Jill Came Tumbling After is slowly tumbling out of my brain.
I’m spending part of the summer with some old friends. If you’ve read Saving Grace, you know them too. Grace, Sam, Lucy, Nancy. Even Angel the dog and Trouble the cat. It’s been fun catching up and seeing what they’ve been doing.
But this trip to Madison Falls is mostly about getting to know Jill better. You might remember her…she had a pretty hard time in Saving Grace, chasing after her wayward husband Caleb. And it sounds like things have only gotten worse:
Jill Martin flung open her front door with a burst of uncharacteristic boldness and whirled around to face her husband. “Get out.”
Caleb’s bloodshot eyes widened in either surprise or amusement. “Ge’out?” The two words slurred together into one. “Where am I supposta go?”
“You seem to be pretty good at finding places to be other than home.” She dug her nails into her palms, determined to hold her ground. It was about time she did this. In fact, she should have done it ages ago.
“Bu’ honey.” Taking a step toward her, he reached for her cheek but staggered, giving her nose a decidedly unromantic flick.
She slapped his hand away. “Don’t call me that. I’m not your ‘honey’ anymore. I’m not your anything anymore.”
He held out both palms like a statue of the Virgin Mary. “Wha’d I do?”
She blew out disbelief between gritted teeth. How could he be so incredibly manipulative? And why had she put up with it for so long?
“What did you do?” Planting her hands on her hips, she braced herself against the cold October night air that was now gusting into their entryway. “For starters, we don’t have any food in the house, and you just blew my grocery money on beer.”
“I tol’ you I’d pay it back.” His attempt at that boyish grin that had won her heart all those years ago when they were in high school faltered under the influence of the six-pack he’d just polished off.
“Oh really? Well, that’s going to be a neat trick without a job.”
He dropped the grin along with what looked like his hope of sweet talking her. “You can’t kick me outta my own house.”
“Maybe not.” She reached for her purse which hung on a hook next to the door, and retrieved her cell phone from the outer pocket. “But I’m sure Sheriff Drew would be happy to do it for me.”
Fear flashed across his face like a brushfire. He’d had enough encounters with the sheriff of Madison Falls to know that if he found him in this condition, he’d haul him away to cool his heels overnight in a jail cell. Jill grimaced. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Poor Jill. What’s she going to do, with two small kids, no money, and now no husband to help her? She’ll have to get a job, but that’s going to present a whole other problem…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Hope you’re looking forward to returning to Madison Falls, Montana to see how things turn out!
In the meantime, you can read Grace’s story in book 1 of the series, Saving Grace.