The award winning "The Carnation Street Life Estate" is John T. Ahern's debut novel. His experiences as a student at the University of California, Irvine along with living in Newport Beach provided the setting. While attending UCI, John met his future bride, Lynn. They have been married for over forty-five years and now enjoy their grandchildren together.
After John's retirement from his thirty-five year teaching career, his life was suddenly at risk. Lurking in his house were his recliner, television and the worst of all his refrigerator. He had to escape their clutches. So, he took a part time job delivering packages for a company very similar to the one in his book. Physically, he recovered but mentally he was still at risk. Hence his first literary project. He found it to be much more labor intensive than his two articles published in The Coaches Alliance. Articles related to his cross country and track coaching career. Yes, he was a teacher/coach. But as mentioned by one of his administrators he was one of the few that was also a Teacher of the Year.
During his classroom career, John repeated the oft shared advice that his students should write about what they know. Now to be clear, "The Carnation Street Life Estate" is not a memoir. John is not Frank. Instead John drew upon his time as a teacher, coach and delivery driver. He also became quite familiar with life estates over the last ten years. The combination of these experiences contributed to the suspense of his first literary venture. But this venture was not merely about suspense.
One needs to refer back to UCI, while competing collegiately John's spiritual awakening happened. A Christian organization called Athletes in Action trained at the school and he was invited to one of their Bible studies. Like many Catholic boys, John had been trained up but not in scripture. The Word of God was eye opening, and John accepted Christ as his savior fifty years ago.
The retirement death traps still lurk around John's house. But with the support of the Lord, Lynn, family, and friends he keeps physically and mentally dodging those traps.
The Carnation Street Life Estate
John T. Ahern's award-winning debut novel "The Carnation Street Life Estate" is a suspenseful thrill ride that readers of Christian fiction will love. In this story, unintended consequences derailed Marge McAllistar's gift to Frank Wilson. The life estate she bequeathed in her Will and Trust was supposed to make his life better. The rest of her estate was supposed to make her lone heir, Bethany's life better too. But Marge could not predict how her life estate gift would lead to multiple murders and land Frank in jail. With a promise, an unlikely ally's help, and prayers a multi-layers conspiracy is unveiled, and Frank finds himself desperately asking the Lord for forgiveness.
Life is going well for Frank Wilson. He escaped his previous life as Kevin Leland and people no longer want to kill him. He has good friends, a church, a great place to live near the Pacific Ocean, and makes a good living as a finish carpenter. Little does he realize that a life estate for his apartment would upend all that.
While the life estate was meant to be Marge McAllistar's gift to Frank, it brought with it malignant side effects. Marge would never have granted Frank such a gift if she had known what fury it brought. But how could she have predicted the intense anger it would ignite in Samuel, her niece Bethany's husband. Or how he would become obsessed with driving Frank out of the now rent-free apartment his wife owns.
Frank's tolerance to Samuel's harassment tests his Christian witness. Especially as Samuel's anger and frustration escalate. Unbeknownst to Frank or Bethany is that Samuel's anger and frustration lure him into a criminal enterprise. The men Samuel brings into his and Bethany's life are more dangerous than he ever imagined – and in this Christian thrill-ride, they must face a life-threatening and faith-testing challenge like no other.