New – Skipping Stones

Novel by Penny Lauer

Skipping StonesAvailable in Paperback on Amazon and as an E Book on Kindle.

The Children’s Mantra

They made a bold step into the night. The black sky twinkled with tiny silver sparkles, and the crunchy fallen snow glittered at their feet. They inhaled deeply and twitched their noses as the frosted air froze the hair there, and they lifted their faces and stuck out their tongues to catch fresh snowflakes, even as they blinked to remove their light heaviness from their eyelashes. The delicious music of quiet was interrupted only by Katie’s occasional delighted giggles…

“What about you, Mommy?” Katie whispered. “What’s your resolution going to be?”

Jess couldn’t get started. The children’s resolutions were profound to her, and, in a sense, she had been diminished by them. It was Ben who came up with an idea for his mother.

“When things change, you could be a decorator for other people like you’ve always wanted to be…You could do it. You could do so much, Mom. You deserve to do something good for yourself. You should start thinking about ways to do it.”

“Jonathon the Gull would do it,” Josh offered. That’s one of the things we’re supposed to remember from the story: never let go of your dreams. No matter what.”

He arranged them in a kind of huddle and asked everyone to hold hands.

“Remember Jonathon,” he said. “Be the gull!”

The simple words became the children’s mantra.

Synopsis: Skipping Stones

Steve and Jess are part of the “beautiful people” in their upscale community, but their images are deceptive.   Degradation and gloom dominate Jess and her children’s lives, and the years of isolation and subjugation they have endured from Steve threaten to destroy them.  And then young Josh arrives.  Even as his sense of self begins to disintegrate in his new home, he stubbornly holds onto his dream for a better future and risks everything that is important to him to save his aunt and cousins.

Armed for battle with his mother’s diary, the support of his new-found father, and the gift of the books, Jonathon Livingston Seagull and Watership Down, the truth of things and the courage of unlikely heroes are steadily revealed to Josh, and he and his cousins vow to “Be the gull!”

The courage that Josh and his family find demonstrates the power of love, honesty, and connection to nature.  The story of Josh comes full circle when his father reveals the secret his mother was going to disclose the day she died.  The story of Jess and her children ends and begins when their silence is finally broken.


About the Author

It took me three years to begin my second novel, Skipping Stones, because I was so caught up in the characters of my first book.  Josh and his family finally took over my thoughts, and so I began.  And here I am.