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Set on the eve of The Great Recession near the shores of fictional Lake Catawba, prize-winning author Gary V. Powell gives us Lucky Bastard (Mainstreet Rag Press, 2012), a debut novel that is part rollicking road-trip thriller, part love story, and part character study. After landing the first big customer for his new handyman business and wrangling a date with sweet Becky Newberry, Vietnam vet Jimmy McLean believes things are looking up-until a quarter ton of home-grown marijuana mysteriously appears on his boat, his ex-wife's teenage niece, Nora, disappears with a stranger on a motorcycle, and old buddy, Harley Hopewell, is arrested for a homicide he may or may not have committed. Haunted by lingering dreams of war, Jimmy struggles to create a better life for himself while remaining loyal to old friends and family. Before it's over, he faces down a ruthless drug dealer, puts his life on the line with a famous gangster rapper, and fixes a few broken lives with the same care he fixes houses in need of repair.

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This well-paced novel is filled with sharply drawn characters, dry witticisms, and a delightful sprinkling of irreverence. Through his protagonist, Jim McLean, Powell offers an intriguing blend of biting social commentary and quirky, poignant insights. Lucky Bastard kept me guessing… and turning pages… to the very end.

--Bob Strother, author of Scattered, Smothered, and Covered

 A delightful read you won't want to put down! Gary V. Powell has created a working class world rich with suspenseful adventure, alive with humor and heart wrenching pathos. The world of this novel teems with original, hard scrabble characters grappling with a surprising array of life's inevitable crises. I loved listening in on their quick and inventive banter. Powell''s protagonist, Jimmy McLean is a complex man of our time who has the power to make everyone in his world feel better; he stole this readers heart!

--Teresa Burns Gunther,
Prize-winning author and founder of Lakeshore Writers Workshop in Oakland, California.