The Choice is the story of an Ozarks county sheriff and the Salvadoran woman who comes to his town to run the Christian mission there. Sheriff Dale Harper and Milagro Palacios quickly find their lives intertwined with a feral child, an old murder-suicide case and those who are making meth in clandestine labs in the county. As Sheriff Harper also struggles with his own personal battles, including the shooting death of his wife the year before, he comes to understand that part of the life of service he loves, is learning to accept both his own choices and those made by others.
"Themes of loss and betrayal then, finally hope and love are at the heart of
this gritty tale about the raw edge of life in today's changing Ozarks...a tale that
can hold a reader to the end, in part because the book reflects Laura Valenti's
own years in the serivce of the local sheriff's office. There's an authentic feel to
the characters and their environment, whether it's a local drunk, a middle-of-the-
night call or the sheriff's relationship with his hard-working staff.
Between the Star and the Cross: The Choice is a good read. It's a com-
pelling yarn about subjects and a world, unlike our own, where even though
the worst can happen, the bad guys get their due and justice is served."
--Susan Kirkpatrick, former editor, Ozarks Magazine
"Between the Star and the Cross: The Choice is a a true-to-life narrative of
a county sheriff in the rural Ozarks. Here strength comes from adversity. In her
well-told story of Sheriff Dale Harper, Laura Valenti captures not only his style
of compassionate law enforcement, but his personal tragedy and spiritual
growth and understanding, as his involvement in new problems helps him solve
a murder-suicide from the past." --Ellen Gray Massey, author of over 25 Ozarks
books, including Brothers, Blue and Gray.
"Laura Valenti tells a tale that comes from real life experience--as a jailer
who has seen the horrors of meth, a volunteer at a local shelter and a woman
of deep faith in an Ozarks town not unlike Serenity. Her characters are like
family and friends, and she makes us care deeply about them, from the first
page to the last. I hope The Choice is only the first of many such tales, perhaps
some that will bring us back to Serenity."--Linda Leicht, religion editor
Between the Star and the Cross: The Choice is available for $14.95 + $4 shipping
+ tax for Missouri residents.