This past year has renovated some aspects of our lives. Well, at least ALTERED them. Usually we plan and welcome renovations, but boy, can they ever make a mess!
The idea is to keep our eyes on the goal…what looks like a disaster can only be temporary, and as they say, the only way to accomplish anything is to begin. Right now, our carpenter has begun a HUGE project that involves chopping down a weight-bearing wall above a basement stairway, plus a whole lot of rebuilding.
With plaster pieces launching across our dining room like rockets, it’s reasonable to wonder, “Is this worth it?” But the goal, to open up the floor space so heat from our pellet stove can reach the rest of the house, is no impetuous one. My husband has desired this for many years.
The end result, increasing all-around efficiency, will make a big difference. So we’re plunging ahead, keeping our eyes on the target. Isn’t this similar to entering a new year?
The only way out of 2020 is moving into 2021, right?
We hope this new year satisfies the deep longings brought to light by the troubles of the old one. Universal yearnings: truth and justice, health, safety, joy and peace.
As the old hymn goes, “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail…with peace on earth, good will to men (and women and children.” (When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned these words, I’m pretty sure he was including everybody in his mind.)
The beginning of a renovation parallels the New Year’s resolutions I used to make. We all want to be kinder, more serene, more patient. to develop stronger character (and characters!) But amid the actual tests that strengthen us deep down, the drills, hammers, and brute force of renovation can be daunting.
Along the way, we may discover weak spots badly in need of repair and requiring more work than we thought. After some time, we pause and look back at our progress and realize it’s all good. In spite of our struggles we clean up pretty well.
After quite a few decades of resolution-making, I take a less strictly defined approach. One day at a time, one of the hallmarks of Al-Anon. And always, gratitude.
So we enter a new year. I appreciate all of your support throughout this extra looooong one, and hope to see more of you again in person during 2021. We’ve done our best, we’ve made it through, but it’s simply not the same!
It’s a COZY MYSTERY to begin the new year–enough questions to satisfy, but light. Amber Royer is offering a print copy giveaway to a commenter: enjoy reading her take on writing fiction! “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
I’ve always been a believer in the whole writing is therapy adage. I’m a writing instructor as well as an author, and I’ve seen people uncover amazing things about themselves in my memoir classes. But what about fiction? Things don’t have to line up one-to-one for a writer to be able to process emotions or puzzle out pieces of human nature.
When I sat down to write Grand Openings Can Be Murder, I decided to write about a character who had experienced grief and disappointment and decided to reinvent herself. Felicity is moving locations, starting a new venture, slowly learning to live life on her own terms. I’ve been through a lot over the years (because I’m over 40, and let’s face it, who my age hasn’t?) including deeply personal loss. And some things I’ve never been able to write about in the context of memoir. But I can relate to what Felicity’s going through, because loss is loss no matter what form it takes, and as story events force her to change and help her to heal – I have to confront those same emotions too.
The story is a mystery, so of course, there’s a murder, which gives Felicity a puzzle to solve and puts her into proximity with new people who will become important to her over the course of the series. But I made the murder victim someone who was also trying to reinvent herself, and Felicity gets to see how going about it the wrong way can be destructive.
Cozy mysteries are by definition light, so I had to balance Felicity’s grief with her sense of humor, and put her into situations where fun/funny things are happening around her, pulling her forward psychologically as she gets pulled into them. And I gave her a quirky group of family and friends who genuinely have her best interest at heart. One of my favorite moments in the whole book is when her matchmaking aunt decides to set her up on a date.
But it is interesting writing a sleuth who has instant empathy with the family of the murder victim, and who needs to see justice done to ease their pain. It gives her this whole extra level of stakes in the story. And it allows what is going on in her personal/business life to mirror what is going on in the investigation. I’ve already drafted the second book in the series, and while she’s made emotional progress throughout the first book, she’s still dealing with the loss in the second (which, admittedly, takes place only a month later).
I hope you enjoy Grand Openings Can Be Murder. It’s got an island setting with Texas flair, plus a bean-to-bar chocolate business to die for.
Yes, Advent, the time of waiting and watching for the birth of our Savior, has passed. But we will still wait as the new year comes and our lives continue.
Does waiting ever get easier? Not in my experience! I used to think I’d become less impatient with age, but that has yet to occur.
The quote below reminds us of the various aspects of waiting. We often wish we had more time to simply BE, but when that happens, we’re often uncomfortable with the quiet, the lack of running around, worrying, pushing our way through each day.
What does it mean to linger, to tarry without anxiety? The best explanation I find is included in this quote: STAYING.
Remaining. Ceasing all motion.
The final sentence gives us the secret of such a pose. It’s knowing something’s on the horizon. It’s focusing on something wonderful, something called hope.
So here’s to a New Year for one and all, filled with this precious commodity.
With so much of our normal activity hushed this year, we settle in to wait. The gatherings we’ve shared, the excitement, the candles we normally light together…so much has changed in 2020.
But waiting can be quite activel. It’s all a matter of mindset: our preparations may be quieter, humbler, but simplicity breeds clarity. What does this annual time of celebration really mean?
For those caught in the chaos of World War II, so much altered overnight. All around the globe, with “Christmas past” in their memories and imaginations, they served our nation.
Still, they found creative ways to keep this holiday with their comrades, and even sang Silent Night from frozen foxholes. Through the ages, despite war and pestilence, ime and again the Christmas spirit proves it is no slave to circumstances.
Whatever our situation, thoughts of Christmas motivate us to take action, however quiet that may be. We light candles, hum a holiday tune, and find a way to cheer others. Action proceeds from hearts in tune with the ineffable joy of this season.
What a difference! The three kings had only a rumor to go by. But it moved them to make that long journey. The scribes were much better informed, much better versed. They sat and studied the Scriptures like so many dons, but it did not make them move. Who had the more truth? The three kings who followed a rumor or the scribes who remained sitting with all their knowledge?
—Soren Kierkegaard, from “Only a Rumor”
At lonely outposts around the world, even in the shadows of the forest during the Battle of the Bulge, the idea of a tiny babe bringing light and peace to this old world moved soldiers, too. Surely our present trials can make room for such a rumor.
When Cleo Lampos and I began work on our World War II Holiday Scrapbook, we had no idea how appropriate the ingenuity of the Greatest Generation would be for this particular Christmas. Hopefully, that era’s make-do attitude spreads cheer from us to you as we all keep this unique Christmas.
Welcome to Bonnie Swinehart, who has written two delightful children’s books. Here’s my review of the one she’s featuring here this week:
For eleven-year-old Benjy, growing up in 1930’s rural America provided plenty of opportunities to choose “naughty over nice.” And this eleven-year-old farm boy consistently veered toward naughty. Watching him mature through the efforts of his parents and teacher makes an engaging story. I had never heard of the Belsnickel before reading this book, and am glad I took the time.
Bonnie is giving away a print copy of her story to a commenter–perhaps it will make a gift for one of your grandchildren. Now, she describes the work that went into creating this book and shares a little about a second Benjy story.
Many hours of research and work come alive on the pages of Benjy and the Belsnickel, a chapter book for ages seven and up. The book’s setting is the 1930s in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. If you have never heard of the Belsnickel, the opposite of Santa Claus, your German ancestors might be able to tell you exactly who this Christmas character who originated in Germany really is.
Benjy, a loveable eleven-year-old prankster, finds himself in a heap of trouble over and over again. His main target is Miss Nettie, the schoolmarm, who teaches in a one-room schoolhouse.
At times his antics will make you laugh out loud while others will find you wiping away tears as he struggles to figure out right from wrong. His problems multiply when he is threatened with a visit from the dreaded Belsnickel. He has moments of disbelief thinking the Belsnickel is just an old folktale, but then he struggles with moments of deep fear that the grim legend may be true. It is during these moments of dread that he prays to God for help to be a better boy.
The story keeps you intrigued while guessing if the Belsnickel is real and who he might be. The story takes a twist and offers a surprise ending!
I was inspired to write Benjy and the Belsnickel after attending a performance featuring the Belsnickel while working as a newspaper reporter. I found it fun to see the children so fascinated with this creature. Contrary to being afraid, the kids sat close to him and listened intently. I was also inspired by my parents who grew up in the 1930s and attended one-room schoolhouses. Some of their stories made for wonderful memories which ended up in this Christmas book dedicated to them.
If you turn the last page of the book with the yearning for it to go on and on, don’t fret! Benjy’s adventures continue in my newest book, Benjy and the County Fair.
The school year is over, and spring has arrived. With a sense of freedom, Benjy finds himself yearning for a new bicycle. Trouble is, he has to earn his own money.
On the last day of school, Benjy and his closest friend, Sarah, arrive at Benjy’s family farm to be greeted by three very cantankerous goats. When his pop announces the goats will be his responsibility, Benjy is filled with misery.
Then one day his ma mentions the money she earned at the county fair, and a lightbulb pops on in Benjy’s head. Determined to earn some money for his bike, he decides to turn one of his new goats into a show goat. He also starts a vegetable garden where he hopes to grow the county’s biggest pumpkin.
Unfortunately, Bruce, the local bully, tries to undermine his efforts, and thoughts of revenge overtake Benjy.
Benjy’s goats, Hazel, Lucy, and Sadie turn his life upside down. Join Benjy as he shakes his head trying to decide if he should roar with laughter at the goats’ outrageous antics or kick the dirt in disgust.
Benjy and the County Fair was actually inspired by suggestions from my writer’s group to write about goats. I was intrigued with the idea of incorporating the goats’ antics into the book, and liked the fact that I would have to research everything about the subject. I was never a farm girl so there was definitely a learning curve. Also, I grew up in the carnival, so the idea of the setting being a county fair came so naturally for me. Writing the book was an adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Both books as well as a study guide for homeschool education that accompanies Benjy and the Belsnickel are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at http://www.Whitespark-publishing.com.
Bonnie Swinehart lives in Liverpool, PA, in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She’s both a journalist and a columnist, but her lifetime dream was always to write and publish a book. That dream came true when her Benjy books were published by WhiteSpark Publishing.
I’m so happy to welcome Kimberly Grist this week. In Fresh Start For Christmas, a part of the Spinster Mail-Order series, she writes about a 19th Century Pandemic that some of us may not recall from our history lessons. After listening to this old-fashioned love story, I can guarantee it will transport readers back to a time when things might seem simpler, when a childhood and youth spent in an orphanage were not unheard of, and an old-fashioned love story might develop across the miles through hand-written letters.
And Miss Jane Austen shares her wisdom at the beginning of each chapter–what else would anyone want for Christmas?
After the Civil War, the yellow plague epidemic and gold fever sent young men west. A Fresh Start for Christmas is a mail-order bride story based on a matrimonial service started by several pastors and an orphanage matron. The group bases the agency on Rebecca and Isaac’s story and work together to find a way to match women to Christian men in the west to form H.I.M.M., short for Heaven Inspired Matrimonial Matches.
Kimberly is giving away a copy of Fresh Start For Christmas to a commenter, and below, she shares some of her rich research about Christmas celebrations in a bygone era. Now I’ll turn this over to her.
Did you know that the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” had much to do with shaping Christmas traditions that are still popular today?
Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book was an American women’s magazine published in Philadelphia from 1830 to 1878 and played an important part in shaping the cultural customs of the 19th century.
Sarah Josepha Hale, author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” was the editor from 1837 until 1877. When Hale started at Godey’s, the magazine had a circulation of ten thousand subscribers.
By 1860 it had 150,000 subscribers and was the most popular journal of its day. Hale used her influence to advocate for the establishment of a national Thanksgiving Holiday and other various causes, including advocating for women’s education.
Best known for the fashion plate that appeared at the start of each issue, other articles and editorials helped shape many of the traditions practiced by American families today.
The above picture is based on an image of Queen Victoria and her decorated Christmas tree previously published in The Illustrated London News in December 1848.
A revised version was copied in Godey’s in 1850 and removed what was referred to as royal trappings from Victoria’s tiara and Prince Albert’s mustache to remake the picture into an American scene. It was the first widely circulated picture of a decorated evergreen Christmas tree in America and was reprinted in 1860. By the 1870s, a Christmas tree was common in the United States.
Appearing in the December 1890 issue in Godey’s Lady’s Book, Hale wrote, At no time in all the year is the heart so filled with joy or the home so replete with genuine home love and home feeling as during the time that leads us up to the holiday season. Christmas Day is, to be sure our day of days-the most joyful of all the season; but surely every home-mother at least will agree that the days of preparation before Christmas are filled with a quiet, stead, soul-stirring happiness that could not be exchanged for any singe day of revelry.
For is it not during the weeks that precede the holidays that we prepare gifts for our dear ones? Are we not busy planning and scheming and perhaps denying ourselves some coveted thing that we may enrich those we love?
In Europe, it was fashionable to chop off the tip of a large fir to use as a Christmas tree. However, since this practice prevented the tree from growing taller and made it useless as a timber tree, statutes were enacted to limit people from having more than one tree. With the introduction of the “goose-feather tree” made in Germany as early as 1845, this problem was resolved. Goose feathers were plentiful, and what was perhaps the first artificial tree began to be produced as a cottage industry as the alternative to cutting a live tree.
Meanwhile, in America, cut live trees were the cherished way to make the holiday come alive. German immigrants brought their portable feather tree to the United States and introduced the Victorian feather Christmas tree. However, using artificial trees did not become popular until Sears Roebuck first advertised artificial trees for sale in their 1913 catalogs.
Here is the gist of A FRESH START FOR CHRISTMAS:
Memphis Rose Griffin loves teaching at Counting Stars Children’s Home. The girls and staff are like family, and working here ties her to her mother, whose last wish was for Memphis to take her place as teacher. But something’s missing. Now at the age of twenty-eight, her teenage dream of having her own family has all but faded.
Until her pastor and the orphanage founder come with a proposal that will change her life forever. Should she become their first candidate for their new matchmaking venture? Though grim, at least her future at the orphanage is familiar and certain. Can she risk an unknown future with a man she’s never met?
The last thing thirty-three-year-old Mike Montgomery wants is to marry again, especially to someone he’s never met. His family has other plans for him and completes the application without his permission–even changing some of his preferences to make him seem more intriguing. Can two star-crossed candidates dare to dream again?
Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson, a former teacher and coach, now a pastor. They have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome, and they have a passion for encouraging others with family members with special needs.
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a young girl; however, I began writing my first novel in 2017. Inspired by so many things life has to offer, one of which includes our oldest son’s cancer diagnosis, it’s especially gratifying to write a happy ending.
I believe you should come away refreshed and inspired after reading a book. In my personal life, I wear so many hats, working inside and outside the home. I work hard, try harder, and then begin again the next day. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome. My stories are designed to entertain, refresh, and inspire you, the reader. They combine History, Humor, and Romance, with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun.
This phrase from the book of Genesis describing the very beginnings of creation could not be more appropriate this season, or this year. As 2020 slides into its last month, we look back with questions and concerns. But doubts and wonderings only make light more precious.
Used as a noun, here’s the definition of light: the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible. But light also radiates warmth, so welcome during winter in the northland. And so we light our house this year.
This is the third re-stringing of lights on our pine tree. A phantom squirrel (we think?) sharpened its teeth on the first two strings, which were blue.
With no more blue lights available in town, we’ve switched to multi-colored, and will see how that goes, remembering, of course, that’s it’s still 2020.
Having just learned of Lance’s mom’s positive COVID test results, we’re watching and waiting in yet one more way. Hopefully she has a mild case, but no one ever knows. This “not knowing” makes just about anything we go through more difficult, doesn’t it?
And so we light our house this year. Thanks to Lance for this photo, and may your preparations for Christmas bring you great joy.
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for so much. This year has brought some unique challenges, and the support of many friends, tangible and virtual. At my three-month appointment yesterday, my surgeon shared x-rays that show good progress in my hip replacement recovery. Whew!
We have friends and family touched personally by the Covid virus, others battling cancer or enduring delicate surgery. My circumstances seem minor in comparison, yet it’s wonderful to hear good news!
In one of the Mayo Clinic waiting areas, this graphic from 2010 shows the number of joint replacements performed up to that time, ten full years ago. Imagine what the numbers would be now, and the progress that’s been made.
It’s such a gift to be able to access this sort of hard-earned expertise, and so good to know that the worries I experienced concerning healing were baseless. Well, they DID have a base in fear. Most of us know how anxiety can weasel its way into our lives again and again.
This stands true with my fictional characters, too. They’re regular folks, normal humans, and often believe lies about themselves and the world around them. Their faith may be hindered by deep-rooted, irrational fears … that’s the whole idea: they grow and change, overcome and gradually experience victory.
How thankful I am to be able to write! Especially during these months of hunkering down to avoid infection, my characters have kept me company.
Researching the incredible wartime challenges they had to face puts things in perspective, and being able to use my gifts–to contribute understanding of that era to this old world–means a lot. Writing warms my soul and brightens my life like Christmas lights on a shadowy night.
As winter approaches and northern Iowa days become gray and gloomy, it’s good to focus on gratitude. In this pause before entering the season of Advent, lights take on new meaning. It’s been a rough year for so many, but today, may thanksgiving fill our hearts.
Mary Vee joins us this week, bringing her new novel, a great gift for mystery lovers. Mary writes “never give up” stories, and is offering a paperback giveaway to one commenter. Sounds great to me!
Thank you, Gail for inviting me to be a guest. I’m so excited to meet your readers!
Where Can We find Amazing Characters?
The best answer to this question is: characters can be found all around us. Not in movies or books, those characters already had their journey. Our character is among the people we see wherever we go.
For example, I took a river cruise on the Rhine. The prices had dropped, drawing regular folk like me into a world I wouldn’t typically see. The first night, a woman of class, dressed for evening dinner, sat at the round table next to mine. She asked the waiter for tea. Moments later, a person at her table spilled a beverage. Liquid flowed across the table soaking everything in its path. The stylish woman scooted back and waved her fingers in front of her face. The waitstaff dashed to clean the table, replacing items and lavishing apologies to the noble woman. Her wide eyes proclaimed such aghast over the situation, but she spoke not a word.
With the table finally ready, she slowly drew her cup to her lips then stopped. Above the rim and straight in her view was the remaining damp circle on the linen tablecloth. She slowly returned her teacup to the saucer. The next pause lasted only a moment before she reached to the place setting next to her, removed a sparkling white napkin from under the silverware, unfurled it, and draped it over the imposing damp area. Her satisfied shoulders rested in place. All was well with the earth once again. She picked up her teacup and drank.
This woman formed the bones of my next character. I have no idea her true name, but she has become an amusing, lovely woman of style and wealth who has a journey like any other character. One that reveals she too is loved.
So, Sylvia’s Secret, a Christmas story was born. Fifteen days before Christmas, the staff at Sylvia Duvet’s mansion discover she is missing. Her daughter arrives at Detective Carhill’s office in a panic, concerned the gossipers and media will create their own story, embarrassing the family name. After all, a wealthy widow only disappears if…she simply can’t bear to think of those possibilities. Sylvia Secretis on sale for only $0.99. The link is below.
Considering the difficult times we’ve all experienced in 2020, remember the wealthy in your prayers too. They suffer in a different way, but their hearts are hurt as much as ours. Money does not solve all problems. Only God does. We all need supportive, trustworthy friends. Jesus longs to be our friend, our tower of strength, our provider, our anchor…
May you be blessed with the peace that passes all understanding.
Here is a question for you: Name your favorite character and the book they live inside. Also, tell something fun/unusual/interesting about this character.
Answer in the comment section to be eligible to win a copy of Sylvia’s Secret. Sorry, US addresses only. If the winner prefers, an eBook will be sent.
Welcome to Nancy Arant Williams, who lives in the beautiful Ozarks of Missouri. She’s highlighting her latest novel, and offering a free trade paperback of her trilogy called Bear Me on Angels’ Wings to one commenter. I’m particularly intrigued by how her writing career began later in life:
1999 should’ve been a good year for me, because my husband retired and we were moving to the beautiful Missouri Ozarks, where we were having a home built. But for me, it was a traumatic time, because it meant leaving Nebraska, the only home I’d ever known, as well as my network of friends, relatives and neighbors, our church, and our children and grandchildren.
I don’t acclimate easily to change, and was struggling, so my doctor put me on an antidepressant to ease the transition. We moved March 1, during a gray and icy spell in Missouri, into our unfinished home to complete it, and it was cold, muddy and not the least bit appealing.
Once the house was finished, I had nothing to do with my time, so I asked the Lord what on earth I was supposed to do in such a foreign environment. And because I had never written a thing in my life I was stunned to hear him say, “Sit down, because I want you to learn to write for me.”
I argued for a while until I realized how therapeutic this would be. He even gave me dreams, with scenes and dialogue running through them, showing me the story in movie format. It flowed easily and filled my emotional bucket, until I was no longer depressed and had no further need for the antidepressant. Ultimately he showed me that this new niche was the perfect place to write, quiet, wooded, and on a small three-acre private lake, picturesque in every season.
Writing was satisfying and fun because the characters were animated and zany; it wasn’t long before they seemed like real live people I’d love to know. Once the first book was done, it was clear there would be several more in a series. By the time I’d completed the series, Missouri felt like the home that I never wanted to leave.
Only God knew that my tough new start would open doors of destiny I could never have imagined, making readers laugh and cry. But best of all, they could see the love of God through fiction. Writing still fills my emotional bucket like nothing else, and best of all, there is no compulsory retirement date in my future.
Peachtree contrasts with other books in that the characters are middle-aged, and the book is more slice-of-life than any single genre, containing humor, conspiracy, murder, romance, etc., which makes it stand alone.
Excerpt from Peachtree Street:
Makkie Yeats is a fifty-three-year-old retired RN, whose life has been turned upside down. She’s still struggling to adjust to the idea of once again living with her dominant, social-climbing older sister Zoe after their mother tricked them into moving in together. In fact, things have been in such an uproar that she’s stunned to realize she hasn’t seen or heard from her dear friend, Ferdy Wallace, the wife of their family doctor, for months. After several failed attempts to phone, she’s desperate for answers, so she drives to Ferdy’s house and presses the bell.
No answer. I rang again, and waited another minute, before circling to the back of the house, where sliding glass doors led into Ferdy’s room. The curtains were pulled and the slider was locked, leaving me feeling more frantic than ever.
At the front door again, I tried the knob. It wasn’t locked, so I walked in. I called, “Hello, is anyone here?” At the door of her room, I knocked, heard a faint sound, and let myself in. All I could do was stare in shock. Ferdy, a small mound under the covers, was nearly unrecognizable; she had aged at least twenty years since my last visit several months earlier. Her normally porcelain skin was gray and sunken and her frame skeletal. Her striking white hair was sparse and dull, and her eyes were glazed.
I took her hand. “Ferdy, It’s Makkie. Can you hear me?”
She turned her head slightly, trying to focus. “Makkie,” she whispered, then closed her eyes as if exhausted.
“Ferdy, what’s going on? Where’s Silvey?” Silvey was their live-in housekeeper.
Just then Silvey stomped into the room. “What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“I came to check on Ferdy. What’s happened, Silvey? Why does she look so bad?”
Her green eyes flashed angrily. “I don’t know exactly, but Doc’s taking care of her. Now you need to leave.”
“I’m not leaving until I talk to her alone. So get out, close the door, and don’t let it hit you in the fanny on your way out.”
She left, but I knew she’d be calling Doc, and my heart skipped a beat as I realized the trouble I’d be in when he arrived.
“Ferdy, I need you to tell me what’s wrong. Can you do that?”
She looked at me, trying to focus, and I could see she was drugged to the point of sedation. I took her hand in mine. “Ferdy, is Doc doing this to you?” She nodded with effort.
“I’m calling an ambulance.”
Before thinking, I picked up her extension and heard Doc and Silvey talking. I heard him rage, “Well, get rid of her before she finds out!”
I carefully hung up, dug my flip phone from my pocket and dialed 911. When I felt reassured that help was on the way, I lifted the fragile woman into her wheelchair and pushed the hair out of her eyes.
“I’m taking you outside to wait for the ambulance.” I pushed her down the hall at a fast clip and was pulling the front door open when Silvey rushed me.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she screeched. “You can’t take her out of her home. I won’t let you.”
“Just try to stop me.”
“Don’t think I won’t You cant take her. You can’t!”
I pushed Ferdy through the front door, heading for the curb. Silvey had followed us a few steps out the front door, only to turn back toward the house. Now I could hear her gaining on us. She whirled around in front of me and said, “Get out of here, Makkie, before I call the sheriff.”
I frowned. “Go ahead and call him. I’d like him to investigate exactly what’s going on here.”
She stopped in her tracks, eyes aflame. “What do you mean, ‘what’s going on here?’”
“You know exactly what I mean.” She backed off a little, and I had nearly decided to haul Ferdy in my car when I heard sirens. Turning toward the sound, I saw a blur of movement and was hit from behind with something heavy. I could feel my legs buckling, and my consciousness fading, a flash of pain at the back of my head. My next lucid thought occurred when I woke in the back of the ambulance . . .