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First in a series of books about the fictional town of Lyric, Iowa
Ruth Peyton is sure she has everything she needs. Her own business, a mentor, a great circle of friends, and Lyric, her lifelong home town.
And then, one summer day, everything changes.
Who are these strangers who come to Lyric, to buy Ruth’s building as the first step in their mysterious plan?
And now someone from Ruth’s past is determined to draw her back into a painful relationship she thought she’d put behind her. Can she make peace with the past in time to save her home town from the radical alterations that lie ahead? Or is there nothing left for her but to leave Lyric for good?
Chapter 1, Bought and Sold
The town of Lyric, Iowa (pronounced “Larrick” by the eight thousand or so folks who lived there—it had been named by the town's founder's mother, who knew what she liked but couldn't pronounce it) was enjoying an unusually mild and breezy early summer. In the center of the town square the flowers had appeared in spectacular clusters and even the weatherbeaten old bandstand looked good.
And even though June was well begun, it hadn't gotten hot enough to really feel like summer yet, at least in the majority view. But in one small and perpetually underventilated store on the northwest corner of the square, one frazzled citizen of Lyric had already decided she'd had enough.
Ruth Peyton pushed the same damp lock of hair away from her face for what felt like the hundredth time that afternoon and for the hundredth time it promptly fell right back down over her eyes. With a growl, she threw her soldering iron into its stand, smacked both hands flat on her workbench and forced a mental count-to-ten followed by a deep breath. The wall clock, an oversized Mickey Mouse watch, told her that even though at least three hours had passed since she'd last looked at it, the hands had only moved from 4:00 to 4:25.