another spoiler

As promised, here's another sneak peak at the book I'm working on. Some backround info on J.J.'s hometown. (and mine)

Whisky Ridge received its name from local myths of a bootlegger’s operation during the days of prohibition. The validity of those stories had never been proven, but the name stuck.

The ridge has seen many changes since the 1920’s, even more over the last twenty years. At one time, the western side of Whisky Ridge was nothing but open grassy fields with scattered stands of pine trees. The first major change came in 1927 with a golf course, which at the time seemed to be isolated, far enough away from town to make a perfect weekend getaway.

A narrow road followed the crest of the ridge, starting near Sunnyside at the south and ending above the golf course at the northern end on Getchel Hill. A little further to the east, Highway 9 connected us to the nearby communities of Arlington, Lake Stevens, and Snohomish.

As Marysville expanded its limits to the north and east, large homes began to pepper the hillside, built by families who wanted more of a countryside lifestyle. They were blessed with a panoramic view that afforded city lights, seascape, and farmland.

Whisky Ridge provided a natural playground for local youth. Erik, Bryant and I used its fields for sledding when winter dumped its heaviest snowfalls, and rode our bikes on its trails and dirt paths whenever it wasn’t raining. Occasionally, when feeling rambunctious, we would feed golf balls to the cows on the farm across the street from the golf course.

The last few years has brought the most noticeable changes to the hills above Marysville. New housing developments began covering the ridge. The older homes, once intentionally lonesome, gained new neighbors. Freshly paved roads snaked their way across the hillside, winding from top to bottom.

Just below ridgeline, off one of those new roads is my place of residence.

It took me a year to establish myself as a real estate agent and quit my second job as an overnight desk clerk at a hotel on the Tulalip reservation. Five months later, my commission checks were large enough to place a down payment on a new house, at the time still under construction.

I went big. Not much thought went into the buying process, I wanted something flashy, expensive. The house is large enough to be seen from town with out blending in with the rest of the houses in the development. Situated at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, I have one of the best views available.

It’s a grand house, but sits empty.

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