Several miles south of Devil’s Lake, Michigan, lies a town whose charm is trumped by its name. Devil Town may be beautiful and unique, but it offers no remorse for locals who have left the city limits. Val Stevens is a local born and raised, and after an eight year hiatus, she’s come back to town to stir up some old flames. Cracked like glass from life’s quirky twists of fate, Val keeps to herself and wards off the local “Devilers”, like a bad disease. But even someone as fiery as Val, can’t deny the appeal of a friendship with an intriguing stranger, or the ghosts of her past.
With the help of Anderson Pane, Devil Town’s newest resident, Val unearths pieces of herself she has lost along the way, while chipping away at the edges of those who caused her to shatter. She quickly learns that in order to face her future, she needs to forget everything she thought she knew about her past. A task which proves to be equal parts shocking and healing.
Can Val walk among the shards of who she was in order to find out she is? In a place where secrets run deeper than the depth of Devil’s Lake itself, the answer bubbles to the surface, in a twisted turn of events, history, love, and even death.
Have you ever had the feeling that your life is slowly falling apart? I was having that feeling as I left Devil Town, but it wasn’t slowly happening. It was rapid like gunfire.
Pop, pop, pop.
I heard it then, and I felt it, too. The cracking. It was spreading. It was running up and down my arms and legs, creating deep crevices in its wake. I let the pieces of myself fall off and scatter onto the floor. When I left Jay’s house the night before, I left pieces of myself there, too. I was crumbling like a cement statue that sat out in the rain and sun for too many years.
I drove down Main Street and watched shards of myself scatter. The breaking started when I was twelve, it was finally settling in now, though. Jordan wasn’t the sole reason I was shattering, but he was the pebble that caused the final crack in me. The one with the powerful thrust that hit me with the force of a wrecking ball. The final blow.
Piece by piece, I crumbled and fell to the floor of my car. There was hardly anything left of me. I was all blood and guts, and my shell was gone. My safeguard was down. I was vulnerable. Crumbling stone and broken bits of who I was were left in the dust as I drove out of Devil Town. Except, I wasn’t as strong as cement or stone. I was fragile and thin. I was glass, and I was shattering, piece by piece. I became those tiny little fragments that cut you unknowingly. Those pieces that become lodged in your feet or fingers. Painful little pieces that you can hardly see at all. That’s what was left of me.
I left myself in pieces in Devil Town, and I never looked back.
Hayley, (HB Stumbo) resides on a dairy farm in Ohio, with her husband and fur children. She's easily excitable and slightly loud, but she's a Leo so that's just how it is. She loves words, good stories, and often gets sucked into books with ease. When she isn't writing stories, she enjoys cooking, seeing the world, drinking Vodka and Tonics, and live indie-folk music. She wants you to know that Tom Petty is the greatest American musician of all time, and she was likely born in the wrong era. Hayley is the author of two other novels, and has a half dozen more ideas in her head. She can found online at www.hbstumbowrites.com, and is also active on Instagram, Facebook, and sometimes Twitter. She loves meeting new people and connecting with strangers, so feel free to look her up!