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About the Book


Short Press Release

Novel ties King's civil rights campaign to Hispanic struggle in rural Colorado

LAS VEGAS -- Former Center, Colorado, activist Terry Marshall calls his new novel "the untold story of America's turbulent civil rights years: the Mexican-American struggle for justice. It confronts," he says, "those topics our mothers told us to steer clear of in polite company: sex . . . religion . . . politics . . . racial conflict."

The name of the novel? Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights.

The story in a nutshell: after a hormone-driven college guy, Rick Sanders, fails to sell Martin Luther King's civil rights message to his backwater hometown, he plunges unwittingly into a bare-knuckle battle for Mexican-American equality. In the process Rick teams up with a sexy soul mate and finds shattered dreams, rejection, and finally, love.

Soda Springs is set in 1963 in an imaginary town in a southern Colorado mountain valley. That year, King led the controversial children's crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, that made national headlines when the police sicced dogs on Negro protestors, and firemen blasted them with high pressure fire hoses. It was also the year of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Both events play important roles in Marshall's novel.

Soda Springs is illustrated by Chuck Asay, a nationally syndicated political cartoonist who grew up in Alamosa, Colorado, and now lives in Colorado Springs. Marshall has been an editor, newspaperman, Peace Corps country director, activist, and Head Start Director, and has a Ph.D. from Cornell University. He grew up in Colorado and now lives in Las Vegas, NV.

Published by Friesen Press, Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions from Amazon.com, the author's website, or the publisher's website. Excerpts, background information, and photos not included in the book may be found on the author's website: www.TerryMarshallFiction.com.

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Expanded Press Release

Novel ties King's civil rights campaign to Hispanic struggle in rural Colorado

LAS VEGAS -- Former Colorado activist Terry Marshall calls his new novel "the untold story of America's turbulent civil rights years: the Mexican-American struggle for justice. It confronts," he says, "those topics our mothers told us to steer clear of in polite company: sex . . . religion . . . politics . . . racial conflict."

The name of the novel? Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights.

The story in a nutshell: after a hormone-driven college guy, Rick Sanders, fails to sell Martin Luther King's civil rights message to his backwater hometown, he plunges unwittingly into a bare-knuckle battle for Mexican-American equality.

Soda Springs is set in 1963 in an imaginary town in a southern Colorado mountain valley. That year, King led the controversial children's crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, that made national headlines when the police sicced dogs on Negro protestors, and firemen blasted them with high pressure fire hoses. It was also the year of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Both events play important roles in Marshall's novel.

In brief, college senior Rick Sanders commits himself to King's civil rights campaign in Birmingham. But when Rick's father crushes his leg in a tractor accident, Rick begrudgingly returns to Soda Springs to save the family farm. He vows to make the best of it: he will enlighten the hometown folks with Dr. King's message.

Rick discovers a town beset by decades of racism, mired in hatred, and himself in the cross hairs of warring factions. He confronts a world of prejudice, discrimination, protest, and violence. His reward: shattered dreams, love, sex, rejection, and finally, redemption.

Soda Springs is a civil rights story, but it's also:

  • A love story: a young idealist comes of age under the tutelage of his college roommate's mother . . . the girl on the farm "next door" . . . and a spirited activist in the Mexican-American barrio.
  • A tale of intractable factions: especially in small farm towns, people don't challenge sacred cows without serious repercussions.
  • A story of farmers and farm workers: they struggle against each other, but also against the burden of a declining economy.
  • A saga of injustices: oppression, discrimination, prejudice, poverty, and police brutality.
  • A rollicking yarn of the politically incorrect: imagine doing a skit today in blackface . . . or dressing up like Aunt Jemima . . . or brandishing a 30-30 in Sunday School . . . or, my goodness, having sex in the town's leading church.
  • A story of vigilante justice: when his victims refuse to press charges, how else do you make the town bully pay for his salacious assaults?

Soda Springs is illustrated by Chuck Asay, a nationally syndicated political cartoonist who grew up in Alamosa and now lives in Colorado Springs. Marshall has been an editor, newspaperman, Peace Corps country director, activist, and Head Start Director, and has a Ph.D. from Cornell University. He grew up in Center, and now lives in Las Vegas, NV.

One of Asay's illustrations is a map of the northern half of the Sangre de Cristo Valley, and includes the towns of Del Norte, Monte Vista, Alamosa, and Hooper. Soda Springs is located about where Center is found on most maps.

Why "Soda Springs" instead of Center?

"Center's real; Soda Springs is imaginary," Marshall said. "The book is fiction, not a memoir. It's not my life's story. I didn't want anyone in the Valley to think any of my characters are them. Or that I'm Rick Sanders, the story's protagonist I never did half the outrageous things Rick does in the novel. No way."

Published by Friesen Press, Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions from Amazon.com, the author's website, or the publisher's website. Excerpts, background information, and photos not included in the book may be found on the author's website: www.TerryMarshallFiction.com.

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Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights

the front cover

<i>Soda Springs</i>: the front cover



Thumbnail Synopsis of Soda Springs

Soda Springs is the untold story of America's turbulent civil rights years: the fictional world of a small farm town fragmented by the Mexican-American struggle to combat decades of discrimination. Soda Springs confronts those topics our mothers told us to steer clear of in polite company: sex . . . religion . . . politics . . . racial conflict.

April 1963. College senior Rick Sanders commits himself to Martin Luther King's civil rights campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. But when Rick's father crushes his leg in a tractor accident, Rick begrudgingly returns to Soda Springs, Colorado, to save the family farm. He vows to make the best of it: he will enlighten the hometown folks with Dr. King's message.

Rick discovers a town in the throes of a failing economy, and himself in the cross hairs of warring factions embroiled in bare-knuckle politics. He finds a soul mate in his struggle to right a world of racism, discrimination, and violence. His reward: shattered dreams, sex, rejection, and finally, love.

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One-page synopsis of Soda Springs

The story of a Colorado farm town fragmented by its Mexican-American struggle for civil rights. Inspired by Martin Luther King's 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, campaign, it's the untold civil rights movement of the Sixties.

Easter, 1963: Cornell junior Rick Sanders plunges into the civil rights campaign in Birmingham. But he also gets a close-up of white Birmingham's anger at the Negro "disruptions." His college roommate's dad is a Birmingham city cop; his mother, a fetching racist who articulately defends the status quo and muddles Rick's stereotypes of the South. Rick commits to civil rights, but with a twist: he designs a summer project to teach local Negro and white youth to write about and photograph the Birmingham conflict from both points of view.

Summer nears. Rick's father crushes his leg in a tractor accident. Rick begrudgingly gives up his dream and returns to Soda Springs to save the family farm, but vows to bring his project with him. He'll preach the justice of the Negro cause to his small corner of rural white America.

In Soda Springs, Rick faces a carping father and endures exhausting farm work. He finds a soul mate in Ginny Sue Bennett, and her Methodist youth group the perfect venue for his civil rights message. They go to extremes to bring the Negro cause to life: do a black-face skit; recreate the Medgar Evers murder, complete with a rifle; and gin up a pro-integration 4th of July float.

They quickly discover that Soda Springs isn't a blank slate. Methodist pastor Bob Hardwick and his wife, Flor, labor to keep their marriage intact and the church alive in the face of community decline. Both Rick's and Ginny's parents face a welter of pressures squeezing their family farms. In the Mexican barrio, Lupe Sandoval builds a movement against discrimination and poverty. Flor joins Lupe's summer education program for Mexican farm workers, alienating both her husband and a church board torn by bitter in-fighting.

Rick's and Ginny's theatrics anger the town, and Soda Springs smacks them down. They find solace in each other and sex an elixir. But Rick renews a friendship with the sexy Concha Montoya, whom he dated in high school. Furious, Ginny cuts him off. Concha slowly draws Rick into the Mexican barrio, where he discovers a rich heritage he was oblivious to as he grew up. When a Mexican youth dies in the town jail, the barrio erupts. Protests expand to a boycott of white-owned businesses, then to a farm worker strike. Rick and Concha become entangled in all three. Whites crush the boycott and strike, and Rick's father kicks him out. Rick finds refuge in the barrio, but aches for the sheltered college life.

At summer's end, the radio broadcast of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington fires Rick anew. He agonizes over whether to stay and fight for justice or finish his ivy-league studies. At book's end, en route to Cornell, he must decide if he will go on to finish his degree or return to Soda Springs to fight with Concha for Mexican- American rights.

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About the Author

Terry Marshall grew up in southern Colorado and worked for years as Head Start director and activist in Center, a small town much like Soda Springs. For his efforts, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial awarded him a full-time organizing fellowship, and the Denver Post featured him as "Rural Colorado's hometown revolutionary."

He has been a reporter, editor, and free-lance writer, and has received many writing awards, including first place in general fiction from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers for an earlier draft of Soda Springs.

In addition to several published short stories, he is author of The Whole World Guide to Language Learning, a text on how to learn unwritten foreign languages. He studied in Mexico, Spain and Peru, and holds a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology from Cornell University.

You can learn more about him from his About Me page.

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Author Terry Marshall

Soda Springs Author Terry Marshall



About the Illustrator

Chuck Asay hails from Alamosa, Colorado, and is a graduate of Adams State College. An inveterate doodler, Chuck has drawn his right-wing, Christianity-inspired and prize winning cartoons for The Taos News, The Colorado Springs Sun, and the Gazette in Colorado Springs. Creators Syndicate currently distributes his editorial cartoons nationally. His recent book (with Sharon Cooper), Taxpayers' Tea Party, skewers liberals and promotes tea party ideals.

Politically, Chuck Asay and Terry Marshall are polar opposites. But they share a common passion in goading people into thinking about the major issues that confront us today.

If you believe you can keep your blood pressure under control, take a look at Chuck's right-wing, Christian-oriented political cartoons at his website, www.asaydoodle.com.

Chuck Asay's self-portrait

Illustrator Chuck Asay
self-portrait of a man on a mission



Bullet bios

Terry Marshall

  • Author: Soda SpringsThe Whole World Guide to Language LearningCarlsbad101 Ways to Find an Overseas Job ● several South Pacific short stories
  • Scholar: Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Community activist: Fellow, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial ● "Rural Colorado's hometown revolutionary" (A Denver Post feature)
  • Journalist: newspaperman, editor, free-lance writer, linotype operator
  • Traveler: Peace Corps: director, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati; volunteer, Philippines; staff, Washington, D.C. Study in Mexico, Spain and Peru

Chuck Asay

  • Editorial cartoonist: currently nationally distributed by Creators Syndicate, The Taos NewsThe Colorado Springs Sun ● the Gazette in Colorado Springs
  • Book illustrator: Soda SpringsTaxpayers’ Tea PartyTaos by the TailAsay Doodles Goes to Town

Disclaimer

Politically, Marshall and Asay are polar opposites. They share a common passion in goading people into thinking about the major issues that confront us today.



Sample Illustration


On the positive side, Chuck drew 21 original illustrations for Soda Springs, plus two 2-page maps and the cover.

In the example below, from page 4 of the book, the protagonist, Rick Sanders, enjoys his first evening in Birmingham bantering with his roommate's mother, Priscilla McPherson.

Priscilla and Rick in Birmingham

Kindred Spirits
"The night pulsed of spring on a planet far from icy Ithaca. Rick didn't want the magic to end."



Sample Chapters

Read sample chapters from Soda Springs



What readers say about Soda Springs


(Soda Springs) is a "Well-told story revealing a different side of racial prejudice in the sixties and inviting questions of the present. Great dialog, powerfully evocative sexual tension, interesting characters and plot."
-- Sheila Deeth, Globar eBook Awards judge


"A compelling sense of place. The "steamy" scenes make the book a fun read."
-- Paula Austin, Aiken, S.C.

Soda Springs quickly became a town I cared about
and Rick and Ginny were real people I was fascinated to know.”
-– M. B. Cecil


"An intriguing story that keeps you turning pages. This book is an easy read with a lot of meat. It gave a whole new meaning to my growing years."
–- Johanna C. Crawford

"I loved the book!!! Wonderfully written, captivating
from start to finish, brilliant imagery. Love it! Thank you!"
–- Aaron M.

"The story was engaging and kept me guessing until the end,
and past. This book is one to read and then pass on."
-- Domino Law

“. . . a page-turner. I could not put down Terry Marshall's
Soda Springs. I hope there is a sequel.”
-– Chuck Drabek


“. . . an engaging novel that can be enjoyed on many different levels
(with) . . . a cast of characters one can both relate to and care about. ”
–- “Hovz1"

"Soda Springs opened my eyes to the early 1960s as never
opened before. A very good read. I found it hard to put down."
-- Don C.

"I re-read Soda Springs, this time slowly and where people could see what I was reading. This novel is one that should be read, digested and read again. I love it when people ask questions.” –- Sylvia Lobato, the Valley Courier, Alamosa, Colorado



Read the full reviews.




Discussion Guide

Click here to read the Discussion Guide



Publication details

Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights
6 x 9 inches ● 384 pages
released January 2011 ● Friesen Press
Hardbound: IBSN # 978-1-77067-163-8
Paperback: IBSN # 978-1-77067-164-5
e-book: IBSN # 978-1-77067-165-2
Available from:
Friesen Press, or Amazon.com



Contact Author or Illustrator

For more information, contact:
Terry Marshall
phone: 702-360-0136
e-mail: SodaSpringsTheNovel@gmail.com
website: www.TerryMarshallFiction.com
Facebook: Terry Marshall
Become a Facebook fan:Soda Springs The Novel

Chuck Asay
phone: 719-471-9075
e-mail: acdoodle1@mindspring.com
website: www.asaydoodle.com
Facebook: Chuck Asay

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