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About the Author: Michael Wescott Loder

Michael Wescott Loder has climbed and caved his way across the United States, been an Air Force officer, photographer, park naturalist--and an academic librarian for more than 30 years. "Wes" has worked in eight different states, but is now retired and lives next to the family farm in a passive-solar, off-grid house he designed himself. There he gardens, writes, plays the Highland Bagpipe and watches his grandchildren grow.

Wes wrote his first childrens' story when he was seventeen, and over the last quarter century has completed 19 other stories. He published his first YA novel, "The Golden Horn," in 2007 and "The Nikon Camera in America, 1946-1953" in 2008. "Beetle: A Biography of a Virtual Girl" and "Beetle II: Restoration and Retribution" are his first venture into ebooks.

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Paperback, Published in Jul 2007 by America Star Books

ISBN10: 1424189276 | ISBN13: 9781424189274

Page count: 180

In the Balkan country of Starnovia, a land of roses and dust, memories and hatreds run deep, and poor families sell their daughters to city brothels. Here, over one long summer, an American boy and a Starnovian girl discover the power of truth and love. For Jim Gailey, the excavation of the ancient fortress of Castelschtop begins as just a job promising extra college credits. But for Jonnie Gilenhoff, the native girl he rescues from a bar and hires as his assistant, the archaeological dig means far moreafor it promises a new future for both her country and herself. As the excavating progresses, Jim and Jonnie struggle to maintain proprieties yet help each other. A death vendetta, ancient lies, stolen equipment and growing affection all come together in a fatal climax, sparked by the recovery of a national treasure believed lost in an invasion 400 years earlier.

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