Cultivating Hope through the miracle of story

Come on a pilgrimage of faith through the shadows of the mind. 

Why shouldn’t I just sit here
curled up in my room if my life has so little value?

Is there any meaning left 
for someone who can’t 
even face her day? 


Who is God,
and can he be found in
emotional suffering?
Does prayer invite help,
or does it simply expose

your soul to more pain? 

Tamara Baxter, an emotionally distraught teen from New York City, fights for answers to these questions as she resolves to find relief from her emotional suffering.

This trilogy traces Tamara’s pilgrimage from the lonely corner of her bedroom to a farm in New Hampshire where she takes on a small flock of sheep. There, under the spiritual care of an elder woman named Barb, she discovers the life she has been seeking.

In that tiny valley, nestled among the White Mountains, Tamara learns how to pray, falls in love, and answers her life’s calling to bring hope to others.

The Tamara Trilogy

         Through a Shattered

 Talented New York City financiers Aimee and Terrance Baxter are positioned on a clear path to success. But their anticipated rise is soon frustrated with the arrival of their daughter Tamara who shows early signs of a serious mental disorder. 

Certain she can manage Tamara’s illness herself, Aimee refuses professional help. Her denial leads the family down a road they never saw coming. Husband Terrance is increasingly frustrated and isolated, as he watches his daughter Tamara spiral ever deeper into the endless rage she expresses in demonic drawings that let us glimpse her anguish.

     A trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire offers a path to recovery. Through the love of an old farm woman named Barb, the family begins to find healing and redemption.

      Through a Shattered Looking-glass is an impressionistic expression of an experience that defies simple portrayal. Readers witness the shadowy regions of family strife brought on by mental illness, yet the story offers powerful hope.

Those Frightening Things 
You Should Let Win

 Tamara Baxter’s story continues as the teenager from New York City seeks healing from the mental disorders she has suffered since early childhood.

      As she matures, Tamara takes a personal initiative in her recovery and returns to the small village of Blossom’s Rest in New Hampshire. There, tending a few lambs teaches her as much about the recovery of hope as the supportive people surrounding her do. 
     Adopted into this farming community by her elderly mentor, Barb, Tamara is introduced to the strengthening mysteries of prayer and discovers new meaning through the hard work required to care for a farm and her neighbors in need.

A Place of New Beginnings

 The emotional struggles Tamara Baxter endured as a child in New York City began to subside as she tended a few sheep on an old family farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 

       Tamara’s newfound faith is flourishing under the sensitive and prayerful guidance of Barb Fletcher. Her positive experience of the Blossom’s Rest community is so transformative, Tamara determines that the Fletcher farm should be repurposed to become a place of new beginnings for others who suffer like her. 

        But Tamara is learning that living in community is arduous work fraught with challenges that threaten her recovery, one of which, surprisingly, is falling in love. Yet with the help of that same community, she discovers hidden sources of grace that yield forth new life in wondrous ways. 


"There are some frightening things you should run from.
There are some frightening things you should stand up to and defeat.
And then, there are those frightening things you should let win."
- Barb Fletcher
Through a Shattered Looking-glass

Scenes from Tamara's Childhood:

The emotional corners she backed herself into

Where it all began to change:
The Treehouse for Dreaming
Central Park, New York City

Blossom's Rest 

The White Mountains of New Hampshire, 
a small flock of sheep, and a pasture where faith was born

Join us in the quest for hope

This extended narrative describing Tamara’s experiences is my letter of appreciation for those who have taken on the challenges posed by mental illness.

No one in that fight gets a day off, and everyone deserves all the support they can receive.

In gratitude to those who have dedicated their lives to the restoration of hope, all author proceeds from these stories will be donated to encourage the growth of therapeutic farming and other holistic approaches to mental and emotional well-being.

As you read, I ask you to consider how you will lend your own efforts to encourage the restoration of hope and the replenishment of joy.   

I would love to hear from you if you have any questions, insights, or expressions of hope you feel might be significant for others.

E-mail me at
[email protected]

Thank You - Clay

Discussion Guide

Through a Shattered Looking-glass

A fictional narrative like Tamara's can become a gentle way of opening up those lived experiences that need our attention and reflection.  Reading and discussing the novels in a small group is one way of building meaningful community around a very difficult topic.

Each session encourages reflection and dialogue about different issues related to mental illness. 

The Fletcher Farm

Watercolor by Benjamin Rosenkeotter

These novels would not have been possible without my good friend 
I Michael Grossman and his E Book Bakery. Visit him at his website!