The River Series

A Closer Look at "The River Series" Novels

I can hardly believe that it’s time to start writing the third and final book in The River Series! I’m so excited to get started on this one!
But, before I jump ahead of myself, I’d like to take a moment to compare and contrast the first two novels, Bordertown Gypsy and Lynchtown Wolf. Although they are two parts of a chronological story, they vary greatly from one another both in pace and ambiance. The following will show you the structure behind the scenes of each book- but I promise not to include any spoilers!
Bordertown Gypsy is the first book in The River Series. A fast-paced novel, it covers the span of nearly 6 years and there are few slow moments. Immediately, it shows how bad things- or, at the very least, unexpected things- happen in the lives of the characters, and it further shows how they respond, often (like us) trying to control the situation only to find that it’s out of their control and that their efforts, at times, have made the situation worse. Then, in contrast, the story takes a turn in which we now see God enter the picture, and things begin look more promising for the protagonist, although the situation is still nail-biting and, by the end, utterly left undone. Bordertown Gypsy has some moments which graze the bottom of our threshold for what makes us comfortable, but it hardly diverges into the territory of the things that make us squirm in our seats. Many of the reviews I’ve received have been to the tune of “I couldn’t put it down” or “I read it in two days”.

Lynchtown Wolf, conversely, is a slowing down of time (covering roughly 2 months), and delivers a sense of feeling the feelings, sitting with the characters in their emotions, learning what makes them the way they are. Dutifully, it wraps up the cliffhanger left in the previous novel and brings closure to several doors that were left open. God’s hand is evident throughout the book. Being the middle book of The River Series, Lynchtown Wolf follows a chiastic pattern in which two characters metaphorically switch places throughout the course of the book- and this actually happens to two pairs of characters. Like Bordertown Gypsy, Lynchtown Wolf has a prominent turn in the middle, a climax of sorts that shifts the direction of the story. By the end, you feel as though an entirely different plot is unfolding, which is the segue into the next novel, Rivertown Crooner. There are moments in this novel that will make you cringe with discomfort, but the instances are short-lived, I never use foul language and, oftentimes, I use euphemisms. I don’t yet have any reviews for Lynchtown Wolf, but I feel certain they will have a different vibe than the reviews for Bordertown Gypsy, as the two books differ from each other in noticeable ways.

For a sneak peek at Rivertown Crooner, the final book in The River Series, read on.
Rivertown Crooner is not only a continuation of the plot and themes that have been carried through from page one of Bordertown Gypsy, but it is a story of redemption. The pace of the book is a happy medium between the pace of its predecessors, however, by the end, it gets into the 1930s, which means it’ll cover a greater span of time than either of the ones before it. While a portion of the book takes place in Fort Smith, the rest is set out of state. Several new characters will be introduced, both antagonists and not. Like the two novels before it, it will include both fictional and nonfictional characters, and I think you’ll be surprised to recognize a couple of the nonfictional characters and events. By the end of the book, I hope readers feel an immense amount of closure and have gained a greater awareness of how God moves and works in our lives, through the good and the bad, as well as feel they had an enjoyable experience reading the series.

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