Jennifer Proctor, a wispy yet hauntingly beautiful young girl of ten, already qualified as one of those rare saints on earth. She had developed a sense of compassion far beyond her years and, unlike most children her age, is completely unselfish. When she innocently applies a gift that she neither understands nor wants to save a young boy's father from certain death in a racecar accident, Jennie affects the destiny of a whole family in ways she could not have dreamed. Only when her path crosses once again with Ross Becker years later does she learn of the powerful impact her kind-spirited intervention had on so many people and how he must now return her favor.Set between 1940 and 1963, A Favor Returned captures the changing dynamics of families, communities, and the country in the post-World War II era as prosperity and a confidence bordering on arrogance seemed to envelope the nation. The historical background mingles with the thread of possibility that there truly may be people on this earth who are in the world but not of it, people whose decency and honesty appear too good to be true. Coupled with this is the unsettling possibility that unselfish "saints on earth" may set into motion devastating and tragic consequences. Jennifer Proctor firmly believes that there is a loving God who has placed some people on earth to help others be happier, but time and again she must face the frustrating fact that He doesn't explain how the process is supposed to work. When Ross Becker is faced with the final heart-wrenching dilemma of A Favor Returned, he at last realizes the desperate and utter truth of Jennie's frustration.About the AuthorDuke Southard is a retired educator. He has published professional articles in Media and Methods and served as president of the New Hampshire Educational Media Association. In 1997, he was presented an "EDie," the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Award, for his contribution to the school library/media profession in the state. His educational credentials include a BS from Villanova University, a MA in English Education from Glassboro State University, and a CAGS in Library/Media Technology from Boston University. He is married, the father of three and lived in New Hampshire before moving to Green Valley, Arizona.The original version of A Favor Returned was published by Peter Randall and distributed by University Press of New England. Southard's second novel, Agent for Justice, was published in 2003 by Hot House Press. He is also the author of two non-fiction books. A memoir, The Week from Heaven and Hell, describes the family's struggles while dealing with the sudden and tragic loss of a young adult son, and The Nick: A Vision Realized is a commissioned history of a large recreational facility in New Hampshire. In 2010, Southard won awards in both the short story and memoir divisions of the Society of Southwestern Authors writing contest. Visit the author's website for more information on his work, works in progress, and free programs for schools, libraries, and community groups: www.DukeSouthard.com.