Fifty. Half a century old. Closer to the grave than cradle. And what does Pastor Gus Gospello have to show for his fifty years on earth? Not much. Shepherd of a small church. Married without kids. Faithful keeper of God’s commands. Well, most of them, anyway. Gus longs to make a difference for God – to have an eternal legacy. Now, as he comes to grips with his mid-life crisis, Gus acknowledges he’ll never be another John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, or Billy Graham.
But can he become the next C.S. Lewis and write something like the Screwtape Letters?
His wife thinks so. Fueled with the unbridled hope of a naïve novelist, Gus sets out to craft a novel so rich in spiritual symbolism and truth that even the Devil takes notice. And that’s never a good sign.
The last time the Devil and Gus met, Gospello’s pen hovered over the signature line of a dangerous contract – his soul in exchange for a child. But when Gus turned his back on the Great Deceiver, the news spread like Hellfire. Ever since, Satan’s been obsessed with personally delivering Gus to Hell.
With his eye on Gus’s new novel, the Devil tempts Gus with a peek into the spiritual realm of good and evil for a truthful account of his rise, fall, and enduring success. The Devil will feed Gus information few mortals are privileged to know. In return Gus will craft what’s sure to become a best seller. Of course, Gus has no intention of making the Accuser look as winsome as promised. Instead, Gus plans to write a scathing satire, exposing the Devil’s excessive arrogance.
But when the prologue to Gus’s novel inexplicably appears in a popular Christian magazine and the Devil is shown to be a pride-filled fool, he seeks to destroy Gus and everything the pastor holds dear, including his precious wife.
Gus, willing to lay himself on the line to turn his little flock back to God, makes one last deal and signs the dotted line. Satan finally has claim on Gus’s soul, and with it, vindication.
But Gus has a few tricks of his own. Win or lose, Pastor Gus is about to discover that striking a deal with Satan, even in jest, can have eternal consequences.
Can a young Mexican woman forgive the villagers who rejected her years earlier and help them find a better way to live…and to survive?
Sixteen-year-old orphan Rosa No-Name has grown up in the remote Mexican village of Santa María, where the villagers resentfully meet only her most basic physical needs. Unwilling to offer love or guidance, they not only refuse to answer Rosa’s questions about who her parents were, they don’t bother to teach her what she needs to know about the facts of life.
Tomás del Mundo, who smuggles the village “produce” to San Diego and spends only a small part of the proceeds on things the villagers want and need, gets Rosa pregnant. The villagers decide to rid themselves of their responsibilities to the unwed mother-to-be by coercing Tomás into taking Rosa back to San Diego and marrying her.
Rosa and Tomás don’t love one another. Their marriage is one of uneasy convenience for her and open resentment for him, and she soon finds herself captive to his violence and egotistical whims.
Returning to Santa María after discovering part of the truth about her mysterious background, Rosa must overcome her resentment toward the villagers and help them solve a generations-old problem. At the same time, she begins a quest for the “god” she has only heard about casually.
R0SA NO-NAME is the stand-alone, coming-of-age prequel to the award winning 2011 Young Adult novel FOUND IN TRANSLATION.
Author Joel Sutton says:
“This is Roger Bruner at his finest. This engrossing story has more unanticipated twists and turns than a well-designed rollercoaster. But the ride is a thrill, with an ending that deeply satisfies. Bruner’s writing pulls you in so that you feel a part of the story. You feel the anger, sense of injustice, the marvels of love, and the beauty of forgiveness. You’ll thank yourself for reading Rosa No-Name!”
About the Author
Roger Bruner spent his whole work life trying to figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up. Along the way he taught school, interviewed job seekers, and programmed computers. He retired from a temporary stint at Target to write full-time and wishes he could have done that years earlier. His two out-of-print young adult books, Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams, will soon be available again. He’s also the author of a speculative satire, The Devil and Pastor Gus, and two little books of his poems, plays, stories, and short plays.
Samples of his songs and writings are available at RogerBruner.com. A guitarist and songwriter, he’s in the church choir and plays bass on the praise team and guitar at a nursing home ministry. Long interested in missions, he’s gone to Romania, England, Wales, Australia, and Nicaragua on short-term mission trips. Roger likes spending time with his wife, Kathleen. He has a daughter, who lives with her husband and son in Orlando, and stepdaughters in New York City and Las Vegas. He enjoys reading, photography, web design, and playing Words with Friends.