"No matter where you go around here you're still a stones throw from nowhere."
…Cobb Slocum to Stacy Weston in STONES THROW.
a thriller by Linda Opdyke
Dec. 1999 - Mundania Press
Named by Mystery Morgue and Raven Feathers editor P.J. Nunn: "Best of 1999 - classic" (one of three)
"...Opdyke has produced a captivating story with a highly developed plot and intriguing characters. ...participate in the fictional dream that Opdyke weaves so skillfully."
Four stars...Romantic Times
"Multi-dimensional and compelling, Stacy and Rick are brought to life through Opdyke's beautiful writing style and powerful dialogue. The backdrop of the Appalachian mountains provides a spectacular setting for this romantic thriller that will curl your toes and warm your heart. This reader can’t wait to see what will come next from Opdyke’s promising ‘pen’!"
Five Roses! --Julie Shininger - Escape To Romance Reviews
Read the entire Escape To Romance review
Reviewed by Suzanne Coleburn, The Belles & Beaux of Romance
The minute I started reading STONES THROW I felt Ms. Opdyke made me a part of the story. I was there, scared to death, chewing my fingernails, but helpless to do anything other than continue reading this thriller about a woman in jeopardy as she is searching for information about her baby in a small town in Appalachia, a town that has some characters that make your blood run cold. Stacy Smith is independent, beautiful, determined and handles danger extremely well. I’ve nearly had heart failure a few times just dealing with the terrifying suspense. Her only help comes from a stranger named Rick who is following his own agenda but agrees to be a live-in handyman. Who is Rick? What secrets are hidden in his past?
STONES THROW keeps you on edge with this powerfully written debut novel from a very, very talented author whose writing is oh, so fine, and flows beautifully from page to page combining suspense, betrayal, revenge, and a taut and haunting love story between two lonely people. The dialogue is dynamite, and the conclusion will blow your socks off as one heck of a ballsy woman comes through and turns the tables in her favor. Stacy is a woman anyone would want in his or her corner, and Rick is one superb hero. I can’t say enough good things about Ms. Opdyke, except I can’t wait to read her next novel. Do yourself a favor and either download a copy or order a disk from Hard Shell Word Factory in December 1999. Linda Opdyke is an author you don't want to miss, she's that great!
Suzanne "Would I Ever Love to Have Rick Sing To Me" Coleburn
Reviewed by Robin Bayne for Scribes World Reviews
4 ½ Stars
Hard Shell Word Factory
Stacy Weston is on a mission, and she's willing to risk everything to accomplish her goal. Her baby's been stolen by his father, a hardened man who sold his own son for money, and Stacy's determined to get the infant back. She places herself directly in the path of dangerous people in a backwoods
mountain town, where she meets Rick McCoy, an attractive drifter who's in Stones Throw for his own reasons. When Stacy's arrested for a murder she didn't commit, can she hope to ever find her son, or happiness, again?
Ms. Opdyke has penned a romantic thriller so fast-paced you'll need to tie your hair back when you read it. From page one you are thrown into each scene, cheering the heroine on in her quest. The writing is smooth and clear,bringing the story to life with all of the senses engaged. Allow yourself a full night to finish this one, because you won't be able to put it down until the end.
Reviewed by Robin Bayne
Reviewed by PJ Nunn for e-zines Mystery Morgue and Raven Feathers
Stacy Weston is a woman on a mission. Her four month old baby boy, Jeremy, has been stolen and sold by her no-good ex-husband, Jake, and Stacy wants him back! There's a little complication, though. Before the kidnapping, Jake sucked her in to one of his many illegal activities and he has proof of her complicity. How can she go to the police?
With no help from family or law enforcement, Stacy is on her own. Worse, she's tracked Jeremy to a tiny Appalachian community populated with good ole boys who drink moonshine and beat their women into submission. But what Stacy lacks in support, she makes up for in determination. She'll go wherever and do whatever to hold her baby in her arms again!
She rents a dilapidated farm house from a distasteful man named Cobb whose body odor smells even worse than his reputation and endures his innuendos and suggestions because his is the only name she can link with Jake's. In desperation, she hires Rick, a persistent drifter, to live on the property and help with repairs in hopes he can help her fend off Cobb's advances while she perserveres with her search. Rick is an attractive man, with the best of intentions, or so he says, but Stacy soon wonders if he's an answer to prayer or someone sent by Jake to be her downfall.
Billed as a thriller, STONES THROW is definitely that. Opdyke's descriptive powers make the mountains come alive and create characters so real they're almost visible. Stacy's single-minded purpose, complicated by a relationship she desperately wants and needs, but at the same time, fears, is a tightrope walk through a nightmare no mother wants to face. It starts fast and ends
faster. STONES THROW is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Buy it!
Reviewed by PJ Nunn
Reviewed by Kris KraneCopyright 1999 All rights reserved
CompuServe Romance Reviews
Stacy Weston's four-month-old son is kidnapped and sold to a baby smuggling ring by her husband, an ex-con. She goes in search of the boy and a man named Cobb, with a satchel full of money, a thirty-eight, and a telephone number. She tracks them all the way from New Jersey to Stones Throw, Tennessee.
Before she reaches the little town, she picks up Rick McCoy, who's run out of gas, and drives him to the nearest gas station. His pickup is old, so are his clothes, but she's attracted to the handsome stranger. They strike up a conversation but both are evasive as to why they're in such an isolated part of the country. At the gas station, Stacy waits until Rick fills a can with gas, but when he persists she open the trunk, she drives off and leaves him. She has the money and thirty-eight stashed in the trunk.
Rick is a famous country western star, who lives in Nashville, but has returned, unseen, to his hometown because he's learned his sister's husband Cobb is stealing and selling antique furniture from the farm house he inherited from his grandparents. When he reaches the farm, he's shocked to find it rundown, as he's sent thousand of dollars to keep it in good repair, and that
Stacy is living there. She explains Cobb rented the house to her. Rick doesn't tell her he owns the place or that he knows Cobb. Rick is interested in Stacy as a woman and learning what she's up to. He asks her for a job fixing up the place in exchange for meals and a place to sleep that he's between jobs.
Stacy believes him and hires him. She feels safe with him around. She's afraid of Cobb and his brother. Especially his brother who is a vicious killer. She can handle Cobb, who is revoltingly sexually attracted to her. She uses this power to her advantage.
When Stacy and Rick finally join forces, they find her son, but along the way they find true love for the first time in their lives.
Ms. Opdyke has written an intense romantic suspense with fully developed characters and a plot that sustains until the end. Don't plan on an early evening once you start reading STONES THROW. Look forward to reading more of Ms. Opdyke's work.
---Kris Krane, CompuServe and Book Nook Reviews
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