The Smoke That Thunders

      Nathan Bassett
The Smoke That Thunders

"Africa held the promise of changed hearts and souls. This Africa would offer renewed hope and the possibility of love. It would define their destinies. Yet, at any moment, this Africa could rob them of hope, love, and destiny. Chad and Peter were to be tested and refined in ways they dare not imagine.""I refuse to let them strip me of love, of hope---of humanity. That is what they want. And, we must--and we can--pray for them, Peter."Early on in life, Peter and Chad decided not to care about the world around them...albeit for very different reasons. Chad took great pride in being a self-absorbed, pretty-boy. Peter, a has-been hippie, worked hard to disappear into his own world. A flip of a coin drew them into an unlikely friendship their first year at university.A year later, they befriended a white South African exchange student. Concerned about their self-centered view of the world, he invited them to join him in South Africa.This year in Africa forces them to face the realities of oppression and cruelty, and of hope and love. However, both begin to see these realities from very different perspectives; perspectives that threatens their friendship and in the end, shapes their futures.'The Smoke That Thunders,' explores the quest for friendship and love in the midst of human frailty and human cruelty. It is a journey towards hope—hope that we can find faith in ourselves and in something much greater.

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    Life So Perfect

      Nathan Bassett
Life So Perfect

Maddie kissed Joe's cheek and whispered, "Steven’s not crazy Joe, he’s damaged. He’s hurt and broken, like everyone in this place. We're all broken, but never ever ruined.”Joe was determined not to make any friends -- not while he was in a psychiatric hospital, where everyone around him was crazy. His only concern was dealing with his own inner demons, demons that insisted death was his best option. That's why he latched on to Steven, his schizophrenic roommate who was considered the social leper among the crazies on the adolescent psyche ward. Hanging around that angry and deranged sixteen year old Native American meant everyone else would leave him alone, that's what Joe wanted. When Steven invited Maddie, a habitual liar and long time cutter, to join them at dinner one evening, everything changed. The lives of these three hurting and broken teenagers would become reluctantly entwined and lead to an unpredictable course of events where they would have to depend on one another to survive.

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