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All Things Left Wild Book Blog Tour

James Wade
Genre: Adventure / Rural Fiction / Coming of Age Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Publication Date: June 16, 2020 Number of Pages: 304 pages Scroll down for the giveaway!
After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb's moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill.  Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice. Powerful and atmospheric, lyrical, and fast-paced, All Things Left Wild is a coming-of-age for one man, a midlife odyssey for the other, and an illustration of the violence and corruption prevalent in our fast-expanding country. It artfully sketches the magnificence of the American West as mirrored in the human soul.

PRAISE for All Things Left Wild: 
"A debut full of atmosphere and awe. Wade gives emotional depth to his dust-covered characters and creates an image of the American West that is harsh and unforgiving, but -- like All Things Left Wild -- not without hope." — Texas Literary Hall of Fame member Sarah Bird, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen "James Wade has delivered a McCarthy-esque odyssey with an Elmore Leonard ear for dialogue. All Things Left Wild moves like a coyote across this cracked-earth landscape—relentlessly paced and ambitiously hungry." — Edgar Award finalist David Joy, When These Mountains Burn

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Inspiration for All Things Left Wild

by James Wade


Two years ago, our travel trailer was parked on BLM land in the desert outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The famed caverns to our north, the sloped peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains to the south—this was a fine piece of country to make camp for a few days.

I took a long walk with our dog, a little scouting trip to explore the territory. Other than some old ruts from an oil tanker and the occasional loose cattle, this place looked so wild, so untouched, that I felt guilty about even being there. I felt guilty that I was leaving footprints in what I took to be this magical place where I didn't belong. But then I looked behind me and the wind was blowing so hard that it had blown away those footprints. Seeing that relieved the guilt, but it also brought a certain sadness. 

Of course people had walked here before me, lived here before me. There'd been civilizations and societies, distinct cultures and blended populations. There'd been Indians, Spaniards, ranchers, oilmen, and every one of them had a story to tell, about the land, about themselves, and about how so many of our internal struggles have remained the same no matter how much the world around us has changed.

I went inside and starting writing. I wrote a couple of paragraphs about the country, then a couple about that yearning feeling that comes with being alive. Yearning for what? I couldn't say. But there's a longing that most of us feel, and I wrote about it. I wrote about that longing and a great many other things.

I wrote about poverty and equality and the beauty of the morning, about death and love and horses. I even set aside my ego (however temporarily) and wrote about how scared a man can get, how weak and lost the world can make us feel. I tried to tell a story of nuance (something I feel is most lacking in our society of extremes), of landscapes as magnificent as they are unforgiving, and of the way the day slips into night whether we're paying attention or not.

I feel our lives are layered in ways we may not even be able to acknowledge, let alone account for. I feel the enormity of existence is matched only by its impermanence. I took these feelings and tried my best to turn them into words to describe the strength of a woman, the complications of family, the fear that makes religions seem both necessary and absurd, and the speculation that very few choices in life belong completely to the individual.

Before long, I had a story that I could hold in my hands instead of my head.


Lately, with a baby on the way and All Things Left Wild about to be published, I’ve been thinking again about those things that led me to write the book in the first place—the same things that keep me writing today. They’re mainly questions I don't have answers to; not only have I not found any answers yet, I don't believe I've gotten any better at hunting for them.

But I don't read books for the answers; I read them for the emotions, for the stories, and for that most holy of agreements between author and reader that says we're all human, we're all lost, but for the next 300 pages we're all in this together. So, if you feel like coming along, you can get your copy of All Things Left Wild from your local bookstore, from Amazon, Bookshop, IndieBound, or anywhere else books are sold.

I love every one of you. Keep reading. Keep trying. We're gonna be alright.


James Wade lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He has had twenty short stories published in various literary magazines and journals. He is the winner of the Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest. All Things Left Wild is his debut novel.
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TWO WINNERS: A signed copy of All Things Left Wild
JUNE 18-28, 2020
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