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My Book


 Back to Tonic – Amazon

ISBN-13: 978-1939761187

Back to Tonic – Barnes&Noble

To purchase a book directly from me contact me at:  backtotonic@gmail.com

There are few things that hurt worse than the bitter sting of what we believe is a broken promise—especially from someone we love and trust. What do you do when the God you love breaks your heart?

In June of 1992, members of my church gathered together to pray for our youth leader and four boys who were about to embark on a mission trip to Mexico. These teens, already leaders in their schools, had a remarkable compassion for others and willingness to serve that gave everyone high expectations for the trip…  Seventeen days later, all five were dead.

Where is the justice? We’ve been taught our entire church-going lives that God takes care of His own.  How do you wrap your mind around a God who would allow such a thing to happen to good boys like these? Could I ever forgive the God who took my only son?

Back to Tonic is the story of my struggle and journey back to God.



The 9th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards recognized Back to Tonic in the category of Grief as a winner in this year’s competition.


4 thoughts on “My Book

  1. Pingback: Woodland of Grief (Memoir Writing) | Wendy L. Macdonald

  2. Gene,

    As you know, we spent the weekend with the devasted cast and crew of Texas. I had ordered your book but not yet started it. Until last night. So much of what you say…I have no words.

    I had not relived August 2013 this weekend, though many were concerned for us that we would. We were there to help others. Today, however, reading your book brought back so many memories of what it was like in those early days. Wanting to hide in bed, wanting people to talk about Andrew, the pain.

    Your writing is beautiful. I want to stop reading, stop feeling your pain, stop feeling my pain. But I cannot. I cannot reading. I am only halfway through. I will not stop today until I complete the whole book. Then I will read it again with a highlighter.

    Thank you for sharing Jake with us. Thank you for your honesty and transperancy.

    Blessings and peace be on you and your family.


    • I think that maybe one aspect of the book is to be a catalyst to help people release emotions that have been buried deep within. It is healthy to let all that go and sometimes we just need help to get it flowing. Thank you for your kind comments and for sharing your story with so many on your blog. I can see how your are making a difference in the lives of hurting people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Feel it! Feel all all of the pain! That is how we heal.” Ron Duncan Saturday morning.

        Letting go of our emotions is healthy. I am doing that in the safety of a hotel room today. It is beautiful because we serve a beautiful God.

        Liked by 1 person

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