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The House on the Boulevard
published in 2002
a Novella, 77 pages, hard cover

The Defining Moment cover

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Mystery, intrigue, suspense. War, revolution, romance. Pathos, friendship, sacrifice. Death, redemption, and humanity. These are the threads of remembrance that drive this timeless story that takes the reader from the provincialism of a small southern town to the banks of a great river running through one of Spain's most treasured cities during the most turbulent time during that country's history.

Slim McCall's life after college graduation has been redirected by Miro, a brave resistance fighter from the Spanish Civil War. Follow Slim as he learns of Miro's heroic past and her quest that will take him from his hometown in Mississippi across the American southwest to Monterey, California, and finally over the Atlantic to the hills, valleys, and mountains of Spain.

Payne's second novel tracks the human connection between young Slim McCall and Miro, the former Spanish Civil War freedom fighter and now aging landscape artist, the story's central characters.

This bond culminates in a momentous mission to find a missing girl against the element of time which is fast running out.

• • • • • • • • •

Suddenly Eduardo said, 'Look, Miro, a shooting star just flamed out over the mountain' and I said, 'Yes, I caught the last of it.' He said, 'It came across, brightened and then fell . . . fell in those far mountains of the north.' He continued, 'I feel, Miro, that I will die out there in those mountains. It is in a dream. It is always in my dreams. My mother is buried in those mountains. It is my wish and my mother's wish also that I will die one day fighting for a new Spain like my father . . . Yes, I will die in the mountains, but this I know. Where ever I die, my spirit will find its way back, . . . back to the banks of the Quadalquivir and the singing of Alina and the music of Fernando's guitar and the warm presence of Miro.'

an excerpt from
The House on the Boulevard