Becca would like nothing better than to put the past behind her and focus on making Redemption her home. But what do you do when the past refuses to stay buried?
Becca still can’t remember the night sixteen-year-old Jessica disappeared from a party, never to be seen again. Which is bad enough (especially since she was supposedly the last person to see Jessica alive), but it’s not the worst …
Strange events are making Becca think there’s a link between what happened to Jessica fifteen years ago and the darkness happening now.
With help from her friends and her teenage crush, Daniel, Becca races against time to uncover the truth about Jessica before another sixteen-year-old girl is doomed to the same fate as Jessica.
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Celia was looking around the table with a bewildered expression on her face. “I don’t understand. Why does it matter if Jessica is related to Brittany?”
“Because Brittany looks like Jessica,” Mia said.
Everyone fell silent. A woman next to us burst into hysterical, high-pitched laughter. Another table over, a group of college-aged guys started chanting as one of their friends, wearing a Wisconsin Badger cap, guzzled a pitcher of beer. Glasses clanked as they were plunked onto tables.
“Not this again,” Celia breathed out, picking up her Cosmo and draining it.
“What do you mean, ‘not this again?’” Mia asked, her voice quiet, but with a dangerous edge.
Barry put a hand on Celia’s arm. “Nothing. She means nothing.” He glared at his wife. Celia kept her mouth shut, but her sour expression spoke volumes.
“Barry, let her talk,” Mia said. “What do you mean, ‘not this again?'”
“You know what I mean,” Celia said. “It’s been fifteen years. It’s time to let it go.”
“Let it go?” Mia said, her voice sounding even more quiet and dangerous. “Let it go? Our friend disappeared! And we don’t know what happened to her!”
“First off, I’m sure Jessica left on her own. Her stuff was gone …”
“But, it wasn’t the right …” Mia tried to interrupt, but Celia kept going. “And even if something did happen, she’s gone. Gone!” Celia leaned forward. “I know this is difficult for you to hear, but you’re not going to heal unless you, all of you …” here she looked around the table, “… accept it. She’s gone. She’s been gone for fifteen years. She’s not coming back. And no amount of rehashing or talking about it is going to change that.”
“She was our friend,” Mia said. “Don’t you get that? How heartless can you be?”
“I know she was your friend and I know this is painful to hear. No, Barry, stop it. Let me talk. This isn’t healthy. It’s not healthy to live in the past and that’s precisely what everyone here is doing. Someone has to speak the truth and I guess that has to be me. I didn’t know Jessica, but I very much doubt she would want all of you still obsessing over what happened to her fifteen years later. Besides, this has all gotten worse since she,” she nodded toward me, “came back. We don’t need to keep living in the past. Jessica is gone.”
“I agree,” Rich said, his deep voice cutting across the table. His voice was quiet, but there was something about it that caused everyone to pay attention. Maybe it was because he so seldom talked that when he finally did, it was really noticed. “If we’re not going to be honest about what happened that night, then it makes no sense to keep talking about it.”
“What aren’t we being honest about?” Mia asked.
Rich stared at me, his dark eyes glittering. “If we’re honest, we know exactly who to blame for that night.”
Did he mean me? I stared at Rich, dumbfounded. “What do you mean?”
His gaze didn’t flinch. “You know exactly what I mean.”
You were the last person to see Jessica alive. Daniel had told me that. And Daphne. But, he couldn’t possibly mean I had anything to do with Jessica’s disappearance. Could he?
Start at the beginning of Becca’s story with IT BEGAN WITH A LIE!
The first in her brand-new Secrets of Redemption series, bestselling author, Michele Pariza Wacek brings you IT BEGAN WITH A LIE. Becca was hoping for a fresh start for her troubled family, but instead, she is thrust into a mysterious past she barely remembers, one that threatens not only her sanity but her life. Fans of Nora Roberts’ paranormal suspense novels, GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn and classic Stephen King will devour this psychological thriller with an eerie twist of romantic suspense.
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Enter to win signed copies of IT BEGAN WITH A LIE & THIS HAPPENED TO JESSICA. Three will win a digital copy of IT BEGAN WITH A LIE!
I can’t believe that that it has been two months since I read and reviewed Michele Pariza Wacek’s (Michele PW) “It Began With A Lie.” Like I said in my last review, this is not my typical genre but this series had me hooked since I read the description. “It Began With A Lie” was not a cliff hanger but it definitely left me with a lot of unanswered questions! “This Happened to Jessica” is the second book in Michele PW’s Secrets of Redemption Series and you will want to read “It Began With a Lie” before you read this book. By the way, did you see that you can enter to WIN a signed copy of the first book AND this one! Scroll up!
Becca has been through hell. She was hospitalized as a teenager and has no memory of the events that led up to that fateful night. She has two failed marriages under her belt. The second husband, who is in jail refuses to sign the divorce papers, tried to drive her crazy and have Becca committed again in order to get to her trust fund. Becca is living in her Aunt Charlie’s “witch house” with Oscar, the black cat, trying to figure out her next step. Stefan has almost drained her trust fund and there is little hope of recovering the money. Her mother and cousin, CB, are pushing her to move home to New York but something is keeping Becca in Redemption. There is unfinished business like remembering what happened to her friend Jessica who just disappeared when they were in high school. If only she could remember that night. You see, Becca was the last person to see Jessica alive. Or was she?
Becca’s 16 year-old almost ex-step-daughter, Chrissy, is in foster care but is wasting away. Chrissy needs a bath and clean clothes but most of all she needs someone to love her and, no matter what happened before, Becca desperately wants to be that person. History begins to repeat itself when animals go missing and are found mutilated and Peeping Toms are reported. Remembering that night becomes a priority for Becca when Jessica’s niece Brittany, who is her spitting image, goes missing. Can Becca put the pieces of the puzzle together in time to find Brittany? Can Becca remember “the evil that was done” or will she continue to block out the past?
Once again, Michele PW has left me on the edge of my seat with a book that I could not put down. I hear that the next book is due out in the Spring of 2019 and you better believe that I will be in line to read it! My rating is a very strong 5 out of 5 propellers!
About Michele PW:
Michele Pariza Wacek (also known as Michele PW) taught herself to read at three years old because she so badly wanted to write fiction. As an adult, she became a professional copywriter (copywriters write promotional materials for businesses, nothing to do with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something) and eventually founded a copywriting and marketing company. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and currently lives with her husband and dogs in the mountains of Arizona. You can reach her at MicheleParizaWacek.com. She’s published two novels, “The Stolen Twin” and “Mirror Image,” both psychological thrillers/mystery/suspense books.