Ruel Black's upbringing in the oil fields of North America was far from normal, but when his father's abrupt death dumps Ruel into the middle-class life of his birth mother and her family, things only get stranger. Now, without an education or social skills, Ruel must find a way to remain himself while the round peg of his past is forced into the square hole of his new reality.
Sometimes humorous and sometimes poignant, Joe Taught Me That is a social outcast's stirring journey to overcome the obstacles society throws in his path and become accepted for who he is.
MysteriesAction & AdventureFantasyTeen & Young Adult
BIOGRAPHY As a small child, I lived on a cattle ranch in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, a ranch without indoor plumbing or running water. My grandfather was a trapper, a hunting guide, a fence-building contractor, a rancher, a cowboy, and whatever other occupation was needed to support his family. One of my favorite memories, and now one of my children's favorite memories, is listening to my father's stories of living in the isolation of these beautiful mountains, stories such as riding ten-miles into town on horseback twice a week to pick up the mail when he was barely ten-years-old and hunting for elk and deer so the family had meat for the winter. This rugged life-style was an important part of my formative years, and is a huge influence on my writing.
I was the only girl in a family of boys - lots of boys if you count all my brothers' friends - so I was definitely not a girly girl. I spent a lot of my childhood herding cattle, bucking bales, building fence, and helping not-very-bright heifers birth their calves. I spent many summers riding around with my father when he worked for the Forest Service. My one childhood regret was I never got to man a lookout tower to watch for forest fires.
I grew up reading westerns and Alistair MacLean thrillers, then moved on to other espionage stories and mysteries. I like action, so when I picked up the proverbial pen - which is actually my iPad - and began to write again after a decades-long hiatus from the creative writing I enjoyed as a kid, I began by writing action. I write about boys and men of honor, courage, and commitment. Men who face the challenges life barrages them with and come through the other side maybe changed but still whole, with their sense of humor and their souls intact.
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