Congratulations to Yvonne Jefferson, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: The Residue Years by Mitchell S. Jackson. Three cheers also go out to Laurie Pitts who won the contest for the Fobbit audiobook.
After Her, the new novel by Joyce Maynard (author of Labor Day and The Good Daughters). On a personal note, After Her went to the highest elevations on my To-Be-Read mountain o' books (aka Mt. NeverRest) from the minute I read the opening lines of the novel recently released by William Morrow:
A little over thirty years ago, on a June day just before sunset—alone on a mountain in Marin County, California—a man came toward me with a length of piano wire stretched between his hands, and the intention of ending my days. I was fourteen years old, and many others had already died at his hands. I carry the knowledge of what it is to look into a man's eyes and believe his face is the last thing I will ever see.Here's more about what you'll find in the rest of the pages of After Her: Summer, 1979. A dry, hot Northern California school vacation stretches before Rachel and her younger sister, Patty--the daughters of a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome (and chronically unfaithful) detective father and the mother whose heart he broke. When we first meet her, Patty is eleven--a gangly kid who loves basketball and dogs and would do anything for her older sister, Rachel. Rachel is obsessed with making up stories and believes she possesses the gift of knowing what's in the minds of people around her. She has visions, whether she wants to or not. Left to their own devices, the sisters spend their days studying record jackets, concocting elaborate fantasies about the mysterious neighbor who moved in down the street, and playing dangerous games on the mountain that looms behind their house. When young women start turning up dead on the mountain, the girls' father is put in charge of finding the murderer known as the "Sunset Strangler." Watching her father's life slowly unravel as months pass and more women are killed, Rachel embarks on her most dangerous game yet...using herself as bait to catch the killer. But rather than cracking the case, the consequences of Rachel's actions will destroy her father's career and alter forever the lives of everyone she loves. Thirty years later, still haunted by the belief that the killer remains at large, Rachel constructs a new strategy to smoke out the Sunset Strangler and vindicate her father--a plan that unexpectedly unearths a long-buried family secret.
I have my sister to thank that I am here to tell what happened that day. Two times, it was my sister who saved me, though I was not able to do the same for my sister.
This is our story.
If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of After Her, simply email your name and mailing address to
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Sept. 26, at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on Sept. 27. If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).
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