By Emily Hill
Jim Blakeway, Edmonds business owner and an ambassador for the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, re-published this week his debut novel, “When The Leaves Fall Early,” a story of evil, magic, murder and mystery. Pitting good against evil from the wooded landscape of northern Wisconsin, Blakeway hooks his readers into a story that explores the geography of desire and the consequences of our choices.
In a character-rich plot and an expansive backdrop, author Blakeway invites the reader to believe in the magic of love and then nearly backhands us for our complicity. A natural storyteller, the affable Shoreline resident surprises those who know him with a dark, foreboding novel that guarantees a memorable literary experience.
“When The Leaves Fall Early” opens as Merlin the Magician swirls his sorcery through a surreal setting and one man stumbles through an moment of indecision. In so doing he seals his fate. The matter than has caused Merlin to mettle in our hero’s life? Our hero has an overwhelming desire to capture the love of a woman from his past.
Once Merlin sets in motion a plan intended to undo the novel’s main characters, we are introduced to the inner workings of the small town’s sheriff’s office, its politics and personalities. Moving from a shadowy background to the forefront of the novel is an unnamed “hunter,” armed with bow-and-arrow, who stalks the backwoods killing the kindliest of townsfolk. One is left to wonder if it is Merlin or a dark past that propels ‘the hunter’ toward the climactic scene that concludes the novel.
A town full of eccentric characters, lonely hearts, fortune tellers and a couple whose marriage is in near remnants, entertain Blakeway’s readers. Without divulging the storyline, I will reveal that I was eerily drawn to the dramatic pacing of “When The Leaves Fall Early.” The sinister symbols of sorcery abound as crows flutter through deep, darkened woods, and wolves travel in packs terrorizing the townsfolk. It is easy enough to conclude that Blakeway’s Merlin is no cupid. But how the novel resolves just how powerful Merlin is when it comes to matters of the heart is for the reader to discover. The novel contains explicit content.
A book trailer for “When The Leaves Fall Early” can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psGU8W_bLJo
Blakeway’s ability to write stems from a curious and imaginative mind coupled with a life of many experiences. Born in Florida in 1951, he attended school in the U.S., Britain and Canada, and graduated from the University of Washington in 1972 with a degree in business administration. His career included employment with Boeing, then with an international computer firm, before ending up as the Northwest systems engineering manager for Motorola. In 1980, he helped form Dynalogic, Inc. and spent most of his time designing, writing, installing and supporting the firm’s accounting software. Dynalogic’s customer base extended across the United States, also including remote locations such as Guam, Hawaii and the North Slope of Alaska.
In 2008, Blakeway received a Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning from City University. He has spent the last several years as the president of Dynalogic Personal Services, specializing in Daily Money Management for seniors and busy professionals.
Some of the experiences that his book’s characters share are drawn from Blakeway’s first-hand knowledge of hunting and farming, although he includes among his interests travel, skiing, sky and scuba diving, and motorcycles. In 2010 Blakeway was the Hillwood Soccer Club’s coach of the year after leading his girl’s under-seventeen team to an undefeated season and a Seattle City Tournament championship.
“When The Leaves Fall Early,” published by Flatsnake Publishing, is currently available on Kindle and Nook. Later this month it will be available in soft-cover format.
Emily Hill is the author of “Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner” and owner of A.V. Harrison Publishing, which assists authors in self-publishing their works.