Evidence of Grace
by Candace Armstrong
204 pages
Genre: Novel
Price: $14.95
Publisher: Book Baby
ISBN: 978-1-09833-595-3
To Order: Amazon.com or BookBaby.com


Charlie Jericho witnesses a horrific train crash and innocently rescues a baby. His wife, Mae, convinces him to keep the child, thus beginning their journey of deceit which leads to discoveries of crimes long hidden in their small town. The child’s true aunt believes the child, named Grace, is still alive. White-collar crime, kidnapping, blackmail, arson and even murder weave through the action.


Evidence of Grace engages the reader from the get-go. Opening with an explosive train crash, the story never flags in its compelling journey of love lost, love fought for, and love hanging in the balance of human impulsiveness. The author skillfully weaves the tensions of past failures and regrets with hope for a better day waiting just over the horizon. But will Charlie and Mae ever get beyond the present moment’s seemingly impossible barriers?
–Michael Escoubas, author of Monet in Poetry and Paint.


Candace Armstrong writes in the beautiful woodlands of Southern Illinois. Poetry is her muse. She has published poetry in The Lyric, Midwest Review, Journal of Modern Poetry, California Quarterly, Distilled Lives and online at Quill and Parchment, among several others. Sometimes her poetry becomes prose published online as short stories and essays. In addition to writing both poetry and fiction, Candace enjoys gardening and hiking with her husband and their canine child, Murphy. Evidence of Grace is her first novel.


Evidence of Grace 
by Candace Armstrong
Excerpt from Chapter 1

Born in a Train Wreck

          The silver-grey minivan sped north on Sparrow Street. Charlie Jericho turned his head toward its roaring engine and jumped to his feet from his perch on his front steps, shaking and twisting his strong hands. His eyes darted to the railroad crossing beyond the scrubby field across the street and a few careless blocks from his house. The Norfolk Southern careened around the curve and accelerated only one hundred yards from the crossing. A horn blasted like the tooth-rattling scream of a dying animal.
        The minivan hurtled along the street so fast it swayed sideways and caught the telephone pole on its left front fender while skidding around the corner on two wheels. Like a cartoon bumper car, it flattened the post of a stop sign and bounced onto the tracks coming to rest squarely in front of the oncoming train.
          Squealing metal-on-metal brakes sounded, followed by a series of staccato-like crashes from the telescoping of fuel tankers into grain cars at the front of the train. Within moments, ethanol leaked from a ruptured tank and detonated, ignited by a spark from the hot steel rails. A massive fireball leapt far into the sky. The clangor assaulted Charlie’s eardrums and vibrations hammered with such force he thought they would shake his fillings loose. He drew back, gasping. Debris flew. A minivan hubcap rolled right over his foot.
       Charlie screamed and ran inside to call 911. But there was no need. The explosion prompted a cacophony of sirens, already descending upon the scene. He swallowed hard before rushing toward the crash, until the reeking smoke rolled over him like a blanket, dropping him to his knees to crawl beneath it until intense heat pushed him back.
          Firemen doused chemicals onto the strung-out wreckage, and the minivan disappeared. A mean, acrid smell belched out of the heart of the wreck. Fumes spread in a thick haze over everything in the vicinity, burning Charlie’s eyes and throat.
          A baby cried. …


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]