Shannon W. Helzer

Books

Embark on a Literary Odyssey: Unveiling New Worlds Between the Pages

Traverse the landscapes of imagination, where life experiences and storytelling intertwine, inviting you to embark on an adventure through characters, emotions, and thought-provoking themes.

Rhue's House

A tale of family, love, and deception.

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania during the late 1940s, Rhue’s journey into adulthood takes a heartwarming turn as she finds herself entangled in a romance with Thomas. This unexpected connection is spurred by her younger brother Hank, who, despite being considered “odd,” forms a bond with George, a recent widower mourning the loss of his lifelong love, Maggie. Reluctantly drawn into this relationship with George, Rhue begins to overcome her aversion to Maggie which stemmed from the latter’s reclusive behavior that prevented Rhue from knowing George sooner.

Rhue’s father, who became a widower after Hank’s birth, cautiously supports the relationship due to its positive impact on Hank.

The newfound connection between Rhue, Hank, Thomas, and George does not solely result in Rhue’s and Thomas’ budding romance. These connections thrust open a door to unforeseen opportunities when Rhue’s interactions with George grant her access to Maggie’s cherished library which houses a vast collection of timeless literature and a precious discovery: Maggie’s personal journals chronicling her entire life. As Rhue immerses herself in Maggie’s writings, her initial resentment gives way to a profound admiration for Maggie as she too proceeds through her development from a young girl into womanhood. 

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Through Maggie’s journal entries, Rhue witnesses the ebb and flow of Maggie’s and George’s relationship as she becomes a firsthand witness to their journey through life together.

Nevertheless, Rhue’s seemingly idyllic existence holds secrets beneath the surface. As Rhue delves deeper into Maggie’s journals, they reveal a hidden family truth that splinters Rhue’s perception of her life and uncovers a web of deception that has enveloped her for years and has the potential of shattering all her future hopes and dreams.

7 Days to Eternity

A group of college anthropology students embarks on a seven-day expedition hoping to discover evidence of a potential wolf resurgence in the remote Northern Woods of Maine. The raw forces of nature further compound the rigorous physical challenges of the journey. Yet, beyond the demanding terrain and weather, a different kind of hurdle emerges – the clash of personalities among the group members.

Just as they begin to meld into a cohesive unit, an unexpected twist throws them off course: a foodborne illness sweeps through their ranks. Stranded without means of communication, they commit to caring for each other while continuing their field research experience.

However, this ailment is merely a precursor to the ordeal that awaits. With the sudden appearance of drones hovering above, a sense of dread engulfs the group as they realize they are under surveillance. The once-promising expedition turns sinister as the students become the hunted, marked as targets by a ruthless predator.

The true horror, it turns out, emanates from a human source – a two-legged adversary who manipulates alliances, transforming friends into foes in a battle that only two of them can survive. Through the intricate layers of this psychological suspense thriller, the author delves into the depths of human nature, probing the lengths one will go to survive, even when the odds of doing so seem insurmountable.

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50¢

What value can be placed upon a man’s life? 50¢? Such an evaluation proves inadequate in the City of Brotherly Love, particularly when the man in question is often viewed as just an old, homeless, black bum. Yet, George Thomas Wilson encompassed a significance far beyond such a superficial appraisal. He was an honorable veteran of the armed forces, a retired history teacher, a friend and companion to many, and a source of guidance for numerous young souls.

The initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease prematurely concluded George’s teaching career, leading him to be involuntarily subjected to the guardianship of his daughter, whose affections lay more with his dual retirement income than with her own father. As his presence grew burdensome, she resorted to changing the locks on his home thereby unexpectedly thrusting him into homelessness. George adjusted to the rhythm of urban homelessness while maintaining the hope of one day winning the true affections of his only child.

One wintry day, George stumbled upon a lone dollar bill. Nearby, a convenience store’s display screen tantalizingly announced an impending lottery jackpot of $50 million. The notion took hold: “Why not?” Two nights later, his fortunes aligned as he matched five out of five numbers, bestowing upon him a staggering $1,000,000 reward.
Conventional wisdom would deem such a windfall a stroke of luck. Yet, George’s perspective diverged. He viewed his newfound wealth as an unjust appropriation and committed to dividing half the earnings with the first individual offering him a meager 50¢.

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This well-intentioned decision set into motion a cascading descent, wherein he relinquished possession of the prized ticket and ultimately met his demise. The ticket repeatedly passed from one hand to another, becoming an unwitting harbinger of woe inflicting misery, anguish, and torment upon anyone who chanced to encounter it.

You are too Young! No Fun for You!

This book commemorates the bond shared between parents and their children, spotlighting the advantages of creating lasting memories as families engage in hands-on, collaborative endeavors.

Within the pages of this book designed for young readers, the author highlights the significance of the father-child relationship.

Immanuel realizes that he is often excluded from the various activities and experiences shared by his father and older brother Elijah. The recurring phrase “You Are Too Young” becomes a constant reminder of his limitations in joining the fun. Eventually, his patience wears thin, prompting him to voice his frustrations to his father.

His father offers a solution.  “Would you like to build a barn?” he suggests.

“Build a barn?” Immanuel echoes, skepticism evident. “Aren’t I too young to build a barn?”

Excited by the prospect of barn construction, Immanuel, joined by Elijah and their parents, immerses themselves in the realm of building. Throughout this process, they delve into the intricacies of barn architecture and familiarize themselves with the array of carpentry tools integral to the construction process. The story pays homage to the vibrant Dutch culture found in the counties of Berks, Lancaster, and Lehigh in Pennsylvania.

Through their construction adventure, Immanuel discovers that he is not always “too young.”

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