Climb a mountain, build a relationship

The true story of how a father and his teen daughter connected through an ice axe and well-worn running shoes.

One day after reading a book about a wilderness adventurer, David Pierce’s fifteen-year-old daughter Chera announced that she wanted to climb a mountain. What David heard behind that wish was a bold declaration: “I’m growing up, Dad—what are you going to do about it?” A few weeks later they bought matching backpacks.

Over a three-year period they climbed five mountains and ran in two marathons. Together they suffered sore muscles, bitter cold, sprung knees, shin splints, and broken spirits. But they also reveled in blazing sunsets, glissaded on a glacier, and celebrated numerous victories great and small. And in the process, they built an unshakable father-daughter bond that will stand the tests of time.

In Don’t Let Me Go, David Pierce—the husband of popular Christian comedienne Chonda Pierce—offers a down-to-earth, funny-yet-serious book for parents with the same universal appeal as Bob Carlisle’s heart-tugging song, “Butterfly Kisses,” only with well-worn running shoes and an ice axe.

FROM DAVID PIERCE:

Don’t Let Me Go is a story of a three-year journey that my teenage daughter Chera and I took climbing mountains and running marathons—mountains and valleys—both literally and metaphorically.

Although this story is filled with humorous moments—like when we meet Chad, who admits to being s a “bit clumsy with an ice ax” —there are also moments of disappointment (we fail our first evaluation at Mt. Rainier) and great redemption (we limp across the finish line of our second marathon). When the story begins, we are novices, both as father and daughter and as mountain climbers. But during the course of this journey, the growth of our relationship closely parallels that of our mountaineering. Although this is a book about pain and perseverance, disappointment and victory, it is mostly what a father learns about his daughter—by watching her character, both in the valleys and on the mountaintops.

Born in Nashville, TN, David currently lives in Murfreesboro, TN with his wife Chonda. Their daughter Chera recently married and their son Zachary attends a nearby university.

Education
David received his undergraduate degree in communications/journalism in 1982 and Masters of Arts Degree in English at Middle Tennessee State University in 2000.

Teaching
David is an adjunct English professor at Middle Tennessee State University. He was the guest writer-in-resident at Taylor University in Ft. Wayne, IN in 2004 and again in 2007, where he taught a two-week course in crime writing. He also works as a writing mentor with the continuing education curriculum at MTSU known as The Writer’s Loft.

Writing
David has had nearly a dozen short stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He has collaborated with his wife Chonda on two children’s books published by Zonderkidz: Tales from the Ark (2001) and Tales from the Manger (2004).

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