WR Benton grew up in the small town of Vida, Missouri, and actually lived in a house with a dirt floor, no running water or electricity, for a few years in his youth.
He said, "We used to joke about Vida having our entering and leaving Vida signs mounted back to back. Blink and you'd miss it. But, it was a great place for a kid to grow up. There was no crime and I lived about a mile from Vida, back in the woods."
He attended a one-room school house, like in the western movies, and it helped foster his interest in American history. While working on his assignments in class, he often listened to the teacher, who taught all 8 grades, telling the older children their history lessons.
He also learned much of history from his great-grandmother, who lived to be a 103 years old. "This country teacher was very skilled and she had to be to handle 8 grades in one day. Now, keep in mind, the number of students per grade varied from 1 to maybe 5 or six, but she'd give the first graders their work and while they worked, she'd move to the second graders and so on. Often, I'd listen to her teach the older kids and I loved history."
Like many children of that era, he walked to school, regardless of the weather, carrying an old empty red and white lard bucket for a lunch box. Lunch usually consisted of a piece of salt pork, wrapped in a biscuit, a small jar of buttermilk, and some sort of snack. He still loves "Moon pies" and keeps them handy. "Missouri, or at least where I grew up, was as Southern as Dixie Land and since I've moved to Mississippi, I see little difference. The language, food, customs and down-home attitudes are the same." One of the things that greatly assists WR Benton with is writing is the fact he spent over 26 years in the United States Air Force and has traveled all over the world. He has all but his thesis completed for his MS in counseling psychology.
"Of all the places I've lived or visited, I had the hardest time in the United Kingdom. I found the English tongue a bit rough for a Southern boy. I think my favorite comment while there was, 'Excuse me, but what did you say?' Also, I want to say, education is fine, but it doesn't replace common sense. My grandfather had a very limited formal education, less than 3 years, but he was far the smartest man I've ever met. He was self-educated, except you'd never know it. A degree simply proves you can be trained, but so can a monkey."
What if it all came crashing down?
The Fall of America: Book 4 marks a turning point for the American rebels in their fight against the invading Russians. Ambushing a Russian convoy, the rebels discover cases of the 9K32 Strela-2M missiles, or as the Russians call them, arrows. These Arrows, man-portable shoulder-fired low-altitude surface-to-air missiles change how the partisans operate—they go on the offensive against the Russian's key advantage: their Air power.
Soon the partisans are stalking Forward Air Bases and shooting down random helicopters at will and Moscow is not pleased. However, it is the discovery of two U.S. nuclear weapons, called 'suitcase nukes' by the Russians, that is about to change this war in ways that have never been considered. Will the rebels go nuclear on their own soil to vanquish their foe? Which side will dare use the nuclear weapons first? Book Four fans the flames of the fierce battle for control of the U.S.A.
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A coming of age story, by acclaimed Western author W.R. Benton.
Life on the frontier could be harsh and even deadly, as fourteen year old Jared Patton learns when he is suddenly an orphan after his entire family is murdered by Oto Indians. Discovered by Nate Grisham and fellow mountain man Cotton, they informally adopt him and teach him how to live in a harsh, rugged land, where death may linger behind every tree, over any ridge, or come creeping silently in the middle of the night. In a meeting with a Shoshone chief, the chief tells about dreaming of a boy named Eagle who will one day be a man much feared by his enemies, and deeply respected by his friends. He then gives Jared a new name, Eagle Talon, and from that point on he is known as Eagle.
Another young man, a fifteen year old Sioux boy called Toad, is struggling in his efforts to become a man. He feels no urge to seek a vision, which is required before he can become a true warrior. He worries of his lack of desire, speaks to his grandfather, who says, “Have patience my son. You will have your vision when it is time and not before.” Eventually having his vision, Toad is transformed into Fire Eyes, and “a chosen one”. He is to give away all wealth, including horses, care for the poor, and to honor and pray for those he kills in battle. His way is not the usual path of a Sioux warrior and he is warned by the village shaman to never stray from the trail he has been given to walk, or he will die.
When a deadly measles outbreak strikes the Sioux, Nate, Cotton, and Eagle go to the village to help care for the sick. Fire Eyes' vision foretold of an eagle as his spirit helper. Here the two boys meet and begin to forge a powerful friendship. Together they battle common enemies to preserve the safety of the tribe—and each other.
Suitable for ages: 13 and up (not for younger children)
CONTENT CONTAINS: realistic descriptions of frontier violence and death.
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