If you have followed Dan Antion on his fabulous blog, then you are already acquainted with this man. But now, he’s releasing his debut novel, Knuckleheads, and I am thrilled to host him here today on his Book Blog Tour!
Thank you so much, Jan, for inviting me to share your blog space and introduce my debut novel Knuckleheads, Book 1 in the Dreamer’s Alliance Series.
Knuckleheads is the childhood story of the two main characters in this paranormal series. The story is being told by the recently retired Zach Amstead to his adult daughter, Abbie, the day after his retirement party.
Jan, you’ve asked me to talk a little about Zach’s wife, since this is the only book in which she is featured, albeit as a child. Zach explains early in the book, that his wife, Veronica, has been gone for about 15 years. The only things we learn about Ronnie (Veronica’s nickname) are shared in retrospect during the conversation.
Perhaps an excerpt will help. This is from a classroom scene Zach is describing. Abbie interrupts periodically. In the book, Abbie’s interruptions are set off in a paragraph style that is hard to replicate in WordPress. To help with that, I’ve highlighted them in blue for this post.
“Mrs. Coleman handed those of us in the first row a stack of worksheets. We knew to take one and pass the rest back. I couldn’t resist sniffing the remnants of the ditto-machine fluid as I handed them to the girl behind me, Veronica Bailey. Ronnie giggled and sniffed the papers, too.” Then Mrs. Coleman said, ‘Miss Bailey, please don’t encourage Mr. Amstead.'”
Abbie gave me a wide-eyed look. “Mom got in trouble?”
“Your mom was a bit of a tomboy. She didn’t mind getting yelled at, a little. She never did anything that was bad enough to get punished for, but she liked to laugh, so she looked for the things in life that were funny.”
Ronnie and Zach are friends throughout the book. They were in separate schools for a while and then reunite in high school, toward the end of the book. Once they were back in the same school, they became closer, but not boyfriend/girlfriend. In the excerpt below, Zach’s friend, Billy, is giving Zach a ride home and letting him drive, as practice for his upcoming driver’s test. Ronnie asks for a ride to her house.
I let Ronnie sit in the front so she could give Billy directions. When we reached her house, I got out, so I could switch to the front. Billy was getting out to let me drive.
Ronnie leaned over to me and whispered, “Something else is bothering Billy.”
I knew that as well, but I smiled and whispered that I’d try to find out.
Billy yelled over, “If you two want to kiss goodbye, I promise I won’t look.” I looked at Ronnie, but she laughed and turned away. “Maybe some other time, Zach.”
While not boyfriend and girlfriend during the story, the affection seems to be building and Zach certainly had an interest. In this last excerpt, that fact is noticed by Abbie.
Ronnie walked away. I followed her. She thanked me for what I said but mentioned that it was never a good idea to embarrass Ron. I started to explain, but she stopped me and said, “I know, you can’t help yourself. You can’t let these things go, even though you know you can’t change his mind. That’s what I love about you, Zach.”
Abbie smiled softly, then started laughing. “Lemmie guess, you were all excited at the thought that mom loved you.”
I grinned. “Well, yeah, a little.”
I hope these excerpts give a little insight into the character of Veronica Bailey and how much she meant to Zach and Abbie.
Thanks again, Jan, for the chance to share a little from my book. I hope your followers enjoy it.
Zach and Billy didn’t ask for the paranormal powers that were beyond their capacity to understand or control. Zach, interacting with his lucid dreams, and Billy, “gifted “with shadowy glimpses of the future struggle to make sense of the world around them. Adults in authority in the nineteen sixties have no time for what they consider mental outliers of the baby-boom. The boys are institutionalized, marginalized, and ignored. Zach’s father learns of the challenges they face as children and knows the dangers they will face as adults. With no way to comprehend how these boys perceive and move within their world, he must find a way to guide them.
About The Author:
Dan Antion was born outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up and attended college in
the area around western Pennsylvania. Dan has written and published the popular No Facilities
blog since 2011. A lifelong interest in writing became a reality after he retired from a successful
A 42-year-long career in information management.
Knuckleheads, published in June 2022, is the first book in the Dreamer’s Alliance Series. This
story introduces the main characters in this series, in which the next two books will follow in
the late summer and early winter of 2022.
Dan lives in Connecticut with his wife, a few pets, and all the wildlife they can feed.
The Dreamer’s Alliance Series Blurb:
The Dreamer’s Alliance series chronicles the challenges and dangers faced by two men who have been gifted with paranormal abilities. From their struggles to understand and control these powers through their battle with the attempts of corrupt authorities to exploit them.