TITLE: The Keys to Jericho
AUTHOR: Ren Alexander
Wild Sparks’ Hadley Beckett isn’t the only Beckett with a broken past and a story to tell…
Thirty-year-old Jared Beckett has always lived his life unconsciously, contemptuously, single-handedly, and on his own terms, not caring what people think of him, or thinking much of the people who do care. His mother’s abandoning him when he was a toddler laid the bitter foundation in which he proceeded to build upon, but that was only the launch of his downward spiral. His father tried to do the best he could as a single parent, and even though Jared was an honor student and is now a talented structural engineer, he’s always felt slighted and compared to his older sister Hadley, increasing his hostility.
Despite his antipathy and aversion to being close to anyone, becoming a master at hiding his internal struggles, he has two friends, Dash and Rio, but even they don’t know the extent of his eternal anguish. His friends tirelessly try to change his life for the better, yet their efforts to help him find a love connection are fruitless because of Jared’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of love, feeling distrustful of people from his own mother’s inability to love him.
Adding to his foundation of resentment, and unbeknownst to anyone, when Jared was 16, he had met a girl in school who made him question his enduring doubts. They became fast friends, but feeling oddly different about her and not knowing how or why he wanted something more from their friendship, he became frustrated when she didn’t seem to return his advances. Their friendship grew strained, forced, and painful. On his last day of school, he finally said goodbye to her and didn’t look back, yet never moving forward, caught up in her memory, and regrets of what could have been.
Nearly 14 years after he said goodbye, Jared has returned to his hometown of Annapolis for the summer, as well as to his dark memories. However, with a new light illuminating them, revelations about his covert friendship are revealed, and as his secretive nature and progressing resentment deteriorates any relationships he has left, in an unexpected move, he reaches out to help her. With her in his life again, will he become even more entrenched in his acrimony or is she the only one who can bring down his walls, unlock Jared Beckett’s unconscious heart, and revive him before it’s too late for both of them?
Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, but grew up in a nearby tiny, historical, college town in the Northern Panhandle of the state. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters and two cats. “Chasing the Wild Sparks” is Ren’s first novel.