Today I have the pleasure of introducing Katie Mettner's new book:
Jett didn't buy the story ‘Sarah Banks’ sold the rest of the community. Smitten since the moment he first laid eyes on her, he knew she wasn't who she claimed to be. It wasn't until she stumbled across a dead body that he had a reason to dig into her past, and bring her into his home.
Murdered truckers and attempted kidnappings lead October and Jett to the startling truth. With dozens of girls’ lives on the line, it’s up to October to discover who’s after her and why. It’s up to Jett to keep her alive.
I stooped to pick up cigarette butts someone decided shouldn’t go in the cigarette receptacle, and wiped off the plastic tables we leave out for them to sit at. Sometimes a group of guys will get together, smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and play cards. Once they’re drunk and broke, they head back to their cabs to sleep it off. At least I hope they sleep it off and don’t drive a metal death machine drunk. Since I had a pair of gloves on and an empty bucket, I cleaned around the outside of the truck stop picking up crumpled wrappers, empty soda bottles, and condom wrappers. I told you my job is glamorous.
While I wandered about I kept my eyes peeled for anything helpful to me because winter is fast approaching. Sometimes truckers buy new clothes inside the store and leave the old ones in the dumpster. I opened the lid to dump in the trash when I noticed a hooded sweatshirt and jeans lying at the bottom. It must be my lucky day! Even if the jeans were too big I could wear the sweatshirt to stay warm at night. I set the bucket down and glanced around for anyone who might be watching me. I was alone, so I dove in and grabbed the hood, yanking up on it. I expected it to come out easily, but it was caught on something. I bent over the edge of the dumpster as far as I could and used both gloved hands to tug on the shirt. The hood was finally loose, but there was a human head lying in the dumpster, still wearing the sweatshirt and jeans. I let go of the hood and backed up several steps, my heart pounding.
He was dead. How did I know? He was gray and stiff, which meant rigor mortis had set in. Breathe and think, October, I ordered myself, my mind using my real name to shock me back into reality. I couldn’t be the one to find a dead body in the dumpster. Something of this magnitude would open me up to investigation, which can’t happen. What do I do? I can’t dump the trash in there now, they’ll know I saw the body and didn’t report it. They’ll accuse me of killing this guy, and then what? Then I’m in hot water and I can’t afford to defend myself. Then the US Government will find out October Halloran still exists, and then my next address will be in a cell at the Shakopee Correctional Facility. I lowered the lid on the dumpster then picked up my bucket and strode to the loading dock doors to gain entrance without Lanny seeing me.
I marched through the lounge, each step purposeful as if it were any other day. I dumped the bucket of garbage inside the garbage can in the women’s bathroom and tied the bag closed. I lifted it from the waste bin and set it next to the bathroom door. The gloves were stuffed in my pocket because if I threw them away, someone might find them, too. I would burn them later in the fire. Now all I had to do was convince Lanny to take out the trash for me and she would be the one on record to find the body.
I moseyed up to the front where she ran the cash register and pointed at my watch. “You need a smoke break?” I asked and she held her hands in the prayer pose.
“Please, more than anything in the world.”
I laughed and motioned her out from behind the counter. She grabbed her purse and then stepped aside so I could take her place. “I’ll watch the register for you, but don’t dawdle. I’m not the best at this.”
“I won’t be long, I promise.” She took her pack of cigarettes and a lighter from her purse and handed the rest back to me.
She was a few steps from the counter when I called her name, hoping it sounded relaxed and nonchalant. “Would you grab the bag of garbage by the bathroom on your way out?”
She saluted and weaved her way through the shelves to the back of the store. Once she was out of sight I had to wait until she buzzed the door to see if she had the bag. When the buzz sounded, I jumped, my heart racing. I forced my heart to stop pounding and opened the door. She was carrying the garbage and I let out a sigh of relief. Thank goodness the cameras didn’t film the dumpster, or there was no way I could claim I wasn’t the first person to find the body. A full body shiver skittered up my spine as I waited, knowing she would reappear soon. When she did, she hit the button as if it were any other day, but the way she glanced around her told me she found the body.
I buzzed her in and she was up to the counter in a matter of seconds. Her finger was pointing backward and she could barely form words. “There’s, there’s a dead, dead guy in the dumpster.” The only indication she was freaked out was how she spoke through her teeth with a smile so fake the Joker would be jealous.
This was an incredible book! It dealt with some of the worst conditions a person could find themselves in - homelessness, parental abuse, sex trafficking, and more. Katie handled the story with sensitivity, yet she conveyed the brutal truth of those horrible circumstances through her character, Sarah Banks/October Halloran. There were many great themes throughout the book - how you can run only so far and so long from your past until you're forced to face it, how resilient the human spirit can be, how even the most broken person can learn to love and trust again if the right person comes into their life. Katie made it clear that homeless people matter. It was amazing what Sarah/October did to survive. Her heart, body, and soul had been battered to the point most people would have given up. She was strong, but without Sheriff Jett Raven's help she probably would've perished. She followed her instincts and finally her heart. The descriptions, dialogue, settings, and characters were powerful. I felt like I was there, witnessing the scenes as they unfolded. I also liked the Native American elements to the story.
Katie Mettner writes inspirational and romantic suspense from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of the four part epic family saga, The Sugar Series, Sugar's Song being runner up for sweet romance in the eFestival of Words contest. Her other romance series, The
Read about more of Katie's adventures as an amputee writer at KatieMettner.com
Follow Katie on Amazon
Follow Katie on Twitter
Come chat with Katie on Facebook
Are you a Pinner? Pin with Katie at Sugarsballroom
Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving and married in April. Together they share their lives with their three children and two leopard geckos. After suffering an especially bad spill on the bunny hill in 1989, Katie became an amputee in 2011, giving her the much needed time to pen her first novel, Sugar's Dance. With the release of Sugar's story, Katie discovered the unfilled need for disabled heroes and heroines! Her stories are about empowering people with special circumstances to find the one person who will love them because of their abilities, not their inabilities. Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.