My first novel, A River Bend introduced Josh Crockett who fell in love with Marcy James who was guardian of her teenaged younger brother, Lee James after their parents were killed in a car crash. Marcy’s reputation was stained since she became involved with a married young lawyer, Geoff Westin before she met Josh Crockett. This novel ended with Josh leaving with the promise of his return. Through the Valley of the Shadow is about Josh’s return with the hope that Marcy will be his bride.
The following excerpt from Through the Valley of the Shadow finds Marcy contemplating Josh’s return. He has been gone too long in her mind and we find her in a local coffee shop after being visited by Geoff, her former lover who has informed her that his wife is divorcing him and he wants to renew his and Marcy’s love affair.
The titles of the chapters of Through the Valley of the Shadow are the titles of classical Rock and Roll songs which also hint at the tone of the chapter. This chapter is entitled “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” The following is a small portion of that chapter.
MARCY SITS ALONE at a quaint little coffee shop just blocks from
her apartment. The coffee shop is dimly lit and the patronage on a
Sunday evening is sparse and subdued. Tonight, there is just one couple,
late middle-aged women who have lived together for seven or eight
years. The one woman rests her head and shoulder against the wall while
she sketches in a well-worn sketch hardbound sketch book and drinks
flavored coffee. The other leans on her elbows, head in hands reading
from a huge, thick book, nibbles on a cinnamon bun and matter-of factly sips on a large cappuccino.
Marcy goes there to relax as well as escape. She focuses on the taste of
her latte and the much needed quietness. Her phone sits flat on the arm
rest of the soft couch she lounges on. It begins to buzz and slides into her
lap. Marcy picks it up and recognizes that Josh is the caller. Josh calls her
almost every day since he left. She allows the call go to voice mail. Josh
will also follow with a text. The text will be a simple greeting and usually
followed by something complimentary about Marcy’s auburn hair or
green eyes. She does want to let Josh know about Geoff’s visit, but not
now. She just needs a little more time alone. She’ll be home soon.
She drops the phone into her purse which rests beside her, the strap
still attached to her shoulder. It buzzes to end the voice mail and buzzes
again for the short text – faithful, predictable Josh. Marcy enjoys
another sip of her latte and stares blankly out the coffee shop window.
She doesn’t notice when the two women leave until she finishes her
latte and realizes no one is in the shop with her, not even the young
barrister who must have slipped into another room for a moment to
begin his closing ritual.
In a few minutes, Marcy is back in her apartment. She always leaves a
lamp on and she can tell Lee hasn’t returned, yet. She decides to take this
time to listen to Josh’s voice mail and read his text. She will decide based
on the context how soon she’ll call him back.
“I need to talk with you about my return,” Josh’s text is even more
succinct than predicted.
There is no greeting and there is no compliment. It seems urgent as
well. This motivates Marcy to call.
Later in the chapter after Marcy shows a lack of enthusiasm at Josh’s news that he is just weeks away from returning…
Josh reacts, “Please, Marcy, I want to know. I need to know.”
“Josh,” Marcy asserts, “What happened today is only part of my
confusion about our relationship.”
“So, you are having doubts about us,” Josh clarifies.
“I’m not sure I ever admitted it before until I just said it, now,” Marcy
Josh’s return has become a little more challenging. It becomes more complicated when Marcy while with Geoff Westin is attacked by a group determined to revenge a wrongful conviction of a friend who had Geoff as his defense lawyer. Marcy is caught up in their anger and nearly raped by one of the attackers. Later, Josh learns his best friend, Paul Palato is the court-appointed defense lawyer for one of Marcy’s and Geoff’s attackers. Law and order, justice and judgment, Love and loyalty are all brought into issue in Through the Valley of the Shadow and the determination of the right or wrong of the characters’ decisions are left to the readers.
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Categories: Book excerpt
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.