By Susan Johnson
Roxe Anne Peacock weaves a tale of mystery and intrigue in her gripping novel, Leave No Trace (Whiskey Creek Press, ISBN No. 978-1-61160-071-1). She has two public appearances in the region coming up, at which books will be signed by the author.
Jessica Walters, the main character, had been planning to attend college in the fall when her world is suddenly thrown into confusion. Her best friend, Sandra, disappears the night after the prom, and evidence seems to point to their mutual friend, Jason Harris, who becomes the main suspect.
But Jessica can’t quite believe that Jason would do anything to harm Sandra, and in fact, he isn’t the only suspect. The residents in the tight-knit community of Carlsbad, N.M., try to unravel the mystery and get to the truth. Also disturbing is the fact that shortly before she disappeared, Sandra admitted to an affair with her coach and teacher, Carl Lundstrum. Could he be involved somehow?
Follow the twists and turns in this engrossing story as you collect the clues and listen to what the witnesses say. Can you solve the mystery?
The Rock River Times talked with Roxe Anne Peacock, who lives in Caledonia with her husband, Thomas. She gave us an exclusive interview.
TRRT: Is this your first novel?
Roxe Anne Peacock: Yes, it was started in 2009 and published in February 2011.
TRRT: What was the inspiration for this story?
Peacock: I’ve always been interested in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and the plight of the bats. I researched the caverns several years ago and thought someday I will write a book about these caverns.
TRRT: Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?
Peacock: No. I have five daughters, and I’ve had some exchange students. I was a Girl Scout leader, a 4-H leader, and a host for American Field Service (AFS) for a year. At different times, we’ve had a boy and a girl. I was a Civil War re-enactor for many years and still am involved. Being around these [young people’s] age groups, helped inspire some of the characters, but then again, it’s also centered around Sally’s Diner. I just thought that would be the perfect place to have a lot of conflicts between the characters. My father and grandfather actually owned a restaurant when I was younger. It’s [the story] good for older teens and adults as well. It has been referred to as cleanly written; there are no swear words.
TRRT: Will you be writing any more novels in the future?
Peacock: I have another book completed. It’s a mystery-suspense, and it’s titled Fatal Catch. It will be set in Grand Detour, Ill., in the 1960s. I’ll also have another book written with my husband, Thomas Peacock. That will be coming out probably early in November, and it will be titled Mystery Lovers’ Cookbook. That is centered around the Civil War and 19th-century recipes; there will be over 160 color photos.
Saturday, June 25, Roxe Anne Peacock will be at Snyder’s Pharmacy, 135211 Ill. Rt. 76 in Poplar Grove. Meet the author from 2 to 4 p.m. and get a copy of her book personally signed by her. Then, Sunday, July 3, she will be at Rock Cut State Park, 7319 Harlem Road, Loves Park, on the deck of the concession stand, or if it rains, inside. This is another book signing opportunity—a great reason to head out and enjoy the park.
From the June 22-28 issue