Forged in Grace
by Jordan E. Rosenfeld
Publication date: February, 2013
Genre: Psychological Suspense (Adult w/ YA and NA crossover appeal)
Grace Jensen survived a horrific fire at age 15. The flames changed her: badly scarred in body and mind, Grace developed an ability to feel other people’s pain. Unable to bear human touch, she has made a small life for herself in Northern California, living with her hoarder mother, tending wounded animals, and falling a little in love with her former doctor. Her safe world explodes when the magnetic Marly Kennet reappears in town; Grace falls right back into the dynamic of their complicated friendship. Marly is the holder of many secrets, including one that has haunted Grace for over a decade: what really happened the night of the fire?
When Marly exhorts Grace to join her in Las Vegas, to make up for the years they have been lost to each other, Grace takes a leap of faith and goes. Although Marly is not entirely honest about her intentions, neither woman anticipates that enlarging Grace’s world will magnify her ability to sense the suffering of others—or that she will begin to heal wounds by swallowing her own pain and laying her hands on the afflicted.
This gift soon turns darker when the truth of Marly’s life—and the real reason she ended her friendship with Grace—pushes the boundaries of loyalty and exposes both women to danger.
A little bit about Jordan ...
Jordan E. Rosenfeld learned early on that people prefer a storyteller to a know-it-all. She channeled any Hermione-esque tendencies into a career as a writing coach, editor and freelance journalist and saves the Tall Tales for her novels. She earned her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the author of the books, Make A Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books) and Write Free! Attracting the Creative Life with Rebecca Lawton (BeijaFlor Books). Jordan’s essays and articles have appeared in such publications asAlterNet.org, Publisher’s Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, The St. Petersburg Times, The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazine. Her book commentaries have appeared on The California Report, a news-magazine produced by NPR-affiliate KQED radio. She lives in Northern California with her Batman-obsessed son and Psychologist husband.
I feel swimmy, high, adrenaline on full tilt, though I haven’t consumed a drop of alcohol. “We need to subdue him first,” I hear myself say. “Can’t just slap a hand on his face and hope it knocks him out.”
Marly nods, though she is too encumbered to move quickly, and me—there’s no guarantee of what I can do.
“I have pepper spray,” she fidgets with her purse as though she’s about to withdraw it. “And it’s not like we have to break in, Grace. He’ll let us in, when he sees it’s me. Think I’m coming to talk.”
“Okay, then,” I say, before I lose my nerve. And we get in her car and drive.
We park and walk four residential blocks. The streets are lit by yellow halogen lamps, but there’s also a nearly-full moon. Its bold light makes me feel bolstered, sanctioned. Marly points to his condo, one square box among many in a beige world of homogenous residences.
“This could have been my life,” Marly whispers, her face a portrait of disgust. “I should be in that kitchen right now making dinner, then go spread my legs for him. I can’t believe he thought he could get away with what he did to me.”
The guilt surges through me again. If only I hadn’t healed away the evidence. But we didn’t know. Nobody could have known.
“Let’s do it soon, before I chicken out.” My palms have begun to ache with heat.
“Damn straight,” she agrees, and the toss of her hair is so familiar it’s like we’re fifteen again.
Simultaneously, we take a deep breath.
Marly repeats her lines, “I’ll say we’re here to talk—that I brought you as my friend and witness. That will put him on his best behavior. And you?”
I choke a little on my own saliva, cough, and answer, “I’ll ask for a glass of water, say I got too much sun today. He’ll take one look at me and have a hard time refusing, right?”
Marly pats her purse. “Let’s go.” She’s always one step ahead of me.