Erskine Click at Pumpkin Junction

Erskine Click is written in the same vein as the books I like to read: Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday; Joshua Then And Now; Paper Moon; Paper Chase; The Shipping News; Boy’s Life; The Secret Life of Bees; Where the Heart Is.

It follows a young woman who becomes stranded in a small mountain town. During the few days we watch, she meets some notable locals — strange they are, different, wrong, akin to a car accident that must be stared at while somehow being avoided completely — and becomes irrevocably stuck in a plot to take over the world! Well, that’s either stretching the truth or it isn’t.

She does meet the kid after whom the book is titled, and does spend some time at the actual Pumpkin Junction. She might meet the love of her life and might like things covered in chocolate; she might come to appreciate the life-saving properties of the simple 

jalapeño and might finally realize that, quite often, society doesn’t know what the hell it’s talking about.

The characters still surprise me, still make me laugh. I hope they’ll do the same to you.

Read the first chapter

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Whatever Happened to Erskine Click?

It’s been almost a month since we’ve heard from Erskine. This time, he really will try to save the world. And, as everybody knows, or should know, a good world-saving starts on skates.

In Erskine’s case, it starts on a mountain pond above Pumpkin Junction. Gillian will find himself sitting on the bench dreaming about warm bonfires and slow cats. The bouncing puck will start him thinking about skates: “pfft, I betcha I can skate.” But of course, no one can hear him. He’ll decide to speak to Conlan about skates for Christmas.

Fortunately, to save Gillian the embarrassment of skating, their world-saving moves through the Unauthorized Personnel Only door and quickly deteriorates into a race against forces they never would have imagined.

With the right help — perhaps a short fellow, gracious and awestruck but lacking the ability to react quickly enough when foreigners show up on his doorstep, 

maybe off-green with some sort of airsickness or genetic default — the former freaks from Squash Hollow might become world heroes. With the wrong help, they might watch the world they know drift from reach.

Book cover.

The Uncowboy

Question #1: can one person save the world?

Answer: no.

Question #2:  what would you do if a good friend asked you for that kind of help? And I mean help that involved more than recycling or walking to work.

Keith’s answer would be an emphatic yes! which might surprise you; but then, you probably didn’t realize the ten year old’s helping might involve driving a tank.

If you read further, you’ll see that two people won’t be enough, that it will take a strange group of eight to even try — and some cats, and maybe a chicken. Don’t worry, no cats were harmed in the writing of this book; the bull and chicken were treated as well as can be expected under the circumstances; unfortunately, some of the Fitches fared poorly.

Before you realized Keith had signed up, I’ll assume you answered yes to question #2.

So, imagine you find yourself among the eight. During those moments when you were, let’s say, waiting in line for flowers while she polished her Harley or sitting in the sun while he got into his chaps or any of the other mundane things that might crop up between world-saving assignments, you might have time to ponder question #3: if you could screw anybody from history, who would it be?