Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Raymond L. Atkins, Camp Redemption

Mercer University Press, 2013
"Raymond L. Atkins once again reflects the South and all its beloved contradictions in his new novel Camp Redemption," says Ann Hite, author of the award winning Ghost on Black Mountain. "Beautifully crafted, his storytelling is an art form only found in the best Southern literature."

Travel to Sequoyah, Georgia, to meet Early and Ivey Willingham. Early is a lifelong underachiever who occasionally smokes marijuana, drinks malt liquor, and watches the world go by. Ivey is a modern day prophet who sees dead relatives and angels in her sleep. Together they own Camp Redemption, a failing Bible camp in the North Georgia mountains.

After they are forced to close the camp, Early and Ivey begin to attract a motley collection of people in trouble. First to arrive is Jesús Jimenez, an abused runaway from Apalachicola, Florida. Then Millie Donovan arrives, children in tow. Charnell Jackson—an out-of-luck lawyer on the dodge—is next on the scene, followed by Isobel Jimenez—Jesús’ mother—and her other children. Hugh Don Monfort, the local bootlegger, is the final arrival. Trouble looms as these travelers settle into their new home. Gilla Newman and the deacons at the Washed in the Blood and the Fire Rapture Preparation Temple covet the camp, and they intend to have it. Juan Jimenez is searching for his fugitive family, and he means to have them back. Charnell Jackson is sought by a variety of creditors, Millie Donovan is looking for a second chance at life, and Hugh Don Monfort is just one step ahead of the law.

All these threads converge on a frigid morning in high Georgia, and from that moment forward, nothing is the same at Camp Redemption.

This book is a riot. Ray Atkins is richly talented and funny as you-know-what. Go ahead and get Camp Redemption right now. I guarantee that you’ll delight in this read as I did. —Lauretta Hannon, author of The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life 

At once smart and funny, Raymond Atkins’s Camp Redemption is a gripping elegantly told tale that will keep you up reading long into the night. All hail a new master of Southern fiction! —Jeffrey Stepakoff, author of Fireworks over Toccoa 

Camp Redemption showcases the best of Raymond Atkins’ talents in Southern fiction: characters who move in with us, for better or worse; a plot that keeps the pages turning; and the stately, elegant prose of a born storyteller. Alternately hilarious, sad, and downright scary, this is Atkins’ best novel yet. —Melanie Sumner, author of The Ghost of Milagro Creek and The School of Beauty and Charm 

Camp Redemption is the best novel yet by award-winning Raymond Atkins, one of the most original new authors in the South today. Atkins is a brilliant writer who captivates the reader with his quirky yet lovable characters. I simply couldn’t stop reading. The book is at once funny, ironic, poignant, tender, and lyrical. —June Hall McCash, author of Almost to Eden and Plum Orchard

Raymond L. Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. His first novel, The Front Porch Prophet, was published by Medallion Press in 2008 and was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. His second novel, Sorrow Wood, was published by Medallion Press in 2009. His third novel, Camp Redemption, has been released by Mercer University Press and was awarded the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction. He is currently writing his fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues. 

More on Ray Atkins: www.raymondlatkins.com
More on Mercer University Press: http://www.mupress.org

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