Missouri native and author Ron Nichols has crafted a gem of an adventure tale in his latest novel, “C.J. Brown’s Diamonds in the Rough,” by Martin Sisters Publishing. This is Nichols’ second novel for young adults in as many years.
Following his heart-string-tugging, “Where the Sky Doesn’t End,” Nichols’ second work of fiction is an action-packed novel filled with intrigue, greed, paranormal mystery, danger and a quest for riches untold.
“Diamonds have always mesmerized and enchanted us,” Nichols said. “And because of their value, many people will move heaven and earth – and kill or be killed – to find them,” he said. “This novel translates that timeless, universal captivation into a heart-pounding, coming-of-age adventure novel that will appeal to anyone who’s ever dreamed of discovering riches untold.”
When the book’s protagonist, 13-year-old C.J. Brown, learns that she’ll be spending her entire summer away from her friends – isolated – in a small town in central Arkansas, she is utterly despondent. But as she begins meeting some of the rural village’s residents, C.J. discovers she possess a strange and remarkable paranormal gift. And when she befriends an eccentric, 8-year-old rock hound, she soon finds herself being led headlong into the dark and foreboding bowels of the earth in his relentless pursuit of precious gemstones.
As a greedy corporate geologist seeks to remove some of the residents of the small town from their land – in order to acquire the perfect water source for her client’s factory – explosive charges are set off in one of the area’s nearby caves. With that blast, C.J. and her unlikely companion must count on each other to escape from their would-be death trap – just as they appear to have discovered a remarkable cache of “Diamonds in the Rough.”
“The book’s pages are filled with nefarious characters and good-natured gas jockeys, along with the sights, sounds and smells of small-town America,” Nichols said. Himself a childhood rock-hound, Nichols said he once dreamed of coming upon a diamond-barring volcanic pipe, which would make him “filthy rich.” “Regrettably, I never discovered that cache of diamonds, or even semi-precious gemstones, but it doesn’t mean that can’t happen to others,” he said, “even if that ‘discovery’ is made possible vicariously through the characters in a book.”
A University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate, Nichols previously worked for newspapers in Missouri and Texas before beginning his current career in marketing communications. The native Missourian lives in Greensboro, N.C. with his wife Betsy and daughter Katie.
Print and e-versions of “C.J. Brown’s Diamonds in the Rough,” can be found at www.amazon.comwww.books.google.com/ebooks and www.barnesandnoble.com . The book can also be ordered through retail book sellers. Information about the book and the author can also be found at the publisher’s Web site: www.martinsisterspublishing.com.