Joy Can Save a Soul by Gene Gant – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Gene Gant who is celebrating the recent release of Golden Like Summer.

Joy can save a soul.

We live in a disturbing age. Waves of nationalism and populism are sweeping across Europe. A murderous North Korean dictator routinely plays with nuclear weapons. The Middle East is a cauldron of tension. Climate change is accelerating unchecked. The United States is more polarized than ever, with a near-daily stoking of racial animosity adding fuel to the fire. Our president routinely lies to us while alienating the country’s allies and cozying up to the strongman leader of one of our greatest adversaries. Oh, and there’s been yet another mass shooting in an American city.

It’s enough to make you seriously consider locking yourself and your family in the house and never coming out again.
But living in fear isn’t the answer. I do what I can to bring about change in the things that worry me, by voting, notifying elected representatives about my concerns, volunteering, and joining or donating to organizations that dedicate themselves to improving the lives of people everywhere. Doing this gives me comfort and makes it easier for me to sleep at night.

What brings me even greater comfort is finding little moments of joy in each of my days. Reminiscing with a family member or good friend. Surprising my nieces and nephews with a trip to the ice cream shop. Snuggling on the sofa to watch a favorite TV show. Swimming on a hot afternoon in the cool, crystal waters of my friend’s pool. Playing online Scrabble. Treating my neighbor to a movie. Getting lost in a wonderful book. Those simple things not only make life tolerable in these troubling times, they lift my spirit and give me happiness.

In many of my novels, the main characters face difficult, daunting situations. This is true of my latest book, Golden Like Summer. The thirteen-year-old protagonist here, Joey, takes refuge from his troubles in small pleasures. While he has to navigate circumstances that would overwhelm many adults, he always strives to find some tiny enjoyment to ease him through. I suppose there’s a tiny part of myself in Joey.

Writing is another activity that brings me joy. It focuses my mind, allowing me to forget the dark events going on in the rest of the world. Sometimes it even helps me to make sense of the senseless things people do to each other. I grapple with my worries and frustrations by throwing them on the page, stirring them up and seeing how they sort themselves out. That’s a definite stress reliever for me.

If nothing else I sincerely hope readers, after finishing Golden Like Summer, will take to heart its message of finding joy in adversity and soothing the soul. Some may find comfort in leaning on a supportive shoulder. For others, it could be prayer. Every one of us needs a way to cope. Along with all the bad, there is a lot of good in the world today. After we’ve done everything we can to deal with the bad, we just have to focus on the good.

Thanks for reading.
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When he escapes the abusive man he calls Pa, Joey thinks his nightmare is over. Instead, a new one begins.

The police don’t buy Joey’s story about the six-year-old boy he saved from Pa during his escape . Suddenly he’s being accused of a crime, threatened, and shown firsthand how the criminal justice system treats a black teen with no resources.

After making another escape, Joey gives himself a new name, Alan, and starts a new life living in an abandoned house. Then he meets Desi, another homeless boy.

Though their mutual attraction grows into deeper feelings, Alan’s ordeal has left him afraid of physical love. Still, he’s determined to save Desi from the older teen who’s pimping him out. But in confronting the pimp, Alan and Desi may find themselves in trouble with the law again, a situation that could forever tear them apart.

About the Author: Gene Gant lives in a quiet rural area outside Memphis, Tennessee. He enjoys good movies, good books, and good times with family and friends. He is currently working on his next novel.

Goodread | Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at Harmony Ink Press, Amazon, or

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