Karen A. Wyle is an award-winning appellate attorney with more than thirty years' experience. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, she worked for law firms and the California Court of Appeal before establishing her solo practice in Bloomington, Indiana. Wyle has filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and seven state supreme courts. She has also written and published five novels. One-quarter of her novel Division is set in a near-future courtroom.
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Sixteen-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddard agreed to house sit for relatives on the weekend of September 22, 2006. It was something the teenager had done before…but this time something went terribly wrong. When the family returned home at the end of the weekend they found Cassie lying on their living room floor brutally stabbed to death.
Detectives focused on two of Cassie’s classmates who had briefly visited her on the night that she was murdered: Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper. Initially both boys denied any knowledge of the crime, but after two separate interrogations, Brian Draper told detectives a chilling story of murder straight out of a horror movie. The two boys were immediately arrested, and a shocking videotape was discovered that seemed to depict the two teens not only planning the cold-blooded murder, but celebrating it.
Community outrage was strong and immediate. The public demanded justice. But was the video actually what it appeared to be: a cold-blooded documentary that detailed the plotting of Cassie’s murder; or something else entirely? Could anyone uncover the truth in time and convince a jury that sometimes things aren't always what they appear to be?
The Guilty Innocent is narrated by Shannon Adamcik, mother of Torey, one of the accused boys. It takes readers behind the scenes of a trial where prosecutors cared more about public opinion than truth, defense attorneys, who had never argued a murder case, were in over their heads, and a young boy’s life hung in the balance.
The United States is the only country in the world that will charge a juvenile as an adult and sentence them to life without parole. As the mother of one such child, I know exactly what happens when a juvenile is placed in adult court where they cannot defend themselves. They are immediately cut off from all human contact, locked in isolation, and railroaded through a justice system they simply cannot comprehend. Consequently, many of these juveniles are sentenced too much longer and harsher terms than their adult counterparts. I've personally lived through this, and I was compelled to write about it.
I began for the simple reason that I had lived through this horrendous ordeal and I ached for someone to confide in. But reliving the most painful part of my life was extraordinarily difficult. Ultimately the only reason that I was able to persevere was my deep belief that the story was important and needed to be told. That is still true.
This is a true story and no one can tell it better than the people who lived it. A crime reporter can look at the details of a case, but they cannot tell you how it feels to live through it. I can and I did. I used the pre-trial and trial transcripts, copies of the police reports, the autopsy and DNA reports, and DVD recordings of all of the evidence in the case. I've done copious research. But more importantly, I take readers step-by-step through what it feels like when your 16-year-old son is accused of first-degree murder; all the odds are stacked against him; and his defense is in the hands of attorneys you can’t fully trust to come through for you.
The neural connection between Kayla and her dog seems unimportant, until her father's cryptic message.
Your mother and I are in danger, and I'm afraid that means you are too. I've gone into hiding. Don't try to find me unless I contact you, and don't let Saffi find me. You and Saffi should go too. Go and hide together.
Kayla doesn't really trust her father. After all, he left her mother and dragged Kayla off to live in the country. And when Kayla's mother gave her Saffi, her father somehow won the dog's loyalty.
But Kayla can't reach her mother. She has to decide, on her own, what to do. Should she hide in the forest with Saffi? Should she try to find her father? And what danger threatens?
Death is no longer the end. Those who prepare, and can afford it, may have their memories and personalities digitally preserved. The digitally stored population can interact with the world of the living, remaining part of their loved ones’ lives. They can even vote.
But digital information has its vulnerabilities.
After the young and vital Thea dies and is stored, her devoted husband Max starts to wonder about changes in her preoccupations and politics. Are they simply the result of the new company she keeps? Or has she been altered without her knowledge and against her will?
And if Thea is no longer herself, what can they do?
The saga continues in Reach, Book Two, and Leaders, Book Three.
Eleanor never wanted to leave the daughter she loved so much. The overpowering urge to wander -- to search, without knowing what she sought -- drove her away. She left little Cassidy in her family's loving care. But Cassidy and the others died in an accident before Eleanor could find her way home.
Now, they are all reunited, in an afterlife where nothing is truly lost. Places once loved may be revisited, memories relived and even shared. One may be any age suitable to the mood and moment. Surely this is a place where Eleanor and her family can understand and heal. But some of the memories haunting Eleanor are of dreams she had tried to forget.
Somehow, she must solve the mystery of her life -- or none of them will be at peace.
"Wyle should be proud of the opening scene of this book as it showcases . . . her descriptive powers . . . I love the way the concept of an afterlife is made real in Karen’s book, and the way the various characters inter-relate, re-live moments and re-visit places in their history. . . . Wander Home acts acts like a large, soft comfort blanket. But don’t get too comfortable. It is a barbed comfort blanket, charged with emotion. An excellent read, which I heartily recommend." -- The Indie Tribe
"A story about the consequences of the choices we make, and the difficulty even we can have in understanding – and living with – the reach of those consequences. Wyle’s . . . vision of the afterlife . . . is one of the loveliest. . . .
Wyle has a lovely way with language, weaving characters and setting together into a seamless tapestry . . . . A beautiful story, well-written and smoothly paced with characters you can’t help but fall in love with." All Things Jill-Elizabeth
"The plot is well paced and opens the imagination of the readers. The afterlife that Wyle creates is brimming with memories, places to visit, and amazing people to meet. It's written in such a way that it is truly life after death. . . . Wander Home is a magical story that delves to the depths of the human psyche and is definitely recommended." The Coffee Pot