Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Excerpt: The Journey by John A. Heldt

      Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.
      Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.

      Michelle stared at the marble memorial and saw dead things.
The dead husband went without saying. The man she had known more than half of her life was literally six feet beneath her designer flats. Or at least his body was. Where his enterprising mind was at the moment was anyone's guess.
But when she looked at the ornate gravestone, the handiwork of a celebrated local artisan and long-time friend, she also saw a dead marriage and dead dreams. She had expected as much. Gravesites, by nature, brought out memories and regret and this one, located atop a forested bluff, was no different. Once the site of many tears, it was now a place for deep reflection.
Scott Richardson hadn't been a bad husband. All things considered, he'd been a pretty good one. The founder of a wildly successful software company, he'd been a good companion and an even better provider for his wife of twenty-four years. But he hadn't been a good life choice.
Michelle "Shelly" Preston Richardson thought about life choices as she stood before the final resting place of the only man, besides her long deceased father, who had ever mattered. She thought about the college she never attended, the career she never pursued, the children she never had. The missed opportunities took on new and greater relevance given the stark reality that now confronted her. She was forty-eight, unfulfilled, and alone.

The Journey was released Nov 3rd., and is the second novel in John A. Heldt's Northwest Passage time travel series, headed by The Mine.

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