The Black Fox of Beckham by David L. Heaney
"A tapestry of intrigue, wit, drama and dare that enthralls the reader from start to finish..."
—Emerald Book Reviews
"This was a fast-paced, charming book with just a hint of magic..I kept wishing that this was the first book in a series."
—Caitlin Keely, Gemmell Reviews
Praise for David's first book, A Yorkie's Tale: Lessons from a Life Well-Lived:
“Heaney offers wisdom, poetry, and humor in his narrative. His distinctive animal characters—pictured in Tatu’s expressive watercolors—will resonate with middle grade readers."
Set in the small village of Beckham, nestled in the English countryside where fox hunting has been a way of life for hundreds of years, a rare black fox is spotted shortly before the opening of the hunt season. The Beckhamshire County Hunt Club seizes on the opportunity to exploit a long history of superstitious legends concerning black foxes in order to promote the hunt and raise money for a sport that a growing number regard as cruel. The sinister stories about black foxes quickly spread through the village and surrounding countryside. As the stories grow increasingly frightening so too does the desire to hunt down and kill the now infamous ‘black fox of Beckham’. No ordinary fox, Arabella, as she is called, embraces the guidance given to her by her father as a kit before he was killed by hunters.
“What makes you different also makes you powerful.” Arabella then brings together two additional kindred spirits; the fourteen-year-old autistic daughter of the Secretary of the Hunt and a Roma Gypsy widow accused of being a witch whom the black fox serves. The three who proudly brand themselves the Peculiars take on "big fox hunting" with surprising results.
The Black Fox of Beckham is a tale for young adult readers about winning at any cost, superstition, prejudice and a touch of magic. But, ultimately it is a tale of redemption, strength and the magic of friendship.
David has enjoyed several careers all focused around assisting others with major life changes. He spent many years as a parish minister, several years as a marriage and family therapist and instructor teaching a class on the spiritual dimensions of psychotherapy, and many years as senior executive with a large private company assisting governments around the world with the development and management of their social assistance programs. David earned a BA in Philosophy at SUNY, College at Purchase, a M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School and another M. A. from the University of San Diego in Marriage and Family Therapy. He has always been interested in what motivates people to make dramatic change and believe that we will do for love what we will never do for principle alone. David is a keen observer of life’s struggles and hopes his observations are communicated with compassion and understanding through his writing.
David is the father of five children and three grandchildren and lives with his wife Lynda and their dogs in Durham, where he writes, does a little consulting, and visits inpatients and their families at the UNC Hospice Home each week.