Happy Monday! Since we're about to end August (and for many of us, our summer's), as well as starting the week, what better story to take a look at than "Endings and Beginnings" by Hosted Author Viv. Enjoy!
Reviewed by: Trebs
Word Count: 10,442
Endings and Beginnings is the first of a series for Viv's "Underneath This Big Ol' Sky". In Spring of 2007, GayAuthors had an anthology of "Endings and Beginnings", and Viv submitted this with future chapters coming out in other anthologies through Spring 2008. I've seen other authors put out connected stories in connection with our anthology themes, and Viv really maintains both the story as well as the anthology theme very well.
This first story sets the scene so beautifully. Tracey Marshall is a young man who is both angry and sad. He lost his mom a couple of years prior, and his dad has totally replaced her with a new bride. In a drunken night, he drives off and eventually ends up destroying part of the fence around the Kingsman property, as well as finally crashing and leaving a gaping hole in the Kingsman's barn.
Pauline Kingsman runs her ranch with the aid of her 19-year-old children Caty and Casey, as well as hired hand Will. Without any other resources to make reparations to Pauline, a judge orders Tracey to work on the ranch until all of the repairs are done. Though contrite, this closeness causes obvious tensions at the ranch but Pauline is practical and knows this is the only way she'll get her ranch back to shape in a timely manner.
Viv writes very fully developed characters, each with their own backgrounds and motivations. I haven't finished all five of these Underneath This Big Ol' Sky stories yet, but by the third story, I am thoroughly enchanted and loving this tale of Tracey and the Kingsman ranch.