Excerpts from the novel


Someone had manipulated the case onto a dangerous path where friends suspected friends and neighbors distrusted one another.  ~  Stranger or Friend

He studied her, the woman from the city, likely an oddity to a man who’d never lived outside Pine Vale. She wasn’t a local anymore, but more or less a stranger …  Zoe pulled her jacket tighter, hoping she’d make it through her first day home without having to explain she hadn’t gone crazy in the city. ~  Stranger or Friend

Fog rolled off the lake, filling the street. Puffy clouds gathered, ready to blanket the town with snow. Except for a few buildings, the old part of town didn’t look much different from the dusty photos Mother kept in the attic. There was the hardware warehouse, the mortar and pestle hanging outside the apothecary, revamped storefronts. Past Main, the road stretched below the endless sky, and in the distance the Laramie Mountains. Sights were as bright as her thoughts were dark. ~  Stranger or Friend

Relationships had been like nightmares; they dissolved and left bad memories. Her silence should help him forget faster, if he hadn’t gone that route already. She couldn’t drag him into her life of depression. No more daydreaming, no pandering to her fancy. ~  Stranger or Friend

Doubt in her ability to understand people kept Zoe’s adrenaline at a premium, heart pumping like crazy. Her job depended on her skill to narrow the gap between what people did and said. ~  Stranger or Friend