Catherine Treadgold
Publisher: Coffeetown Press
PO Box 70515
Seattle, WA 98127

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Coffeetown Announces the May Release of Jack Remick’s Coming-of-Age Novel, Valley Boy

Seattle, WA.—On May 1, 2012, Coffeetown Press will release Valley Boy ($13.95, 254 pp, 6×9 Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60381-145-3), by Jack Remick, a novel that covers a year in the life of a third-generation Okie teenager who is struggling with the stigma of his heritage.

“I’m tempted to say this is Remick’s best work,” says Frank Araujo, Author of The Q Quest, A Perfect Orange, and Nekane. “The writing never lets up from the first line to the last. Ricky is the prototype Okie kid who haunted the Wasteland we know as the San Joaquin. The story is witty, tense and true.”

Of The Deification, mystery writer Robert J. Ray writes: “The language, the timing, the humor, the strong verbs, the concrete nouns, the world beneath the world–all wrapped up in one novel …You gotta read this book!”

Of Remick’s novel, Blood (Camel Press, 2011), Wayne Gunn wrote on “For an author to choose as his explicit models Camus, Genet, and de Sade … and to earn the right to be mentioned in their company is [a goal] that perhaps Jack Remick has indeed achieved.”

Ricky Edwards lives, works, and plays in Centerville, a small California town in the middle of the Valley. Ricky has a gift for music but he’d rather fight, drink beer, chase girls, and debeak turkeys. He debeaks turkeys because he wants a Lifters Car Club jacket with red lettering on the back. He fights because his long time pal, Linard Polk, teaches him about violence, fast cars, and guns—which drives Teresa, Ricky’s hyper-religious mother, nuts. She wants Ricky to escape the legacy of his daddy, an Okie skirt chaser who abandoned the family for a honky-tonk preacher’s daughter gone bad. If Ricky can just get out of Centerville, maybe he can make his mark.

Says Remick: “When you grow up in the Central Valley you meet people who never stray much beyond their home town unless it’s to go next door to a football game. If you’re not the right caste, you learn to work with your hands and you work hard. You wonder if you can ever get out. I wrote Valley Boy in part to remind readers about the Diaspora, the Westward migration, that started in the Dust Bowl. Most people think the Migration ended with World War II, but it didn’t. In Valley Boy, the main characters are third-generation Okies who didn’t make it to the Pacific, got stuck in the dust, and were left behind in the orchards and vineyards doing the gut-busting labor that turns young boys into old men way too soon. I wanted to write about those Okie boys, like Ricky and Linard, who work and live with the bad taste of lost dreams in their mouths.

Jack Remick is a poet, short story writer, and novelist. Valley Boy is Book Two of a series, The California Quartet. More volumes will be released by Coffeetown Press in 2012: The Book of Changes and Trio of Lost Souls. The first book of the series, The Deification, was released in December of 2011. Blood, A Novel was published by Camel Press in 2011. Also coming from Coffeetown in 2012: Gabriela and the Widow.

Valley Boy is available for pre-order on May 1–Valley Boy, Book Two of the California Quartet, After May 1st, it will also be for sale on the European Amazons and Amazon Japan. The Kindle edition will retail for $5.95. Other eBook versions can be purchased on Smashwords and through most major eBook retailers. Libraries can also purchase books through Follett Library Resources or Midwest Library Services.

ABOUT Coffeetown Press—Based in Seattle, Washington, Coffeetown Press has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

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The Story:

Trapped in a soul-eating church and buried in small town Centerville, California for life, Ricky Edwards rebels against God’s word and gets a job debeaking turkeys. He debeaks turkeys because he needs a car. He needs a car because he wants to join the Lifters Car Club and to get laid. But he discovers that girls don’t go out with guys who wear Frisco jeans and shoes with heel and toe taps and Ricky is one horny guy. Raising hell all over Centerville, Ricky has a run in with the law, and it looks like he’s on the San Quentin fast track until his mentor, Mr W, teaches Ricky how to crack the Class War secret code and ships him off to Berkeley with high hopes he’ll last at least a year. In Berkeley, Ricky meets a very cool female guitarist in a rock band just back from a tour in Italy and hankering for some Okie boy love. Love is a commodity Ricky’s got more of than a bootlegger’s got moonshine. And he knows The Rules.

This is
Book Two of Jack Remick’s California Quartet.

 Memorable Quotes:

“In a nation of migrants, the Diaspora doesn’t end until you get to the water.” Sophie-Anne, Village Books Owner and Spirit Guide.

“Hell’s fire, kid. I seen dreams die. I know that look. I see it in the mirror every time I shave.” Bob Miller, Owner, Bob Miller’s CarValley.

The Characters:

Ricky Edwards is a teen-aged turkey debeaker who wants into a car club.

Linard Polk, Ricky’s long-time pal is one beat away from a dead-end when he loses a tooth to a ball peen hammer in a fight in the rain and ends up in bed with an older woman named Sharon.

Teresa, Ricky’s hyper-religious, piano-playing mother wants her son to leave the Valley because she’s afraid he’ll end up in San Quentin. She has big dreams that Ricky will make something of himself. Yeah sure. Inmate #3456 Cell Block C.

Mr W, Ricky’s mentor tries to show Ricky the way out when he explains the parable of Peasant Genes and Americans on the Moon.

Sophie-Anne, a mystical guru, teaches Ricky the Rules on the brocade sofa in the back of her bookstore.