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Tex Harris has just turned 70 and been put out to pasture by his employer. The curtain seems to be falling on his life. Before the obese soprano can vocalize the final notes, Tex discovers there is more to living than a career. After rescuing a damsel in distress on the freeway, he decides the role of hero fits him as well as the white Stetson he always wears. He organizes a group of senior citizens to patrol the highway to help those in need. His quest brings him into contact with Lizzie, an attractive widow who captures his heart. Unfortunately, she also wins the affection of Tex ’s best friend and his newly acquainted nemesis. The three compete for Lizzie’s affections as they all experience new things together. Tex learns that being a hero means sometimes means making enemies and more importantly that forgiveness is the most wonderful gift of all.
Seventy year-old Tex Harris has just been “put out to pasture”; due to mandatory retirement laws, his longtime employer has officially relieved him of his duties, and he finds himself wondering just what he’ll be doing with the rest of his life…fortuitously, he doesn’t have to wait too long when an unexpected event quickly changes his life forever. When he notices a young woman stranded on the side of the road, Tex – the Southern Gentleman that he is – pulls over to offer his assistance. Two young men are already on the scene, but something about them strikes Tex the wrong way, and his intuition is proven right when the situation quickly devolves into a tense standoff. Thankfully, the woman and her baby escape unharmed, but her would-be assailants manage to elude law enforcement and make a hasty getaway. Nonetheless, as a result of the breathtaking encounter, Tex is infused with a new reason for living: assisting those in need when no one else is around to do so. So, he launches The Angels Of Interstate29, a vigilant group of civic-minded seniors, who, like Tex, are retired but yet unwilling to pass quietly into the twilight of their lives. Joined by his best friend, Parnelli, and the lovely Lizzy, a widow he meets during his initial recruitment stop, Tex and crew embark on their collective quest to save innocent lives. As times goes on, though, the natural complexities of humanity inevitably emerge, and, at the same time that Tex competes with Parnelli for Lizzy’s attention and affections, he soon finds himself contending once again with unresolved dangers from the not-too-distant past… Angels Of Interstate 29 is quite the enjoyable read. Donald James Parker is a veritable master at crafting unique, original characters whose lives and leanings lend the story an impressive authenticity. Moreover, the wit and candor of his narrative style give it a distinctive edge that moves the story along at a compelling pace. Last but not least, Parker’s ability to bring equal parts intrigue, mystery, and suspense together into a convincingly coalesced whole treats the reader to a well balanced, carefully-crafted tale hard to put down. A sure treat for fans of a good old fashioned, well-told story.
The first few pages of "Angels" certainly had me intrigued. The hero is seventy. The love interest must be something similar. And the humor is wild and crazy, like watching prime-time TV. Donald James Parker has created some very believable characters, and I immediately wanted to know them better. Parker's realistic dialog captivated me wonderfully. I've read how writers should avoid "he said, she said." But "Angels of Interstate 29" might be a classic example of how to keep the voices separate without ascribing words to speakers. Eventually the conversations did begin to drag, but with perfect timing, that was when Parker began to ramp up the relationships. Tex and Parnelli are long-time friends--Tex perhaps the wiser of the two. And Alistair is the smooth-talking newcomer who seems set to win Lizzy's hand. I29 is the freeway where Tex plans that the old folk might angelically rescue the stranded. But the first person rescued is Tex when he puts his back out, and Lizzy is the rescuer. The reader begins to hope for more out of their relationships, but first there are problems: Tex's secret sorrow, a fishing trip with attendant worms and rocking boats, eating well and exercise, and church. Parker introduces God, and Tex's aversion to God, in a very natural way. And just as the relationship issues are beginning to wear thin, faith and forgiveness rush into the fray. The last quarter of the book races past in a blur--threats and fear, excitement, healing and hope. The impossible turns out to be more than possible, and faith and love win through. This was a surprising book. I guess I didn't know what I was getting into, but I was more than glad to be carried along, and the ending left me smiling with tears in my eyes. A thoroughly enjoyable read--just don't expect the heroes to be perfect angels; they are the "Angels of Interstate 29" and you take them as you find them.
If anyone thinks they are too old for love, think again. This delightful book of three "old codgers" around the young age of 70 meet a woman similar in age that just sweeps them off their feet! These men are definitely rough around the edges with their mild profanity in the beginning of the book. They smooth their speech out as well as work on slimming their waist size down in hopes of bagging this sweet chick for their very own. They have a sense of humor that won't let up. A pun with practically every breath and no one comes up for air. One problem: she has discovered she has many questions about God and wants to know how she can live to please Him and not just herself. Will they get her focus off God long enough to bring her to their home for the prize? Add to the competition pot: the foursome decides to start an organization named Angels. These are dependable folks who desire to help stranded people along Interstate 29, making that stretch of highway a safer place for people to travel. You now have one book full of adventure, fun, and yes, love. Those who are faint of heart with not so pretty language, take heart. Love does surprising things.
The author said I looked a great deal like the way he envisioned his character would look and would I allow him to use my picture on the cover. I didn't see any reason why not, but I did find myself wanting to know if the similarity went further. I got my chance, he sent me a copy. I found it to be a light-hearted romp with three senior citizens courting a spry widow lady. I did identify with the characters, except for the phony talking professor and I don't believe I was supposed to like him anyway. I did relate to the character I was supposed to represent, althouh he used a bit of language I'd never use. Still, the widow lady made him clean up his act from even doing that. It was an enjoyable read, start to finish. Terry Burns The Mysterious Ways Series from River Oak Press
I laughed until I thought I'd cry over the antics of these over-the-hill Angels. Boys will always be boys, regardless of their age, especially when a pretty little gal comes on the scene. Competition gets hot and heavy between life-long friends and a newcomer on the scene in the form of a snooty professor. Life takes on new meaning when these four decide they still have a lot of wear on their tires. They want to feel useful and so come up with the idea of helping strangers who have trouble along Interstate-29. That's when things get hot and not in the way they are expecting. A couple of small time crooks keep showing up like the proverbial bad pennies, making the Angels' lives miserable. The outcome will surprise you, make you laugh, cry and even stir up some anger. Just remember that all is fair in love and war. You'll want to read all of Donald James Parker's books after this one. They all have a different flavor, but excellence is the byword.
Irene Gardner - Utah
I downloaded "The Angels of Interstate 29" by Donald James Parker thinking I'd get to it after finishing the several books I was already into. But I made a big mistake - I read the first paragraph. After that there was no stopping. "Septuagenarian. Tex Harris rolled that word over in his mind. It didn't sit well. He swished it around his mouth and between his teeth a couple of times. It didn't taste any better." How could I resist a start like that? I read the whole thing. It was wonderful! Tex Harris can't believe he's seventy. He certainly doesn't feel like celebrating the fact. And there he is on his way to the Senior Center when he sees a car on the shoulder and a young woman trying to flag down some help. He slows down and can't help noticing how attractive she is. Turns out he isn't the only one who notices. The car ahead of him is backing up and two shady looking characters hop out. They tell Tex to be on his way, so as not to miss his shuffleboard game. Instead of taking off Tex goes back to his truck and calls for help. Turns out the guys are driving a stolen car. He goes back, this time with his shotgun, sends the woman and her sick child off in his truck and keeps his rifle trained on the bad guys. Unfortunately a rookie cop arrives before the sheriff and mistakes Tex for the bad guy. The assailants get away, threatening revenge, but the incident gives Tex an idea. Life takes on new meaning for him when he and his buddies form a group to patrol the highway and assist those who need help. They're joined by Lizzy, an attractive widow, and Tex finds he has competition for her affections. He also has some unresolved conflicts to deal with and the thugs who keep turning up to harass him. Parker has a knack for characterization and his dialogue is witty and real. The themes of faith and forgiveness are introduced without being heavy-handed. The pace moves along swiftly and there's enough conflict and suspense to keep the pages turning. It's a thoroughly entertaining tale that proves you're never too old for adventure and love. I don't read a lot of Christian fiction, but I really enjoyed this book and I'll be picking up any others written by Donald James Parker.
Gail Pruszkowski from "Romantic Times BOOK reviews"