TL Boehm - Writer

Written in my heart

Bethany's Crossing - The official Release

Bernalillo, New Mexico -- December 5, 2008

Set in rural New Mexico, Bethany's Crossing follows intelligent, logical, teenaged Bethany Forrester and her Native American friend, Sage, as they seek the identity of a mysterious fragment of bone found after a train accident. While Bethany approaches the artifact from a scientific position, Sage urges a more spiritual approach including a prayer ceremony and spirit walk with her Pueblo grandfather who, unbeknownst to the girls, is a strong Christian.

Bethany's conflict revolves around her development as a young Christian woman. She believes her father still sees her as a child and that God is a formal and distant entity who does not involve himself in daily lives of young people. By the end of the story, however, Bethany learns the depth of the love both her earthly and Heavenly Fathers have for her.

Publisher’s website:


About the Author

About the Author:

Tammy L. Boehm is the married mother of a preteen boy and a teenage boy. An accountant by day and closet novelist by night, she enjoys the process of fleshing out characters, dialogue and plot lines. She has lived in rural New Mexico more than half of her life and this, her first completed novel, is infused with Southwestern culture.

Tammy is also an avid blogger and poet. She has completed a collection of devotional vignettes entitled Second Normal and is a contributing author to a new e-zine, Nocturne, which features previously unpublished authors.

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Bethany's Crossing - Bethany Unplugged

The text below is some automatic spill for the novel - uncut, unedited and unpublished in the book....enjoy 

Bethany is not an “every girl” she is water in the wasteland, a spring in the desert, a china doll in a room full of kachinas. Porcelain skinned blonde blue eyed exclamation point in a paragraph of nut brown doe eyed beauties. Even her God who seems distant is muted and faceless in the staunch starched old school church of her loving but clueless defeated parents who faithfully recite the Lord’s Prayer under their breath on Sundays and sip that pale coffee and trade pleasantries with the pastor and the Sunday school teachers.

Yet three blocks away her best friends church the bells ring like a sweet bird song telling of spring rains and fresh flowers in the little catholic mission church where the old viejas still cover their gray heads with those polite bits of Spanish lace and cross themselves, sprinkling water from the fonts with the Santos carved roughly from native pinon and the tin mirrors adorn the ladies bathroom. Bethany doesn’t understand the holy water as it tastes the same as the stuff coming form the tap in her scruffy little Bernalillo adobe home. Yet her best friend’s God seems so much more alive even though he is the same one represented by the little gold cross around her neck. Yet Bethany sees Him as distant and old like her South Dakota grandparents long ago passed away and always talking about hope without surety.

Bethany watches her parents at their tired jobs everyday and learns that life is defined in moments of logic, hard work, higher education and things she can put down on paper and file away in a drawer. She loves Christ deeply but Christ only comes at the end of things and in the mean time don’t we all have the God given free will that our puppies and ponies don’t have, so why waste all that time crossing ourselves and trying to cling to something infinite beyond that which we can quantify, clarify and identify as animal, vegetable and mineral. Bethany would never stand against her parents but sees the path laid out before her as one more dusty trail leading to a dry well. So she works hard in school, proving what she can prove and putting aside the mysteries of faith and eternity for when she is old and lonely and gray.

So she is the good girl in church, reading out loud and correctly pronouncing all the names of Abraham’s descendents and the places they lived and died – but thinking in her heart that in all the CSI shows she watches there’s never been an angel popping out of the dissected body or a panned shot of a soul hovering over the deceased nor any scientific evidence of even Heaven itself and it is most uncomfortable to her sense of logic and order to even discuss the theoretical possibility of a resurrection with her best friend Sage who seems so much more wise and ancient than anyone else Bethany knows.

Bethany wishes she could dye her pale hair to that same rich brown and sneak in to that mission church during a Spanish mass on Sunday morning when those bells call out and really understand what it means to be overtaken by the love of God, instead of the polite prayers she says for her little brother when he wakes up in the middle of the night, crying because unlike her, Eric knows the demons are real and they hide under the bed which Bethany teases him about it because she is the only one who sleeps in the bottom bunk underneath him every night.

Bethany would never swim upstream but she wishes desperately that she could see a spark, a fire in one or both of her parents who seem so much like the lambs pastor speaks of being blindly led to their graves by a society that moves a lot faster and is more aggressive than they are. She doggedly applies her daddy’s work ethic to her every assignment but wishes she could see something profound in the daily work something bigger than she can make herself or design on the computer in graphics class. She promises her mom she will be that independent career scientist, maybe even discovering a cure for little brothers who irritate to no end yes this is her only true measurement of eternity is the time it takes her little brother to eat that nasty oatmeal in his bowl in the morning so they don’t miss the ride to school.

Bethany isn’t afraid of death or dying things like her little brother was when the baby bird fell on to the air conditioner and no one scraped it off and three weeks later Eric saw its little skeleton on the ground and thought it would come back to peck his eyes out in the night because the air conditioner was in the way and Bethany carefully picked up the tiny skeleton – spreading it out on a piece of white poster board and labeling all the tiny parts to show Eric that it in fact could not fly or breath or peck for that matter. So dead things do not come back to hurt you and Eric looked at her with that small boy logic and said, yes not in real life but in my dreams at night, it can keep coming back and scaring me. So Bethany carefully wrapped the remains in one of moms old wash clothes and buried it, putting a rock over the grave and saying a prayer telling her brother it was a special keeping a dead bird in the ground so it couldn’t peck a boy in his dreams prayer but Eric was a twisted small male child and she wondered if the memory of that bird still scared him in the middle of the night.

As much as she wanted to believe every miracle, every answered prayer in Bethany’s life to date can be explained rationally by a sequence of logical events culminating in the desired result. She stopped believing in miracles when she realized that the Abominable snowman’s mouth was just painted black and not an actual opening and that what made Rudolph’s nose glow was a small red light and not magic. Search as she might there was nothing yet beyond the scope of logic and order – indefinable in some text, test, or a search on Google. Maybe all the miracles were sucked out of her family by the dry desert air or the cold flat land her grandparents settled in. She imagined there was no time for imagination in the midst of milking cows and threshing wheat in the Dakotas. Besides, dissecting physical and mental things was almost fun. Peeling back layers on a pig fetus or explaining physical reasons for myths and old beliefs was a discovery most times.

Bethany wondered why Sage with her cool family and her spooky granddad ever hung out with her in the first place but she secretly treasures Sage’s friendship and sometimes before she sleeps at night she pictures her own mom and herself kneading bread and wrapping up in serapes outside by a bread oven, trading stories and listening to the men crush beer cans with boot heels. She had never seen her dad even talk to a group of men without words like amortize or asset coming out of his mouth and her mom did not own a rolling pin. Miracles were for other people who really needed them and Bethany did not according to her family need a miracle it was their job as good Christian people to get what they get and not throw a fit.

So her family bore crosses in silence and never discussed problems until they thought Beth was asleep. They were functional people who did not waste time on frivolities like those lace covers for mom’s hair, or even a trendy pair of new jeans and Beth loved her parents and only wanted to please them. They thought she was drifting from the church but kept working hoping to show Beth by example that hard work and trust in god is all you need – not mumbo jumbo Navaho laced pagan rituals disguised as catholic worship. Yet there they were daily, a pristine white family standing out like a bleach spot on a black rug in the midst of a Navajo town trying to stay inconspicuous and blend in to the surroundings. Dad never asked to be there but he moved where the company told him to go and got by with what he felt God gave him teaching Bethany to never ask for anything but politely give thanks for her brain she could use to get a degree from an ivy league school back east and if she did all her homework she could spend some time messing with some technological gadget in the house like the CD player or the computer as long as she did not download any unacceptable music by a secular group or even some of the more progressive Christian bands who were really doing it to glorify themselves and not God because if they really wanted to glorify God they would play for free. Which never made sense to Bethany anyway because wasn’t the pastor paid in the first place and why can’t you make loads of money doing what makes God happy?

So was she wrong to apply logic to every situation when that was her God given gift anyway, even though she felt it was probably a genetic predisposition as there were no fun or amazing people in either side of her family? Every one was a Margaret or a Peter and no Cameron Diazes or Johnny Depps to be seen.

Sometimes she heard her mom praying quietly but could never make out the words and there was never a mention of victory or glory. So Bethany believed in her teen heart that it was just inappropriate to ask and maybe her friend Sage had more of a right since her people actually suffered and Beth’s family homesteaded and never had anything horrendous happen except the story of uncle Rindhal's cow getting stuck in the fence and having to have a horn cut off. Sage’s family had sheep with scary eyes and four horns curling outward and all Beth had was a dog who was not aloud in the house. Again the polite distance from all that lived and breathed was ingrained in Bethany’s heart and soul. Sage called her super logical and Bethany wore the title like a crown but sometimes in the middle of the night she wished she could sneak up in the top bunk and hug her little brother’s small body and he would actually curl up against her and thank her for being a good sister. She wished she could see her parents hug and talk about something besides the store list or the work of the day. She wished her parents would talk about their dreams and ask her about hers. Beth kept a journal by her bed hoping God would talk to her in a dream someday as that was a biblical truth she learned in the Old Testament. But all of her dreams were mundane and she could easily trace them back to the events of the day or something she was going for in her life. A goal or something. Bethany longed for a real relationship beyond what she could prove or disprove but didn’t see it happening in her life. So she was making a plan and sticking to before the train wreck and after the train wreck that would completely change her life.