Aransas Morning


Sometimes life throws a writer something that he or she can’t let go of, and over time, it can turn into a book. In my case, the book is Aransas Morning, a story of redemption and family set in the Gulf Coast town of Port Aransas, Texas.

And then sometimes events take place that create an urgency to get that book out into the market. That event was Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on August 25. With the highest winds of 132 mph recorded at Port Aransas, the destruction was heartbreaking. We wanted to help the people and town in some constructive way and so we quit talking to agents and editors about the book and pushed Aransas Morning out into the market on our own.

Help Our Neighbors

With every book purchased, we are donating 75% of the net proceeds to the following agencies that are working to bring relief and comfort to the people of Port Aransas and the surrounding region:

Coastal Bend Community Foundation

Friends of the Shore Harvey Relief Fund

Food Bank of Golden Crescent in Victoria

Coastal Bend Food Bank

Buy the Book

Aransas Morning  is available directly from us at this link:

Buy Aransas Morning

If you prefer to purchase a book online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, it’s available there now.  However, a purchase directly from us will contribute more to storm relief efforts.


Thanks to the generosity and curiosity of friends and strangers we were able to contribute $1,000 to the agencies listed above by the end of 2017. That’s a good start but we want to do more so we’re not going to let up on the promoting and selling. And we’ll do the same with a sequel when it is ready sometime in 2018. Return to this web page for updates.


Writer travels to Port Aransas for new novel


When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.


Chapters 1 and 2

Allie and Bo


I initially made Aransas Morning available for reading on, a web site sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers. Sadly, the site was closed but out of 1,000 manuscripts Aransas Morning was ranked as high as 7th at one time and closed at 42 among fiction works and 179 among all manuscripts. And the site didn’t close before the book gained some readers and a few comments:

“In this heartwarming book, Jeff Hampton took me to a place I’ve never been and captured me with his delightful characters, seaside landscape, and deft use of words to portray a small group of people who came together to create and run the “Dream Bean” cafe. Great summer reading.”

“I loved the characters, with their flaws and their graces. It is an honest and heart-warming story of redemption coming through community. I’m really glad I read it.”

“Really nice character development, articulating in a very comfortable and readable style the messy, complex, joyous and hopeful ways we build, break and nurture ‘community.’”

“Very quickly in the story, the characters became like friends. The book is engaging and held my interest.”

The Journey to Aransas Morning

The journey to Aransas Morning began with a trip to Port Aransas on the first anniversary of my first wife’s death. I was standing on the beach at dawn to watch the sunrise when a man walked up to me and asked, “What do you see?” I said, “The love of God,” and then I explained the reason I was there. He said, “I lost my girl too. I lost everything,” and then he walked away. I never saw him again, but he stayed in my mind. I began to imagine what his situation was and I wrote a short story. And that was that, until several people read it and insisted that there was more to the story. They kept pressing and I started writing and sure enough, there was more to the story.


Aransas Morning is actually the first of two books. In the sequel, Aransas Evening, Sam and his friends continue their journey together. Bo’s life takes a turn, Allie falls for a college boy with secrets, Dave and Shelly cement their relationship after storms of their own, and Sam meets a gadfly from Houston named Rosie and a soulful singer named Nancy. And then comes Hurricane Harvey and nothing will ever be the same.