It’s hard to believe 2015 is already drawing to a close. This has been a whirlwind year, one brimming with artistic satisfaction and fulfillment, and all of you have played an instrumental role. Thank you for reading my books, for your messages and words of support and encouragement. They have truly meant the world to me.
As a holiday surprise, I’m sharing the very first sneak peek of my next novel, A WOVEN SILENCE. 🙂
I hope you enjoy this tidbit of what’s to come. Thank you for an amazing year and I wish you and yours a holidays season filled with much warmth, love, and joy.
A Woven Silence: Sneak Peek 1
Mama always returned to the thread.
When her beautiful fingers trembled with fear and her dreams threatened to crumble beneath the walls of her prison, she would disappear behind the sewing machine and drown herself in its mind-numbing rattle.
These threads, she said, were born from this town, from our collective tears and blood, sweat and screams, rage and desperation. Our lives imbued each stitch with power, our entwined experiences strengthening the fabric that clothed countless strangers.
I remember her hands every time I dress. With each stroke of silk or cotton, I wonder whose calloused fingers – whose pain – had given birth to my day’s identity.
Something inevitable was created all those years ago, a connection as tight and intricate as Mama’s stitching.
It was easier then to believe a predetermined force had brought us together. A destiny or fate, the same simplistic explanation behind why the bad lived and the good died, and some sailed through life with barely a scratch while others clawed for every breath they took.
But now I believe differently.
That year had been nothing more than a sequence of chances, one landing right after the other in the same way the needle met fabric. All those circumstances had neatly aligned to sew together a tapestry far greater than us.
That’s all that night ever was.
Weaving life out of separate threads.
THREE HOURS AFTER
Excerpts from transcripts, night of December 12.
Silver Birch Township, Carbon County, PA
Officer Ned Ratliff, Head of Silver Birch Police Department
Officer Ratliff : [coughs] Anne, do you know why you’re here?
Officer Ratliff: What’s that?
Anne: I want my mom. Can I call her?
Officer Ratliff: Did you see what happened on the ridge today?
Officer Ratliff: I’m sorry, Anne, but your mother’s gone.
Officer Ratliff: [clears throat] Now don’t worry about anything. We’ll help you —
Anne: You’re wrong. Today wasn’t her day to be there.
Officer Ratliff: We found her —
Anne: No. [Chair scratching across floor] She doesn’t work on Thursdays.
Officer Ratliff: We’re trying to figure out why she was there. I’m so sorry —
Anne: You’re lying. Why are you lying?
David: You can’t hold me.
Officer Ratliff: We’re not holding you —
David: Then why’d you pull me in?
Officer Ratliff: Do you know what happened tonight?
David: I ain’t blind.
Officer Ratliff: Know how it happened?
David: Why would I know that?
Officer Ratliff: Do you know where your uncle is?
David: [muffled]…he don’t tell me where he goes.
Officer Ratliff: He was there. When it happened.
Officer Ratliff: Gonna have to speak up —
David: Is he dead?
Officer Ratliff: Yes.
Officer Ratliff: I’m sorry, son.
David: I ain’t your son.
Officer Ratliff: If there’s something we can do —
David: Who did it?
David: Who did it?
Officer Ratliff: That’s a matter for the authorities. This is an official investigation —
David: You tellin’ me my uncle’s dead and I wanna know who did it!
Officer Ratliff: Why?
David: So I know who needs to pay.
Officer Ratliff: I’m real sorry, Sally.
Sally: [words slurred] But… [inaudible]…what we gonna do about money? Will paid for the food —
Aaron: We’ll figure something out —
Sally: What’s everyone gonna do? The town —
Officer Ratliff: Now, you don’t have to worry about that now. Go on home with Aaron and take care of yourself. Someone will come down and make sure Silver Birch is all right.
Sally: But —
Aaron: Ma, let’s go home.
Sally: Ned, please. If Will’s gone, I can’t…[Hiccup. Inaudible.]…promise you’ll make sure we’re all right. You’ll take care of us.
Officer Ratliff: ‘Course I’ll do everything I can. But you know I can’t promise —
Aaron: I will. [Shuffling sound] I promise I’ll take of you. You don’t have to worry about Will.
Sally: [inaudible]…what we gonna do, baby?
[A clatter. Sound of sliding chairs.]
Officer Ratliff: Here. Let me help…
Aaron: Come on. Put your arm around me. There. [soft grunt]. Okay, hold on.
Sally: [mumbles]…said he wouldn’t leave and now he ain’t comin’ back—
Aaron: But I’m here. No, no, door’s that way…[inaudible] Hold on tight. I won’t leave you.
Sally: Someone took him away, baby…[inaudible]…took that place away.
Aaron: I know —
Officer Ratliff: I’ll get to the bottom of it. Don’t you worry about that.
Aaron: We’ll all help find who did this. To you, to me, to this town.
Sally: [whispers] You’re so good to me, baby…[inaudible]…such a good boy.
Aaron: Don’t worry, Ma. Don’t worry. We’ll find ‘em.