This month, the Catholic Writers’ Guild is touring Guildie LESLIE LYNCH’s book, OPAL’S JUBILEE. It is a SOA winner.
Teaser: Justice gone wrong, secrets unraveled – a powerful story of love, forgiveness and redemption.
Fresh out of prison after twelve years, Opal McBride must find a job in order to meet parole requirements. Failure means she’ll serve out the remainder of her sentence behind bars. The system has seen fit to drop her in Louisville, Kentucky, a far cry from her hometown of Jubilee in the Appalachian hollows. Scrambling to adapt, Opal finds more than a potential job in May Boone’s quilt shop; she finds acceptance and perhaps even friendship.
That is, until May’s son recognizes her. A detective, Josh Boone is not about to let a felon work for his soft-hearted mother. Though Opal’s crime was against a sheriff’s deputy, his innate sense of decency prods him to break ranks and defend her from the disdain of his fellow officers. Then he finds she may have light to shed on a cold case—and discovers there is more to Opal’s story than it seems.
Josh risks his professional reputation (and his heart) as he digs into Opal’s past. When secrets are exposed, will justice prevail? Will Opal and Josh find redemption—and maybe even love—where they least expect it?
Special: Only 99 cents through February 21. Regular price is $3.99. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Women’s Prison Association (Piper Kerman author of “Orange Is the New Black,” is VP of the Board of Directors) http://www.wpaonline.org/
Opal McBride clenched her hands inside the pockets of her Goodwill prize, a five dollar coat that probably would’ve stood up to the cold, but was proving no match for humidity. Bitter wind tugged a strand of her braid loose, and she tucked the errant hair behind her ear. She added another stop at Goodwill for a hat and gloves to her mental list.
Right below find a job.
A shiver raced up her arms, triggering a shudder unrelated to the chill.
Traffic roared by on a street barely wide enough to accommodate opposing vehicles. Louisville, Kentucky, wasn’t the biggest city around, but it was more than she’d ever encountered before, and it intimidated her.
Unable to avoid a fellow pedestrian, Opal murmured, “Excuse me,” as they bumped, but the woman forged on, cell phone to ear, without a glance in her direction. She took a tremulous breath and forced herself to keep walking as if the noise and bustle didn’t set her teeth on edge.
She could’ve borne the cold, even the noise of traffic, but the people—so many of them, so loud, so unpredictable, and worst, heedless of her personal space—well, she’d had enough. She detoured off the main thoroughfare into a residential neighborhood, and ducked her head against a gust.
The farther away from Bardstown Road she got, the easier Opal’s breath came. The tension in her shoulders eased and she slowed. She paused, and turned in a circle, looking up to examine her new world. Louisville had trees, and sky, but its hills couldn’t compare to the mountains back home. Nor did sky in the Appalachians hover oppressively, like the perennial low cloud cover here. But she’d had precious few outdoor moments over the past twelve years, and she reveled in the feel of fresh air moving across her skin, no matter how dreary the overcast or biting the temperature.
A pang of homesickness for Jubilee, Kentucky, rolled through her, but it didn’t last long. There was nothing left for her in Jubilee, nothing but pain, and she deliberately moved her mind in a different direction.
The wind blew a plastic grocery bag across her path, and Opal bent to snag it, concerned that a small animal or bird might become trapped in the suffocating material. She stuffed it in the pocket of her coat for proper disposal later, and her fingers encountered the paper documenting her job search for the day.
She sighed. Nothing like reality to squelch her joy in walking unfettered down a street of her choosing. If she’d gotten a signature at the last place she’d sought an interview, she’d be done and heading back to the house. But no. She’d walked out after the manager leered at her chest, then indicated the back room with piggish, lecherous eyes.
She needed a job, but not that badly.
On the other hand, she really needed a job. The alternative didn’t bear contemplation. A shiver of anxiety ran down her spine, but Opal straightened, her resolve strengthening. Not gonna happen. As long as she could draw a breath of air laced with freedom, she’d keep trying.
Leslie lives near Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a feral-turned-sweetheart rescue cat. While not engaged in wrestling the beautiful and prolific greenery of her yard into submission, she flies small airplanes, loves the exuberant creativity and color of quilting and pottery…and, of course, writes.
Her first love is fiction. She has published three novels, Hijacked, Unholy Bonds, and Opal’s Jubilee; two holiday novellas, Christmas Hope and Christmas Grace; and occasional nonfiction articles. She is a member of Catholic Writers Guild, and contributed to their blog with articles on the craft of writing for a number of years. Also a longtime member of Romance Writers of America®, Leslie has served as President of her local chapter, Louisville Romance Writers. Hijacked was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest in 2013 prior to publication in 2014. Leslie is currently enrolled in Spalding University’s Low Residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing program – and loves the challenge of learning new skills.
Like many writers, she came to this career via a journey through several others. As a Registered Nurse, she relished the thrill, variety, and problem-solving of Emergency Medicine. She also earned advanced certification as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. Nursing helped fund her love of flying, and she attained several ratings including Certified Flight Instructor.
She loves to go on long walks with her husband, sing in the church choir, and spend time with her kids…when they come to visit her cat. ♥
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