2019 Indie Best Award Long-List: The Weight of a Moment.

Shelf Media hosts the annual Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition for best self-published or independently published book. In addition to prizes, the winner, finalists, long-listed, and more than 100 notable books from the competition are featured in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound.

The Weight of a Moment is a beautiful story about the fragility of life and the redemptive power of friendship. Nick Sterling, a Fenwick Prize winning journalist, can’t move beyond a tragedy caused by one of his articles. Tom Corbett, a successful antiques dealer, is humiliated and shamed by an internet video that damages his business, marriage, and family. After their blunders, one shameful and one fatal, the two men run from their pasts, meet in a small Pennsylvania town, and, despite—or because of—the most unusual circumstances, help each other find redemption. Together, they make an unusual discovery that changes everything, one that unwittingly puts them back onto the national stage. Joined by fate, each man’s journey is remarkable in its own right and only exceeded by their shared journey. In a profound final scene, Nick confronts his tragic mistake, asks for forgiveness, and the novel’s title, The Weight of a Moment, is fully realized. Contrasting elements: big cities and small towns, modern and historic, priceless and valuable, compassion and condemnation, add to the richness of the tale. Critically acclaimed, this second novel from the author of Skyscraper of a Man is a brilliant sophomore effort.

About The Author: Michael Bowe

Michael Bowe is a graduate of Georgetown University and a recipient of a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He is an accomplished businessman, entrepreneur, investor, writer, novelist, and poet, and a resident of Vashon Island, WA, a short ferry ride from Seattle. His first novel, Skyscraper of a Man, was heralded as “a stunning and inimitable debut with Silver Screen potential” by the San Francisco Book Review. His second novel, The Weight of a Moment, was called “a beautifully written and inspiring story that is filled with realism and pathos” by Readers’ Favorite. In closing their review, RF added, “[The novel] is emotionally rich, psychologically exciting and inspiring.” Both Mr. Bowe’s novels have been well-received by both literary critics and the reading public alike.


Whenever I thought about having a conversation with [the widow], my words felt like confederate currency to me—worthless, ineffectual, meaningless, and of no use to anyone in the present day. 

No matter how many portraits of Jefferson Davis I placed on the table before her, she would never feel like my debt was paid, my obligation met.  [The widow] and I could never be even.

 No matter how fast I talked or how eloquently I crafted the English language, my words couldn’t turn back the clock, reverse the bullets, and reunite her with her husband, the only actions that would truly right my mistake. 

I was a writer and I’d always believed in the power of words, but my words were as useless now as the defunct currency of the old South.  Even in the broadest definition of currency—something given to settle a debt—there was simply no currency known to man that could ever satisfy this debt, no words that could ever make things better. 

Whenever a man finds himself doubting the one thing he wholeheartedly believes in, he is in a pitiful predicament, a miserable state.  For me, that one thing had always been words.  In all the time that has passed, I had not been able to bring myself to have a conversation with the widow.  I’d lost my faith. 

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Article originally Published in the December/January 2020 Issue “2019 Indie Best Award Winners”

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