Tony describes himself as a 'refugee' from the city of Flint, Michigan, a place once considered to be the Mecca of America's blue collar workforce; though now, a town whose name has become synonymous with terms like ‘crime,’ ‘poverty,’ and ‘urban decay.’
By the late 1980’s Tony found himself in Oklahoma City, where he was the highest earning bartender in three states’ So his employers would tolerate his propensity for ‘witnessing’ to customers and co-workers from across the bar—on one occasion, even to a professed Satan worshiper, with the consecration scars on his chest to prove it. Tony would tell these people he would encounter about how Jesus could change their lives. For this same reason, he was denied membership at a local church— “Because he fraternized with sinners.”
In Albuquerque, Tony once had occasion to break traditional 'fry-bread' with a very old Native American couple, in their modest pueblo home on the reservation. They talked about religions, about 'hospitality,' and about the priceless thousand year old clay pots that lined on their mantle.
In Indianapolis, Tony went from having no job, no home of his own, and being about $40,000 in debt, to owning a portfolio of investment properties; all within just a few years. Tony continued in his witnessing efforts, speaking to tenants and to the working poor, whom he would help to purchase their very own first homes.
Today Tony and wife Karen live in the Ozark foothills where he writes from his unique experiences and continues to seek God's guidance every day. His debut novel, A Chain of Flames, is about how different people - some on the front of society and some on the fringe - are able to find their way . . . despite their disasters, their difficulties or their levels of malcontent.
A Chain of Flames
An old and haunted marauder,
A simple man of Faith,
An auspicious Osage princess,
A searcher fallen from grace,
All want for absolution,
Along their chosen ways,
But then their paths converge,
Becoming a 'Chain of Flames.'
Together these people will come to realize that life is not a single footpath, but a broad interchange. Where souls are linked and mingled, as in a chain of flames.
"A Chain of Flames is a unique debut-novel by Tony Cleaver. Tony weaves together the lives of his characters in a meaningful way that illustrates the untapped power of faith, redemption, and love. A Chain of Flames shows us how the seemingly small things in life can become grand adventures. If not for ourselves, then for others."