Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 2, 2013.

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On the eve of rock concert, a teenaged fan disappears, leaving a dead body. Cops link the murder to a kidnapper and a televangelist.

Background

Five years ago, I had an unexpected insight: With weekly audiences in the millions, television police procedurals would be the most successful child abuse awareness campaign ever invented—if only they gave accurate information about abuse and recovery.

I envisioned a new kind of crime novel—one that presented the causes and effects of religious child abuse in the format of a taut pop-fiction thriller. Drawn from my own survivor experience, combined with cutting-edge research and true crime headlines, this book would get everyday people talking intelligently about religious abuse and childhood trauma.

Plot Synopsis:

Josh’s philosophical lyrics and demonic stage-persona have earned him fortune and fame—along with a deepening romance with his band’s fiery female drummer. But when he learns that a familiar fourteen-year-old fan is wanted for murder, Josh’s sanity and sobriety are tested by memories of his own abusive childhood. Meanwhile, detectives follow their young murder suspect into a disturbing underworld, soon realizing that he is involved in a twisted investigation of his own. Clues indicate a possible link to the Christian Fundamentalist fringe...

"...engagingly written, with descriptive scenes, well-drawn characters, and a lot of emotional and moving dialogue. The author obviously has a personal understanding of the harm that can result from corporal punishment, of the effects of biblical interpretations in perpetuating it, and of the pain and shame of children who are abused." -- Nadine Block, who founded the Center for Effective Discipline in 1987 and served as its executive director until 2010. 

"Mr. Hickmon writes with the clarity, power and passion of someone who really knows what he is writing about, and who understands the wide range of responses human beings experience when trying to deal with lives affected by ongoing trauma. There are textbooks that explain the scientific mechanisms that underpin Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but this book tells a story that reaches out to help us all understand." -- Dr. Kim Etherington, PHD, Bristol University Emeritus Professor.

"This is a most unusual novel in any number of ways: a fast-paced thriller combined with a disturbing subject matter (sadism and child abuse), a violent storyline with a quick, readable narrative. The story is both dark and at the same time oddly uplifting, for it is – in the end – a story of grace and redemption."-- Timothy Birdnow, conservative columnist and contributor to journals such as American Thinker and Orthodoxy Today.

Kickstarter Goals

Successful funding pays for all of the following:

  • copyedit and format for prints and ebook
  • print and mail all backer rewards
  • print and mail galleys to national reviewers
  • publicize official launch in April 2014

Odds and Ends

The following is a round-up of links to information that backers may find interesting or informative:

Standard Cover

Cover Design: Kirk DouPonce

Collector's Edition Cover

Artwork: Kirk DouPonceArtwork: Kirk DouPonce

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

On this project there is little risk that backers will not receive rewards; however, the larger goal of publicizing the project is inherently risky. Even if all goes well, hiring a publicist does not ensure that the media will pay attention. Our launch can be affected by factors that are out of anyone's control, including an unfavorable news cycle. The most I can promise is that I will work hard and plan smart, to give the project the best chance to succeed.

FAQ

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    PROMO ONLY!! E-BOOK OF THE FINISHED NOVEL. (Requires E-Reader or Compatible Software.) You may add $5.00 to your pledge to receive an autographed postcard via US Mail (USA ONLY).

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    E-BOOK OF THE FINISHED NOVEL. (Requires E-Reader or Compatible Software.) You may add $5.00 to your pledge to receive an autographed postcard via US Mail (USA ONLY).

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    STANDARD FIRST EDITION ($14+S&H) Features: * Standard Full-Color Cover * 'First Edition' printed on the copyright page. NOT NUMBERED OR SIGNED, but you may add $5.00 to your pledge to receive an autographed postcard via separate mailing. FIRST EDITION IS LIMITED TO 2500 COPIES.

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    SIGNED, PERSONALIZED and NUMBERED FIRST EDITION. Features: * Standard Full-Color Cover * 'First Edition' printed on the copyright page. * Hand Signed and Personalized by the Author * Hand Numbered From #1. FIRST EDITION IS LIMITED TO 2500 COPIES.

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    KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE COLLECTOR'S EDITION, SIGNED, PERSONALIZED AND NUMBERED. Featuring: * The 'Black' Cover by Kirk DouPonce * Full Color Insert Featuring the best 13:24 Artwork and Illustrations * Hand Signed and Personalized by the Author * Hand Numbered From #1 * 'Kickstarter Edition ' printed on the copyright page. THIS COVER WILL NEVER BE REISSUED! COLLECTOR'S EDITION QUANTITY WILL BE EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF QUALIFIED PLEDGES, PLUS ONE AUTHOR'S COPY.

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    A MENTION IN THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (IF YOU DESIRE) AS WELL AS THE SIGNED, PERSONALIZED, AND NUMBERED COLLECTOR'S EDITION.

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