Remember to Forgetby Deborah Raney
One morning changed everything about her life
But could it also set her free? Maggie Anderson
Graphic designer Maggie Anderson has lived under her boyfriend's tyranny for nearly two years...until she's carjacked in New York. Will this terrifying experience be the end for Maggie -- or the beginning of a freedom greater than she dares/big>/i>… See more details below
One morning changed everything about her life
But could it also set her free? Maggie Anderson
Graphic designer Maggie Anderson has lived under her boyfriend's tyranny for nearly two years...until she's carjacked in New York. Will this terrifying experience be the end for Maggie -- or the beginning of a freedom greater than she dares imagine? To gain that freedom, she'll have to remember to forget everything about her old life...
Trevor Ashlock is existing, day by day, in the little town of Clayburn, Kansas. Surrounded by too many painful reminders of all he's lost, he fills his time with work, trying desperately to forget.
Then a compelling and lovely stranger shows up in Clayburn and turns Trevor's world upside down.
Yvonne Lehman Author of forty-three novels; director, Blue Ridge Writers Conference
"Wow. Remember to Forget has it all: a gentle love story that won't let go, with crosscurrents pulling way deeper than you expect. Pack your bags, because your heart is going to Clayburn, Kansas!"
Robert Elmer Author of The Recital and Like Always
"Deborah Raney has done it again! Remember to Forget is a wonderful, heartwarming story about learning to trust...and love. Yes, I loved it."
Roxanne Henke Author of After Anne, and other books in the Coming Home to Brewster series, and The Secret of Us
"I was enthralled from start to finish. Remember to Forget took me to deep places of the heart and touched the spot where we all long for unconditional love. I wanted to stay in Clayburn, Kansas, forever. Raney's best book yet!"
Colleen Coble Author of Midnight Sea
Read an Excerpt
Remember to Forget
By Deborah Raney
Howard BooksCopyright © 2007 Deborah Raney
All right reserved.
A lofty full moon painted a jagged swathe of light across Lafayette Avenue. Maggie Anderson glanced at the digital numbers on the dashboard. Four o'clock in the morning.
An eerie calm hovered over New York, the street absent its typical bumper-to-bumper congestion. At least she would make it back to the apartment in good time. Maybe for once she wouldn't have to give him a play-by-play to justify every minute she'd been out of his sight.
A vagrant staggered into the crosswalk ahead of her, beckoning her with a leer. She averted her eyes and reached across the console of the Honda Civic to pat the brown paper bag buckled into the passenger seat beside her, testing again to make sure it was secure. Before driving away from the liquor store, she'd tightened the seat belt around Kevin's precious bottle as if it were a child. It might as well be. She would pay dearly if she slammed on the brakes and sent his next fix flying through the windshield. For a split second the thought caused a cynical smile to tug at her mouth...until an image of the probable aftermath came into focus.
She rubbed her left wrist, remembering his last tantrum, and forced her mind to blank out the scene. No use spoiling these brief minutes of freedom with a dose of reality.
Crossing Clinton Street, she changed lanes and reached to adjust the air-conditioner vent.The cool air caressed her face, a balm for early June temperatures that had barely dropped during the night. She leaned back against the headrest and let out a slow breath, willing her thoughts to carry her to the one place that never failed to bring her peace. She'd become adept at conjuring the scene. The city streets receded to the periphery of her vision, and there it was...
The riverbank, soft beneath her bare feet. Cool water lapping at her toes. And overhead, towering trees that whispered in the breeze, calling her to step deeper into the river's flow. She lowered her eyelids to half-mast, letting herself drift.
Behind her eyelids, a moon like the one that hung over New York tonight cast a yellow glow over the countryside. Except the moon of her imagination was far, far from the city. Where, she didn't know. It only mattered that it was far away from where she was now.
Opening her eyes, she reoriented herself to the road. But the scene remained, warming her from the inside out -- in a way that had nothing to do with the sticky summer heat.
She tried to go deeper into the daydream, but ahead, a traffic light turned from green to amber. Hers was the only vehicle in the intersection. She could run the light and probably get away with it. Instead she tapped the brakes and prepared to stop. The light meant she could spend another ninety seconds in her tranquil fantasy world.
She could truthfully tell her boyfriend it was just the traffic. No help for that. He couldn't blame her. She rehearsed her excuse and touched the paper bag once more to reassure herself that her cargo was safe.
Closing her eyes again, she counted out the seconds before the light would turn green and returned to the riverbank in her mind.
The cool water, lapping at her --
Boom-boom-boom! A series of sharp thuds vibrated the hood of the car. Hot air and acrid exhaust fumes rushed over her, carrying with them the city's distinctive music of distant sirens and taxi horns.
Maggie jerked to attention. A blurry image loomed in her driver's side window. A man dressed in gray sweats...a hooded jacket over his head. A fleece-clad knee held her driver's door open.
He pounded again -- louder -- on the roof of her car. "Get out! Get out of the car!" He spit the words like machine-gun fire.
Heart racing, Maggie tried to yank the door shut on his knee. But his leg pried it open wider. Fingers of steel reached through the opening and clamped around her arm, wrenching her sideways from the seat.
She flailed at the steering wheel, trying in vain to sound the horn. Would anyone pay attention, even if she could? The street was deserted.
"Get out of the car!" the man screamed again, his voice as shrill as a woman's.
She jerked her head from side to side, trying to make things come into focus in the moonlight. Then she saw his hand. His left hand was hidden inside the wide center pouch of his jacket. The shape of a blunt object was outlined against the fabric. A gun?
Panic clawed at her throat. "What do you want?"
"Shut up and get out of the car!"
Her eyes fell on the brown bag beside her. If she went home without the precious Jack Daniel's...She shuddered, knowing that whatever this guy might do to her couldn't be much worse than what she'd have coming at home.
She checked her rearview mirror. Traffic whizzed by on the freeway in the distance, but no other vehicles were stopped at the light. Could this guy be bluffing about having a weapon? She wasn't about to get out of the car in this part of the city in the middle of the night.
When the light turned green, another car eased to a stop at the intersection on her left. The man in the hood opened her door wider. He hissed a curse and wedged himself through the opening. In one smooth motion, he undid her seat belt and, with a meaty hip, shoved her across into the passenger seat. The momentum left her sprawled between the seat and the floor.
He slammed the door and gunned the engine. The car lurched through the intersection.
Maggie cowered from her precarious half-prone perch on the edge of the seat, clawing at the dashboard to regain her balance. "What do you wa -- "
"Shut up, I said!" He raised a sharp elbow and used it like a weapon.
She dodged his aim with a practiced bob and clung to the car door. The whiskey bottle dug into the small of her back. "Here." She reached behind her. "Take this. It's the good stuff. Just, please...let me go."
The man glared at her, meeting her eyes for the first time. He snorted, then trained a laser stare on the road as if he wouldn't dignify the likes of her with a response.
She dug in the pocket of her khaki slacks and took out the change from the fifty-dollar bill Kevin had given her for the liquor store. "Here." She thrust the money at him.
"Keep your money," he barked. "And keep your mouth shut."
Cowed, she returned the cash to her pocket and sat in silence beside him. She gripped the sides of her seat, bouncing at every bump in the road, her mind accelerating to match the engine as the car flew over the city streets. If booze and cash didn't interest him, she hoped the use of her car -- Kevin's car -- was the only thing he was after.
As they reached the end of Lafayette, the traffic picked up a little with early-morning commuters. With one glance in the rearview mirror, the man merged into the flow of vehicles.
Maggie was in unfamiliar territory now. No matter what happened from this point on, it was a safe bet she wasn't going to be delivering anything to Kevin. At least not anytime soon. And maybe never. She stared at the digital clock on the dashboard, watching the numbers flick forward. They'd driven at least half an hour in the opposite direction from the apartment. Kevin would be pacing the foyer and cursing her by now.
She eyed her captor before she angled her body back to attempt a glimpse at the gas gauge. Even so, her view was skewed. But she was pretty certain there wasn't enough gas in the Civic to get her back home.
What would this guy do if the car ran out of gas? A flash of memory took her back to another day on another highway. Kevin had been late for a job interview -- and he'd called her at the office and coerced her into picking him up and driving him to the interview. The car had run out of gas, fueling a rage in Kevin like she'd never seen before. In the end he didn't get the job and pinned the blame on her for not filling up the tank. It was the first time his verbal lashings had threatened to turn physical.
Now her mouth twisted at the irony of finding herself a literal captive to this stranger when, in truth, she'd lived as a virtual hostage to Kevin Bryson for almost two years.
Remember to Forget 2007 by Deborah Raney
Excerpted from Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney Copyright © 2007 by Deborah Raney. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Deborah Raney’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was awarded a Silver Angel from Excellence in Media and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, and the National Readers’ Choice Award. Raney was also a finalist for the Christy Award. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make their home in their native Kansas.
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Maggie Anderson isn't who she once was--in fact, she's trying to become someone else entirely, at least until she's safe. In Deborah Raney's Remember to Forget, we meet Maggie, a formerly abused woman, who is being pursued by three men: Trevor Ashlock, who has his own secrets; her abusive boyfriend Kevin; and the God who she doubts even exists. As she struggles to remember all the lies she's told and keep them straight, she attempts to forget all the pain in her past. Could little Clayburn, Kansas hold the keys to unlocking her heart for love and her life for healing? Raney writes more than a contemporary romance. Remember to Forget is also a story of romance between the God who created us and desires a personal relationship with each one of us. Raney does a beautiful job of creating interesting, yet flawed, characters who strike a cord within us. Tackling the uncomfortable subject of domestic violence, Raney allows the reader to see the effects of such abuse on the heart, mind, and soul of the survivor. Giving the reader a peek into the thought processes and rationalizations of why woman stay in such situations, and how that past colors every aspect of their future. Raney's writing keeps the reader turning pages, rooting for the characters, and absorbing the lessons about forgiveness and new beginnings right along with Maggie, Trevor, and the residents of Clayburn. Unique secondary characters, interesting plot turns, and delightful instances of humor will make this a book you pick up time and again. A recommended book for anyone who enjoys women's fiction and romance. Women in or from abusive situations may enjoy the themes of restoration and healing, especially.
A fast-paced romantic adventure that reads like a thriller. Deb Raney¿s novel, Remember to Forget, had me flipping the pages with eager anticipation¿reading just one more chapter. And then¿just one more! I loved visiting the little town of Clayburn with its mostly charming inhabitants, meeting Wren and Trevor, and rooting for Maggie as she struck out on what became a quest for freedom. Filled with both tense and tender moments, Remember to Forget is a delight to the heart.
Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney is a must-read for all romantic fiction lovers out there! This was such an awesome page-turner I had it read in about a day (not bad for a book of nearly 350 pages)! Our main character, Maggie Anderson, is in need of a major life over-haul! Her childhood wasn¿t good and her adult life isn¿t promising to be much better. That is, of course, until she is carjacked! How can that be a good thing? You¿ll have to read the book to find out! God can use ANY situation in our lives to bring us to Him, and Mrs. Raney shows that beautifully in her book. Another important character in the book, Trevor Ashlock, has had his fair share of problems as well. But he has kept his faith in God through it all and is used by God to point Maggie in the right direction. And though Maggie has to hide the truth from him as first, he finds himself in a position to help her escape from her past forever. Will he help her do it and be able to forgive her for the deception? After reading this book, I immediately went to the library¿s website and put a hold on all books by this author! I have now finished another 4 of her books and have a short stack to complete. I HIGHLY recommend this author for a smooth read and a DEFINITE feel-good book!
Remember To Forget By: Deborah Raney Small town kindness and big city doubt meet in Deborah Raney¿s latest masterpiece. From the frightening streets of New York City across the country to Clayburn, Kansas you will find love and the mercy of God. . . .Maggie Anderson escapes a controlling abusive relationship late one night when she is carjacked. Through a series of circumstances and lies she finds herself in a bed and breakfast in Clayburn, Kansas. As she starts a new life in this town, she must keep her past a secret from the kind people she meets. How could they forgive her of all the deception? Her heart has never known nor can it understand the grace she witnesses. Trevor Ashlock is almost living. He¿s the shell of the man he once was. His faith is all that carries him through his grief. When he meets Maggie, new feelings stir in his heart. He sees the hurt behind her lies. As he offers her grace and safety from whatever haunts her, can his heart find love again? . . . Within the pages of this book you see an image of God¿s love, grace and forgiveness more beautiful than the Kansas sunset across the plains. You rejoice at a Savior Who always remembers to forget our sin. Prop your feet up and visit the lovely little town of Clayburn, Kansas. You¿ll linger long after the last page.
Remember to Forget Deborah Raney Maggie Anderson is on her way back to deliver her boyfriend his liquor, when she is carjacked and left stranded on the side of the road outside New York City. Knowing that this may be her only chance to escape Kevin¿s tyrannical rule over her life, she makes the most of her opportunity by depending upon the kindness of strangers. Eventually, Maggie finds herself in the rural town of Clayburn, Kansas. Trevor Ashlock, publisher of the Clayburn Courier, is trying to make it from day to day. It¿s been two years since the tragic accident that claimed his family, but he keeps busy with the paper and working on the Wren¿s Nest Bed and Breakfast remodeling project. When Trevor meets Maggie, he feels as if he is coming back to life. And Maggie as ¿Meg¿ begins to feel safe, even though she is trapped in a web of lies she has spun about her past, having always to remember not to reveal too much so that Kevin will never find her. I really enjoyed the way Deborah Raney told the stories of Maggie and Trevor. Their stories are not uncommon, yet they are fresh and new. I found myself alternating between wanting to shake Maggie and wanting to hug her and be her friend. Thankfully, she finds a great friend in Wren, another lovable and huggable character. The people of the town of Clayburn are sweet and kind, which I found refreshing. (No gossip or backbiting here!) No one preaches at Maggie. Rather, they show her the love of God through their love and actions toward her. I like that. I believe this sets a good example for those of us who belong to Christ. Remember to Forget deals with some unpleasant topics, to be sure, yet Raney somehow writes them in a kind and gentle way. The characters are sympathetic, and that appeals to me as much as the story. I would recommend this book to fans of Christian fiction and sweet stories that are not saccharine. I look forward to reading more of Raney¿s novels in the future.
When Trevor Ashlock lost his wife and son in a fatal car accident, he found the will to go on. But he exists rather than lives. In a small town like Clayburn, he cannot hide from those who want him to find a new life. When he agrees to help the Johannsens with a remodeling project, he does not expect to find a reason to make life worth living again. Maggie Anderson finds an opportunity to flee from an abusive relationship. But she abhors the lies and deceit she feels forced to inflict upon the Johannsens and others who have shown her nothing but kindness. Even though she changes her name to Meg Anders, she fears her past will find her. Can she truly find hope and release in a little town like Clayburn? Deborah Raney has told yet another stirring tale. The topic of domestic violence is not brought up enough in Christian Fiction. Ms. Raney has handled the issue with sensitivity and understanding. She helps us remember that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. There is forgiveness for anyone who asks.
Deb Raney¿s Remember to Forget takes readers on a journey from desperation to hope. The vehicle used to transport both reader and main character, Maggie/Meg, is the warmth of a small town in Kansas. Raney skillfully weaves Maggie¿s life story throughout the plot in a natural, pleasing way. Her characters and setting are welcoming and wonderful¿it makes you wish you could go to Wren¿s Nest for some pie and coffee.
This book is a treat from the words carefully crafted by Deb to the beautiful layout of the book. Each chapter begins with a pull-quote on the face page ¿ a mechanism that pulled me through the book. I kept thinking, I¿ll read just one more chapter¿ and before I knew it another thirty minutes had evaporated. I could hardly put this book down, and when I did I kept wondering about what would happen next with the characters. A theme that challenged me was the picture of God¿s hand extended to Maggie through the people who reached out to help her in her journey. Through their actions she gently becomes aware of Him and that He might be more than a myth. This made me ask the question whether I am doing what I need to on a daily basis to extend His love in an active way in my daily life. This book was powerful from the first page to last. I highly recommend this book to readers who like romance mixed with women's fiction.
When Maggie went to the liquor store for her boyfriend Kevin, she had no idea how stepping out her door that morning would set her free. When her car is carjacked, and she's left stranded, she heads West with nothing but twenty dollars in her pocket. Fear drives her to lies and deception. Guilt burdens her as she settles in Clayburn, Kansas and finds a place to call home, wanting to accept the love that is offered her. In, Remember to Forget, Deborah Raney takes the reader into small-town life, God's forgiveness and acceptance, and a simple love story as Maggie embraces the love and life-style God designed for her. A pleasurable read for those who enjoy a warm-hearted love story. Beautifully written.
The title intrigued me and I wasn't disappointed. Deb Raney takes a situation and without getting overly graphic, conveys to the reader the urgency the heroine felt. I was compelled to keep reading page after page, and highly recommend this story. And after you read it, you will probably want to go visit the small town of Clayburn, Kansas. It's that appealing.
Award winning author Deborah Raney, author of A Vow to Cherish, has again touched heartstrings with Remember To Forget. She encourages the reader to let go of the past and take hold of the present. 'One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:13-14). After suffering through novels full of broken dreams, Remember to Forget was a refresing read. I haven't enjoyed a novel this much in a long time.
Remember to Forget was a page turner from the outset. It's not going to make you pull your hair out with anxiety, but there is enough tension to keep you wondering when the boyfriend will show up. This is a great example of a story containing a heroine in a desperate situation who may be perceived as weak, but in actuality has always been a survivor, so in a way that makes her strong. However, she really did grow a lot as a person once she arrived in Clayton, Kansas. The hero did a lot of growing as well. Trevor is a guy any woman would want. They truly made a perfect match. I loved how the author left out the sometimes contrived tension that often occurs in stories where there is a character who lies about some things. She was desperate, didn't trust anyone, and did what she had to do. The details were also fabulous in this story. I could see the interior of the bed and breakfast and the design work they did on it. I could taste the food and was sweating when I read about the dust, the heat, the town, etc. And the romantic element was perfectly done, as usual. So if it's cold where you live right now, this baby will warm you to your toes. The ending was also perfect, though it could've included one small element that would've made it even better. Those of you who have read Over the Waters will know what I mean. They were both great stories. This novel ranks toward the top of my Deb Raney favorites. Her voice is unique and her style is elegant and yet, homey with a small town feel to it. Highly recommended.
When circumstances set Maggie Anderson up to leave her abusive boyfriend, she takes the plunge. In her mad dash across country, she spins lie after lie, anxious to wipe out her former life. Even her name is a lie. Her journey ends in Clayburn, Kansas, at a homey inn named Wren¿s Nest. The owners, Wren and Jake accept her as she is and she¿s eaten up with guilt. If she tells them her real story, she fears they¿ll hate her. Trevor Ashlock feels drawn to Maggie. Her fresh-faced innocence reminds him of Amy, his beloved wife, who was killed two years ago in a car accident. He and Maggie are thrown together as they both help to remodel the inn. He wants to know her better, but she insists she¿ll be gone soon. Deb Rainey blends love, faith, and redemption into this heartwarming story of a young woman¿s struggles for survival. This is a story of second chances.
Remember to Forget is a tribute to every woman who has had the guts to leave an abusive relationship and start over. Deborah Raney packs an emotional punch that rings of courage and triumph in the middle of desperation.
I think I have read almost every book that Ms. Raney has ever written and every one of her books manages to touch the heart of the reader. And 'Remember to Forget' is no exception. It's a beautiful reminder of God's unconditional love for us, and his amazing grace, no matter what our past mistakes are. 'Remember to Forget' is a fast paced story, with characters who come to life through the talent of Ms. Raney. I didn't want the story to end. God has certainly blessed Ms. Raney's pen, and is using the talent He gave her to bless her readers.
Raney's done it again! With artistic panache, she's penned a unique plot filled with rich characters that spring to cinematic life. Although I've never been in an abusive relationship, I easily identified with Maggie's fear of divulging her past. Each of Raney's characters is believable, created with thoroughness and a unique past that adds depth. I was gripped by the imagination from the first page and didn't set it down until I finished it. I've found all of Raney's books to be page-turners¿even her first book. Deborah Raney is a born story-teller. One of the best. And she keeps getting better and better, although this one will be hard to top. Novel Reviews gives Remember to Forget its highest recommendation ¿ 5 stars and prediction of it being a 2007 Best Book.
At four in the morning in Manhatten Kevin Bryson sends his girlfriend graphic designer MaggieAnderson to the liquor store. However, she never makes it back to their aprtment as a man with a gun hijacks Kevin¿s car with her inside it and dumps her over a hundred miles from the city. Maggie considers how Kevin will react to his car stolen and her not returning immediately with his alcohol and his change she decides this is her chance to escape two years of abuse and ¿imprisonment¿ while assuming that if she went home Kevin would blame her. Maggie soon travels westward with the help of several kind people until she runs out of money in Clayburn, Kansas. She decides this is a good place to start anew especially since she deems Kevin would never find her in this samll town. However, as she begins her new life off the books at the Wren Nest still looking back over her shoulder and seeing shadows everywhere, she meets widower Trevor Ashlock. As they are attracted to one another, he feels guilty because he misses his beloved Amy dead two years and she fears relationships after Kevin, who she believes is coming for the bi*ch who abandoned him. --- Purposely using coincidences to remind readers that people for the most part are kind souls, Deborah Raney provides a deep character study of second chances with the suspense coming late. Maggie is a fascinating protagonist who fears telling anyone about her abusive relationship because her secret could reach Kevin as remote as that seemed and more so her shame she blames herself for not leaving. Trevor also has issues as he still grieves the loss of his wife and their son. Readers will appreciate this poignant tale as God¿s plan allows us to REMEMBER TO FORGET by starting over. --- Harriet Klausner