Stealing Away Chapter One
My name is not Hillary. Yesterday I wasn’t Elizabeth. This is my confession.
It was junior year, the first day of spring break, and I was about to take my life and ram it into a 7-Eleven plate glass window.
This dramatic vision was typical of my pessimistic nature. The optimist in me, that tiny part that barely existed, preferred to think that I was going to vanish into glorious, invisible freedom. Poof. Was I really going to do this? Was this extreme risk really necessary?
I imagined Gross Dave’s fist in my face. I heard my mother’s vacant voice, gritty with contempt and betrayal balanced on her tongue. The time for self-doubt had come and gone. I couldn’t turn back now, even if I wanted to. I had done too much.
Autumn: Finch's Crossing Book One
If steam really could come out of a person’s ears, Autumn Hamilton would have been a geyser.
She was standing at the entrance of the Town and Country Nursery, a yellow chrysanthemum in each hand, scowling as she watched the exchange between her neighbor’s granddaughter and the man who had come not only to take custody of her, but to extricate her from Finch’s Crossing. Five-year-old Heather Christianson, who hadn’t spoken a word since her parents died six weeks earlier, was pointing at a big pumpkin languishing in the field, still attached to the vine. The man, whom Autumn judged to be in his mid-thirties, and probably not too happy to be standing on the edge of a muddy pumpkin patch in his expensive Italian loafers, shook his head no.