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Book review: ‘Tell It Like Tupper’ set in Creston, goes inside campaign trail

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 10:35 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 10:47 a.m. CDT

“Tell It Like Tupper” by J. Mark Powell takes readers behind the scenes of a campaign trail with Creston, Iowa, as the backdrop.

The heart of the story, Creston, with few exceptions, is sketched as a small-town landscape, home to family-oriented people with Midwestern values.

As the presidential election approaches, Senator Phil Granby, seeking the Republican nomination, journeys to Iowa for some last-minute publicity before the caucus.

When his car breaks down on Highway 34, he doesn’t expect to meet Glenn Tupper, a small-engine repairman from Creston. Tupper pulls over to give Granby a ride, and, believing Granby is a traveling insurance salesman, candidly expresses his opinion about political candidates and their empty promises.

Granby’s campaign takes a turn for the better in Cedar Rapids when he throws out his speech and appeals to the audience with Tupper’s idea — authenticity and honesty.

Seeking more advice, Granby travels to Creston and forms an unlikely friendship with Tupper. With Tupper in the background, Granby’s campaign gains much-needed momentum.

When media attention shifts to finding Tupper, secrets are revealed, lives change and new futures manifest.

Read to find out what happens when Granby “Tells it like Tupper.”

About the author

J. Mark Powell is a Missouri native who serves as communications director for South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Before that, he was communications director for former New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta, and previously worked for 12 years as a journalist for CNN in Atlanta, Ga.

“When I visited Creston in 2005, I instantly knew it was the ideal setting for this novel,” Powell said. “Glenn Tupper is a middle-class, middle-age guy in Middle America, and Creston’s quiet charm perfectly reflects this good and decent man’s character. After driving around town, it only took five minutes for me to say, ‘I’ve found Glenn Tupper’s hometown.’”

More information is available at Tellitliketupper.com. "Tell It Like Tupper" is published by Archway Publishing (a unit of Simon and Schuster) and can be ordered through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other leading online retailers. It is available in hardback, trade paperback and eBook formats.

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