About the Author
Bernadette Dunne has been narrating since 1997. She has been twice nominated for The Audie Award and has won six Golden Earphones awards. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. She has appeared at The Kennedy Center, The Washington Shakespeare Company, and Woolly Mammoth in Washington, DC. As a playwright, her work has been produced in New York, Seattle and Washington, DC. She lives in Brooklyn.
Read an Excerpt
What do you smell, Bowser?”
Josh Kueppers, wearing a neon orange stocking hat and carrying a shotgun, chased after his dog.
His voice sounded hopeful as he dreamed of returning home with such a trophy. He’d watched the news the night before and seen reports of a black bear sighting in southeastern Minnesota. So while unusual, his goal wasn’t impossible. At least, that’s what he told himself during the pursuit.
The school bus had dropped the ten-year-old off outside his family’s farmhouse. As he dumped the mail on the kitchen table, he found a note from his mother that said she’d been called to work an evening nursing shift.
She instructed him to bike over to an older friend’s place down the road, spend the night, and go to school with him the next morning. Josh smiled at the prospect of fun.
But his mother’s absence also presented another opportunity. For a hunt. So he threw on his camouflage jacket and was out the door.
Josh and Bowser, a tan mixed breed, ran through a lightly snow-covered farm field. The corn had been harvested, but not yet plowed under. An early cold spell had hit just as the calendar touched October. He stumbled a couple of times before reaching a line of trees growing in a depression in the ground.
His dog bayed, just like a real hunting hound.
Josh’s eyes grew wide.
He held the gun steady, finger on trigger, as he glanced around to see what had attracted the animal’s attention. He didn’t want to be ambushed, although theirs did seem to be the only tracks, so he figured they were safe. He looked upward hoping to face off with a raccoon in the branches … but they were empty. No masked opponents.
He didn’t have enough experience to realize that broad daylight was less conducive to hunting wildlife than dawn or dusk. Bowser barked some more and Josh noticed a hole in the earth that looked curious. He hoped for a bear den. He moved closer, his eyes cautiously scanning back and forth for trouble, when the ground beneath him collapsed.
Josh tumbled downward amid a cascade of dirt and snow. Gradually, through a reassuring gap of sunshine, he became aware of his dog still above, sounding an agitated alarm that he feared would go unheard by anyone else.
Something smelled awful, and as his eyes adjusted to the blackness he realized he was not alone in the bottom of the pit. Fumbling for his gun, he aimed the weapon toward the sky and pulled the trigger in a calculated call for help.
Then he realized the safety was on, and tried again.
Almost immediately, he wished he hadn’t.
Instead of alerting someone of his whereabouts, the shot caused an avalanche of dirt that buried both Josh and the grisly secret beside him.
What People are Saying About This
"Bernadette Dunne's delivery is precise and deliberate as she navigates the short, choppy chapters, keeping disparate plot threads from becoming entangled." - AudioFile Magazine
"...a ripping good story, with lots of twists and turns, and will not disappoint those who have come to expect a good yarn from Kramer's pen. This is enlightening, entertaining and compelling. Kramer has written another good read..." - The Examiner
"...Kramer's research into the Amish realm is impressive and integrated skillfully into the plot. As always, Kramer is informative about television news, the ways of Minnesota, and the inner life of a widowed professional woman." - StarTribune
"Fast-paced with a sense of humor and a shiver of terror... full of the fascinating details and background without overloading the pacing at all. You get an inside glimpse, sometimes a good hard stare, at the Amish." - The Poisoned Pen
"Remember Witness - that truly thrilling movie with Harrison Ford in his heyday? Shunning Sarah is an even better suspense story filled with horse-driven buggies and folks in black hats." - James Patterson
"Julie Kramer superbly blends two very different worlds - that of television news and the mysterious world of the Amish. Shunning Sarah is a compelling novel chock full of all the elements readers of crime fiction crave. Riley Spartz is a very human heroine - and a force to be reckoned with. You will remember her and this story long after you finish the book - and anxiously await the next installment." - Linda Castillo
"A stunning entry in this dynamic series with a fascinating glimpse into two worlds unknown to most of us: the Amish and the behind-the-scenes truth about local TV news. Talk about a culture clash!" - Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author
"Addictive...A captivating heroine you'll root for and a shocking ending you won't see coming, Shunning Sarah delivers with a satisfying punch." - Alex Kava, New York Times bestselling author