Judgement by E.R. Beecher with Giveaway

JudgmentAs I’ve gotten older and have experienced or at least observed much of what life gives us, both good and bad, one thing keeps coming back to me as a constant, frequently an evil constant. That constant is judgment, and by association labeling. From the moment we are born, perhaps even conceived, we are judged. Judgment at this early stage can be as innocent as having our mistakes gently corrected by our parents, to as pernicious as being corporally punished, abused even. Judgment continues as we grow. In our formative years judgment steers us in the direction that our parents, friends, teachers, and clergy would have us go. Judgment gives us our biases, our preferences, and our choices. It is unavoidable and in some ways it’s a good thing. After all, how will we know what is right and wrong? But, what happens when we recognize that the choices we’ve made, based on the judgment of others, don’t feel right in our souls? What happens when we find that our choices have hurt others either physically or emotionally? Do we have the strength to defy the judgment of others to counteract it?

1_14 Casco Book Cover 2Though my story Casco isn’t entirely about the evils of judgment, the hate crime as described in the             prologue is the result of society’s judgment and how it affects the book’s characters. As a gay man, Hunter, the victim, is judged by his murderers to be less than a man, less than human and therefore to be destroyed, easily and without compunction. His lover Richard, for the fear of judgment is unable to admit their relationship and faces the rest of his life feeling, nay, being guilty. He denies Hunter’s very existence in his life, and Hunter is therefore forgotten. And, Gordon, Richard’s young stepbrother, wrongly judges Hunter to be his enemy.

Traditionally, Western Religion has taught us to judge others despite the exhortation to “judge not lest ye be judged.” Through the ages our culture has judged gay people harshly, hurting many innocent lives.

Casco takes place largely on the coast of southern Maine, one of my favorite areas of the world with its majestic coastline, primordial forests, and history tied to the sea. The brutal murder in the prologue casts the shadow of expectation over the rest of the story. After that violence, the story settles down to a rather charming coming-of-age story of two stepbrothers spending their summers at the grandmother’s summer place. The story becomes edgier as the boys grow older. Casco jumps back and forth between the 1950s and the late 1990s, allowing adult perspective on the earlier events. It’s been compared in some ways to Stand by Me. It’s not exactly a murder mystery in that after police investigation the people involved just wanted to forget that it happened. But, they couldn’t. Murder changes everything.

You can learn more about me at my author page is on Facebook. I’m on Twitter, and my website is under construction; I’ll announce the address on Facebook and Twitter.

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