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Cinematic Pacing Drives Saga of Love and Labor Unrest in Depression-Era Pacific Northwest

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rough-hewn loggers cut thousand-year-old firs on the mountain peaks of Washington State. Union rabble-rousers lob Molotov cocktails at one another in street battles, as wealthy timber-barons plot to form monopolies and shut-out the unions. Eighteen-year-old Albert Weissler struggles to survive the dangers of big-timber logging, which killed his father—and is now threatening his own life.


These are the cinematic proportions of The Woods, a novel by Ronald Lee Geigle, which tells a coming-of-age saga set against the magnificent backdrop of the Great Northwest. The Woods is being published in association with WordVirgin, an indie publishing platform based in Washington, DC, Seattle, and Edinburgh.

The novel takes place in the waning days of the Great Depression. Loggers and their families, politicians, and the city streets and ports themselves ache with the battle to regain a hold on what the Depression took away.

With a keen ear for colloquial dialogue, Geigle lets his characters tell their story and reveal their inner complexities and nuances—a portrait of lives along the hard edges of one of America's most defining eras. But the twists and turns in this saga also add a powerful plotline that, yes, keeps readers guessing until the very end.

Just in time for a last-minute Christmas gift, try giving The Woods to any lit-loving friend on your list.  Now available at

New Indie Publishing Firm

The Woods is being published in association with WordVirgin, an indie publishing platform based in Washington, DC, Seattle, and Edinburgh. The firm specializes in helping authors complete and market their fiction and non-fiction books.  

Media Contact: Helen Pettay, [email protected]

Excerpt from The Woods:

Summer, 1937

Bertram Witstrop drew in the bittersweet cigar smoke, let it fill his lungs fully, then shot it quickly into the cool night air.  The gentle breeze slipping past the yacht devoured the smoke instantly.  He leaned onto the railing, took another drag on the cigar––he decided it must've been Havana––and studied the woodwork at his elbows.  Was the railing teak?  Witstrop bent down, pulled out a monocle, and studied the deep grain closely. 

"It's from Java," said a soft voice behind him.

Witstrop looked up to find Tuttle B. Ashford, a drink in hand, standing just outside the door to the captain's quarters.  Ashford's smile was warm, his stride confident even on a deck that rolled gently as the yacht nosed into the changing tide.  Ashford was easily in his late seventies, but the old man still conveyed a sense of youthfulness, a certain lightness in his movements.  Was it his cultured voice, carrying a hint of Groton, wondered Witstrop?  Or the smooth manners, or the impeccable European tailoring of his waistcoat and trousers?

"I told the Prince of Whatever, from whom I bought this tub, that if the railings weren't teak from Java, I wouldn't have any part of the thing," said Ashford, who now stood next to Witstrop.  Ashford laughed deeply.  "And I'll be darned if he didn't tear off all the railings and replace every one of them with teak.  So I gave him the $10,000 or whatever he was asking for the thing.  And here she is."

Ashford patted the railing as if patting the back of a fine racehorse.  "What do you think?"  Ashford stood not much more than five feet—his head a bit above shoulder-height of most men.  The features were slight—small, precise mouth, gently sloping nose, puppy eyes.  But when he smiled, his face became that of a terrier, unwilling to yield whatever his teeth had set upon.

"Of course, beautiful," said Witstrop with as much smile as he could muster.  "Nothing like it in Seattle––no question, Tuttle.  Probably nothing like it on the whole West Coast."  Witstrop hated his answer––too effusive; sounded too genuine.

"Couldn't hardly turn down the grand Governor of Washington State when he asked if he could hold his soiree on it," said Ashford quietly, as if conveying a state secret. 

Witstrop drew in again on his cigar and held the warm air inside—against the moist evening chill—but mostly to avoid the conversation.  He simply nodded at Ashford, who took it as a gesture to resume the discourse about the yacht: Gas lamps from Antwerp.  Etched glass from Milan.  Door panels hand-carved in Sydney.

"And, of course, the Governor—direct from the state capital," added Ashford, with an innocent, yet wicked, smile.

CONTACT: Helen Pettay, 910-795-1202

SOURCE WordVirgin

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