I released my debut novel ‘Evening in the Yellow Wood’ in December of 2018. Work has begun on the sequel, ‘Snow in Summer’ -with an expected 2020 release date. Stay tuned to my social media sites for updates, teasers, contests and giveaways! You can also subscribe to my monthly serial Western ‘I Paint the Sky’ on Chanillo ( https://channillo.com/).
It was Tuesday afternoon–the sun hot on my pink shoulders as I sat dangling my feet in the shallow end of the community pool. My friend Sherry was by my side when I saw Mom, her face pinched in the unforgiving light.
“We need to go,” Mom said as she reached down to pull at my elbow. Instead, she
came away with the strap of my blue bathing suit. I muttered under my breath, reached up to swat at her hand in pubescent embarrassment. Suppose it had slipped off and revealed what God had barely given me? What would Jake Jones, my current crush who was doing back flips off the diving board, think?
I didn’t move.
“Justine!” Mom hissed and my friend made a face, rolled her eyes and got slowly to
her feet while slinging her towel over her shoulder.
“What’s the rush?” I asked, annoyed, thinking I would make her pay later for being so
pushy by refusing to do homework or take out the trash. Stink up the place.
“You’ll see,” she snapped, and something inside of me took notice.
I shut my mouth before I made things worse and grabbed my white terrycloth towel, a
keeping pace behind as we walked towards our brown Pontiac.
Evening in the Yellow Wood is unutterably transcendent and extraordinarily powerful. I was drawn into the story with the opening lines and loved every moment I spent following Justine as she leaves her familiar world and goes north to find her dad.
Laura Kemp’s debut novel ‘Evening in the Yellow Wood’ is what happens when a mystery sticks comedy in its hair like flowers, goes frolicking through a field of romance, and then goes tumbling headlong down a magical hole.’
Amanda Fetch stood looking out over where the Great Lakes mingled against a morning sky. The clouds seemed to mix like a charcoal drawing as the sun peeled at the horizon. A seagull hovered at eye level and she found herself looking away, gazing down at the asphalt ribbon that encircled Mackinac Island.
The road was empty.
And that was fine because what she wanted to do did not require secrecy or stealth- or privacy, even. She knew what was expected of her. It was not a matter of who was wrongor right, but what she couldn’t do anymore.
A split rain fence surrounded this outcropping of limestone known locally as Robinson’s Folly. Legend said that an Indian maiden had jumped to her death from here. She had loved a white fur trapper named Robinson and her father, the chief, would not allow them to marry.
Or maybe the trapper had jumped. Amanda couldn’t remember.
Laughter floated up from below.
She turned from the hovering gull and saw a tandem bike flash golden in the sunrise. A man and a woman- lovers perhaps- their voices light and airy as the wind caught and carried it to her perch high above their heads. There was talk of a party later that night at Horn’s bar and a restaurant that served pancakes all day.
Up it came. And vanished.
Amanda smiled, looked to where the gull had been but it was gone, having joined a group of birds streaking over the southern sky towards Round Island, its lighthouse as bright as a piece of peppermint candy. Amanda thought of the birds and wished for their wings. To go anywhere. And nowhere. She gripped the split rain fence meant to keep tourists from the same fate as Robinson and his Indian maiden and threw one leg over, then the other until she stood with her back against the barrier, her fingers grasping wood that was slippery with morning dew.
Amanda Fetch breathed in the morning air, leaned forward into the lightening sky, and let go.