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Scattering the Ashes

Scattering the Ashes

Scattering the Ashes

Author: Paul Russell Semendinger
ISBN: 9781932926781 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781951122119 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781932926798 (ebook)
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Price: $27.95 (hardcover), $16.95 (paperback)
Pages: 278

Sam Holmes is a young, enthusiastic school teacher living an uneventful, albeit pleasant life - even if he won't admit to himself how lonely he is. Dedicated to teaching, and inspired by the kids passing through his 8th grade history class, Sam is energized by the end of the school year. Now he has the time to dedicate himself fully to training for the historic New York City Marathon - his first.

But Sam's simple life is radically changed when his father suddenly passes away and the Last Will and Testament are read to him. Sam learns that his father's final wishes are unique, and as such special burden has been placed solely on Sam. To earn his inheritance, Sam's father is sending him on a quest; to travel to the places that had been significant and scatter his father's ashes at these destinations. Now, instead of a pleasant summer, Sam is thrust into a journey he neither wanted nor asked for.

While fulfilling is father's wishes Sam meets Rachel Parker, a young woman who brings direction, clarity, and companionship to Sam's lonely life. As he faces the struggles of a contract dispute at work, a budding romance, and running in his first marathon, Sam Holmes must make the critical decisions that will impact the rest of his life.


Rabia Tanveer - Readers' Favorite
Scattering the Ashes by Paul Russell Semendinger is the story of a young man who had to go on a quest that would change his life forever. Sam Holmes was a 28-year-old school teacher who was living a contented life. All he wanted was to train for the New York City Marathon and try something new. However, his plans changed when his father passed away and left a special quest for Sam. To gain his inheritance, he must travel to specific places and spread the ashes wherever his father wanted. With his summer plans ruined, Sam had nothing else to do but to fulfill his father's wishes. But what started as a journey to gain his inheritance turned out to be a journey to change his life. He met someone special, he gained a better perspective of life and finally understood what it means to be happy.

Oh, the way Sam grew in this story and how he developed into a mature man right in front of my eyes! I loved his development and his journey to find depth inside him. I got to visit Sam's memories of his father as he went through it all, as he traveled far and away to complete the quest. I got to experience his growth first hand and understand why his father wanted him to go through all this. The narrative was perfectly paced and incredibly rich with details. Sam's voice proved to be exactly what the reader needed to immerse themselves in the narrative and feel each part of the story resonate inside their heart. Scattering the Ashes was just as self-reflective as it was entertaining. I enjoyed the descriptions of the places where Sam went, I enjoyed the way the story flowed and I loved the way Sam over thought everything (that was common and human of him!). Scattering the Ashes by Paul Russell Semendinger was phenomenal.

James Cox, Midwest Book Review
"Scattering the Ashes" showcases author Paul Russell Semendinger's genuine flair for originality as well as an especially distinctive and effective narrative storytelling style."

Don Burke - NY Post
Start spreading the news, "Scattering The Ashes" has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning. You may even want to jump in the car and drive to Cooperstown or - gasp - run the New York City Marathon. But whatever you do, you'll want to call your dad.

Robert Skead, author, Patriots, Redcoats and Spies
There's no better compliment to give than to say a story moved me. Scattering the Ashes will leave you with tears in your eyes and a lump in your throat-and a deeper appreciation for the true meaning of love. Semendinger uses the ingredients of a beautiful father son relationship, and romance, mixed together with baseball and Americana as he brings his character on a journey of discovery. The story will inspire father son catches and experiences that create the memories we all dream about.

Mike Allegra, author of Everybody's Favorite Book (and more)
Sam's in a rut but does an excellent job pretending he isn't. He lives alone in his childhood home, teaches middle schoolers the same lessons year in and year out, watches the YES Network, trains for a marathon he's never quite ready to run, and dutifully visits his loving father in assisted living. Every day comfortably runs into the next.

But things change. Sam's father dies and the old man's last will and testament contains a few requests.

"Unusual Stipulations in a Last Will and Testament" is such a well-worn plot device it may be a genre unto itself, but Semendinger's Scattering the Ashes sidesteps clich´┐Ż. His plot isn't mined for sitcom gags or the weepy sentimentality of a Hallmark Channel movie, it's a sincere tale about moving on and growing up. Part latter day coming-of-age story, part travelogue, we follow Sam from Cooperstown to The Magic Kingdom, the Lincoln Memorial to Hackensack's White Manna Hamburgers, as he takes stock in what he has, appreciates what he's lost, and considers what he wants his future to hold.


Winner 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards - Literary Fiction
Bronze Medal 2020 Readers Favorite - Christian Fiction

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