¶ Come take a ride with Summer of the Black Chevy …
“I just finished reading ‘Summer of the Black Chevy.’ Believe me, you touched some hot spots for me. I could SO relate to the characters. I graduated high school in 1965. I lost a close friend to cancer just before we graduated. Every male in my class who couldn’t get a deferment went to Vietnam. One was killed there. All the others who went to Vietnam are now dead. I think we all had a different take on life, family, future and time because of the times. We lurched into life with a vengeance. … The bottom line is, Kevin, you nailed the times!” Nancy Larson Coppa, Minnesota
“ ’Summer of the Black Chevy’ took me back in time on an adventure in a place so familiar, but through the eyes of a different generation. The detailed descriptions provided vivid imagery and I felt like I was right there in Deer Lodge in 1965 experiencing sights, sounds, and smells with the characters from the first page to the last. I was reminded how the days of childhood innocence should be treasured, but also how quickly things can change and people can grow in the face of tragedy. It gave me great joy reading about some of the old glories of my hometown, but wherever you call home, this story of love, adversity, friendship, and resilience is worth the read!” Haley Owens, Deer Lodge, Montana
“A big shout out to Kevin S. Giles Author for writing the great book that has it’s setting in Deer Lodge, MT. I must admit that the reason I read it was because my roots are there, but I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, anywhere. Any book that keeps me up all night AND makes me cry is a good one! Great job, Kevin! Summer of the Black Chevy, read it!” Loretta Sweigard, Cle Elum, Washington
“I have finished reading your book and have to say that it was a very enjoyable read! I like a book that both makes one chuckle and tear up in places. Good job!” Tom Karvonen, North Carolina
“Once I started reading ‘The Summer of the Black Chevy’ I couldn’t put it down. Ask my wife! I was useless until I finished it. The story is compelling and the characters are very believable. As a Deer Lodge native, my little town came back in vivid detail and brought back so many memories. I loved the twists and turns Mr. Giles put into the story and the real life emotions and reactions. I can’t wait for the movie!” Fred Denton, Denver, Colorado
“I anxiously awaited my copy of ‘Summer of the Black Chevy’ because I knew the novel was set in my hometown. That said, the book far exceeded my expectations. For any person coming of age in the 60’s and living in a small town, you will be flooded with memories and intrigued by the character development. The book is well written, descriptive, and colorful. It truly took me back to my youth and evoked memories that had long been dormant. As one of the hooligans that the book is dedicated to, I congratulate Kevin on a great book and fun read.” Todd Eliason, Bozeman, Montana
“I have finished ‘Summer of the Black Chevy.’ You write about the town I remember. The names have changed, but I know them. I laughed, cried and just enjoyed reading this remarkable book.” Katheryn Brazill, Arlee, Montana
Paul Morrison’s teachers talk of faraway places he can only imagine. He dreams of kissing a girl for the first time and seeing his beloved Minnesota Twins win the World Series. Paul and his best friends love to fish and ride their bikes and tell stories about real or imagined conquests. On the night of his seventh-grade dance Paul’s first teenage summer changes course when he encounters a stranger who drives a black Chevy.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll read in the novel:
“The car roared and bucked with heart-thumping power. The motor had a mind of its own, a beast of metal and explosive gases in eight cylinders. I screeched onto a paved street in third gear. The big steering wheel felt alive in my clenched hands, silhouetted against the yellow light on the dashboard. The speedometer needle climbed to twenty-five, then thirty. In third gear, the Chevy cut through the night like a charging army. I drove for three blocks consumed with the thrill before it occurred to me that I’d stolen the stranger’s car.”
Here’s what Lana (Richards) Rock of Chandler, Arizona, says of Summer of the Black Chevy:
“I grew up with the original Hooligans in Deer Lodge, so I was as anxious for the release of ‘Summer of the Black Chevy’ as I was for the Tri-County Fair every August when I could rendezvous with all my friends before school started. I expected a walk down memory lane filled with local folklore, adolescent pranks, and angst over new love, making the team and crossing the proverbial line, but the story was so much more. Paul Morrison learns the hard lessons of life about hardship, death, war and cover-ups and how those seemingly arbitrary events change your life. Congratulations, Kevin, on your first novel. It was a great read.’
And what you’ll read on the back cover:
“Paul Morrison launches his first teenage summer at a school dance, longing for girls and the smack of baseballs. His innocence ends quickly when a roaring black Chevy chases him into the dark, but it’s the mysterious stranger driving it who scares him more. It’s 1965 in Deer Lodge, Montana. Several worries unfold as the summer stretches on. Paul learns that misfortune knows no boundaries. In Summer of the Black Chevy, author Kevin S. Giles reflects on how fleeting youth can change in a heartbeat. He paints an image of a small town that can’t contain a young boy’s wonder — or his regret and guilt.”
Here’s what Montana writer and teacher Jim Peacock thinks about Summer of the Black Chevy:
“People like to remember their youth as a simpler time. Kevin Giles’ Summer of the Black Chevy reminds us that when you truly dig into your memories, youth is time of confusion, conflict, angst, excitement and most preciously, life’s firsts. Youth is particularly interesting if you were a kid that broke a cardinal rule in western Montana towns… Don’t mess with Butte kids! Giles’ story about a thirteen year old boy living in Deer Lodge, Montana, in 1965 is full of relatable first experiences that are just as adrenaline-charged as they are haunting. 1965 is no simpler time than now, and Summer of the Black Chevy will return you to a time in your life that was full of wide-eyed exhilaration, even if you didn’t mess with Butte kids.”
¶ Jerry’s Riot, the one-of-a-kind nonfiction account of Montana’s 1959 prison riot
Jerry’s Riot, a nonfiction book written by Montana native Kevin S. Giles that frequently rates 5 stars from readers, is the inside story of a deadly disturbance during an era of extensive prison violence in America.
This true crime book examines in revealing detail the explosion that resulted in Deer Lodge, Montana, when former Alcatraz Island convict Jerry Myles collided with reform warden Floyd Powell.
Jerry’s Riot takes the reader inside the prison walls to visit the lives of guards and inmates who experienced the riot. The book contains the only reconstruction of the riot from beginning to end.
The story centers on Myles, the riot’s principal ringleader, drawing extensively on federal and state records and the author’s interviews with hostages, prisoners and others involved.
True crime reviewer Laura James writes of Jerry’s Riot:
“You can read (or watch) Shawshank Redemption forty times and learn less of real prison life in the era than in a chapter of this book. … Giles paints a stunning portrait of the ringleader, Jerry Myles….”
And Kevin Robert Brooks, author of Zodiac, the Montana Connection, writes:
“From the very first chapter of Jerry’s Riot you will be spell-bound as Kevin S. Giles delivers chilling, firsthand accounts of those who experienced the 1959 riot. Giles effortlessly captures the sights, sounds, and taste of a bygone era, in a prison that held some of the most dangerously, disturbed criminals in the West.”
¶ And another forthcoming work about an iconic historical figure:
Another new work, a new edition of Flight of the Dove: The Story or Jeannette Rankin, will bring deeper insight into America’s first woman in Congress. Kevin S. Giles first published this book in 1980, just a few years after Rankin’s death. His new work, full of new detail and insight, delves into her life as one of the 20th Century’s most persistent pacifists. The original book has been out of print for several years, but copies remain available in an Internet search. Forthcoming in 2015 or 2016.
“Flight of the Dove is the most comprehensive of all biographies written about Jeannette Rankin. Giles’ research is astonishing, his journalist’s style keeps the fascinating, heartbreaking and inspiring story moving at the pace of a work of great fiction. When I researched my play about Rankin, the 1980 edition of Flight of the Dove became my template, and the paperback fell apart from my exhaustive reading and re-reading. I eagerly anticipate the new edition.”
“The Jeannette Rankin biography Flight of the Dove by Kevin Giles changed my life. Kevin Giles introduced me to the woman who said, “You can no more win a war, then you can win an earthquake.” Kevin was the perfect writer to mine the riches of the First American Congresswoman. Thank you Kevin.
About the author:
Kevin S. Giles was raised in Deer Lodge, Montana, in the shadow of Montana State Prison. His father, Murry, narrowly escaped being taken hostage during the 1959 riot and later became a lieutenant of custody. His mother, Jean, was a teacher who taught him the fortunes of reading and writing. Kevin is a University of Montana journalism graduate and has worked as a reporter and editor for six daily newspapers in the United States and Australia. Kevin has edited and designed numerous books.
Contact Kevin at kevin at kevinsgiles dot com