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What The Valley Knows
Publication date: January 25th 2018
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.
When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.
The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.
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Molly heard the noises around her once more, the beep of a monitor, and at first she thought she was dreaming, caught somewhere in the realm between consciousness and the darkness again. But she wasn’t. The voices were real.
“The driver ran away?” Molly didn’t recognize the voice at first.
“The Sheriff thinks he did,” her mother said, her speech clipped. “Thank you for stopping by, but really I can handle this on my own.”
“I wanted to offer the firm’s services.” It was her mother’s boss, the landlord. He stopped briefly and then quickly added, “Free of course.”
Her mother inhaled loudly and then started to cry softly. “For what?” She sniffled. “I don’t need a lawyer right now. I need my daughter to be okay, but thank you.”
“You should sue. This will cost a lot and don’t count on everything being covered by insurance.”
Her mother’s voice cracked. “I can’t think about that right now.”
“I understand. That’s why you need a lawyer to free you from worrying about money. Trust me, I’ve been in situations like this. It’s the least the firm can do for one of our employees. Look, you’ve been up all night. Why don’t you go home and freshen up? We can talk about the legal stuff later.”
“I don’t need a shower,” her mother said. “I need to be here with Molly. Besides, my friend Thelma is coming soon.”
“Seriously, I think you’ll feel better if you take a break. I don’t mind staying until Thelma gets here. Bring Molly’s things from home to put in the room. Maybe a photo of her father.”
Molly heard the scrape of a chair leg and her mother rummaging in her purse. “You’re right. The sooner I go, the sooner I can get back.” Then she said, “Funny you should mention a photo. Molly has a framed picture on her bed stand of the three of us. I’ll bring it. I’ll be back within the hour.”
“Take your time. I’ll stay until your friend gets here.”
“Peter,” her mother hesitated. “Thanks.”
“Of course. Don’t worry.”
“The nurse checks in every fifteen minutes. If you notice any change, press this button.”
Molly heard the jiggle of her mother’s car keys. The door opened and quietly clicked shut. Peter was looking at her. She could feel it. He didn’t make a sound. Then she heard quiet, deliberate footsteps as he circled the bed. The mattress buckled on one side when he sat down. He leaned close to her, his minty breath like a fog on her skin. He lowered his voice. “Can you hear me, Molly?” He waited a moment as if expecting her to answer.
The small muscles in Molly’s shoulders clenched and she tried to scream.
Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she’s back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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