Joshua's Ladder by Mark Haugen

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Joshua Miller walks down Main Street in Spearfish, South Dakota, during one of his twice-a-year visits to town, coming down from his cabin in the Black Hills where he has retreated and lived for 10 years after two life-altering events. A decade previous, his parents and twin brother were killed in a car accident, shortly after Joshua had cancelled the wedding to his high school sweetheart. He sought solace in the Hills with his two dogs and lots of booze.

On this particular visit to town, the sulking drunk Joshua finds that most of his old best friends have finally thrown in the towel on him and any hopes that he might return to the likable, vivacious Joshua of old. This revelation annoys and eventually awakens him. He decides to start over somewhere else. He heads to Florida.

In Cocoa Beach his life takes a lively turn. He falls in love with a beautiful astronaut, befriends an elderly Haitian immigrant and two gregarious, gay triathletes. Following a whirlwind romance and engagement, his fiance takes off, literally, and commands a space shuttle mission; during which Joshua and his new buddies are charged with organizing the wedding to be held in South Dakota.

It is back in Spearfish where his old friends meet his new friends. With only a revitalized Joshua as a common denominator, they hit it off well and rejoice that Joshua has finally found the happiness that has eluded him for over a decade.

Now, all he needs is for his fiance to arrive. And that's easier said than done.

About Mark Haugen

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A fifth-generation South Dakotan, Haugen is a recovering journalist living in the Black Hills of South Dakota with his wife, three teenagers, two dogs and Johnny Depp, the pet rabbit. Haugen is a former newspaper reporter, editor, sportswriter, publisher and award-winning columnist. He has lived throughout South Dakota: in Montrose, Canton, Sioux Falls and Valley Springs. He's worked at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Tri-State Neighbor and owned the Tea & Harisburg Champion newspaper in Tea. He also had brief forays across state lines and worked at newspapers in Windom and Luverne, Minn., and Rock Valley, Iowa. Haugen is also an avid runner and gardener.
Published May 21, 2011 406 pages
Genres: Romance, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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