Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley.
The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction.
But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing?
Targeted Age Group:: All Ages (Young Adult to Adult)
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I started writing this story as a writing exercise, but I was having so much fun with the story, I decided to complete it. After much encouragement (and prodding) from other authors, I decided to share it!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
They are a combination of people I’ve known and completely dreamed up. I’ve always been a bit of a day dreamer, so characters in my head spill on to the page quite easily.
I walked over to the confessional and stepped in, sitting down next to the screen, noticing the same design I saw on the tapestries.
“Isn’t this whole thing sort of unnecessary? I mean, I know who you are, you know who I am, and what if I was claustrophobic?”
“Are you claustrophobic, Jameson?”
“I haven’t broken down in tears or run from here screaming, so I think the answer to that is obvious. I’m just saying.”
“So this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you my sins.”
“That’s the idea.”
“I can’t really think of any off the top of my head. What do people usually confess?”
“Lots of things. Lies, impure thoughts, things like that.”
“I guess I’m good then. I should let you go.”
“We all sin, Jameson.”
I let out a sigh. “Okay. I beat up a six year old boy.”
“Yeah, he pulled my hair and told me I couldn’t play in the fort he built.”
“Ah. And this happened when you were…?”
“And I lied to my grandmother when she bought me this really awful sweater. I told her I liked it.”
“I don’t think it’s really necessary for you to delve that far into your past.”
“Well, it has been a while since I confessed anything, so I want to make sure I’m forgiven. Being thorough.” I thought I heard a chuckle on the other side of the screen. “Hey, who do you go to when you sin?”
There was a long pause. “I go to confession as well.”
“To another priest?”
Another pause. “Yes.”
“That seems difficult out here.”
“It is. I don’t get to go as often as I’d like.”
“Did you have something you need to get off your chest? I think I’m on decent terms with the big man upstairs. I’m sure I could put in a good word for you.”
Again, a slight chuckle. “It doesn’t really work that way. Thanks.”
“I do have a question.”
“What if you have a feeling something bad is going on, but it’s only a feeling. Is it a sin to go about your normal life and ignore it?”
“I guess that depends.”
“Well, that’s more of a philosophical discussion on morality and ethics, not really what we do here in the confessional.”
“There’s no one waiting in line outside, Mike, I think we have the time. What do you think the moral obligation is?”
There was another long pause. “I think it’s important to stop evil from happening. But I don’t think everyone is equipped to do so, so without facts, it would be dangerous to pursue merely a feeling.”
“Does danger cancel out moral obligation to stop evil?”
“Good question. Is this the sort of thing you discussed in your psych classes?”
“Perhaps we should discuss this further at another time. In a more appropriate venue. For now, I absolve you of your sins.”
I hopped up off the hard bench and opened the door. Father Mike must have hopped out just as quickly, as he was standing directly behind me when he grabbed my arm.
“One last word of advice, Jameson. It’s never wise to jump into anything blind.”
I pulled my arm away and walked quickly over to Emma, grabbing her arm, heading out the door and down the steps.
About the Author:
Amber West is a Northeastern transplant dodging rodent sized bugs and sweltering heat in the jungles of Central Florida. When she isn’t battling the urge to pass out, she’s busy being a wife, mother, geek, photographer, and writer, in no particular order. You can read her ramblings at http://www.withoutsushi.com or find her on Twitter (@amberwest) where she abuses hashtags and makes people laugh. Or at least, makes herself laugh.
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