C3 Publications

In the Wake of Our Misdeed

In the Wake of Our Misdeed - bookcover

A novel by George Byron Wright

In the wee hours of a November morning in 2007, a truckload of recycled cars forces an SUV into the dark waters of Hood Canal. The passengers, Carson Barrus and his wife Naomi, submerge carrying all of their discontent with them. Carson frees himself from the sinking vehicle and crawls out of the canal knowing his wife is dead. From the shadows, he bears witness to his own death before disappearing into the darkness.

He drifts into Oregon, where he is taken in by an unlikely set of allies in Wasco County at a place called The Dalles. There he assumes a new identity and sets out in search of a child born somewhere in Oklahoma four years earlier: a child he’s never seen, a boy born to his baby sister, Aleta, a child she wasn’t allowed to keep—and with her suicide, a child who will never know his mother’s touch.

Carson’s latent obsession over his sister’s child pushes aside all logic. He’s been given an unrestrained moment to do what he should have done back when it mattered. Behind the mask of his supposed death, he proceeds to right a wrong.

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In every life there are incidents in the past that one wished could be erased, but of course they cannot be so. They remain in our memory to taunt us. Such is the case in my novel IN THE WAKE OF OUR MISDEED. Carson Barrus has been living for years with a coward’s remorse over the miserable life and suicidal death of his baby sister. In fact the entirety of his family shares in her misery and demise. Only from the anonymity of his own death does he summon the courage to set out to rub away the misdeed that has haunted him.

In searching for an epigraph to set the tone for this story, I found one that speaks to me about what I am trying to bring out of this story. I hope it resonates with you as well. It is from Jalal ad-Din Rumi the 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi  mystic.
 
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” 
        
I hope to meet you there as you read IN THE WAKE OF OUR MISDEED.


Newport Blues, A

Salesman’s Lament

Newport Blues

A novel by George Byron Wright

When Jonesy Jones, the only salesman for Beeman’s International, drops dead, Sidney Lister is forced to fill the dead man’s shoes. Sidney is a ground-down ex-salesman who has been reduced to working as a shipping clerk for the small import gift business and is barely getting by. After Jonesy’s death, Sidney cleans out the cigar-fumed company Cadillac and begins a sales run down the Oregon Coast, announcing Jonesy’s demise at every stop. Reactions are often surprising, even bizarre. At the same time, Sidney is being hunted down by a man from his past who suddenly wants him dead. In this journey through Jonesy’s world, along with visits to a lustful ex-wife and a chance meeting of the most beautiful girl from his high school days, Sidney is making one last grasp for life’s brass ring and hoping to live to enjoy it.

Testimonials

“Want to know how a salesman lives…and almost dies? Read this book. Wright expertly weaves a compelling tale of intrigue and suspense, and surprises at every turn. I couldn’t put it down.”

—Gregory Nokes, Author of Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon

“George Byron Wright has produced a precociously entertaining book full of beleaguered yet beguiling characters who almost belong at the Oregon Coast.”

—Matt Love, Author of Gimme Refuge and Super Sunday in Newport

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Driving to Vernonia

Driving to Vernonia

A novel by George Byron Wright

Edmund Kirby-Smith's life is in ruins. He thinks the way back from his rage and despair is to find Richard Vickerman, a man who used to have answers. Set in the northwest, Driving to Vernonia is a penetrating story of deprivation, laced with love and anger, violence and self-discovery.

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Roseburg 1959

Roseburg 1959

A novel by George Byron Wright

When a town blows up!

On August 7, 1959, at 1:14 a.m., a truckload of explosives blows up, gutting twelve square blocks of downtown Roseburg, Oregon. Ross Bagby stands at the edge the conflagration unaware that his so-called life has also just gone up in the flames. Ross's often humiliating marriage to the granddaughter of timber baron Jonah Armbruster is already an exercise of placid endurance.

But when war hero Colonel Gordon Butler McKenzie, the figurehead director of the Armbruster charitable foundation, is with the wrong woman when the town explodes, Ross inherits complications he could never have imagined. A piece of shrapnel puts the Colonel in a coma and Ross, as his assistant, is appointed to replace him. Things immediately get messy when a belligerent board member accuses Ross of embezzling foundation funds.

While Ross vents his denial of the theft, the woman the Colonel was with turns up pregnant. Things darken further when Ross receives anonymous letters decrying the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women by men in positions of influence. The desperate letters are pleas for Ross to act on their behalf, to make the abuse go away so the women can have their lives back. Along with his own infatuation with a young waitress, Ross faces layers of adversity such as he has never known. In the days ahead, he will discover what he's made of.

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Tillamook 1952

Tillamook 1952

A novel by George Byron Wright

Praise for TILLAMOOK 1952

When the forest explodes . . .

On August 24, 1933, Verlin Victory Lundigun, 32, catches a piece of pitch-fired flaming tree trunk with his face. He is one warrior among thousands fighting the fiercest forest fire in U.S. history—the infamous Tillamook Burn. Verlin lives that day but is horribly scarred. He shields himself from the world with a black mask that cannot hide his rage. Nine months later he is dead from a gunshot.

Verlin’s death is accepted as accidental until his sister Iris dies in 1952. It is then that Iris’ youngest son makes a discovery that compels him to search for how and why his uncle died. Lou Kallander’s quest rekindles old suspicions, guilt and his own long-dormant sense of self.

When Lou confronts the people he thinks have insights into his uncle’s death, they are not willing partners in his quest. His siblings, likewise, are opposed to Lou mucking around in the sour backwaters of the family’s past. He also meets a woman who is housesitting the family home. They become attracted to each other — but not without complications.

TILLAMOOK 1952 is about sibling introspection, the pain of friendship, and a search for absolution.

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Baker City 1948

Baker City 1948

A novel by George Byron Wright

Available in stores and online now

“Reading about the gruesome death of someone you knew was like accidentally seeing your mother naked; it was too private, but you couldn’t take it back.”

In January 1948, nine-year-old Philip Wade and his little brother David, move to the small Eastern Oregon town of Baker City where their father, Kenneth Wade, is about to begin his career as a mortician. In the spring, Philip’s father hires Jack O’Brien, a local recluse, to help him put on a new roof on their house.

Three weeks later, a local schoolteacher is found beaten to death and Jack O’Brien is accused of her murder. Kenneth Wade is the only person who advocates on O’Brien’s behalf—fully believing the man to be innocent. Philip is a spellbound spectator and narrator of his father’s consuming struggle to save a man he barely knows. Conversely he witnesses his mother, Margaret Wade, demonstrate a quiet determination to keep the specter of violence from distorting the lives of her sons.

Twisted into the father’s fixation to wrest Jack O’Brien from custody, is the relentless memory of a boyhood friend who, when wrongly accused of a killing, hung himself in his jail cell. This long ago horror is key to Kenneth Wade’s motivation—he is caught up in the terrible present because of a past that will not let him go.

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