Title: A Light in the Window
Genre: YA Historical
Word Count: 66,000 words
Seventeen-year-old Catherine McBride has a head full of modern ideas and a heart full of love for the mysterious new farmhand Patrick, neither of which gives her strict family any pleasure. Rumors about Patrick’s past as a drifter swirl and she is forbidden from socializing with him. But Catherine’s instincts compel her to go against all warnings, and even her own responsible nature, to meet with him secretly.
When a gang of criminal vagrants and three mysterious messages endanger not just Catherine and Patrick’s secret love, but also his reputation and her safety, Catherine realizes the worst thing she can do is let fear keep her silent. It falls to her to bring everything she knows about Patrick to light before the wrong man goes to prison, the true criminal gets away, and another victim is found dead.
I am a teacher with a degree in social science and a concentration in history. A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW is a YA historical romance set during the Depression era. The opening chapter won first place in a contest held by Writer’s Type.
A train’s whistle wheezed, and steam pummeled into the sky like an erupting volcano. It had been a long walk to the train station in the downpour, but the Depot Manager, Mr. Cooper, expected me. I wiped water from my face and walked faster, anxious to catch him before he got too busy with the incoming locomotive to trade with me.
The remains of the engine’s smokestack swirled and blended into the gray two-story station building. A wooden platform jutted out to meet the tracks. It remained dry thanks to a generous overhang. Two denim-clad depot workers stood on the platform near the incoming train. One worker had gray hair and a creased brow. He elbowed the younger worker standing next to him and pointed to a nearby freight car. The door of the boxcar lay open, but I couldn't make out its darkened contents.
A line of dry, well-dressed passengers exited from further up the train. I peeked down at my rain soaked dress. With hair plastered around my face and clothing clinging to me like a second skin, I appeared more waterlogged rodent than young woman.
But racket from the open boxcar distracted me from worrying over my appearance. Yells, cracks and thuds echoed. Nervous passengers glanced side to side. They clasped luggage under their arms and shuffled between the workers and me.