A JOURNEY FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE
Beware of a man who has nothing to lose.
A Navy Seal suffering from PTSD and a painful past returns to St. Louis from Afghanistan and loses everything. Homeless, he wants only to find work and be left alone, but he is drawn into a group of street people who are being hunted by a serial killer and used by the local mob boss. To save himself, he must fight his way from tragedy to triumph and lead his “friends” on a journey from despair to hope.
In a mystery with heavy literary leanings, you will be reminded why no one wants to make eye contact with a beggar, but you will also discover that if you do it often enough, you may eventually stare into the soul of a king, for greatness is as often concealed by the robes of monarchs as it is by the rags of mendicants.
Walk the broken sidewalks leading through the middle of a struggle between individualism and collectivism where a society with too many followers can only be saved by a courageous, yet reluctant, leader. Monarchs and Mendicants is today’s political adventure dragged down to the gritty, personal level of the streets and alleys of an urban area. Its theme of honoring the individual not only embraces the substance of the American psyche but gives voice to man’s constant longing for independence.
What readers are saying:
”This page-turning intense drama will keep you questioning and wondering until the very end.”—Valerie Caraotta
”A Story of deep and tragic truths.”—Veritas Vincit
”Profound and moving prose that you won’t forget.”—John J. Staughton
”Gifford is an intriguing and troubled character that makes for a fantastic read.”—Owen Robinson
From the book: ”Without a singular devotion to self, your greatness will be lost. It remains for monarchs and mendicants to save one before saving others, to lead one before leading others, and that one is the self of you.”
BOOK 1 IN THE GIFFORD ULRICH SERIES
THE JOURNEY BEGINS:
Gifford Ulrich didn’t know the distance from despair to hope, but he knew hope didn’t sleep in alleys. On this morning his first waking moments were filled with the audible lamenting breath of having survived another winter night on the streets of St. Louis, those onerous recurring sighs that had become his respiration. Endurance was not an uplifting miracle to him, but a depressing fact. Not the surprise, “Hallelujah, I’m alive,” but the admission, “Oh, I’m still here.”
AN EXPLORATION OF FAMILY
“—of the seeds that produce three brothers who by turns of fate and differences of motivation are set out on their own to become indivicuals with only memories of the time they were together.”
THREE ESTRANGED BROTHERS
THREE SURPRISE ENDINGS
- “A major and important new novel by a writer that demands our attention.”
- “Infinitely intriguing.”
- “Groat’s genius is his wordsmith magic.”
Three brothers are separated when they are 19, 17, and 11 years old. They never see nor hear from one another again. Events happening in their lives fifty years later are chronicled in the short story, “A Most Contemptible Whisper,” an eerie narrative from the troubled mind of the youngest brother struggling to cope with the sudden death of his wife; the novella, “The Covert Carver,” the touching story of a man who goes searching for a meaningful retirement and finds the middle brother and danger and insight; and the novella, “Mingaud’s Cell,” the quirky tale of the oldest brother fighting unwanted change forced upon him by the government.
From Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer, Grady Harp, “Much of the beauty of this book comes in the subtle way Groat allows us to recover their pasts.”
A POIGNANT AND TIMELY NOVEL OF RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA
- “Beautiful. A journey you will never forget!”
- “If you only read one book this year, let this be the one.”
- “An incredible debut novel.”
A TOWN DIVIDED BY RACE IS HIDING
A MIRACLE AMONG ITS SECRETS
Travel seventy years through the secrets of the white Thanos family and the black Taylor family, twisted like strands of yarn woven together on a loom. The wealthy, powerful Nikkos Thanos owns a woolen mill and almost everything else on the north side of Delphi, Missouri, and is the overseer of a fractured society. The brave, judicious Thaddeus “Cousin” Taylor owns a grocery store and a tavern on the south side and carries a past hauntingly shrouded in tragedy. Each man tries to shepherd his part of town through the turmoil of racism, the depression, and war. With the passage of time, those caretaker roles are filled by Evangelina, Nikkos’ beautiful and strong-willed daughter, and T.J., the grandson who worshipped Cousin. Forty-five years after high school, two friends, Ab and Grady, return for the funeral of their mentor, T.J., and walk into the middle of a mystery. They unweave the black and white threads that are the town’s concealed, troubled past, revealing an extraordinary tapestry of life and death, revenge and triumph.
“This story is more than white and black differences. It’s about what it means to be a man, to earn and give respect, to stand tall against adversity, to be a role model.”
LEARN WHAT IT MEANS
TO “WALK WITH STRENGTH”
A Collection of 55 Short Stories
with something for everyone.
Stories about coming of age, the Civil War, a return to youth, urban youth, unique families, tragedy, triumph, teaching, infidelity, abortion, wood carving and wisdom, war, work, lawyers, life paths, addiction, abduction, mental illness, mediocrity, miracles, God, dogs, funerals, birth, college, bank robbery, baseball and football, poker and pool, prison, ancestry, family secrets, homelessness, suicide, neighbors, childhood wishes, eternal life, spelling bees, floods, good and evil, love and romance, second chances, anger and fear, rebirth, parenthood, brothers, reunions, soul and spirit, gun rights, prejudice, old age and new age, victory and defeat, life and death.
The shortest story can be read in one minute, the longest in ten minutes. Just enough time to laugh, cry, think, dream, remember, forget, learn fresh ideas, challenge old concepts, meet new people, recall former friends, find knowledge or wisdom or peace, escape and be entertained.
Go ahead, put on someone else’s shoes, walk in their footprints, see the world through their eyes, guess hidden motives, stumble into surprise endings, expand your imagination. Experience their anxiety, serenity, desire, joy, sorrow, danger, or freedom. Be selfish. Take a few moments just for you. Disconnect, drop out, change your mood, vary your day with stories about the past, the present, the future.
Wander around in the author’s mind for awhile. Encounter the strange, wonderful people that live there. Invite them in.