Introducing: The return of jason foxx

Thirty-three-year-old Jason Foxx finally—finally—knows what he wants.

He wants to get his damaged brother, Brian, back on his feet. He wants to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend Adele and be a dad to her son, Stephen. And after nine years of teaching, he wants at last to set aside his own traumas—his imprisoned conman father, a mother who abandoned the family years before she died—and become a principal at a high school for troubled kids. Kids he can save,  like his teachers saved him. 

But things don’t always work out the way you want.

When his observation lesson is sabotaged by Mr. Rastik, a fellow teacher with his own agenda, Jason finds his plans slipping from his grasp. With a number of teachers due to be excessed next year, Rastik is ruthless, ready to do whatever it takes—manipulation, even blackmail—to keep himself at Central South High School.

Then there’s Jason’s father, locked away in West Virginia, holding onto the power of attorney Jason needs should something go wrong with Brian. He’ll give it up, he says, if Jason will fly to Florida into a life he never knew his father lived.

If Jason is to build the home he wants with Adele and Stephen—if he’s to maneuver past Rastik’s machinations and at last step out from the shadow of childhood—he’ll need to understand that things are not always as they seem. Maybe he’s not the only one struggling. He’s not the only one growing. And whether brother, son, father, partner, principal, or teacher, he still has quite a lot to learn.

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"Rat listened to the hypnotic sounds of train wheels clacking on rails. A red light exploded behind his eyes, and he heard the empty sound of his heartbeat stop. Then he was dead.

But the moment before the last pearl of consciousness plunked down into the black lake of nothing, he gulped air like a defib patient and came back to life."

— Excerpt from Rat

meet the author
Kevin Lavey

Kevin Lavey is the author of Rat and numerous short stories published in literary magazines. He has been recognized for his writing including awards from the Maryland Writers Association and the Maryland State Arts Council.

He began his lifelong love of writing while at the University of Michigan. Now a retired teacher from Baltimore County Public Schools, he has other novels and short stories in the works.

He is inspired to write stories that help him make sense of the world. He believes writing provides a singular way to explore what it means to be a human being.

As a writer, he finds resonance in a judgment from the I Ching, “Perseverance Furthers.” Write with enough devotion and authenticity and you just might get to the heart of things.

He taught in Baltimore City public schools for ten years and in an alternative school in Baltimore County for fourteen years, during which time he became a national board-certified English teacher. 

He is a trained mediator and a practitioner of that elusive martial art, aikido.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, a Master’s of Arts in Reading from Towson University, and a Master’s of Arts in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

"But early on, back in June shortly after they married, he started receiving messages from Big Rat Inside. Big Rat Inside told him that true rat identity demanded that he live alone. Die alone."

— Excerpt from Rat