Upcoming book signing events in the Greenville/ Spartanburg area by Myrtle Beach author Richard Lutman: Spartanburg, Saturday, June 18th from 1-2pm at the Hub City Bookstore and at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, Saturday, July 2nd from 1:30-2:30pm.
Patch of Dirt is a hardboiled contemporary romance set in Montana. Hitching a ride to nowhere, Joe Oliver, a womanizing thirty-year old drifter, meets Frank Hill, sixty-five, a wounded Vietnam vet and his young wife Rita who is twenty-five. Joe is duped into becoming part of their plan to sire a child the impotent Frank is powerless to conceive.
Rita puts Joe through a series of tests to determine if he will be the right biological father for their child. Much to Frank’s consternation Rita falls for Joe and jeopardizes their plan. Joe finds himself conflicted about his feelings toward Rita. His ambivalence leads up to the climactic decision he has to make.
“Readers anticipating a one-dimensional or shallow Western adventure will find Patch of Dirt something far more complex, showing how three very different people share their lives, come together, and depart. It's a powerful story that transcends the usual limits and perceptions of the Western romance, and will delight and surprise readers who seek something more than light action or casual romantic interplays.”
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“Lutman styles his novel as an update on the classic hard-boiled western, lading it with old-fashioned machismo, bravado, and gender dynamics, while presenting the male fantasy of a deeply flawed yet irresistible man who can get any woman he desires. Lutman casts these tropes and archetypes in a rugged grey light that brings the imperfections of Joe’s world into harsh relief. It is a raw Americana romance –…. Rigorously well-written, profoundly imagined, A Patch of Dirt has – beneath its chilly and bristling exterior – a warm, tender, beating heart.”
Red City Review
“As a thoughtful study of a despondent class of people, Patch of Dirt by Richard Lutman really delivers. Each of the characters is well developed, but has nothing going for them as they suffer through whatever life has dealt them. From self-righteous townsfolk to the thugs who support the local club owner with his need to control, all the people interact from a position of distrust, fear and anger. Lutman provides a sad commentary about lives wasted in the bottle and with unfulfilled love where emotions never make a connection.”
Reviewed By Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite
Richard Lutman has a MFA in Writing from Vermont College. He has taught composition and literature courses at Rhode Island Community College, Fairfield University, The Learning Connection in Providence, Rhode Island, and short story classes as part of Coastal Carolina University's Lifelong Learning program. He has published over two dozen short stories, three chapbooks, two novellas and one nonfiction book. He was a 2008 Pushcart nominee in fiction and the recipient of national awards for his non-fiction, short stories and screenplays. “Patch of Dirt” is his first novel. He is a member of the Surfside Chapter of The South Carolina Writers' Workshop.