.
The boy who discovers that having money creates as many problems as it solves.
The veteran teacher who crosses an emotional boundary in spite of herself.
The teenage boy whose relationship with God is complicated by a pretty girl and a misunderstanding.
The woman who doubts her decision to put her husband into a nursing home.
The man whose faith in the justice system is shaken.
The high school girl who is self-conscious about a birthmark on her face.
The middle-aged insurance adjuster who receives more than he bargained for when he comes to the aid of an attractive woman.

K.C. Knouse uses compassion, humor and an eye for detail to bring these characters to life and bind their stories to your heart.

The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming (Book One: Theory)

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WINNER OF THE 2019 READERVIEWS AWARD FOR FANTASY!

FINALIST FOR THE WISHING SHELF AWARDS!

“Life is transformation. You change or you die.”

Ashamed of his past and overwhelmed by his future, Ronoah Genoveffa Elizzi-denna Pilanovani feels too small for his own name. After a graceless exit from his homeland in the Acharrioni desert, his anxiety has sabotaged every attempt at redemption. Asides from a fiery devotion to his godling, the one piece of home he brought with him, he has nothing.

That is, until he meets Reilin. Beguiling, bewildering Reilin, who whisks Ronoah up into a cross-continental pilgrimage to the most sacred place on the planet. The people they encounter on the way—children of the sea, a priestess and her band of storytellers, the lonely ghosts of monsters—are grim and whimsical in equal measure. Each has their part to play in rewriting Ronoah’s personal narrative.

One part fantasy travelogue, one part emotional underworld journey, The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming is a sumptuous, slow-burning story about stories and the way they shape our lives.