This is the first chapter of the novel I am currently working on. It’s a YA piece about a young girl who sets out along the Appalachain Trail in search of a missing person…and her purpose. All of her friends are headed to college soon, but Raven is staying behind to help run her parents’ Bed and Breakfast. This is a story about finding your true calling, coping with change, and finding the courage to succeed. I started working on this piece as part of my final portfolio in grad school. Only my graduate advisor and critique partner have seen this chapter and the others for this story. You can gain exclusive access to this 12 page chapter when you join my Patreon page.
Each month I publish a short story on my Patreon page for those readers who pledge $5 a month or more. If you would like to read this first chapter please consider joining my Patreon page.
Sophie lost the trust of those closest to her when she became addicted to oxy. The accident that permanently injured her leg drove her to extreme measures–numbing the pain with the pills that helped her forget it. All of the lies piled up until Sophie isolated herself from all friends and family.
After a stint in rehab, Sophie decides to come clean about her addiction and resolves to live a sober life even though the pain hasn’t gone away. She is beginning to pick up the pieces of the life she traded for drugs, when she and her best friend, Mina, are attacked in the woods. Only Sophie leaves that woods alive.
A masked man kills Mina and plants drugs on the unconscious Sophie. He knows Sophie’s past well enough to know exactly how to frame her. When she awakes in a pool of Mina’s blood, Sophie becomes the main suspect in Mina’s murder. Who would trust that she was sober when she has a history of lying about her addiction?
Once Sophie returns from rehab a second time, she sets out to find the man who shot Mina. On her quest to avenge her best friend, Sophie uncovers that she wasn’t the only person who kept deadly secrets.
Far From You is a YA Thriller that contains drug abuse, sex, and LGBTQ+ scenes. The plot is so delicately woven by the author that the identity of Mina’s killer was an enormous surprise. I love when an author creates a believable YA Thriller that the reader can be sucked into and that is exactly what Tess Sharpe did here. I gave this story 4/5 stars on Goodreads. Follow my Goodreads page to see other recommendations and what I am reading next!
The following is a prompt exercise from 712 More Things to Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. I’ve really enjoyed spring boarding ideas from prompts found in this book. Who knows? It may inspire my next book.
Thinking of You in Ireland
by Lauren Sisley
“Thinking of You in Ireland.” I can’t believe this garbage.
When we were sixteen Josie and I planned to one day embark on a European journey. Leaving behind the pressures of high school we would run off and tour the hostels with a couple of local guys. That was our dream and our secret. When all of our friends talked about college goals we would look at each other and smile. We never uttered a word to another person about how we planned to forego university to travel all over a foreign continent.
Ever since Josie went missing the summer before our senior year I’ve been receiving postcards from destinations all over Europe. Most people would view these postcards as clues to her whereabouts, but all of those detective shows we used to watch together taught me better than that. When I received the first card last fall from Prague I was quick to notice the local stamp in the top right corner. And that same stamp accompanied every card sent thereafter.
By the third or fourth postcard I realized that all of them were made by the same company out of Detroit, Traveling Connections. It’s like all of the postcards were purchased at the same time in a bundle. I called the storehouse a few times last month, but I reached an operator on my fourth attempt and she informed me that the company had fallen victim to the poor economy and shut down operations.
Part of me wants to believe that Josie is living our dream. She’s spending days on the pebble beaches being served hard liquor from men with rich accents. At times I visualize her stopping in small gift shops concealing her identity with bug-eyed sunglasses and a visor cap in search of the perfect postcard to send home to her best friend. But then I’m reminded about the local stamps and I get that feeling in my stomach that something is very wrong.
I can’t shake the thought that someone else is aware of our European plans. Either she had written about it in an uncovered diary or she somehow divulged this information to a complete stranger. I’d like to think that Josie would never have left on this journey without me. We were inseparable the summer she went missing. But the further I dig into this bottomless mystery the more I realize there was a lot more to Josie than I knew.