In this fascinating, spellbinding intrigue, the U.S. government has militarily taken over a small town. Their mission is to quarantine a virus in the soil threatening the country’s grain production. The virus is uncontrollable. A soldier abandons his post, leaves the town, and takes his family on a pilgrimage to The Rocketship Café, a way station and sanctuary for those who enter. He hopes to find someone to confide in -- to find some answers in a world that has suddenly and inexplicably gone wrong -- very wrong. Good vs. evil and life vs. death permeate this mesmerizing, compelling tale rife with deception and conspiracy. Treachery and cover-up seep into the choices individuals and communities make. Who can be trusted; who can be relied upon?
About the author:
Author, Peggy Sue Yarber, lives with her husband and two daughters in Bakersfield, California, where she is a high school teacher and administrator. TARE, inspired by a parable in the book of Matthew and current events, is her first published book. She loves to tap dance, read, watch film noir, run and play soccer.
Q & A with Peggy Sue Yarber:
RWM: Tare is described as inspired by a parable in the book of Matthew. Can you explain what that means?
PSY: The Book of Matthew is chock full with parables. I love parables that deal with justice and equality. I always seem to want to bring justice to the world. But in all honesty justice is delivered by a higher power than me. Writing about TARE is just another way for me to realize that I am not the person who should make decisions about or for other people. When I try to make decisions about others it usually does not turn out to be the best decision. Separating the TARES from the wheat is not our job – it is a higher power’s burden to bear.
RWM: Can you please tell us more about the two books you have being released this month?
PSY: In June 2009, The Judas Ride will be published. An unwed (and unwanted) teen pregnancy with two possible fathers. Abusive relationships. Drug and alcohol addiction. Rape and molestation. The struggle to understand grace, forgiveness, and free will versus predestination. The Judas Ride hits the road running in the opening pages, where Sonia and Xavier argue explosively about whether Sonia should have their unborn child and about who the father is: Xavier, a struggling Christian, or Vader, an abusive and abused drug dealer. As the pages turn, readers continue to meet a hodgepodge of troubled teens and eclectic characters, including Pastor Manny, a quirky immigrant pastor infatuated with John Wayne. Pastor Manny desires to help the tortured souls in his community but finds that it takes more than unconditional love to reach them. Secrets literally kill in The Judas Ride, an edgy, in-your-your face Christian novel that boldly explores the struggles of modern-day young people.
The book Rocketships to Heaven and the SOS Fuel Station is a children’s book discussing the existence of God. This book will be released in June of 2009. My heart leans toward the positive experience that a solid belief can offer. This book was developed after a sincere discussion of faith with my daughter. A friend of my daughter died and it was extremely difficult for me to counsel my children on faith and death. This book evolved out the many late night conversations with my daughters.
RWM: Do you base any of your characters on people you know?
PSY: No, but I do use the personality traits and quirks of the people I know.
RWM: Do you schedule your writing time daily or do you just write when the ideas come?
PSY: This question is very similar to the following question. I write when I come home from my work, after I take care of my family, clean the house and finish the laundry, in between going soccer games and other activities. I take my lap top with me whenever I go and also a notebook. I write down ideas all the time. The hard part about this is type of controlled chaos is the organizing of my notes when I finally do get to sit at a desk and work instead at the soccer field.
RWM: What's the biggest obstacle you face when writing and how do you overcome it?
PSY: The biggest writing obstacle I face is time. I never seem to have enough. Maybe that is why I do not have writer’s block because when I am able to write I am almost bubbling over with ideas. I do not know if this is a good or bad thing… I have a day job as an educator, family and I am involved in my church – all of these take time.
RWM: Who are your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
PSY: The writers that come to mind first are - Thomas Pynchon, John Steinbeck, Ayn Rand and I am currently re-reading Moby Dick. Not exactly light summer reading but… during the academic year I do not have enough energy to plow though the story.
Imagine a town where the government isolated and quarantined the population. That alone would be scary enough but now the residents of the town are also asked to plant, grow and harvest a grain that contains a virus. All under the watchful eye of the Colonel and a mysterious soldier known only as Washington. The government is using these innocent people as test subjects and they are given instructions on their new duties as the scientists look on.
As the town is taken over, a magnetic shield is put in place to stop anyone from leaving and to eliminate all communication with the outside world. As the residents soon learn the force field is deadly to anyone who comes in contact with it. And not only that, if you don’t obey the soldiers, they will shoot to kill with no questions asked.
Terrified into submission, the town’s residents go about their assigned duties and as time goes on, attitudes change for both the captives and their captors until one of the soldiers takes it upon himself to change all the rules.
Wow… Tare was an interesting read that’s very different from my normal genres. I was sold on it based on the premise of the virus affecting the food supply because there have been so many contaminations of our food in the past few years and I thought it was a timely selection.
But Tare is not just about the virus it’s about good vs. evil. What some believe is for the greater good is just one person or one group’s point of view. There are many ways to look at each and every circumstance that can have you questioning what you’ve always believed.
I’m glad I stepped out of my reading comfort zone with this one and recommend it to anyone who loves science fiction.