The Sugar Tree Series

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Shaking the Sugar Tree

The Sugar Tree Series

Wise-cracking Wiley Cantrell is loud and roaringly outrageous—and he needs to be to keep his deeply religious neighbors and family in the Deep South at bay. A failed writer on food stamps, Wiley works a minimum wage job and barely manages to keep himself and his deaf son, Noah, more than a stone’s throw away from Dumpster-diving.

Noah was a meth baby and has the birth defects to prove it. He sees how lonely his father is and tries to help him find a boyfriend while Wiley struggles to help Noah have a relationship with his incarcerated mother, who believes the best way to feed a child is with a slingshot. No wonder Noah becomes Wiley’s biggest supporter when Boston nurse Jackson Ledbetter walks past Wiley’s cash register and sets his sugar tree on fire.

Jackson falls like a wet mule wearing concrete boots for Wiley’s sense of humor. And while Wiley represents much of the best of the South, Jackson is hiding a secret that could threaten this new family in the making.

When North meets South, the cultural misunderstandings are many, but so are the laughs, and the tears, but, as they say down in Dixie, it’s all good.

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Stones in the Road

The Sugar Tree Series

Sequel to Shaking the Sugar Tree

When his snobbish future in-laws travel all the way from Boston to visit, wise-cracking Southerner Wiley Cantrell learns that gay marriage is not without its disadvantages. Occupied by concerns over the health of his special needs son Noah, a meth baby who was not expected to live and who is now on the cusp of puberty, the antics of Wiley's outrageous would-be mother-in-law and severely conservative father-in-law strain his relationship with Jackson Ledbetter, a pediatric nurse who poses problems of his own. As their respective families meet and greet, each just as meddlesome and inflexible as the other, North meets South and the fireworks and cultural misunderstandings are plenty.

A tornado blows through the small Mississippi town where Wiley's mother lives, wrecking his mother's house and leaving their lives in disarray. Then Jackson's secret drug addiction comes to light, and Wiley and Noah are devastated. With so many stones in the road, Wiley and Jackson find their dream of becoming a real family falling apart. Though Wiley relies on humor to cope, he'll need something more to keep his happily ever after from slipping away.

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Go Tell It on the Mountains

The Sugar Tree Series

Sequel to Stones in the Road

Years have gone by since the death of Noah, his special needs son, and Wiley Cantrell realizes it’s time to move on. He and his husband, Jackson Ledbetter, try to adopt little Tony Gorzola, a deaf boy with HIV who is emotionally traumatized.

Difficulties quickly set in. Tony is a sweet boy but very damaged by abuse and neglect. And Tony’s mother, in prison, is unwilling to relinquish her parental rights. No sooner do they get the go ahead to foster Tony when another child they had considered becomes available—the daughter Jackson always wanted.

With two children on their hands, life is complicated—wonderfully so. But just as things begin to settle down, Tony, his immune system compromised, falls ill with pneumonia—and Wiley and Jackson find their little family faced with crisis once again.

A portion of the proceeds from this book are being donated to the Kentucky Youth Law Project (www.kylpinc.org), whose goal is to reduce homelessness and promote legal protections for LGBT youth in the state of Kentucky.

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