Here's an excerpt of this beautiful, haunting novel...
I had a hard time finding his grave because all of the headstones were covered in snow. I finally found it, though, because his grave is right under a little sapling planted just a few weeks before he died. I loved that idea at the time, because I thought I could watch it grow to be the same age Zeke would be, if he'd lived. It's a sad looking sapling now, though. It's tiny and hunched over. It can hardly handle the weight of the snow.
I sang Zeke his song, and my tears dropped into the snow and made vertical tunnels that went straight to the ground above the grave. I shook when I sang, and it wasn't from the cold.
While I stared at his icy headstone, I noticed someone moving in the corner of my eye. Snow danced around both of us as if it wanted him to come closer to me. I recognized him as the man with the cleft lip who had shoveled dirt onto Zeke's casket.
I didn't say anything because I didn't want to break the magic of the moment. I found it strange that we were both there, in the same places we'd been exactly a year before. He gently touched the sapling, and wiped the snow off its tiny branches. He smiled at me, and the snow stopped falling around us. I smiled back, and felt like time quit existing in that moment. We stared at each other, quiet understanding written between us, before he turned and walked away.
The sapling stood brave and strong after that, daring the snow to try and conquer it again. It reminded me of Zeke and his little life, and I beamed when I looked at it. It's going to grow into a nice, mighty tree, and I'm glad it will be the one to shade Zeke's resting place.
"The Golden Sky" will be released on 11/18/2011