TULSA—Poteau-raised writer/editor Joe Harwell is going back home with the release of his newest novel, titled Izzy Cavanal.
This is Harwell’s eighth novel since 2009. All of Harwell’s novels are set in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Cavanal, the world’s highest hill is located west of Poteau.
Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Stephenson meets Rory Jacobs at Simpson elementary school in 1959. Rory is repeating second grade because of speech and reading problems. Seeing boys teasing and picking on petite Lizzy, he comes to her aide saying, “Leave Izzy alone.” As other kids laugh at how he mispronounced her name, she is touched by his willingness to defend her and their friendship begins.
Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war as they grow up in the 1960s, differences in their social standing becomes evident. Her family owns an orchard while Rory is being raised by his Spanish great grandmother because his mother was kicked out of her home in Tulsa when she became pregnant with him in high school.
Lizzy’s opposition to the war in the small town of Poteau causes public and family tension. Being a year older, Rory realizes the draft is unavoidable and plans to enter the military after high school graduation in 1969.
Their paths separate after high school and don’t cross again until Rory returns to Poteau in disguise after more than two decades on the run as a former military and CIA operative turned drug dealer, then DEA informant. He finds Lizzy married to one of his high school rivals with a 16-year old daughter who is just as rebellious as she was at the same age.
As the Cali Cartel finds and closes in on Rory, the lives of Lizzy and her family are in jeopardy as local drug dealers and crooked cops link up with the cartel to eliminate Rory. A preview of the first four chapters can be read at, https://joeharwell.wordpress.com/
The Amazon release date is Dec. 15, but readers can access signed, pre-release copies now at, http://bit.ly/1Ekp9t0