A young woman looking to re-build her future gets caught up in a decades-old mystery, in my latest novel, available now on Amazon.
1952, a season of murder in the small, West Texas town of Moseby, and Annabelle Rafter knows more about it than even she realizes. As Dr. Hunt Rafter’s wife, she’s seen plenty of children coming into the world and sewn up more ruffians than she’d like, including Henry Runyon, her best friend, Sally’s, wayward brother-in-law. Henry Runyon has gone missing, though only the stars know he lays in the tall grass, a victim of his own bad deeds. And the murders of an entire family remain unsolved as 1952 fades into decades without answers.
In 1988, the horrors of 1952 hang heavy in the air as Texas Ranger Peter Clemmons arrives in Moseby shortly after a skeleton gets discovered outside of town. He’s convinced the skeleton holds the key to the mystery of the 1952 murders, a mystery his grandfather investigated but never solved.
Peter isn’t the only newcomer. Mary Runyon, newly alone in the world, follows the clues in some old letters to discover her one remaining relative, her long-lost grandmother, Sally. Guided by Sally and her best friend Annie (Annabelle), Mary seeks to re-build her shattered life. And when Mary gets caught up in the same mystery with Peter, she joins him in probing Annie for the secrets the doctor’s widow seems to keep.
Weaving between the past and the year 1988, this mystery novel tells the stories about love and loss that make up any well-lived life.
I thank you for considering this novel, my eighth. The character of Annabelle has been brewing in my imagination since I was a child, watching my grandmother make chocolate pies, using her thick kitchen knife to open cans like a warrior princess in the sand-dune “wilderness” of West Texas where she quilted and tended a veritable zoo of animals and told me stories about Bonnie and Clyde. The “regular-ness” of people grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and held fast, how the most mundane of tasks could transform depending upon the character of the person performing it.
In the grittiness of living, we will have struggles and sadness and pain, but in God we have the hope of Jesus’ promise: “I have overcome the world.” If my writing does anything, I sincerely pray it affirms your faith in a loving, all-knowing God who cares for you and has issued an open invitation for all to believe in His Son, who died for the sins of all so that we may know hope in this world and everlasting peace in the next.
I write to you as someone who knows a little about the pain of this world. In February 2014, my grandmother, she of warrior fame, passed away. Around this time, my mother noticed that her fingers were losing strength. By October, my father, mother, and I were in a hospital room in downtown Houston getting the official diagnosis of my mother’s ALS. The horrors of that disease are more than a person should have to bear, and yet my mother, the bravest of us all, managed to give us her sweet smile, even after all her muscle control was lost, drilling her world down to one blink or two.
The hope of salvation helped me cope with the challenges of these times, knowing that Jesus’ loving arms waited to embrace my mother when she passed from this world into the next. His promises to love us, to lighten our burdens, to forgive our failings, all comforted me when I needed to get out of bed for another day and another.
Knowing God’s Word became even more of a blessing during the trying times of these last years, watching my mother die so horribly and then dealing with the loss of her. Whenever I despair, I am able to pull myself up again by looking toward the promises in the Holy Bible. God is my refuge, rock, and fortress. Many psalms reflect my feelings, showing me that God wants my honesty and can take my pain. Paul assures me God can take anything that happens to me, even my mother’s death, and bring something good out of it for me.
Never doubt that evil exists in this world, but that God will shine His light in the darkness. As Christians, we must strive constantly to remain on the narrow path in that light. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are imbued with the Holy Spirit, who offers us the insight to seek that light, even though the devil, the master of evil, actively seeks to pull us into the dark.
But God promises to conquer evil. In the last days, He will return to vanquish the devil. In that world, we will know ultimate peace. We will feel love as we have never felt it before. We will be in our forever home.
I pray my characters show people how to manage a Christian life, even when we stumble from the narrow way. If even one person comes to know Christ through my writing, then I feel I will have fulfilled God’s purpose for me in this world.
May His will be done in your life as well.
If you enjoy my novels, please leave a review for me. These reviews help other readers discover a good read, and they help me reach more people. You can also discover more of my books at ramonalevacy.com.