Wednesday, January 9, 2013

JOAN by Michelle Levigne

JOAN by Michelle Levigne

Quarry Hall Book One

Joan escaped her terrorist mother at fourteen, and didn't know what an "ordinary" life was until she settled in Tabor Heights, seeking the baby sister their mother tried to kill one summer. After four years, she had made a new life, and refused to run away and start over, no matter how many threats came breathing down her neck. She had friends now, and she wasn't going to let anyone hurt them or drive her away from them.

After a series of catastrophes brought her to the breaking point, she received an invitation to visit Quarry Hall, home of the Arc Foundation, and run by a man who claimed to be her father. Joan went to see what he had to say. And despite all her self-preservation instincts, she grew to want to be part of Quarry Hall. But did she dare let go all her secrets, her pain, her shame? It wasn't that she couldn't believe in God -- but could God believe in her?



What kind of villain used twine to tie up his victims?

Joan's wrists itched from the fibers as she hobbled down the aisle between tall metal shelves full of grimy crates and packing boxes, and gave another experimental tug with her wrists bound behind her back. A sharp sensation flashed up her arm, followed by warm wet. Either sweat, or she had cut herself with the effort. She was betting on blood, because she had sat for four hours in a dark, grimy storage shed, sweating. The only thing that kept it from being a sweatbox straight out of a prison break movie was that it was made of plastic, not metal. All the time she sat there, no one had asked her any questions. She could have been another crate stored in the shed, for all the attention her captors paid her.

That was about to end, obviously. She would have preferred that they had put a hood over her head, but maybe that was a waste of time, since she had seen three of them. They didn't care what she saw, meaning they could keep her quiet and unable to use what she knew against them.

The man leading the way opened a door at the end of the shadowy aisle. Joan guessed the room was a pre-fabricated module, meant for dividing up large spaces to make them usable. All that mattered was that this room sat near the center of the warehouse. The man walking behind her grabbed her shoulder and half-guided, half-shoved her into the room. She stumbled, but the man who went in first, the beardless, taller one of the two, caught her. He copped a feel before pivoting her around, shoving her into a chair in the corner.

Matt sat in the other corner, hands bound behind him, his ankles tied to the battered wood-and-metal-tube chair with the same brown twine her captors had used on Joan. From the sweat and grime marking his face, darkening his clothes, matting his hair, he had been given the same temporary storage shed treatment. He had some bruises on his face and his bared arms, but no other signs of rough treatment. What was happening now, that they were brought together?

His eyes asked a thousand questions, but he didn't say anything.


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