Published October 30th, 2013
She's broken with guilt.
He harbors a chilling past.
It's safer if they keep their distance...
But, the echoes that linger connect them.
Returning to Hidden Pines is the last thing Allie Collins wants to do during her final summer before college. For her, the family cabin she spent her youthful summers in, now holds a dark memory that has haunted her every day for the last year.
While struggling to forget her past, Allie runs into Damien, a local rebel with secrets of his own. He's dark, dangerous and he keeps showing up when Allie least expects him to. She has every reason not to trust him. So why does she find herself opening up to him in a way she hasn't been able to with anyone?
As pieces of Damien’s identity emerge, answers to a rumored mystery begin to unfold. By the time Allie unearths the secrets of Damien’s past, she realizes just how intricately they are connected. Now she is caught in a dangerous battle that threatens her life and those she loves.
To trust when you have no reason to do it!
Trust is a concept that takes time to build, yet can be broken in moments. So why trust someone when you have no reason? In Lingering Echoes, 17-year-old Allie finds herself in a situation where she is drawn to the alluring and mysterious Damien. Nevertheless, rumors and judgment from friends may dissuade her from her attraction. Still, Allie consciously presses forward, accepting the risks and trusting in Damien—not because she is naïve, but because logic and reasoning must not always control.
In our own lives, we all encounter relationships in which a judgment call will be required. It is difficult to know whether to simply follow our heart and trust or instead, to form a hypothesis of skepticism, hoping it will later be discredited. There is certainly a fine line between being naïve and trusting. And, every situation is unique, so it is impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, I often find myself, like Allie, allowing the “benefit of the doubt”—even when a person has made their fair share of mistakes. In Allie’s words, “having a bad past doesn’t make you a bad person, does it?”
I, too, like to remember that mistakes should not ultimately define a person, but instead, the manner in which one triumphs over past gaffes should be the bar. To me, if a person is willing to acknowledge their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions, while allowing humility to take hold in their heart, a window of change and hope often emerges like a fresh blossom from the soul. In fact, this simple willingness to try is usually enough to tip the scales toward trust. As imperfect souls, I think we all truly yearn to extend a much needed second chance to those who seek them. However, we still require a witness of something more than a hollow promise of remorse and change.
In the end, trust is a gamble. To trust is to expose yourself—leaving your life, heart, and emotions in the hands of another. What the “trusted” do with your faith is ultimately up to them. Extending that trust, whether as an emotional impulse or based on a calculated risk, is up to us.
About the author:
Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007.
Erica made the best decision of her life by marrying her husband in 2005 and is currently a mother of three, one of whom awaits her in heaven. Erica also loves singing, reading, writing, and satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies. Playing collegiate rugby was one of the most memorable experiences of her life, thus far.
Erica’s first book, Lingering Echoes, was signed by Clean Teen Publishing and is scheduled to release in early November 2013.
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