Northeast Oregon, April
Hidden was good. She could live with hidden.
Kendall Martin stared at the speck on the map. She’d have missed it if she blinked twice. Lakes, streams, and rivers surrounded it. A single road, at least something resembling a road, ran from the speck to another, slightly larger dot, both surrounded by rough terrain and flanked by a ribbon of river.
On a map of Alaska, within the vastness of its landmass, the minute spots of civilization were insignificant.
She laid the oversized atlas on the edge of the bed, and continued folding sweaters. She stashed underwear and nightgowns, neatly-rolled socks, and three pairs of slippers in the open packing box. Two more boxes, already sealed and labeled, sat stacked in a corner of the bedroom. She’d packed her linens, cleaned out her medicine cabinet, and threw away anything resembling a sedative.
Where she was headed, she should never again need a sedative.
Her kitchen looked stark with its scrubbed counters and empty cupboards. What few plants she’d nurtured had been given to a neighbor. Dry foodstuffs went to the local Bread Line. She’d dumped the rest.
A single, four-hour garage sale had ridded her of the sofa and matching recliner, a few end tables, as well as the stripped bed. Its new owners were slated to come for it later in the day. She hadn’t been in town long enough to collect more than some basic furniture and a few necessary kitchen odds and ends. Nevertheless, Kendall had ruthlessly pared her belongings down to what she could fit in a handful of boxes and three hard-sided suitcases. Without an ounce of regret, she’d rifled through a collection of photographs, using scissors to cut out images she didn’t want, keeping others intact, and tossing the discards into the trash.
She didn’t want any visual reminders. She had enough mental ones to last a damned lifetime.
Nerves, anticipation, worry, all fluttered inside her stomach, a queasy, anxious mix. A hundred times already, she’d asked herself if such a massive move was right for her. She couldn’t help the tremors overtaking her as she sealed the last box of clothing. Several times during the day, she stopped in the middle of whatever she’d been packing, and sucked in one long, deep breath in an attempt to keep from hyperventilating.
She’d never lived anywhere other than Oregon. And yet, her journey would take her to a tiny speck within the immense, formidable force of nature called Alaska.
Scared spitless. Unbearably excited.
Yeah, that about covers it.
Char Chaffin started reading romance, science fiction and horror at a very young age. Her love of books is directly responsible for her overflowing bookcases, and the bounty stored on her Kindle threatens to eclipse her entire paper collection. Char currently writes mainstream and contemporary romance filled with family, rich characters and engaging plots. For her, it all comes back to the love.
Char began her writing odyssey as a poet, crafting Victorian-style poetry, then went on to writing short stories. She found her niche when she began writing longer and longer short stories, until she wrote her first novel. It might never see the light of day, but writing it taught her a lot. Over the years she worked a variety of jobs, from farm hand to costume designer to fiscal accountant, before deciding a writing career was her true focus.
In addition to writing, Char is also an editor for Soul Mate Publishing.
A native New Yorker, Char lives Upstate on a sixty-acre farm with husband Don, rat terrier Daisy Mae and two barn cats who constantly slack off on the job of keeping the barn free of varmints. The Chaffin extended family is scattered all over the United States and Alaska.
When she’s not pounding away at her keyboard or burying her nose in books and Kindle, she tends a huge vegetable garden and helps Don maintain their farm.
YOU TUBE TRAILER