Deer Creek

“A secret can be a ponderous weight…a burden of undefined duration.”

deer-creek-coverTwo sisters, Rikki and Abbey—one given away at birth and lost in the foster care system, one pampered with love and privilege—find one another as teens, but don’t know the reason for the deep bond they feel.

Around them, their home of Deer Creek is buckling. Rikki’s lover, the deputy mayor, wields his privately-funded SWAT team like a weapon. A health report threatens to uncover the scandal lurking in the local spa. And a shadowy political operative digs for dirt. Everyone, it seems, has a secret to hide.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” ~George Orwell

Author Holland Kane returns to the Northwestern tri-cities he first described in the acclaimed Winter Reeds for a new story about secrets that bind tightly together to make lives captive to the past.


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A sudden awakening registered in the tone of Ann’s voice. “Yes, you’ll need money to start your careers.” She was speaking to her nephew, ignoring his girlfriend. The girl was petite, dark-haired, blue-eyed, and pregnant. “M-O-N-E-Y,” Ann spelled it out. She paused to breathe. “A bushel I had already spent on your college expenses so you could then take a fling with your—”

“Don’t, please,” Tommy said. He’d taken a seat on one of the leather ottomans and Ariel sat on the other. Supplicants. They’d run off to Costa Rica, and they’d just returned. Like the rest of the extended Carver clan Tommy was tall, but he hadn’t shaved and looked scruffy. “No one in Deer Creek knows that we have a baby on the way.”

“Well, let’s keep it that way.” Ann Carver turned away.

She was proud of her profile, sculpted, slender neck, and her hair was alive with a red luster. She’d agreed to give them a monthly allowance provided Tommy focused on his career. She rose from the sofa and walked to a sideboard and then to the fireplace and then to the antique armoire to get her checkbook, and then she took a seat on the cushy sofa again. Using her knees to support the checkbook she wrote a check for a large amount of money. The check seemed to flutter with a weight of ten digits. “Tommy, I hate wasting our family’s treasure. But in this case I’ll call it well-spent family shame money.”

“Shame money?” Ariel asked. “Because I’m pregnant?” She was jumpy and trying to remain still. “May I use your bathroom to throw up in?”

Tommy felt the air go still. “Don’t—”

Ann was quicker. She shot back. “Having a child is no reason to wreck a man’s career.” She pointed toward the door and said the guest bathroom was the second door on the right. Ariel went to find it.

“You and your strays,” Ann said. He loved pets. Birds, caterpillars, frogs. She waved the check in the air as if to cool it down, and then handed it to Tommy. “I’ll get Ariel’s baby off of your hands.”

“Our baby,” he said.

Her gesture said nevermind. “I’ve plans for you. Big plans. We’re not going to have that girl stand in the way.”

Tommy stirred. “I’ve asked her to marry me.”


© 2014. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Deer Creek, Rumor House Books. Used with permission.