Fracture is with the editor and should be ready very soon! My original plan was to published the book months ago, but 2020 has been quite a struggle. The good news is that I’ve retreated to my creative world and have been able to bury my head in stories. Fracture will be available by September 15th. After that, I have an idea for a holiday novella. Sylvia loves to take vacations. What kind of trouble can she sniff out during a holiday trip? We’ll see where that goes, but in the mean time, let’s learn more about Fracture.
In Fracture, Sylvia takes on a case that forces her to take the road. I’ve done my best to clean things up, but the book just went to the editor, so the prologue below hasn’t been professionally edited yet.
Delaney pulled the front door closed, her heart beating rapidly against her chest. The day had finally arrived. Her hands shook as she fiddled with the key fob, pushing the button to unlock the door. Climbing into the car, she closed the door, sighed, and looked back at her home. Was she really going to leave it all behind? Definitely. Maybe. She wasn’t sure.
It had taken several months, but she’d finally reached the ten-thousand-dollar mark. Casually venturing to the bank during playdates with other stay-at-home moms, or stopping by at the end of a grocery run, Delaney Whitby had withdrawn small amounts of money, so the dwindling savings didn’t look suspicious. She was always bubbly and full of smiles when she walked into the bank, making sure to wear her least modest shirt—the one she kept tucked away in the back of the bedroom closet. The red v-neck swooped low enough to allure male bank tellers, but it also showed off her garments. A gentle tug at the edge of the shirt would hide the sacramental cloth’s rim—allowing her to maintain her dignity. Delaney did her best to deal with a male teller when withdrawing the money. Chatting away about home improvement projects and expenses for the children, the teller would complete the transaction without noticing that she had been dipping into the account, bit by bit, weekly. No one suspected what she was planning.
At church, Delaney had maintained her leadership role amongst the young women of her congregation. Spending each Sunday leading the women with righteous messages, advising young mothers who only had one or two babies, and banning together with more experienced moms like herself, who had four of five children, created a support system. Men in the congregation would watch her with envy, wishing that their wives were a little more like the selfless, beautiful Delaney. That Sunday, less than twelve hours before she would leave, Delaney thoroughly maintained the facade. All was well, and she was perfect.
Will I see the children again? Delaney wondered. She loved them, but nothing should deter her from God’s plan. Tears of anticipation and fear caused her heart to flutter and vision to blur. What waited on the other side of her journey? What would it be like to spend the first night away from her family? There was only one way to find out. She grabbed the lever and pulled it until the lock popped, pushing the car door open. She shook her head and slammed it closed. There is no time for such thoughts.
The prophet had told her that time was of the essence. They had a short window to build Zion before Jesus returned. If she didn’t leave now, there would be no way to reap the full benefits of “the work”. The Savior has expectations, the prophet had repeated two days prior, before telling her, Now is the time. If you want to be a part of Zion, the decision must be made now.
They were going to build paradise, tucked between isolated mountain towns, and far away from secular society’s prying eyes. As for her current life—she’d been unable to convince Jeff that there was one Truth and she’d found it. She loved Jeff, but the more he denied the prophet’s words, the less light she saw in his eyes. He didn’t understand the proper plan of the Savior. Perhaps he would in time, but until Jeff was ready to commit to Truth, she could do nothing to help him. Was it wrong to abandon her marriage? Delaney couldn’t be sure, but there was a calling on her life. She had to do what was right.
Delaney reflected on the preparations she’d undertaken. Seven loads of laundry washed, dried, and folded, two weeks’ worth of casseroles prepped and stored in the deep freezer, premade shepherd’s pie and chili also waited, ready to be popped into the oven and cooked. Jeff wasn’t much of a cook, but by the time he ran out of the meals she’d left, someone from the ward would show up with provisions and help with the kids.
She’d packed one bag of prairie dresses and garments—although she wasn’t sure if those items would be needed where she was going—and stuck it in the trunk of the car a week ago. The ten thousand dollars was taped to the top of the glove compartment, and her cellphone—which she’d been directed to leave at home—was still in her pocket. It was the last remaining strand of her life, and even though she knew she would be required to do so, she wasn’t ready to give up her cellphone. Forcefully turning the key in the ignition, Delaney started the car and took off, her head jerking from the momentum. She zoomed down the street, the tires screeching when she reached the stop sign. Delaney felt wild and uninhibited—free and anointed. Filled with reckless courage, she whipped the corner onto Michigan Avenue, enjoying the feel of the car tilting a bit on two wheels. It’s like being a warrior. I’m going into battle and fighting for what’s right.
Delaney rolled down the windows and let the thick, warm Michigan air fill the car. Speeding through town, she took pleasure in the cars shrinking in the rearview mirror. After tailgating a Dodge Ram, Delaney swerved to the left, cutting off a Mustang before mashing the accelerator. She had plenty of time, but adrenaline pushed her faster and faster down Michigan Avenue, rushing for the freeway.
She’d purchased the plane ticket a month ago, and by the time they discovered the car, she’d be at her destination. Speeding down I-94, Delaney Whitby gripped the steering wheel, her palms sweaty, and the backs of her hands red from the pressure. The late spring southeastern Michigan sky was gray and heavy with clouds. She pulled into long-term parking at the airport, grabbing a ticket for the car, knowing that she’d never need it. Delaney parked the Dodge Intrepid in a corner space, turned the car off, and said a prayer. Heavenly Father, I hope I am doing the right thing. Send me a sign if I’m not.
Sitting in silence, anticipating a flash of lightning or a phone call—anything to indicate she was making a lousy decision—Delaney waited. After several minutes, she closed her eyes and sighed. Nothing had happened. Heavenly Father had delivered his answer. She opened her eyes and muttered, “thank you,” climbed out of the car, grabbed her luggage from the truck, and took off for the terminal.