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THE YEAR SHE FELL

THE YEAR SHE FELL

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Top-class women's fiction, sophisticated and powerful, by well-known author and nationally known writing teacher Alicia Rasley. A prominent West Virginia reels from secrets that begin to unravel when a grown "love child" shows up on their doorstep. Publishing in November 2010 in paperback and ebook, Bell Bridge Books www.bellbridgebooks.com
Top-class women's fiction, sophisticated and powerful, by well-known author and nationally known writing teacher Alicia Rasley. A prominent West Virginia reels from secrets that begin to unravel when a grown "love child" shows up on their doorstep. Publishing in November 2010 in paperback and ebook, Bell Bridge Books www.bellbridgebooks.com

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Published by: BelleBooks Publishing House on Oct 21, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/29/2013

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The Richest Girls in Town/ 2 NOVEMBER 2010TRADE PAPERBACK AND EBOOK BELL BRIDGE BOOKSPROMOTIONAL EXCERPT ONLYCHAPTER ONEEllenJuneI couldn’t help but think of him as “the love child”.It was an old-fashioned term, more genteel than “bastard,” more evocative than “biologicalson”, with an origin not in genetics but in passion.He walked into my life when he walked into the Second-Rushmore Presbyterian Church— my church, or at least the church I was currently serving as minister. Janitor, too, that Juneafternoon the boy came in.I was just tidying up the pews after the Genesis Choir rehearsal, wandering down the aisle,grabbing up a paperback some child had left behind, a discarded baseball card. I’d gotten abouthalfway down before I saw the man half-hidden in the shadow near the big arched oak door. Islipped the book into my jacket pocket and called out, “Hello?”He stepped out into the light filtering through the rose window. I felt a flicker of recognition, but with no name or context attached. Probably I’d seen him around town. A studentfrom the university, maybe—he had the requisite camouflage jacket and ripped jeans andscraggly goatee, and that hard scared look young people have these days. At least he’d noticed hewas in a church and pulled off the baseball cap. There was a quarter-inch of dark bristle left onhis head.
 
The Richest Girls in Town/ 3He came forward, his sneakers making a sucking noise on the marble floor. His hands were jammed into his baggy cargo pockets, and for a moment I was frightened. There’d been a rash of church robberies and arsons during the winter, but the elders had agreed that a church justcouldn’t lock its doors until late in the evening. You will find Him among the murderers andthieves, I reminded myself, and walked down the aisle to meet him.He stopped back at the last pew. “Mrs.—O’Connor?”A serial murderer wouldn’t know my name. I walked closer. “Yes—I’m the minister here.”“I know.”His voice was deep but it wavered, echoing in the stone sanctuary. He stood thereirresolute, his shoulders bunched, his hands knotted into fists in his pockets.I knew that stance from years of counseling church members and students. He was introuble of some kind, and embarrassed about it. “Is there something you want to talk about?”He yanked his hand out of his pocket. He was holding nothing lethal, just a folded piece of  paper. He thrust it across the yard or so divide between us. The paper felt rough and official as Ismoothed away the wrinkles. A notary’s raised seal rubbed under my fingers.It was a birth certificate, with the state seal in the middle of a field of marble green. Thefirst line read
 Adam Paul Wakefield.
On the line labeled “mother” was my own maiden name.
 Ellen Elizabeth Wakefield.Unknown
was named as the father.There were other words and numbers, but the paper was rattling in my hand and I couldn’tread any more. “I don’t understand.”“I’m Adam. Or I was. When I was adopted, my parents—my adoptive parents—named meBrian Warrick.”I kept staring at the birth certificate, but still it made no sense. “I don’t know why myname is on this.”Suddenly he was curt, almost disrespectful. “Isn’t it obvious? You’re my birthmother.”

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