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 has been Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on August 25. With the highest winds of 132 mph recorded at Port Aransas, the destruction is heartbreaking, and so we want to help. I’ve had the book in the hands of an editor with hopes of putting my best foot forward for agents and publishers, but Harvey has prompted us to get the book out on our own so that we can support those who are helping with relief and recovery on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Help Our Neighbors
With every book purchased, we will donate 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 Foundation
Friends of the Shore Harvey Relief Fund
Food Bank of Golden Crescent in Victoria
Corpus Christi Food Bank
Buy the Book
Aransas Morning will be available in a few weeks but you can pre-order and purchase directly from us at this link:
If you prefer to purchase a book from Amazon, please go to the above link and click on the email address and let us know so we can alert you when the book is available on Amazon. However, a purchase directly from us will contribute more to storm relief efforts.
Return to this web page for updates on book status as well as contributions made to relief agencies.
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.
I initially made Aransas Morning available for reading on Authonomy.com, 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 bad turn, Allie falls for a college boy with secrets, Dave and Shelly cement their relationship after storms of their own, and Sam has a dangerous brush with a gadfly from Houston named Rosie before meeting a soulful singer named Nancy who finally brings calm and peace to his life.