“The old green sign with painted yellow letters confirmed it–I was back. And like it or not, this was happening.”
14-year-old Julia is back at Lake Bradford for a very different reason than last time. Two years ago, she and her cousin Lizzie got to experience Camp Auctus, a leadership camp for gifted girls rooted in tradition, a place where even their mothers and grandmothers attended as girls. Campfires, fireflies, talent shows, races by the lake, friendships, and a mysterious Writer’s Hut nestled in the woods were just a few of the things that made Camp Auctus special.
Johanna has had more than enough trauma in her life. She lost her mom in a car accident, and her father went AWOL when Johanna was just a baby. At sixteen, life is steady, boring . . . maybe even stifling, since she’s being raised by her grandparents who never talk about their daughter, her mother Mandy.
Then he comes back: Robert Newsome, Johanna’s father, bringing memories and pictures of Mandy. But that’s not all he shares. A tragic car accident didn’t kill Mandy–it was Johanna, who at two … Continue reading →
The instant her phone rang, Reverend Sharon Risher sensed something was horribly wrong. Something had happened at Emanuel AME Church, the church of her youth in Charleston, South Carolina, and she knew her mother was likely in the church at Bible study. Even before she heard the news, her chaplain’s instinct told her the awful truth: her mother was dead, along with two cousins. What she couldn’t imagine was that they had been … Continue reading →