Sandy and Wayne

Sandy and Wayne, Steve Yates       Release Date: January 2016

In Sandy and Wayne, Steve Yates reveals his talents in this gorgeous sweep of prose. Arranging his characters intimately against the vast Ozark Mountains, Yates moves flawlessly between the lives of Sandy Coker and Wayne Sheridan to the road crews reshaping the land. From their harbored ambitions to the secret that threatens to pull their lost hearts apart, this beautifully written novella tells a story of worlds colliding, of truths and consequences, as two people fall in love, reluctant to change with the world around them.

“Sandy and Wayne is tremendous, a taut, tense, magisterial work that has all the concision and sharpness of a great short story, all of the texture and detail of an engrossing novel. The novella is, in my opinion, the hardest fictional form to get right;  Steve Yates has proven his mastery of this most gorgeous form.”—Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

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Sandy and Wayne
Steve Yates

There is nothing like walking behind a thoroughbred filly on a freezing morning, watching that bounding step, those jouncing back pasterns—two pinion-feather-pogo springs, that roll of the big, eager eyes, that steaming breath with every nod of the head. Nothing like it to make a woman wonder, Why? Why these hills, these stars, that fog, these acres, this ready animal, why us, alone? It would make some fine kind of country song, Sandy Coker reflected, key of G, like her late father used to play, with his extra flourish, that ring finger on the B string, three frets up, so that the already pretty chord rang like a bell on a bald.

She led her horses to pasture, lingering with Trick of Light, her filly. The animal was strengthening. Very soon she would be in heat. With a hope she distrusted but enjoyed just the same, Sandy ran through her plan of attack to market the filly’s receptive season. Sandy would call her cousin, the vet to half a dozen stables in Hot Springs, and her two friends who were breeders. This might be the year some hungry owner
would partner with Sandy for the chance at a foal that could claim Phone Trick in its bloodline. Her other horses, wonderful for riding but no thoroughbreds, felt Trick of Light was an imperious and pampered alien. In the fog coming up from White River, the other horses huddled in contented, separate company. When she left, Sandy could feel Trick gazing after her all the way up the hill to the trailer.

The Early Ag report on television began talking about a comet that was to be far more spectacular than Halley’s Comet. Sandy slowly turned her coffee mug against the countertop. Something plunked on the roof of her double-wide, and the skitter of a squirrel’s running made the trailer seem like an empty tube. She turned off the coffee, disgusted with herself that she was yet again throwing away half a pot. The Ag reporter was excitedly pointing out where to look for this comet, and Sandy longed for her father to be there watching this with her. She was thirty-seven now and alone still after a year without him. He could tell her if this really was a comet worth losing sleep to see. When she turned the knob to shut off his black-and-white television, the trailer took on that extra
stillness just before sunrise. She recalled an old pair of his work gloves she had pitched yesterday, the fingers full of hardened clay. Holding her cup against her chest, Sandy searched the silence until she could hear, not far away, the moan of big rigs on blacktop.

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Sandy and Wayne release date of January 2016


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