Published by: Emilie Richards
Release Date: November 1, 2020
ISBN13: 978-1-950365-09-8
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Escaped murderer or fugitive betrayed? 

When Tate Cantrell moves into the primitive Ozark mountain cabin she inherited from a father she never knew, she expects hardship. She doesn’t expect to be held at gunpoint by a convict from nearby High Ridge Penitentiary. 

Carl Petersen is armed, dangerous and wounded. But when he tells her he’s really an undercover operative named Simon Vandergriff, sent to investigate conditions at the prison, Tate finds enough proof to wonder. How can she turn him over to the sheriff, knowing that she might be sending an innocent man to his grave? 

As a runaway Tate learned to be suspicious of authority figures. Now, as she cautiously nurses Simon back to health and attraction grows, she is torn. Is Simon a good man in trouble or has she fallen under the spell of a master manipulator and murderer? 

With her adopted family a thousand miles away and her new one suspicious and distant, Tate has no one to help her. No one but Simon himself.


I began my writing career before the term “women’s fiction” became popular. The best opportunity to be published was in the thriving romance genre, so, of course, that’s where I began.

Were my books that different back then? Yes, love was definitely at the heart of romance novels, but publishers, and particularly my wonderful editor Leslie Wainger, saw the need for many different kinds of stories woven around relationships. Leslie was willing to listen to my most offbeat ideas, and then to publish them.

Take the Homecoming series, for instance. I had imagined a story exploring the world of teenage runaways and what they had to do to survive. I told Leslie my idea, fully expecting her to say, “are you crazy?” but she didn’t. She bought and published Runaway, and later the sequel, The Way Back Home. And, of course, since another important character had emerged in those two books, I went on to write that third book, Fugitive, featuring Tate, the young runaway Krista and Jess befriended.

When I wrote these novels, I chose settings I knew well. Runaway is set in New Orleans, where I began my writing career. The Way Back Home is set in South Florida, where I grew up. Fugitive takes place in Mountain Glade, Arkansas, a town which, to my knowledge, does not exist. But many years ago, I worked for VISTA in the Arkansas Ozarks, and I drew heavily on the area where we had lived to create the rural scenery and atmosphere of this story. No phones, indoor toilets, television reception, hootenannies at the courthouse? All were true when we were there, and I loved looking back on that time when I wrote this, and again when I edited the series for digital publication.

After carefully reading each book, I decided that all three should stand the way they are, without the technology that we now take for granted. As too often happens, introducing a host of gadgets that are now ordinary—like cell phones—would create plot complications. So the stories are still set when I wrote them, before cell phones, computers and the internet were such a huge part of our daily life.

By the way? Josiah Gallagher, a character in Fugitive, shows up in another book I wrote after this one. Stay tuned.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading my Homecoming series as much as I enjoyed writing each book.