Written in the fast-paced style of Orson Scott Card, Regrets Tree on Fire takes readers into the alluring aspects of fire, chess, and romance. But high school is safe compared to the high-stakes Internet conspiracy that grows ever larger, threatening the stability of their world, and a best friend’s life.
A must-read for young men coping with the sex and violence embedded in our culture.
Enjoy a free look at the first chapter. Ch One – Regrets Tree on Fire. Better yet, click on the book image (to the left) for your own e-book or print copy.
Sixteen-year-old Bill and his two best friends love chess, girls, and fire, but one disastrous event after another forces them to re-evaluate everything.
Both Howie and Bill must navigate the murky waters of depression and discover their own course to mental health. After Howie’s suicide attempt and its unexpected outcome, Bill and Devon take a summer job as flaggers on a mountain road construction crew. During long days facing road rage, deer flies, and silence, Bill learns how to see the selfishness of his mother and the domination of his father in new ways, and deals with the devastating fact that he doesn’t know what is real about his girlfriend.
The boys’ decisions this summer, both the ridiculous and the heart-rending, will determine the course of their lives.
The Cousin Cycle:
Regrets Tree on Fire is the third book in terms of the age of the protagonist in The Cousin Cycle, but they don’t need to be read in any particular order. The stories tell about a year when everything that can go wrong in the family, does go wrong. Don’t be surprised when the books’ narrators have individual and sometimes contradictory points of view. Who’s telling the truth?
Your Reading Group:
When you get together with friends to discuss a good book, it’s fun to have a jump-off place. Try these ideas to get the conversation off to a flying start!
A unique aspect of Jean Stringam’s work is the song she writes for each book. She says that after living with her protagonists for many months, she begins to hear the song they sing. The song doesn’t match a particular scene in the story as often happens in musical theatre. Instead, think of the song as an expression of the character’s soul, the essence of the person.
Download a copy of the lyrics and piano accompaniment for Bill’s song Regrets Tree on Fire.
A fabulous new book trailer! Regrets Tree on Fire – book trailer.
Even if the year begins with chess, romance, and recreational fire—all your favorite things—you’d better not spend your time contemplating how we all fit together peacefully on this planet. The social order has just changed, your friend’s life is on the line, and you need some real answers. Fast.
* * *
“The police say no crime has happened. They can’t protect you from a crime about to happen. Laws are supposed to do that. Any more bright ideas?” Howie snarled.
Devon parked his old junker car in front of the lake house then, and I was thinking how a jog around the lake would feel good. But Allen Mac, with his customary stranglehold on the obvious, had gotten bogged down in supplying an answer to Howie’s non-question. If Howie says, Any more bright ideas? you walk away. But this is what Allen Mac came up with. “Hey, Bessamer, you’ve got money. Hire a bodyguard.”
Howie’s mouth dropped open. “I’ve got civil rights, same as you! Why should I have to buy protection when you’ve got civil rights to protect you?” And then his fist came up. Fast and hard. Whacked Allen Mac in the head. Thunk. Howie literally dove for the door and ran off into the trees past the lake house.
* * *
Bill and his friends love chess, girls, and fire, which is plenty of tinder for one year. But high school is safe compared to the high-stakes Internet conspiracy that grows ever larger, threatening the stability of their world, and a best friend’s life. When one disastrous event after another forces them to re-evaluate everything, they discover the limits of their culture.
Regrets Tree on Fire has become the must-read manual for how teenage boys in the 21st century cope with the sex and violence embedded in the culture.