The Worlds of Tak and Gerta
The central characters of these two novels are alike only in their ability to stay true to themselves under pressure. They each hold fast to core principles. Thirty-something Tak has lived long enough to question the mystery of life, but 8-year-old Gerta has no time for contemplation. She's too busy battling perils at the end of an "orphan train" ride.
A Junkman with a Knack for Puzzling Out Mysteries
Tak Sweedner is young, a successful salvage yard operator, and a respected amateur sleuth. He also is buddies with childhood friend Roque Zamarripa, whom he admires extravagantly, and gal-pal Emma Townsend, with whom he seems to be falling in love between bouts of exasperation at her charming independence. All in all, life in small-town South Texas is good for Tak. He just wishes people would quit trying to kill him.
An Ordinary Girl Working Hard to Survive All Alone
From era to era, the fears and dreams of children remain the same.... to be safe... to be loved... to have fun... and sometimes just to stay alive in a predatory environment. In 1867, Gerta Scholler is an orphan in a new world. She becomes a reluctant wayfarer on a rumbling train journey from the East Coast to the nation's hinterland. There, after a horrific attack on her new family, Gerta again finds herself alone, this time in a primitive place where a snarling enemy stalks her.