Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Trials and Trails by Jim Halverson

Book Details:

Book Title: Trials and Trails by Jim Halverson

Category: Adult Fiction, 276 pages

Genre: Western, Historical Fiction

Publisher: Gail Force Publishing

Release date: January 2019

Tour dates: March 4 to 29, 2019

Content Rating: PG (The only "bad" word is the phrase "shit for brains" and it is used a single time. No sex scenes)

Book Description:

With a past of slavery and compliance, LeRoy has learned to pick his battles carefully. Johnny B, a quick-tempered Sioux, is still learning to control his anger. When dangerous circumstances bond them together, the pair learn to navigate Reconstruction Era America and all its prejudices. They save an innocent man from hanging, reunite two old friends, assist in an honorable death for an elder Indian, and discover their worth as they steadily assimilate self-respect into their lives.

From Jim Halverson’s debut novel comes a tale of adventure, purpose, and the pursuit of self-actualization. Cowboys and psychology ride hand in hand, traveling a journey from living life on the edge to finding a place of belonging, joy, vulnerability, and distinction. Through trials along their trails, LeRoy and Johnny B transform people they meet, brand the world a better place, and reap the benefits.

To read reviews, please follow the tour on Jim Halverson's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

Interview with Jim Halverson
  1. In your book, Leroy said, ‘It would be good if more white men followed suit, but I don’t condemn them for not coming forward.’ Why is that?
LeRoy is honest and understands the world he lives in. Men, and women, live within peer groups. It takes courage to step away from your support group, your peers, your friends. Unfortunately, in 1873, and now, not enough people have the courage to risk alienating their friends, peers, and support characters to help someone in need. After LeRoy explained his thoughts, Johnny B established the challenge all Americans should face today when he said, ‘he wouldn’t give the same nickel for a man that won’t look in the mirror and try to consider a change.’
I want the book to scream these questions. Are you willing to help? Are you willing to change? Ae you strong enough to look in the mirror and consider a change?

  1. What made you write a book about the struggles of two men of color in a western setting?
Let me answer that question with a list.
  1. A very personal experience that I live with every day since high school.
  2. Disgust with childish television cowboys with racially stereotyped sidekicks like the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Cisco Kid and Poncho, etc. Note that John and Lee are equal in every way, gentlemen, and dignified. Their story does not necessitate shoot outs in the streets or fist fights in every saloon.
  3. The struggles and rewards John and Lee found in 1873 are still valid today.
  4. Most of the frames in this framed journey were fun to write.
  5. Like LBJ said when he solicited help for social reforms-‘It’s the right thing to do.’

  1. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Current events are great motivators, but a mere recapitulation is boring, especially to a reader that read the same article. Personal experiences without relevance to the environment are also boring. But current events that support or conflict with my experiences or personal beliefs can make me move. Sometimes, I even move enough to write about it.

  1. If I could go back in time?
If I was offered only one time in place and time I could return, I would probably miss the bus trying to decide. There is so much history I would like to understand, everything from creation to brain research. How could anyone pass up the opportunity to watch geologic processes in action over billions of years. Okay, that’s not one time or place, but it would be interesting. Just as interesting would be a Darwinian look at evolution from trilobites, dinosaurs, to homo sapiens.
Some interesting options for a single time and place would include: Athens about 400 BCE; Rome about 100 BCE; Boston 1776. Firsthand knowledge of these times would provide a background for our current thinking. If I could cite specific conversations with individuals from those times, I would be able to write with much more authority. As it is, we can only speculate on all the factors involved in the decisions they made.
“How about reliving my life with the option of changing a few things-very few.” I wrote that out quickly, then I thought about it and added the addendum “very few.” I realized that with those very few exceptions, I like who I am and what I’ve done.  

  1. Main character?
The main characters, two men of color, are equals. They seek equality from the rest of the world. They are good-willed, dignified, non-vindictive, and refuse to let prejudices defeat them.
I didn’t write the main characters into the mold of a specific person, but the question points to a modern-day hero, U.S. Representative John Lewis (D Georgia). He suffered, overcame, and earned the benefits of a life well lived.
Like John and Lee, the good guy(s) won.   

  1. What inspired you to write the book?
The inspiration for this book emanates from memories I wake up with every day of my life. As a high school sophomore, I was one of the football team’s best players. One of the few times I took a game break, I sat next to a black team mate who rarely played, but who was still a team mate. Instead of exhibiting sportsmanship, I shouted a racial slur in a reaction that has bothered me daily for sixty years. I have always known that I had helped tilt the playing field against him and all people of color.
Until I began to develop the concept for Trials and Trails, I only wished I could ‘make it right.’ If the book helps one person of color overcome the effects of white privilege, if the book opens the eyes of one white person, or if the book opens a dialogue, I will consider it a success. For now, Trials and Trails is my attempt at acknowledging that I could have done more—we can all do more.

  1. Favorite travel spots
My favorite travel spots? Norway or Alaska. Both Norway and Alaska offer pristine wild and open landscapes. Norwegians are well governed, civilized, educated, and pleasant. I have enjoyed my trips to the fjords, Oslo, Bergen, and Svalbard.
Alaska is still wild and open. The wildlife is available, and I have enjoyed photographing wild things in natural settings. Climbing glaciers and rafting down untamed white-water rivers are beyond me now, but I have those memories.
Notice that both Norway and Alaska are relatively, cool with flowing fresh water, oceans, ice, and fresh air. Just a few of my favorite things.

  1. There are many books out there about: The West, Psychology, Race Relations, Social Conscience, Horse Training, and Adventure. What makes yours different?

True, very true. There are a lot of books out there about all the above. But to get all the above you would have to read as many as three, four, or even five of them. You can get it all right here with one stop.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 5, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for sharing your book with us and for the giveaway as well.

  2. The book cover is eye-catching and the synopsis and excerpt intriguing. I am looking forward to reading.