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by Jacquelyn McShulskis

THE LAKE AND THE LOST GIRL by Jacquelyn McShulskis

White Hill, Michigan. 1939. Mary Stone Walker, a talented young poet, has spent years trying to make her voice heard. But her small town has no interest in a woman artist, let alone one who, rumors whisper, defies her husband and refuses to bear his child. When Mary disappears one night, the town is left wondering for decades about her fate—was it suicide, accident, or escape?

White Hill, Michigan. 1999. Lydia Carroll’s husband is in love with a dead woman. English Professor Frank Carroll has invested years in the search for the lost poems of local poet Mary Stone Walker, hoping to build his career on the discovery that Mary continued to write long after her disappearance. But increasingly, Lydia realizes that Frank’s interest in Mary has begun to border on obsession. Mary once mattered to Lydia too. But after Lydia was forced to give up her own poetry to support the Carroll family as a romance novelist, Mary’s poems became little more than a source of pain for Lydia—a reminder of her own crumbling marriage and her abandoned dreams. Then Frank’s single-minded search for Mary’s lost poems begins to put his family in jeopardy, and Lydia throws herself back into the mystery. If she can just discover with finality that Mary did in fact die that night in 1939, Frank will be forced to stop. But as Lydia begins investigating, getting closer and closer to the truth about Mary’s fate that has been buried right under their noses for years, her son takes action with a plan of his own… one that will bring the family to a breaking point and change Lydia’s own destiny forever.

About the author: Jacquelyn McShulskis began her writing career as a police beat reporter for a daily Louisiana newspaper. She established and acted for many years as managing editor for a publishing company specializing in international trade issues, and today focuses on writing fiction. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Lake and the Lost Girl is her debut novel.