Covenant Communications, 2017


For as long as Jarem can remember, the war between the Nephites and Lamanites has raged. But for the young Nephite, there is security in the knowledge that the ruthless Lamanite warriors would never dare cross the border into his village–until the unthinkable happens. A Lamanite raiding party defies boundaries, destroying the village and killing Jarem’s family. Enslaved to his enemies, Jarem must rely on his faith in God as he endures unimaginable hardships at the hands of the Lamanites–including being cruelly separated from the woman he loves.

But even amid trials, there is goodness to be found. When Chemish, master healer of the Lamanites, takes ownership of Jarem, the young man discovers unexpected kindness. Jarem becomes the healer’s apprentice, and soon Chemish finds his soul stirred by the Christian faith of his student. But even as the bond between the two unlikely friends grows, the hatred of the Lamanites spreads. It is no longer enough for them to own the Nephites–they want to exterminate every one of them, and even personal slaves are no longer safe. Now, Jarem’s only hope of survival is a dangerous escape that will take him through the heart of the Lamanite land.



To the surprise of most readers, this was actually my first novel. I wrote it sometime around 1994. Back then, my writing was pedestrian at best. I could concoct a decent story, but my plotting and narrative left much to be desired. Basically, it sucked.

The idea came to me while reading in the Book of Mormon about the events in the conversion of King Lamoni (Alma 18&19). The scene is very detailed in what transpires. But one thing that is conspicuously absent is the reactions of the court physicians. I wondered what–if anything–they did to help save their king. Nothing is mentioned in that regard. Then, latter in the same book (Alma 46:40), a verse mentions the numerous plants and roots used to remove the cause of diseases common in the lands. So, obviously, they had people who understood how to use the local plants for medicines. It was then I began an exhaustive search for anything that talked about Mayan, Toltec, Aztec, etc healing arts and practices. Regrettably, there is more speculation than actual proof. But there are herbs and such used today whose use can be traced back thousands of years.

Taking the perspective of a young man thrown into a situation where death could come at anytime, I crafted a story around him and his relationship with an unlikely tutor. But too many coincidental and convenient things happened in the story to make it plausible, let alone enjoyable. So, after all the rejection notices had stopped coming in, I shelved the project and began writing other novels. Then, ten-plus years later, I pulled the manuscript off my shelf and revisited it, cringing all the way. My recurring thought was: No wonder no one would publish this! The craft stunk, but the idea was still good. So I began an intensive rewrite, and enlisted the help of many friends, including historical fiction novelist extraordinaire Heather B. Moore. In the end, my publisher liked it enough to put it out.

The Hunter’s Son is written in first person from a young man’s POV. I wrote it in hopes of getting more young men interested in reading. But the story is developed enough that more mature readers will also enjoy it. It delivers excitement, medical thrills, humor, a bit of romance, a very good message on faith without being preachy. I hope everyone enjoys it!