A new book, ARIVACA: The Guardians of the Light, written by John Poulsen, an LDS businessman from Gilbert, Arizona, is now available.
Poulsen, the father of 9 and grandfather of 12, says, “The book is like throwing The Da Vinci Code and Holes into a blender, then hitting the button.” While the book is written for young adults, it will appeal to adults as well.
Poulsen says he is one of the original partners of real Arivaca Boys Ranch, roughly ten miles north of the Mexican border in Arizona, which inspired his book.
“I saw what took place on the ranch and was intrigued by the experiences and personalities of the boys. They come from all over. Some of the boys are LDS,” says Poulsen.
Poulsen says that one day while watching the movie Holes he thought it would be interesting to write a book about troubled teen boys on a ranch like the Arivaca Boys Ranch.
Poulsen, an avid fan of studying ancient Israel and its temples, started writing the book, but added a storyline involving some of the lost treasures of Solomon’s Temple.
“Today’s youth seem to have zombies and vampires with fictitious powers as heroes. I wanted the hero of the book to be strong and have powers from God, like Sampson as a prototype,” says Poulsen, a member of the Gilbert Stake High Council.
According to the book blurb listed on Amazon, “Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens, he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.
Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one-man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, has spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.
As Jesse unravels this secretive and dangerous world he learns the ups and downs of young love, and both the reward and peril of following his divine call.”
Poulsen says, “I was one of the original Partners of Arivaca Boys Ranch. In 2007 there was an idea being tossed around amongst a bunch of LDS businessmen in the valley to start a ranch for troubled teenage boys.”
“Ron Searle, a CES instructor and administrator, was the brainchild of this idea. An avid horse lover, Mr. Searle wanted to combine some of the ideas and skills of horse whispering with helping troubled teens identify the real sources of their conflict,” says Poulsen.
Poulsen added, “In other words: just as it’s usually the rider, not the horse, that has the real issues to overcome, the teenager in the program learns that it’s really him, not his parents or teachers, that needs to change.”
Mr. Searle soon joined forces with the business men and realized his dream. Today, the Arivaca Boys Ranch is an active therapeutic boarding school in southern Arizona, known for changing the lives of many young men.
Arivaca: The Guardians of the Light is available in both eBook and paperback on Amazon.