Jax has been safely hidden in the Wind River Valley,but a decade has past, and two attempts are made on her life.
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Jax runs for her life and is apprehended by the police. She’s sentenced to a juvenile detention facility, at the tender age of twelve. Lockup becomes an unexpected sanctuary for the traumatized child. It affords a safe harbor from her abuser, but she’s plagued by nightmares well into adulthood.
Fate and her Grandmother step in to successfully reduce her sentence, and she’s paroled into a distant cousin’s custody, and relocated to a cattle ranch in Wyoming. The young parolee finds the transition difficult at first. She spends the next nine years learning the ropes, making friends, and a couple of powerful enemies.
She’s been on her own since the age of ten and has of necessity become a fighter, but her aggressive in your face attitude hides a fragile, mistrustful soul. She’s unnerved when instead of her long time friend, a dark imposing stranger shows up at the Denver airport to fly her home.
Garrett left home to attend college under a cloud of suspicion for a brutal crime. He returned more than a decade later wounded from a chopper crash in Vietnam. At odds with his father, he jumps at the chance to get away. His agreement to do a friend a favor changes his life.
Jax discovers that Garrett is the sheriff’s prime suspect for the multiple attacks on her. She confronts him with the lawman’s accusation. Garrett turns on her, but he refuses to confirm or deny the law officer’s charge. The sheriff calls in the FBI to assist with the case. Bodies are unearthed, and the hunt is on to apprehend a murderer.
Harper Blackelk is in the minority among the residents of the Wind River Valley. He doesn’t think that Jax is mentally unbalanced. She’s troubled, but he also believes her to be brave, resourceful, and loyal. He alone knows that she will need all of her bravery and resourcefulness to navigate the dark pathways of the spirit world.
Andrew observed his son, and tried to gauge his mood this morning. To approach Garrett these days was like poking at a rattler, better left alone. “Are you feeling better?”
“Than what?” He sat down across from his father with his own mug of the hot potent brew.
“Than you were feeling last night?”
“I’m fine. I got a decent nights sleep, for a change.”
“Are you going to tell me where you went off to yesterday?”
“I ran an errand for Maggie.”
Andrew frowned at him. “What kind of errand?”
Garrett sipped his coffee, as he threw an irritated look at his father. A memory took root, the words she had whispered to him before kissing his cheek. “I flew to Denver to pick up Jax for her”
“What the hell did you do that for?”
“Because Maggie needed a favor, and I said I would. What’s wrong with doing a favor for Maggie? Don’t you like Jax?”
“The girl is a damned delinquent. She’s caused trouble ever since she arrived here!” Andrew was shouting at him and getting red in the face to boot.
“That’s funny, she seems to like you.” Garrett noticed the creases on his father’s forehead deepen. It was obvious from Andrew’s rising color that the comment had penetrated his thick hide.
“What the hell makes you think that?”
“She said to be sure to thank you for lending her the services of your son for the day.”
“Christ Almighty, Garrett! Stay away from her. She’s crazy! Not to mention, Maggie will shoot your balls off!”
Jax, girl, you nailed this one, he thought, but he just shrugged his shoulders and grinned at his father. Not another word passed between them. He couldn’t recall ever seeing Andrew so upset over a female, of any age. It was his father’s view that women had little value other than cooking, cleaning, and bearing children. He generally just tolerated them, if in a setting where it was impossible to ignore them. Not much riled his father, but just the mention that his son had been in Jax’s company had set him off. It had been perverse of him to edit her actual words and add a sexual connotation, but he found the results more than interesting. What could that little pint-sized female have done to warrant such animosity?
Crime Mystery with a bit of Romance.
Review by: Reynold Bowen on July 18, 2013 :
Review of Wind River Refuge
by J. M. Anton
©2013 J. M. Anton
Cover photo by Kellie
Graphic design by S. Shipley
Thesis: This book is a story about Jax, a young woman who is about to graduate from a university in North Carolina, but decides to go home to her step parent’s ranch in Wyoming for Christmas break. It takes place in the 1970s when the Vietnam War was the basis of many family hardships.
The Story: The prologue begins the book by telling the short story about Cindy, a high school cheerleader who decided not to take a ride home from her new boyfriend. Her old boy friend's cousin stepped in and offered her a ride, but as she would not do the things he was expecting her to do, she escaped his clutches, and ran from the car. As she tried to find her coat in the falling snow, she thought of ways that she would make him pay for his ill manners when she saw him again. Unfortunately, she never made it home.
The actual book begins when Jax, the heroine, is on her way home from Raleigh, North Carolina, to the Double D ranch in Wyoming. Dexter’s ill-mannered cousin Garret McBride, now back from Vietnam after being badly wounded, has been sent to Denver to pick her up for the final leg of the journey, and he has been told that there is a very angry step mother with a shotgun waiting for Jax, so she had better arrive in perfect health.
Jax, and Garret start off on the wrong foot, and their non-relationship goes downhill from there. This becomes even more worrying as Jax returns again in the spring after graduating, and someone attempts to murder her.
How Jax finds out who her assailant really is, and how she resolves the problem keeps the reader occupied, and on the edge of his or her seat throughout the story. It is well written, and the realistic characters have the right dialog to keep the story going while the narrative constantly reminds the reader that the author’s heart lives out in the west. The author describes winter, and spring in the Rocky Mountains so well, and with so much enthusiasm, that it is difficult not to want to move there instantly.
J. M. Anton’s last book used Texas as a background, while this book moves a few states north, and makes the reader want to read her next adventure not only to follow the exciting story, but also to see where she will go next.
Finally, this adventure takes place towards the end of the Vietnam War, and again lets everyone know just how many problems the soldiers of that era brought back with them.
This book is a good story, with a plot that always keeps the reader on track until the climax. J.M. Anton, please keep this quality of work coming in your future books.
Beta Feedback 5/11/2013
Feedback on Wind River Refuge from Mark Kyhl
Title seemed appropriate and did induce interest.
My favorite character would be Uncle Harper because he had the most understanding of both main characters and their problems.
It seemed that both Garrett and Jax were people with damaged psyche and had trouble getting along with others.
Serial murder was the main plot.
The sub plots were the family problems in both the main characters' lives.
The scene descriptions were very well thought out and gave you a mental picture of what was described.
The story was very intriguing and kept me turning the pages and kept my interest.
The ending seemed abrupt and did not make you think of a sequel.
I would recommend this novel to an adult friend.
Over all this was a good story which will improve with more work in the editing and also, maybe a little extra work on the ending. I would like a mobi copy of the finished book.
Thank You Jackie, I did enjoy your book!!
Loaded with Action, Danger, and Romance
Review by: Joan Adamak
This novel is a page turner from beginning to end. Jax is the beautiful, petite, fiery foster daughter of Maggie and Dex McBride. Dex’s Cousin, Garrett McBride is to pick Jax up at the Denver airport. Garrett is a large, handsome, strong male, although suffering from PTSD as a Nam Vet. He becomes angry quickly and has little patience and he meets his counterpart in Jax. From the very first, there is a continual friction and admiration between these two, but neither wants to admit this weakness. Their on-again, off-again romance heightens the danger for Jax as there is a murderer on the loose, whom no one can identify and it is only through attempts on Jax’s life that this becomes obvious.
The author does a tremendous task of character building with her several actors in this story so that you feel you know each main character thoroughly, and this plot is different than most plots because of this particular essence of danger always lingering.
I highly enjoyed this story and recommend it.
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