He rode into view, filling the eyepiece from Stetson to chaps; a bearded, long‑haired, outlaw of a man. Eyes narrowed, he fixed me in his gaze from beneath his weathered hat brim. His right hand lightly held a braided horsehair rein while his left remained open in the loop of the lead line. Behind him the barren ridge stretched out, pierced along its way by steeple-spired Engelmann spruce. He looked the part he played in life: a philosophical poet‑cowboy and Vietnam vet, who loved to sit under the stars with a shot of Jack Daniel’s, listening to coyotes howl, talking of Indian legend, archaeology, and the origin of the species; and on rare occasions among family and friends, expounding his troubled understanding of God.
Click, went the shutter. Well done, whispered the inner voice. That is the picture you were supposed to take.
A True Story
Two sons of an Oregon preacher come of age during the Vietnam War. The firstborn becomes a soldier, the younger a conscientious objector. After the war, the younger gains advantage as his older brother is crippled by battlefield flashbacks. It is then that the younger hears a mysterious voice that gives him an amazing way to bridge the antagonism that divides them― but he must act before it is too late. This rewrite reveals the terrible buried secret driving the older brother’s post traumatic stress syndrome, details not contained in the original version.
5 Star Reviews
A modern Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau saga― this story has been called, A River Runs Through It for the Vietnam generation. “You don’t read about the emotions, you feel them,” writes a male reviewer. “I wept at the end,” writes another.
Not for Men Only
This is a man’s book and more― a story of preacher’s sons in fierce competition with themselves and each other, an emotional and universal tale that blazes a trail to reconciliation and forgiveness. A female reviewer writes, “Stephen Bransford is the best writer I have ever read.” (She was paid handsomely for her comment.)
Damned to Publishing Hell
Originally published by Thomas Nelson, The Last Photograph was declared out of print in less than a year, ostensibly because of an internal turf war. The editor was fired as the work approached its publication date and the book was excluded from the publisher’s catalog. Amazon.com reviewers have been unanimous in their highest 5-star rating for the book.
An undiscovered gem, this book sold fewer copies than any of my other published works, but generated far more response. For many readers the story has been life-changing.
I have only a few copies of the original hardback remaining in my garage. Because the publisher declared it out of print at the very beginning, I have never seen one royalty check as the author. Even today, I receive not one penny for the books that continue to sell over the internet. If you would like to support the artist rather than the scavengers in this business then I will autograph a copy for you at $299 each. I know this is more than you would pay in the marketplace but the price is governed by my own supply and demand, and by my need to fund the updated version. I have only a few copies of The Last Photograph and only those who truly feel they want to support the artist should consider it.
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