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A Night to Remember
by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey
About A Night to Remember
A Night to Remember An Adairsville Heritage Mystery
2nd in series
Setting – Georgia
CrossLink Publishing (September 14, 2022)
Paperback : 209 pages
ISBN-10 : 1633574229
ISBN-13 : 978-1633574229
Digital ASIN : B09Z1L8YL7
Riley Gordan is back in Adairsville, Georgia anticipating a leisurely vacation from the rigors of law school with her college friend, Trish. Then, as part of a political plot, one of her Sunday School girls is kidnapped. Stumbling upon the abduction, Riley and her friends are drawn headfirst into a search for the girl.
Their probe leads them into a fast paced and dangerous string of encounters that include a Neanderthal named Houston, searches in some of the most hazardous places in North Georgia, a green Kia Soul, an old man with a big gun, and ultimately murder.
It is an adventure that provides some unusual twists and turns and is highlighted by a beautiful relationship between an old baseball player entering politics and a spunky adolescent who are jointly known around town as “Nate and The Kid.”
One of the most frequent questions asked of me at book signing events is, “How do you come up with ideas for your books?” There are several answers to that question. Sometimes the story is triggered by an incident from the history of our town. Our first mystery came about just that way. In 1919, a sobbing infant was rescued from a shallow grave in a cemetery beside the Dixie highway, near Adairsville. For obvious reasons, her rescuers assigned her the name, Dixie Adair. I first heard that story in my early high school days. It was years later when I considered several, “what if?” questions related to that incident that I knew I had the pieces for the story that became OUT OF THE DEPTHS.
Our second mystery was inspired by a long-ago news report of eighteen human skeletons being discovered in a cave near our town. The identities of those corpuses were never learned. The mystery remains even to this day. That is, unless you have read AS A SHIELD.
The inspiration behind recently released, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, came from a bit of history I learned while living in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Newcomerstown is a small town of less than 4,000 population located just a few miles down the road from where we resided in those days. Small, though it may be, Newcomerstown is proud to have produced two national sports figures. It was the hometown of Woody Hayes, a legendary Ohio Buckeye coach. But, most of all, the town’s citizens are proud their village is the birthplace of baseball great Cy Young. People in that community are fond of pointing out that their favorite son was such a superior hurler that the major league’s annual best pitcher award is named for him. Being the passionate baseball fan that I am, I can understand why the inhabitants of the little farm community are so honored to have Cy Young as part of their history, but it is a chapter out of the great athlete’s personal life that got my attention.
For many years after his baseball career and after the death of his young daughter and then his wife, Young lived with a farm family by the name of Benedum. They had a daughter, Jane, who was born in 1935. The old man had a special family type relationship with Jane and gave her the nickname “kid.” She said their special connection went all the way back to her infancy when she was a colicky baby, and the old man was often the only one who could get her to calm down. As Cy grew older and less mobile, she helped him out with his work on the farm with everything from fixing the fences to planting vegetables. As time went on and his eyesight deteriorated until he was nearly blind, she accompanied him to various baseball activities. He could often be seen at the Kid’s school activities. She was even allowed to get her driver’s license at age 14 so she could drive him around to his appointments.
Young, encouraged Jane to finish high school and go on to nursing school. He missed seeing her get her nursing degree because of his death in 1955, at the age of 88, shortly before she received her cap. Jane went on to live a full life, realizing her dream of becoming a nurse and raising a family of her own. Coincidentally, or perhaps providentially, she died in 2011 at the age of 75 on Young’s birthday.
I also learned that Cy Young once ran for a Tuscarawas County political office. As all those facts began to pile up in my mind, I knew I had material for a good story. I would not move Cy Young nor his little friend to Georgia. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is about old Nate Bannister who we created as a retired major league pitcher who was good at his craft, though not of the caliber of Cy Young. He also runs for political office, though a different position than the one Young sought, and his little friend’s name is not Jane but Kaylene, but she is often addressed as the Kid. So, the idea for “Nate and the Kid” who are central figures in the plot of A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, was inspired by a little-known account of a special friendship between a baseball player of days gone by and his little friend who assisted him in later life.
Having an active imagination, of course, helps considerably when searching for a good story line. It is also to the writer’s advantage to be a good observer and listener. When I was in college, my roommate once told a friend, “My roomie doesn’t talk much, but he sees and hears everything going on.” I think that is a trait that has served me well as a writer. Long ago someone told me that writing good fiction is a matter of simply asking, “what if?” It’s finding a trigger that will get the author’s imagination rolling. When that happens, he probably will not be able to get words on paper fast enough.
About Danny and Wanda Pelfrey
Danny and Wanda Pelfrey are graduates of Atlanta Christian College (now Point University). Danny earned a masters from Kentucky Christian University. He spent 45 years in the pastorate. Wanda served as a primary Montessori teacher for twenty-four years. They have two daughters and are blessed with five amazing grandchildren.
Wanda’s career as a writer took off shortly after college, when she started writing curriculum and educational aids for a variety of publishers. Her book, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CHILD’S TEACHABLE MOMENTS, published by Moody Press went through several printings and brought her a lot of attention and respect as a writer. However, she put her writing career on hold shortly thereafter to become a teacher.
Danny’s interest in writing was fostered by his wife’s love of the craft. He wrote articles for various publications, a newspaper column, and eventually three non-fiction books. Traditional publisher CrossLink released three of the four Davis Morgan Mysteries co-authored by the couple, as well as the first two books in the Adairsville Heritage Mystery series. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is #2 in the Adairsville Heritage series.
The Pelfreys live in their little Cape Cod cottage in their small north Georgia hometown of Adairsville, Georgia which serves as the setting for their mysteries with a message. They enjoy a life that is often centered around their five grandchildren and their love for putting words on paper.
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