Note: The photo above is a picture shows how farming was done in Saskatchewan in 1928 and was found in my grandfather's old photographs.
The Dust and Devils Series
The Dust and Devils series follows Jake Harrow as he rides the rails across Canada in the 1930s, wading through trouble left by the father he never knew and fighting his inner demons.
It is a bit of adventure, history and a story about finding a place to belong.
Books in the Series
1. Dust and Devils (released October 30, 2014) 2. Sin and Salvation (released September 27, 2015) 3. Ghosts and Grifters (released June 27, 2017)
Read more about each book below.
Book 1: DUST AND DEVILS
The cover photograph is used courtesy of the Saskatchewan Archives Board, R-A4823.
"I never shoulda stolen the dead man's coat."
Hunkered down inside a boxcar, racing across the frozen prairie toward Winnipeg in January 1931, that is exactly what Jake Harrow does to save his own life. Inside the pocket of the coat, he finds a woman's cry for help, a note from the dead man's wife pleading with him to return home and save her from a man who wants more than she is willing to give to pay their debts.
But Jake has enough trouble of his own. Driven out of his home by the man he worked for and wading through the hell left by his pa, the last thing he needs is to take on another person's struggle. The letter haunts Jake until his footsteps lead him to Leader, Saskatchewan and the doorstep of Angie Wallace. His only intention is to tell Angie about her husband's death, but he quickly finds himself pulled into the townspeople's troubles where he is forced to weave a web of lies to gain their acceptance.
Will Jake find the home he longs for? Or will he be destroyed by the devils within and without?
“If you want historical fiction and mystery rolled up into one Depression-era yarn, read Rhonda's Dust and Devils. Her descriptive detail and use of Jake's POV are bang-on. I loved reading about Jake's travels and his brushes with the law. Very informative about life during the Great Depression. Looking forward to the next installment!” – Maureen Ulrich, author of the Jessie Mac series
"The author has a vivid imagination and an innate sense of drama. The story enthralls from page one, and has a unique, engaging voice … This book was a contender, and this author has everything she needs to write compelling novels. With a little finessing, her work will truly shine.” – Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
The following reviews are from Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook.
"Excellent read! I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down."
"Awesome book. Read it in 2 days and could not put it down. Can't wait for the next one!"
"This book is an excellent read. It grabbed my interest with the first line and wouldn't let go. Jake is a character that you fall in love with from the get go. You feel for him in his struggles and rejoice with his triumphs and really wish he'd just keep his mouth shut. I loved the book. It ruined me. I stayed up way too late at night because I couldn't put it down."
"I absolutely loved the book and am hoping there will be a sequel to follow! Congratulations and the best of luck to the author."
"The research put into this book is amazing; it's very detailed and I can picture things perfectly. The story captures your interest from the beginning and it's such a quick read because you find it difficult to put down. Very enjoyable and highly recommended!"
"Excellent read!! Well written and riveting story line."
"I really enjoyed this book! It was very engaging, so much so that I read it in 2 evenings because I could not put it down! Well written, easy to read, interesting story! It's educational (historic fiction explains life during the 30s, author put a lot of work into research and there were a few things that I've learned) and vivid! I can't wait for the second book!"
"One of my residents in Assisted Living was looking for a good book. I brought her my copies of "Dust and Devils", and "Sin And Salvation" yesterday. Today she told me, 'I'm almost done with the first book, and it is so good!'"
"Oh dear god! This is the first time I have EVER read a complete book in a day. I honestly could not put it down! You are such an amazing writer! Cannot wait for Sin and Salvation!"
Book 2: SIN AND SALVATION
The cover photo is used courtesy of the Glenbow Archives, NC-6-12955b.
“I just learned that Jacob Harrow has a son. And I’d bet it’d be easier to make the boy talk than his old man.”
Those words, spoken by a stranger in the Edmonton jungle, drive Jake Harrow to leave behind the place he now calls home and set out in earnest on the search for his father. Still battling his own memories that threaten to destroy him, Jake follows the trail from the back streets of Edmonton to the Vancouver shipyards, trying to stay one step ahead of his father's enemies that he now knows are searching for him.
But a chance meeting in Northern Manitoba changes everything, and Jake must decide whether he is willing to sacrifice his own life to save the life of another.
“I am impressed by the consistency of your hero’s voice and also by the focus of the central thread (focus is such a rare thing these days, don’t know why) … Your story pulls a trick that is really hard to do – you made me truly feel for your characters. The last few chapters are a whirlwind of action, and you had me gritting my teeth hoping that the three of them would pull through. Congratulations on an excellent story … I also like that your character has a rich internal life, but not one that overwhelms the external actions of the story. A tricky balance.” – Judge, 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
The following reviews are from Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook.
"I just finished your second book and can't wait for the next one. I hope Jake finds love and peace."
"(My husband) read both of your books in the last three days. His comment, 'Tell Rhonda to hurry up with book three so I can find out what happens to Jake and Precious!'"
"I LOVED the second book. Now to wait for the next one. You are a very good writer."
"I loved the second book even more than the first. The writer delves into the 30's in such a way as to make me want to learn more about them. A true page turner, I couldn't put it down! Jake is such a lovable character and I can't wait to see where he goes from here."
Book 3: Ghosts and Grifters
Cover photo courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1683.
“Once word gets around that this fella is willing to part with a century just to find the boy, he won’t be able to hide long. Every stiff this side of Montreal will be on his tail.”
A century. A C-note. One hundred dollars. A price on Jake Harrow’s head that a hell of a lot of men are going to try to collect.
When he left the relative safety of the little farm near Leader, Jake planned to be gone only long enough to confirm that Paul Delora was dead. Instead he finds himself with a head tax paid for by a man with deep pockets and an even deeper grudge.
That’s when Jake makes a desperate decision. In spite of the stories he’s heard about his old man, he gets back on the trail of his pa, the only man in the world he’s sure can take Delora down in a fight. While an unlikely partnership with an old acquaintance brings him closer to his goal, the more Jake searches, the less he likes what he finds. Because Jake’s hunt for the biggest grifter in his life will force him to travel down dark paths in his own heart and dig up ghosts that he thought were too well hidden to find.
Reader Reviews of "Ghosts and Grifters"
.The following reviews are from Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook.
"Finished your third book. Could hardly put it down. Is there going to be a fourth? Love the series."