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Book Title

The Light From Maggie's View

Cheryl Nugent

Word Count



1000,000 - 175,000



What's it all about?

When the body of a young girl is found in the woods at Maggie's View, the quiet little town in NJ, is sent reeling. Two young girls, best friends, Ricky Cooper and Anne Sympson, unwittingly become embroiled in the terrible crime which leads them into the murderer's web of evil and betrayal. They learn new words like circumstantial, embezzle and incest. With their lives on the line, their families and the people at Maggie's View will determine Ricky and Anne's fate, but not before another girl is murdered. Set in 1958 in "The Rolling Hills of Hunterdon County," the reader can enjoy colorful personalities, town gossip, history and see that evil can exist, even in a little country town.


Carla Boyd had the reddest hair and the shortest shorts I had ever seen, and a reputation even a sixth grader knew about. Her long white legs looked whiter still against black short shorts. A pink sleeveless blouse was tucked into a very small waist and I thought she might have been pretty underneath the ton of eye makeup and bright red lipstick. White plastic orbs dangling from her ears completed the slut look. She did it well. She was in the same class as my neighbor, and I wondered how Janet Whitcomb could even be the same age as this wicked looking woman.
“Get your own damn rubbers, you jerk! I ain’t spendin’ my money to get laid by you, you freak.” The object of Carla’s anger was Danny Penski. Danny worked in Schuler’s Garage on Main Street. In the summer, it was a Mecca for boys to work on cars. The garage drew the boys and the boys drew the girls, some girls. No one I knew went there, but life was different on The Hill. Down here, Main Street, with its small businesses, Town Hall, bank, shops and stores, gave way to more hills going down again, across the tracks, to the other world of East Kentbury and The Mill. Rows of old factory houses and small cottages lined narrow streets, and no less than three taverns enjoyed a steady patronage from the mill workers. Nearby were the well-kept fire station and the all-important baseball field. From here, people went “Uptown.” At the end of the road by the mill, hills again climbed to a neighborhood of large and elegant homes, a few picturesque farms, and the tree-lined road going around to the lake. Carla Boyd was stuck in the middle. Ann was born in the middle but, thanks to Eliza, got out.
Mesmerized, standing like mannequins in the shade of the drug store awning, we were the only audience to the real life drama before us. The smell of melting tar dripped in the air and heat from the sidewalk crawled up our pedal pushers. A car rolled by, a dog was barking somewhere, and the signal at the railroad crossing began to clang. Before we knew it, Carla was right in front of us.
“What are you little creeps lookin’ at?” she yelled into our shocked faces. Riveted to the spot, we watched in stunned silence as she stomped away down the street, the smell of sweat and baby powder left in her wake.
Tears welled up in my eyes as Ann pulled me into the drugstore where we could drown our humiliation in chocolate and whipped cream. Danny Penski did look like a freak. He never said a word.
“If you’re a whore does that mean you have to do it with everybody?” I queried of my older and possibly wiser friend.
“I don’t know,” Ann replied, “I think it means you get paid to do it. But if you like it you can do it for free.”
“Well, how much do you get paid?” I couldn’t help but wonder.
“I heard she did it for a quarter sometimes,” Ann said.
“A quarter!” I was outraged.
Then we laughed, giggled into our ice cream sodas, and decided poor Carla Boyd wasn’t so much a whore as she was stupid.

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