My Christmas Attic
There's no reading this enchanting book without getting moved in the process. For a jaunt back in time when everything in life seemed to come to a screeching standstill, hope always remained with each new passing day. I heartily recommend this book that apparently, keeps giving
A brilliant novel about a young dyslexic child who wants Christmas to last forever. The best way to do that is to take it up to the attic. Life however isn't easy. I found the book spanned a lot of emotions. It made me walk through the shoes of a child with learning disabilities. Parts of it made me smile. Many parts made me sad. That's what a good book does after all. It makes you feel!
My Christmas Attic is a feel-good, plot- and character-driven short novel that appeals to audiences nostalgic for a time in our history when there was a greater sense of shared national purpose. It was written specifically for dyslexic children who often feel ostracized at school because of their struggles to read, but its appeal can be shared by children (and adults) of all ages.
The Accountant's Apprentice
Finalist in the 2016 & 2020 Chanticleer International Book Awards Competitions
Accountant's Apprentice is a book that captures us with a crime and then, in Dostoevsky fashion, takes us inside the minds of its characters. It's a twisting and turning narrative that examines the human form.
Justin Moore, a young Catholic priest, witnesses a crime he believes he might have prevented. The incident destroys his faith in himself and undermines his mental health. He takes a leave of absence and moves into a small apartment in downtown San Diego, where he lives a reclusive lifestyle reading and pondering his life’s mission. One day he spots a note advertising a position as a driver for a wheelchair-bound resident of the same apartment. He decides to answer the ad and is introduced to an elderly man who identifies himself as “A. C., an accountant for an international business firm.” When A. C. refuses to divulge anything more about himself, Justin soon questions whether his elderly employer might be involved in illegal activities. As Justin becomes increasingly obsessive about his new employer, he speculates that A. C. might have an even more mysterious past.
The Sins of Rachel Sims
A Ned Finley story
Excellent story line which was gripping from start to finish. Great Characters. I would highly recommend this book
Rachel Sims, a young Midwestern farm wife, disappears in 1952 under mysterious circumstances while apparently on her way to meet with a man who is not her husband. After the death of her mother twenty-two years later, Laura Fielding, a graduate student with a bonding disorder and a history of broken relationships, discovers that her family may have been living under stolen identities. She also has vague memories and dreams that are unconnected to anything she remembers from her early childhood experiences. With the help of psychiatrist Ned Finley, an eccentric researcher who studies human memories, she attempts to solve the mystery of her lineage. Laura eventually learns that her past may be connected to the disappearance of Rachel Sims. Although the townspeople believe Rachel was an immoral woman who abandoned her husband for a better life, Laura suspects the real reasons for the young farm wife’s disappearance might be found in her own early life memories.
The Search for Judd McCarthy
A Ned Finley story
This expertly written thriller, a kind of Stephen King-Ross MacDonald hybrid (and in a class with either) beautifully evokes the feeling of a small town dying—its buildings, its streets and, most of all, its lost souls.
In the fall of 1926, itinerant laborer Judd McCarthy disappears with a company payroll while traveling between two small towns in the Midwest. Thirty-three years later, lawyer Joel Hampton thinks he is going insane. Psychiatrist Ned Finley, who becomes involved in the case, believes that Joel’s problems defy traditional psychological explanations. As Joel’s outbursts steadily worsen, Finley becomes convinced that his patient is being possessed by the spirit of a violent man who once lived in Carver County. Finley journeys to the small town of Danvers, where he learns of a man who disappeared in 1926 while transporting a company payroll. As Finley struggles to learn what happened to Judd McCarthy, and why his spirit seemingly lives on in Joel Hampton, his own life is threatened by some menacing presence in the small town.
First book in the Prairie Trilogy
An archetypal account of Depression-era hardship.
Told through the perspective of the author's father, Prairie Son is the true story of a boy who was adopted out of an orphanage in the early 1920s and raised on a Midwestern farm. Lloyd Clausen endures the Great Depression, drought years, and spirit-crushing poverty as he attempts to reconnect with his biological parents.
Published in 1999, Prairie Son won the First Series Creative Nonfiction Award that same year. Dave Woods, former VP of the National Book Critics Circle, wrote that the book attracted “all manner of national attention, a consummation devoutly to be wished for by a small publisher.” Prairie Son was also nominated for several national book awards, and the University of Minnesota (Clausen's alma mater) voted it one of the top five books published by an alumnus.
Goodbye to Main Street
Awarded "First Place" in the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards Competition
Every bit of this book is engrossing... no reader will ever doubt that or regret buying the book!
Clausen expertly weaves his past together in this sequel to Prairie Son, that will surely hit the mark for readers. Highly recommended.
Goodbye to Main Street, a family memoir and sequel to Prairie Son, is one journey divided into two parts. The first half depicts Clausen’s life in a small prairie town. Clausen describes how his adopted father wandered into and out of his life and was, as his mother put it, “still searching for a place where he fit in.”
The second half of Goodbye to Main Street explores family mysteries and the legacy of previous generations. These mysteries, first explored in the prequel Prairie Son, motivate Clausen to complete his father’s journey. He researches and connects with Lloyd’s biological families in ways his father was never able to do. Clausen begins to find answers to the many unanswered questions in his family history.
The Poetry of Main Street
Whimsical, humorous, and often lyrical and penetrating insights into small town characters.
American Tapestry: The Poetry of Main Street is the final book in a unique trilogy author Dennis M. Clausen started writing in the early 1980s and completed almost four decades later. Prairie Son (1999), a work of creative nonfiction and the first book in the trilogy, is the story of the author’s father, Lloyd Clausen, who was adopted in the early 1920s to be a farm worker and not a son. Goodbye to Main Street (2016), the second book in the trilogy, is a “Family Memoir and Sequel to Prairie Son” in which author Clausen narrates his own efforts to complete his father’s search for his biological parents and their descendants. American Tapestry, a book of poems about small town characters in the middle of the last century, completes this multi-genre trilogy. Many of these poems were inspired by people Clausen knew and wrote about in Prairie Son and Goodbye to Main Street.
Storytelling as Art & Craftsmanship
Practical Strategies for Screenwriters and Creative Writers
Storytelling as Art and Craftsmanship examines the elements of storytelling in films and traditional creative writing genres. Citing examples from screenplays, films, classical literature, drama, and even historical stories that live on in our national memories, Clausen examines the common grounds that unite these stories. He demonstrates that storytellers in all genres are both artists who engage in spontaneous and organic decision-making, but also craftsmen who shape, anticipate, and structure their stories for maximum dramatic effect.