Don't Write What You Know;
Write What You Care About -- Passionately!
- F. Lynn Godfriaux
Suffering from traumatic amnesia and the lose of her right leg Mattie Tyler is living in small town deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. With a new identity and new friends she has been building a new life as Mary Jo Majors.
The sudden appearance of her estranged husband, Jeremiah Tyler causes her memory to return abruptly, but imperfectly. The pain and suffering she went through previously has created a fog as thick as those frequently found in the Blue Ridge Mountains clouding and obscuring her memories; creating echoes and distortions.
When she witnesses a murder and the theft of a priceless gold coin, no one except Jeremiah believes her. Many of those in her life try to convince her the memory is false, something created out of the shadows of her previous memories.
Now she must face past ghosts and present terrors to learn what is real and what isn’t. Help comes from those she is most inclined to fear and distrust: The spirit-like Ute Indian Joe Healing Water and the British operative known as Hawk; a man whose name is enough terrify her. Together with Jeremiah, they work to protect her from not only becoming another victim of a pathological killer—but to also accept her memories and face her future.
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Brilliant orange glowed across the expansive southeastern Colorado evening sky. A gentle October breeze touched high desert vegetation, bringing with it a breath of cold air and promising a starkly clear night. The Milky Way would be especially brilliant once darkness fell. Even now, early stars peeped through the curtain of lingering light, securing their spot for the literal star-studded celestial show. In the emptiness below, a tall pole jutted upwards, it’s small neon sign blinking against the darkening sky as flaming orange faded to a rosy glow. Yellow light washed through tiny windows of a squat gas station, recently rebuilt. A handful of slowly disintegrating wood-plank buildings dotted the surrounding landscape.
A frantic, high-pitched man’s scream shattered the silence, echoed over the plains, caught the attention of the two humans occupying the small gas station.
Joe Healing Water’s hand paused in the act of handing his customer his change.
“Hang on a sec,” the seventy-year-old Ute Indian muttered, stepping around the counter and through the front door. His dark brown eyes squinted towards the one-room adobe hut hunched across a large field. A weathered barn leaned haphazardly, a gaping black hole indicating he had forgotten to close the barn doors. Not that he had any livestock to worry about. Joe narrowed his eyes against the residual light and grinned when a vague shadow flitted between the one-room adobe and the location of the outhouse. He spun on his heel and re-entered the station, made his way around the counter and faced the customer, who eyed him with a surprised and confused expression.
“No worries,” Joe assured, retrieving a plastic grocery bag and filling it with the snacks and drinks the man had just purchased.
“What was that?” The middle-aged truck driver persisted, eyeing the Indian as he pulled at his long bristly brown beard. Heavy-set from years behind the wheel of his rig, he wore an obnoxiously orange Broncos T-shirt and blue overalls that stretched tight over his expanding belly. His small brown eyes narrowed. “Sounded to me like someone’s in trouble.”
Joe Healing Water shook his head. “Naw. Just our local Brit’s first encounter with a tarantula.”