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A Private Hope A Trilogy by R. B. Phillips

A Private Hope

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Author: R. B. Phillips

Imprint: Joshua Tree Publishing

13-Digit ISBN:978-0-9845904-3-8

Specs: 6" x 9 " Perfect Bound  252 Pages

Publication Date: February 14, 2011

Retail Price: $16.95

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Who is Kat Emmons?

Residents of Baylor, a northern Michigan town, are not only questioning who Kat Emmons is, but how is the 18-year-old high school senior able to find and print news before it’s published in the local newspaper? Kat’s previous articles lead to a state attorney general’s investigation into Chief Wayne Crawford’s police department, and now the Baylor board of education and its controversial new superintendent, Thomas Pyles, are in Kat’s journalistic crosshairs.

Kat, a private person who two years earlier transferred schools from Oregon to be with her grandmother, Anna Fletcher, lives with a past personal tragedy and the discovery of a buried family secret that consumes her daily thoughts and life. Under the guidance of her teacher Robert Bailey, she’s turned to investigative journalism to escape her demons and suddenly has become the talk of the town.

But the town faces its own troubling times, as well. Schools, in a financial crisis, may close; TB-infected deer have contaminated cattle herds; and the local cement plant now burns hazardous chemicals to stay open. While seemingly unrelated, these events are not.

Unbeknown to Kat, her articles begin a process that will unravel the town’s mysteries and expose a nefarious international plot of corruption and murder that threatens the town’s existence. No one in Baylor is safe; no one is protected. Will she find the truth? Will she also learn for herself the answer to the question on everyone’s mind:

Who is Kat Emmons?


Author R. B. Phillips

R.B. Phillips taught English composition, criminology, journalism, and political science classes for 36 years as a secondary, community college, and university instructor. He is a former county commissioner, township supervisor, and Michigan state-certified firefighter.

As a child, Phillips’ interest in writing was inspired by his mother, a part-time clerk and homemaker. Her love of books and reading coupled with the encouragement and influence of his high school English teacher James T. Hayes, led Phillips to discover the literary works of Mark Twain, Jack London, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway.

At Alpena (MI) Community College Phillips received an Associate’s degree (AA) in liberal arts and was named Journalist of the Year as editor of the school paper, the Timber Cruiser. He holds a BA degree in English and a MA degree (political science) from Central Michigan University. Working as a part-time free-lance writer, Phillips has had articles published in the Detroit Free Press, the Las Vegas Weekly, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

During his teaching career, he was named Teacher of the Year three times, listed in the premiere issue of Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and a recipient of an Excellence In Education Award. In 1987 the University of Michigan honored his high school journalism teachings as an “exemplary program” – one of the five best in the state. More recently - in 2005 and 2006 - Phillips taught English classes in China at university and high school levels.

As a county commissioner, Phillips played an instrumental role in blocking attempts by the federal government in the late 1970s to target Northeastern Michigan regarding a critical environmental issue. That issue and those experiences coupled with his teachings as a high school journalism advisor provide the foundation for A Private Hope, a trilogy and his first novel.   

A Private Hope represents a work of fiction based on factual happenings and personal experiences. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Single, Phillips is a parent to his son Jason, who resides in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, with his wife Lisa and grandchildren Cam and Carlee.