You’ve been patient. But the moment has arrived – Not Into Night is available for friends and family for a few weeks, only here, only for you.
It’s available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Please be in touch with me if you have any questions.
Not Into Night features, in astonishing prose, Shake Tauffler’s coming-of-age in Utah in the early 1960s. Shake’s innocence is never lost – even as he journeys with great intent and flawed execution through a Mormon path that is never the right fit for him. And so we root for his inevitable escape – and lament tragic losses along the way.
Not Into Night opens with Shake at nineteen on a jet to Austria, where he will serve a two-year Mormon mission. 1963 is a tumultuous time for the United States as the civil rights movement rages in the South. Given his first love for a black girl, Cissy, and his devotion to the black heroes of jazz, the conflict deeply affects Shake. As the plane loads in Salt Lake, he reflects on the life he’s had to close down. College. His gift for jazz trumpet. The peril his younger brothers and sisters will face without him to buffer them from a disturbed mother and zealous father. His forays beyond the Mormon fenceline as he discovered sex, music, violence, and moral and emotional consciousness.
On his mission he finds a way to combine jazz trumpet with mission work, even as he wrestles through several “seniors” he is partnered with, good and bad. He manages to form an ad-hoc family with a wonderful couple and their daughter who is eager for an older brother. He works daily on his faith – until bad luck pairs him with a dangerous mission partner that quickly puts them both on a violent path to excommunication. One wild, drunken night with a Viennese prostitute threatens to undo years of discipline. Shake strikes a desperate deal with God to keep their sins secret, and even produces two exceedingly rare converts to the Mormon faith in the coming months. But eventually the road runs out. He is caught, faces a kangaroo court, and we leave Shake where we found him – lifting out of a city on a plane – bound this time not into night but west into the sun.