2017 International Book Awards: Finalist, Fiction: General

After twenty years of riding the rails, Alphonse has earned a reputation for being a kindhearted soul always ready to help. When he helps the Sadlers, a young couple seeking a better life in small-town 1950s Indiana, he doesn’t intend to stay. But stay he does, keeping a close eye on the Sadlers and their two young sons—and an even closer eye on the town’s new priest, Father Brennon.

On the surface, Brennon seems perfect for the job―but Alphonse crossed paths with him years earlier in the railyard jungle, and he knows better. Brennon doesn’t recognize Alphonse, but Alphonse has never forgotten Brennon . . . or his crimes. So when Brennon assigns the Sadlers’ son, Francis, who is now thirteen, the thankless task of cleaning and maintaining the church’s bell tower—work that often continues into the night—Alphonse immediately grows suspicious. Soon, he discovers that his worst fears have come to pass, and he races to find a way to protect Francis and reveal the truth to the Sadler family.

Author: Carl Sever

Publication Date: June 27, 2017




2018 IPPY Gold Medal Winner, Best First Book—Fiction
2017 International Book Awards: Finalist, Fiction: General
2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist, Fiction: General
2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist, General Fiction
2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist, New Fiction

About the Author

Carl Sever began writing fiction in part because of his interest in the 1930’s Dust Bowl, hobo culture and lore, and small-town midwestern life, especially in areas dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. His writing has also been an important part of recovery from a traumatic brain injury he suffered in a car accident in 1990. Carl has been a teacher, a journalist, and nature photographer. He has also been a businessman and co-owner of an exclusive wholesale photo lab. He’s an avid outdoorsman, passionate fly-fisherman, and adventurer who has explored the mountains of Colorado, Montana, Canada, and Alaska. His travels have taken him to Costa Rica and Panama, reinforcing his study of Spanish as a second language. He’s a lifelong learner, with studies ranging from screenwriting and sculpture to nature photography. Alphonse is his first novel.