Courtney Allen, author
Down from the Mountain is an awarded historical fiction of a struggling Appalachian family, working and living in a hand-to-mouth existence on hard and unforgiving land. In the beginning, Troy Stanton’s young niece, Clara, becomes pregnant, and there is much contention as to the father and how to manage the circumstances. When the pregnant Clara suddenly vanishes, Troy is mired in indecision and finds few answers with no one to turn to. The Stantons suspect foul play from someone inside the small town, but Clara’s brother, Silas, discovers the secret and must bury it from the eyes of the community for the truth is never to be told. From the greatest desires comes the most bitter hatred, and the Stantons must stand their ground in order to survive in a world fraught with unjust grievances and black-hearted adversaries. The story is built as Clara embarks on a treacherous journey and brother Silas copes with living on the mountain, ultimately defending his own life, while Troy goes in search of his niece after she mysteriously disappears from their mountain home. Along the way, Clara's fatherless, unborn child is in peril as Clara undertakes the dangerous road to another life and onto her final destination, one that she never intended arriving at in the first place. Involving matters in the region, the Stantons are faced with generational hatreds that refuse to die and negotiating their lives in the highlands of Appalachia becomes increasingly difficult. They are paired with many challenges and dilemmas of moral choices, life decisions, compromising situations, danger, distrust and honor. Life in the mountains is hard and keeping his family name is first and foremost to Troy Stanton. This story is an intriguing journey of love and struggle, even murder and death, between the will to move their lives onward and the desire to become a family once again. Turn the cover to find the opening pages compelling, the heart of the book strong, and the ending satisfying yet bittersweet. Down from the Mountain is a tasteful début novel that will fill you with wonder, entice your soul, and leave you wanting more. This title made the 2015 Winners List in the Writers-Editors International Writing Competition. To date this book holds 68 5-Star reviews between Amazon and Goodreads.