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About C.J. Heigelmann
C.J. Heigelmann is an emerging author of Contemporary, Historical, and Psychological Thriller fiction, who has published three novels, An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody, Crooked Fences, and Can't Hide What's Inside.
C.J. learned to negotiate the changing fabric of class relations within the United States while experiencing different nuances of racial interconnection and social class ideologies from California to Connecticut, the Deep South, and during military service in the United States Air Force. CJ combines these unique experiences with his knowledge of the humanities, an empathetic heart, and a belief in world peace, to produce literature that focuses on the human condition in any genre he touches.
Ever evolving, but yet retaining his core signature of sharp-edged reality, his writing style brings a fresh and compelling perspective to every plot and storyline.
Visit www.MustReadCJ.com to learn more.
He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Historical Novel Society, and the South Carolina Writers Association.
Independent Press Award, Winner, Multicultural Fiction, 2021, An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody (Historical Fiction).
Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship for Fiction, Finalist, 2021, The Other Side of the Hill (Short Story Fiction).
Wishing Shelf Book Award, Finalist, Adult Fiction, 2020, An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody (Historical Fiction).
New York City Big Book Award, Distinguished Favorite, Military Fiction, 2020, Crooked Fences (Contemporary Fiction).
Bestselling Amazon Author: Contemporary Literary Fiction, Depression, Racism and Discrimination, African American Literary Fiction, Historical Thrillers, Historical African Fiction, and Vigilante Justice.
"I express my characters in their pure flawed form because all of us are flawed. I don't shrink from using stereotypes whether positive or negative. Instead, I promote them and in the next breath completely shatter them. This exposes the error of subjugating individuals to intellectually lazy social labels, compelling the reader to confront the empirical nature of a character while lending insight into true understanding."
"Readers are not one-dimensional, and the stories they read shouldn't be either."
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Finalist, WISHING SHELF BOOK AWARDS, Adult Fiction, 2020
COLD MOUNTAIN meets The Color Purple!
An epic American Civil War literary saga that explores the intimate relationships between folk of diverse cultures during an era of suffering and hate; spanning cultures, continents, and generations. Narrated in the Antebellum tradition.
Shay is an orphan. A young Asian boy with no link to his past – except for a mysterious jade amulet – and no idea what fate has in store for his future. Not until an American merchant captain raises him to be a man, who becomes a valiant Union Army scout during the height of the American Civil War.
Across the oceans, a young girl is ripped from her African homeland and tossed aboard a ship set sail for America. She is sold to an Alabama plantation like livestock; her name, her identity, and her life stripped from her. Now, she is considered nothing more than a slave.
When their two paths cross ten years later, they immediately intertwine, driven by a connection so strong it could only be forged by destiny. But love is forbidden, and darkness surrounds them. Written in the Antebellum tradition with spoken dialects characteristic of the period. The reader is invited to view the perspectives of each character and the decisions they make, leading to life, love, or loss.
"My books are about the reality of life and death, joy and pain, victory and defeat. Through it all, I aspire to reveal the power of love." - C.J. Heigelmann, 2020
"An engagingly emotional thriller with surprising plot turns."- Kirkus Reviews
A guilt-ridden single mother kills in revenge for the accidental death of her child. But she can't stop, and she can't hide what's inside.
The future is bright for Madison Sanders, a 27-year-old business analyst and single mother. Finally free from her abusive mother’s controlling grip, she relocates across the country and begins a new job.
Soon after, dark troubles arise as her misogynistic male office co-workers sexually harass her to the point of desperation. Unwilling to tolerate any more offensive behavior, she strikes back, reporting the offenders to management. Feeling self-assured, she resumes her focus on work.
Then tragedy strikes in the form of an accident, resulting in the death of her only child. Madison accepts all blame and is crushed under the weight of her guilt and grief.
But everything changes as a startling revelation about the accident is revealed, sending her on a crusade to find the truth of what really happened. Frustrated by uncooperative police detectives, she turns to the help of a private investigator to find the criminals responsible. But he finds much more than he expected.
The reader is transported through an odyssey of lies, deception, and murder as more facts about the crime are revealed, including Madison’s own dark hidden past, unbeknown to her. In the journey to find justice, her mother’s secrets are manifest into reality, forcing Madison to accept a horrifying truth that she can’t hide within.
Book 1 of the Madison Sanders Trilogy.
Disclaimer: Among the topics of Delayed Onset Adult Psychopathy, PTSD, and child abuse, Can't Hide What's Inside heavily explores the subject of male misogyny, issues with race, stereotypes, and bigotry. If you are sensitive to any of these issues, as the author I highly recommend that you do not read this book.
2020 New York City Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite
A troubled war veteran battling PTSD returns home to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. But is he ready?
Experience the life-changing events through the eyes of the main character as he comes to grips with himself, his family, and the community around him.
The night of the ambush changes everything for US Marine Todd Goodson. One moment, he is discussing tactics with his battle-weary squad in Afghanistan and the next he is waking up alone in a military hospital desperate for news of his friends.
Now returning home to pursue his dreams in law enforcement, Todd struggles with a deep sense of guilt over his role in the attack and worries that his prejudiced comments are ultimately what led his team astray. On top of his guilt, he’s battling relentless PTSD nightmares and rising tensions with his girlfriend. To escape his troubles, Todd travels from New York to Tennessee and visits an injured war buddy, eventually taking a temporary job managing a troubled low-income housing community in Nashville.
As Todd faces the challenges of his new job and makes some unexpected friends, he must also confront his deep-seated racism and homophobia. Overwhelmed with moral questions and his future career as a police officer, he starts to spiral out of control.
Is Todd ready to serve and protect the public equally without prejudice?
Crooked Fences is a fiercely honest story of change about a returning war veteran’s battle to overcome the debilitating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, before entering the New York State Police Academy. First, he must confront the hatred of racism and homophobia instilled in him by his father while working at a low-income housing project.
"My books are about the reality of life and death, joy and pain, victory and defeat. Through it all, I aspire to reveal the power of love, through truth." - C.J. Heigelmann, 2020