I’m pleased to announce that Genna and I are launching a brand new YA series. We haven’t teamed up to write books for teens since From the Damage, and this is a project we’ve been crafting for a very long time.
Glass Houses will follow the Baker Clan (you may remember them from Another Life). In Glass Houses, Sam, Chad and Cameron are all grown up with families of their own. Their picturesque little life is built on a ton of secrets though, a fact their children are about to uncover…
Faith, Brady and Charlie Baker are the best of friends and as close as brothers and sisters, even though they are technically only cousins. When the walls of their Glass Houses begin to crack and shatter, will they be able to save each other from the secrets that come to light?
Fractured Faith launches on March 25th! Keep reading for the blurb and an excerpt.
When her sophomore year of high school began, all Faith cared about was fitting in. She’d made up her mind that this was the year—she’d be the most stylish girl in school, finally catch the eye of hottie athlete Tyler. All of that changed with a class assignment. The project was simple enough: write an autobiography.
When Faith looks into her past, she realizes her history isn’t as clear as she thought was. Driven by the nagging feeling that her parents are hiding something sinister and an ever growing pile of questions, Faith enlists the help of her cousins (and best friends) to uncover the truth. Faith is about to discover that some secrets are kept for a reason.
As she pokes at the past, she unleashes a hidden danger that could put her–and everyone she loves–in the ground.
Something didn’t add up. Her mother, who usually jumped at the opportunity to help with any school assignment, suddenly didn’t have the time to dig out Faith’s birth certificate. Her father just told her to talk to her mom, but neither one of them volunteered much information.
Resorting to the internet, Faith typed her last name and the year she was born into the Google search engine with her zip code. She hoped to find a birth announcement, or an online copy of the certificate or anything she could turn in as reference material for her assignment. Instead, she found something much more sinister.
A news article caught her attention. The headline read:
The Carver Gunned Down, Local Officer a Hero
Citizens of Briar Creek were terrified to discover a serial killer preying on young women, but after a nearly yearlong reign of terror, the Carver’s deadly mission has finally come to a surprising end.
On a dark rainy night, Jeremy Edland attempted to eliminate a witness working with the police, but his plan was foiled by Deputy Sam Baker. What started out as a police chase ended in the fatal shooting of the deadly killer. Upon searching his house, police found evidence Edland was responsible for the abduction, rape and murder of several young women. Among the items recovered were souvenirs taken from his victims, along with comprehensive records that prove he’d been stalking them before and after the attacks.
Her eyes glued to the computer screen, Faith felt a million questions spring to mind.
In an obsessed frenzy, she researched and read every article that had been written about the Carver during that yearlong hunt. What she found out was terrifying.
His crimes were brutal; he always left a victim beaten and mutilated, if not dead. He’d been an expert at evading police, and left little physical evidence behind. Some victims he murdered, while he let others go with no pattern to explain why he let some live while others died. There was only one of the victims who had escaped and was brave enough to report the crime to the police. As hard as she looked, she couldn’t find that victim’s name.
When she picked Charlie up for school the next morning, she asked Sam about the article and the serial killer. The tall, burly man wearing a uniform with a Sheriff’s badge on the hip, was making a cup of coffee and nearly spilled it when she mentioned the Carver. “I haven’t heard that name in a long time,” he said.
“It must’ve been a pretty big deal,” she said. “You stopping him single-handedly.”
“Don’t believe everything you read in the paper,” he said.
“I’m just surprised that something that big happened right here in the Creek and I’ve never heard about it.”
“That was a dark time for everybody,” he explained. “Nobody ever talks about it.”
After he said this, his gaze lingered on hers a second or two longer than necessary, as if trying to send some subliminal message. It came through loud and clear. Don’t talk about it, don’t ask about it.
But all this did was make her more curious. For some reason, she couldn’t stop thinking about the serial killer and his reign of terror. To learn more, she enlisted Charlie’s help. The two of them went to the police station that afternoon after school ended. It was alarming how easily the two of them slipped into Sam’s empty office and swiped the keycard for the evidence room. Getting to the room was a little trickier, since they had to leave out the front of the station and then sneak in through the back entrance.
The room was full of boxes, all of them stacked onto rows of shelves. As Charlie helped Faith search the dates and labels on the sides, she finally asked, “So now that we’re here, you can tell me why this is so important to you.”
“It’s just a History assignment,” she said. “I want to get a good grade.”
“I don’t think the teacher expects you to break and enter in order to do that.”
“Of course not,” she said. “But something about this case is just…bothering me. I can’t explain it.”
“No Baker can turn their back on a good mystery. That’s what my dad always says,” Charlie said as she rounded the corner of the towering bookshelf. From the other side, she called, “Hey I found something.”
Faith turned the corner just as Charlie was pulling a big brown box off the shelf. Placing it on the floor, they knelt next to it and pulled off the top.
Inside were more than a dozen case files, along with several items sealed in zip-lock baggies. The girls started to pilfer through the items, checking them out.
Faith’s attention was drawn to an old, tattered case-file. At the top, written in permanent marker, was the name “Amy Chapman.”
As Faith pulled out the folder, Charlie looked over. “Isn’t that…” her words trailed off.
Faith swallowed hard and nodded. “My mother.”